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They're unproven, but they're also unknown

New kickoff rules could impact final roster decisions


Jake from St. Clair Shores, MI

Football offseason is equivalent to pouring a heaping bowl of your favorite cereal on a Sunday morning, only to find out you have no milk. Can I please have my 2 percent reduced fat milk please?

Hang tight. It's almost … June.

Jerry from Savannah, GA

Have the Packers truly upgraded their TE position?

Lewis played in 170 games (No. 3 in franchise history) with 156 starts (No. 2 in franchise history) in 12 seasons with the Jaguars.

Unquestionably. Richard Rodgers was a solid tight end, the most productive and reliable player the Packers have had at the position the past four years. This year, they've acquired a more explosive downfield threat than Rodgers (Graham) and a better blocker (Lewis). I call that an upgrade.

Jay from Montreal, Canada

With Marcedes Lewis on the team, how does the roster change for TEs? Is Byrd a possibility for the practice squad or do they cut Kendricks? Also, do we plan to play more two-TE sets?

There's no need to make roster decisions now. Let's see how training camp and the preseason play out from here. Schematically, McCarthy has plenty in his bag involving multiple tight ends, but I doubt he's interested in revealing any thoughts at the moment. Your questions are good ones, for later on.

Ian from Onalaska, WI

The backup offensive linemen had to come together each week last season with the front five constantly changing and try to make it work. I feel like the reason they pulled it off was because they practice against such dominant players like Mike Daniels, Nick Perry, etc.

You don't discount that factor, certainly. You also don't discount their ability, the coaching, and the togetherness of their position group.

Peter from Columbus, OH

Hello Insiders, longtime listener, first-time caller. In regards to all the discussion about the personnel and the kickoff changes...Doesn't this just put a premium on guys who may have been picked up late in the draft but have pure unteachable speed? All I'm saying is that those guys who stand out on special teams will still get a shot. They just may been have a different build than previous years.

I'm not sure we're really going to know the implications of the new kickoff rules until we see them in action in the preseason. They could impact final roster decisions.

Troy from Westminster, CO

Koren Robinson? If we're guessing, the point is made.

Sounds right to me. Several readers got it, but more swung and missed with Beebe, Rison, Glenn and others.

Drew from Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Maybe this was discussed at the time. Trading an underperforming secondary player to former Packers personell evaluators for a turnover-prone young player: Randall for Kizer or Vinson for Green? Could this be a repeat of history?

I hadn't thought of it in those terms. No offense to him, but I hope we never actually find out in Green Bay how good Kizer might be.

Mark from Amarillo, TX

I somewhat disagree about onside kicks being more difficult for the kicking team. With so many on the receiving team required to be closer to the ball, I think well-placed pooch kicks are to the kicking team's advantage.

I still don't see it with the kicking team no longer getting a running start. I think it shifts all the advantage on onside attempts to the receiving team.

Chad from La Crosse, WI

If Aaron Rodgers takes a knee, does that count against his rushing stats? Also, if he takes a knee on third down, does that count against the Packers' third-down conversion rate?

Yes, and yes.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Is Larry allowed to do "Three Things" without you because it's Memorial Day weekend?

He got tired of all the multiple takes we required.

Daniel from Manitowoc, WI

Why is there not more buzz surrounding Geronimo Allison this offseason? I thought he performed above everybody's expectations last season. He may not be the biggest, fastest, or strongest, but he can see the field and he keeps his head clear in big moments (a la the catch-and-run to put the Packers in field-goal range in OT vs. the Bengals). The fumble against Carolina hurts, but I truly think that the WR3 job is his to lose, not an open competition.

I think Allison definitely has the edge on everyone for now, but I'm not ruling out one of the rookie draft picks rising up and seriously challenging him for the gig. Yes, they're unproven, but they're also unknown.

Joe from Moline, IL

The anthem protests put the NFL in a lose-lose situation. Do nothing and lose fans who feel disrepected. Mandate standing for the anthem and infringe on freedom of speech. Remove the anthem from games and lose your soul. What did people want the NFL to do? They were set up to offend someone.

Pretty much.

Gene from Los Angeles, CA

Hey guys, eventually the standing-not standing national anthem issue will get down to economics. Isn't the CBA players' share of the revenue based on gross revenues? When the gross revenues continue to decline and the players' share declines and their compensation declines the stand-no stand issue will be resolved. They all better hope those revenues can be recovered or the "golden age" will be over and the players can only blame themselves.

