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Inbox: Whatever works

It’s important to know where players rank in their given era

LB Za'Darius Smith

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

Wes: Good morning, guys. I'm going a slightly different direction with today's Inbox....

Me: Thanks for sharing this, Wes. God bless Mr. Lamping and his family. Just curious. Was there ever an article specifically on Mr. Lamping on

Angele from Madison, WI

Why do I read Insider Inbox ever day? I am a Packer super fan. It is the place to go to get news that is informative and balanced. But I also feel like I need to check in with Mike and Wes. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. Tuesday, tears, after reading Wes on Frank Lamping. My mother was a professional writer, and I know good writing when I see it. She too passed from cancer. Wes, thank you for writing from your was a beautiful piece that helped give me perspective.

Wes is a young man of many talents, but the quality I admire in him the most is his compassion. I'm proud to call him not just a co-worker but a friend.

Gary from Davenport, IA

I realize there's a rule against chortling in the Inbox, but Tuesday's question about the Lions made me think about their lack of playoff success. They have won one playoff game since 1957. And we thought our drought between the Lombardi and Holmgren eras was too long.

Speaking of perspective.

Daniel from Potosi, WI

I know it's not a big deal or important, but I remember when I was a kid waiting for the new Super Bowl logo to come out every season. They were always so cool and colorful, and the logo would really represent the host city. It always looked cool on the field for the big game. Nowadays it's predictable and basically the same thing every year, and somewhat dull. They've been doing this since Super Bowl 45. Why did the NFL decide to do this? What do you think of it?

I much preferred the logo changing annually. It gave every Super Bowl a certain flavor, because of the geographic representation. That's been lost in the interest of branding, and having something permanently recognizable, which I think is a shame. Football is the only one of the four major sports whose championship is decided at a predetermined location, and the old way better reflected that tradition.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

For those who continue to question the greatness of Reggie White, I suggest they re-watch the 1996 SB. White singlehandedly wrecked the Patriots offense and deserved to be SB MVP that year IMHB.

I think the Packers had three legitimate candidates in that game. I have no problem with Howard getting the MVP – 244 return yards, including a 99-yard TD, was hugely impactful. Favre threw TD passes of 54 and 81 yards, the latter the longest in Super Bowl history at the time, and rushed for a third TD. And White with the three sacks, though the third one was sort of in garbage time.

Tony from River Falls, WI

Will the Packers get more money if I buy from the Packers Pro Shop versus other NFL websites or locations? I'm curious how this relates to revenue sharing in the NFL. Thank you!

To my knowledge the Packers do not have to share their Pro Shop revenue.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

I don't know if Nick Collins swings the divisional playoff game vs. the Giants but I darn sure would've liked to have seen if he changes the result of that back-breaking Hail Mary TD at the end of the first half.

Indeed. Plenty went wrong for the Packers that day, but I thought the game hinged on two plays in the middle portion of the contest. The Hail Mary you mentioned, and Umenyiora's strip-sack on the opening drive of the third quarter when Aaron Rodgers had Jennings streaking down the far sideline wide open. Rodgers cocked his arm to let it fly and Osi just grazed the ball with a fingertip to create the turnover, on first down in NY territory no less. Those two plays alone, in a span of 10 snaps, meant 14 points in what was a 10-point game at the time.

Phil from Oshkosh, WI

Where would you most like to see Kaepernick play this year? I'd love to see him sign with the Vikings, and then have Cousins get quarantined with the virus just before game day! But seriously, do you think he can still be an effective QB after going 3-16 in his last two years as a 49er, and a four-year layoff?

I have no idea how effective Kaepernick might be as a starting QB at this point, but it's not a stretch to say he brings more to the table than a lot of backup QBs on NFL rosters now and in recent years.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, during your tenure, which Green Bay offensive line was the best? You have to choose a unit, not just the five best linemen over time.

In my 14 seasons in this chair I'd have to go with the 2014 group of, from left to right, David Bakhtiari, Sitton, Corey Linsley, Lang and Bulaga. The way the Packers ran the ball and pass protected that year was the best of the McCarthy era. If you include my newspaper days, I'd lean toward the '03 unit of Clifton, Wahle, Flanagan, Rivera and Tauscher.

Thomas from Milwaukee, WI

What was the best three-man rotation at OLB in your time covering the Packers? Do you think the Smiths and Rashan Gary can compete?

I'd tap into the 2014 squad again with Matthews, Peppers and Neal or Perry. I think the Smiths and Gary definitely have a chance to compete with that.

