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Inbox: This place is special

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Dylan from Bozeman, MT

Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family offseason. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm offseason emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest offseason since Mason Crosby tap-danced his way to become the starting PK. And when Gutey squeezes the most out of his fat stock of picks in April, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of A gaps this side of the nuthouse.

Thank you for keeping this II version clean. Good morning!

Ryan from Hartland, WI

How many coaches will the Packers interview?

Somewhere between a few and many.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

All the talk on national media seems to be about a new breed of offensive minds as the hot head coaching prospects. Are you intrigued by the Pack's interest in guys who are experienced playing in the pits?

This process needs to be about finding the right guy for the job, the locker room and the culture. I’m less concerned with a potential coach’s age than I am with his ability to tailor his philosophies to the direction the league is trending just like how Mike McCarthy was the right coach at the right time for the Packers back in 2006.

Joe from Dundee, IL

With eight head coaching openings, does that up the level of urgency for the interview process, or does the attractiveness of the Packers job give Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst confidence to not be in a rush to make offers before other teams do?

Did you ever play the NCAA Football video-game franchise? It used to be my favorite game. I’d always start as an offensive coordinator somewhere and then get a HC job. At first, there’s always the same mid-major openings, but if you held out and had enough success, a SEC or Big Ten job would open up and I’d always jump at it. With all due respect to the Jets, Buccaneers and Cardinals, those jobs have been open multiple times over the past decade. The Packers’ job hasn’t been open in 13 years. That says it all. This place is special. It’s one of the NFL’s elite jobs and it’s going to attract an elite candidate.

Zack from Lawrence, KS

Reading this column back in the good ol’ days taught me some perspective, about football, about life. Perspective kept me from watching most Packers games the last few years (and reading this column). But the winds of change are a blowin’! Currently, a quarter of the league needs a head coach. Did the Packers lose an opportunity by waiting to hire one, or find an opportunity in the larger pool of available coaches?

The only coaches the Packers could have hired before Week 17 would be those who aren’t currently under contract with an NFL team.

Gary from Oban, Scotland

I, for one, am glad Davante Adams didn't break all those records. I'm sure he'll have every opportunity to accomplish great things in a memorable winning season next year. Happy New Year.

Adams’ health is paramount. You don’t want to do anything to potentially aggravate that knee injury and set him back this offseason. The man doesn’t rest on his laurels, though. Whether he broke the record or not, Adams was going to be motivated to top his 2018 numbers. That’s just the way he’s wired. At 26, the best is yet to come.

The Green Bay Packers cleaned out their lockers at Lambeau Field on Monday.

Charlie from Superior, WI

A tough season with some positives, a lot of lessons learned, many areas to address and a new GM who seems to be in firm control with a good eye for scouting. While I would have liked this season to go better, having two first-round picks and solid cap room is a great place to start. How Gutekunst plays free agency and the draft will be fun to see. Great work this year both Wes and Mike. The II is a daily must for me. Remember, it's always darkest before the dawn. 

It’s a big offseason for the Packers, but also an exciting one. Nobody is perfect, but I felt Gutekunst got off to a good start last offseason. Let’s see what he can do in Year 2 with 10 draft picks and a healthy amount of cap space.

Jerry from Grantsburg, WI

Is it appropriate to forget Week 17 happened and look forward to the changes this offseason? Moving forward as quickly and as intentionally as possible feels like the best way to rebuild around Aaron Rodgers and run towards another title. There appears to be at least a few exceptional young men to build around and I'm excited to read about the next coach, any new free agents, and the draft.

I think that’s fair. Quite honestly, I remember precious little about that Week 17 game in Detroit last year.

Jim from Virginia Beach, VA

How come in the Dallas game, the player only had one knee in the end zone and they called a touchdown? I thought you had to have control and two body parts in bounds to be considered a catch. Thank you. I am 72, followed the Pack since 1959 and appreciate your column. It’s only a game. Life goes on. The sun will come up tomorrow or the next day.

A knee or hip (plus possession) works the same as two feet. Thanks for reading.

Jake from Athens, GA

Thanks to Spoff for finding a way to end yesterday’s column on a positive note. It certainly will be a more entertaining offseason than usual, at least for us fans. As writers, are you more looking forward to having more news to cover this offseason, or is it a bit of a bummer knowing your downtime this year is probably going to be pretty busy? 

There’s nothing I love more than covering playoff football. I’ve never experienced the build to a Super Bowl, but the interest and pageantry for the two NFC title games I covered was incredible. If the Packers aren’t in it, however, I look forward to burning some PTO over these next three months. That’s my consolation.

Kim from Minneapolis, MN

Random question – I noticed at the game Sunday the team was announced as a team. I remember in the past either the defensive or offensive players being announced individually. Am I remembering it wrong?

Not random and your observation is correct. The Packers were introduced as individual offensive or defensive players during the first seven home games.

Ken from West Valley City, UT

What determines who the Packers play at home or away in regards to the NFC East and AFC West teams? Standings, who played where last, or a coin flip?

Home or away is determined by a rotation. Which teams from the NFC West and South the Packers play is based on where Green Bay finished in the NFC North.

Matthew from Rolling Meadows, IL

Wes, with all of the absurd calls that happened to us this year (not even counting calls that happened in other games like the OAK/CLE game), which one left you most flabbergasted? Even with the "roughing-the-passer" penalties throughout the league this year, I still have no idea how the first Julio catch was ruled complete. On the second one, he did seem to clip a blade or two of the grass with that foot...but damn that first one was insane, in a disgusting way.