The revenues will only change to the degree you're suggesting if the next round of TV contracts drop in value. Given what FOX just shelled out for Thursday Night Football, I don't think a decline is likely. We'll find out this year if the ratings dip last season was an anomaly or a trend. I'm going to guess the former.

Richard from Madison, WI

If you label me as an "angry segment of the NFL fan base," why should I respect your observations?

I wasn't being judgmental. If you'd read as many emails as I did throughout the controversy, you wouldn't question it. I stand by my depiction as accurate. There's plenty of anger coming from the other side now, too. Joe from Moline, IL, couldn't be more right.

Daniel from Oxnard, CA

I really enjoy the coaches' press conferences. How come Mike Pettine has yet to give an OTA interview? With so much emphasis on the Pack's new defensive approach, it seems odd that the D-coordinator hasn't spoken.

The first media day during OTAs had only the offensive assistant coaches available. We'll hear from Pettine and all the defensive assistants on Thursday.

Nick from Chicago, IL

Just watched Marcedes' top 10 plays: that back pylon will be A-Rod's best friend.

Rodgers will have several options for the route. Lewis, Graham, Adams, Allison, and any of those 6-3 or taller rookie receivers are legitimate possibilities for the corner end zone fade.

Collin from Omaha, NE

Having not seen the figures yet, I love the Marcedes Lewis signing. A lot of what I am reading focuses on his run-blocking ability so, in your opinion, does this move help the pass game or the run game more?

It helps the run game more, and a better run game should help the pass game.

Jake from Oxford, WI

Of all the random questions answered (that aren't just looking for your opinion), what percentage would you say you have to research to find the answer? Does the Inbox challenge you at all in this regard or do you just know all these cap and roster questions off the top of your head?

I can't speak for Wes, but some I know, some I have to look up. I couldn't put a percentage on it. If I'm curious enough to look it up, there's a good chance I'll post it.

Kyle from Santa Cruz, CA

The NFL salary cap system is, in my opinion, the best salary system in all of sports. It's an effective balance of league-wide equity while still allowing teams that are savvy enough the ability to keep superstars employed with their organization. Is there an underlying fault in the system? If you could change an aspect of the cap system, what would it be?

The only thing I might change, which has been broached elsewhere before, is moving back the league trading deadline. It's after Week 8 now, and even though we saw more action last year around the deadline than in recent memory, I think if it were pushed back another two weeks or so, it would allow teams an even better opportunity to find a replacement for a key midseason injury.

Monty from Hazen, ND

Out of curiosity, with all the talk of being a top 10 defense next year, I wanted to see what that would take. To move into the top 10, we would have to reduce yards per game by about 30. To get into the top five, we would need to reduce yards per game by about 42. In my mind, that can be accomplished by reducing the communication errors we had last year. What do you think needs to happen to move into the top 10?

The Packers' biggest failures last year were on third down and in the red zone. Improve in those two areas and the other stats will come along with them. Get into the top half of the league on both third down and in the red zone, and I would venture the top 10 overall (in either yards or points, or both) will be within reach.

Shane from Bel Air, MD

I feel the late trip to play the Jets could be an underdog for most fun game of the year, for Green Bay at least. Possibly Rodgers vs. Darnold? Plus Wilkerson back against his old team, all during the holiday season. Can't beat it. So which games are people most looking forward to this year so far?

When I peruse the 2018 schedule, there are less than a handful of matchups I don't immediately think of a significant storyline heading into it. We're going to have plenty to talk about. Not that we wouldn't regardless, but you get my drift.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

Spoff, about two questions down from your "James Jones hoodie" question on Friday, you had an embedded video with a thumbnail of JOSH Jones, sporting a hoodie in practice. Are you putting Easter eggs in the Inbox? God bless!

That's our intern, Kim. She's pretty good, and we're blessed we get to keep her for a second season.

Justin from Wausau, WI

Being Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to add a sidebar to the anthem discussion. While this country is far from perfect, no nation in the history of mankind has done more to promote freedom, liberty, equality, and prosperity. And that is all possible thanks solely to the men and women who fight and die in the service of the flag and the Republic for which it stands. No matter your opinion on the NFL's anthem rule, everyone should take a few minutes this weekend, put down the grill tongs and cornhole bags, and appreciate the blessings our fallen service members gave their lives to bestow upon us. Whether you kneel or stand, you have a soldier to thank for your right to do so.

I appreciate the reminder to pause. Enjoy the holiday, everyone.

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