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Inbox: Those types of players have a knack for pushing the entire room

Aaron Jones was built to lead a locker room

OL Zach Tom

Ben from Pensacola, FL

I wish it was under better circumstances that I closed out the first II of the week. My humble apologies, Mike, and Wes, for that matter. And to that impostor – disrespectful, sir, very disrespectful. (I guess, Wes would be the proper judge of that though, as long as he got some humor for it after checking in with you personally).

Those Spoffords are tricky. But in all seriousness, Spoff and I complement each other well – especially this time of year when schedules get wonky. Thanks to Mike being "on-call" Friday, I was fortunate enough to watch Rob Demovsky's son, Hogan, help lift the De Pere boys basketball team to a WIAA Division I state championship and undefeated 30-0 season. It was a fun weekend in Madison that I won't soon forget.

Mark from Madison, WI

Any chance you would change the name of inbox to "Voice of reason" as that seems to be what you are?

"Voice of the Reason" > "Voice of the Prairie."

David from Janesville, WI

I'm tired of QB discussion for a while. I'm curious how the offensive line will shake out. I'm sure they want the best five on the field, but do they have a different view of what that looks like (e.g. bigger run setup)? David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan and Yosh Nijman? Bak, EJ, Zach Tom, Runyan and Yosh? Bak, Runyan, Tom, Myers and EJ? Bak, EJ, Myers, Runyan, Jones or Luke Tenuta for sheer run size? Do Jake Hanson, Royce Newman or Sean Rhyan make a big push in camp? Rookie sensation out of nowhere? Could be fun to watch.

Brian Gutekunst acknowledged at the combine that the Packers are in the unprecedented situation of returning 12 offensive linemen with NFL experience from last year's team. Bakhtiari and Jenkins are elite, top-tier players. The rest of the room is competing for three starting spots. Tom is the wild card in that equation because he could compete for a starting job anywhere on the offensive line. You can never have enough versatility because those types of players have a knack for pushing the entire room.

CJ from Cedar Rapids, IA

With all the verbal abuse our GM has taken from fans for drafting Jordan Love, nobody wants him to succeed more than him. I would think he's going to load up on the offensive side in this year's draft.

In my opinion, being an NFL general manager is the toughest seat to sit in. Football is a team game and scouting really is no different, but the buck needs to stop with someone. Gutekunst trusts both his skill and the Packers' process. He has to make the tough calls, but I believe he does so with class and dignity. As much as that's a part of Ted Thompson's legacy here, I think it comes naturally for Gutekunst. The way he approaches the job is a testament to his character.

Mark from Canton, GA

With Adam Thielen and Brandin Cooks off the free agency board, who do you think the Packers could still target if they want to try to pick up a veteran WR?

The receiver pool is draining. Aside from Odell Beckham Jr., D.J. Chark is the best remaining free agent. Once Chark signs, I think the second wave of free agency will begin. Mecole Hardman, Jarvis Landry, Mack Hollins, Marvin Jones Jr. and Olamide Zaccheaus are still out there…and Julio Jones, who turned 34 last month.

Phil from Portland, OR

Mike made a good point about having young players step up to fill holes in the team, and it got me thinking about the leadership roles on the team. We don't know what the final roster will look like, obviously, but who do you see as stepping up to be the big locker room leader if players such as Aaron Rodgers, Big Dog, and Allen Lazard are leaving?

I'm not too worried about it. The Packers return several locker-room leaders on the defensive side of the ball, including Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander, Preston Smith and Rasul Douglas. Offensively, more likely would be asked of Aaron Jones if Rodgers and Co. depart. Based on what I read Wednesday, it sounds like Jones is already taking that responsibility to heart this offseason. If you know anything about Jones' parents, he was built to lead a locker room. Doubtless the Packers will look towards their veterans to be guiding lights for a team in transition.

Frogger from Marinette, WI

What's the latest on the Big Dog? Will he sign with the Pack? Should he?

I want nothing more than for Marcedes Lewis to come back to Green Bay. He's an excellent blocker, a good mentor and one of the few people I know who can go toe-to-toe with me on MMA knowledge. But if Lewis doesn't return, I hope he signs somewhere and gets that record for most seasons played by an NFL tight end. That would be a fitting, Crash Davis-like ending to Lewis' extraordinary career.

Hannes from Glendale, WI

Good morning, Wes! I'm curious about your perspective as a writer. Do you appreciate Aaron Rodgers' intent being public, so you can organize your thoughts and refine the piece you will undoubtedly have to write for his departure when the day arrives, or is it more of a headache going back and forth on it not knowing when it will be the time to publish it?

I'm just thankful all the cards appear to be on the table. Shuffle up and deal.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

Who is covering the owners meeting for the Inbox? What are the chances Inbox gets Mark Murphy and Woody Johnson together over a burrito in Phoenix and works this thing out?

I'll be onsite in Arizona for the owner meetings. I'll see what I can do.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning. Given the roster changes announced last week, is the 2023 season shaping up to be a: A-rebuild, B-reset, C-reload, D-restock or E-repeat?

A rebirth.

Take a look at photos of Green Bay Packers RB AJ Dillon during the 2022 NFL season.

Santi from Staten Island, NY

My fellow Packers fans, start buying your Super Bowl tickets. Green Bay just signed long snapper Matt Orzech.

