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Inbox: What are the big changes in the NFC North?

Plus a list of do-overs in the Rodgers era


Gerbschmidt from Elk Mound, WI

Have we won the offseason yet?

The offseason program is officially over. That's all I know.

Dane from Franklin, WI

There's been a lot of talk about Green Bay's changes at cornerback, defensive line, and tight end this offseason. What are the big changes our NFC North opponents have made that we should be keeping our eyes on?

In a nutshell, for Minnesota it's the new QB in Kirk Cousins and the projected return of running back Dalvin Cook; in Chicago it's a new receiving corps for Mitch Trubisky with the signing of Allen Robinson and drafting of Anthony Miller; and in Detroit it's the renewed commitment to the running game with the selections of center Frank Ragnow and running back Kerryon Johnson with the first two draft picks.

George from Hutchinson, MN

In the military, missile flight is an advanced technology. Likewise, missile interception technology is trying to advance. One is clearly ahead of the other in the present day. If the NFL is a football launching offense as its primary weapon, should it not be that a football launched interception system be a secondary defensive technology to none? Melding both highly sophisticated technologies on the same side gives you an extreme advantage over your rivals, be it in warfare or NFL football.

We heard it here first. I guess.

Collin from Kirkwood, MO

I think QB vs. QB is overhyped, because at the end of the day, a QB plays against a defense, and a QB's win-loss record is very much aligned with his team's defense and points allowed. That said, AR and the Pack will face a fun mix of young talented QBs and proven QB greats this season. Brady, Ryan, Stafford, Cousins, Goff, Allen, Rosen, Trubisky are all on the schedule. The defense has a great challenge but they have the best QB on their side. What matchup intrigues you the most this season?

Other than potentially the last (though I hope not, if you know what I mean) head-to-head between Rodgers and Brady, the most intriguing to me is one you didn't mention - Garoppolo at Lambeau.

Packers QB Brett Hundley celebrates his birthday on June 15. Take a look at photos of him from this past year.

Joshua from Mankato, MN

Speaking of GOATs, I've always felt Wilt Chamberlain is the most disrespected athlete based on era. The "he played against 6-foot centers" routine is untrue and unfair. He was every bit as dominant as Jordan. What NFL player do fans dismiss due to era? I'd argue for one of the pre-1980 QBs, or any number of players from the Super Bowl era.

I don't think the modern fan understands how good Johnny Unitas was, and I confess I probably don't either, though I've read enough about him to really wish I'd seen him play. Strictly from the Super Bowl era, Dan Marino is largely underappreciated, primarily because he never won a Super Bowl and only got to one, as a young player to boot. But he was way ahead of his time, throwing for 5,000 yards and 48 touchdowns in 1984. It took 24 years before another QB threw for 5,000 yards (Brees) and it took 20 years before anyone topped 48 TD passes (P. Manning).

Dayv from Hustisford, WI

Is nose tackle still the premier position in a 3-4? Or is it the defensive line/interior pass rush as a whole? If the line does its job, it makes everyone else's job easier, right?

The true nose tackle is a dying breed, because the original 3-4 base defense is more of a sub-package now. A 3-4 team used to look for a pure two-gapper who could plug the middle and occasionally disrupt with some pass rush. Now it's about finding defensive tackles who can disrupt but anchor down as a two-gapper when called upon.

Maurice from Sittard, The Netherlands

Hi Insiders. Now with USA/CAN/MEX hosting the 2026 World Cup soccer is there any chance Lambeau Field could (should) host a game (or two)? Is it possible to play soccer on the turf? The world is watching and it would benefit Green Bay. Or is there not enough sympathy for soccer?

This subject has come up before. My understanding is the stands are so close to the sideline at Lambeau, a regulation international soccer field cannot properly fit, so no officially sanctioned games can ever be played at the stadium.

Gavin from Albuquerque, NM

Not a question, but a comment on the "game within the game." I remember within the last year or two reading an article about a corner discovering a tell on one of the premier receivers in the league. Can't remember who it was, but they figured out that every time the ball was planned to go to that receiver (first target), he tightened his gloves at the wrist. Otherwise, if the ball was not going his way, he just lined up without re-tightening them.

It's all part of it. Playing baseball in high school, after a couple of games against the ace left-hander from one of our conference rivals, I figured out his pickoff move. Turns out it was so simple. If he was looking at you at first base when he lifted his front leg, he was going home. If he was looking at the plate, he was tossing over to first. He never changed it up, but he was counting on runners to be frozen when they're being stared at, and fooling one or two with his head turned toward home. I'll never forget the look on his face when we were making eye contact as I took off for second the moment his foot came off the ground.

Nick from Chicago, IL

Tell us something we don't know.

My calf hurts.

