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Inbox: You see his influence throughout the NFL

The more skill-position players can do, the more creative play-callers can get

QB Aaron Rodgers
QB Aaron Rodgers

Ryan from Sun Prairie, WI

To Lori from Brookfield, WI, and everyone working in the health-care industry: Thank you.

They're the real heroes in all of this. May Lori and all of our other readers who work in the health-care industry stay healthy and safe. Good morning!

Theologos from Athens, Greece

The draft is always intriguing and exciting and now with no sports activity it's becoming an obsession. Why do you think we keep asking you guys things only a few people in the organization knows (and obviously you are not in the inner circle), and why do we keep reading mock drafts since we know that every year they usually fail miserably in their predictions?

It beats raking leaves?

Michael from Santa Cruz, CA

Ted Thompson was legendary for his flat-line demeanor during good times and bad. Brian Gutekunst was professionally raised in that environment and seems to be consistently measured and calm in his approach. Is that same "quiet" vibe felt throughout the scouting and personnel departments? That leadership style works well for the Pack traditionally (and fits well into the overall WI ethic). Not needing to appease ownership probably assists that environment. Are there any downsides to that monotone culture?

I wouldn't call it monotone. Everyone has their own personality. I'm sure it's no different than your workplace. I think what Thompson passed down to his protégés is the importance of individuals in power staying humble. In a day and age when most people look for any opportunity to toot their own horn, Thompson never patted himself on the back once in 12 years as GM. He never took credit for drafting Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark or Jordy Nelson. It was "we," never "I." Gutekunst is more extroverted and conversational than his predecessor but he carries the same disposition about his job. No matter how much you say, the work speaks for itself.

Lambeau Field and Titletown were joined by the City of Green Bay and Brown County in the #LightItBlue campaign on Thursday, April 9. The initiative shows support for the healthcare, frontline and essential workers who are risking their own health in the fight against COVID-19.

Connor from Murray, UT

Best Aaron Rodgers throw of all time. Needs to show arm strength, accuracy, and on top of it, all the unique Rodgers flare. One throw comes to mind, against Jacksonville in 2016. Rolling to his right, with a defender on his back pulling him down, throws 45-yard dart to Davante Adams for a TD. Name me one other QB who can make that throw.

That's one up there with the finest throws he's ever made. It wasn't just all the traffic around Rodgers when he made that throw – he put the ball just out of Davon House's reach and only where Adams could catch it. Brilliant.

Jim from Lima, OH

The third-and-10 laser from Rodgers to Jennings is in my top five, for sure, and if I rated those five, I'd be hard pressed not to make it No. 1. The big stage of the Super Bowl, the clutch-ness of the moment, and it's the only time I've ever jumped out of my seat (the couch), and pumped my first so emphatically that I saw flashes of light and almost blacked out.

I'll forever remember that game as the day Rodgers went from being a great quarterback with a lot of promise to a legend who would change the game of football forever. For as talented and accomplished as Rodgers is, I don't think he gets enough credit for how he has altered how quarterback is played today. You see his influence throughout the NFL.

Alek from Falls Church, VA

Which position group in the draft will have its development the most affected by COVID-19 and do you think that will have a big impact on where teams like the Packers decide to draft them?

That's a really good question because they're all impacted in a significant way. I would say quarterback but Cam Newton came in and played relatively well as a rookie in 2011 despite having no offseason program. So maybe receiver, because you must master not only the playbook but also routes well enough to beat world-class defensive backs. Pure speed only will get you so far at this level.

Brianna from Farmington, MN

What do some of the Packers players miss the most right now while in quarantine?

I've only spoken or texted with a few players about it. All of them pretty much said the same thing – traveling and going out to restaurants.

James from Santa Maria, CA

Morning fellas, with everything that's going on I got to thinking what's the craziest/funniest thing that took on a life of its own in the Inbox? Laser-goal posts? Number 88? Winnie the Pooh? What say you?

I was shocked to open Inbox Friday and see we're pondering the long-term practicality of buffets based on an analogy. It has to be No. 88, though.

Trevor from Cheyenne, WY

Who would be the most impact player(s) the Packers have ever drafted to come from the most obscure college?

