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Inbox: They will all get their chance

S Adrian Amos and LB Preston Smith
S Adrian Amos and LB Preston Smith

Bob from Port Saint Lucie, FL

Outstanding column yesterday! It should be mandatory reading for all players. Your legacy may be more for what you do off the field than on it.

I hope every Packer fan was able to take a moment to reflect on the life of Bart Starr for a few moments over the past two days. His story shouldn’t be mandatory reading for all players – it should be mandatory reading for everyone. The world is a better place for Bart Starr having been a part of it for 85 years. Good morning!

Dan from Allen, TX

First, thank you so much for the "Bart" Inbox. Wonderful stories. Met Bart a few times, and he was always wonderful. Yesterday, I messaged a bunch of my friends (we're in our 50s and GB natives), “How many of you were told by your parents to emulate Bart as you grow up?” Not because of Bart the football player, but because of Bart the man. You can imagine the response. Thanks guys!

Starr meant so much to so many. Before the days of YouTube and packers.com, I only knew of Bart Starr from three sources – old Packers Yearbooks, newspapers and stories from my Grandpa Hank. Oh, the stories he used to tell me about the quality of quarterback Starr was. While my grandfather loved the football player, he idolized the man. That’s how you know someone lived a special life.

John from Yakima, WA

To the media team – the quick and excellent coverage, on a holiday weekend, of the history of a Packer legend is a visible tribute to your professionalism as well as a way of showing respect for the Starr family.

A tremendous amount of credit goes to Cliff Christl, Duke Bobber, Ryan Hartwig and Matt Haberkamp (who is getting married this week) for logging some long holiday hours getting everything prepared, so we could honor Bart Starr the way a man of his character deserved to be honored.

Michael from Hammond, IN

I recently saw an article rating the all-time greatest Green Bay Packers and Bart Starr was ranked at No. 3. To this Packers fan, I believe that no other player has meant more to this franchise and was more instrumental in leading one of the greatest NFL teams of all time than No. 15 Bart Starr. He is the No. 1 Green Bay Packer of all time and may he rest in peace. Where would you place him in the all-time ranking list?

To me, Bart Starr and Jerry Kramer are the greatest ambassadors in franchise history. I’m not sure whether Cliff would agree with me on that, but I’ve always felt those two men are responsible for tying generations of Packers fans together. When you factor in Starr’s playing credentials, I wouldn’t have any issue whatsoever calling him the greatest Green Bay Packer of all time.

Barry from Green Bay, WI

Any word on the team wearing a "15" patch this season?

I’ve seen this question a lot over the past 48 hours. I’m sure the Packers will definitely honor Starr this upcoming season, but I can’t speak on what they’ll do. I also don’t know the rules and restrictions with patches and decals. Those are all better questions for Murphy Takes Five.

Doug from Eugene, OR

I was very interested to learn Bart Starr has the highest postseason QB rating in history. Interesting how a "new" statistic can shed light on the past, isn't it?

For a man who’s statistically the greatest postseason QB in the history of the game, I don’t get how Starr still gets overlooked, but he does at times. It was in vogue for a while to bash on his career numbers, but stop and look at the era Starr was playing in. The role of the quarterback was different in the ’60s and nobody filled it better than him.

Mike from Holton, MI

Will Rashan Gary make a big impact on the defense this season?

It definitely wouldn’t surprise me if Gary made his presence felt in Year 1. The kid is that talented, but a lot will depend on the overall health of that position and how many reps trickle down for Gary to receive off the bat. Za’Darius and Preston Smith were signed for a reason and Kyler Fackrell is coming off a 10½-sack season.

Justin from Hoboken, NJ

Good morning. There seems to be more press about Darnell Savage's immediate impact (including rookie of the year talk) than about Rashan Gary's impact, though Gary was selected earlier in the draft. Would you please clarify why that might be the case? Is one role more difficult to learn for new pros? The angst expressed about trading up for Savage adds to my confusion, as do the parallel free-agency moves. Thanks for all you do and answering our questions.

It’s the nature of their positions and the current makeup of the roster. Safeties are required to master the entire defense and play on every down. More plays mean more chances to make plays. Savage seems like a sharp young man and appears primed to play right off the bat given how the depth chart looks at the moment. Gary has a ton of potential, but as I just mentioned, there are some talented veterans at outside linebacker.

Robert from Katy, TX

What free agent can make the most impact for the Packers this season?

They will all get their chance. Adrian Amos and Billy Turner are going to play every down, and the Smiths have the positional flexibility to rush from anywhere on any down. The more you can do, the more you can play. If you asked me to pick one, though, I guess I’d have to say Amos because of how much his position affects the entire defense.

Greg from Knoxville, TN

Thirty percent of first-year coaches between 2008 and 2018 made the playoffs. Not sure how many had a top-tier QB. Too many question marks for the Pack this year. A .500 season might be a good start for a new head coach. Your thoughts?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the Packers have said from the beginning they don’t consider themselves to be in rebuild mode. I don’t know what 2019 will hold for Green Bay, but Matt LaFleur doesn’t sound like a man here to lose.

Nate from Pueblo, CO

When a D-lineman gets a sack, does he feel better about beating the specific O-lineman or sacking a specific QB? For example, if someone beat David Bakhtiari and sacked Aaron Rodgers, which part of the play does the defensive lineman enjoy more: beating Bakhtiari or sacking Rodgers?

