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Inbox: This will be a draft class to talk about

The Packers will need their own counters

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LB Quay Walker

Greg from Glen Ellyn, IL

Good morning, Mike. Are we now officially in the dead zone? Does the baloney start now?!

One more week of OTAs, then it's officially the dead zone. But the baloney season began as soon as the real one was over.

Tracy from Little Rock, AR

I predict a top-three defense and a top-three rushing offense for the upcoming season. What do you think?

I think that would cement the Packers as a top-three contender for the Super Bowl.

Aaron from Phoenix, AZ

You made the comparison of losing Adams to losing Nelson in '15. However, I recall how they jumped out of the gate 6-0 looking great until Denver, then it felt like they were completely out of sync offensively the rest of the year, meaning they may have hit on some big plays here and there, but there was no rhythm at all. It was painful to watch. That said, I do believe the talent they have now is greater than what they had available in '15, and LaFleur is a much more creative coach.

I believe there's more talent at their disposal as well, both in the running and passing games. If not for James Jones' arrival at the end of training camp in '15, that passing offense would've struggled a bit more. But to your original assertion about the 6-0 start, that's why I made the point a while back about how playing a few games without a star player is different than an entire season. Teams will adjust to what the Packers do at the start of '22, and then the Packers will need their own counters.

Brian from Columbia, MO

I was reading Saturday's II and a scene from "Moneyball" popped into my head. How do you replace Davante Adams? You take three other players to make up for him. Why? "They get first downs..." (I know first downs aren't everything, but you get the point.)

"It's not that hard. Tell him." "It's incredibly hard."

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

There has been a lot of speculation of how the Packers' offense will take a step back with Davante gone. The success of the 2022 Packers offense will be the return of a healthy David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins and Josh Myers. If these guys return to form that will help this offense remain elite. At the end of the day the most important factor in the success of the Packers is keeping Aaron Rodgers upright. With or without the best receiver in the game. Your thoughts?

I would also reiterate a strong running game can be as valuable to pass protection as the pass blocking itself.

Bart from Point Roberts, WA

Guys, what is your honest assessment of Jordan Love's play so far? Do you notice any major improvements and if so what would they be?

I'm reserving judgment until the preseason games. That's going to provide the best measure to compare what we've seen up to this point in his career.

Michael from Hammond, IN

Will the team consider trade offers for Jordan Love?

In 2022? No. In 2023? That depends on what Rodgers decides after the season.

Chuck from Sun City, AZ

Bigger thighs, Eric Heiden or AJ Dillon?

Tough call. Probably somewhat comparable. Proportionally? Definitely Heiden. He was 6-1, 185. Dillon is 6-foot, 247.

John from Livermore, CA

What intrigues you most about this year's rookie class for the Pack?

That three of them were among the first 34 players picked overall. If all three can live up to that draft status, this will be a draft class to talk about for years and years to come.

Tomasso from Urbana, IL

Catching up after a nice few days on the beach in MI, I noted Packers franchise worth. Can the franchise actually be sold? If so, who gets the money? I'm saving my coins to buy the Packers figuring that is the only way I'll ever get a question answered.

Ha, desperation knows no bounds. If the franchise is ever sold (I have no idea what that process would entail), the proceeds would go to the Green Bay Packers Foundation, according to how the articles of incorporation were amended in 1997.

Yoop from Iron Mountain, MI

One of the things that I look for with second-/third-year players is seeing the physical changes in their bodies. Aaron Jones would be one and Bryan Bulaga was pretty dramatic his second year. Amari Rodgers has been written about this year. Are there any players that have had that kind of change that have stood out to you over the years?

Daryn Colledge, Desmond Bishop, David Bakhtiari and Blake Martinez are a few who come to mind as I glance through the last 15 years or so of draft classes. Raven Greene would be an undrafted player I recall fitting that bill as well.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

An article about top 15 players from the 2019 draft had two Packers listed, Rashan Gary and Jenkins. I know there's no chortling but I'm always happy with the picks the Packers make. Are we lucky or spoiled?

A little bit of both, right? Gary is a classic example of scouts doing their work and forecasting correctly. I had one draft expert tell me about a month before the '19 draft (when I had no idea the Packers were interested in him), that Gary was the first-round prospect in that class with "bust written all over him." So, go figure. With Jenkins, as talented as he turned out to be, you have to get a little lucky he's still on the board at pick No. 44.

Keith from Bakersfield, CA

Teams use in-helmet radios to relay plays from coach to one player on the field. It would be far more interesting to put two-way radios in all helmets, and leave the comms on all time. Players and coaches could talk throughout the play. Make the audio feed available to the TV broadcast to give fans a real inside look at what happens. It's not better than laser goalposts but maybe more feasible?

I could see the communication going both ways at some point, but there are obvious and sensible competitive reasons the comms are shut off when they are.

