Sun, 25 Oct 2020

Inbox: I wish we all could have been in that meeting

Packers
03 Jun 2020, 18:12 GMT+10

Jeff from Tucson, AZ

June is here.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed this is the month 2020 takes a turn for the better.

Mark from Appleton, WI

My comment about "avoiding cliches like the plague" was meant to be kiddingly sarcastic and meant only as a bit of friendly coaching. The defensiveness of the response(s) prompts this retired teacher to offer my sincere apology and best wishes.

So was mine. It's good to know we're not on the same page together.

Gary from Bear Valley, WI

I'm a first-generation season ticket holder, gold package. TV coverage is getting better all the time. No matter how good it gets. For me, it will never be better than watching the Packers inside Lambeau Field. My son bought a motorcycle in Green Bay last week. We stopped at Lambeau to take pictures of his bike there and looked at our brick. Before making the 3½-hour ride home.

That sounds like an awesome trip, Gary. And you're right - no matter how good broadcast technology gets, it still doesn't compare to the experience of watching a game from inside Lambeau Field with 70,000 of your closest friends.

Scott from Grovetown, GA

I find it interesting that some teams are putting forth an effort to establish a run-heavy offense. Especially after years of teams building defenses to stop the passing game in what became a pass-heavy league. The circle of a run attack versus a pass attack continues to thrive depending on how defenses are built. Thus keeping the game entertaining for us fans.

What makes football so great is you never know what you're going to get in this league. There are so many ways to win, but yet the game is so cyclical in nature. Right now, we're moving back into the age of run offense and bunch formations after the shotgun spread dominated for a time.

John from Casablanca, Morocco

Do drafted players who haven't signed a contract yet have full access during this virtual offseason, to the playbook and coaches, or are there restrictions until they have signed their contract?

Yes. It's all available to them. If life were normal right now, they'd also be permitted to practice with the rest of the team during the offseason program.

Eric from Mequon, WI

Do teams have budgets in their cap for various position groups? Meaning only X dollars are allocated to a RB group and if a contract causes the team to exceed the budget for the group, they pass on the player? If so, do you have any examples?

I can't think of any team that allocates resources that way. They might value one position over another but I don't know of any who put a price tag on it. Your best players are your best players and you pay them as such.

Andy from Verona, WI

If you were a coach who had to teach virtually, what would you do to make the installation more interesting for your players?

Keep it light and keep it entertaining. Nobody wants to listen to a teacher/coach reading off a PowerPoint. They wanted to be engaged and to stay engaged. I'm not privy to the specifics of these presentations the coaches have assembled but it sounds like they're hitting the right notes.

Miguel from Monument, CO

Hi Wes, Matt LaFleur teams did not make a fourth-round pick in '20, '19, or '18 (Titans). Those picks went to trade up in the first round, netting Jordan Love, Darnell Savage, and Rashaan Evans (Titans). I love Savage and like Love. Some fourth-rounders from the last 10 drafts: Blake Martinez, Za'Darius Smith, B.J. Goodson, Davon House, Bashaud Breeland, Jamaal Williams, Dean Lowry, Jake Ryan, JC Tretter, Mike Daniels and David Bakhtiari. What are your thoughts on trading away fourth-rounders to move up?

That's the price of playing poker in the first round. Those fourth-rounders are right in the sweet spot of the draft-value chart. Since the Packers haven't had any compensatory picks the past two years, they haven't really had any extras laying around to still draft a Martinez, Daniels or Lowry. I have a hunch that'll change next year with the Packers likely to get a fourth for Martinez and a fifth for Bryan Bulaga.

Terry from Sun Prairie, WI

What rookie are you looking forward to seeing play this year?

Josiah Deguara.

Joe from Dundee, IL

Quick follow-up to the changed contract of Lane Taylor. Do you think the Packers first tried to trade Taylor for a player, or even a draft pick? Then, the pay cut was the last option?

I've always felt Lane Taylor is too valuable to release or even trade because he's an established veteran who can play tackle in a pinch. It's a solid insurance policy for a deep offensive line and the restructure gives Taylor security during uncertain times to work back from a devastating injury. It's the best outcome for both sides.

Allen from Kaukauna, WI

What is your perspective of having a full Packers season?

I'm in favor of it...assuming it can be done safely, of course.

Bill from Maple Grove, MN

Do you think Tim Boyle has a legitimate chance to be QB2 or does Jordan Love get an unstated edge by being a first-round draft pick?

The longer it takes for players to get into camps, the more I say the odds favor Boyle. I still think the Packers keep three quarterbacks this year, especially with having two extra roster spots to work with each week.

Todd from Loja, Ecuador

There has been a lot of criticism of the Packers not going "all in" this offseason to win a championship. The logic behind the criticism is that if a team gets to the final four it will have a solid chance of getting at least that far in the following season. Looking at the last 40 teams to make the NFL final four, only 13 of them (32%) actually did it. And, for teams other than New England, the chance of getting back to the final four was only 18%. Glad the Pack isn't all in with those odds!

Serious question - can anyone name a team that was "all-in" and then won a Super Bowl that year? Good teams are built to last, not just for one banner year.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

We have acquired several young interior linemen this offseason and combined with the soon expiring contracts of several veteran interior linemen, it seems inevitable that some veterans will be allowed to walk. What are the chances players such as Simon Stepaniak or Cole Madison, who suffered late-season ACL tears, would just be stashed on IR for the year and kept in reserve for next season when the roster is more in need of bodies?

