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Inbox: There's no question about it

Everything is always clearer in hindsight

Hall of Famer Reggie White
Hall of Famer Reggie White

Craig from Appleton, WI

Does the 70-year-age limit apply to all levels of the organization? If so we could have Aaron Rodgers for another 33 years and Wes for like 50 years.

OK, I laughed. Good morning!

Allen from Birmingham, AL

Re: Gary's question about aiming at drone cameras is foolish and moot – the drone's point defense lasers would vaporize any ball within a 10-foot perimeter.

I gotta say I'm impressed by how many people submitted a version of this drone-meets-laser sentiment. By the way, I'm still planning on doing Outsider Inbox again next month. Without an actual offseason program, I may stretch it to the last week of June or the first full week of July. So if you guys have any ideas for questions you want asked, start passing them along.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

You can invite four Packers, past or present, to your chicken pox party. Who are you infecting?

I am not going there, but I'll use this to ask this question to create another – if you could immunize four current Packers from COVID-19, who would you pick? I'll say Aaron Rodgers, David Bakhtiari, Davante Adams and Kenny Clark.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Sterling Sharpe is probably the best Packers player not playing quarterback in the last 30 years. Yes, even better than Reggie White and Charles Woodson!

It's Reggie White. There's no question about it. It's not up for debate. White was on 13 consecutive All-Pro teams. Thirteen. Sterling Sharpe was a generational talent. White is one of the best players to ever play the game.

Jeff from Belton, TX

Are you excited to see Jerry Gray work with the young DBs? I really think this hire could push Jaire Alexander to the elite status at CB.

Joe Whitt Jr. and Jason Simmons did a great job with the defensive backs in Green Bay over the past decade but I'm eager to see what a fresh set of eyes can bring to the cornerback and safety positions. Gray is as accomplished as DB coaches get. He was an exceptional player who as a coach has developed nearly a dozen Pro Bowlers in the secondary. He brings a lot to the party, as Larry would say.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Wes, the reference to the fine Devante Mays article opened an old wound. Mays made the 53 when I thought he would easily clear waivers and go to the PS. That roster spot cost the Packers a young QB (who had no chance of clearing waivers). A QB who consistently made plays and moved the chains in the preseason. A fine young QB who happily resides in New Orleans today and continues to make plays. Ouch!

I understand your point but Mays isn't the player I equate with the decision to cut Taysom Hill. Keep in mind, Mays was active as the third running back in the '17 opener, not Aaron Jones, who was a game-day inactive. Mistakes were made with Hill, but I don't put that on Green Bay's decision to keep Mays.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Are there any minimum physical fitness requirements for NFL referees?

There are. Every spring, the league tests the endurance, strength and flexibility of its officials. Fortunately, there's no such test for writers.

Nikhil from Washington, DC

Hi Insiders, Braden from Aurora, CO, asked a question about players who we thought would be good but ended up falling short of our expectations. I keep thinking about a few preseason games where Jayrone Elliott and Brett Hundley looked amazing. Neither stood out in game time, though. What could I have seen from these guys in those preseason games (other than that they were playing in preseason games) that would have made me temper my enthusiasm?

I still think Jayrone Elliott can play. If he doesn't sign with another NFL team, I'll go to my deathbed saying he could. Listen, Elliott played 362 combined snaps in three seasons with Green Bay. Reggie Gilbert played 486 in one. I watched so many undrafted outside linebackers start for the Packers over the years. If Jayrone Elliott came to Green Bay in 2011 or 2012, he would have easily had 400 more defensive snaps to prove his point. I think Elliott did enough to get vested last year with his five games in Pittsburgh but I still think he could help a team right now.

Randy from Sheboygan, WI

Are fans going to be able to watch practice?

Am I going to be able to watch practice?

John from Rhinelander, WI

II, I cannot disagree with your tough decision of choosing Rodgers as the greatest Packers quarterback. However, I wonder if Lynn Dickey would be in this conversation if he didn't have the hip/movement issues. He was smart, had a great arm, and some decent talent around him! Your thoughts?

Duke? Is that you?

