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Variety is the spice of life

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow

Dale from Prescott, WI

Spoff with a mullet! Count me in!

I relinquish the conn for a couple of days, and … well, for the record, I actually did have a mullet (of sorts) when I graduated from high school and went off to college. A short, misguided phase of my life. And no, there are no pictures that shall ever see the light of day.

Steve from Wauwatosa, WI

Do you think I am the only person who shoots his finger gun at the screen as the "G" explodes while the site loads?

We haven't even officially reached the dead zone yet.

Jeff from Puyallup, WA

Do either of you guys enjoy the on-camera work or would you prefer being behind the keyboard? Really enjoy both versions keep up the outstanding work!

When I walked through these doors 17 years ago – to the day, in fact – I never envisioned being in front of the camera. I thought I'd be solely behind the keyboard, but how's the saying go? Variety is the spice of life, right?

Micah from Ridgefield, WA

Following OTAs, how would you say the offense is looking with Jordan Love under center?

Pretty much how I expected it to, like a work in progress.

Michael from Fond du Lac, WI

Do you think we will be a run-first offense this year?

I'm not sure exactly how to define that. I do expect to see a more steady, consistent commitment to the running game this season than we've seen in the past. But I also said that last year and I was wrong, so if you don't wish to believe me I won't blame you.

Ted from Findlay, OH

I have seen many first-year QB starters in the NFL. Even those who become very good seem to have to go through a major development process. They have to understand their own offense as well as the defensive looks. The speed of processing these seems to be the big jump for those who succeed. They have to go beyond pure thinking to quick reaction and commitment. Most seem to make the big jumps after their first and second years. Who (not a Green Bay QB) have you seen make that jump fastest?

In the last half-dozen years or so, Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott come to mind first. They're at the top of the list for me.

Tad from Lincoln, NE

My best left side? As an Oakland Raiders fan during the 1970s and '80s, but having transitioned to rooting for the Packers during the Brett Favre years, I still remember with fondness the Hall of Fame tandem of Art Shell and Gene Upshaw who anchored the left side of the Raiders' line. I hope Bakhtiari and Jenkins can become not only the best left side in the NFL, but can yet approach Shell-Upshaw status.

Richard from Madison was all over the old Raider duo, too. As far as tandems I actually saw play … we aren't normally in the business of tossing bouquets to rivals around here, but the Vikings' left side of Randall McDaniel and Gary Zimmerman in the late '80s/early '90s was as good as it gets.

Etienne from St. Joachim de Tourelle, Canada

I know the Vikings are the NFC North champions, but with the release of Dalvin Cook, it seems to me that it is now the Lions' division to lose. But that being said, seems like any team could win it. I am glad Cook is gone, he hurt us badly often in the past.

I don't think it's anyone's division to lose. It's anybody's to win, and I've been saying so all offseason. Cook is an incredible talent, and he'd be talked about more readily among the true greats of this era had he stayed healthy more often. No disrespect to Mattison, and I understand Minnesota's reticence involving the financial commitment with so much health uncertainty, but color me curious as to how Cook's departure might impact the way defenses deal with the Vikings' top weapons, namely Jefferson and Hockenson. Minnesota's biggest and most impressive win last season, hands down, was at Buffalo, which is remembered for Jefferson's impossible fourth-down catch late in the game. I remember it for a different reason – feeling like the Vikings were dead in the water, down 27-10 with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, when Cook busted off an 81-yard TD run to kickstart a monster comeback and completely change the game. If the Vikings don't miss him as much as I think they will, then more power to them.

Mike from Niles, IL

Mike, the field shrinks for all 32 teams in the league when they get near the goal line. 30 of the other 31 teams in the league do not have Davante Adams. So your responses to Gary from Waterloo and Mike from Charlotte may have been inadequate when explaining why the Pack went from first to last in goal-to-go situations.

I never said Adams' absence was the reason. I acknowledged it could be a factor. The reason was the lack of run efficiency, which is a unit-wide failure. Trust me, it's all there on the film. A botched block up front here, a poor read by a back there, bad timing, missed opportunities … if I could see it, I guarantee the coaches did.

Former Packers head coach Vince Lombardi was born on June 11, 1913. Take a look at photos of him from his coaching career.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

With a young offense led by a new QB, it appears as if the defense will need to elevate their game. Who do you think will make the biggest impact on the defensive side of the ball this year?

