Ben from El Paso, TX
What are your top five Super Bowl memories?
Limiting this to my lifetime, I’d say Brett Favre running down the field with his helmet in the air at Super Bowl XXXI, the end of Super Bowl XLIX (Patriots and Seahawks), the David Tyree catch, the Rams holding off the Titans, and a tie between Nick Collins sliding in the end zone during Super Bowl XLV and Charles Woodson (with a broken collarbone) raising the Lombardi Trophy. The memories are what matter most.
Bill from Menominee, MI
"...where he’ll (Whitt) be responsible for bringing the secondary and linebackers together to improve coverage communication, an area of emphasis coming out of last season." This is exciting as we've seen the Pack get torched for several years in that dead zone between the linebackers and secondary. My favorite thing about McCarthy is he typically delivers when he states that you get what you emphasize.
I believe James Campen was the first coach to tell me that when I started on the beat. When McCarthy places an emphasis on something, you almost always see immediate improvement. Keeping Joe Whitt Jr. on board was essential for the Packers in my estimation. He’s seen the areas where the defense must improve and knows what needs to be done to fix them. One voice leading the defensive coverage is the right path forward.
Gary from Minneapolis, MN
In Wes's excellent article about streamlining defensive communication, it says, "Having impressed McCarthy in the interview process, (Joe) Whitt was promoted to defensive pass game coordinator, ..." That sounds to me like MM is picking the defensive staff. I thought the DC picked his own staff. How does choosing a staff actually work?
*The final decision lies with Pettine, but both he and Mike McCarthy came away impressed with Whitt through the process and wanted him to remain on staff. It was the right fit for all parties involved. *
Roger from McGrath, AK
Off the field contributions and antics contribute to fame and infamy. Jerry Kramer has been beloved for decades while T.O. was kicked off his team. Don't you agree that the right and wrong choices in this dichotomy are obvious?
Keeping the focus on Kramer, I believe he’s been one of the Packers’ greatest ambassadors. He’s a prominent figure on one of the most decorated and successful teams in NFL history. His on-field contributions are worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What he’s done off the field solidifies it in my view.
Adam from St Louis, MO
In response to Joe from Clio, MI, John Kuhn's block on Julius Peppers in the 2013 season finale is pretty famous in my household.
And many other Wisconsin households.
George from Sturgeon Bay, WI
Max from Savage, MN, asked a question about eliminating the two-minute warning and it got me to wondering, what is the history of the two-minute warning?
I didn’t know the answer to your question, so I went to the internet, which says the two-minute warning was meant to ensure both teams knew how much time remained in the game. At the time, the stadium clocks in the NFL were unofficial. The official game time was kept by a member of the officiating crew. TV ultimately changed things years later, but the two-minute warning was kept as a guaranteed commercial break to help build tension and drama.
Todd from Wauwatosa, WI
Why is Rick Gosselin presenting Jerry’s case for the HOF? I would have thought that Pete Dougherty would be the presenter. I thought it was the responsibility of the voter from the player’s city that presents the case?
*Pete presents the Hall of Fame case for the Packers’ players from the modern era and contributors (i.e. Ron Wolf). The Pro Football Hall of Fame senior committee presents senior finalists like Kramer. *
Dennis from Toledo, OH
Hey guys, keep up the great work. I am a bit puzzled why Sam from Sioux Falls feels Kirk Cousins will get more money than Alex Smith. In light of the fact Cousins is being "dumped" by the Redskins, while a good quarterback, I just don't see anyone driving up to his house in a Brinks truck. What leverage would he have to command that kind of money?
He’s the highest profile quarterback to hit unrestricted free agency in his prime since Drew Brees. Furthermore, Cousins doesn’t have the injury history Brees did in 2006. I’m not saying he’ll get more than Smith, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Look at what Mike Glennon got last offseason. You’re going to have six or more QB-hungry teams watching Cousins’ every move this March.
John from Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Getting back to the injury bug and possible fixes, I read fairly recently about a medical study that studied how sleep affects injury rates. My question is this, if more sleep can prevent injuries, how could this be implemented with our youthful athletes?
*Rest and recovery are critical. I believe most studies have shown proper sleep is the key to recovery. The Packers preach this mentality in addition to their use of GPS technology, Monday activation workouts and the Friday STAA program to help players get their bodies back. *
Lisa from Edison, NJ
I've noticed that Richard Rodgers is almost always the player walking next to Aaron Rodgers as they walk through the tunnel before games. When Hundley took over last season, RR was almost always next to Hundley in the tunnel, as well. Is this a tradition in Green Bay or just coincidence?
I’ve never noticed to tell you the truth, so I couldn’t tell you whether it’s deliberate or not.
Ben from Kansas
Do you think Michael Clark might be utilized more this year? A 6-foot-6 target seems like someone AR could make into a mean threat to opposing defenses.
That’s up to Michael Clark to decide. He has all the physical tools and gifts to be an impact player in this league.
Jordan from Dallas, TX
I keep on seeing comments that you want to see Damarious Randall playing full-time slot corner, yet when he has excelled in the NFL, it has been when he has been the boundary corner. Why do you want to make a switch for a theory rather than keep him on the outside where he has shown that he can be a great corner for the pack?
*I disagree. While I won’t argue Randall can play inside or outside, the “star” slot cornerback maximizes his ball-hawking abilities. I’m with Spoff – if Randall could play that spot for an entire season, I think you could really see his game rise to another level. *
Ryan from Menomonie, WI
When a head coach is looking for new coaches, how do they go about deciding which coaches they want to interview? Is it simply by reputation, do they watch film on how said coaches’ players perform, or something different?
