Presented by

Inbox: What happens on the field is all that matters

It’s a game of touches, not carries

200502-insider-inbox-2560
WR Davante Adams

Brad from Crofton, MD

Not to nitpick, but I believe the rodent art work referred to behind Wes is a gray squirrel, not a chipmunk. (I'm a highly trained wildlife biologist, but a Packer fan first and foremost!)

That is the fine work of the incredibly talented Katie Bobber. I bought it for my wife for Christmas. She loves chipmunks and squirrels, so I'll leave it up to you all to decide. It's like the blue dress of Insider Inbox. I swiped it from our living room and put it up in my makeshift office because it makes me happy. And we need to do whatever it takes to make ourselves happy right now. Good morning!

Mike from Austin, TX

I think I finally get it. Rather than being a follower in the evolution of NFL offensive strategy (the shiny object right now is "win the middle of the field"), Matt LaFleur wants to be that leader with new strategic concepts. It's likely crystallized only in his head right now, but we've drafted to build for that vision, which we all don't get just yet. Serenity now.

We can filibuster and debate the merits of this year's draft but Matt LaFleur is the man responsible for putting the 2020 team on the field. We all see the box of the puzzle but not every piece inside of it. LaFleur sounds energized by the group of players Brian Gutekunst is handing him. At the end of the day, that's what counts.

Ken from Boynton Beach, FL

Don't you think using the stat 75% of all Aaron Rodgers' TD passes were to receivers selected in Rounds 2 and 3 of the draft is more intriguing than using 274 TD passes to receivers selected in first three rounds since only one was to a first-rounder? One would think first-round receivers are more valuable, maybe to some QB but not to A-Rod. Just saying.

The Packers have drafted receivers in the second round better than almost every other NFL team over the past 15 years. And some intern in Bristol came up with a dumb stat graphic to make that look like it was a bad thing. But hey, retweets and likes over reality and facts, right? What happens on the field is all that matters.

Eric from Montgomery, IL

I've been reading stories on packers.com and elsewhere about A.J. Dillon and I'll say I'm getting excited to see him on the field. He seems to be in the Adrian Peterson mold, but of course I'm not projecting that type of success on the rookie. Thoughts?

I don't want to get into the comparison game with AJ Dillon, mainly because I don't think there are many running backs out there like him. Carrying 5% body fat at 247 pounds is ridiculous. He's a monster and a physical specimen. I also like how much pride he takes in his pass pro. Dillon has to earn his place but he has the makings of a complete NFL running back.

Matt from Minneapolis, MN

Both of our starting guards have a lot of flexibility with what positions they can play. Billy Turner has played guard and tackle, and the report on Elgton Jenkins in college was that he could play any position on the offensive line. With Bryan Bulaga gone, and Corey Linsley and David Bakhtiari in contract years, what position do you think Turner and Jenkins will be playing long-term?

I think both start at guard in 2020 and beyond but Turner has the versatility to fill a swing tackle role if injuries arise. The rest depends on how Rick Wagner performs and the development of all these young offensive linemen.

John from Liskeard, UK

I've read articles stating that this year's supplementary draft could be loaded. Would this be due to the possibility of no college football? If this is the case, how feasible is it that the Packers will participate? I assume this would also devalue next year's draft.

I've asked the same question myself for that very reason. It's been 22 years since the Packers last participated in the supplemental draft. They historically don't like sacrificing future draft capital, so that's something Gutekunst would have to consider if a big class of supplemental prospects forms.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Do you think that when the players eventually get back that the new normal practices will be categorized as: practice in shorts/helmets, padded, and iPad practices?

I can just imagine Knute Rockne pulling his team together and declaring, "OK men, pull out your Microsoft Surfaces. It's time for a social-distancing practice." Or Vince Lombardi, banging on his tablet because it froze, "What the hell is going on in there?"

Venny from Montgomery, AL

I find myself getting excited about the potential of the offense this season. I just checked the stats of the 2003 Packers that featured a run-heavy game with Ahman Green, Tony Fisher, and Najeh Davenport. There were six games that year, where they rushed for 200 yards or more. We may see similar results with Jones, Williams and Dillon. League defense these days prep for the spread attack. We ebb, they flow.

Tony Fisher, one heck of a back and an even better player/alumni specialist. He had his own radio show. A true legend – then, now and forever. What was your question again?

Adam from Toronto, Ontario

I really enjoyed the piece on Dillon, well done. I was very happy with the pick although I thought he could have been a 3-4 rounder, but I'll trust the experts. I really don't understand all the negativity suggesting "Rodgers" wasn't provided any weapons. Looks like we will have a dynamic back field. Is it reasonable to expect 400 carries combined for Jones and Dillon?

It's a game of touches, not carries. And I expect Jones to touch the ball a whole heck of a lot in 2020. Dillon will get the reps he earns, with Jamaal Williams still a big part of this offense, as well.

Jason from Madison, WI

With all the hoopla around the Pack not drafting a WR, what about Reggie Begelton? I kind of feel his signing was like an extra draft pick. What is your opinion on him making the team?

