Mike's Mid-Week Chat: Are more roster changes coming?

Senior writer Mike Spofford answered fan questions in a live chat

GM Brian Gutekunst

Hey everybody, thanks for logging on. Hope everyone is safe and healthy. Let's get started.

Mike, I already knew this but now my gut is telling me I'm really missing playing racquetball and hockey. What's your gut telling you you're missing? (Just checking to see if you feel like answering this today.)

Ha, I definitely miss my racquetball games, not just for the exercise but the friends I play with on a regular basis. I also miss baseball. I'm sure I'd have gone to Miller Park at least 2-3 times by now, and weeknight evenings in the offseason are a lot more fun with ballgames to watch.

Will Gute look for vet WR help?

It's always possible, but at this point he's only going to bring someone in he knows is better than who he already has. That was how he approached the third day of the draft when he decided against selecting any.

Do you anticipate any trades or veteran signings before the season starts?

There are probably players who will come available, and he's made those types of moves before, both in the offseason and during the season. Gutekunst looks at roster-building as a 24/7/365 endeavor. He never looks at it as his roster is set, but he's not going to sign guys just for the sake of being active. Moves have to improve what he has.

Mike, what is your take on the season? Empty stadiums? I have made hotel and flight reservations for the Jaguar's game. What do you think the odds are of the game being played with fans?

Those are the questions everyone wants answers to, and I don't have any better idea than anybody else. Science and safety are going to dictate where this goes, and just as we had no idea three months ago we'd be here today, there's no telling where we'll be three months from now.

Any word on the Packers draftees signing contracts ?

I have not heard of any yet, but that doesn't surprise me. Draft pick contracts, especially the higher picks, carry significant signing bonuses, so I don't see any urgency to get the deal done and dole out the cash when the players can't even come to Green Bay yet.

Mike, happy Wednesday! You, Wes and Vic help keep me sane these days. Much appreciated.

We do our best. Thanks for your readership.

What is the best home game to go to this year?

Outside of the division rivalries, I think it's the Eagles game.

Mike, this is for all the guys you've corrected for their grammar: the numbers "between" 0 and 100 do not include 0 and 100. Has there even ever been a jersey numbered 0 or 100 worn in the NFL?

I recall Ken Burroughs for the Oilers and Jim Otto for the Raiders, back in the day, wearing 00. It had been outlawed by then by the league, but they were grandfathered in and allowed to wear it until they retired.

Any idea what the schematic changes are that will improve the run defense?

I don't think it'll be anything earth-shattering. It's about gap responsibilities and how those play off of one another. I'm not an X's and O's guy, but I've always believed run defense is easier to fix than pass defense.

What is the first question you'll ask Aaron Rodgers when you get the opportunity?

What's the biggest collective challenge this team will face in 2020?

I think the 'scheme' on D to be better is young guys playing better.

That's certainly part of it. Teams are always counting on their young players to keep improving, and that message is sent more emphatically when draft picks aren't used at certain spots.

Mike, what in your mind the single biggest reason the packers have survived and thrived for so long through such unlikely circumstances?

Over the course of 101 years? That's a better question for Cliff, but the ownership structure and the fans got them through the toughest of times. Then ever since Ron Wolf turned around the team's fortunes on the field, financially the organization has been in solid shape.

What is the typical career path to become a GM? Or is it all over the place?

The most common path is to move up through the scouting ranks, but some former players have become GMs, and others have gotten there through climbing the administrative ranks. There's no single path, but scouting would be the most common.

If the 2020 season were to be completely cancelled due to the virus, would contracts still lose a year to them, or are they written in a way that indicates a season has to be played. For example, would Aaron Jones be a free agent if the season got cancelled?

I have absolutely no idea. People keep asking this question, and I don't know what's in the CBA and/or what kind of negotiations would have to take place to handle such a situation.

If Rodgers gets hurt who comes in as the backup? Jordan Love??

To be determined. It depends where Love is in his development vs. Tim Boyle when the season starts.

With the influx of WRs taken via draft, seems safe to assume Packers brass expect few drops and potential trades to surface... kinda felt like that was the plan going into the draft?

I don't think that was the plan going into the draft. I think the Packers had legitimate interest in some receivers in the upper rounds, but the right guys didn't fall to them at their spots, and/or they were too far away to trade up. Once the first few rounds went by, as I said before, it became a matter of anyone being better than what Gutekunst felt he had at the position, and he didn't see the value.

I'm not sure if you have HBO Go but if you do you should check out the documentary about the friendship between Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. It has some really good insights on what coaches do.

I haven't heard much about that, but thanks for the heads-up. I'll try to find a way to watch it.

Could an NFL team forfeit its 2020 games, even if the league restarts amid public health warnings against gathering?

I don't see the league defying public health officials as far as the crowds at games, if that's what you're asking.

