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Inbox: This game is about forging one's own path

Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas are two of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet

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DL Devonte Wyatt

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

I got to spend a day watching my son get high-fives from players, analyzing practice with my father-in-law (with Aaron Rodgers in attendance), enjoying the sunshine, seeing the new rookies in action, and oh yeah, meeting the one and only Weston Hodkiewicz. And it's only June. What a time to be alive!

It was the highlight of my day – no, my week – no, my entire offseason program.

John from Stevens Points, WI

What is the general mood at this minicamp? Excitement? Trepidation? Concern?

Anticipation. The Packers lost some key players this offseason but once again appear to have all the necessary tools to pursue a championship.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

I liked the article on Amari Rodgers. 4% body fat? Yeah, me too...maybe with another number thrown in front of the "4." It amazes me how these guys keep their bodies in that kind of condition. It truly is a year-round effort. Concerning Coach Vrable's comment, I half-expected you to add in parentheses "...which is nice." With fan expectations of more jet sweeps and better reception numbers for him, at the end of the year, do you see Rodgers' contributions being more on offense or special teams?

I liked the Rodgers pick a year ago because he seemed like the perfect receiver for this offense – a slot option who can make plays off jet-motions. This offseason, Rodgers dialed into his nutrition and developed a firmer grasp of the playbook, and it's showing in practice. Rodgers had one of the best catches of the offseason program Wednesday when he dove for a touchdown pass from Jordan Love during red zone. He also converted a third-and-10 with a 15-yard cross in No. 1 two-minute. I think you're going to see a lot more of Amari this summer.

Jack from Edina, MN

Excellent article, Wes, regarding Wednesday's practice – concise and to the point. It's refreshing to get content like this with the current state of sensationalized sports reporting. Regarding Aaron Rodgers stating he's making a yearly decision about retiring, I find it hard to believe he'd sign a four-year deal to only hang the cleats up after one season. I also find it hard to believe he'll play another four seasons. Thoughts? Is there some cap structure that points to anything in particular?

To paraphrase Pablo Myers, it's the story I'm most proud of. Rodgers' contract was structured like that for two reasons. One, it helped spread out his signing bonus and provide the Packers with some needed cap relief in 2022. Two, it set up a "pay-as-you-go" system for Rodgers if he chooses to play in 2023 and beyond. Rodgers said he "definitely" plans on finishing his career with the Packers and the contract reflects that commitment.

Hap from Graham, WA

Hey Wes, in Spoff's excellent article yesterday ("Aaron Rodgers returns to spotlight at Packers minicamp"), he quoted AR as stating expectations regarding the rookie WRs must be "reasonable." Do you think this represents an evolution/adaptation of AR's past expectations of WRs who made mistakes (e.g. poor route-running, failure to execute, etc.), and his normally fiery response?

Maybe somewhat, but I think Rodgers was mostly talking about the gradual transfer of potential into production. You'll see deposits made into that knowledge bank throughout the year – just like for Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Randall Cobb as rookies. I personally loved how we used that photo of Rodgers talking with Samori Toure for Spoff's story. I saw that moment live after Toure ran a route on air and felt it perfectly captured Rodgers at this stage of his career – educating the young wideouts on what he needs, while leaning on the veterans to lead the way.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

I'd like to thank you two and Larry for giving us a quick peek into the nickelback situation. This is how you remind me of what I really am. (No worries, I'm already headed toward the door.)

Not bad, Dar. Not good…but not bad, either.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Conventional wisdom is that the team will rely a bit more on their running game early in the season until the passing game starts to click at full speed due to the departure of Adams. Could be? However, we've also seen the need for the passing game to be productive to set up a solid run game. I, for one, don't think the Packers will be able to just run their fine running backs to compensate for the loss of Davante Adams. Do you think the trump card will be Rodgers' experience at QB?

I do. Rodgers has done this for so long with so many different playmakers. He and Matt LaFleur are going to figure out what works best for this offense and plan accordingly. What's more, I felt Marcedes Lewis had the best line of the week when discussing the forecast for the offense this season: "It's going to take a different personality just as far as spreading the ball around a little more. We're probably going to lean on the backs a little more, but I feel like we're still going to do our thing on offense. We'll find creative ways to stay on that field." That starts with No. 12.

Zane from Oconomowoc, WI

Kenny Clark is 26. Devonte Wyatt is 24. Have you ever seen a bigger two-year gap? Kenny Clark being a centerpiece and a six-year veteran and Wyatt is a rookie. Kenny Clark seems beyond his years, and I can only hope the same for Wyatt.

