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Inbox: Young guys have to stay ready for the moment

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Dan from Niagara, WI

“Friday Feeling” pics showed Mike Pettine smiling. Couldn’t see it in the pic but someone must have been tickling him?

Or he’s just excited for a sunny, 80-degree Saturday in Green Bay. Good morning!

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

II, will the preseason game vs. the Raiders in Winnipeg satisfy the requirement for the Packers to play a game overseas, or are they still in the running for a game in London?

There is no requirement for NFL teams to play international games, so the Packers going to Canada in the preseason doesn’t jeopardize a future game in London. I really hope it happens in the Aaron Rodgers era. I think everyone does.

Jon from West Des Moines, IA

MVS and Davante’s first-season stats are eerily similar. Best NFL wide receiver duo in the making?

I’d be careful how much coal you’re feeding the MVS hype train, but he has a chance to be special. His speed is something to be feared. Cornerbacks and safeties have to be smart when lining up with a guy who can take the top off a defense in a flash. If MVS establishes himself as an every-down threat, it’s going to clear even more space for Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham to operate.

Mike from Park Ridge, NJ

Hello II, I really enjoyed the James Crawford story. Please explain how a non-starter moves up the depth chart. Does performance in shorts correlate to performance in pads and then correlate to performance in contact/games?

Unfortunately, it often has a lot to do with injuries. From 2009-12, it seemed like every inside linebacker besides A.J. Hawk became a starter as a result of injury – Brandon Chillar, Desmond Bishop, D.J. Smith, Robert Francois and Brad Jones. Hopefully, that isn’t why Crawford gets his big break, but young guys have to stay ready for the moment. It’s no different than how Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison stepped up on offense. Crawford’s calling card right now is still special teams, but he very well could be the next man up behind Blake Martinez and Oren Burks. I think that says a lot about the second-year linebacker, considering he wasn’t even on the roster a year ago at this time.

Scott from Martinez, GA

Just saw where Rodgers wants to target Adams 400 times. Is this giving away strategy and daring defenses to stop him? Or is it subterfuge to put eyes on Adams to free up other receivers?

Adams had one of the most prolific seasons for a receiver in Packers history last year and he’s still only 26 years old. He’s now one of the league’s top receivers, so why wouldn’t Rodgers want to feed him the ball?

Jesse from Santa Marta, Colombia

Regarding the disconnect between coaches stressing run game and media devaluing RBs. The running game resurgence is being accomplished with a full room of backs with complementary skills (the Patriots for the last couple SBs, the Eagles SB team to name a couple). They have four or even five running backs consistently contributing. The Herschel Walker days are gone. I hope to see the Packers going three or four deep regularly at that position this year. It's a long season.

Gone are the days where a single running back carries the ball 400 times a year like Kansas City did with Larry Johnson in 2006. The Patriots’ committee approach not only keeps the backs healthy and fresh, but it also makes it harder to prepare for. This Green Bay backfield has such a diverse collection of skill sets, with Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and Dexter Williams – and don’t sleep on Kapri Bibbs, either. He’s looked explosive this spring.

Andy from Mesa, AZ

Any chance that Trevor Davis makes the team? It seems unlikely to me, but not out of the question. Assuming so, for the sake of my question, who survives beyond Adams, Valdes-Scantling and maybe Allison?  

I like what I’ve seen from Davis. We all know what he’s capable of on returns, but Davis has made some plays on offense this spring. And before you start cutting the roster in June, a quick reminder the Packers kept eight receivers on their initial 53-man roster last year. Eight.

John from Green Bay, WI

Would it be wise to keep Josh Jackson on the team for competition?

Or to start. Geez, can we give a guy a year or two to develop? Jackson is 23 years old and a one-year starter at Iowa. As I wrote a few weeks ago, the Packers’ defense will need Jackson to get where it wants to go. Have a little patience.

Martin from Ottawa, Ontario

Could the Pack run pure man with the DBs we have? Or would Cover-2 be better.

You can’t specialize at one particular thing at this level. The game is too complex to do the same thing week-in and week-out, and be successful. That being said, Kevin King and Jaire Alexander can handle covering elite receivers on an island with over-the-top safety help. Shutdown cornerbacks are the ultimate wildcard for defensive coordinators. They really open up the playbook for the defense.

Jacob from Ironwood, MI

The mega-contracts that are being given out to quarterbacks have me thinking of the potential downside...Do you think that this new era of teams hitching their horse to one QB – with probable but not guaranteed skill – like Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, Mahomes can doom the team for years to come if things don't go well, like Wentz becoming injury-ridden and Prescott and Mahomes not as good as they seem?

If a team feels like it’s found its quarterback, it has to pay him before he reaches free agency. That’s just the name of the game with quarterbacks. Otherwise, you risk making Joe Flacco the highest-paid player in NFL history (for a brief time) when he has the leverage of free agency. Nick Foles isn’t walking through that door anymore for the Eagles. Wentz is officially “the man.” They had no choice but to lock him up long term.

Exclusive Packers and Paul McCartney merchandise is now available for the June 8 concert at Lambeau Field.

