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Inbox: Tough call to make

Several candidates immediately come to mind

Former Packers WR James Jones
Former Packers WR James Jones

Mike from Algoma, WI

In what game did Jaire Alexander's brilliant PI occur? I can't believe I already can't remember. (Mid-50s memory, something to look forward to!)

At Detroit in Week 17, and yeah, I'm going to be there before I know it but will try to hold it off as long as I can.

Joshua from Houston, TX

My goal is to not look at any draft predictors.

It'll certainly be very difficult for anyone to predict what the Packers do at 30 in my opinion. That's a lot of activity ahead of being on the clock.

Dakota from Keokuk, IA

With the Packers having the 30th pick in the draft do you see them trading that pick away for an early second-round pick and a late-round pick? If I recall right they made a similar trade in 2017. Unless there is someone on the board they really want I think it might be smart to have the extra pick. They could use that to draft an extra WR in the later rounds since the position has more depth in talent this year.

I could definitely see that happening, but it all depends on what the board looks like when the time comes. Three years ago, the Packers picked up the first pick in the fourth round for moving back just four spots.

Dylan from Rockwall, TX

Can you see the Packers trading away some of their draft picks for a player or two?

I doubt it.

Dale from Wilton, WI

With the Alumni Spotlight, which are great, by the way, Wayne Larrivee has been doing them, except one with Mike. Was Wayne sick that day or does Aaron Taylor know Mike that well?

When Wayne happens to be gone, I fill in.

Brian from Rockaway, NJ

After seeing Aaron Rodgers' top 10 throws for 2019, I forgot the Jamaal Williams TD was on third-and-1 from the 3, meanwhile Rodgers throws the ball at least 30 yards for the TD. The "air yardage" vs. "actual yards gained" reminded me of the Rodgers-to-Rodgers TD against Minnesota several years back. First-and-goal inside the 1, Aaron scrambles right, throws across his body falling backward, to a wide open R. Rodgers in the end zone on the money. Without "Next Gen" stats, it looked like a 40-yard pass for a 1-yard TD.

That's probably the most memorable play from the two Packers-Vikings games at the University of Minnesota's stadium (TCF Bank) in 2014-15. Either that, or James Jones catching a sideline dart for a TD while wearing the since-outlawed hoodie. Tough call to make.

Timothy from Spooner, WI

The question about cornerbacks in yesterday's Inbox and the response highlighted a recent thought. In basketball, it is widely accepted that playing defense requires more energy than offense. In the NFL, I always wondered why is it that receivers often take themselves off the field after a route when they are gassed, but cornerbacks never seem to have that luxury? Cornerbacks certainly must be supremely conditioned athletes.

They absolutely are. They also get to play zone once in a while.

Rob from London, UK

If roughly 100 combine invitees go undrafted, how many of them aren't picked up as UDFAs?

Very few if any. Teams sign hundreds of UDFAs every year.

Muzz from Yarram, Australia

Looking at the Packers' fixture for away games in 2020, where would be your choice of venue if it was possibly the only chance to see your team live, ever? Of course I'd love to see them at Lambeau but thinking that's a bit out of reach.

New Orleans might be the best city for a road trip, but the Superdome is nothing special as a stadium. The best combination of location and venue for 2020 might be Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy. I know I'll be there next week, but I'm looking forward to covering a game there again.

George from North Mankato, MN

Speaking of walking "into the corn" and MLB holding a game in Dyersville, I began to wonder what has been the most unique venue you have seen a game in? Also, if you could catch a game from any time period, where would it be?

Aside from the soccer stadium in LA and shortened field in Winnipeg this past season, the most unique venue in which I've covered an NFL game would probably be Candlestick Park, and not in a good way. That place was way past its prime long before the 49ers got their new digs. Given the arc of my tenure here, I would love to go back to the '70s to see a Packers-Vikings game at the old Met in Bloomington and a Steelers playoff game at Three Rivers.

Dennis from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

I'm a big fan of Wisconsin's professional sports teams. My wife couldn't care less about them. How can I get her interested enough to at least go to a game or two with me? My hope is the "live" experience might be the kindling to light her sports fire. Any ideas?

Maybe try focusing on the social aspect first? Do the tailgating right, with friends and such, and see if that brings her along.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

II, will the names of the players the Packers interview at the combine be given to the public? It might help show what the Packers think they need.

Ha. They have no interest in divulging the list. Players will sometimes leak the formal interviews on their schedule, but even with that knowledge it's hard to draw any conclusions. Sometimes teams already know a player so well they won't request him at the combine so they can talk to other players, and other times they'll use the interviews to grill the college teammates of a player they're high on. You just never know.

