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It's a new home, but a familiar feel

There's something special about playing for only one team


Nick from Chicago, IL

I just want to watch football.

Soon, Nick. Soon. Good morning!

Steve from Granger, IN

I absolutely love our 2018 draft class. I think several will move into starting roles in 2018. What I am most excited about are Jimmy Graham and even more so Muhammad Wilkerson. I truly believe he will be the best FA signing across the league. Everyone is clamoring to find the next edge rusher. I think he will dominate and will answer that call. What has your feel been so far with Muhammad?


Over seven seasons in New York, Wilkerson recorded 498 tackles (324 solo), 44.5 sacks, two interceptions, 26 passes defensed, 10 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown. Photos by AP.

The signing of Wilkerson would be noteworthy in itself, but his history with Pettine makes it unique. There aren't many instances when a star player (still in his prime) reunites with his original defensive coordinator in a new city. Wilkerson is still only 28 with a lot of football ahead of him. Pettine knows Wilkerson's strengths. They talked about it when he visited with the Packers in March. That should hasten this transition. It's a new home, but a familiar feel. **

Ryan from Santee, CA

I don't know if people realize that Mike Pettine and his defense took Mark Sanchez to the championship game. And Joe Philbin was our coordinator when AR12 broke records in 2011. I can't wait. So the question is – is it football yet?

History won't tell you what will happen, but it provides an illuminating look at what has worked in the past. All we have to go off of are track records. Pettine and Philbin both have a lot to hang their hats on as coordinators.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Aaron Rodgers has said he would like to quarterback in Green Bay into his 40s. What are the benefits of playing his entire career for one team?

Legacy. Rodgers has talked about this in the past. There's something special about playing your entire career for only one team. Bart Starr, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Robin Yount, Ray Lewis, Derek Jeter, Joe Thomas and the list goes on and on.

Mo from Bartlett, IL

I feel as if Justin McCray is not getting the respect he deserves and a lot of people just don't give him enough credit. He should be our starting right guard, in my opinion. Anyone who thinks otherwise should look at Aaron Jones's touchdown run against the Saints this past season, am I right?

McCray put himself in contention for the job with how he played last year. I'm sure he'll be the first to tell you one year doesn't make a career, though. McCray has to come back with the same hunger and intensity he had last summer. He's gritty, sneaky athletic and provides versatility. If an offensive lineman can harness those three traits, he'll play in this league for a long time.

Bryce from Ames, IA

I'm excited to see Josh Jones in his second year. Could you see the Packers signing one of the many talented safeties available in free agency for depth and competition at the strong safety position?

Not right now. Let Josh Jones, Kentrell Brice and the other returning safeties battle it out for that starting job.

Máté from Budapest, Hungary

As a fan from Europe, I always found it interesting how much Americans hate games ending in a tie. In your response to Marcus from Chicago – who raised an interesting point in my opinion – you implied that a ticket would be worth less if there was a tie. As a non-American, I can't even imagine how anyone can think like that. A game is a game, and eliminating overtime would further increase parity, as all tickets in the country would be worth 60 minutes of football. Could you please explain your thought process on this for us, foreign fans?


American fans want resolution. Look at the 2002 MLB All-Star game. It was a catastrophe. Even the Packers' 2013 game against Minnesota, the atmosphere after the 26-26 tie was bizarre. Nobody – fans, players and media – knew how to react to it. Fans want to experience emotion at a sporting event. They don't know how to react to indecision. **

Nate from Austin, TX

How effective can two elite defensive tackles be in a 3-4 scheme versus a 4-3 scheme in your experience?

What's your definition of effective? Against the run? Jet-rushing the QB? Both? I honestly don't think it matters – 3-4, 4-3, 2-4, whatever. Playmakers make plays. Statistically, a 4-3 defensive tackle probably is going to put up the gaudier numbers, but nose tackles in a base 3-4 can be just as effective executing the scheme.

Matt Morrissey from Waunakee, WI

When comparing the careers of A.J. Hawk and Chad Greenway, Mike forgot one important stat: Super Bowl victories.

Hawk's durability was never more important than during that 2010 season, either, with Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar ending up on injured reserve.

Gina from Waukesha, WI

Just wondering. Has an undrafted free agent QB ever started in the NFL and been successful?

There's actually quite a few. Warren Moon and Kurt Warner are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tony Romo, Jeff Garcia, Dave Krieg and Jake Delhomme all had distinguished careers after going undrafted.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN and the Inbox seem to have a sizable number of readers down under and I'm curious to their take on Jordan Mailata being drafted by the Eagles. I watched his rugby highlight tape and he's a very impressive athlete. If he makes the roster, will it have an impact on NFL viewership in Australia? I also wonder if the NFL will ever consider a preseason game there.

He's an impressive athlete with unbelievable size, but they said the same about Babatunde Aiyegbusi. Mailata is starting from scratch. The Eagles will have to be patient with him. It'll take more than making the roster for Mailata to create a larger pipeline to Australia. Jarryd Hayne made the 49ers in 2015 and I don't know how much it grew the game's popularity in Australia. You need impact players.

Tom from New York, NY

Did the Packers let Jeff Janis go because they know the rough-and-tumble gunner position is about to go extinct? On a related note, since the league is all about safety, should the name "Hard Knocks" be changed to "Light Shoves"?

The gunner position isn't going anywhere. The Packers are looking for another player to emerge. Drafting JK Scott also is a game-changer. If he comes as advertised, it should increase the margin for error on punt coverage.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

As their Canton careers wind down, who do you suspect retires first: Brady, Brees, Manning or Roethlisberger? I lean towards Eli.


