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Inbox: They have to earn it where it starts

The most recent draft will factor into the game’s future at QB

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Derek from Houston, TX

The supporting cast answer from yesterday had me asking another question. What do you call a male seamstress? No, this is not the beginning of a bad joke. It's actually a seamster. Fun fact, and maybe my ticket into the Packers organization?!

With the sewing room in the dark recesses of Lambeau Field, there's a Jimmy Hoffa joke in there somewhere, but I just got off deadline on the Yearbook and can't think of one. Bear with me today, folks.

Jeff from Kenosha, WI

Hi guys, I have a semi-trained eye for football. Can you tell me what differences to look to for on defense under Pettine?

Aside from studying results, I'm not sure how you'll be able to tell on television. With a view of the whole field, I'll be looking (as best I can, because things happen pretty fast) for how often the defensive alignment is the same, but something different is done schematically, either with the rush or coverage. The early word is Pettine likes to play multiple calls without always giving different looks, or the same thing from varied looks. My observation skills surely will be tested.

Chris from Marshfield, WI

"Aikman...Manning...Starr...Rodgers...He is where he's supposed to be." They are who we thought they were!

And they've been crowned.

Darren from Hollywood, CA

So many Darrens in the Inbox lately, and all with the supreme spelling! Question: Vic seems to think the Lamar Jacksons of the game will be the future at QB. Do you agree with this? I still see championship teams emerging from traditional QB play (smarts, pocket presence, accuracy), so it seems largely hypothetical at this point in time.

It all depends on what the college game produces. If drafts continue to provide four first-round QBs in the traditional mold, like this past one did, and the vast majority work out, that future at QB might be a ways off yet. But if they don't work out and Jackson turns out to be the best of the bunch? It'll get here sooner.

Check out photos of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers competing at the American Century Championship in South Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Bryce from Houston, TX

Did Favre ever play Brady? They were in the league together for a while but I've never heard of a matchup between the two. Brady starts to play in '01, Favre didn't retire until '10. That's nine seasons they could've gone head-to-head.

Three times. Favre won in '02, lost in '06, and lost again in '10 while with the Vikings. It's really too bad we weren't treated to the Super Bowl matchup in '07.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

I love it when a Seinfeld quote goes way over Wes's head. Are you going to be promoting the coffee table book on TV with Regis?

But it's not about coffee tables.

Ryan from Bismarck, ND

Who does MM delegate the camp MVP this year? My vote goes to Biegel.

The head coach doesn't officially announce one, but if you're right, that'll be a great sign for this defense.

Tristan from Durham, NC

Not that I'm complaining, but I'm curious how Eivind from Nordfjordeid, Norway, became a Packers fan. Wouldn't the Vikings have been the natural choice?

Perhaps he needs to tell us.

Rob from Muskego, WI

How long does it take you to learn all the rookies' names? Do you work on memorizing them ahead of time or do you learn them as you see and interview them?

It's not hard for me to remember names because we write about them so much on draft weekend before we ever meet them. Putting a face to the name can take some time, but generally once I've interviewed a player (or been part of a group interview with him), I'm good.

Jonnie from Garden City, MI

My goal when writing questions for the Inbox is to provide thoughtful, well-worded questions which are relevant to the conversation of the day. What mistakes should we all try to avoid to improve our overall question writing? Is there anything specific that would cause you to send a question straight to the email trash bin? What questions are you most tired of having to answer? Keep up the awesome work! We're almost through the dead zone!

The only questions that genuinely bother me are ones I've already answered recently. I understand not everyone reads every day, but those who don't and aren't going to take the time to catch up ultimately waste their effort.

Hohn from Belleview, FL

Favorite NFL nicknames? Mine is "Sweetness" with "Bambi" a close second. They both fit the players involved so well.

Nothing will ever top "Sweetness" for me, as a nickname or a player.

Keith from Greendale, WI

Insiders, who is the best football player from the state of Wisconsin? My first guess is that it would be between Joe Thomas and J.J. Watt. At the height of their powers, which of those two guys do you think would win in an Oklahoma drill?

Tough call, but I'd have go to with Thomas. I think both players will end up in the Hall of Fame and add to the state's rather impressive list.

Jeff from Divide, CO

Hi guys! Diehard Packers fan here (I learned to swear watching the games with my mom in the '70s and '80s), having moved to Colorado only after finding at least three "Packer Bars" nearby. Even found one in Lake City, called the Packer Bar, partially named for Alferd Packer, the Colorado Cannibal and featuring a drawing of uniformed Brett Favre holding a skull like a football. My question is, where is the most remote location you have heard of where Packer fans congregate to watch their team?

I asked our fan engagement specialist, Haylee, whose desk is two cubes away from mine, where some of the most remote Packers Everywhere bars are located. Her list included ones in Parma, Italy; Sandy Bay, Honduras; and Coco, Costa Rica. The owners of the one in Honduras are from Milwaukee.

Trev from Omaha, NE

With Bell still not getting a new deal done in Pittsburgh, what do you think his value will be on the open market next offseason? I saw a report that he turned down a five-year, $70 million deal to make him the highest paid RB. Will he get more than that next year or will this come back to bite him? Only time and potential injuries can tell.

You answered your own question.

Mitchell from Middlebury, IN

How often do rookies come into the locker room or even the field and immediately take on the leadership role? How do veterans react to this? Any examples?

