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Inbox: They're getting the best of both worlds

The first reaction doesn’t make it the right reaction


Stephen from Menomonee Falls, WI

Go back to answering questions. Please.

Sure. Do you have a question? Good morning!

Chuck from Horicon, WI

I really should have learned. I was telling my son that we need to cut James Jones as he was dropping passes. Going thru the whole thing again with Davante Adams. I was saying "cut" him and is now a star receiver just like Jones.

The first reaction doesn't make it the right reaction.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

How did the Insider Outbox readership/question submitting compare with the Insider Inbox?

I still have 553 unread messages since Tuesday. The best part is I'm still getting replies to the questions and people asking why I haven't used their submission. Awesome.

Simon from Santa Clara, CA

Is it more work writing the inbox when you write the questions or the answers?

The questions took me an afternoon to come up with in the office, but it definitely took me more time to paste in all of your answers than to write my typical replies.

Trevor from Seattle, WA

That moment when you read through both Outsider Inboxes, don't see any of your answers, and realize you're not as funny as you once thought (insert crying MJ meme, Van Der Beek gif).

A lot of great answers were left on the cutting room floor. There also were a fair number of responses that originally were in Inbox, but got cut for space reasons.

Glenn from Texarkana. TX

A comment on Trevor Davis special-team returns, "I like to go ahead and burst out and get the quick 10 or 12 (yards) I have in separation already. … The main thing is getting those yards fast and try to get a first down right there, right away." Thinking on his statement I realized after the 10 or 12 yards (first down equivalent) there are also fewer players between him and the goal line. His outlook makes sense and me smile.

It's the right approach. I think so many returners hesitate and overthink things because they're trying to get the lay of the land in hopes of a big gain. Davis showed a lot of maturation as a returner last year. He took the 10 yards in front of him, and then trusted his speed and ability to do the rest.

Eliezer from Rechovot, Israel

What do you feel are the three biggest player/position needs that were addressed this offseason? If you can add a few more moments of your insight, I'd love to hear the "why" to each of these. The managerial and coaching changes are significant, but it's the guys on the field who get the job done.

Tight end was a good place to start. The Packers needed to overhaul there and they're getting the best of both worlds in adding Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis. The second is re-signing Tramon Williams. I haven't a clue where he'll line up on Sundays at the moment, but he can play everywhere and will be a good role model for those young cornerbacks. Lastly, signing Muhammad Wilkerson was a shrewd move by Brian Gutekunst. The Packers had depth at the position, but wanted more.

Tony from River Falls, WI

Wes, what is your earliest Packers memory? Thanks for the neat format the last two days. Love the column and keep up the great work!

Watching the Packers and Patriots on Oct. 2, 1994. That game taught me there's nothing free about the point-after attempt.

Jeff from Fond du Lac, WI

How much time will Ty Montgomery play at running back or wide receiver?


Matthias from Hartford, WI

The Packers must to win the division, ___ to obtain home field advantage and to secure a trip to the Super Bowl?

Beat the Vikings. Stay healthy. Play their best football in January.

Rene from San Diego, CA

The running back position seems deep but how does a team decide who has the "hot hand?" My concern is no one gets into a rhythm from week-to-week and you waste valuable downs trying to figure out who's your guy for that game. How do the coaches make it work?

You know it when you see it. I think the idea of rhythm can be overrated at the running back position. As I said before, Jamaal Williams, Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones had no problem getting going when presented with the opportunity to be the bell cow.

Sean from Boulder, CO

Wes, while I'm fully on board with Rudy, you can't be serious about "Draft Day." "Change your life"? It's simply one of the worst depictions of real-life action on a movie screen. In its defense, it only cost $25 million to make no money, as opposed to Waterworld's devastating losses.

"Worst depictions of real-life action on a movie screen" should have made it on the movie poster.

Dennis from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Please tell me how to pronounce Jaire Alexander's first name. I've heard it three different ways. I want to say it right in my head now so I don't have to retrain my brain when he's a star DB.


Check out action photos of the Packers offense during the 2017 season.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

I agree that James Starks was underrated. My wife and I went to our first Packer game together in 2015 against the Chargers and he scored two TDs in that game. Great finish to that game too when the Packers held them to a goal line stand to win the game.

Starks was a total pro and it's not like we're best friends, either. In fact, I think he still has me blocked on Twitter. Regardless, I appreciated his approach to the game. He was the same guy regardless of whether he was the starter or got four carries.

Kyle from Sun Prairie, WI

The best part about seeing Case Keenum last year is you could see he was having fun and putting himself on the line to win games. He may have been thinking about his next contract, but it seems like most quarterbacks are trying to maintain their longevity first and win games second. No one wants to be hurt but I saw that as unique to Keenum and fun to watch. What part of Minnesota do you think will cause the Packers the biggest problem next year? Cousins, Cook, Diggs/Thielen, or defense?

As much as the Vikings have steadily improved on offense, it's their defense that still scares me. Minnesota can attack you in so many ways. It's deep and multiple.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Rodgers has thrown 12 touchdowns off free plays since 2008. The next closest QB has thrown four. What is the secret to creating the free play and capitalizing on it?

