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The deeper the position, the stronger the production

You have to be able to ride with the changing tide to win it all


Paul from Milwaukee, WI

A lot of talk has been going around about Martellus Bennett and how he is going to open up the middle of the field. I think what's getting lost in all that talk is the fact that Lance Kendricks may be the one who gets a lot of looks. With three-tight-end sets, I can see him emerging as the go-to receiver since Adams, Nelson, Bennett and Richard Rodgers will be taking up most of the opponents' coverage guys. As much as I see Bennett being a weapon, I think Kendricks could have the better year statistically. What do you think?

Kendricks is a laid-back guy, but don't overlook him. We're talking about an incredibly gifted veteran who is finally getting the chance to play with a Pro Bowl quarterback after being a starter in the league for six years. The Packers are lucky to have Kendricks in the fold. To your question, the team isn't interested in which tight end has the most production in 2017. It wants the whole group to be part of the process. The deeper the position, the stronger the production.

Matt from Green Bay, WI

With Sam Shields vacating the throne, who is the new speed king? Trevor Davis? I think they need to make this an open competition at minicamp for the fans.

That's a good question. I'll have to ask around. My gut would say probably Davis, Jeff Janis or Josh Hawkins. I'm sure Kevin King and Josh Jones are in that conversation now, as well.

Joshua from Mattoon, WI

Do you remember the hit Ha Ha put on Martellus Bennett his rookie season near the goal line to stop a score? Bennett was already a monster back then and that hit prompted me to stand in line and get Ha Ha's autograph the next week. Standing next to him I couldn't believe how he stopped Bennett with his size, great player. I am excited to have them both on the same team now.

Great memory. I forgot about that play until you mention it. I remember how in awe I was of Clinton-Dix being able to keep the 6-foot-6, 275-pound Bennett out of the end zone (with an assist from Micah Hyde blocking the replay camera). It was just a pivotal play in that game. That was one of the moments we started to see how good Clinton-Dix could be. I don't know many safeties could make that play.

Anton from Green Bay, WI

Will there be any official injury updates during the remaining parts of the offseason on the likes of Corey Linsley, Demetri Goodson and Vince Biegel?

NFL teams don't have to release injury information during the offseason program, but both Linsley (ankle) and Goodson (knee) said this spring they're making progress. That's especially good news in Goodson's case. That was an unfortunate injury he sustained in Washington.

Rich from De Pere, WI

Watching OTAs earlier this week and it hit me that we have an undrafted FA long snapper and undrafted FA holder working with Mason Crosby. Can you remember the Packers ever going with that setup? And, does it concern you?

There are still three months between now and the regular-season opener, so a lot could change. At the same time, I wouldn't be concerned if things stay as they are. Most punters and long-snappers start their careers as undrafted and unproven free agents.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

I've been thinking that like me most of the fan base considers a second Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl an eventual certainty. The problem/concern comes when we look at the Dan Marino case and realize that nothing is guaranteed. Do you feel that this is a prime source of angst? Is it fair that we can't accept or imagine a world in which Rodgers doesn't lead us to another Super Bowl title?

I don't think this should be a cause of angst among fans. I understand why it's a topic, but there are better things to worry about. Rodgers is one of the top players in the league, if not the best, and still in the prime of his career. He's doing everything possible to extend his playing career, too. Tom Brady went 10 years between titles and then won two more after his 37th birthday. We still have a long ways to go with QB1 before this conversation is even relevant.

Perry from Carrollton, GA

Now that the Packers have some talent, would it be better to go back to a two-back offense? Just think how much more you could do with this offense.

The Packers already run a lot of two-back sets with Ty Montgomery and Aaron Ripkowski, who carried the ball better than I think anyone anticipated last season. I'm not sure how many two-halfback sets you need with someone as well-rounded as Ripkowski back there.

Robert from Orem, UT

One aspect of coaching I admire about the Packers is knowing when to let go of a Pro Bowl player. Favre, Sitton, and so forth. With little experience playing against NFL starters, how does a coaching staff go about evaluating whether a second-string player is ready to step up to the starting position?

I think what often gets overlooked is how well the coaching staff and personnel department know these players. Fans see Sundays, but there are another six days in the week. Building off the two examples you provided, the Packers had three years to study and develop Aaron Rodgers and Lane Taylor. When they handed the keys to both players in Year 4, the Packers had a good idea of what they were getting. You can't predict how a player will perform once the lights are on, but you know what's inside of them.

Bill from Cedrivk, MD

Do the Packers still see Spriggs as an OT, or do you think he will make the transition to OG?

Barring something unforeseen, the Packers are developing Spriggs as a tackle. If you look at him, it's pretty obvious that's where his future is in the NFL.

Ralph from Fiscardos, Kefalonia, Greece

The Patriots have had the same identity for years – they find a way to win. Isn't that what we as fans want? Let's have 10 years of that.

It's not easy to win in this league. You could just as easily go through 10 years of what the Browns, Jaguars and Bills have experienced the last decade.

