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Inbox: Those memories will last forever

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Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, I know it isn't official, but it sure looks like Mike did it to you again!

He most certainly did. Good morning!

Gretchen from Kaukauna, WI

In the words of David Bahktiari, “Tuesday sucked.” Both Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb will be missed greatly.

As the venerable Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Let’s take a minute to enjoy some of those memories.

Kristen from Surprise, AZ

OK, here we go. Please share some of your favorite stories about Cobby. I'm sure gonna miss him...

A pro’s pro. Cobb was one of the first players to congratulate me on joining packers.com in 2016, which meant the world coming from where I came from. I also felt it spoke volumes about his character. As a player, I’ll remember him as one of the most exciting athletes I covered. That 2014 season was something to behold. Cobb could do it all.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Wes, the departure of Randall Cobb makes me sad – almost as sad as I was when Thanos decimated the Marvel Universe. I don't see this as the endgame, though. The Packers will move on and do whatever it takes to accomplish their mission – reassembling a championship!

Clay Matthews and Cobb are two of the most recognizable players of this era of Packers football. They left an indelible mark on the franchise and made plays you’ll tell your children and grandchildren about. The NFL is constantly changing, but those memories will last forever.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

A wise man once said, "Memories make us rich." I will always remember where I was for Cobb's touchdown in Chicago on fourth-and-8 and Clay's forced fumble in the Super Bowl. Thanks for the memories, gentlemen. And for one last time, "Spill it Pickett!"

I’ll never forget sitting in the Soldier Field press box and seeing Cobb come free in the middle of the field. From there, Rodgers and Cobb did what they do best. There was beauty in the simplicity of that game-winning touchdown – and what it meant to the team and both men after a long, grueling 2013 season.

AJ from Brisbane, Australia

Randall Cobb, we're gonna miss you, Bear-killer. You’ve given us legendary memories.

Cobb caught 64 passes for 885 yards and nine TDs in 15 games against Chicago. The Packers were 13-2 in those games. Incredible.

Kristen from Surprise, AZ

And some stories about Clay. This is a sad day for me...

Two things. First, I absolutely loved how Matthews used to have a photo of Kevin Greene wrestling in WCW in his locker. Classic. The other thing that jumps out to me is my last one-on-one interview with Matthews last fall. I wrote an oral history-type story on Matthews reliving some of the historic moments on his run to the Packers’ all-time sack record. Matthews has a photographic memory, so it was fun revisiting some of his biggest plays. Matthews made himself available through every high and every low. I always respected that about him. I wish him well in LA.

Troy from Ninety Six, SC

Two favorite Clay Matthews memories: "Pickett, spill it!" And "you ain't no Russell Wilson bro!" My only regret is that he wasn't caught on hot mic more often. I'm sure there would have more good ones. I hope he does well with the Rams, but I’m looking forward to his Packers Hall of Fame induction.

My favorite line: “I’m not a dirty player. I’m an awesome player.” Perfect.

Logan from Colorado Springs, CO

While I believe parting with Clay and Randall makes sense for all parties involved, the word “bittersweet” rings truer than ever for me. We have lost two unquestioned leaders that have given their all to the green and gold. We should all wish them nothing but the best. My question is who could be some of the young players that might step up into more prominent leadership roles to help fill those voids? Thank you guys for all you do. GO PACK GO!

Davante Adams already stepped into a larger leadership position after Jordy Nelson’s departure, but his voice becomes even more critical without Cobb. On defense, I look to Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez and the new acquisitions to be the heartbeat of the defense moving forward.

Nate from Minneapolis, MN

Every year during FA, my Packers jerseys become a part of history. Aside from number 12's and 4's jerseys, what number(s) will stand the test of time in this era of Green Bay football?

17.

William from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Will the Rams get more out of Matthews or will the Packers do better for re-calibrating the defense?

Both outcomes can be true. There probably is something to be said for the Packers moving in a new direction with their defense, but I’m also fascinated to see how Matthews fits into Wade Phillips’ defense.