If you go back before 1960, there were plenty of what would now be considered "obscure colleges" that produced quality Packers players – Johnny Blood and St. John's (Minn.) anyone? In the modern era, the first name that comes to mind is John Kuhn (Shippensburg).

Wes from South Saint Paul, MN

Mike/Wes, after watching the last few games of last year I was impressed with how Jared Veldheer came in and filled in and did a great job replacing Bryan Bulaga. It is surprising the Packers have not re-signed him. Are you aware of what the plan is for him?

Veldheer was a great late-season pickup but I'm not aware of what plans the Packers have for the 11th-year veteran. I saw the reports he intends to play in 2020 but he remains unsigned. Without hearing Brian Gutekunst's thoughts on the matter, the Packers appear to be moving forward at right tackle with Rick Wagner, who is 2½ years younger than Veldheer.

Dale from Wilton, WI

The good news about Jace Sternberger lining up in the slot is there is no need for a number change. I would like to see what he can do as they move him around.

I see Sternberger lining up everywhere in this offense. A true Swiss-army knife. I think that's his biggest strength right now as a second-year tight end.

Tim from Muskego, WI

You're probably getting hit with a lot of these, but once again I just don't understand "Gute's" logic. Brandin Cooks is about to get traded for ONE second-round pick this year and a fourth-rounder next year. He's established, quick, good hands and a guy that could've helped IMMEDIATELY with some veteran presence. Just how many HOLES does Gute intend to fill in the draft? We have too many to expect first-year players to cover.

As I've said before, Cooks also has a MASSIVE contract. I know it's FUN for fans to trade for every established NAME in the NFL but there's also this thing called the SALARY CAP. The Packers need to re-sign several Pro Bowl PLAYERS over the next YEAR. I'm more concerned with keeping Bakhtiari, AARON Jones and Kenny CLARK than THE GUY WHO HELPED YOU WIN A FANTASY FOOTBALL TITLE TWO YEARS AGO. Thank you.

Rod from Chugiak, AK

If memory serves me, a few years back I think it was Jimmy Graham who argued he so often split out and performed the same as a WR, he deserved to be classified that way in contract negotiations. My question is, what's the difference function-wise in a great-catch, poor-block "move" TE, and a huge WR like Chase Claypool playing like Graham spilt out? I'm not beating the drum for Claypool, but if there's little assignment difference his athleticism crushes that of any TE out there. BTW, you go Lori!

Graham was ahead of his time – both as a player and in negotiations with the Saints. That line has only continued to blur over the last five, six years. Whether it's Devin Funchess, Allen Lazard or Claypool, I think you're seeing more and more of these bigger pass-catchers play multiple positions. And the more skill-position players can do, the more creative offensive play-callers can get.

Ben from Nekoosa, WI

I was at the Packers training camp for Marcedes Lewis' first year. He was training up an undrafted TE while learning the playbook himself. I like the re-signing this year with a younger TE class for him to help coach. Do you have a favorite player interaction story?

David Bakhtiari working with Rashan Gary after a training-camp practice last summer. That was neat to see. It doesn't get written enough but Bakhtiari has been proactive for years in imparting advice to young players.

Daryl from Watertown, WI

Are the Packers doing any kind of virtual broadcast for the draft?

We're still finalizing our plans for the draft and we will keep you posted. I promise we'll have you covered with stories, videos and analysis all three days.

Jean from Lakeland, FL

Why do things seem so uncertain in the NFL right now?

Because the world is so uncertain right now.

Jay from Land O' Lakes, FL

Guys, the Pack is famous for being unpredictable in the early rounds. For you, what would be the most unexpected first-round choice, something that you would never expect? For example, trading away some future first-round picks to grab a QB you never heard of. That would surprise me, but that wouldn't be the first time. "Jordy who?"

I wouldn't go that far but I would be intrigued if the Packers finally drafted a skill-position player in the first round for the first time in 18 years.

