Fri, 24 Sep 2021

Inbox: It's an impressive group

Packers
24 Jul 2021, 18:12 GMT+10

Josh Myers should benefit from the snaps he took this spring Wes Hodkiewicz

Bruce from Appleton, WI

How do you think of the rookie class this year for the Packers?

It's an impressive group. Eric Stokes, Josh Myers, and Amari Rodgers may have been on the field more this offseason than any other rookies I've covered the past 10 years besides Darnell Savage. The Packers put all three players to work this spring.

Kyle from St. Charles, MO

I'm hopeful Josh Myers does indeed lock down the starting center gig. Surely that would contribute to making the OL that much better by letting the other established vets play their more natural positions. Also, how would you compare Myers to the Linsley-sized shoes he's trying to fill? Are there things he may do better coming in or will he simply be trying to catch up in all aspects?

They're both intelligent and played at Ohio State. The similarities pretty much begin and end there. Otherwise, the two have very different frames and approaches to playing the position. Myers also took first-team snaps all spring as opposed to Linsley, who didn't take a starting rep until the last week of camp in 2014. That experience should help Myers in his bid to win the job.

Dan from Elizabethtown, KY

Should Jordan Love be listed as a rookie? I say yes because he has not played in a preseason game, never dressed for a regular-season game and has yet to hold for one field-goal try. What do you say, Wes?

Under no circumstances would Love be labeled a rookie. Although he didn't play, Love was on the Packers' 53-man roster all last season. That counts as an accrued season and gives Love his second-year status. And even if he hadn't made the roster, Love would be listed as a first-year player now since he previously signed an NFL contract.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy that there is no best, only better. Continuous improvement. Never being sated with the status quo. In your opinion, which player, having made giant strides last year, who if they improve and evolve as much as they did in 2020, would become the impetus of championship?

Robert Tonyan. Since enrolling at Indiana State, Big Bob has improved every year he's played. I think he stays on that trajectory in 2021 and becomes an undeniable Pro Bowler who helps Green Bay win a lot of games.*

Christopher from Middletown, RI

After years of struggle both the 2021 Bucks and the 1996 Packers championships are incredible accomplishments. Accounting for the differences between the NBA and the NFL, which do you consider a greater feat and why?

The Bucks' run was incredible and 50 years in the making, but I still gotta go with the Super Bowl XXXI run as the greater feat. It was such a monumental achievement, especially with how far the franchise had fallen and all the stars that had to align for that 12th world title to materialize.

Jason from Huntsville, AL

Speaking of where we were when our teams clinched championships, I still remember the Packers' win in Super Bowl XXXI in 1997. I was a freshman in high school, and my buddies and I would run out to the street and re-enact every Packers TD. I got to be Andre Rison on that first one. Did the duck walk and everything, but I improvised a little with a dive into a snowbank at the end (I lived in northern Wisconsin then). Where were you on that fateful night, Wes?

Considering I was just 8, I don't have many cool stories from Super Bowl XXXI. I watched it with my parents at home. Since I was obsessive with broadcasting at the time, I recorded the radio call of Jim Irwin and Max McGee. I still have those cassette tapes at my parents' house.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

I have submitted this question multiple times with multiple lead ins and haven't gotten a response. With training camp closing in, I am trying again before we have more pressing matters to talk about. Which Packers player on either side of the ball would you most like to see play both ways? What about in the whole NFL? Packers I'd like to see: Elgton Jenkins as an interior defensive lineman and on offense it's Kenny Clark zone-blocking. I'd take Derrick Henry filling holes as an ILB and CB Xavien Howard running routes.

Haven't I answered this before? My answer was Tyler Lancaster, who nearly played guard at Northwestern. I know it's not the fanciest answer but it's the truth.

Kyle from Pikeville, KY

Now that the Bucks are NBA champions, do you think their success will carry over to the Packers? It seems possible if you look at Tampa's recent success and Boston in years past.

There were more than a dozen Packers players who either attended playoff games or showed their support on social media. So, you can't tell me Za'Darius Smith, Aaron Jones and David Bakhtiari aren't motivated to win a title after watching Milwaukee's postseason run firsthand.

Jonathan from Medina, TN

Hi Wes! I have a question regarding the Packers' offensive success. We saw a huge leap from Year One to Year Two of the LaFleur system in efficiency and productivity. If we assume Aaron Rodgers stays under center, what are some of the keys to maintaining that success in Year Three?

A lot falls on the offensive line, which was brilliant last year in the face of injuries. The Packers have a tall task ahead of them with having to replace Corey Linsley at center and prepare a Plan B for left tackle with David Bakhtiari still on the mend.

TK from Grafton, WI

Do you object to fans referring to their team as "we"?

I have no problem with it. After all, that's your team. The only time I get agitated is when media members do that.

Stephen from Green Bay, WI

I am sure someone caught this, however..."Green Bay didn't draft a cornerback this past April but has several developmental prospects on the roster, including 2019 sixth-round pick Ka'dar Hollman, converted receiverKabion Ento , and undrafted free agents Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Stanford Samuels, Will Sunderland and DaShaun Amos." What about Eric Stokes?

