Charlie from Morgan Hill, CA
Insiders, I don’t know the actual percentage, but I would suggest the kickoff has already been eliminated with flags constantly for an illegal block in the back or holding. It seems inevitable that the returning team starts inside the 20. With high concussion rates this element is history, and I for one won’t miss the flags.
Aside from safety, this would be the most positive aspect of eliminating kickoff returns. I would love to find a stat indicating what percentage of kickoff returns these days do not result in a touchback or penalty. It has to be pretty low.
Dale from Friendswood, TX
My kickoff proposal – keep everything about the kick as it is, just eliminate the return. Make the ball dead as soon as it is possessed by either team. All kicks that become dead inside the 25-yard line are moved to the 25. The kicking team would have a chance to recover and the receiving team would still need to be prepared for onside, deep, or dead-zone (a la Alabama-Clemson) kicks.
I sense something to work with there.
Joe from Madison, WI
Who do you think will replace Jeff Janis as our gunner? My money's on Josh Jones – speedy and hard-hitting.
A strong candidate, for sure, provided he cuts down on the special-teams penalties from his rookie season.
Reed from York, PA
Why would the Browns sign Janis as a project DB after trading for Randall?
Amy from Bayport, MN
In discussing QB contracts, I have heard it commonly stated that Matt Ryan will do his deal before Rodgers. Does one really have any bearing on the other? I can’t envision a scenario in which Matty Ice and his manager agree that Aaron is a better QB and they must get their contract hammered out so Rodgers can top it. And although they are both super competitors, it’s also hard to imagine them playing contract chicken, seeing who will cave and sign first.
One will have a bearing on the other. You can count on that. I think both teams would like to see Rodgers’ deal get done first. Green Bay gets to use Cousins as the benchmark, and then Atlanta would have clear parameters within which to fit Ryan. For the players it might be the opposite. There’s currently no ceiling for Ryan if he goes first, and I’m sure Rodgers wouldn’t mind seeing another contract top Cousins. The offseason is still young.
Erwin from Dallas, TX
Mike/Wes, DE or CB seems to be the question with pick No. 1. Chubb is gone by 14 and possibly by 7. I think if Davenport, Key (off-the-field issues) or Hubbard is available at 14 and we hold and not move up, that's the direction I would go. The DE talent compared to the CB depth is limited. There is a good chance in Round 2 a quality CB is available such as Oliver, Alexander, J.C. Jackson, Carlton Davis or Nelson from Wisconsin. McCarthy continues to stress the importance of pressure on the QB. Thoughts?
The reported depth of the CB position in this draft versus the apparent lack of it at edge rusher could definitely factor into Green Bay’s early decision(s) if all else is equal. Generally speaking, other teams could look at it the same way as well, though no two draft boards are ever alike.
Todd from Wauwatosa, WI
Spoff, I have one name for you that I’m confident will change your mind on adding the DH to the NL...Jimmy Nelson.
That’s the moment when part of the purist in me died.
Matt from Oshkosh, WI
All these questions about draft-day trades has me thinking. If a team drafts a player another team really wants, is it possible to trade the rights to that player during the draft?
Absolutely. That’s how Eli Manning ended up with the Giants and Philip Rivers with the Chargers.
Erick from Charlottesville, VA
We have Daniels, Clark, Wilkerson, Adams and Lowry. Could this D-line be one of the most underrated units in the NFL?
It’s a solid group with special potential. How special is up to them, and I’m curious to find out.
John from Richland Center, WI
Could Josh Jones play a big role in who gets drafted in the first round? For example, if Roquan Smith and Derwin James were both on the board when the Packers pick, does that mean that wherever they plan on playing Josh Jones decides who they take with the first-round pick? Obviously we don't know how the Packers’ board is stacked, but let’s say for argument sake they had both players rated the same.
Need is a tiebreaker when the board gives you multiple BAPs.
Matthew from Shorewood, WI
What are your reasonable expectations for the return of Tramon? Will we see him similar to House where he is used sparingly, more as a mentor, or will he be utilized more than most are expecting? It's hard not to have high hopes for him based on his body of work.
I think it depends on how the rest of the offseason goes. The Packers are still in the process of filling their cornerback room. House would have played more had he been healthier. With three and four corners on the field most defensive snaps, I expect Williams to play a lot regardless, but in what role(s) is TBD.