Dale from Owatonna, MN

I was born just after Super Bowl II. My son was born just before we went to the Super Bowl XXXII in 1997. I had a 30-year drought and the Packers have been good ever since he was born. I asked him for his take on Matthews and Cobb leaving and he said the team is completely unrecognizable now. I guess I am more used to the changes and the necessity of it to get better. What do you see as the positive and negative of their departure?

The Packers lose proven production and leadership with the departure of Matthews and Cobb, but this is a huge opportunity for young players on this roster. It’s no different than when Matthews supplanted Aaron Kampman in 2009 and Randall Cobb stepped in for Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. The train keeps moving.

Zach from Delavan, WI

Sad to see Clay go. I still feel he may have saved the Super Bowl for us with his crushing form tackle that caused a fumble and stopped the Steelers while they were rolling. Besides Aaron and Mason, who’s next in line on the seniority list for players?

Tramon Williams (2006-14, 18), Bryan Bulaga (2010), Mike Daniels (2012), and David Bakhtiari/Lane Taylor (2013).

Colin from Tripoi, WI

Guys, I know you can't speak of the stunning lack of football IQ and understanding of franchise function from the average fan, but I certainly can. Packers fans are way too sentimental and completely ignorant of functional football reality all together. The simple fact is the Packers have gotten better from the departure of Matthews, Cobb and Perry. It's addition by subtraction. They've been replaced by younger, less expensive players with more upside. Why is this so hard to understand?

Whatever your opinion on the offseason moves, I respect how Gutekunst and GMs across the league have to take the emotions out of their decision-making. They have think critically and be decisive. I think Gutekunst has checked those boxes in his short time in Green Bay’s GM chair.

Mike from Las Vegas, NV

Hypothetically, if the Packers had originally drafted the four recent free-agent signings and re-signed them, do you think the fan base would be as “giddy?”

Not a chance, especially if the signings happened during the season. It doesn’t count on most fans’ scorecards unless it happens in March, which is a shame.

Gordon from Killdeer, ND

When I read about and listened to Adrian Amos, I always get a smile thinking about Nick Collins. Their play is different but both are hard-nosed, sure-tackling winners. Could Amos become the best of the four recent acquisitions?

It’s definitely possible, especially with how important the safety position is in Mike Pettine’s defense. Amos is only 25, but he’s played a lot of football. His tackling, takeaways and overall production have continued to increase during his first four NFL seasons. I expect that trend to continue in Green Bay.

A. C. from Jasper, MO

Well, are we in rebuild mode or reload mode, and is there a difference? Best wishes to Clay and Randall.

I say reload and there is a difference. The moves the Packers made are intended to make them contenders in 2019. There’s give and take to every roster decision. That’s life. If the Packers sign four players, it likely means three or four will depart.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

With Cobb signed to the Cowboys, who will be the Packers' emergency quarterback/kicker/holder/etc.?

The world wants – no, the world needs to know.

Nate from Buffalo, NY

Can you expand on reasons why you think Equanimeous St. Brown is going to be a breakout guy? I was excited when they took him and can’t think of another Packers receiver in the past 20 years with his combination of size and speed, can you?

I like how St. Brown came on late last year before the concussion. If he was coming out this year, I think we’d be talking about one of top receiver prospects in the draft. He’s smart, athletic and versatile. That’ll play in Green Bay.

Don from Troy, MI

Say all you want about this need or that, but if this team doesn't go out of its way trying find a productive QB, a Nick Foles-type, to backup QB1, the season effectively goes into the toilet when QB1 goes down. There simply isn't enough elite talent on the roster or enough time to acquire it to prop up an average or journeyman talent behind center. Agree?

Signing veterans guarantees nothing. I wrote a few months ago about how there are 20 journeyman QBs out there for every Foles. If the Packers feel it makes sense to sign a veteran, that’s fine. But I don’t think Gutekunst should feel pressure to add one otherwise.