Dale from Owatonna, MN

You want a great football movie? How about the Brett Favre story? It has just about everything you need as far as the highs and lows of sports and life, and very interesting characters.

Documentaries seem to have replaced movies in the sports world, but your point is still valid. A Favre "30 for 30" has to be coming, right?

Jason from Toronto, ON

Hi Insiders, which receiver has stood out to you the most in OTAs, at least in the sessions open to the public?

I thought Trevor Davis made a few nice plays during the portions of practice available to the media. The speed is undeniable. He's looking to put the rest together in Year 2.

Paul from Peoria, IL

Do you think we will see Trevor Davis on returns again? Before his muff, he showed some real speed and talent. Of course Janis is actually just as fast and quicker in the three-cone drill.

Davis will be part of the competition this summer. He flashed a lot of ability on punts before Randall Cobb and Micah Hyde handled the job during the second half of the year.

Joel from Geneseo, IL

Just watched a 1976 Packer highlights film on YouTube. Lynn Dickey No. 10. Care to 'splain, Lucy?

No. 12 was taken when he was traded to Green Bay. I believe it was in 1980 he made the switch.

Jim from Appleton, WI

I know Vic's opinion on running up the score. I want to hear others. I don't like it, until it's professional sports. Then I have no issue. Reason being, high school and college players are doing it for the love of the game. School is, or should be, their primary focus. Pro sports is their job. If you're a professional offensive player, you are paid to score points. Professional defensive players are paid to prevent. I believe in the world of pro sports, if you don't like it, stop it. It's your job.

There's no place for it in prep and college sports. By and large, you're preparing kids for life beyond sports. Running up the score sends the wrong message. I'm still not in favor of it at the professional level, but everyone knows what they signed up for.

Jon from Eden Prairie, MN

Fan: How's Kyle Murphy looking? Wes: Like a big offensive lineman without pads. It may be the offseason, but it looks like Biff is in midseason form.

I wish I could claim ownership of that brilliance, but that was all Spoff. Perhaps the line of the year so far for Inbox.

Mike from Somerset, WI

Don Barclay and Joe Thomas have earned the accolades from the best players and coaches on the Packers. It reminds me of a famous Mark Twain quote: It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Historically which longshot on previous Packers' rosters most embodied this quote such that it resulted in them making the team?

I'd have to say Chris Banjo is up there. He was labeled as too small to play in the NFL by many coming out of SMU. He had a small shot at surviving the cut to 75, let alone 53, after signing with the Packers days into training camp in 2013. Yet, Banjo has carved out a career for himself in the NFL. On the current roster, LaDarius Gunter is another example of a player who didn't allow outside perception to deter him.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

It seems that the world of sports journalism is changing quite a bit. Any thoughts on what the staff reductions at ESPN mean to your field?

I don't have much to add other than John Clayton is one of the nicest human beings I've come across this business. I doubt he even remembers who I am, but I cannot thank him enough for how kind and gracious he was the first time I met him in 2012. A true gentleman. I wish him nothing but the absolute best.

Todd from Carson City, NV

In the conversation about league parity, it occurred to me that another major contributor to parity in the NFL is the risk of injury. Every team is an injury or two away from being out of it, or suddenly having a shot.

It's a good point. Health is the great equalizer and it works both ways. The Super Bowl XLV team will go down as one of the greatest in franchise history for its ability to handle adversity and adapt to new personnel. You have be able to ride with the changing tide to win it all.

Sean from Chanhassen, MN

Why don't I see any love for "Remember the Titans," you bunch of heartless robots? Left side! Strong side!

Oh, I have provided plenty of love. That's one of my favorites regardless of sport or genre.

Mark from Westernport, MD

Regarding the tanking issue, is it really even possible to intentionally lose games in the NFL? I find it ridiculously hard to believe any coach could convince 53 highly competitive athletes (who are playing for contracts which are almost exclusively dependent on game film) to not do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Great column, by the way.

I've never understood the notion of tanking. In my opinion, I think it's more of a narrative that develops when a team keeps losing rather than an actual state of mind. Athletes want to win. I don't care what the record says.

Jessi from Sterling, WI

I still say offseason is a good time to get to know the Insiders more. I'm still waiting for the answer...Which of you are the coffee drinkers? What's your favorite way to have it prepared? Is it better in a Packers mug? You know, that sort of thing.

Two creams, no sugar. My boss, Duke Bobber, gave me a "Game of Thrones" coffee mug for Christmas last year, so that's usually where my coffee resides on weekday mornings.

Ron from Mesquite, NV

According to the team roster, Ty Montgomery still has No. 88. I thought he was going to be getting a new number now that he is officially a RB. When does he get his new number, or is he keeping 88?

I'm not mad, Ron. I'm just…I'm just disappointed.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

It's your turn for the Inbox. What's your typical Saturday? Get to work at, head home at, etc.?

I'm participating in my first Bellin Run on this particular Saturday. So if you'd excuse me, I have an asthma attack to catch. Have a great weekend, folks.

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