Matt from Kule, HI
Good news that Spriggs and Rollins are progressing well with recovery from injury. Seems that both of them have had up-and-down careers so far. What is your assessment of the chances that either or both of them will become solid starters?
The ability is there and they’ve both shown, at times, they can play in this league. They need their health to allow them to maximize on their ability, and then we’ll know.
Jake from Greenville, NC
When McCarthy talks about “rewriting the playbook,” does that include simplifying the terminology, or are coaches who’ve done it as long as him pretty set in their ways with the names for various routes and stuff?
At the combine, he mentioned working with the new coaching staff on finding different, more efficient ways to teach the offensive concepts. If they determine simplifying terminology would help accomplish that goal, then they will.
Salman from Ventnor, NJ
Insiders, I was listening to NFL radio on my way to work in the morning and I heard them discussing the “targeting rule.” The radio host was saying how it's unfathomable for the average fan to truly understand the speed in which the game is played and how some of those hits are unavoidable. He said the only way to understand how fast the game is, is by being on the sidelines. Considering the average fan can't experience that, could you offer us some insight as to how fast the game is compared to college? An Insider analogy perhaps?
I don’t think I have a good analogy for you, but I’ll say it this way. Having begun my sports writing career at high school games, the first time I was on the sidelines at Camp Randall for a Big Ten game, I smiled and silently nodded my head a little. Processing the difference in speed seemed normal. A few years later, I was on the sidelines during a game at Lambeau, and I wasn’t smiling and nodding. My eyebrows raised and my jaw dropped, immediately. It wasn’t normal.
Keith from Lincoln, IL
Do we start calling Cleveland “East Green Bay?” What other situations besides Cleveland-Green Bay currently do you remember where two franchises were closely linked because of front-office ties?
The Packers and Seahawks were similarly linked when Mike Holmgren left and began building his front office out west, which included Ted Thompson and Mike Reinfeldt, plus a young John Schneider for a year. The connections led to the Ahman Green trade.
Mark from Iron Mountain, MI
You talk about injuries forcing the coaches’ hand and shortening several players’ careers, yet we hear nothing on what is planned to reduce these injuries. Why?
Because if anyone could plan to prevent what happened to Collins, Finley, Franklin and Shields, everyone would. As for other types, pulled hamstrings and other soft-tissue injuries can be avoidable. A ton of data and research has gone into and been applied to the training, but nothing is foolproof. As for the collisions that break bones and wreck shoulders, and the pileups that twist ankles and ruin knees, find another game. Fans all want a scapegoat for injuries and a way to avoid them. I don’t think the former is meaningful nor the latter realistic.
Barton from Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico
During the Packers-Cowboys game from last season, Aaron Rodgers adeptly avoided a direct hit to his head from a D-lineman running like a bull with his head down while Aaron was in the grasp. Cowboys were penalized 15 yards. If it were not for Rodgers' ability to avoid the hit he would have been ear-holed and probably suffered a concussion. After the play, Mike Pereira said he thought the flag should not have been thrown since direct contact to head was not made. Doesn't this new rule show he was absolutely wrong? Would that player be ejected under the new rule?
Based on the new rule, the flag would certainly be warranted and an ejection under consideration, probably by the replay official.
Dale from Kettering, OH
A lot of people speculated that Schneider would play “Moneyball” and let Wilson go after his rookie deal ran out, despite his production. Do you think it will ever happen with a top young quarterback?
I can’t imagine a GM staking his career on such a gamble. What you know you have versus what you might be able to find? The operative word being might? Immense risk.
Bruce from Milwaukee, WI
Speaking of misspellings it's actually Gino's East, gentlemen.
Further evidence it has definitely been too long.
Zack from Dayville, CT
Mike you mentioned, "I would officiate, and my goal would be no replay challenges." It is impossible. We need the correct call. Did the ball hit the jersey? Was that a clean catch? Did the dodgeball hit the floor before the foot? I demand that all high school "bombardment" games install instant replay. Ahh, nevermind, dodgeball is clearly too dangerous and should be banned, you know, just like a NFL kickoff.
Sounds like it’s time to call it a wrap on my week. Enjoy the Easter weekend, everybody.