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Inbox: You know the rest

A strong offseason will keep the division well within reach


Jack from Indianapolis, IN

I personally like the responses with a little edge to them, after all it's a tough game for tough writers. And for the not-so-tough...I offer to buy Wes some Steak 'n Shake in Indy because Spoff will probably take whatever he gets first.

Nicely done. Another day begins.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Do you ever see the NFL alternating the combine to other cities like they have done with the draft? Being a Hoosier, I hope it stays in Indy but just wondering if this has ever been discussed in the NFL circles.

I'm not aware of any discussions. The cluster of hotels in downtown Indy surrounding the convention center and Lucas Oil Stadium make the city the perfect, and perhaps only, place for an efficient combine, given the massive convergence of league personnel, coaches, draft prospects, media, etc.

Todd from Eau Claire, WI

Welcome back, Mike! How many Packers staffers are heading to Indy? Do the Packers charter a plane for all of you?

Our digital team travels separately. Arrangements are different for everyone, because while the scouts are there the whole time, coaches drop in for the couple of days their position group is scheduled for workouts and interviews. It's staggered that way.

Kyle from West Bend, WI

Hello II. Do either of you feel that Pettine's year with Seattle as consultant will play into whether or not we make a play for Earl Thomas? He has inside knowledge of what his exact role was and how that could fit our scheme, yes?

I hadn't thought of the connection, but I'm not sure it will factor either way. Earl Thomas does not need to fit a scheme. Any good scheme can make room.

Rexy from Eastbourne, England

With all these complaints in the last few Inboxes I wonder how people haven't understood that II has become more of a community of sports fans than a simple message-and-answer board. Personally I get a real sense of being part of an online community when I read this each day.

We cater to no one, which we hope results in catering to many.

Packers T Bryan Bulaga celebrates his birthday on March 21.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, the recent chatter about slot receivers in Green Bay is we need a true twitch-and-speed guy, but previously we've talked about using our tall, sure-handed receivers to create mismatches in the middle of the field. We've heard about how Larry Fitzgerald and others have extended their careers after they lost the speed for the boundary. Obviously I'm wondering what the deal is. Do we really need a quick, true slot guy or a mismatch lengthy guy, or does it really even matter?

Personally, I want what's going to challenge the opponent each week, which means I want options, because not all opponents are challenged by the same types of players.

Drake from Cross Owens Roads, AL

Answering the question about the unique characteristic of a player that hasn't been replicated…Deacon Jones comes to mind. His head slap was regulated out of the game, so we'll never see that again. Walter Payton would often do a little "pony step" I think he called it. He'd be running in the open field and take a longer stride for no reason at all. You could show me a video of him doing that with masking tape over his name and helmet and I'd immediately say, "That's Walter Payton!"

Jim from Hainesville, IL, also brought up Payton and the way he "carried the ball like a loaf of bread." I had to laugh. That was the same phrase my dad used to describe it.

Luke from Inglewood, CA

It's not easy to think of too many unique moves in the NFL, but if you ever saw Reggie White's hump move or Barry Sanders' juke-n'-go, you knew there wasn't anyone else on the planet who could do it better, right?

In the spirit of the discussion, I would argue White's hump move has been replicated for a long time now, but I agree he was the best at it. As other readers pointed out, it's categorized similarly with Dwight Freeney's spin move. I never felt for all his shiftiness and elusiveness that Sanders had a true signature move. I think that partly defined his greatness.

Demini from San Jacinto, CA

I'll admit I knew little of Nasir Adderley before the gentleman from Delaware mentioned him in II. Upon further research, I loved what I learned about him as a player. My question is, in this day in age, why do we put so much stock in whether the player is from the FCS? In the words of a former coach of mine, "If you are good, they will find you."

They certainly will. The difficulty is in projecting a player's abilities against a drastically higher level of competition. It's a big enough jump from the Big Ten or SEC to the NFL. Coming from the lower levels of college football disqualifies no one, but it makes for a more difficult road for a player to prove himself and persuade an NFL team to invest in him.