The Green Bay Packers held their first practice of minicamp at Ray Nitschke Field on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

Kevin from Bettendorf, IA

Hello and thanks for keeping us up to date without extraneous blather. Thanks, also, to Wes for confirming it isn't just me in feeling that the difference between 16 and 17 games seems A LOT more than one game. Last season just felt different rather than better. I love watching NFL football and especially our Packers, but sometimes less really can be more.

I agree, but there's been an intransigence, I believe mostly on the part of the owners, to deviate from the 20-game model that firmly took hold with the league merger in 1970. They started with six preseason games, 14 regular season. Then in '78 it switched to 4-16. Now it's 3-17. I believe it's likely in the next CBA to go to 2-18 because the owners will give something important enough to the players in negotiations to get them to accept another regular-season game. I think 3-16 would be totally fine, even 2-16, and I bet the players' union would agree. But that ship was/is never gonna sail.

Anna from Buffalo, NY

With Lazard currently not having a contract since nothing has been signed, could another team sign him? I don't want to lose him, and the clickbait is often misleading, so looking for the facts. Thanks!

The opportunity for another team to sign him to an offer sheet has come and gone.

Kary from Sheboygan, WI

Is it weird that Davante Adams and Sammy Watkins were only 49 picks apart in the same draft?

The receiver draft in '14 is really interesting. Five guys were taken in the first round (in order Watkins, Mike Evans, OBJ, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin) and seven were chosen in the second round (Marqise Lee, Jordan Matthews, Paul Richardson, Adams, Cody Latimore, Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry). If I were given the chance to build my receiving corps with three guys from one round or the other, I'd probably take three of the last four picks – Adams, Robinson, Landry.

Flavio from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Hello, Insiders. Following up on Tim from Argentina´s question regarding the Bears losing an OTA, I was left wondering who determines whether the line has been crossed. Is there a "minicamp police"?

According to reports, an NFLPA official attended a workout as part of a routine check and warned the Bears about excessive contact. A subsequent follow-up, presumably through communication with a union rep from the Bears, determined the appropriate adjustments had not been made, so the punishment was one docked practice.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

I think the Packers had the conference tiebreaker with the Eagles in 1989, so if the Eagles would have lost to the Cardinals on the last week of the season, the Packers would have been wildcard No. 2. If the Rams also lost to the Patriots on the last week of the season in 1989, I think the Packers would have been wildcard No. 1. Beating the Niners in the playoffs would have been tough, but we already beat them in Candlestick that year.

All true, but realistically the Packers were hoping for a miracle to get a wild card, because they needed either the five-win Cardinals or five-win Patriots to pull a major upset over a 10-win club. To win the division, they just needed the eight-win Bengals to knock off the nine-win Vikings on the final Monday night (Christmas night in fact), but it didn't happen. My cousin and I were at that game at the Metrodome with my great uncle's tickets, as we were visiting family for the holidays. As for the Packers' win at San Fran that year in mid-November, Green Bay won the turnover battle 4-1 and squeaked it out by four points. It was the last game the Niners lost that year. In fact, only one opponent the rest of the way came within 10 points of them.

Doug from Neenah, WI

The topic of whether or not to play starters in preseason games is always interesting. Obviously, the Inbox editors are strongly opposed. But what about new veterans acquired in the offseason who may or may not be starters? I'm thinking of Sammy Watkins and Jarran Reed specifically. Wouldn't they benefit from live action with their new teammates? Thanks.

De'Vondre Campbell was a new veteran acquisition last year. He missed almost the entire offseason program, not signing until June 9. He didn't play a single snap of preseason football. He was named first-team All-Pro.

Dale from Prescott, WI

Mike, just returned from a fly-in Canadian fishing trip, looked at the Brewers' record and about passed out! What has happened in the last eight games to the team?

I stopped watching a few days ago and decided I would only follow the games on my phone app until they won. Thankfully the losing streak ended Sunday.

Josh from Adams, WI

No question today but instead I wanted to convey some gratitude. I'm currently sitting on the porch of my jungle cabana in Nicaragua contemplating life on the night before I marry the love of my life. While this special moment in paradise is utterly captivating, I still found myself checking in on the Inbox from afar. Why, I asked myself? Because unlike fans of any other teams, we are family and our passion is more than skin deep. Thanks to all of you for always being there in fandom and beyond!

Thanks for the thoughts, Josh, and congrats on your next phase in life.

Lou from Edmonton, Canada

Isn't perspective a funny thing, mostly what you make it? Recently the Packers came off two poor seasons, firing an experienced and successful coach, and hiring a rookie head coach that was bringing a new offensive system to a highly strung Hall of Fame quarterback. NFC North rivals and fans must have been chortling until the Pack went 13-3. Control what you can and don't chortle about the rest.

Happy Monday.

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