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Inbox: What exactly it'll be is hard to predict

The ’21 HOF class will be one of the toughest to crack

RB AJ Dillon

Dan from Twin Lakes, WI

When watching Total Packers with Matt LaFleur on the website I noticed that the length is 19:19 since there are no TV commercials. Is that by design or just a happy accident?

I put nothing past our video production guys. They can take credit for anything they wish as far as I'm concerned.

Steven from Charleston, WV

Larry didn't look thrilled about you stealing his word, Spoff. What else do you steal other than words and lunches? That doesn't seem like the Packer attitude, sir! Seriously though, thanks for everything you all do.

That's the beauty of "Three Things," we just turn on the camera and go. Larry didn't want to belabor the point, so he pivoted, but after the camera was off we were discussing the segment briefly and he delivered a great Larry line: "Look at last year. These Lions ain't comin' in here scared."

Bill from Iowa City, IA

The Packers held the Vikings to their lowest time of possession since that stat began to be tracked in 1977. What effects does such an advantage have on the game?

I need a meme of Bud Grant screaming, "What the hell's going on out there?"

Blaine from Fennimore, WI

I still think adding the 17th game is going to be pretty easy. A rotating opposite conference game vs. the same-place finisher of the division they have not played in two years. For example: Packers played the AFC West in 2019. So if they add a 17th game in 2021 they would play the same-place finisher in the AFC West. Hopefully that makes sense.

It does, and that's what I suspect the procedure will be, or something similar, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Brian from Menominee, MI

I think the rookie WR topic has gotten slightly out of hand. Gutekunst didn't pass on a WR because he thought "they aren't better than the WRs we have now," he passed because he felt there was more value in other players when the Packers were on the board. Looking at recent early-round draft picks and FA signings, it's clear he's building a team for now and the future. Even if the Packers WRs sustain success throughout this year, I wouldn't be shocked if he drafted one next year.

Ding ding ding. It's a constant balance, weighing the immediate vs. the long-term, and value always carries the most weight in the draft.

Brian from Sugar Land, TX

I thought there was a clear, dynamic contrast between the McVay/LaFleur offenses and McCarthy's Dallas O. The core of the McVay O is the number of different attack points using the same formations, with lots of feints and motion to freeze the defense for that split second. McCarthy's Dallas O was pretty much what Packer fans have watched for years. Watching Dallas, I contemplated where the Packers would be had McCarthy been retained. That game reinforced it was time for change.

As if 13-3 and a trip to the NFC title game after back-to-back losing seasons weren't enough? But to your point, I thought it was interesting in his media session Wednesday when Aaron Rodgers confessed McCarthy didn't like to use motions and Rodgers didn't either. Now he's buying in and making it work. LaFleur deserves a lot of credit for that.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Looking at Krys Barnes again, it's quite possible he earned his spot on the 53-man roster coming out of training camp. But he was simply the most likely of the four linebackers (Oren Burks, Ty Summers, Kamal Martin) to pass through waivers. Gutekunst knew they needed to stash Martin on IR, and Burks and Summers are certainly better-known commodities that might have been claimed. Thoughts?

Mine exactly.

Brian from New Port Richey, FL

Will our opponents ever commit to the run as the 49ers did? Each week our run defense struggles. But then we either get a lead, or some other circumstance happens that thankfully causes our opponents to give up on the run. Shanahan seemed to be determined to run the ball against us come hell or high water. I'm very happy that other teams haven't taken this approach. Do you think this can keep happening without the rest of the league catching on? Can we ride this format to another Super Bowl?

Ride what format? It's been one game. Yes, the Packers are going to get their run defense tested every week. I've been saying that all along. But it's also very much a team game, so if you're going to start disparaging victories that result from making the opponent change its plans, you'll never stop. That's football. In San Francisco last January, Green Bay's offense had gained two first downs and taken 13 total snaps when the score was 17-0. Then the next offensive possession was a turnover. The Packers' defense had a horrible day, but the offense also didn't really give it a chance. I repeat: It's a team game.

Brian from Moncks Corner, SC

Biggest improvements are typically from Week 1 to Week 2. What are you looking for as biggest improvement or even sustainability from Week 1 to Week 2? By extension, what will you be looking for throughout the first quarter of the season?

Offensively, continuing to smooth out the operation and communication, and executing better on the goal line. Defensively, cutting down on big plays.

Brandon from Atlanta, GA

I'll wager $50 to the charity of your choice that Rodgers has a perfect completion percentage in the record books on "free plays."

Good one.

Howie from Saint Ignace, MI

I'm thinking that AJ Dillon's future in the Packers' offense begins next year when unfortunately one of the dynamic duo of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams will probably be departing. But do you see a role for him this year on the offense barring injury to one of the before mentioned players?

The fact that he got two carries in his first game, without any preseason prep, and LaFleur has already commented on getting him some more would say yes. What exactly it'll be is hard to predict, and what it is now may not be what it is in three months.

Bruce from Las Vegas, NV

Wes should know that Don Hutson was league MVP as a WR back in the day. His trophies are in the Packers Hall of Fame.

The Associated Press Most Outstanding/Most Valuable Player award began in 1957, after Hutson's time. That's what Wes was referring to. Hutson won the Joe F. Carr Trophy, which was awarded to the league's official MVP from 1938-46, for the '41 and '42 seasons.

Taylor from Story City, IA

Since Rodgers has been reviewing his previous seasons on film, can we expect to see a fake spike for a TD on the road for the win in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter this season?

Another good one. That happened in Week 6 of 2014, at Miami, in his second MVP year. This year's Week 6 game is at Tampa. Same state, bigger opponent. Stay tuned.

