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Defensive packages will keep expanding


Cliff from Denver, CO

No one messed with a member of the offense while T.J. was on the field and walked away without a confrontation. I will miss his "big brother" protective tendencies. I see Mike Daniels as the inarguable enforcer of the defense, but who will replace T.J. as our in-your-face, knock-your-chinstrap-off O-lineman?

I could see any of the four returning starters up front being that guy, when necessary. I think they all deferred to Lang in those instances in the past, but that doesn't mean they can't or won't step forward. I guess I'd peg Bakhtiari and Linsley as the favorites.

Daniel from Appleton, WI

How impactful do you feel that Marshawn Lynch will be for the Raiders this season? Sure seems like a lot of hype with the signing. Again, he is 31 years old and has sat for a full year.

Lynch will be an interesting test case for the 30-plus running back. If he comes back strong, will others in similar circumstances consider taking a year off?

Mike from Merton, WI

Biff, are you kidding me? You haven't seen "Fletch"?! Sit back, order a nice meal (putting it on the Underhills' tab of course) and enjoy one of the most classic and quotable films of all-time.

And he calls himself a journalist.

Eivind from Nordfjordeid, Norway

How can Geoff Gray be signed as a Packer and drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers eight overall? How does this work exactly?

At any point should he decide he'd rather play football in Canada, Winnipeg holds his rights. He's a valuable player north of the border because as a Canadian, no CFL team would have to use one of its international player exemptions to have him on the team. But he'd still get paid more here if he makes the roster.

Matthew from New Berlin, WI

I love Morgan Burnett. It does seem, however, that a lot of fans are overlooking the fact that the drafting of Josh Jones was in part looking ahead to next offseason.

In part, maybe, but not the primary motivation. Judging by what Mike McCarthy has said this offseason about the safety/linebacker hybrid position and how he wants to employ it more, I think drafting Jones was about finding a player in addition to Burnett who can take on the role. The future will sort itself out.

Joe from Appleton, WI

When a player is brought in under the "tryout" designation, how long are they a part of the team? Does the tryout cover only the rookie orientation, or does it extend into the OTAs as well?

It's only for rookie orientation. A player has to be on the roster to participate in OTAs.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Mike, with the Packers picking up the fifth-year option for 2018 on HHCD, will the Packers work on a long-term extension this summer/fall, or does this mean it will be put on hold for a year? And congrats to Ha-Ha on the "Top 100," well-deserved.

I'm not sure. This is the first time the Packers have exercised a fifth-year option. In the past, the only time I can remember contracts being extended with more than one year left were with QBs, so I guess we'll see.

Joe from Milwaukee, WI

I'm an avid Packer fan but enjoy keeping tabs on other teams. A Bears writer wrote, "Seriously, I don t even remember what it feels like to cover a playoff game." Makes you appreciate what (we) the Packers have. Just get in and roll the dice.


Connor from Waukesha, WI

I keep on hearing about why "this" guy is not being looked at right now in free agency. Yesterday, I learned a free agent signed after May 12 doesn't count against a team's compensatory pick calculation. I would expect these players to be signed pretty quickly after the 12th.

Actually, the cutoff day was yesterday. It's also possible they'll land somewhere when injuries hit during OTAs or training camp.

Bob from Rossford, OH

Biff's answer on replacing Peppers with the aggregate of the players in the room reminded me of "Moneyball." You don't find a Jason Giambi under every leaf but if you have enough leaves, you can get the job done. Does this work with every position other than "The Man" at QB?

It doesn't always "work," but it's the most viable approach when replacing a Hall of Famer, other than a QB. They're Hall of Famers for a reason.

Theodore from St. Louis, MO

What's your favorite breakfast cereal?

I like all kinds, but my son goes through frosted mini-wheats like there's no tomorrow. I've never seen such dedication to one breakfast food.

Larry from Yellow Springs, OH

This is the first year in a long time that I'm excited to see our defense. We have so many versatile players to run a multitude of schemes. How likely is it to see a 1-3-7 package with Clinton-Dix, Burnett, Jones, Brice, King, House, and Rollins/Randall all on the field at the same time?

The Packers have employed some seven-DB packages in the past, sparingly. I could see them becoming more common.

JD from Palm Bay, FL

I love watching the clips from the NFL "Top 100" list. The close-up footage and mic'd up sound lets you really understand how violent this sport is on the human body. Regular TV does not do it justice, and I have a ton of respect for these young men who willingly take the field every week. Keep up the great work, Insiders.

TV desensitizes us to the speed and physical nature of the game. It does the same to hockey for me. You get a completely different appreciation for the game when you watch it live and up close.

Ryan from Madison, WI

Spoff, the Inbox has gone off the deep end. Why does everyone want to get rid of Brett Hundley? Why would the Packers move a premier left tackle or right tackle to right guard? Surely they can't be serious?

They are serious, and don't call them surely.

