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Inbox: Where it goes from there is harder to gauge

It wouldn’t feel right

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CB Eric Stokes

Mitch from Orange, VA

"Ninth-hour biology." I'm not sure where you went to high school Wes, but nine hours is too long of a school day.

Wes has always been an overachiever.

John from Weatherford, TX

Hello guys! My wife and I have just had a cruise cancelled in July and now maybe we can attend the start of training camp. I know that the Packers haven't announced that start yet, but do you have an idea of when camp will start?

The players will be reporting sometime during the last week of July from what I understand. What day will actually be the first practice remains uncertain at this point.

Nate from Torrance, CA

Just like many others, I have a ton of vacation banked up since I haven't gone anywhere in over a year now. I've been wanting to bring my boys to the Packers Family Night event and this year seems like a good year to do it. Any word on when Family Night will be and if they are anticipating an in-person crowd?

Based on past experience, Family Night would be the first weekend in August. But again, to date there have been no announcements regarding plans for training camp as it relates to schedules or crowds.

Jim from Chelsea, WI

What do you think about T.J. Slaton?

I think he's a big dude.

Miranda from Rochester, NY

Good morning all. I know it can't be quite this simple, but to some with less knowledge of what goes into playing different positions, it seems getting the best players in the field is key! So why would a defensive front consisting of both Smiths, Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary not work?

Who said it wouldn't? The coaches don't want all four of those guys playing 900-plus snaps, so workloads need to be monitored, but with Gary's continued progress and the overall help of the group, I can see them on the field together more this year, for sure.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Who do you guess will be the "starters" in each secondary position?

I would anticipate the traditional quartet to be Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage, Jaire Alexander, and either Kevin King or Eric Stokes. Where it goes from there in the nickel with the "star" or the dime (third safety or fourth corner?) is harder to gauge.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

We have covered Amari Rodgers and how his body type and play style can relate to the slot receiver role. However good he is or may be. it does leave us in the same situation as last year where we seemingly only have one player qualifying for that role. What other players in camp are going to be alternative options for that role?

I'm as curious as you are. I suspect the coaches have a plan.

John from Charlottesville, VA

With Aaron Rodgers choosing to possibly skip OTAs, what impact does this have on the playbook? If ML wants to tweak the scheme, is he limited because his QB is not in the building? With the details AR wants in the scheme, it can't be easy for offensive players to learn it the way it is in the playbook and then later relearn it how AR wants it done.

If I'm LaFleur – and Lord knows I'm not, but bear with me – I'd make the changes I want to make and have Rodgers catch up later, which I'm sure he could do quickly. As to your latter point, I see the issue you're getting at, but those types of adjustments are always further down the road anyway.

Justin from New Castle, DE

Have you heard anything about the Rodgers situation or know as much as we do? The not knowing is driving me crazy.

I know as much as you do. I've compartmentalized the not knowing into something I will deal with when the time comes.

Joe from Wauwatosa, WI

I read an article where it named the upcoming players due for a big payday and no surprise but Davante Adams and Alexander were at the top of their position groups. With A-Rod, David Bakhtiari, Jaire, and Davante all being potentially the "highest paid" at their position or at the time of contract signing, can you remember a time the team had that many players who would lead their entire position group across the NFL? And that is without counting Aaron Jones, Kenny Clark and eventually Elgton Jenkins.

Careful now. You're straying from the prevailing national media narrative that the Packers haven't surrounded Rodgers with enough talent.

Joel from Green Bay, WI

The 17th game makes it impossible to break the schedule into even quarters; however, with an 18-week schedule, it could be broken evenly into thirds. In the case of the 2021 schedule, that means the first third sees the Packers on the road for four of six, with an even split of noon, late afternoon, and night games, and potentially four teams with new starting QBs. The second has a largely westward focus, and the final third has the bye, the two strongest-finishing AFCN teams and three divisional games.

Maybe I'll try that, at least for this year. With the Packers playing 12 games before their bye, it works for now.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Wes said, "Derrick Henry had 2,027 yards in 16 games last year. Can you imagine what he might've had with a 17th?" Yes, I can – approximately 2,134. I'm being a smart-aleck, of course, and simply averaged the numbers out for one more game. Obviously, this happened also when the league switched from 14 games to 16 games. Maybe this question is better for Cliff, but what was fan and player reaction like to the increase back then? This time, players were nearly equally split in their support for it.

