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Who would be your 12th man?




Matt from Westbrook, CT

I completely agree with your answer to the difference between a Pro Bowl and an All-Pro. With that in mind, there is no equivalent award in football like the sixth man of the year in basketball. Which Packer deserves the football equivalent of this award? I would call it the 12th man of the year award, but I think Seattle fans might not like that.

Great question and good morning! As far as the current roster, I’d have to say Justin McCray. He wasn’t a starter per se, but so much was asked of McCray last year and he stepped up to every challenge. He has earned the right to compete for a starting job this summer. I’m open to suggestions, though. Who would be your 12th man?

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Take a look at photos of Pro Football and Packers Hall of Famer Brett Favre to celebrate his 50th birthday on Oct. 10, 2019.

I also watched the video of Aaron Rodgers coaching up Josh Rosen and I have to agree with Tim from Upland, CA. It was awesome the way AR pointed out little details that may be taken for granted with many other QBs in the league and the attention to those details in which he uses those skills to his advantage. I will say that it appeared Josh Rosen was either star-struck or seemed like he was thinking "Am I really supposed to do all that in the frame of a split-second"? It may be some great coaching points but it really comes down to the talent you have individually, correct? And oh yes, I do think No. 12 could be a QB coach in the NFL someday hands down.

Intangibles and intellect. Both are required to thrive as an NFL quarterback. There’s no doubt in my mind Rodgers could coach in the NFL, but I’m sure he’ll have no shortage of options once his playing days are over…in 2030 or whenever.

Juulian from New Mexico

A snow storm hit Green Bay on Tuesday. View photos from around Lambeau Field. Photos by Sam Strejeck and Ryan Hartwig, packers.com.

In today's game, how do you balance preparing players for their long season? On their one hand, the tough and long two-a-days training prepared players for endurance. A lack of that results in early season injuries, and often times, season-ending injuries.

There isn’t just one reason for the injury problem the Packers have dealt with for the past few years. Green Bay has done everything in its power to adapt its training to the post-CBA environment. Sometimes everything works out fine like 2014, but sometimes it doesn’t. You detail your program and hope for the best.

Ken from Eau Claire, WI

Do you think Gute, et al, read the Insider Inbox and other Q and A fan sites for ideas and thoughts on the draft, player usage, whatever? Kind of a "can't hurt, might help to check out what the little people think"?

I think he probably has his hands full with more important matters at the moment than whether my son found all of his Easter eggs.

Tim from Upland, CA

Just watched Larry's video of Clay Matthews, and it confirmed what I've been arguing with my fellow Packer fans for a while now: Clay Matthews is still a playmaker. I think his willingness to do whatever the team has asked of him has actually hurt his value as a traditional outside linebacker.

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Matthews set the bar so astronomically high during his first four seasons, but remains one of the game’s most versatile linebackers. Here’s what intrigues me about Matthews in Year 10. He had only one defensive coordinator in his first nine seasons. That unequivocally was the longest running partnership in the league last season. Now, let’s see what Mike Pettine has in store for him.**

Richard from Yankton, SD

Do people not see Davante Adams is a true No. 1 receiver? Randall Cobb, Trevor Davis, Michael Clark, Geronimo Allison and Jimmy Graham are going to be hard to stop. We have our WR.

If you don’t see Adams as a No. 1 receiver, you haven’t been watching. He’s young, smart, athletic and driven to get better. We’ll see if the Packers choose to add a receiver through the draft, but Adams, Cobb and Graham are a good starting point for the perimeter game regardless.

Jack from Boulder, CO

With yet another draft where we desperately need a corner upcoming, can you spread the awareness about CU’s Isaiah Oliver to every Packer fan who may not know about his insane skill set? We’ve had some good fortune with Buffs players in the past (Crosby, Brad Jones and David Bakhtiari).

I really like Oliver. He has an NFL pedigree, good size for the position and he’s a gamer. I mean the guy was a decathlete at Colorado for crying out loud. He can play bump and run, and has the necessary speed to recover downfield. If he can hone his fundamentals and back pedal, Oliver has a chance to play for a long time in the league.