*A little of both. Sometimes it’s based on connections and sometimes it’s based on reputation. McCarthy and Pettine didn’t have a direct tie, but their paths have crossed from time to time. *
Ray from Concord, NC
Will the league ever change the spike-the-ball rule? If you look at intentional grounding rules, spiking the ball makes no sense. I personally do not like the rule.
Zac from Madison, WI
Does anyone do it better than The Rock? I could listen and watch him all day.
Greg from Ann Arbor, MI
The whole idea is asinine, but what the heck, it's the offseason: let's say the Packers did put Aaron Rodgers on the trading block. What in the world would a "fair" offer from another team look like?
*If I were a GM, there is no trade offer I’d accept for Aaron Rodgers. Why? Because how many quarterbacks drafted after 2005 would you rather have than 12? That’s more than a decade. Not a single one in my book. *
Al from Green Bay, WI
New England won the Super Bowl last year without Gronkowski. In this year's AFC Championship Game, the NE offense struggled while Gronk was in the game, and they mounted their comeback after he was out. Gronk has been cleared to play on Sunday. That's bad news for NE, right?
*Maybe a strange coincidence, but you’d have a hard time getting me to believe the Patriots are better without Rob Gronkowski on the field. *
Barry from Aberdeen, SD
Here is my Super Bowl controversy prediction. Three seconds left on the clock and the Patriots down five. Brady hits Edelman in the end zone. Bobbled. Ruled incomplete. Review initiated. New York says the catch is good. Gene Steratore is watching the same replay and overrules New York and calls it an incomplete pass (even though he can't do that but he can see it was bobbled)...game over...or is it??? More Patriots drama...stay tuned.
*Great stuff, Barry. Unfortunately, Edelman is injured. *
Scott from Fredonia, WI
Why not copy the replay review system used in golf? Just wait until a fan calls in and penalize the team later.
So what you’re saying is, “The Packers win. The Packers win. Jerry Rice fumbled and the Packers win!”
Tom from Iron River, WI
Is there one player that stands out to you for exceeding expectations from Game 1 to Game 16?
*Easily Blake Martinez. Based on training camp, it looked like he might back up Jake Ryan and Joe Thomas. He wound up leading the NFL in tackles. *
Dean from Orlando, FL
Has anyone else ever gone from Super Bowl champ, albeit as a backup, to Super Bowl coach – other than Doug Pederson?
There have been several. Mike Ditka, Tony Dungy, Dan Reeves and Tom Flores just name a few.
Tom from Tijuana, CA
How does an NFL team determine what percent of salaries they allot for the QB? When does high-paid QB venture in to the ridiculously paid QB realm?
*Honestly, I don’t think it’s insane to pay your quarterback 15-20 percent of your salary cap. It looks like that’s where this thing is trending. *
Erik from Balsam Lake, WI
The Rodgers/Van Pelt situation makes this a good time to ask a question I've been wondering for a while. What exactly does a position coach do on the professional level? I suspect that there's not much (fundamentally speaking) that a coach can teach an all-time great about the mechanics of the position. Is it all about instilling the game plan? Perhaps another way to ask this is: Why was Alex Van Pelt such a good fit as a QB coach for Rodgers?
*I think their personalities made them a good fit. Rodgers has talked in the past about the benefits of having a former quarterback as a position coach and Van Pelt played in the league for a decade. While there might not be as much to teach Rodgers as there is with a young quarterback, Van Pelt was tremendous with details and fundamentals. We’re on to a new chapter, though. Van Pelt has a great opportunity in front of him in Cincinnati and Frank Cignetti has worked with some of the game’s best. *
Kevin from Machesney Park, IL
Here’s a proposal for “fixing” the review process. The NFL hires a team of 11 former players and provides them immediate access to all available angles at whatever speed and zoom they want. They get 90 seconds to submit a ruling – majority wins. Ties defer to the call on the field. TV fans could even be switched to the live feed of the “Decision Room” instead of watching an official’s rump sticking out from under the hood.
*I respect your creativity, but I tune in to watch the game, not the calls. I want less off-the-field drama, not more of it. *
Jason from Austin, TX
If football is considered a game of inches, can we please have a better system in place for knowing where a ball goes out of bounds on punts? Does anyone else think it's incredibly silly to see a ref hold his arm up and ballpark where the ball went out of bounds?
I’m with you. If there is technology to show where a tennis ball flying at 90 miles per hour landed, how do we not have a device showing us precisely where a punt has gone out of bounds?
Jordan from Appleton, WI
Another reason to root for the Eagles: if the Patriots win, Martellus Bennett gets another Super Bowl ring. After the stuff he pulled this year and the things he said, that feels profoundly wrong.
I’m just going to leave this right here.
Alvino from Anaheim, CA
Do you think it would be a good idea to trade up into the top 10 in this upcoming draft? I don’t remember the last time we drafted this high. Plus with all the extra picks, we can get a really good player on defense.
*We won’t know whether it’s a good idea to trade into the top 10 until draft night. Unless you’re talking about No. 1 or 2, it’s nearly impossible to predict how the board falls into place. *
Jesus from El Paso, TX
What's bold about predictions for which we are not held accountable?
Nothing, really. The only time I’m ever reminded of them is when someone is right. That’s why I always try to be upfront when my forecasting is wrong – like how Ted Thompson was going to live to regret cutting Jumal Rolle.
Matt from Dyersville, IA
If there were a draft of movie quarterbacks, who would you take?
*Paul Crewe (movie) and Matt Saracen (TV show). I’d also sign Shane Falco as a college free agent. *
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Is your son pumped for his first Super Bowl? Is he cheering for Philly or New England?
He’ll probably be watching the Puppy Bowl with his mother, while I’m up in the bonus room. If I had to guess, he’ll be pulling for the Eagles. My wife loves their colors. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the game with an open mind. After all, there is only one Super Bowl. Enjoy it.