Ashley from Chicago, IL

Who is due for a breakout season in 2020?

As usual, several candidates immediately come to mind. My initial list of possibilities includes (in no particular order) Darnell Savage, Rashan Gary, JK Scott, Equanimeous St. Brown, Jace Sternberger and Kingsley Keke.

Corey from Bethlehem, PA

I understand the thought process of letting our current receivers develop as Davante Adams did but I feel this year is too great a receiver market to pass up on. Between the draft, free agents available, and the need to improve at WR, how does BG make this decision?

I'm hoping Gutekunst can make additions at receiver in both free agency and the draft, but the opportunity with the former might depend on how other financial matters evolve ( Bryan Bulaga, Kenny Clark extension, etc.).

Zachery from Clarkfield, MN

Outside of the coaches, are certain players (e.g. Rodgers) required for the production meetings? Or do the networks simply "request" certain player interviews and then the teams ultimately decide?

The networks make their requests, within reason, and the teams do their best to comply. If the same crew is doing the game two weeks in a row, for instance, they might not talk to all the same players every time.

Michelle from Paris, France

Sorry Mike, your response to Michelle from Ringgold, GA, about how long Rodgers will play is wishful thinking. "I expect him at a minimum to play out his contract, which would be four more seasons, at least." Just don't see it nor do some of the national sports writers. Mental sharpness and leadership can only take you so far. His physical skills have clearly diminished. Four more years at his age will be a stretch.

I couldn't care less what the national sports writers think. Having covered the entirety of his career on a daily basis except for his rookie season, I've learned not to doubt him. If he says he plans on playing until he's 40, I believe him, and I believe he'll do what it takes to achieve that goal in a fashion that fits his standards.

Tony from Chanhassen, MN

Speaking of grass, do they keep the grow lamps on all winter, or does the grass go dormant at Lambeau? If it goes dormant, when do they restart the lamps in the spring?

They don't use the lights once the season ends, and they generally don't need them again until the next fall when the natural growing season is winding down.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Mike, I am really disappointed that the NFL decided to reinstate Myles Garrett so quickly. His actions were beyond terrifying and he could have killed Mason Rudolph. I think a couple games into next year would have made a better point. What did you think?

I wouldn't have complained had the suspension been longer, but it's not as though Garrett had a laundry list of such incidents. Certainly the league has put him on notice that he can't come close to the line again, let alone cross it. He definitely got off easier than he could have, but I can see the sense in letting the start of a new season be his fresh start, too.

Trevor from Carmel, NY

As far as legends go, there are three distinct tiers. Tier 3 is the Packers HOF. Tier 2 is the Pro Football HOFers with their name in the Lambeau bowl. Tier 1 are retired numbers (or statues). Using that framework, and considering the way the game has changed, I find it very unlikely we'll see a non-QB retired number ever again. That player would need to create an unquestioned legacy, that still needs to dwarf any other legend that may have worn the same number (31, 75, etc.). Thoughts?

You're probably right. Looking at the last Packers non-QB to have his number retired, Reggie White, it's hard to imagine another acquisition and subsequent career as transformative as his with regard to its impact on the franchise as a whole. Then again, if somehow the Packers repeat the Lombardi years somewhere along the line, I could see a non-QB, Canton-bound figure earning the honor. It might take something that extraordinary, though.

Lambeau Field was covered in snow on Feb.18 after a winter storm swept through Green Bay.

Simon from Koge, Denmark

Liked your list of the 10 Packers most likely to earn their first Pro Bowl selection – in particular the top three, who are all criminally underrated. Who are your top three to earn their first All-Pro selection?

Chris from West Allis, WI

"Our stories are written in pen, not pencil, and what we choose to put on that page defines us." Wow. What a mic drop (or pen drop). Do you guys brainstorm the perfect line like this for a good 20 minutes, or does it just come to you in a magical moment of clarity?

I won't speak for Wes, but if I'm spending 20 minutes on one Inbox answer, I'm doing this wrong.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Not sure if anyone asked you this yet, but what are your thoughts on the possible changes to the MLB playoff format?

Not a fan. I'd be all for making the two wild-card teams in each league play a quick best-of-three, but adding more teams and creating all the artificial drama, no thanks.

Dave from Bono, IN

When are we drafting a new Insider Inbox writer? I can see Mike stealing Wes's lunch, Wes tripping Mike, Mike falls into John spilling John's coffee on Larry, Larry suplexes Mike, John body slams Wes on top of Mike. Who writes the Inbox after that? We can't have too many jars on the shelf!

Nor enough pain, apparently. Happy Wednesday.