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There are levels to this game

Athleticism is becoming the standard for today’s nose tackles


Jeremy from Garden Prairie, IL

I'm not as enthusiastic as others about trading up in the draft. The Packers have a lot of holes to fill in their roster and not as much cap space as people seem to think. Aaron Rodgers' new deal is just around the corner and they're going to need all the cheap labor they can get. We could use multiple picks at LB and OL due to current players' injury history. Plus, we could use picks at TE, WR, CB, QB, and possibly S if we don't re-sign Morgan Burnett, which would eat up cap space. Thoughts?

There's a lot to unpack here. The cost for moving up increases significantly inside the first 20 picks based on most draft-value charts. Maybe you could part with a compensatory pick now that teams are allowed to trade them, but I think the No. 14 picks in the second and third round are too valuable to trade away. Rookies aren't as costly as they once were under the 2011 CBA, so I don't think that part is a big issue.

Gary from Warsaw, IN

Could you see the Packers drafting two tight ends? The best to make the team and the other on the practice squad?


Ted Thompson selected two tight ends once in his 13 years as general manager. It was in 2011 when the Packers took D.J. Williams (fifth round) and Ryan Taylor (seventh). Green Bay only has Lance Kendricks under contract at the moment, so it could make sense to double-down depending on what happens with Richard Rodgers. Hey, it worked at running back last year.**

Lucas from Morgantown, WV

I've never taken any issue with any of your responses until I read that our offensive line wasn't an issue for the entire season. I think statistics are skewed from Brett's mobility and weariness to step into the pocket. I hate negativity, but I don't think a pocket passer stands a chance in our offense with our line.

Maybe I'm grading on a curve due to all the injuries on the line this season, but I still feel that group played well considering it lost four tackles (five, if you count Don Barclay) one month into the season. David Bakhtiari and Lane Taylor played out of their mind on the left side and Justin McCray was serviceable in an unenviable situation. Reasonable people can disagree.

Nate from Naples, FL

My blood pressure ticked up a notch when Rodger from Cali called out the o-line. These are not designed scrambles, Rodgers is inventing them on the fly. The O-line has no idea where he's moving back there. QB has never been played like this before with any success, and for good reason. It's absolutely insane.

Right. This isn't 1991. A quarterback scrambling out of the pocket isn't an automatic indictment on the offensive line.

George from North Mankato, MN

It has been stated many times running back and receiver are spots where you are looking to add youth and speed. The draft is a good place to find this combination. Which positions would you look to strengthen during free agency?

*I like experience on the defensive line and outside linebacker. It's tough for rookies to come in and thrive at those spots immediately. You saw how much Julius Peppers, even at 34, helped the overall pass rush in 2014. *

Isiah from Wisconsin

Is Morgan Burnett the most underrated player on the roster?

He's in the conversation. Burnett does it all without complaint. I tried to ask him earlier this year how often he practices at all those positions in the defense, but Burnett wouldn't bite. I have to imagine that was hard. The Packers have a new defense, so we'll see whether Burnett remains in their plans. Whatever the case, he's a better player than most give him credit for.

Tim from Menomonie, WI

Let's introduce a free agent 1-10 scale. Signing all of your own free agents is a three. Signing the biggest name on opening day for astronomical money is a 10. Where do you expect the Packers to be?


Take a look at photos of Packers WR Jordy Nelson from the 2017 season. Photos by Evan Siegle and Corey Wilson, packers.com

Five or six. You have to remember they already re-signed two important players to lucrative deals. Pundits seem to forget those things when "grading" free agency in May.**

Anthony from Tamaqua, PA

Who do you think the Packers are going to pick up during the free agency?

As Craig Counsell once said to a reporter who asked him to "talk about the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers," you're going to have to do better than that.

Ron from Boise, ID

Where do you think the tipping point for exceptional opportunity is in the draft order of the first round?

Top 20.

