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Inbox: Those are the so-called longshots who make it

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WR Donald Driver
WR Donald Driver

Craig from Sussex, WI

You could visit the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn when in Detroit for a road game.

Duly noted.

Nate from Naples, FL

Regarding our Brazilian host's distaste for the color green, I read that Corinthians' goalie once wore blue-green shoes in a game. Sort of turquoise. It caused an absolute uproar. The goalie was adamant that the shoes were blue, not green. He claimed he would never disrespect his club and city by wearing green. My point is, even if the Packers can wear white jerseys in Brazil, there's no escaping the green numerals, green stripes, big green G or the city's name Green Bay. Gonna have to own it.


Mike from Duluth, MN

Does finding a simple, reasonable solution to the uniform colors worn in Brazil really matter when the host stadium is likely to see a lot of green attire in the stands no matter which fan base shows up to cheer on their team?

Probably not.

Matthew from Denver, CO

Isn't the uniform debate in Brazil pointless? The Eagles can't play without their *green* helmets.

They have an alternate black one.

Dennis from De Pere, WI

Does Mark Murphy usually publish one irate and obnoxious question in his Take 5 series to try to paint the fanbase in a bad light?

No. He does it to show some Packers fans are just as rude and obnoxious as those from other fan bases, and he provides an answer that shows grace, leadership and an example for how to conduct civil discourse. I applaud his efforts. If I answered only five fan questions once a month, I might take the same approach. Answering 20-plus three times a week, I don't have the patience. The delete button is more efficient.

Josh from Seattle, WA

What roster battles, personnel usage, or scheme developments are you looking forward to watching in training camp the most?

The most interesting roster battle will be at kicker, and following the personnel deployment in this new defense should be enlightening. I think the most interesting news will be generated by where the draft picks, particularly the first six (Morgan, Cooper, Bullard, Lloyd, Hopper, Williams), reside – and move to – on the depth chart as camp and preseason progress.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, receivers getting north of 30 million seems crazy to me. I can remember when I felt nervous about paying QBs that much. Do you have a cap comparison from when QBs started averaging north of 30 million to now?

Atlanta's Matt Ryan became the first $30M QB in 2018, when the cap was $177M per club. The cap is now $255M per club. So that $30M QB contract was roughly one-sixth of the cap whereas the $50M one now is roughly one-fifth. And that's enough math.

Chas from Modena, WI

With the money for premium wide receivers skyrocketing how will that affect the draft? Will wide receivers with a promising upside be dominating the top of the draft because of the low cost?

For teams that are letting high-priced receivers sign with other teams, they might be targeting guys higher in the draft than others, but as long as those big-money players are getting their dollars from somewhere, there won't be some seismic shift. College football is churning out so many receivers these days there are plenty of good ones to find in the second through fifth rounds, too. Currently in this receiver business, San Francisco's Brandon Aiyuk and Dallas' CeeDee Lamb are reportedly subjecting themselves to fines for sitting out mandatory minicamp in search of new deals. The Aiyuk situation is particularly interesting in light of the Niners suddenly giving McCaffrey an extension. As always, stay tuned.

Keith from Truro, Nova Scotia

Hi guys, is there any flight within the NFL sites that the Pack do not have a direct flight to and from the game? Or are they all direct flights?

The team's charter flights are one takeoff from Green Bay, one touchdown at destination. We bussed to Milwaukee once to fly to Atlanta for the '16 NFC title game when Green Bay was fogged in. Still waiting to hear how Brazil is going to work.

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

Tom Clements: the QBs' Obi-Wan. You'd think his job starts to get easier working with JL, now a veteran and perhaps more rewarding. But some coaches like teaching the newbies as kind of a "clean slate" if you will. In your opinion, which type is Mr. Clements?

I think he enjoys it all, which is why he's still doing it after all these years. I interviewed Clements recently for a feature story going into this summer's Packers Yearbook, and he talked about how his work with Rodgers progressed from "coaching" on all the fundamentals and film study to a "collaboration" with a veteran who has proven himself and just needs suggestions, reminders, ideas and the like. He said the progression toward collaboration with Jordan Love is underway but it'll be awhile yet, obviously.

Chase from Carmichael, CA

I wonder if it would be more beneficial to swap the three preseason games for six weekends of competitive practice/scrimmages. Slowly cut down the rosters until the final two weeks are strictly the "final" roster. If joint practices have intensity that falls between practice and gameday-level play I imagine it would help, and don't tell me the NFL can't market that well enough to make up for what will eventually be two preseason games. Further, out-of-state fans could attend practices more easily.

I could see a model of that sort eventually taking hold, but I think there will still be a place for preseason games to put young hopefuls in live action, as Wes alluded to. Once the schedule gets to the 18-2 structure, I think those two preseason games will stick around for a good long stretch.

Roger from Eau Claire, WI

Wes mentioned the opportunity young players get to showcase their abilities in a preseason game that they might not get otherwise. I have no way of knowing if this player "showed enough" in training camp to make the team or not, but I remember sitting at a preseason game watching a receiver make play after play. I had to do research to find out where Alcorn State was. How sad if we would have missed out on Donald Driver as a Packer.

