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Inbox: This shifts more responsibility to step forward and make it count

It’s imperative to find out and use that information moving ahead

WR Allen Lazard

Jim from McLean, VA

Hi Mike! Has Wes ever been to an R-rated movie? I doubt the players in the trenches draw the language line at PG-13! If he does go, he should be sure to bring his ID in case they check...

Oh boy, here we go.

Gar from Key West, FL

How does Devin Funchess opting out affect this team and for what it's worth the salary cap going forward?

Well, it means the Packers' only additions to last year's receiving corps are the CFL's Reggie Begelton and undrafted rookie Darrell Stewart, for now. We'll see if Gutekunst looks to pick up another veteran receiver before camp gets going in full, but either way, this shifts more responsibility to the young, developing receivers to step forward and make it count. The offense will need them even more now. The Packers will get cap credit for the unpaid salary. The circumstances are unfortunate because from interviews with Aaron Rodgers and the coaches this spring, there seemed to be a lot of excitement to have Funchess aboard. I said months ago I wouldn't blame a single player for saying "no thanks" on this season. The risks are legitimate and there's a lot for each player to consider.

Jeff from El Segundo, CA

II, has there been any feedback on the mask inserts that were sent to all the of teams a few weeks ago? I am sure that many fans, like myself, are wondering if they will make a real difference in making the players safer.

I'm sure the players will be asked about them when they're made available to the media. I'm curious, too. The last I heard the league is not making them mandatory.

Dan from Honeoye Falls, NY

Catching up on the Countdown to Camp series, I wondered if you had any insight why the plan for Jon Runyan Jr. is to try him out at guard? The article noted that he was a two-time All-Big Ten tackle at Michigan, and then goes on to mention the uncertainty surrounding GB's depth at the tackle positions. On the surface at least, it would seem to make sense to put Jon at his natural position, especially when there appears to be more of a need at said position.

I don't know the specifics, but the personnel staff simply views him as a guard, whether that's a function of his body type, footwork, arm length, other physical characteristics and/or what they've seen on film. I suspect most teams agree with the Packers, because a tackle at the next level with his accolades likely wouldn't last until the sixth round. The reading is not that unusual. Former guards like Colledge, Sitton and Lang were all accomplished college tackles who hardly played the position in the NFL.

Blake from Longwood, FL

Do you expect teams with veteran quarterbacks to have even more of an advantage this year due to the fact that home teams won't have a home-field advantage and savvy QBs will be able to operate without the impact of the crowd noise? Do you expect LaFleur to give Rodgers even more control at the line of scrimmage because of this?

I think the lack of crowd noise will help the inexperienced QBs on the road more than the veteran, proven signal callers, actually. Whatever reign Rodgers is given at the line will be based more on command of the scheme and communication/being in sync with the play caller, not crowd noise or lack thereof.

Robert from Saginaw, MI

Without preseason highlights and inflated stats against third-stringers how will the backup quarterback become the most popular player with the fans?

Good one.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The WIAC has cancelled all fall sports. Thoughts?

I would imagine the cost of testing all the athletes as frequently as necessary to keep them safe is not an expense any Division III school or conference can even ponder affording.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

There are articles about the Packers having interest in Everson Griffen. How do you see him fitting in with the current roster?

In the locker room, I have no idea because I've never met him. He dealt with some mental health issues in 2018, but by all accounts he came back strong last year on and off the field. He's been a pure 4-3 defensive end to this point in his career, so scheme-wise he strikes me as a chess-piece type for Mike Pettine should the Packers bring him in. But I also wonder if Michael Pierce's opt-out decision will boost Minnesota's desire to retain Griffen.

Matt from Griffith, IN

Mike, I wanted to get your thoughts on the new extra-inning rules the MLB put in play for 2020. I watched the Brewers win in 11 Monday night. The baseball purist in me wanted to hate it, but it actually was interesting to see how the two sides approached having a free runner in scoring position. 19-inning games aren't good for anyone anyway, at least not this season.

Certainly not, and I totally understand why the rule was implemented for 2020. I would never want a postseason game to be decided that way, and I don't think it's even a consideration. The purist in me isn't totally on board, but with the way pitching staffs are used these days and how marathon games can decimate them and lead to a flurry of roster moves, I could see the new rule sticking around beyond this year. I think it actually could be good for the game.

Benjamin from Menomonee Falls, WI

Spoff, after staying up to watch the Crew's extra innings comeback in Pitt, it got me wondering. With the runner automatically at second in extras, how does that affect the scoring of ERA for pitchers that allow them to score?

The pitcher is charged with a run, but it's unearned.

Mike from White House, TN

I know you guys don't like lists but the disrespect Davante Adams just got on the "NFL Top 100" is disgusting! I know Adams isn't the most flashy receiver out there but he's easily in the top five maybe even three in receivers in the NFL right now. Defenses know Rodgers is gonna throw him the ball and all he does is get separation and post "1,000"-yard seasons. Tell me I'm wrong?