Jake from Lansing, MI

As a kid growing up in the '90s, one of my favorite receivers was Antonio Freeman. However, when we talk about receivers past, we rarely talk about Freeman. Is it purely just because of stats? Did other receivers outshine him? I recall Freeman was the clutch player and unstoppable. Can you help me re-calibrate my child-like memories? How should we view Freeman's contributions?

I don't know if I agree with that. I think Freeman is remembered like he should be – a really good possession receiver whose prime coincided with one of the greatest three-year runs in team history. He didn't have a 15-year career but Freeman was a prominent part of the offense's success during his first seven seasons in Green Bay.

Ben from Pensacola, FL

The transition isn't easy, but watching Reggie Begelton's tape shows that he dominated – even when the CB had good positioning. At the very least, I can't wait to see what he can do. Also, I don't see buffets going away after this slows down. At least not in America. As long as people are desiring to have that variety, they'll go for it. If people's desire does decrease, then the buffets will start disappearing.

And keep in mind, it's not that Begelton washed out of the NFL. Nobody even called him after the draft. The CFL, from what I gather, was his only opportunity. So let's see what he can do. While Spoff has buffets on his list of post-quarantine questions, movie theaters are at the top of mine.

Timmy from Chicago, IL

I'm picturing draft day looking something like this: Gutey has his office set up to be the draft room, with Goodell and the other GMs. Then, he walks out of his office into the dining room, and he has another conference call set up with his Packers brain trust. He runs back and forth between rooms a lot and has his phone open to talk trade offers (serious offers only; no time to feign interest). The hardest part of all of this will be keeping the wife and kids in the basement for three days.

And, as I've discovered, keeping them off the WiFi.

Cody from David, KY

Hey guys! Love what you do. Really helps me pass the time when I'm not writing songs (I'm a musician). Two questions: 1. How much can Mike bench? The people need to know! 2. What's the deal with the throwbacks this year? The people need to know!

Oh Spoff? He puts up like two-fiddy on the bench. The Packers are taking a year off from a third uniform. The organization is planning to introduce the next third jersey for the 2021 season.

Gary from Hayward, WI

Speaking of WR combos, how about James Lofton, John Jefferson, and TE Paul Coffman all making All-Pro in 1982? The '83 Yearbook said it was the first time this had ever happened, and I would doubt it has happened since. QB Lynn Dickey doesn't get much love due to his limited mobility, but he was one of the most accurate passers around. I feel that helping three pass-catchers make All-Pro in the same year speaks volumes for his ability.

I feel like I say this every offseason but Dickey is one of the most underrated players in Packers history. The man was one of two QBs who threw for more than 4,000 yards in 1983 and one of only 10 who surpassed 3,000. The Packers didn't win a lot in the early '80s but you cannot tell me those offenses weren't entertaining.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

Mina Kimes does a podcast called ESPN Daily and recently had an episode about Curly Lambeau and a, perhaps intentional, fire at the Packers training facility that saved the organization from bankruptcy and possible extinction. It was a very interesting story I hear never heard of before. Do you know anything about this?

Yep. And here is the rest of the story from Cliff Christl.

Tim from Windsor, CO

Regarding all the questions about QBs switching teams late in their careers, I believe Peyton Manning is the only starting QB to win a SB for two different teams, correct?

Facts. Kurt Warner and Craig Morton are the only other Super Bowl-winning QBs to start another with a second team.

Adam from Johnston, IA

Which type of cookie is your favorite?

Oatmeal chocolate chip.

Dave from Bono, IN

How come we aren't using microphones on the "Three Things" videos? Even if it's fake, we got to keep something normal.

I'll make sure to grab my son's Fisher-Price microphone when we restart "Packers Unscripted" next week.

Shannon from Ovilla, TX

Who knew that Lori from Brookfield was a hall of famer in more than one way? Thanks to her and all the other medical personnel, first responders, police, fire, and essential workers for their work during this time. Show them kindness, especially those in grocery stores and retail shops. They want to be as safe as the rest of us and are just doing their jobs. Happy Easter to all!

We've made it a month, folks. It hasn't been easy but we are here. And that's thanks to all of those individuals you listed. While many of us will not be able to congregate with our loved ones for Easter this year, I hope all of you can enjoy this weekend to its fullest. See you next week.