The best thing for the Packers is if the answer to that is a different player with each passing week.

Jason from La Crescent, MN

Hey dudes. Not sure if this has been asked yet, so my apologies if it has. From what you've seen of Love, what is one thing you think he could be better at than Rodgers? Big or small, I'm wondering if there's anything you think he has shown that might separate him from Rodgers, even in a small way? Maybe too early to ask this question, in which case I'll ask again closer to or during the season. Just something I was pondering last night, but frankly not football smart enough to even guess.

Yet another mystery that can't be solved right now. While I appreciate the question, I hope this is not something Love has spent one scintilla of energy thinking or worrying about.

James from Appleton, WI

This time of year, I remind myself that the coaches start their planning for OTAs by asking, "What do we need to work on?" It isn't until the games start that they begin by asking, "What are we really good at?"

Sort of, but not exactly. I prefer to look at OTAs as the first on-field installation of the playbooks, and the coaches are figuring out both what they're good at and what needs work. Then they apply that knowledge accordingly moving forward into training camp and the regular season.

Dave from Middletown, CT

On OTA days when media have access, how much access do you have? Are you relegated to the stands only? Can you roam on the grass as long as you stay off the field proper? Are you close enough to hear what the coaches are telling their players? Is training camp different in that regard? Is your locker room access only one day a week as well or is that more relaxed?

Media get to watch practice from the rubber apron that borders the Hutson Center and resides between the building and either field (Nitschke to the east, Hinkle to the west). It's the same for training camp and the regular season. Occasionally, the coaches and players are close enough to us that we can hear interactions, but often not. The days we have access to practice, we also have access to the locker room post-practice, but very rarely at other times. That's pretty standard.

Tim from Escanaba, MI

How are the surnames "Slaton" and "Slayton" correctly pronounced?

They are both pronounced SLAY-tin.

Mary Ann from Black Mountain, NC

Is everyone who participates in OTAs invited to minicamp, or are some cuts made already in this process?

Anytime an acquisition is made and a roster spot is needed, players could get released. Currently, the roster has 88 players and three unsigned draft picks, so there's room temporarily. Once all three are officially signed, someone will have to go.

Jason from Rockton, IL

Hey Mike and Wes, sorry if you've already answered this, but did the NFL keep the weekly protections for PS players? That may weigh heavily into being able to keep some of those coveted "project" players.

I believe a limited number of players still can be protected, but nobody is protected 100% of the time. There are windows of protection, but also windows of freedom, if that makes sense.

Chuck from Gold Canyon, AZ

With many praising the job Gutey has done in building a young and hopefully competitive team, one area not focused on is how these moves have set the Packers up to quickly build towards championship caliber. If Love does pan out and the current youth and speed translate, they will piggyback in 2024 with minimum of 11 picks including three in the first and second round. My question is in regards to whether the Pack will receive compensation for Gray going to Atlanta as assistant HC?

"If Love does pan out" is the gazillion-dollar question in a quarterback-driven league, right? Regarding Gray, the answer is no. My understanding is the draft pick compensation tied to losing minorities to promotions elsewhere only applies if the minority staff member is hired as a head coach or another team's "primary football executive," such as GM.

Craig from Los Angeles, CA

Hi II. Even though it's early days, from what you've seen of him, where do you think Lukas Van Ness is best lining up? Watching his college highlights, I'd love to see a D-line of (a healthy) Rashan Gary, Kenny Clark, Hercules and Preston Smith. In my green-tinted glasses, it's a super disruptive front.

I could definitely see that as a nickel or dime front this season. In fact, I expect to see it in certain situations.

John from McHenry, IL

I just missed the name list. Johnsburg is the town next to us. Alas, I am John from McHenry. Missed it by this much. It is a game of inches.

Or in your case, a few miles, but who's counting.

Jeff from Hagerstown, MD

Good morning. As a Jeff, I know I should be thrilled to be in the "Jeff" club, but I'm reminded of Groucho Marx's famous line, "I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me as a member." Does that mean I get off Scott free?

Groucho also knew when to see himself out.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

I had to laugh at all the submissions relating to submitter names. They brought back the memory of after one of my first submissions a fellow submitter asked if I knew how to spell my own name. Memories make us rich.

Happy Monday.

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