Aaron from Monroe, MI

GOOD MORNING! Two years ago Green Bay looked like it had found its missing piece just to fall short one game away in the NFC Championship Game. Last year was so promising until Rodgers was lost. If Aaron's injury never happened would you see Green Bay right back where they left off? If so, do you think all this change was a bit too early?

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

There always are changes. It’s inevitable. Would it have been to this scale if Rodgers stayed healthy all season? Probably not, but the 2017 season gave the Packers a chance to reassess their situation and reload for this next phase of Rodgers’ career.**

Cam from Fort Atkinson, WI

Rookies and veterans alike are always talking about finding ways to improve their game. How much do you think this plays into veterans mentoring other players? After all, the best way to learn is to teach.

It’s critical. I think of everything Julius Peppers added after he signed with the Packers in 2014 and how the relationships he built inside a young locker room rejuvenated him. All the greats know the day you stop learning is the day you stop improving.

Johny from Walker, MN

Hello men. Have you heard any reports on King's shoulder? Kind of cold today, is Ketchman in town?

The reports coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine and owners meetings were promising. King is on track with his recovery. How much he’ll be able to do during the offseason program remains to be seen, but McCarthy said he’s looking “for Kevin to be a force out there” in Year 2.

Preston from Tallahassee, FL

Why did Aaron Ripkowski not carry the ball more last season? I know the year before his fumble was big, but sheesh. From 34 for 4.4 per to 5 for 2.6. The guy is a sledgehammer and in 2016 especially effective in the fourth quarter. He is a weapon waiting to be used more.

The Packers were banged up at times last year at running back, but it still doesn’t compare to 2016 when they lost Eddie Lacy, James Starks and John Crockett for extended periods of time due to injury. Ty Montgomery and Ripkowski became the one-two punch in the backfield out of attrition. Last year, Green Bay had some combination of Montgomery, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams available for every game.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Coach McCarthy looks for players to take a second year "jump". If Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams can build on their rookie success, the backfield looks very promising. What are your expectations for these backs in 2018?

If they keep doing what they’re doing, this backfield has the potential to be one of the deepest during McCarthy’s tenure as head coach. That competition will drive them this summer.

Mitch from Moline, IL

I'm excited to see the offensive play calling this year as McCarthy redesigns the play book. Especially regarding the running backs; the possibilities are endless. Having a split back with Montgomery and Jones on one play; then the next Montgomery splits out as a receiver; all the while in no-huddle. McCarthy has the freedom to be very creative this season due to the versatility of the players.

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Cobb, Graham, Montgomery and even Adams are guys you can’t put up on a chalkboard and definitively say, “This guy will line up here.” They are all multiple. I believe that could be the strength of this offense in 2018 depending on how McCarthy and Philbin choose to use all of those pieces.**

Joe from Santa Monica, CA

Does Mike McCarthy have any input as to what plays are called on the defense side of the ball like he does offense? Or is that entire side of the game just for Pettine to worry about?

McCarthy voices his opinions during the practice week, but it’s been his M.O. to give the defensive coordinator full autonomy on game day. That’s a smart approach considering how invested McCarthy is in the offense and play-calling. Head coaches can only do so much. You have to know your limits.

Dylan from Camden, OH

April 26, 2018. Draft Night. The Green Bay Packers are on the clock. Wes Hodkiewicz is in the GM's chair. Josh Jackson, Marcus Davenport, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Denzel Ward are all astonishingly still on the board. Who does Hodkiewicz pick?

Given only those four options, I’d say Jackson. I really like Fitzpatrick, but I’d bite on the “need” pick. Jot that down and let me know how I did three years from now.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

I just watched some highlights of Robert Tonyan who is a tall WR/TE type of player that the Packers signed in January. He seems to have great hands. When will you get to see him practice to see if he's as good as his highlights? Do you think he'll compete at TE, WR, or both?