There were several worthy candidates, but Matthews getting flagged for sacking Alex Smith was a travesty. Washington probably wins that game regardless, but that was a classic case of the officials outthinking themselves.

Mackenzie from Fort Worth, TX

This sounds morbid but I enjoy watching all of the “change” after season’s end across the league. Coaches and coordinators being let go, coaches and coordinators being brought on board. I don’t like the thought of people losing their jobs but I am anxiously waiting to see changes happen to the staff, the free-agency moves, and of course the draft. Let’s go 2019!

I personally hate it for families who get impacted and displaced across the league every offseason. Professionally, it keeps the game fresh. It’s intriguing to see tried-and-true coaches such as Andy Reid and Pete Carroll carry their success on to new locations, while other organizations search for the next Sean McVay or Matt Nagy.

Fans took in the gameday atmosphere at Lambeau Field and Titletown for the Packers Week 17 matchup with the Lions.

Pat from Smyrna, TN

What is your take on Kendall Donnerson? He eventually got the call to the 53-man roster, but never got the chance to play. With the futures of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry in question, what role do you see Donnerson playing as this team goes forward?

It’s a big offseason for Donnerson, no different than all of these returning late-round picks. He didn’t get a snap during his rookie year, but neither did Tramon Williams back in 2006. Donnerson needs to take all of his physical gifts and translate it to the field in 2019.

Doug from Eugene, OR

Hey fellas, I wanted to send in something to the effect of "Not since the days of Randy Wright and Terdell Middleton have I seen such a performance..." but this season is likely to be explainable by a single stat on both sides of the ball – third-down performance. Have you all looked at this stat compared to other seasons and is my impression correct?

The Packers actually have had worse seasons than this year on offense, when they finished 23rd at 36.8 percent. Comparatively, Green Bay ranked third during 2014 (47.2 percent), 28th in 2015 (33.7 percent), second in 2016 (46.7 percent), and 13th (39.3 percent) last year.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

I thought DeShone Kizer looked good and was giving it everything he had. A good backup QB is not a given, and I think he looked the part on Sunday, so I feel better about the trade that brought him to us. Did you like what you saw? I'm trying to think of some way to tie this question to something about you losing your manhood, but I got nothing. So, let me just end with Happy New Year!

Kizer has things to clean up and areas he needs to grow going into his second NFL offseason, but his athleticism really jumps off the page to me. He has the size, necessary arm strength and temperament for the position. It’s all mechanics at this point, but he’s still only 22. 

Patsi from Riverside, CA

The Pack is not House Baratheon, which has been completely wiped out. Let us hope to rise strong in 2019, despite the losses to House Stark...with a resurrection imminent.

Sure. Anyone know where Melissandre is? Also, House Baratheon isn’t wiped out, Patsi. Gendry lives.

Terry from La Crosse, WI

Are you looking forward to the playoffs and what game(s) excite you the most this weekend?

I cannot wait to watch the Bears and Eagles. As I said on “Unscripted” Monday, let’s see if Nick Foles has a little more magic left over from last season against one of this season’s biggest surprises. You really can’t go wrong, though. All four games have engaging storylines.

Steve from Barnhart, MO

So much for the Vikings’ big investment in Kirk Cousins. They thought for sure he would put them over the top.

Here’s what I hate about this whole Cousins thing – it’s neither his nor the Vikings’ fault. Rick Spielman made the right move signing Cousins. He was the best of their four available options. The reality is you’re going to have to pay up for a starting quarterback on the free-agent market. I think what Minnesota’s fan base has to come to terms with is guaranteed money doesn’t guarantee championships. 

Daniel from Rochester, MN

Can you imagine the Super Bowl in Vegas? Now that is going to be an NFL party.

Count me in. 

Daniel from Delta, PA

This will be my first offseason with the Packers app and was curious as to what the schedule for the videos will be? Obviously there will be no locker room interviews, which is a shame because I enjoyed those, but what about “Unscripted,”“Rock Report” and Packers Daily?

Spoff and I will be taping one more episode of “Unscripted” on Wednesday, but then we’ll be taking a break until the coaching search is over. Packers Daily will continue on twice a week throughout the offseason, while the “Rock Report” will come out as Larry sees fit.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

Regarding William from GA, my prayers are out to him. What a horrible thing to say and to somebody that is giving us so much time to let our voice be heard. I know you guys get paid to do this but you deserve so much better than that. Thank you for not "hanging up your hat.” Keep up the good work and you and your families have a happy and blessed new year.

Spoff’s answer was perfect. I have nothing to add other than I’ve found those who question others' manhood are often projecting.

Sean from Glen Ellyn, IL

Hey Wes, can you ask Mike why he left the Warriors...I mean the Golden Eagles off his answer to Mark from Williams Bay? Thanks!

Oh, you mean the Marquette Gold?

Keith from Lincoln, IL

Any New Year’s Day traditions in the Hod household? My youngest daughter was born on Jan. 1 (and is a proud co-owner of the 13-time world champions), but with her grown and out of the house with her own family, the traditions here amount to a big pot of ham and beans, and watching the Winter Classic. 

My wife is a big fan of the Rose Bowl parade. I’m a big fan of sleeping in and going to a movie in the afternoon.

Benny from Waco, TX

Winning is hard, I sometimes lose perspective of this.

You’re not the only one, Benny, but I appreciate you having the self-awareness to recognize that fact.

Jared from Evanston, IL

“A new era is upon us." What a way to close out this season’s Inbox and 2018. Here's hoping you and your family have a successful and happy 2019! Thank you for all you guys do.

We try. Happy New Year, folks.

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