Connor from Detroit, MI

Was anyone else sick when the Packers didn't go for two after the Hail Mary in Arizona in 2015? I remember thinking we felt outmatched that day and going for two would have capped one of greatest postseason steals of all-time.

For the life of me, I cannot remember who it was in the Arizona press box who told me this, but one of the beat writers said they should go for two after the Jeff Janis touchdown. I had my doubts at the time but it made sense after watching how things played out. Not because the Packers lost – but how they lost. It was almost like that Janis TD was the last haymaker Green Bay had left in it. And Arizona's offense had that one big punch left to seal the win. It's still the strangest game I've covered because what happened on the field didn't match the outcome. But everything is always clearer in hindsight.

Dennis from Appleton, WI

Does the Packers' strength/conditioning or coaching staff place nutrition guidelines and follow up of any type on players during the offseason?

I'm not sure what the limits are about how much communication S&C coaches and nutritionists can have with players in the offseason, but every player is given a training regimen and nutrition plan when the season ends. That's why the offseason program is an important checkmark, too. It's not only a chance for coaches to get back with players, but also get them on track with their training and diet.

Brett from Boonsboro, MD

The talk of QBs hitting a drone reminded me of Ray Guy and the gondola in New Orleans. Great memory.


Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi II, the question about the QB hitting a drone was ridiculous. Stick to news about the Packers. Besides, wouldn't the drone's laser defenses make that impossible?

Absolutely. Deflate-gate? More like Incinerate-gate.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Teams that achieved a great deal of success last season (KC, SF, NO, Tennessee, GB and others) will face very high expectations from their fans. Also teams with significant FA additions (especially Tampa Bay) and teams that drafted early will be expecting improvement. Which team do you believe is poised to disappoint?

The team with the most questions is Tampa Bay. How much does Tom Brady have left? Can Gronk still be Gronk? Does he still want to be Gronk? And can that defense be as airtight as it was last season? It's an extremely high-risk, high-reward situation. I've found it's easier for a winning team to keep winning than it is for a team coming off a losing season that's now supposed to win, to satisfy lofty expectations.

Chris from New Canaan, CT

I've always wondered, (well, maybe not always), but I have wondered from time to time how you guys choose the headline and the undercard lede for each day's column. Clearly, they both come from somewhere in the script of your answers to questions. Any methodology or standards attached to what makes the cut? Or is it just whimsy?

I don't want to speak for Mike but I go off what I feel is either the most salient point that was raised by readers or a line that I really liked. Then, I send my photo request to Ana and move on with my day.

Randy from Erlanger, KY

With the NFL's response to the protests and possible roster expansion due to COVID, do you think this is the last best chance for Colin Kaepernick to be given a chance to secure a spot on a team?

Yes and no. Yes, because there's momentum for Kaepernick to get back into the NFL. No, because of this darn COVID-19 deal. If not for that, teams already could bring him in, get him a playbook and set the wheels in motion. But he can't work out for anybody right now. In one sense, the timing is right for Kaepernick to be signed but it's also unfortunate given the current landscape of the league with the pandemic.

Phil from Oshkosh, WI

I think Brandon from Orlando may have hit on an excellent suggestion. The NFL should require teams to add a BLM patch to all jerseys, or at least make that an option for any players who want one. The result would be more constant and widespread media impact for a worthy cause, just like pink, cleats, or camo, but without the need for more controversial forms of personal expression.

I would support a "Black Lives Matter" patch, but to end of your statement I say this – As a country, we need to start putting as much time and effort into social-justice reform as we do trying to curtail personal expression. This is not a negotiation. It's not "We'll give you X" if you stop kneeling. It's bigger than that. Don't just see the action and impulsively react to it – hear the message and respond accordingly.

Kody from Portland, OR

Not a question but a major shout-out to Brandon from Orlando. I truly hope we are done with the rhetoric that "athletes should just be athletes." Sports create a stage to start these difficult conversations that need to be had. The human beings that play these sports are entitled to their right to use this stage as a way to stand up (or kneel down) for what they believe in and what they are fighting for. Thank you for all that you guys do. Go Pack Go!

When it's socially acceptable to do so, I hope to someday shake Brandon's hand. Because I needed that.