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The upcoming season will tell us a lot

There's no one perfect formula for assembling a coaching staff


Patrick from Fort Collins, CO

Can this audience practice asking shorter questions?

You should see some of the soliloquys that people mistakenly believe I have an interest in reading.

Logan from Chippewa Falls, WI

What is your interpretation that Mike McCarthy has always had the stop-the-run mentality, and Mike Pettine immediately said stopping the pass is more important, and how might that affect the Packers' defense in 2018?

I don't see the two as conflicting or mutually exclusive, but I took it to mean Pettine is OK with giving up 4 yards per carry on the ground because most teams are going to throw the ball on third-and-2 anyway. I also think he believes it's much easier during a game to make adjustments to stop the run than to slow down a quarterback who has already found his rhythm.

Mark from Grand Rapids, MI

The league is going to review the catch rule again. What changes, if any, do you guys think should be made? Most of the more controversial plays, like Dez Bryant's, involve using the ground to gain control of the ball. If they allow that they'll be opening up a huge can of worms. I hope they don't make things worse.

We won't know if it'll be worse or better until we see the rule applied during games and how the calls are reviewed. We're to the point where the language of the rule, which is all that can change in the offseason, means little. It's about the practical application.

Niklas from Odense, Denmark

After the 2016 season I thought Geronimo Allison would be "the next big thing" at WR, taking a huge step forward. This season I think he wasn't that good, probably taking a step in the wrong direction. How do you see G-Mo next year (and forward) with the contract situation of Cobb and Nelson? Do you see him having a future in Green Bay?

I think Allison's future in Green Bay is up to Allison. Like a lot of young players at this stage, the upcoming season will tell us a lot.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Insiders, with McCarthy re-writing the playbook, how do you think this will affect Aaron Rodgers' game? He's been so used to certain plays with Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams that I wonder if it will take some time before he's on the same page with his offensive weapons.


That's what OTAs and training camp are for, and whatever playbook he's running at that time is not set in stone. Rodgers talks all the time about running checks and adjustments from multiple seasons ago with his veteran receivers. This is the least of my concerns.**

Dale from Kettering, OH

Thompson must have known when Rodgers went down that "heroic measures" to save this season would only hurt the future, but how much do you think it hurt him to watch it go south?

I'm sure it wasn't fun, just as it wasn't fun to watch his handpicked successor to Favre go 6-10 in 2008. The point of all the changes is to make 2017 an anomaly, just like 2008 was.

Adam from Ventura, CA

When I think of Pettine's No. 1 Jets defense and Philbin's Packers offense on the field at the same time I get very excited. As head coaches neither of them had a lot of success, however. I followed Philbin's career when he went down to Miami, and I believe the off-field garbage was too much of a distraction for anyone to overcome. What went wrong for Pettine in Cleveland?

The name Johnny Manziel comes to mind.

Wayne from Green Bay, WI

For judging the Senior Bowl, are practices or the performance in the game more important? It seems like most of the guys who made plays in the game did not look particularly impressive during practices.

Generally speaking, I think the practices are more important, but it all counts. As for the game, it's not the one standout play that matters as much as what's on film play after play.

Colin from Tripoi, WI

I really like the fact Mike Pettine took some time off from football. I think anyone would benefit from that. I think he's coming in refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to roll. I'm a very glass-half-empty kind of guy but I feel something big is building in Titletown. Am I right?

The 2018 season is building. We won't know for a while whether it's big or not.

Patrick from Bel Air, MD

Good morning. Mike. Wes told us he was "drinking Capri Sun during Super Bowl XXXI." Does that tell us anything? I can imagine Wes sitting at his desk drinking the same.


He just skips the straw and pours it out of the pouch now.**

Lior from Oakland, CA

Wes, I love your take on "plays, not positions." Basically, when it's your team's turn to pick, place a bet on which player you think will make the most game-changing/game-deciding plays in the next four seasons.

I agree with that as well, unless there's a big guy who's clearly the best player on the board. The big guys aren't measured by the plays they make, and they're usually in shortest supply.

Scott from Idaho Falls, ID

Insiders, did Vince Biegel get enough playing time for a meaningful assessment of his potential as a starter?


Brian from Bemidji, MN

Fletch...act like you don't give a crap, and you'll fit right in.

I realize he has a baby at home now, but if he doesn't find time this offseason to watch it, there's no hope for him.

Dan from Winthrop Harbor, IL

Seems to me that the CBA cutting the amount of time coaches have with players is a major factor in the talk about the complexity of schemes, and that things have changed in the cap numbers making free agency a little less risky. Seems like the Packers are just adjusting to the changes of the league to stay in the hunt. Am I on the right track?

I think so.

Chris from Vancouver, Canada

So, I never thought I would say this, but the XFL is happening. Do you think they will avoid past mistakes? If they do, how do you feel this impacts the NFL?