Tom from Woodbury, MN

Why in the middle of the fourth quarter with one timeout remaining with the play clock running down, would the offense take a timeout instead of a 5-yard penalty if they still have a challenge left? I see teams taking that timeout and then have a challenge opportunity that they cannot use.

That's definitely a concern with the timeout usage. For that reason alone, using the last timeout with 10:52 left in the fourth quarter was problematic, not to mention all the other factors.

Nic from London, UK

I know it's not cool to ask a parent who their favorite child is, but who do you think is/was the best at the height of their powers: Driver, Jennings, Nelson or Davante Adams?

Nelson, but I'm not sure Adams has reached the height of his powers yet. This is Year 7 for him. In Nelson's Year 7 (2014), he had 98 catches for 1,519 yards and 13 TDs. Then in Year 9, after the ACL recovery, he had 97-1,257-14.

Jeremiah from Madison, WI

I saw this quote from Rodgers today, but I haven't seen the video. "I do have a lot of trust about our top three. I said what I said about Jake (Kumerow) and he got released, so I'm not going to go too in depth." I guess I'm not sure how to take the second part of his quote, so can you clarify how serious/joking he was?

In the last week of training camp, Rodgers made a comment on a radio show about Kumerow being the fourth receiver, in essence expecting him to make the team, but he was cut. That's all.

Paul from Phoenix, AZ

Not a question, but a cross-platform comment from Mike's Mid-Week Chat: Adrian Peterson is on his fifth, not his third, team.

You're right, my bad. I totally forgot about that year he split between Arizona and New Orleans.

Corey from Henderson, NV

The list of HOF nominees came out, and I am having a hard time believing that anybody not on their first ballot gets in this year. That list is sick. If you were on the voting committee, which first-ballot guy do you not vote for, and which guy not on his first ballot do you endorse?

I've been saying for a long time the '21 HOF class would be one of the toughest to crack, because I expect Charles Woodson, Peyton Manning and Calvin Johnson to all get in as first-ballot guys. Some are questioning Megatron getting in right away, but I think he will. That leaves only two modern-era spots for anybody else, and I have a hunch Tony Boselli's time has arrived. If I recall from last year, he and Richard Seymour were two finalists who came really close. I totally believe Butler deserves to get in, but I'm not sure this will be the year.

Linnea from Milford, PA

Is Billy Winn the first player the Packers have signed to the practice squad who wouldn't have been eligible under the previous rules?

Yes. Winn is an eighth-year player, and no previous rules that I'm aware of allowed a veteran with that much service time to be signed to a practice squad.

Jared from Evanston, IL

Analytics say scoring a touchdown late, down by 11 you should go for two. You still need a field goal and TD, so best-case scenario you win the game by one. Worst case, you have to go for two again after the next TD, and game goes to OT. 50% chance you get the first two- point conversion, 100% chance you win by scoring 10 more points, for a 75% average. If you miss the two-point, still 50% chance you make the next, but game goes to OT, where you have a 50% chance of winning, for a 50% average. Hope that helps.

Sure, but the Vikings went for two down 12, at 36-24, which is what I didn't get. Kick it and you get to 11, which is TD plus two-point and FG to tie, obviously. Go for two and miss and you still need two touchdowns. That one lost me.

Daniel from Allen, TX

Saw mention that alcohol is not allowed on team flights. Do we know when that started? Part of Packer lore is that a certain '60s Packers LB with the first name Ray had occasion after a few "pops" to try and engage one of his teammate in a friendly game of fisticuffs. I assume that is part of the reason for the rule, plus keeping guys from driving home drunk.

Goodell instituted the rule in 2007.

Jim from Phillips, WI

Sometimes Kevin King is really good, and sometimes he scares the hell out of you. Many times he appears to be an unwilling tackler. Ideas on this?

Don't confuse unwillingness with occasional lack of execution. King is a very willing tackler, especially since he got his shoulder healthy. He's missed in the open field every once in a while, just like any defender, but I don't see hesitation to stick the nose in there, as they say.

Luke from Oconomowoc, WI

Happy Friday Insiders! I kept a close eye on Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Rashan Gary against Minnesota to see if their performances earlier this year would show up in the game. There has been a ton of talk about Marquez, but I personally thought Rashan looked disruptive. What did you think about his play?

Ann from Las Vegas asked about Gary as well, and I agree with your word, disruptive. I still think he's a better run defender right now than pass rusher, but he's coming along.

Roger from Roseville, MN

Good morning, II. Numbers that mean nothing: regular-season games between appearances at U.S. Bank Stadium – one. Games between appearances at Soldier Field – 30.

Funny how that works.

Sreedharan from Pewaukee, WI

Adams mentioned in his interview how initially he was hesitant to approach Rodgers as he didn't want to come across as an upstart. I can relate. I became a Packers fan in Dec. 2010 (didn't know anything about football before then). Been reading the II since 2011, but I dared not submit any questions until a couple of years back. I thought questions should only come from seasoned fans who know what they are writing about.

We do our best to provide an equal-opportunity forum but acknowledge it can take diligence and persistence to rise up and be heard. I did enjoy that comment by Adams as well, about not wanting to sound to Rodgers like he’s calling for the ball. That level of self-awareness from the get-go put him on the path to succeed.

John from Derby, CT

Mike and Wes, thank you for helping us stay sane in this not-so-sane year. There are many eggcorns that have been driving me crazy for years, but I never knew the term eggcorn existed. So a tip of the hat to Casey from Frisco, TX. I will now put on my overhauls, start my genetic brand self-compelled mower and mow near the rot-iron fence.

Happy Friday.


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