The Packers are playing the long game with Stepaniak. Both he and Cole Madison will get as much time to recover and rehab as is necessary. If they aren't cleared by the start of training camp, Stepaniak and Madison will start the year on the physically unable to perform list. So time is very much on their side right now.

Nic from London, UK

Is NFL Coach of the Year the worst-adjudicated major award? No disrespect as recent recipients aren't undeserving per se, but there's an infatuation with new coaches on previously bad teams who bring marked improvement even though circumstance (new culture, accrued draft capital from being bad, easy schedules) make that improvement somewhat predictable though certainly not guaranteed. They often end up one-hit-wonders and meanwhile Pete Carroll and Mike McCarthy maintained success for nearly a decade with no love...

My issue continues to be how the voters constantly move the goal posts when picking a coach of the year. I laid out my argument earlier this offseason about how Mike McCarthy's 15-1 season with the Packers took a back seat to Jim Harbaugh leading the 49ers' resurgence in 2011. While John Harbaugh did an admirable job with the Ravens last year, the voters neglected what Matt LaFleur did under similar circumstances. By doing so, the AP turned a blind eye to the biggest single-season turnaround in franchise history. It is what it is.

James from Austin, TX

Can a player still do a Lambeau Leap in an empty stadium, or would it be like one of those "tree falling in the woods" kinda things?

I hope it doesn't come to that. But if it does, I'd say have a bunch of oversized teddy bears in the end zone for players to leap into and then donate them to local children's hospitals.

Alex from Duluth, MN

Dear II, what are the chances we see a three-RB, three-TE set this season ( Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, AJ Dillon/ Dexter Williams; Marcedes Lewis, Jace Sternberger, Josiah Deguara/ Robert Tonyan/ James Looney)? Seems as though we have the stable in those position groups for it...anyway, it's fun to fantasize about matchup mayhem.

Less than zero. You don't take Aaron Rodgers off the field.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

I would just like to thank you guys for helping everyone to avoid these "clickbait" articles. Out of curiosity, I clicked on one today that said "Jordan Love will see the field sooner rather than later." Just as I predicted when clicking on it, all it said was the Packers were gonna use him "in gadget plays early and often." No source quoted or mentioned. How is that legal?

Nathaniel Hackett was asked 1½ weeks ago about whether Love could be used in the offense right away in a gadget role. His response: "Everything is still so early to tell. I haven't even really gotten to sit in a meeting room at Lambeau. I haven't gotten to talk with him much or work face to face. There's so much yet to be seen. You never know. Anything can happen." Those last three words led to an inordinate amount of Love gadget stories, despite the fact this quote literally could apply to the Packers creating a package for me next year.

Chun from El Monte, CA

Should the Packers consider adding Snacks or Everson Griffen? Pairing Clark with Griffen would free him up from double teams and make him even more productive. Adding a veteran is a safer bet while allowing Kingsley Keke and Montravius Adams to develop and still be a key rotational piece on the D-line.

The Packers seem comfortable moving forward with a young defensive line but I am stunned Damon Harrison and Griffen are still free agents. I didn't expect either to be on the market for long, though I'm sure the pandemic didn't help matters.

Bob from Racine, WI

Gentlemen, what are the factors in delaying the Packers signing their first- through sixth-round draft picks?

Location and circumstance. The players aren't here like they usually are for the offseason program. The Packers usually sign five or six members of their draft class during the weekend of rookie minicamps. Expect more deals to get done in the coming days and weeks. Negotiations are pretty cut and dry these days. I don't expect there to be much holdup.

Brad from Northport, MI

Good morning. So it's probably too early to know this, but if the season does start with no fans in the stadiums, do you think the TV blackouts will be waived for the local viewers?

I think that's safe to assume.

Griffin from Lake Jackson, TX

Do you really think that drafting the quarterback as our first draft pick actually did upset Aaron enough that he will ask to be traded/released after 2020 or 2021?

No.

Clay from Goodyear, AZ

"[W]e have to stay in touch with one another's humanity at all times." It's sad that it takes a riot to remind us of this. However, historically speaking, the recent riots are small potatoes compared to the full-scale wars prior generations endured to be reminded of the same truth you so eloquently expressed. It has been said that a focused pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty is the way to understand and honor the inherent dignity of the human soul. Do you have a prescription for us?

No prescription. Just understanding. Understanding the need for change in this country. Not tomorrow. Not a year from now. Today. If we truly value the life of every man, woman and child in this nation, then we need to have an open and honest conversation about institutional racism. That discussion can't wait any longer and I include myself in that. I need to be more outspoken and find ways to help amplify the voices that need to be heard. Because everything else seems so trivial at this point. We cannot wait for this storm to pass. We need to understand why it's here. I was born with privilege. In my 32 years, I've never had to worry about how I'll be treated because of my skin color and I took that for granted for a very long time. Carson Wentz's Twitter post over the weekend resonated with me because I grew up under similar circumstances. I didn't have any black classmates. I do not presume to know what it's like to walk in their shoes every day and to feel what they feel. I woke up at 1 a.m. Monday, and restlessly tossed and turned for 2½ hours. The two thoughts that kept fluttering through my mind were the current state of our country and the realities we all must face together. Reading Corey Linsley's tweet on Monday about Billy Turner's and Yosh Nijman's address to the team made me wish we all could have been in that meeting. Because we have work to do and still so much to learn. I, for one, need to keep asking questions of my fellow citizens to better understand the thoughts and emotions of all races and ethnicities. It's our responsibility to listen, to learn and to grow. We, as a society, must do better. Thank you for reading.

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