Team photographer Evan Siegle's final installment reviewing photos from the 2019 season.

Jacob from Mukwonago, WI

PFF released a list of the best edge duos. It consisted of the top five as well as a few honorable mentions. The Smith brothers were nowhere to be found, although they had the most QB pressures as well as sacks last year. Is there something I am missing? Hopefully this can continue the "Snubbed" mentality and they can keep up their impressive dominance.

Za'Darius Smith is one who seems to use that sort of stuff as motivation. Whatever works.

Joe from Spooner, WI

Will Jake Kumerow have a bigger role this season?

If he earns it. He'll have an opportunity. They'll all have an opportunity to earn it.

Kevin from Westminster, CO

With all the protection awarded QBs now, should their accomplishments be diminished some in comparison to those who played when the QB position was fair game?

Not necessarily, but it's important to know where players rank in their given era. Bart Starr won the MVP in '66 with 2,257 passing yards and 14 TDs. No one's winning an MVP with double those numbers these days. We've witnessed the league become more of a passing game in part because of the QB protections, so it all works together.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

RB AJ Dillon certainly looks like he will be a very fine player for the Packers. But when the pick was made I have to admit that my first thought was the Packers were recognizing the difficulty in keeping Aaron Jones off the free-agent market in 2021. If so, it's certainly understandable. Now with Dalvin Cook looking to hold out from the Vikings, and who can blame him, the Packers' choice of Mr. Dillon looks particularly prescient. Thoughts?

A double play is a pitcher's best friend. A GM's double play in the draft is a pick who can help the current team as an immediate contributor and protect the roster against possible future ramifications.

Corey from Henderson, NV

Multiple players on the Cowboys and Texans have now tested positive, with the biggest name being Zeke. This should obviously force the league to examine how this happened, but does it make the league backtrack a little on re-opening facilities and going forward with the upcoming season? How will this potentially impact training camp?

Those are questions to be answered in the coming weeks. I've seen reports the league plans to test players multiple times per week when they report to team facilities and throughout the season. They expect occasional positive tests and infected players to be isolated immediately. Whether this and other extensive measures will be enough to prevent a breakout within a given team's facility for five months (training camp plus 17 weeks; six months including playoffs) remains to be seen. It's going to be a challenge.

Tom from Fond du Lac, WI

I think Larry McCarren might be the only person there who remembers two-a-days. I, for one, hated them. And it always seemed like coach purposely picked the hottest day of the year to run the mile in full dress. Ask Larry if you don't believe me. Anyway, if the virus gets worse, do you think the league might reconsider two-a-days to condense the preseason?

There's no way the players will ever agree to two-a-days again after getting them eliminated in the last CBA. They were still around as recently as McCarthy's early years as head coach. I got tired just watching them.

Craig from Elkton, MD

I agree with Steve from Ashland. You let the league off the hook to easily regarding the racial slur in the D.C. team name. If the commissioner works for the owners, then the other 31 owners need to step up and show leadership. Anything less is just a shell game to avoid the courageous conversation. What would happen if a team refused to play Washington until they changed their name? What if 31 teams voted to change the revenue split and force the issue?

I don't disagree with your overall point, but I don't see the other owners treating one in a way they would not want to be treated themselves. Just a hunch, as ironic as it sounds.

Sean from Boulder, CO

Hello. While I agree Sharpe and Collins were on HOF paths, the name that seems to be forgotten when discussing career-ending injuries is Tim Lewis. He had star potential from Day 1 and looked the part in every way during his brief NFL tenure. I remember the play vividly, jamming a receiver at the line in what appeared to be pretty innocuous (contact). As it was, he tallied 16 interceptions, including a 99-yard pick-six, and another touchdown on a fumble recovery in just 51 games. A star in the making!

I remember watching the Lewis play, too, on a Packers-Bears Monday night game as a teenager. I didn't recall Lewis having that many interceptions in his short career. Wow.

Bill from Maple Grove, MN

Twenty seconds left in the game and you have the ball on the 50-yard line. It is fourth-and-20 and you have one timeout left. Your team is behind by two points. What Packer QB/WR combo would you choose to make the play?

Give me Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

The best thing that I learned from Monday's Inbox is that there are three types of Packer fans: Introverts, Extroverts and Controverts. Some will watch the game at home, some will jump around in the stands, and the others will try to create contro ... umm ... controver ... cause TROUBLE.

Happy Wednesday.