Nate from Naples, FL

I find it amusing that some readers (ahem, Tom from Scottsdale, ahem) seem to believe that writers are privy to the Packers' early draft board. In your estimation, how many people in the entire world are allowed to know the order of the final draft board? It can't be more than 20 or 30.

That's probably about right.

Andy from Verona, WI

How often do you look at mock drafts and what do you try to take away from them?

I'll glance at a few between the combine and the draft, not to see supposedly who's getting picked by whom, but for when, in a general sense, certain players are expected to come off the board. For example, where do the opinions on the top 10 picks diverge, and who appears most likely to fall out of the top 10? That kind of thing. But it still feels like a wild goose chase, because no matter what you hear or read, no one really knows what these teams are thinking.

Dave from Comer, GA

In response to favorite memorable touchdowns, I haven't seen this one yet: Sept. 7, 1980. Lambeau Field vs. Da Bears. Chester Marcol blocked field goal run in for a touchdown to win in OT. I can still hear the announcer say "Chester Marcol...I think he's in tears..." It doesn't get any better than that for me.

I was 7, saw it on TV. That has become my earliest specific, legitimate memory of watching a Packers game.

Mutt from Blaine, MN

Lots of submissions on favorite Packers moments. How about favorite moment that didn't involve the Packers but affected them? Cardinals' last-second TD over Vikings to put Pack into playoffs for me. I remember jumping around and hugging my cousin. Pure bliss. Great memory.

I still vividly recall sitting in my hotel room in Providence in Week 15 of 2010 watching Eagles-Giants. FOX cut away to show the highlight of former Packers kicker Dave Rayner making field goals for the Lions at the end of regulation and overtime to give the Buccaneers their sixth loss. Moments later, DeSean Jackson's walk-off punt-return TD for Philly gave the Giants their fifth loss (and forced Tom Coughlin to get a new clipboard for the trip to Lambeau the following week). You know the rest. I'll also never forget Monday night, Week 15 of 2013, and Justin Tucker's 61-yarder at Ford Field to beat the Lions.

Kyle from Philadelphia, PA

The Pack has had great success drafting OL in the fourth round, such as Bakhtiari, Sitton, and Lang. OL seems to be an area where we need to add a weapon. Do you think that we need to get someone in the first or second round to help protect Rodgers better and beef up our line more, or is the draft class good this year to where we can find a gem in later rounds?

I wouldn't object to both.

Tony from Cedarburg, WI

Now that Kyler Murray has declared that he will pursue football, what are your thoughts on him playing quarterback in the NFL? Do you think there is a team that will draft him in the first round? I hope his dream comes true and I will be rooting for him, unless he is playing against the Pack of course.

I think someone will take him in the first round. Russell Wilson has changed a lot of perceptions for QBs of smaller stature.

George from Hutchinson, MN

You have the option of trading CB Kevin King for a high third-round pick in this year's draft. Yay or nay?

Not a chance.

Michael from Berwyn, IL

How long do you think it will take the Packers to get back to their winning stature again?

I think it could happen this year, but I'm going to continue to draw a line between optimism and expectations. The Bears were the best team in the NFC North last season. The Packers beat them once and were right there in the fourth quarter in Chicago. They also had the Vikings beat, as we all know, and were tied at halftime at their place. A strong offseason will keep the division well within reach, and that's the starting point.

Chris from Golden Valley, MN

I was doing some reading and found information suggesting the Packers explored a rebrand and change of colors in the mid '90s to different shades of green and gold. Hard to imagine now, but do you have any insight to why this was considered, and ultimately why it wasn't successful?

The story is that Ron Wolf considered a uniform change in 1993 to rid the franchise of its losing stigma. They looked at some Notre Dame colors – metallic gold pants and helmets, the Irish shade of green for the jerseys, removing the stripes, and all sorts of possibilities. Apparently Ted Thompson even modeled one design, running around on Lambeau Field while Wolf and Bob Harlan observed from the bleachers. Nothing looked good, so they scrapped the thought.

Dave from Toledo, OH

It was a big deal when the Packers initially wore the white pants when the NFL initiated the Thursday night games requiring the mono-color unis. Do you think we will see banana (all-yellow) in the future or a return to the all-green from the late '40s-early '50s?

