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Inbox: You can't help but be excited about Christian Watson's potential

The NFL season is a marathon that ends with a sprint

WR Christian Watson

Mitch from Eagle River, WI

I will not stand for the disrespect posted about ice fishing. As a Northwoods Packers fan, I will say that pulling walleye and crappie through the ice is second only to watching the Packers win, and certainly not to Florida fishing!

Hey, I pulled a 24-inch Northern out of your waters while in middle school, Mitch. It was a personal highlight.

Benjamin from Evergreen Park, IL

My 2-year-old monster is asleep. It's my day off and I'm on duty hanging with my boys on Insider Inbox. I'm quietly excited about this team, no matter who's under center. Thirteen rookies were on the 53-man roster! Then, we're about to add at least another 10. That's a lot of potential for Year 1 and Year 2 jumps. That's across all areas of the roster: receivers, O-line, D-line, LB! Are you guys as excited as I am?

I'm excited to watch this 2022 rookie class grow. The Packers had nine rookies combine for 3,195 offensive and defensive snaps this season. There were some tough lessons mixed in with that workload but it's only going to make them better in the long run. When you see what he put on film during the second half of the year, you can't help but be excited about Christian Watson's potential.

John from Jupiter, FL

Morning Wes. So, what's your plan for Championship Sunday? Thanks.

Nothing too fancy, John. Wake up, grab some breakfast with the family, maybe run a few errands and then settle in for some football.

Dale from Green Bay, WI

Good morning Wesford and Michaelwicz, do you think Philadelphia has shown us all the perfect blueprint? I do. Football will always start up front and they are clearly the best on both sides. Run the ball 50 times if you feel like it and harass the opposing QB from every angle. You also have to be right on a couple of other things. Trading a first for AJ Brown. Drafting undersized DeVonta Smith in the first, drafting Jalen Hurts with Carson Wentz still on the roster (in the second). I applaud them but…go 49ers and Brock Purdy!

I think a blueprint will be revealed with either outcome in the NFC title game. You either have the Eagles, who have flat-out bullied teams this season, or the 49ers, a resilient squad with one of the best defenses of this era. Best of all, I love how a pair of Day 2/3 quarterbacks have led their respective teams to the brink of the Super Bowl – and one of them will get there. It's a beautiful story.

Mark from Wes Des Moines, IA

What player do you think will have the biggest impact on their team this weekend?

I won't just give you a player. I'll give you a play and a limb: Patrick Mahomes' ankle. He's been a full participant in practice this week. If Mahomes truly is feeling OK, Kansas City should be fine but there's no question its season is riding on Mahomes' wheel. Cincinnati only sacked Josh Allen once last week but registered eight quarterback hits. The Bengals will be hungry.

Jon from Kingsford, MI

This extended offseason is a "good" thing as the Packers will have at least an extra month to heal. Yes, I would rather have had the Packers playing, but this time off can affect the team positively.

This is a teeny-tiny silver lining considering everyone wants to be playing this time of year. But it again dawned on me today how long the season runs now. The Packers started training camp six months ago yesterday. The NFL season is a marathon that ends with a sprint.

Rich from Manitou Springs, CO

Just thinking about team needs for next year. With that in mind and watching the four games from last weekend, I'd have to say it would be TE. There were five TDs in the games last week made by TEs. We had four all year. Has to say something. Looking at some mock drafts they have the Packers picking Michael Mayer from ND. What are your thoughts?

I think I've made my stance clear on drafting tight ends in the first round, but Mayer is someone who's going to get a lot of attention over the next few months. I wouldn't mind the Packers drafting a tight end to keep another young guy in the system, but I'm wary of using top capital on the position.

Matty from Durango, CO

When analyzing a DB prospect, how much import is given to their interception ability? A ball intercepted is a game changer, a ball batted down is just another down.

It's part of the equation but takeaways sometimes can be difficult to project unless you're doing it against elite competition in a power conference. If you look at Jaire Alexander's pre-draft profile, INTs weren't what got him drafted in the first round back in 2018. It was athleticism, route recognition and explosiveness. He had shutdown traits and built up his ball-hawking skills from there.

Steve from Phoenix, AZ

While I enjoyed watching Justin Jefferson eat some humble pie late this season, I'm not excited about seeing him twice again next year. He's going to learn from this and become more dangerous. I thought he was premature declaring himself the best receiver in the league, but he may eventually be right. At this point, he has never shown anything like Davante Adams' agility and quickness off the line nor his late hands, but we definitely haven't seen his best yet.

Jefferson reminds me a lot of Jaire in that way. He sets the bar high for himself because he's confident in his ability to play at an elite level. I'll take that guy on my team any day of the week. There's a difference between projecting confidence and playing confident. Jefferson is that dude.

Craig from Johnson City, TN

I enjoyed Cliff's article on Nick Collins. I was fortunate enough to meet him once at a Packers bar in Orlando a couple of years after he had to retire. He was such a gentleman and still looked like he could play at a high level. I always thought if he had not gotten hurt the Packers would have won one or two more Super Bowls. Don't you?