Would you agree giving Aaron Rodgers a large extension and a year later trading up to draft his replacement sends mixed signals? Is it all part of the plan?

I'm not sure one has anything to do with the other, though I understand how it looks awkward. His extension was the right thing to do at that time. No one knew what opportunity might present itself in the following draft or how the Packers would feel about any given QB. Gutekunst felt that move was the right thing to do at that time.

I think best case scenario is Boyle gets to have a game like Matt Flynn vs the Lions wk. 17. Then, if Love is ready to take over QB2, we can trade Boyle for some big asset! Probability?

I think we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Let's just see what happens.

Is anything taking place virtually now between coaches and players?

Yes, they're having daily meetings online. I'm not sure at this point if it's by position group or offense/defense or what the parameters are, but they are having daily sessions.

Mike, I just received the Invincible DVD in the mail this week and now have Skillet's "Feel Invincible" burned into my mind thanks to you (and I do thank you). What old movie have you rewatched most recently?

I've actually been going back and watching a lot of ESPN 30-for-30 movies, some I missed before, others re-watching a second time. So much good stuff there. This past week I've gone back to a book to reduce screen time a tad. I'm working my way through the third Bourne novel.

Have you seen the Rams' new uniforms that were released this morning? Thoughts?

I caught a quick glance. I've always been a fan of the blue and yellow helmet they had when I was a kid. I don't think they ever should have changed it.

Why can't Favre just shut up? Does he need this attention ?

Favre is accommodating the media requests that come his way, and he knew they would be coming. It sounds to me like he's being pretty honest, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's up to you whether you want to listen to what he has to say.

The Packers were one game away from the Superbowl last season. Do you think the Packers draft is a reflection of Gutekunst thoughts of the current talent on the team? Maybe, he feels the Packers are just a few role players and coaching decisions away.

No, I think Gutekunst approached this draft the way he approaches any draft -- with the strongest eye toward the future. The Packers being one game away from the Super Bowl had no bearing on how he went about it, in my opinion. If it had, I think we'd have seen very different selections.

I'd heard Lang was the 'enforcer' on the OL. I also heard Lucas Patrick is that guy now. Anything you've seen to back that up?

I would agree with that. You can see it on the field, who's the first O-lineman in the mix to stand up for someone? Those kinds of skirmishes start in training camp, and those two guys in particular were/are no different in practice or in games.

With the off season schedule upheaval, when will potential rule changes be discussed and finalized?

The spring owners meeting is supposed to take place virtually later this month (maybe next week?). So any potential rule changes or other issues that don't require collective bargaining will be discussed and presumably voted on then.

Mike, With an abbreviated training camp and likely shortened preseason schedule, which will impact the curb the development of rookies and other young players, is this the year to focus on getting more veteran players on one year prove it deals? They can step in more quickly to contribute and have incentive to perform for their next contract. We've seen some already (I.e. Rick Wagner, Devin Funchess, etc.) but do you see more of this before the regular and is this a reasonable approach in a shortened offseason?

I don't know. Young guys can't develop if they're not on the roster, so there's only so much room. I think it's a matter of finding the right balance.

Did you see the price of tickets for the Bucs game in Tampa? $200 for nose bleed section. Totally ridiculous. What a price to pay to watch the Tampa Bay Patriots play the Packers

I'm surprised it's not higher, frankly. I think it would be if there weren't so much uncertainty. I'm not one to ask what's worth it and what's not, because I've been fortunate to attend games for 14 seasons now.

Are flamin hot cheetos by far the best snack food?

Regular crunchy Cheetos are just fine in my book. But not the puffy ones. No thanks.

Puffy Cheetos stick to the roof of the mouth, annoying

Totally not worth the effort.

How many players will make opening day roster that is currently not on the team, excluding draft class

I would think the odds of those additions this year would be lower than in other years because of the limited offseason, but I'm not going to say zero.

For us out-of-staters what's the best Packer experience in your opinion besides a game? Attend a practice? Family night?

Family Night is pretty neat, when the weather cooperates. You can tailgate, entrance is cheap, the fireworks are always cool. To really get up close to the players, a training camp practice is your best bet.

Is it true, the Packers won't wear any other uniforms this year? No throw backs?

Correct, a third jersey/throwback has been shelved until 2021.

What do you think about having the receiving team on kick offs line up 5 yards farther back to increase the odds of kicking team recovery. Kicking team needs to run 10 yards, receivers 5 yards, if the onside kick is a perfect 10.

You're just asking for higher-speed collisions, though. The whole point of the new alignment rules is to make kickoffs safer.

Concerning the quarantine: Do we have to stay in quarantine with the same family all the time, or can we switch some time in the future? Asking for a friend

I think with Al Bundy's comment there, we'll call it a chat. Thanks for the participation everyone. Take care and be well. Best, Mike

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