Brandon from Sioux City, IA

I keep arguing with Vikings fans that it's not their division yet, especially if the Packers have a healthy Rodgers. They come back with the belief that the Vikings don't have a weak point on their roster. I'll mention that their O-line isn't great and there's no way to tell how Cousins will do, but do they have a point? Other than QB, do the Packers have any clear advantages over the Vikings?

I certainly like Green Bay's offensive line better, provided both Bakhtiari and Bulaga are on the edges. The Packers have a gap to close on defense, no doubt, but if Wilkerson is as motivated as I think he is, the combination of Williams and the top draft picks elevates the corner position, and Pettine's scheme keeps opponents guessing, the Vikings' edge on defense should diminish.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

In your opinion, who was the best route runner to ever wear a Packer jersey? I think it was Greg Jennings, he seemed to be lightning quick on his breaks.

I'll only speak of guys I saw in person on a daily basis, because I wouldn't know how to rate Sharpe or Lofton in this regard. But I'd classify Nelson as Jennings' equal as a route runner. What was impressive about Jennings is he looked so polished from the get-go as a rookie in 2006. It took Nelson a little longer to get to that point.

Carter from Idaho Falls, ID

I know it's early and we haven't seen any work with pads yet, but out of the three drafted WRs who do you think has earned the most playing time so far?

No one earns any playing time in shorts. All three have had impressive moments, but in the practices we were allowed to watch, I'd say Moore stood out the most.

Tom from Loomis, CA

Did Justin Vogel ever catch on with another team?

He was claimed on waivers by Cleveland. He's competing with veteran Britton Colquitt for a job.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Do you consider touchdowns to be a really significant stat? For a QB yes, but for a multi-dimensional offense like GB's it seems to me they just follow the trend of catches or carries for the offensive skill players, although often reduced because of the lower-string guys that get put in the closer the Packers get to the goal line. Yes, some teams feature one player that also has a penchant for scoring or as the QB's go-to guy. Cobb, Jones, Nelson, etc.'s TD numbers seem random to me.

There's nothing random about getting open in the red zone. It's the toughest place on the field to get open, and if you're not open, you'll have to make a contested catch. Nothing random about that, either.

James from Chicago, IL

The best tell in a game...the Ice Bowl, Cowboys WR Bob Hayes lining up with his hands in his pockets on running plays.

Some, including Vic, say that's why it took so long for Hayes to get into the Hall of Fame.

More Green Bay Packers players took their 2018 season headshots at Lambeau Field.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

If you could pick one play from each of Rodgers' seasons for the Packers to get to re-do, which would they be? I can think of a handful. The facemask-fumble of '09, the Finley overthrow in '11, Hyde's drop in '13 (sorry Katie), the onside kick in '14, the coin flip in '15, Rip's fumble in '16, and either the awkward landing or the Geronimo fumble in '17. They always have interesting seasons and losses.

I'd agree on '13 (who's Katie?) and '16, and it's obviously the awkward landing in '17. But for the others my picks are a tad earlier in each case. In '09, Jennings was open deep down the middle on the first snap of OT, but Rodgers overshot him. In '11, the Osi strip-sack on the opening drive of the second half took away an easy TD to negate the end-of-half Hail Mary. In '14, it's the Burnett slide, and in '15, it's the dropped Shields INT by the pylon, because with that I don't think the Packers ever surrender the lead. I'll even add one for '12, third-and-11 at the two-minute warning at the Metrodome. If Rodgers gets the ball back in that game, the Packers get a first-round bye and the entire playoff picture changes.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

I just realized "The Dope Sheet" was a publication from 1921-1924. How cool! I always look forward to "The Dope Sheet" during the season.

The names aren't pulled out of a hat, but that one was resurrected even before I got here.

Chris from Golden Valley, MN

Was watching highlights from Favre's first game (desperate for some football) and was interested to know why in that season the NFL shield was at midfield instead of the team logo. Could you shed some light on that and why some teams (Carolina) continue to place the league logo at midfield?

From what I've read, it was owner Jerry Richardson's decision in Carolina, so we'll see if that changes now. The shared Jets-Giants stadium has the NFL logo, and the LA Coliseum does as well, apparently because it covers USC's logo better than the Rams' logo does. Regarding Lambeau in '92, I did some asking around and got no definitive answer. The league shield was at midfield that entire season, based on other highlights I found, but I don't know why.

Check out photos of the Packers at Ray Nitschke Field during their last day of minicamp.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Have you picked up on any new terminology this minicamp? Any Y3banana? Any Elephant or Rhino?

I heard the defense check to "Banjo" once on Thursday, but I have no idea what it meant or what they did.

Scott from Munford, TN

This may be a stupid question but as I've always been told, "the only stupid question is the question not asked." So that being said, what are they going to call football when they take the kicking out of it?

Have a good weekend, everybody.