You may not have known if he'd shown enough, but those who were at training camp in 1999 (I was at the Press-Gazette at the time and helped with coverage regularly) saw Driver make an eye-catching play pretty much every day in practice. Those are the so-called longshots who make it – the ones who show up in practice and then carry that over to the preseason games. Rarely can someone facing tough odds make it with just one or the other.

Brian from Sugar Land, TX

The salary cap is all about proportion. Pay the QB and go cheap elsewhere to cover the check. It can be done, as the Chiefs have shown. Time changes everything, those rookie contracts run out. With its recent spree, I say the Vikings have gone all-in, betting heavily on a rookie QB and talent around him. The Bears aren't far behind. The NFC Central is going to be "interesting" as that roulette wheel spins...where she stops nobody knows.

I agree it's going to be interesting, but those two teams aren't really in the same space financially. The Bears have seven guys with a cap charge north of $10M this year, while the Vikings have just three. But then Minnesota has a bunch of larger cap charges hit in 2025 while Chicago's situation doesn't change much. I'm not sure what to make of all that, but it's curious.

Ross from Hudson, WI

If the Packers let Jordan Love play out this season under his current contract and then franchise him, what would be his number? Wouldn't that work out better in the long run, or is the QB market going to continue mushrooming and end up being a significantly higher number?

The Packers have no interest in letting their franchise QB get that close to free agency, and using the franchise tag on a cornerstone player is not conducive to maintaining a productive, long-term working relationship with that player.

Tim from Beloit, WI

Two-part question here, with the ever-increasing salary cap, would it be in GB's best interest to sign Love to something like 6-10 year deal? We know the cap's going to climb ever year and this would protect the ability to retain a lot of our young talent. Second, with basically our entire receiving core due to be paid in 2-3 years, what are the odds we start throwing money and extensions prior to next year to try and retain these guys.

Signing a marquee player to a contract of that length isn't viable, or meaningful really. For cap purposes, a signing bonus can be prorated only for five years, so that's typically the max length. With no way to know where the market is going that far in advance, five-year deals are typically redone before they're up so anything beyond that wouldn't matter anyway. As for the receivers, draft picks aren't eligible for a contract extension until they're three years in, so the soonest the Packers can do anything with Watson and Doubs is next offseason, and then Reed and Wicks the year after that. Will they start extending guys as soon as they're eligible? A lot depends on how this season and next go. No decisions are needed right now. But I do not expect all four of those guys I mentioned to get second contracts in Green Bay. That's not feasible at one position.

Brian from Chicago, IL

In your comments on the depth in the WR, Wes said that having Dontayvion Wicks and Bo Melton as your next up in the case of injury means we are in a good spot. Couldn't agree more, but I feel that by the end of the year Wicks will not be a next man up, he will be one of our first line of receivers and possibly our 1A or 1B option. How would you predict our WR core and hierarchy will turn out for 2025?

No idea. Nobody knows. From what I've seen, the top four receivers on this team are all talented enough to be a 1A or 1B for somebody for a long time as their careers progress. But anyone who thinks they know how it'll shake out is kidding themselves.

Roger from McGrath, AK

Jayden Reed used "scramble drill" and "D-back flat-footed" in the same interview. I think a) the scramble drill starts once the QB breaks the pocket, then b) receivers react. Are they taught to look for flat-footed DBs and attack that, or are they taught to go to a zone, or come back to the QB, or something else? Is there a hierarchy among these choices or is it more free form? Thanks.

Their job in the scramble drill is to find open space and stay within the QB's field of vision. Part of finding open space is reading the closest DB's body position and heading somewhere he can't get to as fast.

Brian from Fort Atkinson, WI

Good morning II, yesterday Wes answered a question about how the UFL lets fans listen in on replay reviews. His take was that the NFL would never put its official in that kind of predicament. I didn't really understand that answer. I really like the explanation as Blandino is going over the play. It helps clear up what he is looking for and what he sees. I think the change would put the refs under less scrutiny then and after the game. What are your thoughts?

The NFL would never do it because there's too much risk. If in the midst of a live discussion, one of the officials misinterprets a rule, even innocently, and another official has to correct him/her, that's a bad look for that official and for the league, and a potentially massive problem with all the gambling tied to games and results. There's no question hearing the discussion would be beneficial to fans, but it's not going to happen at this level.

Bob from Emmaus, PA

Do you expect the offense to throw every trick they have in their book at the defense during closed sessions to test the defense and their aggressive play style?

Right now, both sides of the ball are installing their playbooks, so the competitiveness is somewhat tempered except in the two-minute drills. I expect it to crank up a bit during next week's minicamp and certainly in training camp.

Bill from Fort Worth, TX

The talk of missing Aaron Jones in yesterday's Inbox reminds me I'm still in the process of moving on. He just seemed to be such an amazing person, as well as the player, on all counts. Even though he'll be playing for the bad guys, I have confidence the Lambeau faithful will welcome him with the extended standing ovation he deserves.

I sure hope so. Happy Wednesday.

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