It's good to see you've been reading our position-by-position preview...from a year ago. The new one on the 2021 DBs posts Monday.

Craig from Bonduel, WI

Are the Packers currently in a better position defensively for a 4-3 or 3-4 defense?

3-4...for all 15% of the base snaps the Packers play in an average game.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

Davante Adams skills bring me so much joy.

You ain't the only one, Geoffrey.

Julian from Gastonia

We know what Davante Adams provides the offense with Rodgers at QB. Adams also played very well when Rodgers was out with injuries, but certainly not as well which is understandable. Wouldn't it behoove the Packers to just wait and see who is the QB this year and see who Adams plays with before signing a blockbuster contract. Even if we assume Rodgers is the QB this year, but not next, Green Bay still has the tag option to see how he gels with Love next year. What's the rush?

I don't think the quarterback has much to do with it. Just look at what Allen Robinson has accomplished in Chicago the past few seasons. The rush to get something done with Adams is using the final year of his existing contract to prorate out the signing bonus of his next deal. As I said at the beginning of the offseason, the Packers likely can lower Adams' cap number for this season with a new deal.

Dave from Waterford, OH

Two former NFL players have been Pro Bowl selections, played on offense, wore No. 21, and played for the Packers. Can you name them?

There wasn't a Pro Bowl during Verne Lewellen's heyday but I know Brent Fullwood went to Hawaii one time.

Adam from San Diego, CA

I think the Larry foam finger with the pinky sticking out instead of the index finger sticking up is a great idea. What a great game day give away or a pro shop idea. I am sure they would sell like hot cakes.

Tell me you're not from Green Bay without telling me you're not from Green Bay.

Brandon from Imperial, MO

Good morning, have either of you watched "Hard Knocks" on HBO and, if so, do you think it gives a real portrayal of training camp in the NFL? This year it's the Cowboys again and I'm curious to see how MM runs a camp since we never really got to see the inner workings when he was with the Pack. Do you think it would give any insight to his years in GB?

If you know how the Cowboys run things, I highly doubt we'll learn anything about McCarthy's time with the Packers from "Hard Knocks." I still watch it every year and you can bet your (butt) I'll be watching again this summer. I think Mike will make for some great TV. I'm also hoping to spot my buddy, Ryan Feder, at some point.

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

If you were flying out to Tokyo right now, you would probably participate. If the athletic gods endowed you, for two weeks, with the ability to compete in any event at the Olympic level, which one would choose?

Golf.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. Former president Richard Nixon once said, "I like the job I have now but if I had to live my life over again, I'd like to have ended up a sportswriter." See? You have one of the most envious job titles in the country. What other lesser career paths were possibilities for the 20-year-old Hod?

History professor or lawyer.

Josh from Pomona, CA

I'm just going to say it: Marcedes Lewis re-signed to chase a championship with the Packers. I find it hard to believe Aaron Rodgers would leave Big Dawg high and dry, especially after him saying "it's about the people." Rodgers will be back in green and gold this year.

T-minus five days until the start of training camp.

Jacob from Portage, WI

Hey Wes, a football's terminal velocity (max speed from gravity) is about 55 MPH. Given the everyday NFL arm is hitting between 50-60 MPH, the catch shouldn't be much harder than Boyle coming right at you.

Tim took it easy on me. The problem wasn't the velocity, but more so my baby hands and minimal catch radius. Regardless, I don't have any desire to get hit in the face by a football tossed from 800 feet.

Robert from Verona, WI

People keep talking about how Giannis has embraced Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin by pointing out that he stuck with it as the organization built the team around him. That's great, but the real sign that he has embraced Wisconsin (or at least that he's truly a Wisconsinite now) is in his Chick-fil-A posts. When asking if he could put the staff member on camera, he said, "Can I put you on camera? Do you mind? Or no?" Somewhere, Charlie Berens is smiling. Do you agree, or no?

That video was gold, every second of it. I hope he enjoyed the 50-piece McNuggets.

Sam from Greendale, WI

As the initial jubilation settles can we take a moment to appreciate Monty Williams? He is one heck of a good coach and took the time to not only congratulate the Bucks, but to thank them for making him a better coach. An absolute masterclass in sportsmanship. If I'm an athlete, he's the coach I want to play for.

I love Monty Williams, especially for all the adversity he's had to overcome, personally and professionally. He has a great system, too. The Bucks were the better, more talented team, but Williams got his players looks on the court. He also showed so much class going into the Bucks' locker room to congratulate the team after the game. The Suns will be back.

John from Clive, IA

In December 2017, I ordered a copy of "Take Your Eyes Off the Ball" on my MasterCard direct from the publisher. I liked the book and ordered two more copies on separate orders, one for Mike Spofford and one to you, Wes. Shipping confirmed both copies were delivered. Mike kindly sent me an email confirming receipt of his copy and thanked me. You did not respond. I believe the free copy you think the publisher sent you may actually be the copy I had sent to you. Maybe check your records?

Holy cow, John. You're right! I am so sorry but thank you so much for sending those books our way. It not only made me a better football writer but also has produced a more informed Inbox. You're a true Mensch.

HAVE A QUESTION?

More Cincinnati News

Access More

Sign up for Cincinnati News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!