Other than strange anomalies like Clay Matthews sacking Jay Cutler 8½ times, I’d say the opposition typically matters to pass rushers more than the quarterback they’re sacking. The quarterback sack is the stat everyone keeps, but the real pelt on the wall is who pass rushers beat to get to him.

Jake from Shoreview, MN

With the signing of Turner, the drafting of Jenkins and the return of Cole Madison, the Packers appear to have some offensive line depth they have not had in a while. What can legitimately be expected of Madison after a year away from the game? Could he struggle to make the roster?

I like Madison’s chances better now than if he returned to the team midway through last season. There is a lot of competition on the offensive line, but at least he’s not playing catch-up. By reporting for the start of the offseason program, he’s in the best possible position to make the 53.

Manny from Coupeville, WA

In the past, injuries have hurt our offensive line and the offense. Does it seem like a good backup crew?

Rodgers seems pleased with them.

Bruce from Appleton, WI

With Josh Jones skipping the OTAs, do you think this will hurt him in the long run with the Packers or will they trade him like he is asking?

Again, OTAs are voluntary. Everyone wants answers right now, but we’re going to have to wait until mandatory minicamp to get a better grip on the whole situation.

Tony from Marquette, WI

How many tight ends are in camp?

Six. Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis, Big Bob Tonyan, Jace Sternberger, practice-squad holdover Evan Baylis and undrafted rookie Davis Koppenhaver out of Duke.

Jonathan from Madison, WI

Are practice-squad players eligible to travel in case of injury?

Yes. The Packers always bring the No. 3 quarterback (if he isn’t already on the 53-man roster) and a practice player of the week on every road trip. The team also will occasionally travel the entire practice squad for West Coast trips and late-season contests.

Alex from Hampton, VA

Good morning. Any reports on David Bakhtiari’s left elbow? I noticed he’s wearing a brace this spring and he’s never worn this before.

It’s fine. Bakhtiari has been wearing that brace for a while now.

Simon from Santa Clara, CA

How much work was yesterday's Inbox, where you had to curate all the questions, but didn't provide any answers? I can't decide if I think it was more or less work.

You’d think it would take less time, but I’d say it was comparable since I had to sift through all the replies, choose 25 or so to publish, and then edit the responses.

Diane from Hot Springs Village, AR

Why was it such a big deal that Aaron Rodgers didn't chug his beer!?

I have no idea, but also don’t drink. My thought is: “Oh, your quarterback can drink? Cool. Has he won a Super Bowl?” Maybe Spoff can bring clarity to this phenomenon when he returns Wednesday.

Mike from Austin, TX

Hey gents. Love your work and the perspective that you afford to us all. I've seen things about most of the draft picks and UDFAs, but I'm wondering what your impressions are on my fellow Toledo Rocket Ka'Dar Hollman? Speed up to expectations? Getting some reps? I just haven't seen mentions of him. Jayrone wants to know, too. Have an awesome weekend.

My first thought watching him practice last week is he’s definitely as advertised getting in and out of his breaks. Out of all the Day 3 picks, Hollman probably is the one I’m most excited to see more of this summer. There’s a lot of untapped potential there.

Pedro from Porto Alegre, Brazil

I don't know if I missed this, but have you guys already revealed the reason why Wes had to take that trip a few weeks ago or something? I am really intrigued by it, thank you.

Soon, assuming I can carve out time to work on the project. But yes, soon-ish.

Bill from Bernards, NJ

Out of curiosity, how much of your wardrobe is provided by the team? Shirts, jackets, pants, etc.?

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say, “Yes, I buy my own pants.” I’ve been waiting 31 years to write those words. As far as shirts and jackets, I’d say it’s about 50/50.

The Packers practiced inside the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday for voluntary minicamp.

Greg from Sacramento, CA

Does the Packers cafeteria ever have brats on the menu for the players and staff, or is it centered on a healthier menu?

No brats. They keep a strict tab on how much processed food is served to players. However, I am happy to report there is an all-you-can-get brat station in the press box for media on gamedays.

Michael from Toronto, Canada

Guess you guys were planning your NBA Finals matchup a liiiittttle early. You lost to the best team in the East. Have the humility to admit you overlooked us?

I didn’t plan any matchups, so you can check the tone on the premise of your question. I think I’ve made it pretty clear by now I don’t know anything about the Bucks and even less about the NBA. Thanks to Toronto’s antics I do know who I’ll be pulling for in the Finals, though.

Tony from Eden Prairie, MN

It takes a season to judge a team, a couple seasons to judge a coach, three to judge a draft class, and probably four to judge a GM. How long does it take you to judge one of the articles you write? No sarcasm.

Good question. I know it’s a cliché, but I am my biggest critic. I’m constantly going back and re-evaluating stuff I wrote to see what I can do better in the future. I’ll do that with stories regardless of whether it’s something I wrote six years or six days ago. Sometimes there are mechanical tools I’ve moved away from that I want to reintroduce to my writing. You can always get better.

Tony from Marquette, MI

How many rookies do you think will start this season?

With any luck, not as many as last year.

Eric from Kenosha, WI

Reading all these wonderful Bart Starr tributes makes me pause and consider there probably is not another fan base in all of sports lucky enough to have a forum like this. In times like these, II is not just a collection of serious football talk and funny banter, it is a community. Thanks for keeping it going, gentlemen.

Like any family, we laugh, we cry, we celebrate, we fight, and together we mourn.

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