I can't speak to the reaction back in 1978. I was in kindergarten. But it is worth noting that it still took until 1984 for a running back to join O.J. Simpson in the 2,000-yard club, and another 13 years after that for someone else to do it. Dickerson's 2,105 might not fall as quickly as some assume.

Packers TE Marcedes Lewis celebrates his birthday on May 19. Take a look at photos of him from the 2020 season.

Gordon from Newport Beach, CA

Hypothetically, the Packers have a contest to create a team mascot. What's your suggestion?

Don't.

Darrel from Pueblo, CO

II, interesting that Ron Wolf referred to AR and other QBs as "divas" for wanting to be traded or renegotiate a contract. I realize the NFL is a business, but I don't see star players in any sport taking a pay cut when they don't perform. What happened to integrity for signing a contract and then living up to it?

What Wolf said didn't surprise me at all, and his candor is always worth appreciating. But that aside, I continue to read submissions similar to this one, commenting on a signed contract and a player's obligation, etc. I'm not taking sides here, honest I'm not, but you folks stuck in this line of thinking have to get off it. NFL teams cut players with time left on their contracts all the time. All. The. Time. Teams dishonor them as much as players do if not more. A contract is not a contract in the traditional sense of the word in the NFL. If you can understand that, then you can understand this situation is not as simple as you make it out to be.

Jon from Green Bay, WI

I'm going to the season opener, and I remember you saying you were looking forward the game in New Orleans. This will be the first NFL game I've attended, not including Lambeau. Anything I should be prepared for?

In the Superdome? Noise.

James from Appleton, WI

You can't teach coachability, and it's pretty clear from seeing all these reports on the new draft class that coachability is a trait the Packers value highly. Maybe that's the factor the pundits don't see as they so often claim a Packers pick is a reach.

There's plenty the pundits don't see, that you and I don't see, as it relates to the decision-making process. The Packers are very intentional in finding players they believe fit, and fit is less about scheme or system than it is about culture, locker room, and other factors that no one else can grade for the Packers other than those who know everything that goes on around here.

Scott from Grovetown, GA

Greetings. For a multitudinous amount of years, 10-6 has been held as the threshold to reach the playoffs. I'm wondering if this threshold becomes 11-6 now or if 10-7 could still hold true?

I don't think anyone's going to feel too secure about a playoff spot anymore with only 10 wins. Scenarios will exist, sure, and certain years the odds will be better than others, but I'd say 11 is the new 10.

Rick from Livermore, CA

After Mars is fully colonized, what do you think will be the first pro league to play ball there?

Have we reached that point in the offseason already?

Dave from Shakopee, MN

Hey II. If you could retire any three additional numbers, what numbers and who would they be for?

Boy, I don't know. It's hard to choose amongst all the Lombardi greats. There are cases to be made for Willie Davis, Herb Adderley and Forrest Gregg. We've talked about Hornung's No. 5 plenty in this space before. I wouldn't know how to decide. No matter the conclusion to the current situation, I believe No. 12 will be retired at some point. I'll throw one other possibility out there, even if he doesn't make the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mason Crosby has 1,682 career points. If he produces for four more seasons, he'll have a shot at 2,108, which I think would be a cool number to reach. Why? Not because of Canton (four kickers with 2,000-plus aren't in and won't get the honor). But because Ryan Longwell is second on the franchise's all-time scoring list with 1,054 points. If Crosby gets to 2,108, he'll have scored twice as many points as any other player in this team's 100-plus-year history, as well as played more seasons and more games than anyone else in Green Bay. Should he achieve all that, Canton or not, it wouldn't feel right to see anyone else wear his number, would it? Just my 2 cents (and yes, I'll see myself out).

Kenny from Anaheim, CA

Why would you ask for suggestions as if something your readers submit would be better than, "Wes and Spoff. Inbox. Yeah," written in black Sharpie on a white shirt? I'd buy that shirt on the spot.

Happy Wednesday.

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