I don't think you're wrong, but I just refuse to care about the "Top 100." This is the only time you'll see me pretend to address it.

Paul from Pawleys Island, SC

Follow up to Ron from Cherry Valley: As a GM, wouldn't the shrewd move be to pull out the draft board in search of waived players who graded higher than our own draft picks and UDFAs?

Sure, and teams will do that. But now you're also balancing those evaluations with how much more you know about the players you did acquire.

Scott from Noblesville, IN

Will the two of you miss using the annual preseason cliches such as "the importance of putting it on film" and "knowing you're auditioning for 31 other teams as well as the Packers"? What other oft-used phrases from summers past will likely go unwritten, and thus unread in lieu of preseason football games? I suspect the pressure of "one poor practice performance" might intensify many practices, especially for younger players.

Hamilton County is heard from again today. Rookies "performing under the bright lights" will have to wait until the regular season, I suppose. Regarding your last comment, it'll be interesting. Not all, but large portions of camp practices can be scripted, to help young players learn the playbook before testing their true reactions in the preseason games. I suspect the coaches will have to implement more purely unscripted 11-on-11 practice periods.

Zach from Hoagland, IN

I saw that Danny Vitale opted out of the season. That could be an interesting loss for that Patriots you gentlemen have any inclination as to why he opted out?

I read his wife recently had a baby. Several New England players are stepping aside. Let the conspiracy theorists have at it.

Brian from Trinity, FL

The NFL can't be happy with what is going on in baseball and with the Marlins. It seems basketball and hockey have the right idea. Is there a bubble situation for the NFL that you think could work? Each division in a bubble?

The number of players and other personnel involved, and hence the cost, would be astronomical. Baseball didn't even seriously consider a bubble approach with rosters half the size of football's. It's incumbent upon MLB to find out everything it can about how the Marlins' situation escalated, and for the NFL to learn from it as well. There will be positive tests. That's inevitable and everyone knows it. The question is whether outbreaks can be limited or better yet avoided. Did the protocols fail the team or did the team fail the protocols? It's imperative to find out which, as well as why, and use that information moving ahead.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

The fact that the Marlins went and played Sunday after multiple players tested positive is not encouraging for the argument that teams will put safety first. Can the NFL really leave anything up to the teams for this kind of decision-making?


Nato from Suwanee, GA

Sitton and Lang – hands down one of the best interviews I've seen in a long time. I also think I detected a twinkle of pride and joy in Rock's eye?


Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Hello, when expanding the practice squad to 16 a team can add up to six experienced players regardless of the number of years of experience? Would these more experienced players be subject to normal eligibility to be picked up by another team?

My understanding is four of the 16 players can be protected from being signed by another team (practice squads were increasing to 12 this year anyway before this). Also, players elevated from the practice squad to replace an active-roster player who tests positive can be returned to the practice squad without going through waivers first.

Craig from Appleton, WI

Be honest, you are at least a little relieved to not have to answer questions about how many snaps Aaron Rodgers should play in the preseason, right?

I'm sure someone's going to ask anyway.

Joe from Wauwatosa, WI

I know you said "Three Things" will continue, but I was curious if you guys will actually be able to go watch practice or would it be through a closed broadcast to you?

At this point, we've been told we will be able to watch practice live. Where we'll be located and what exactly our vantage point will be is TBD.

Nate from Pueblo, CO

With stadium attendance being down, won't TV ratings go up? Why doesn't that help offset the projected salary cap loss next season?

Because the broadcast contracts are already in place. Will increased ratings impact the rights fees for future broadcast contracts and therefore future salary caps? Most definitely.

Richard from Farmington Hills, MI

Given no preseason games, the chance of an undrafted free agent making the team is likely to be much diminished. The streak of UDFAs making the team will be in jeopardy. How many years is it?

More than I've been in this job, I believe, and this season coming up will be my 15th.

Corey from Richland, WA

Like you and most others I too have not been to my office in many days. What was most profound when you returned to your office at Lambeau?

I stopped in for a few hours Monday morning (after getting a virus test). I found my desk covered with Prospect Primer scripts, which was a little startling and a bit of a reality check. I also found an unopened package with the complete DVD set of "Sports Night" inside, which had been waiting for me since early April courtesy of Patrick from Madison. If you're still reading regularly, Patrick, thanks a bunch. What a treat.

Samuel from Rice Lake, WI

Quote: "We have to listen to the medical professionals at every step of this wayward journey." But, but, but it changes every week.

Welcome to the world of science when confronted with something novel. The medical experts still have the best information at any given time.

Mario from Kettleman City, CA

Back-to-normal, or even semi-normal, in sports was shattered, just days after being reintroduced. Now what?

The usual saying is hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I think it's now prepare for the best, expect setbacks, and hope to avoid the worst. Or something like that. Happy Wednesday.