I've come to learn leadership initially develops where no one on the outside gets to see it – in the position group meeting room during film and game-plan sessions. If young players prove there they know what's going on and are able to carry it over to the field in the way of performance, other young players will start turning to them to answer questions and provide guidance. They have to earn it where it starts, or else they're just talkers to whom no one is interested in listening.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

My favorite game moment is when a player comes from "nowhere" to make the sack, pick or against-the-grain move at full speed and just turns the entire play upside down. As a TV watcher, I'm guessing that watching from the press box you tend to see those plays before they happen.

I'll just say from upstairs, there aren't many interceptions that are shocking. You can see them coming. One of the only times I recall being stunned when a ball was picked off was when Shields nabbed that Romo throw over the middle in the fourth quarter in the great '13 comeback when Matthews whiffed on the QB in the backfield. The play had sack, then touchdown, written all over it, and somehow Shields ended up with the ball.

Joe from East Moline, IL

How does Wes get kicked out of a bar if he only drinks root beer? And when the heck did Rodgers break his ankle?

I think the reference was to the foot in '06, but to the more important question – maybe that's exactly why Wes got kicked out.

Gregory from Bay View, WI

Favre and Peyton Manning are the only QBs to have beaten every team in the league. Who does Rodgers have left to beat? This stat doesn't include the team you play for, or does it? (As both Favre and Manning went to different teams and could beat their original teams that way.)

Last year, when Rodgers beat the Bengals in Week 3, he became the seventh quarterback with wins over 31 (or 32) NFL teams. I wrote about it last year in advance of the game in my "One Last Look" column. Drew Brees will join Favre and Manning in the exclusive 32 group if he beats the Ravens this year.

Dennis from Elk Mound, WI

Not a really a question...I visited the Lambeau Field Live exhibit at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, had a picture with Lynn Dickey, talked with the workers while checking it all out. I want to specifically mention the VR system though. Please pass on a "job well done" to the team that created that video. The segment with the coin toss and the players running out of the tunnel were goose-bump inducing. They captured that pre-live-kickoff excitement perfectly.

Thanks for the testimonial.

Dale from Owatonna, MN

The new field seems to sit up higher. Will the Lambeau Leap be easier?

I guess we'll find out when the offense does its annual Leap en masse on Family Night. Keep an eye on the big guys.

Take a look at photos of Lambeau Field during the progression of the new field installation.

Skip from Spread Eagle, WI

I'm sure all the bicycle shops in Green Bay are busy tuning and reinforcing all sorts of them for the kids with training camp just around the corner. Just wondering if anyone has shown up with the old Bicycle Built for Two so they could ride tandem with the player that chose them?

I've seen it before, but not for at least a few years. I suspect it could be an effective way to be selected.

Corbin from Plymouth, WI

Colin Cowherd made some interesting points in his NFC North predictions for this coming season (just listened for perspective). He has GB in first at 11-5 and MN in second at 9-7. He attributed the 9-7 to MN's really tough road games in the first five weeks, harder last five than GB, a new QB, new coordinator, new system, were bizarrely healthy on defense last season, and says barely turning the ball over rarely happens in back-to-back seasons. Thoughts on his points against MN?

I've mentioned before how amazingly healthy the Vikings were on defense last season, until the NFC title game. Reminiscent of another NFC North team a few years prior.

Jose from Lima, Peru

How much of the franchise tag is guaranteed money?

All of it, as soon as the player signs the tender.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Spoff, I've been having this debate with another Packer fan about whether or not Aaron Rodgers makes WRs better. I tend to think that it comes down to scheme and team play. My opponent says without AR, many of these WRs would be mediocre at best. He pointed out that Greg Jennings was great with the Packers. We didn't hear from him after he left. Does he have a point, or can I use some colorful metaphors on his theories?

Of course the quarterback matters, and elite quarterbacks allow for many receivers to have better careers than they otherwise would have. But I don't like to denigrate players' accomplishments by comparing what happened when they went elsewhere. The prime of an NFL career is so short to begin with. Timing matters, too.

Dave from Comer, GA

I'll be traveling through the Midwest this summer for a fishing trip with my brother. On the way back to Georgia, I'll be coming down through Ohio and plan to stop at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Having never been there before, is there anything there that is a MUST see for first-timers?

My first trip there, in 2016 to cover Favre's induction, I made sure to walk through the room with all the player busts. There's just something about it. Otherwise, a lot of the Hall's exhibits rotate, so I'm looking forward to seeing what's different when I return in a couple of weeks for Kramer.

Check out photos of Titletown, a new community development just west of Lambeau Field.

Mike from Cloquet, MN

Who plays in the 2021 Hall of Fame game? Oakland vs. Indianapolis or will it be Denver vs. Green Bay?

Detroit will be in the mix, too, with Calvin Johnson. Though if the Hall of Fame wants to go with the Lions – who haven't had a modern-era inductee since Barry Sanders in '04, and were not chosen to play in the game then – their opponent would not be the Packers.

Trevor from Seattle, WA

As a 30-year-old, I completely understand Spoff's stance on diehard fans. Here's to hoping I never have the credentials.

Now that's the spirit, and I applaud the others of like mind. For the objectors, I honestly did not intend to cause such a stir. The dedication of those who religiously watch the games overseas in the wee hours of the morning, live their daily lives in enemy territory amidst endless abuse, and/or have cheered for victories to end those few lost seasons over the past quarter century even though it meant a lower draft pick – all of which covers in some fashion dozens upon dozens of submissions protesting my qualifications for the label – is to be commended. Sincerely. May hat is off to you. But I'm not changing my stance. It's my definition and I'm sticking to it.

Nathan from Denver, CO

I just scrolled through 94 pictures of dirt.

OK, maybe I have to reconsider after all. Have a good day, everyone.

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