Collins is such an upstanding dude. Losing Collins undoubtedly hurt the Packers' defense, but it also removed a leader from that locker room. The injuries to Collins and Desmond Bishop changed the trajectory of Green Bay's defense for years to come.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. I agree that Rich Bisaccia deserves a shot at a head coaching job. The but is that, as a Packers fan, I would hate to see him leave after what he has accomplished with the special-teams unit in just one season. As much as I am first and foremost a Packers fan, I have to root for what is best for Rich. Does that make sense?

It does. I always cheer for the person first, and professional second. Like in 2016, I hated to see Micah Hyde leave but I was thrilled such an awesome dude was being rewarded with life-changing money. Bisaccia has earned a head coaching opportunity with how he led the Raiders last year and helped turn around Green Bay's special teams in 2022 but I also feel like there's unfinished business here. Bisaccia, Byron Storer and Micheal Spurlock got the train back on the tracks this year. If they're all back, I'm excited to see what that unit can do in Year 2 with an established vision in place.

Ben from Pensacola, FL

In regards to Eddie from MN, the most frustrating part about that officiating was that in the first half, they were letting them play. A non-call on a blatant grab on Allen Lazard by the Tampa Bay DB led to a touchdown right before the half. That was what made me so angry about it – consistency throughout and then a sudden change at the end that "undoes" some of those non-calls earlier.

Precisely. And with that, I'm done reliving the 2020 NFC title game.

Dale from Prescott, WI

Whatever happened to Kevin King? Was he injured? Hard to believe someone didn't take a chance on him.

King told Pro Football Focus in September that he'd decided to sit out in 2022 to get healthy. I haven't heard any update since then. He turns 28 in May.

Sam from Greendale, WI

Whether Aaron decides to stay or go, I'm OK with his choice. But I'll be sad to see him retire and be out of the league. He's one of the few QBs who can do something amazing on any given play. My non-Packer fan friends have all said something to the effect of "if Rodgers has the ball on the final drive, I'm just sick because I know they'll score." And that's true more often than not.

I totally get where you're coming from. That's how I've felt about Tom Brady. I was disappointed when he announced his retirement last year because I feel like a phase of my life is over. I was in fifth grade when Brady was drafted for crying out loud. Football is uncertain. That's no different than life. Over the past decade, I've learned to embrace that uncertainty and be prepared for whatever the outcome.

Kevin from Arlington, OH

Can teams still sign other teams practice-squad players to their active roster since the season is over? Do the various designations (practice squad, injured reserve, etc.) even exist once the season ends?

Yeah, it's already happened. Dallas signed Tristian Vizcaino as an insurance policy before the divisional playoffs after his practice-squad contract expired with New England.

John from Fort Myers, FL

OH! Wes, I disagree with you about the last Cowboys play in the 49ers game. I want to see that play again as it was designed to be. I like to see innovative plays that catch the defense off-balance AND work. I sure hope the Cowboys get an opportunity again to run that play and see how it was designed to play out. Perhaps another team, EVEN the Packers, will develop a similar play.

If the play didn't catch the defense off-balance the first time, you expect it to work on the second try? I appreciate creativity, too, but sometimes you gotta pitch plays and try again.

Stephen from Menomonee Falls, WI

How about back in 2012 when the Packers had an AJ (Hawk), BJ (Raji), CJ (Wilson), two DJs (Smith and Williams) and a TJ (Lang) all on the roster? Oh yeah and throw in an MD (Jennings) for good measure!

It was abbreviation season in Green Bay.

JR from East Moline, IL

I don't know hardly anything about UFC, but sometimes watch old matches on YouTube when I'm bored. My favorite fight is Jiri Prochazka vs Glover Teixeira (I've watched it probably 10 times). I also think Nate Diaz might be the toughest person alive. I felt he won Conor McGregor No. 2, so I was surprised by that outcome. Are there any matches you would recommend me YouTubing? Do you think Sean O'Malley is the real deal?

I don't know if O'Malley will be champion, but I think he's a bigger threat at 135 pounds than Paddy Pimblett at 155. I've actually only watched Teixeira-Prochazka once because I was so demoralized by Glover losing in the final minute. Teixeira was one of my favorite UFC fighters. I'd say my favorite fights are Weili Zhang vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum, Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier, and the first fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

Thank you, guys, for keeping us all entertained. Do you actually get time away during the offseason?

I'm going to Nashville in a couple weeks and don't know anything about country music…should be fun.

Sam from Melbourne, IA

Just a comment on NFL+. As a farmer, this is the best thing to happen for me as a Packers fan in Iowa. Most Packers games are local here, so I never missed a game this year for the first time in my entire life probably.

That is awesome to hear, Sam.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

Hey guys, I haven't made the column in a while, and it's got me questioning my questions. My girlfriend says that I need to let other people have a chance for II glory. I suppose that perspective applies to football and life in general. Maybe tomorrow will be my moment and next year will be the Packers year!

Never lose hope, Jeff.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

So, can you please address the latest rumor from an unnamed source who has an unnamed source that knows someone that thinks they know something about the Green Bay Packers? This one seems legit.

You mean the story I heard from my best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with a girl who heard something at 31 Flavors last night? Yeah, I guess it's pretty serious. Have a good weekend, everyone.

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