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Inbox: They have their best football still ahead of them

The Packers were prudent with their approach this offseason

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Linebackers Preston & Za'Darius Smith

Mike from Rhinelander, WI

Spoff, beer before 9 a.m.? Atta boy. Truly Wisconsin born!

Well, he did take PTO Friday…and it has been a mighty long offseason.

Marissa from Buda, TX

What does it feel like walking out onto the field before a game starts and seeing the other team?

I don't really get down on the field very often anymore but I used to watch the final two minutes or so when I ran quotes for the PR department in the early 2010s. I can tell you the energy from the crowd in a tightly contested game is unlike anything I've ever experienced. The size of the players is also incredible to see field level.

Check out photos of Packers players looking their best.

Larissa from Minnetonka, MN

I don't normally believe in tooting our own horn, that's a job better left to the Vikings and their disregard for social faux-pas, but I have to admit that as someone who was neither hugely for nor against the Smith signings, they must be considered outstanding (and rare) FA pickups. Z just had a season like Khalil Mack's first in Chicago at a fraction of the cost. What level of success do they have to stay at to be worth their contracts? Upper third at their position? Occasional Pro Bowler?

They've already outperformed expectations in some regard. Just look at the contract the Lions gave Trey Flowers, who had seven sacks last year. Free agency is always a gamble but the Packers came up aces with those two pass rushers. The best part is the Smiths are just now entering their prime and have their best football still ahead of them.

Michael from Montréal, QC

As Jerry Krause argued in "The Last Dance," a championship season is the product of players, coaches, trainers, management, etc. The "organization." What offseason changes to the Packers organization do you think will have the biggest impact on the team's chances for a SB run (for better or for worse)?

It's not so much a change per se but the 2018 and '19 draft classes need to step up after the Packers lost some proven players at key positions in free agency. The Packers were prudent with their approach this offseason in hope of contending for a championship in 2020 and also being able to re-sign several valuable veterans over the next year.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

The "Deep backfield ..." article and a recent question about going for two against Arizona caused me to wonder about un-scouted looks for two-point tries this year. Putting Jace Sternberger and Josiah Deguara in with Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon and Jamaal Williams/Tyler Ervin would really make a defense pick its poison for a short-yardage play as the Pack could pound it with Dillon/Williams as lead blockers, or go four wide with Sternberger/Deguara/Jones/Ervin at "receiver." The formation options with that group have a ton of appeal.

I didn't really get into that because I have separate stories coming in the next two weeks on both Deguara and the Packers' tight ends, so keep an eye open for those. But certainly there's a lot of fluidity with what the Packers can do with their multiple-RB, multiple-TE groupings. Whether that manifests on two-point attempts, we shall see.

Sean from Glen Ellyn, IL

Hi Insiders! I was watching some highlights of the 2016 season and one of my favorite plays was Aaron Rodgers' first touchdown in the divisional round. Dropped it between the defenders arms and at the right camera angle you can see Richard Rodgers smiling as he crosses the goal line. An underrated great moment in Packers history in my opinion!

The Packers came up one game short of the Super Bowl, but Rodgers was at the peak of his powers during that "Run the Table" period – especially in the playoff win over the Cowboys. He was exceptional in the moments that demanded greatness.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Memories can help us through this long dark night. November 2018, SNF Packers at Vikings. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen stacked wide left. Kirk Cousins quickly delivers a pass to Diggs. Jaire Alexander (eight yards off the LOS) reacts instantly and attacks Thielen and knocks him back into Diggs. The blow knocks both Vikings down and Diggs quickly scrambles to his feet, Alexander chases him down for a 9-yard loss. Here's hoping we have memories to cherish from the 2020 season.

If there was ever one play that perfectly describes Jaire Alexander, that's it.

Dennis from Appleton, WI

If we have a 2020 NFL season with or without fans in the seats, should we expect the Lambeau Leap to take a hiatus and then resume once again in the 2021 season?

That probably would be wise. Sacrifices must be made.

Take a look at photos of Packers TE Jace Sternberger from the 2019 season.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Who are your all-time underrated Packers? My top five are Gale Gillingham, Bobby Dillon, Doug Evans, Robert Brown, and Ed West.

Evans, Gillingham, Lynn Dickey, Bryce Paup and Keith Jackson, whose name doesn't get brought up nearly enough when talking about those '95-'96 Packers teams.