The Packers celebrate National Bike to Work Day with the long-standing tradition of players riding bikes to practice during training camp. Photos by Evan Siegle,

I could see Eli retiring first depending on how things play out this season in New York. He's been a starting quarterback for 14 years. I'm not sure how interested he'd be in competing to be a starter elsewhere or serving as a backup. I'll believe Roethlisberger retiring when I see it and Brady probably will play until he's eligible for Social Security.**

Richard from Sullivan, WI

With the gambling OK now, what would have happened with Paul Hornung, and Alex Karras? Would they be exonerated for their betting?

No. The NFL still doesn't permit players to bet on league games. The same thing with the Pete Rose question two days ago.

Steven from Kansas City, MO

Although I'm usually old-school on issues, I don't see how a player betting on his own team to win compromises the integrity of the game so long as he isn't betting on a point spread. He's being paid to win for crying out loud! Any extra incentive to do so seems to be a good thing.

The act of gambling was only part of the equation with Hornung and Karras getting suspended. It also had to do with transmitting information on games to gamblers. NFL players make a good living. There are enough bonuses in contracts to provide more than enough motivation to win.

Lori from Winona, MN

The story of the 1919 World Series will tell you everything you need to know about why sports gambling is such a big deal.


Lou from West Pittsburg, CA

Gentlemen, I've been a Packers fan since 1969 and over the years the Packers have had a good amount of Cal Bears on their rosters. Besides Aaron Rodgers, do you have a favorite former Cal player that's played for the Packers? Mine would be Desmond Bishop.

How about Hardy Nickerson?

Scott from Hamlin, NY

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have compromised the integrity of the game on many occasions, are they in the Hall?


Nothing. I got nothing.**

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Which is more likely for the Packers' offense: A 1,000-yard rusher or two 100-catch receivers?

I'd say a 1,000-yard rusher because it's happened before. Two players eclipsing 100 catches would be unprecedented.

David from Oshkosh, WI

Is it possible that some fans are more attached to their fantasy picks and teams regarding how the Packers might play than to how they actually play? Asking for a friend.

That was my favorite part of the 2016 NFL season – fans clamoring each week for Ty Montgomery to be deemed a running back because of fantasy football. Coincidentally, that virtual space is the only place where Montgomery's listed position actually mattered.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

"Nobody in the NFL benefits from having Rodgers on IR"? I think the Vikings, Bears, and Detroit with all their respective fans might disagree with that statement.

I guess I could see that argument if one of those three teams were hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but the last time I checked they don't hand out rings for Final Four appearances in the NFL.

Luke from Sandwich, MA

Why don't more punters placekick? And vice versa?

But who would hold? The long snapper?

Jeff from Green Bay, WI

Playoff seeding in the NFL is proper and follows decorum. The people who complain about teams not making it in are forgetting one thing, probably the most important have to beat your own division teams first. If you can't beat the others in your own division, then you shouldn't get in. Next you would be ranked given your conference record, and lastly ranked on inter-conference record. It's all about making division games count greater than the outside games and building rivalry, even if the end result doesn't readily show it.

Everybody one clap.

Dan from Saint Louis, MO

Hey Wes, I am becoming a new father to a baby boy in October. We are leaning towards naming the baby Reggie or LeRoy in honor of our favorite childhood Packers. Who were your favorite childhood Packer players?

*Congrats! I'd say Butler. I respected how he played the game and he's now become this generation's Jerry Kramer, a tremendous ambassador of Packers football. *

Keith from Dearborn, MI

My buddy (Dan from St. Louis) and his wife are having a baby boy in October. There's no better way to welcome the baby than a 1996 custom Packers jersey. I'm really struggling on whom to pick. I'm leaning towards Chris Jacke. What would you recommend?

Jeff Thomason. Or Ron Cox.

Andrew from Tomah, WI

I have to give a best man speech on Saturday. Do you have any suggestions or one-liners to add where I can throw in the Packers to my speech? The bride and groom are big fans. I'll be sure to check out the Inbox before I speak for some inspiration.

My best advice is to not write out an entire speech. Jot down a list of topics you want to touch on, but don't read word-for-word off the paper. I don't have any one-liners for you, but I'd find a natural spot midway through your speech to work in a Packers reference.

Ben from Indianapolis, IN

So I thought I had a fairly decent understanding of the cap. However, I was looking at and became a little confused. The Pack has five players counting against the cap with dead money. I understand three of them, but how do DeAngelo Yancey and Damarious Randall count has dead money?

The remaining signing bonus of players who are traded or released counts against the salary cap for the following year.

James from Chicago, IL

Wes, does it bother you that the 1919 Kitchen & Tap changed the grilled cheese sandwich to a grilled pimento cheese sandwich?


Green Bay Packers employees packed backpacks, sorted donations, prepped and served meals for Ben's Wish, Paul's Pantry and New Community Shelter. Photos by Evan Siegle and Amanda Wery,

I saw that last week when I stopped in. Hey, live and let live. Just keep it away from my table. I'll take the snow pea and cashew salad (with grilled chicken).**

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

Kudos, Wes, on all your great articles! But I want to give positive feedback on another item: In the past, your headline was usually covered in the first two questions. Yesterday, I had to wait until question No. 5. I remember Vic sometimes burying it two-thirds of the way down. I love the anticipation!

Trying to mix-up my combinations. Thanks for following the coverage.

Austin from Atlanta, GA

"If the royal wedding were taking place in my backyard, I'd close the curtains." LOL, that's the best royal wedding statement I've read yet! Just 114 days left.


Luke from Dorchester, England

I look forward to the "Outsider's Inbox," however I must point out that it isn't uncharted territory as I believe Vic did it a couple of times.

Correct. We regret the error.

Will from Mount Laurel, NJ

Rodgers' injuries remind me of Tony Romo's late years. I'm scared.

Don't be ridiculous. It's Yanny, people! YANNNNNY!

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