Aaron from Toronto, Canada

Do you think that it would make sense for the Packers to draft DK Metcalf with their first pick in the draft if he is still available? Or do you think that the Packers should focus on another position/player with that pick?

I’ve never been high on drafting a receiver in the first round, especially with how successful the Packers have been picking them during the second and third day of the draft.

Taylor from Amarillo, TX

Have an idea for onside kicks and not sure I've seen it posted before. The kicking team can "declare" for an onside kick attempt, doing so would allow the running start like previous. If the ball goes more than 25 yards, it's an illegal kick and the kicking team loses possession and 15-yard penalty. You would still lose the surprise onside kick, but in late game situations, it might improve the 4-percent success rate. I'm not sure if concussion rates on onside kicks are available.

Right. I don’t have all the numbers, but my understanding was the changes to kickoffs were made to reduce high-speed collisions downfield, not so much contact on on-side kicks. So why not give the old on-side rules new life?

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Imagine a team scoring a touchdown on its fourth-and-15 "on-side" play. Or a pick-six. The probability is still low, but higher than a traditional onside. There are lots of exciting possibilities.

I look forward to seeing where the proposal goes at the NFL Owners meetings next week and getting Mark Murphy’s take on the matter afterward.

Jason from Austin, TX

Speaking of the Belichick/Brady, chicken and the egg debate; if you were Bill Belichick, would you retire when Brady retired to keep the mystery forever or would you stick around a few more years to show everyone you could win without Brady?

I’d like to see those two leave the game at the same time. What they’ve accomplished is bigger than individual egos. It’s iconic.

Dan from Carlsbad, CA

Has the salary cap ever decreased? I could imagine cap casualties and difficulty signing those players to fair contracts league-wide if the cap began to shrink.

It technically dipped once after the uncapped lockout year in 2010. It was $123 million in 2009 and then $120 million in 2011, the first year of the most recent collective bargaining agreement.

Dawson from Goose Creek, SC

Amidst the drama and heartbreak of free agency, I find myself wondering just one thing consistently: When will Wes and Spoff finally be made playable characters in Madden?

Do any of you remember, if you didn’t have a third quarterback on the roster, the game would make your kicker or punter the third-stringer on the depth chart with a 12 overall rating? Well, mine would be negative-12.

Mike from Madison, WI

Will you guys get to see Sir Paul when he comes to Lambeau? Will you be writing any stories on the concert or surrounding festivities? This nice weather has me thinking about summer already, I can't wait to be on Lambeau Field for a concert!

I will not be there, but I’m sure there will be coverage. I used my allotment on tickets for my parents, uncles and aunts. I believe Spoff is going, though.

Lloyd from Bismarck, ND

In the cookie photo, is that a Mac keyboard and possibly an iMac screen I see? If so, it is a confirmation you are a great person. People are judged by the computer they use. Mac, it just works!

We took the photo in my boss’ office. So I guess the photo serves as confirmation Duke Bobber is a great person.

James from New Richmond, WI

Hey fellas! In a few short weeks, I'll be attending the Packers Tailgate Tour for the seventh or eighth year in a row. Not one of those years have they had either of you available for signings, and I'm wondering what it'll take to get one of the Insiders available for the tour? Also, keep up the good work.

Why on earth would you want Spoff or me devaluing your Packers merchandise?

David from Hilliard, OH

Wes, no question, just thank you for the Primer on Parris Campbell. I can't imagine what this kid could do in the Packers offense with Adams and Rodgers. He certainly could take the lid off the defense. I will hold out hope at number 30 or 2nd round.

After watching Spoff’s Primer on Campbell, how could you not get hyped about his potential?

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Loved that lower camera angle! You guys looked fierce next to those cookie boxes. Have they been consumed yet?

Most have been consumed. I think there are four boxes left.

Doug from St. Germain, WI

They come and they go, Hobbs. They come and they go.

I’ll be around here longer than you or anybody else here. I’m here to protect this column. Have a terrific Thursday, ladies and gents.

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