No idea. I wouldn't mind the occasional color-rush experiment, but those decisions are way above my pay grade.

Kristen from Surprise, AZ

Mike, as a fellow reader what are some of your favorite books to read (or authors, genre, etc.)?

I'll read pretty much anything by Michael Lewis. He's terrific. Otherwise, I read a lot of baseball and football books, mostly by current or former SI writers I enjoy, like Jeff Pearlman and Tom Verducci. Ben Reiter's "Astroball," which was this year's beach book, was outstanding.

Earl from Lake Zurich, IL

Have you reported on where some of the coaches not retained have found new coaching opportunities?

Campen, Blasko and Whitt are in Cleveland, Angelichio is in Washington, Raih is in Arizona, Graham is in Miami, and Hostler is in Carolina. Those are the ones I'm aware of.

Jake from Shoreview, MN

With reports that Cole Madison may not report ever, do the Packers get anything for a draft pick that never shows up?


Take a look at photos of Packers P JK Scott from the 2018 season.

Darrell from San Antonio, TX

Mike, a lot of my Packer buddies keep harping to me that we should trade the 12th and 30th picks to move into the top five of the draft to get a difference-maker for the defense. However I'm of the belief that we could take the 12th pick and trade back into the mid-20s, say 23-25 and get another second-rounder. Is that possible with the grading system? Two late first and an early and late second could add four quality players and a lot of help on both sides of the ball.

A drop from 12 to the mid-20s would net a mid-second, right around where Green Bay picks now, according to the trade chart. But as I continue to say, it all depends on what the draft board looks like in the moment.

Charlie from Cameron, NC

Mike, welcome back. What are your thoughts on the moves made by the teams in the NL Central this offseason? Which addition, loss, or re-signing so far do you see making the biggest impact?

The Cardinals getting Paul Goldschmidt is the game-changer. The NL Central is going to be brutally tough this year.

Robin from Kenosha, WI

Spoff lived in Spain? Which city? My wife and I lived in Galicia for one year in 2013-14, and not long after we arrived Rodgers broke his collarbone. A few years later in 2017 we decided to spend another year in Spain, this time in Cadiz, Andalucia, and Rodgers breaks his collarbone again! My wife is ready to return to Spain soon but I think we need to wait until Rodgers retires...

I was in Seville in the fall of 1993 and the Badgers went to the Rose Bowl for the first time in three decades. Sadly, the only highlight I saw over there was of the fans getting crushed at Camp Randall after the Michigan win, but I was back home in time to see the triumph over UCLA.

Benjamin from Evergreen Park, IL

Sir Mike of Spofford or Sir Wes of Hodgkiewicz, in all your travels within your careers who's the most interesting person you met and talked to? Personally I really would have been blown away by Mel Kiper.

Back in 2007, my former boss set me up for a one-on-one interview with Dan Marino shortly before Favre broke his touchdown record. That was a memorable chat. Before that, in my newspaper days, I was covering Robin Yount's return to Milwaukee as a coach for Arizona, and I caught up with Mark Grace in the D-backs' clubhouse. Really engaging guy. I could have talked baseball with him all day.

Rick from Conshohocken, PA

Mike/Wes, what is one position group on the roster that is being overlooked, but could be in line for a major overhaul this offseason?

I don't think any roster holes are being overlooked. The question is how many can be addressed in one offseason. But the Packers don't have to bat 1.000 to appreciably improve.

Grant from Grand Forks, ND

I'm sitting on a beach north of Honolulu looking for whales and listening to "Packers Unscripted" when Wes uses the term "he's doing a whale of a job" twice. I'd like to say I started seeing whales, but no such luck yet. At least the temperature is not minus-20 degrees. Stay warm.

I'll take piles and piles of snow over the sub-zero cold any day.

Michael from New Orleans, LA

All this bloviating about questions and whether or not they belong on this forum is driving me batty. If you're not careful, I'll keep reading the Inbox every day, forever.

Mission accomplished, I guess. Make it a great Wednesday.