Jason from Des Plaines, IL

That’s awesome news about the Bart Starr tribute. I cannot wait to see the No. 15 on our helmets when it is all said and done this season. The ultimate celebration will be when we are hoisting the Lombardi Trophy come the end of the season, with our GM saying, “This one’s for Bart.” I hope the sticker on the helmet is a 15 inside of a star... that would be iconic.

There is no one more deserving than Bart Starr to be honored in such an amazing way. Starr and his family have meant so much to this organization over the past 60 years. I also was pleased to hear a Starr tribute was being planned for the home opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 15. Starr is such a great example of how one’s actions off the field establish a true legacy.

Jeremiah from South Bend, IN

I recently obtained my second Packers jersey. Next to No. 4, there is now a No. 21, Charles Woodson. Yes it was used, just like he was when he signed as a FA. Did he become a Hall of Famer in Green Bay?

He’s a first-ballot Packers Hall of Famer in my mind and a future Pro Football Hall of Famer whose career should be associated with his time in Green Bay. I expect “Charles Woodson” to be on the Lambeau Field façade someday.

Dan from Waupun, WI

What are your thoughts on inappropriate actions between athletes and fans? Should the fan that touched a player be banned? Should the fan that touched a coach have been banned? I don't see much difference. Is banning based on popularity?

There’s no room for that. You can’t shove people – at work, in public and most certainly at a sporting event. I’m also not high on fans giving head coaches in-game shoulder massages, but that’s a different topic for a different day.

Brandon from Nashville, TN

Hi II, I understand the positives and negatives of increasing the number of regular-season games, but my question is how would the NFL determine the additional opponents? The current formula seems like a great fit. Do you think they would add more non-conference games?

The current formula is a great fit for this reason. If the league did add an extra game, however, I think it would have to be an extra non-conference opponent. I don’t see any other way to make it fair.

John from Madison, AL

I really hope the NFL keeps the number of regular-season games at 16. Mainly because each added game dilutes the importance of each game played. I love the Brewers and the Bucks but for every 10 games the Brewers play and five games the Bucks play, the Packers play one. If the Brewers were to win or lose 10 games in a row and if the Bucks were to win or lose 5 games in a row, that would definitely impact their seasons. This is why watching the NFL sparks more of my interest. Please keep it at 16!

I think the NFL has the best of all worlds right now – the most important regular season and playoff system. If a team makes the NFL postseason, that’s a big deal. I see no reason to mess with that.

Thom from Belleville, IL

I don’t get the consternation about an 18-game season. Limit players to playing on offense or defense to 16 games, and expand the roster to 55 or so. Might have to make an exception for QBs, but they earn the most money now anyway. Union wins, owners win. What’s the problem?

You can expand roster sizes, but the league’s top players are still going to have to play anywhere from 18 to 22 games. I just can’t get on board with that.

Brian from Rochester, MN

In recent history, II has utilized abbreviations for efficiency: MM, TT, MVS, etc. Can we get a ruling on whether our new head coach is ML or MLF? TIA; TTYL.

I say MLF. What say you?

Matty from Janesville, WI

I took the Legendary Tour at Lambeau, which was amazing. What took me back the most is two things: 1) No cheering in the media booths. I got a kick out of that. 2) How plain the visiting locker room is. I couldn't believe it. An NFL locker room so generic, it reminded me of high school locker rooms. And the guide mentioned it was voted one of the best in the NFL, which leads to my questions. Which NFL stadium has the worst visiting locker room, and has anyone been kicked out of the media booth?

I’m glad you enjoyed the tour. Washington and Buffalo have the worst visiting locker rooms. I’ve also never seen anyone kicked out of a press box for cheering, though not for a lack of trying in some circumstances.

Justin from Wausau, WI

I really like Tony Romo as a color analyst. I am among those who thinks history will recognize him more for his second career than his first, and that he may go down as one of the best to do it. He's also a great person and a cool guy. But, Wes, a Hall Of Fame quarterback? Surely you jest.

That comment went over way too many peoples’ heads. Did y’all lose your sense of humor while I was gone?

Florian from Kronach, Germany

I just saw a video showing the waste of gems for the Patriots’ SB LIII rings. Who actually pays the jeweler for crafting the rings? NFL? Players? Owners?

I think the NFL covers the first 150 rings and teams have to handle everything after that.

Ross from Hudson, WI

What happens in minicamp that doesn’t happen in OTAs? Is the only difference mandatory attendance?

Pretty much. There still are no pads, but I think teams are allowed to practice longer than OTAs.

Fred from La Crosse, WI

As we’re talking about Packer jerseys, I’m getting ready for pre-, regular and postseason – have they assigned numbers yet for Spoff and Hod?

There’s a No. 88 joke in here somewhere, isn’t there?

Flavio from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Nice reply to my soccer comment, Wes! I, too, laughed pretty hard. As for football, my Brazilian friends who are not into it say it´s a good game to watch when you need to catch up on a lot of reading...I´m good with both games. The toughest part of soccer? No bathroom breaks!

Ha. I actually don’t mind soccer. I played it growing up, but I’m an extremely casual fan. I only get geared up when the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams play in the World Cup. Have a great weekend, everybody!

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