Three things – intelligence, moxie and inhuman awareness of what's going on at all times on the football field. In my opinion, there is no more complicated game in sports than football. There are so many variables with 22 players on the field at all times and Rodgers has a sixth sense to be in tune with all of it.

Philip from Fishers, IN

Thank you for telling me about Super Bowl XXXI on YouTube. I watched in on the fourth and was in awe at the athleticism of those Packers. Desmond Howard was incredible to watch and Leroy Butler laid some wood. But what really stuck out to me was Reggie White. That was the only game I had ever seen him play, but it was amazing to see his strength and agility in action. Was it just me or did he get stronger as the game progressed? Also, Gilbert Brown was incredible. Actually, the whole D line was.

I wish more people would watch those 1996 Packers games. If you do, I dare you to tell me LeRoy Butler isn't a Hall of Fame player. White got the notoriety – and rightfully so – but Butler was a catalyst to that defense.

Andrew from Memphis, TN

Bolstering your opinion on Corey Linsley, I would have to say that center is one of the most greater-than-the-sum-of-his-parts positions. Certainly, run blocking, pass blocking, and overall strength are a necessity, but I feel that the leadership involved in anchoring the offensive line is what separates good from elite centers. While coaching is important, I think that the sustained success while having a revolving door that has been our offensive line at times is a testament to Linsley's leadership.

The ball starts in Linsley's hand on every play and the calls he makes have a direct impact on how the play unfolds. The most underrated position on the offense. I think it's also important to point out the leadership role he's had to step into over the past two years with the departures of T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton. The training wheels have been off for Linsley for quite some time now. He's done nothing but peddle forward.

Brett from Oshkosh, WI

Can I answer a few more questions you guys seem to get often? 1. Nobody is going to switch positions because of their body type alone. 2. Out of the receivers battling for the No. 3 spot, none of us knows who has the best shot. A couple wise people once (or twice) said "wait and see." 3. No, Wes isn't short for Westeros. Hope this helps. Loved the Outsider's Inbox!

And that type of cheat sheet will get you through any Insider Inbox pop quiz.

Brandon from Brooklyn, NY

Replay review has played a big role in the NFL for a while and now it's being used in the World Cup. When a call gets overturned due to instant replay review, do you think it has any effect on the referee that got the call incorrect live? Will they maybe call the rest of the game a little differently?

I actually think it helps them. Referees no longer have to question whether they got the call wrong and linger on it. That could have more significant aftereffects than just getting corrected. We're all human.

Keith from Dearborn, MI

Wes, did your childhood home contain the 1996 Super Bowl season on VHS? If so, how many times have you watched it? The quadfecta quotes the movie to this day and thinks it's an all-time must-watch for all Packers fans who do not own it already.

You want to know something odd – maybe some of you remember me telling this story – I didn't record the VHS, but rather the radio broadcast of the game on cassette tapes. I wanted to be the next Jim Irwin as an 8-year-old.

Jay from Omaha, NE

You can't pay players to not play for a team? If I remember correctly, before trading him to NY, the Packers offered Brett Favre money to stay retired in 2008. Was that an illegal offer, then? Or am I missing something?

Favre was under contract with the Packers at the time – he wasn't a free agent. So it wasn't tampering. It wasn't until after Favre made his intentions clear to play that the Packers finally traded him to Jets.

Take a look at photos of Packers fans as we celebrate Fan Friday.

Bob from Queen Creek, AZ

I am sure this is a very stupid question, but in the case of Julio Jones, why aren't the Falcons able to go after him for breach of contract? In the same token why isn't Dez Bryant, who was under contract, able to go after the Cowboys for breach or Jordy for that matter?

The Falcons can go after him, beginning with his absence at the mandatory minicamp. That's all up to the team, though. Bryant and Nelson are in a different boat because NFL contracts aren't fully guaranteed.

Dan from Rothschild, WI

Does anyone besides T.O. care where T.O. gives his HOF speech? Hopefully they don't televise a second of it. I'd like to see the whole ceremony go by, and have T.O. mentioned just as an aside; "Oh, and T.O. is inducted. Good night everyone."

I could not, would not, care on a boat. I would not watch it in the rain. Not in the dark. Not on a train. Not in a car. Not in a tree. Oh, T.O., please let me be.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Well, Wes, what did you learn from the Outsiders Inbox venture? I learned that there are: intelligent, crazy, loyal, and dedicated fans world-wide! I am so honored to be part of this Packer family that lives, breathes, sleeps, and eats all things Packers! I hope you can do this activity again next year. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I learned if you give Packers fans 12 questions, by golly, they're going to give you 12 answers.

Steve from Wauwatosa, WI

Wes, I just wanted to tip my hat to you and the Inbox. I am a cynic by nature and I thought your questions would be frankly, mundane. I could not have been more wrong! Your Inbox, sir, proved Packers nation is both varied and poignant. Awesome answers that evoked a true sense of a Packers community. Well done, Wes. Well done, Inbox! And thank you!

Thanks to everyone who participated. It was a fun week. Now if you'd excuse me, I'm going to send this to my editors, check out of my Denver hotel and finish the final leg of my trip to Las Vegas for UFC 226. Spoff will be back at the wheel on Monday. You guys have a terrific weekend.