Clark is a rare breed. There are just so few comparisons for players at his position who have made the impact he's made at such a young age. Wyatt has loads of potential, but he doesn't need to chase Clark's greatness. This game is about forging one's own path. With Jerry Montgomery's wisdom, Wyatt will find his way soon enough.

Paula from Apple Valley, MN

Loved Rasul Douglas's comment yesterday, "No rookie standin' out." So glad he is back!

That secondary is something else. Honest to goodness, Jaire Alexander and Rasul Douglas are two of the most interesting people you'll ever meet – and for completely different reasons.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

With regards to players going half or three-quarter speed in practice, I can't see a DB backing off when he has a chance to make a play on the ball nor can I see a receiver letting up when he has a chance to make a contested catch. Would think this is this especially true with the young guys battling for reps and eventually a spot on the 53. No?

Sorta. In the live 7-on-7, it got very competitive between the receivers and defenders. On one rep, Christian Watson accidentally bumped into Alexander at the top of his route and it gotta little talkative afterward. As far as half-speed periods, there's a big difference between competing and doing what you're told. When the Packers are practicing at a jog-through tempo, players need to play at a jog-through tempo. In those moments, you're "competing" with discipline as much as you are your talent.

Joe from Ormond Beach, FL

A couple of weeks ago "Indubitably" was an answer on "Jeopardy!" Do you think Aaron pulled some strings to make it happen?

Or Spoff…

Laura from Pittsburgh, PA

Who is your favorite underrated player to ever play for the team?

Justin McCray or Lucas Patrick. Both are cut from the finest cloth.

Pete from Umatilla, FL

Good morning, Insiders. With the evolution of stadiums in the NFC North and the movement to indoor facilities, I was wondering what the coldest stadium you have ever observed an NFL game in? Did you go to the Packers-Vikings game that was played at the University of Minnesota field after the Teflon dome caved in? Where does that rank on your chilly list?

I wasn't covering the team yet (but Spoff might have some stories). For me, the coldest game that comes to mind for me is the Packers-Bears matchup at Soldier Field in 2016. I know the gametime temp read 11 degrees but the wind chill off Lake Michigan made it feel like 11 below. That's the game my body remembers the most.

Terry from Elroy, WI

With regard to the question from Mark from Madison on the greatest special-teams player of all-time, William Henderson has to be near the top. Throughout most of his career, he played on three of the four special-teams units.

My answers would've been the same as Spoff's, but this would be an excellent question for Cliff. I couldn't tell you anything about the Packers' coverage units prior to 1995.

Due to rain, the Green Bay Packers held their second practice of minicamp inside the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

Bucky from Ashwaubenon, WI

So, can you help a guy out with gift idea for Father's Day?

Speaking of Cliff, I have a FANTASTIC idea for you, Bucky. Mr. Christl is actually signing copies of his acclaimed book, "The Greatest Story in Sports" at the Packers Pro Shop this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. I bought it for my dad for Christmas. I'd encourage you to do the same. Tell Cliff that Hod sent ya…and hopefully he still agrees to sign your book.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Insiders, did anything exciting happen lately? I got distracted by life.

It's the offseason program. You haven't missed anything. If there's life to be lived, I hope you're out there living it. If other considerations are in play, then we're sending positive vibes your way.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

Guys, I'm a trivia guy and pride myself on knowing a lot of off-the-wall trivia about my favorite sports. My wife loves it... Answering II questions every day, do you guys have to look up a lot of these answers? Has this increased your knowledge of the team and its history? I've got to believe this has made you better at your job with the Packers, at least minimally.

As much as I'd like to say I know everything, I use the Google machine, media guides and other resources to fact check/find. I may not always be right in my arguments, but I'll be darned if I'm not accurate about the facts.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Spoff, don't pace yourself in London. Make Wes watch over you and keep you safe. Show them all a David Bakhtiari chug!

Don't ask me why, but I feel like there's a better than average possibility I'll have to pull Spoff out of the pub at bar close and stuff him into an Uber while he's singing Tom Jones' "I Who Have Nothing." Call it a premonition.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, you wrote, "Amari Rodgers reported back to Green Bay this spring a little leaner, a little stronger and significantly more confident..." Would these same panegyrics apply to you this offseason?

If only in my dreams. The final day of minicamp is upon us. Have a great day.

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