Still an intriguing signing. Still a great backstory. Still a young receiver with a chance to show what he can do.

Don from Riverton, UT

In reading about the signing of free agent Treyvon Hester, it occurs to me that I often hear about signings days before BG announces them and they show up on Packers.com, while at other times I don't hear a peep until they're already official. What accounts for the disparities?

It depends on when the player signs/agrees to terms and whether the media catches wind of it. We announce "official" signings. However, five years ago, I was like the other reporters scratching the ground for news. That's the gig.

Grant from Charlotte, NC

So do you suppose we will keep four running backs this year – Jones, Ervin, Williams, and Dillion – on the game-day roster? Also, perhaps seeing three on the field at the same time, split one out wide with motion and two in the backfield? Just daydreaming while working here!

You guys know the Packers don't have a set number of spots labeled for (insert position here) on the 53- or game-day rosters, though I guess you now must keep eight O-linemen active. So they'll keep as many running backs as they see fit, but I will say Ervin's capabilities as a returner likely supersede whatever position is next to his name.

Nic from London, UK

Maybe Rodgers is a little annoyed and I'm sure he won't wave the white flag to his successor, but from how he has carried himself for 15 years, I also suspect he's a good enough person not to ruin this entire experience for a 21-year-old kid who didn't ask for any of it. He's never shown himself to be anything other than decent even if he might be opinionated and proud. Is it ever difficult for players to bond with such big age gaps? They're often not far off from parent and child.

I am going to say this once, in a full-throated voice with all of my conviction. I've covered Aaron Rodgers for the eight years – through collarbone injuries, an MVP award, big wins, tough losses, a coaching change and so much more. I expect Rodgers will be a model mentor for Love, while doing everything in his power to win championships and keep the youngster holding a clipboard. That's it. The rest is conjecture. Rodgers has done a fine job of relating to younger players and I expect Love to be no different.

Elliot from Eugene, OR

How well would you handle mentoring someone brought in specifically to take your job from you? Same question to the fans. Would be interesting to see their answers...

But am I doing what I'm doing and making what I'm making right now, or am I a two-time MVP quarterback who would be snatched up in seconds if he became a free agent? Listen, I work well with my co-workers. I've learned a lot from Spoff, Pete Dougherty, Rob Demovsky and Mike Vandermause and I hope they all learned a thing or two from me, too. That's teamwork. That's called being a professional.

Michael from Dover, PA

Ron Wolf traded a first-round pick for a second-round backup QB…and the wolves howled in angst. Ted Thompson took a QB while a first-ballot Hall of Famer was entrenched as the starter…and the wolves howled in angst. The Chiefs traded up to get a QB loaded with question marks while they had a No. 1 overall pick already at QB…and the wolves howled in angst. Stop the howling and Love the pick.

Go big or go home, right? It's called being a general manager, not a fan manager.

Tom from Iron River, WI

In the third linebacker conversation, I am anxious to see how Ty Summers looks this year. Last preseason he was all over the field making tackles. Any insight on how he progressed last season to see more field exposure this year?

Don't sleep on Summers. He led the special-teams unit in plays last years and he'll be right there with Oren Burks, Kamal Martin and Curtis Bolton in that battle to play alongside Christian Kirksey.

Ross from Roswell, GA

Gents, with the virtual offseason underway it got me wondering, when is the virtual schedule release supposed to happen? Do you think they will have contingencies built in?

League spokesman Brian McCarthy tweeted earlier this week the plan is still to release the schedule before May 9 (next Saturday). That's the extent of what I know.

Tory from Sammamish, WA

I just read the Titans aren't picking up the fifth-year option on Corey Davis. He was the fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft and accumulated a total of 142 receptions, 1,867 yards and six touchdowns. I thought all those top picks were sure things. It took the Titans four years to figure out this one wasn't. Maybe folks should relax and trust the process.

Draft picks are lottery tickets, not promises of greatness. I don't care if it's No. 1, No. 5 or Mr. Irrelevant – nothing is guaranteed.

Robert from Verona, WI

Watching the Bears add older guys such as Jimmy Graham and Ginn Jr. make me wonder what their philosophy is for building their roster. They clearly aren't "one player away" from a championship, so is the addition of some older players likely driven by the mentoring value for younger players, or simply that the GM thinks these signings improve their team?

Respectfully, I'm not sure what the Bears are doing or how it'll all play out. I do know Mitchell Trubisky was a lot more effective when Trey Burton was healthy in 2018, so the investment into tight ends makes sense in that regard.

Clipton from Pasadena, CA

I just read where Dallas assigned Cee Dee Lamb No. 88. Do you interpret that to mean they have no plans to sign Ty Montgomery? I prefer my ban not to exceed a month.

Talk to you on May 31.

Ryan from Columbus, WI

I am really tired of this narrative, but do you think we could get as many Super Bowl wins as the Falcons did after they pushed their chips in and drafted Julio Jones? It's a foolproof strategy! Love the work you guys do!

Ha. Thank you, Ryan. OK, stay safe everyone. Catch y'all next week.

Advertising