David from Hilliard, OH

In regards to declining NFL viewership, I have been a fan since 1967 and for me it is all about the "new rules." I do not want to see endless replays of a "catch" stall the action until someone determines how much the ball was bobbled and if it hit the ground. It is ridiculous. College football has it right with targeting calls ejections and fewer replays. My NFL viewership days are about over.

How are you going to stay current with Inbox if you're not watching?

Bob from Colby, KS

Considering "Pet" penchant for cornerbacks (see Jets) and what the Super Bowl showed, that you don't need high end outside rushers, I'm guessing the Pack go for a cornerback.

*Surprisingly, New York drafted only one defensive back in the first three rounds (Kyle Wilson, 2010) during Pettine's four seasons with the Jets. However, they did take two defensive linemen in the first round (Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples). What I'm trying to say is you don't know until you know. *

Ross from Hudson, WI

Pettine's defenses tend to require a large-very large true nose tackle. Is that player currently on the roster?

I see what you're saying, but I think the game has changed from the time he was a coordinator in New York. Athleticism is becoming the standard for nose tackles in today's NFL since the 315-pound Kenny Clarks of the world can eat up double teams, too.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

From top to bottom, this has to be the strongest Pro Football Hall of Fame class that I can remember, and how fitting that Jerry Kramer is among them. I know he is rightfully known for "the block", but he was no one hit wonder. Old No. 64 left it all on the field every Sunday going up against the likes of Lilly, Olsen, and Karras.

That's the one silver-lining to Kramer having to wait this long to go in. His first trip to Canton will come alongside an incredible induction class.

Brett from Boonsboro, MD

"The Beer Catch" by Doug Pederson at the Philly parade was epic. Any chance he got the good beer hands on the golf course with No. 4?

The best part was how impressed Pederson was with himself after catching it. It was almost like, "Wow, I actually caught that."

Ron from Boise, ID

Why does everyone clamor for free agents? In my mind that creates a setup for salary-cap issues. I hope our new GM is a draft guy and adds free agents like Jahri Evans and stays away from the Martellus Bennetts of the world. What say you?

If we did a year-by-year analysis of free agents, my hunch is the "offseason winners" were teams that signed veterans on one-year, prove-it deals (the Eagles and Alshon Jeffery) and those who outperformed below-market contracts (the Chargers and Casey Hayward).

Michael from Hamilton, NY

As a former college rugby and high school football player, I can say that changing NFL rules to be more like rugby might not actually help at all. Rugby is a crowded game so the speed of the hits are typically much slower than the NFL, even with the same caliber of athlete. The only rugby suggestion I believe would help would be less padding, especially with the helmet. The leatherheads might actually be safer for the game these days because that and other padding is typically used as a weapon.

I agree. The NFL game is so much faster and wide open than any other contact sport on earth. Moving away from helmets still seems drastic to me, though. There's an assumption there players won't lead with the head anymore, but collisions are going to happen. It's inevitable.

Ronald from Beaver Dam, WI

Am I the only one who noticed that when Malcolm Jenkins committed to tackling Brandin Cooks, Cooks' back was to him? As Jenkins closed, Cooks spun into the tackle. Jenkins led with his shoulder and Cooks put his head into position to get hit.

*Which is why Jenkins wasn't fined. It's unfortunate, but that's football. *

Nathan from Oconomowoc, WI

I don't think removing helmets would translate as well as some people think. In rugby, it doesn't matter if you lose a few inches to the offense by wrapping up for every tackle because there are no first downs. In the NFL, you need to hit the person and stop them from going forward, because a few inches is the difference between the offense staying on or getting off the field.

Precisely, especially in the trenches where there are collisions every play.

Austin from Denver, CO

If I recall, the Packers had a veteran QB when they signed Seneca Wallace one offseason, who was the initial backup the year that Matt Flynn burst onto the scene.

Seneca Wallace didn't take part in the offseason program. He actually wasn't signed until the day after final cuts and only after the No. 2 competition in training camp yielded no true victor.

Gary from Columbus, OH

If Trevor Davis or Jeff Janis simply sprinted long almost every down, wouldn't that force the defense to commit two defensive backs to prevent a home-run pass? If so, the defense would be a man down.