Kurt from De Pere, WI

I feel like Spoff missed the mark when answering Josh from Oshkosh. "What do you expect would be some big topics in line for change when negotiations start for the next CBA?" Maybe Spoff is correct about the players' union negotiating for less power by Goodell, etc., but the big chip on the table is spelled M-A-R-I-J-U-A-N-A. I personally think the players will get some sort of marijuana concession in the next CBA; I also think they will overpay for it. The league is a pretty savvy organization.

You are right, this is going to be an issue.

Tom from Warwick, NY

If the league ever expands to 18 games, how would you want the two extra opponents chosen? I personally would like to see Tampa Bay from the old NFC Central days every year, with us going down in the fall one year and them coming up in the winter the next year. You know, rekindle the old Battle of the Bays rivalry. And the second opponent would be from the AFC, where a rivalry could be started and when the Packers play their division, they have two games that year. What are your thoughts?

I'd like to see them both come from the other conference, so not every AFC-NFC matchup is seen only once every four years. How to create an equitable rotation I'll leave to the mathematicians.

Sean from Brodhead, WI

How can anyone say Taysom Hill is "the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers" or anyone on the current roster for that matter? If we presume Rodgers plays for another six or seven years, which we all hope is true, his eventual replacement won't be drafted for another 3-6 years, right? If luck goes our way, we won't be seeing the heir for a long, long time.

Works for me.

Bruce from New Canaan, CT

I have to disagree with Wes's comparison of Charles Woodson's years in Green Bay making him a HOFer to those of Reggie White. Reggie White was a sure-fire HOFer before he put on the green and gold. Yes, he played wonderfully during his years with the Packers, but he did not need them to make his case for the Hall of Fame.

I would agree, though I think the Ron Wolf-Ted Thompson comparison as far as their highest-impact, free-agent signing is valid.

J-Roc from Idaho Falls, ID

So, any chance we fans ever get to see that rookie orientation/history video? I'll bet it's pretty good.

I'm sure it is, too, but I think the wizard will keep that curtain from being pulled.

Jimmy from New Richmond, WI

Spoff, now that I know you are a beer guy, what types of beer do you prefer? I love me some beer, and even though I don't like coffee at all, some of my favorites are stouts, or more specifically coffee stouts.

I'm not into the really dark stuff. Only once in a great while.

Matthew from Allentown, PA

Three GB Packers have already been named to the NFL Network "Top 100 Players" list. I'm thinking three more Packers will definitely be listed by the end: Rodgers, Nelson, and Bakhtiari. What about Adams, though? He did share the NFL lead in TD receptions. Do you guys think Adams will make the list?

I doubt it, but another step forward this year and we'll see. The only other one I'm wondering about is Martellus Bennett, but I'll be honest, in general I don't give the list much thought.

Matt from Clarkston, MI

If Letuligasenoa makes the team, will his last name be the longest ever written on the back of a Packer jersey? I already feel sorry for the seamstresses' fingers.

I found only one 13-letter last name on the Packers' all-time roster – Pete Van Valkenburg (RB, 1974), but the two-part last name is cheating. I did find several 12s: Carl Barzilauskas (DT, 1978-79), Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (DE, 2000-08), Mike Merriweather (LB, 1993), Chet Parlavecchio (LB, 1983), and Steve Pisarkiewicz (QB, 1980). Study up. There's a spelling test later this week.

Larry from Fairfield, CT

I was told that if a player is brought up from the practice squad for a game and then sent back after, he has to clear waivers. True? Why?

Yes, because practice-squad players are actually free agents whose contracts are different.

Del from Sterling, IL

What would you say are the chances that all three drafted running backs end up on the 53?

Probably not great, but the Packers would love to have a really, really tough decision to make.

Spencer from Monument, CO

Insiders, I understand that each player is their own man with their own personality, but if you were a head coach, would you encourage your players to be stoics that let their play do the talking, or would you want them to do a bit of trash-talking and play some mind games with opposing players?

I'd want my players to be themselves, as long as it wouldn't hurt the team.

Joe from Dundee, IL

I see that Gutekunst interviewed for the Bills' GM spot. At this point, do you think the Packers have decided on Eliot Wolf as the GM when TT retires, and this will not be letting him do any more outside GM interviews?

I don't think the Packers have decided on a definitive succession plan, and this offseason has shown they aren't going to stand in the way of others' career aspirations.

Dale from Oaktown, IN

I still love ya Spoff. I don't care for banana bread.

And I'm not falling for no banana in my tailpipe.

Chris from Sugarland, TX

A topic we aren't talking about enough – who's our long snapper?

At the moment, it's undrafted rookie Derek Hart from James Madison. Veteran Brett Goode is now a street free agent and remains an option.

Brad from Mounds View, MN

Insiders, why would McCarthy anoint Montgomery as the starting running back? In my opinion no one has earned anything yet at that position.

He's No. 1 on the depth chart now. I didn't hear McCarthy declare him the starter for Week 1, and I'm sure Montgomery didn't hear that either.

Josh from Seattle, WA

Per Mike's BAQ philosophy: What does your question big board look like? Do you ever watch a question slide past Vic and Wes and are surprised it dropped to you?

All the time, but more often, if I've set aside 10 questions when it's not my day, Wes will answer at least half of them. It's how he gets back at me for stealing his lunch.

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