Tonyan plays tight end in Green Bay. The Packers liked the 6-foot-5, 237-pound rookie enough to sign him to a futures deal after spending the final month of the year on the practice squad. Tonyan played quarterback and receiver at Indiana State before finally transitioning to tight end in the NFL. He’s a raw prospect. But ran a 4.58-second time in the 40-yard dash at his pro day with a 35-inch vertical leap.

Bruce from Savage, MN

I found your response from Monty in ND interesting. The question asked about weight limits. You stated reducing weight is bad for the human body. As a college football fan, I’ve seen players weigh 225 as freshmen and weigh 310 as seniors. How is that good for the human body?

Bruce, whatever you did when submitting your question Tuesday – please never do it again. You may have set a record for Inbox submissions. We received your question like 30 times. I’m sure there are examples out there of guys putting too much weight on their bodies, but all I was saying is dehydrating to make a weight cut is dangerous. It leaves you vulnerable and susceptible to injury in a contact sport. I think it would do more harm than good.

Tom from Oxford, MI

We always see two people at the Packers’ table during the draft. Who are they? Do the Packer folks at the draft report back to Green Bay "headquarters" if they see some teams talking to others (potential trades)?

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That’s video director Chris Kirby and the venerable Bryan Nehring, the Packers’ assistant equipment manager. They’re there to answer the phone and submit the picks.  **

Dalton from Madison, WI

Shouldn't a strong pass rush also help the secondary stay healthy? If the QB is getting sacked or throwing it out of bounds, there should be fewer plays in which a defensive back gets hurt making a tackle.

One could make an argument completion percentage is the most important statistic for a quarterback – and cornerbacks – because it represents efficiency or lack thereof. The more passes that hit the ground, the less likely it is for the offense to get in rhythm. That also means fewer collisions, so I agree with you.

Matt from Clarkston, MI

Regarding elimination of the kickoff, could replacing the kickoff with a punt be a legitimate option? This opens the door to surprise plays to maintain possession.

That’s a good question for Mark Murphy (the next “Murphy Takes Five” is this Saturday, by the way). I’d be curious to hear his two cents on the matter.

Ed from Minneapolis, MN

Would drop-kicking, ala after safeties, help the kickoff conundrum? Having not seen many of them I can’t remember how far they travel. It could certainly be used “onside.”

I don’t think so because it’s still 11 guys running full speed colliding with 11 other players. Maybe the shorter distance of the ball would result in players not hitting top speed, but it still seems to me like the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.

Colin from Lansdale, PA

We've got too many cooks in the kitchen with this kickoff rule. Crosby's idea makes the most sense. It addresses safety while adding intrigue to the play.

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Take a look at photos of Packers K Mason Crosby from the 2017 season. Photos by Evan Siegle and Corey Wilson, packers.com

It’s the most sensible option in my opinion. **

Kurt from Phoenix, AZ

How level do you want the playing field to be? A team with 53 healthy players still has an advantage in options to choose from.

The seven scratches are intended to prevent injured players from playing. The proposal to allow the 53 to suit up would be counterproductive because players would chance it. I want each team to start the game with the same number of checkers. Is that too much to ask?

Jessi from Sterling, KS

Imagine a press day, but instead of you two interviewing players, it's us (Insiders) interviewing you two. A Live Insiders Inbox so to speak! Could you two handle it?

It depends. Would there be actual questions or just a group therapy session where fans step up to the mic with their grievances and shout, “I have a lot of problems with you people and now you’re going to hear about it”?

Dave from Folsom, CA

Do you need spell check for Wojciechowski?

Yes. Two of them.

Jean from Parkdale, OR

What is the date the 2018-2019 Packers schedule will be released?

Nothing is set in stone yet, but it’s usually a week before the draft.

Paul from Cumming, GA

In response to Mike from Atlanta, "This is a very complicated case, Mike. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Guter's head."

Submissions like this keep me going during Spoff-less weeks of Inbox.

Adilson from Rotterdam, Netherlands

I thought the first T-Shirt said ‘Calm? We don’t need no stinkin calm!’ Still haven’t seen you wear it, though. Maybe for the training-camp edition of ‘Three Things?’

You guys never cease to amaze me with what you remember.

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