Not necessarily. They could stay single-high, man-to-man coverage if the coaches have a defensive back who runs 4.4. There are levels to this game. Nothing is automatic.

Mathias from Aarhus, Denmark

I have been reading and watching a bit on this guy, Godwin Igwebuike out of Northwestern. What are your thoughts on him and the Packers' safety position with Morgan Burnett becoming an UFA?

I'm becoming increasingly convinced you need at least five combined safeties/hybrid linebackers in today's NFL. The position is too versatile to be caught shorthanded. So I wouldn't have an issue if the Packers looked at safety independent of Burnett's situation. Igwebuike is touted as a sure-tackler and will be on most teams' draft board given his natural playmaking ability.

Tony from Green Lake, WI

Is there a stat that shows which QB in NFL history could throw the ball the hardest? I think Brett Favre would be close to the top.

There's technology to measure those things today, but it would be nearly impossible to compare generation to generation.

Gabor from Budapest, Hungary

What should Pats fans feel? Are they losers or are they the second-best team in the league, or at least, the best in the AFC?

None of those designations will help Patriots fans fix their broken televisions.

Rod from Peoria, IL

I'd rather have my question rejected than have you change it and ask a different one. Guess I'm banned now. So be it.


Craig from Laramie, WY (Part 1)

Wes: Reference to proclamation about Foles in December was for my question's context, not bragging. Your cynical response seems sarcastic, juvenile and unhelpful. Is that the climate you guys desire for the Inbox?

Depends on the day.

Craig from Laramie, WY (Part 2)

Not sure why would you want to alienate a reader who's been reading daily since the inception of Ask Vic/Insider Inbox and a Packers fan since the late 1960s? Maybe it's a reflection of the uncivil tone in today's cultural discourse?

It might be.

Craig from Laramie, WY (Part 3)

Please forgive me if I'm being oversensitive and have misunderstood you. My question was sincere. Backup QB strategy is a huge issue for GB and the NFL, in general. I was hoping for a discussion about "plan of succession" timing for Green Bay's potential QB draftees.

I'm not arguing. Teams have to have a capable guy behind "the man." The Eagles don't win the Super Bowl without Foles playing out of his mind in the postseason. Did you watch the Dolphins and Raiders last year? My one word of caution, however, is to keep in mind there are dozens of Mike Glennon signings for every Nick Foles. That's the price of chasing lightning.

Jason from Lake View, NY

What the Eagles are doing is nothing new. Seattle did the exact same thing when they drafted Wilson. The Eagles will be contenders for the next couple of years while they have Wentz on his rookie contract. What they do once they have to sign Wentz to an "elite quarterback" contract is what will determine the longevity of their success.

Call Nick Foles?

Mike from Manchester, United Kingdom

No question, but superb work on the Shawshank reference in Friday' Inbox. Love the random movie quotes as it expands my film repertoire. I'm surprised you didn't go for a Game of Thrones reference given the possibilities.


I'm trying to limit my blatant GOT references to better accommodate the segment of our readership that frequently emails their complaints.**

Fred from La Crosse, WI

You media guys get paid to make movie references. I think the best and most subtle was the sweater worn post game by No. 12.

That wasn't subtle…that was glorious.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

There's a big corn field up near Ashwaubenon. One in particular. It's got a long rock wall, a big oak tree at the north end. It's like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It's where I asked my wife to marry me. We went there for a picnic and made (sandwiches) under that oak and I asked and she said yes. Promise me, Spoff. If you ever get out, find that spot. In the base of that wall, you'll find a rock that has no earthly business in a Wisconsin corn field. A piece of black, volcanic glass. There's something buried under it I want you to have.

Cut to Spoff taking a long journey to the tree to finally discover "the thing."

Hunter from Steven Point, WI

Do you think if the Packers bring back Jeff Janis they will try him at a different position like cornerback? He is too good of a talent to just waste away on the bench.

Jeff Janis free agency/position switch question, I knew you'd come.

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