With Rodgers' status uncertain, Orzech joins Douglas and Danny Etling as former Super Bowl champions currently on the Packers' roster.

Grant from Janesville, WI

Good to see competition at long snapper. I will pull for Jack Coco as the homegrown talent but bringing in Orzech is a good idea. Do long snappers do any other special-team duties such as kickoff coverage, or do they exclusively snap?

Currently, I'm not aware of an NFL long snapper who plays in any phase other than punt cover. Both Orzech and Coco are former college tight ends, though.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

Do you buy in when a player says, "It's a business so I let my agent handle the dollars, I just concentrate on getting ready to play"? The player does have the final say, right?

Players have final say, but many want nothing to do with everything that goes into the contract hitting the table. So, they pay an agent and trust that person to get them the best deal possible. It's like going to a restaurant for dinner when you don't feel like cooking. Plus, history has shown how tenuous contract disputes can sometimes lead to resentment.

Richard from Farmington Hills, MI

"Third-and-10 to (Greg) Jennings in the Super Bowl" is probably the best/most important non-TD pass in Packers' history. My son and I were there and there was little doubt given the way the game was unfolding, that going three-and-out then was highly likely to lead to a Steelers go-ahead TD.

It was perhaps the finest minute of Rodgers' finest hour, considering the stage, the accuracy of the throw, the completion of the catch and the effect that conversion had on the rest of the game.

Dan from Maquoketa, IA

The mention of Jeff Janis and his Hail Mary in Arizona reminded me that he gained 101 yards on that drive. Has any player ever gained more in one drive?

Tampa Bay's Mike Evans had 104 receiving yards vs. Washington in 2014. I still can't believe Janis had seven catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals. He had 17 catches for 200 yards and a TD in 51 games over four seasons with the Packers.

Jim from Galena, IL

Wes, you answered my statement about my wife and I finishing a 1,000-piece puzzle a couple of weeks ago. Now I am trying to figure out when the photo was taken. It was a night game against the New York Giants with a packed stadium at Lambeau Field. When have the Giants played a night game at Lambeau Field? It cannot be too many times?

Without seeing the photo, my best guess would be the NFC Wild Card game vs. the New York Giants in the 2016-17 playoffs. That wasn't a "night" game, but a 3:40 p.m. CT start time during a Wisconsin January can give that impression.

Sam from San Diego, CA

I've really enjoyed hearing others' all-time favorite Rodgers plays and thought I'd chime in. It happened to be a play I didn't even see. I was in Bologna, Italy, when "12" hit "18" for the North on fourth-and-8. While my dad and brother were out for a lovely Italian dinner, I stayed at the hotel listening to the radio broadcast. Larry belting, "He's got Randall Cobb!" with Wayne capping it off, "And there is your NFC North Division championship dagger!" I'll never forget that moment. Memories make us rich.

Did you shout, "THE BOLOGNA STOPS NOW!" after Cobb scored?

Noah from Derby, KS

What is the cut off day to use J-Love's fifth-year option?

May 1, the Monday after the NFL Draft.

Richard from Madison, WI

Obviously, the No. 1 sport here is pro football, but for No. 2 you guys have been known to stray over into baseball and mixed martial arts from time to time. But no love for March Madness? Not even an eyebrow raised over Fairleigh Dickinson and Princeton? Did you even take a stab at filling out a (now probably worthless) bracket?

I love March Madness…just not as much as Mike. I do have a bracket, though. I took some serious Ls this weekend, but my national champion is still alive. So, I have that going for me…

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Would you rather lose one of the Tuesday "play-in" games of the NCAA tournament or make a nice run in the NIT?

Tuesday play-in game. I didn't even realize Wisconsin played on Sunday until our social intern, Kelsey, told me the Badgers beat Liberty.

Al from Green Bay, WI

I'm reading that Za'Darius Smith is unhappy in Minneapolis, and the Vikings are looking to trade him. Z had 10 sacks and 44 tackles last season, one of the few bright spots in an awful Vikings defense. No, I'm not going to ask if the Packers should pursue him (although I know you love those questions). Can the Vikings' D realistically be better without him in 2023?


Jimmy from West Fargo, ND

I'm an accountant so in response to Tom from West Palm's question the other day regarding game check taxation, this is referred to as the jock tax. Any of us would be able to get away with not having to pay tax in another state for work done there but athletes don't have that luxury. You do the work in another state, you pay income tax in that state. It's not only athletes who are affected by it. It's pretty much everyone in the entertainment industry too, such as Disney on Ice for example.

They must have good accountants in Arendelle.

Steve from Cottage Grove, WI

In the vein of non-football sports news for a moment, a shout out and hearty congratulations to the Wisconsin women's hockey team for winning the national title Sunday night! It was the program's seventh title, and the first-ever won by an unranked team, knocking off No. 1 Ohio State in the championship game.

Congratulations to the Badgers and Mark Johnson, who has amassed one of the greatest resumes in the history of American sports: Collegiate national champion, Olympian, 11-year NHL veteran and coach of a seven-time national champion women's hockey program.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

When will we have our first Prospect Primer? One of my absolute favorite series you guys put out and it really helps me gear up for the draft. I also like to pretend Gutey values my opinion so I can judge the decisions he makes when the time comes.

Soon, my sweet summer child. Soon.

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