We'll see what the entire product looks like, but I think it's a mistake to start the season in February, right after the Super Bowl. When the USFL started gaining momentum back in the 1980s, it was a spring/summer league that capitalized on fans' desire for football after some down time but before the NFL got rolling again. I think the better approach is to make the offseason shorter, not the current season longer.

Anton from Green Bay, WI

We already have some good projections about the Packers compensatory draft choices this year, but when will the league announce them offically?


Last year we found out shortly before the scouting combine.**

Jim from McLean, VA

Pettine helped develop some highly ranked defenses on teams with below-average offenses. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do on a team with the offensive potential the Packers have. Thoughts?

I think he is, too.

Rick from Wenatchee, WA

What is the difference between the Sam, Will and Mike linebackers, and why does the opposing QB need to identify the Mike?

Sam just gives the label an "s" to signify strong side, and Will provides a "w" to mean weak side. The Mike is ID'd because protection calls are made from the inside out, taking care of those with the shortest path to the quarterback first.

Jeremy from Lethbridge, Canada

I was struck by how both coordinators, having served as head coaches, each had a renewed view of their own value and responsibilities. In which ways do you think this may help McCarthy and the organization?


They don't seem concerned about "the next job" at this point, which can have its benefits. There's also something to be said for having coaches eager to climb the ladder. I don't think there's any one perfect formula, and I don't think McCarthy does either.**

Phil from Madison, WI

The Browns are in an amazing position for this year's draft. However, part of how they got there was by trading first-round picks that were turned into Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz. Does this year's quarterback class looks as strong, or do they have regrets?

Of course they have regrets. That's why they made the front-office changes. The past isn't the fault of Dorsey and Co., so they're now in charge of making the best of the decisions that have failed to produce a franchise QB.

Paul from Oxford, NC

"Big Bang Theory" watcher here. I don't know how many people notice, Sheldon frequently wears a Packers throwback T-shirt – navy blue with a gold circle, 73.

I'm not sure the circle is gold, and the shirt sold on Amazon does not have a gold circle, so you might be stretching it a bit to call it a Packers throwback. I love his perfect number theory, though.

Nathan from Oconomowoc, WI

If the Eagles win, how does Wentz feel about his first Super Bowl ring?


Mary from Milwaukee, WI

Was it your dream to be a football player with the Packers?

No. My dream was actually to be the next Bob Uecker, calling radio play-by-play for the Brewers. Considering Uecker still hasn't retired (and I'm not complaining), I think I took a prudent detour.

Kevin from Tulare, CA

I know we don't know dates and times yet, but I was curious what you thought about next year's schedule. At the Rams, Patriots, Seahawks, Vikings ... (looking forward to the Rams game in California).


Packers WR Davante Adams and DT Mike Daniels represented the NFC at the 2018 Pro Bowl on Sunday in Orlando. Photos by AP and Logan Bowles, NFL.

The NFC North being paired with the NFC West is a challenge for everyone in the division, with the Rams the up-and-comer and the 49ers finding their quarterback.**

Shane from Coralville, IA

Insiders, you have 12 picks in the 2018 draft. Does the number of picks change the way you draft? For example: Do you roll the dice more often on raw talent, bolster a position group you feel is weaker on late-round picks, or do you trade up?

All those possibilities are on the table. The decisions you're talking about are not made in advance, they're made as the draft unfolds. That's why so much work is put in to build the board and prepare ahead of time.

Eric from Alexandria, VA

Love the work, guys. I hear a lot of talk about Pettine's defense looking "multiple." Could you explain what that means? Is it just trying to confuse the offense?

It's mainly a reference to playing different fronts and coverages throughout a game. Everyone's "multiple" to a certain degree. The trick is to not let alignment or formation give away what you're playing, at least not all the time.

Jeff from Eveleth, MN

Dave from Coloma, MI: Other than the Packers, if you could travel back in time and cover one team (any sport) for one season, what team and year would you choose and why? My answer would be simple, the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team.


Take a look at photos of Packers CB Davon House from the 2017 season. Photos by Evan Siegle and Corey Wilson, packers.com

Another good call.**

Jeff from Green Bay, WI

I am really hoping that the Packers use a compensatory pick on Day 3 for Jack Cichy. He may not have the best measurables at the combine and also has an injury history, but the fundamental tackling and acceleration in the gaps are undeniable and he is always running downhill to the ball. That is the type of presence that is desperately needed in this defense to succeed, even if just a special-teams demon or role player.

It's a shame Cichy didn't get to show who he is without Watt and Biegel on the field. His draft stock will be interesting to follow.

Randy from Billings, MT

When will we see a slowdown on the coaches, players, commentators and yes, writers, starting a sentence with, "At the end of the day"? Sound like a room full of parrots. "These pretzels are making me thirsty" for crying out loud.

Nicely done.

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