Cindy from Mesa, AZ

Good morning! I remember Chris Banjo was a veteran who provided invaluable leadership on special teams. Who is that for the Packers now?

Sal from Hailey, ID

Catching up on II, Wes – only two AP All-Pros at QB since Bart Starr? We must not be counting second team. Poor Magic Man.

Of course I missed that. Second-team counts. My apologies.

Jim from Lake Alfred, FL

In your opinion, wouldn't it be prudent for all teams to have all of their players tested for COVID by July 15, so that anyone who tests positive could quarantine for 14 days and be cleared before training camp begins? Sounds to me like a good idea.

Sure, but that's something the NFL and NFLPA are going to have to work out. I'm sure players will be tested before traveling to their team's city but the specific timeline is for those two sides to determine.

Jake from Lake Mills, WI

No question, just a declaration. The WIAA has pushed forward a plan to carry out fall sports. If high school sports can do it, I am no longer optimistic without expectations for the NFL; I am optimistic with expectations. I believe we will get to see the Green and Gold in all its glory this fall.

All the best to the WIAA and high school athletes eagerly looking to resume their respective sports. You shape your expectations however you see fit, but keep in mind we're all walking around in the dark here trying not to stub our toes.

Taylor from Fargo, ND

Rodgers…surveying…fires, that's caught, Randall Cobb into Chicago territory! Randall Cobb inside the 20-yard line! Randall Cobb…is going to score! 75 yards, that is crazy! A dropped interception by Kyle Fuller just two plays before allowed this moment, part of one of the greatest comebacks of all time, to occur.

I appreciate how the question was asked about a dropped pass by the Packers and then we get 37 questions that begin with "It's not an offensive player but…Fuller and Brandon Bostick!" Neither of which fit the original criteria.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

If you could draft ANY player all-time to play in today's game, who would that be?

I'm not sure how far you want me to go back but I feel like prime Deion Sanders would've been a ton of fun in today's NFL, with his athleticism, versatility and larger-than-life personality.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Hey Wes, I've heard that having large hands helps the QB grip the ball and that "4" and "12" both have larger hands than most. Mike told us the size of Favre's hands. What size are Rodgers'?

9 3/8 inches.

Jeff from Des Moines, IA

Please tell me I wasn't the only reader on Friday who got out the ruler. I would not be a reliable cold-weather quarterback.

I don't even want to tell you what mine is.

Robert from Georgetown, TX

What a great article by Cliff Christl on the 10 greatest offensive players. With a 101-year history, naming the 10 top players in any category is tough. Many people will say where is Jordy, Driver, Sharpe, Ahman, etc. It could go on and on. My appreciation for the great history of our team continues to swell day by day!

You listed some of the greatest players in Packers history. I think the difference with Cliff's article is the 10 he names are among the greatest players the league has ever seen. Everyone does top 10 lists but not everyone does top 10 lists well. Cliff has knowledge and awareness to look back at the past 70 years and compile such a tremendous list. He's a treasure. I strongly encourage you to check it out.

Nic from London, UK

What does our basketball team look like now that Julius Peppers is gone? Is ML's retirement permanent or could he be coaxed out for one last run?

LaFleur said he's healthy and playing again. The Packers' basketball team has taken a hit the past few years. It's probably Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers and then some question marks.

Josh from Napoleon, OH

With baseball being shortened to a 60-game schedule, that makes each game matter that much more. Do you see teams going down to a four-man rotation or at least throwing their No. 1 and 2 more often than they typically do? If you get down five games in the standings, it'll be hard to come back from that. Can't wait!

I don't know. I don't baseball.

Randy from Raymond, IA

I grew up in a small farming community many years ago and attended a private school that did not have a football team. Although no video evidence exists of my athletic prowess, I was blessed with tremendous natural ability. I've often thought if I would have had the opportunity to play football while in HS, I would no doubt be in the Packer HOF by now. After measuring from my thumb to the tip of my pinky at 10 1/2 inches (freshly clipped nails), I am even more convinced I missed my calling.

That depends. Could you throw a pigskin a quarter mile?

Daniel from Port Saint Lucie, FL

What should you say in response to someone who argues that the nine NFL championships the Packers won before the Super Bowl era don't really count in regards to who is the most successful NFL franchise? They always argue that there were fewer teams and not much of a playoff system.

You would look them square in the eye and with a full heart say, "Scoreboard." Have a good weekend everybody.

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