Tue, 22 Sep 2020

Inbox: There's only one way to find out

Packers
05 Aug 2020, 18:12 GMT+10

Sometimes life takes us in a direction we didn’t anticipate

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

The Inbox certainly is far flung. Thoughtful contributors from Australia, Denmark and the UK on Monday make me thrilled to be a Packer Backer!

And makes me yearn to travel again.

Mark from Appleton, WI

Since there will be no fans allowed at the practice field this year, are you planning on having more videos on the website, maybe more analysis of the players (especially the new ones) by Larry during training camp? Any additional coverage would be appreciated.

We're taking things one day at a time right now. But yes, our hope is we'll have tons of stories, videos and analysis to keep everyone in the loop. With any luck, we'll have "Unscripted" up and running, too, in the next week or so.

Brandon from Vacaville, CA

Interested in your thoughts. Can football's unique work week help keep the football season afloat? One game per week, players can get tested each Wednesday and results in time for games to adjust. Practice is an all-day affair, going home after a long day, keep players at home? Only gone two nights for away games. Only have to worry about players sneaking out of hotels eight nights all season? Or do players still party? Learn from baseball and we can do it!

I'm not a player, coach or scout but I can tell you what happened with MLB was a reminder of how precarious this whole thing is. That's why it's imperative to take the right precautions and stay on top of it at all times. You can't blink. Players have to stay accountable to not only each other, but also each other's families. The advantage I see the NFL having is its season is starting on time and not playing catch-up like other major sports have had to do. That gives it greater flexibility. The NFL also has fewer games to get in. What I fear with baseball's tight window is it's going to run out of time to get all these makeup games in.

Jerry from Erie, PA

I hope you have a great day today! My question is do you think the NFL and team owners know something the average Joe does not about the COVID? Do you think they may have a heads-up on when a vaccine can be started? Do you think they are trying to hold on until around November when they may feel a vaccine will be ready? Marquez Valdes-Scantling had a very good yards per catch last year, I think. Maybe this year all he needs is to be consistent? Packers Super Bowl champs this year!

I hope you're having a great day, too, Jerry. Unless there's an owner out there with ties to pharmaceutical companies, I think everyone is in the same boat right now. The phrase you keep hearing is "cautious optimism." As far as Marquez Valdes-Scantling, this is a huge year - and opportunity - for him. If I'm the Packers, I turn on Davante Adams' 2015 film and remind MVS one season does not define him. This 2020 campaign is his chance to write the real story.

Darrel from Pueblo, CO

II, I accept BG's position that none of the WRs he liked were there when the Pack was on the clock. Do you think Equanimeous St. Brown and Allen Lazard will make a significant jump and fill the bill for WR2?

I see Lazard as the No. 2 receiver until proven otherwise. He was the most consistent performer outside of Davante Adams last year. He showed toughness, resiliency and an ability to bring down contested catches. That being said, St. Brown is also a guy I have my eye on. His arrow was pointing up at the end of his rookie season and he's still just 23 years old. The question is how quickly E.Q. can knock the rust off after being idle for the past year?

Scott from Los Angeles, CA

The story everywhere is what a big mistake the Packers made not drafting a wide receiver in this past draft. In reality, especially this current situation, could a first- or second-round rookie wide receiver really have been an X factor? Why is this such a big story?

It would be hard, not impossible, but hard. That doesn't fit convenient narratives, though. Signing Devin Funchess was a sensible and smart thing for the Packers to do for this year's team, but sometimes life takes us in a direction we didn't anticipate.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Regarding a recent comment/discussion about Mason Crosby's postseason kicks, I think his greatest kick was in a game Packers fans would rather forget. The team must have been deflated but an angry Crosby came on the field and booted a tremendous FG from about 50 that would have gone in by 60-plus to tie the championship game at Seattle and send it to OT. I was never more certain that Crosby would convert a kick and boy did he ever.

I'll never forget that kick. It's just a shame it came to that.

Jennifer from Middleton, WI

I have found it fascinating to learn about the team modifications and technology in use in COVID protocols. But I had to laugh at myself, realizing I have too much time on my hands, when I'm already wondering this: How will they do the team picture?

Bless you, Jennifer, but the team photo is the least of my concerns at this point. Maybe they can do something after the season...or use Photoshop.

Joshua from Appleton, WI

Will we have to bubble wrap Tim Boyle in case our other QBs catch COVID-19?

I don't know what approach the Packers will take with their quarterbacks. Matt LaFleur said going the quarantine route could be a possibility. My two cents, as it's been all offseason, is every team should keep three QBs on the active roster for two reasons - it's an insurance policy in case of emergency and there's also two practice-squad players who could be elevated to the game-day roster each week to potentially help on special teams.

Scott from Las Vegas, NV

Guys, I think the no-huddle offense is one of the most effective strategies that can really help take the offense to the next level. I still remember how the Packers would dominate when they ran the no-huddle, hurry-up offense and the defenses were on their heels. Now having a year under their belt with a new offense, do you see this as something Matt LaFleur would start incorporating? I just can't see them continuing to run the clock down to the last second and using costly timeouts again.

I think we're going to see more no-huddle this year. Does that get a bit trickier without a physical offseason program and perhaps fewer training camp practices? Of course, but I think we're going to see it. Getting the no-huddle going again on a more regular basis would help everyone.

Don from Riverton, UT

With Aaron Jones only three yards short of Allen Lazard's receiving yards last year, why isn't he mentioned as a "second receiver" possibility for this year?

I've literally developed callouses on my hands from beating this drum all offseason.

Scott from Fredonia, WI

In response to Larissa from Minnetonka about star running backs falling off, I've become more convinced lately that running backs are more a product of their (scheme) than their actual skill. I wonder how good Le'Veon Bell would have looked had he taken the place of Aaron Jones. And certainly the Texans think DJ2K is not past his prime. I'm not asking for the Insiders to publish their opinion on the whole debate, just bringing it up that a "running backs don't matter" debate exists.

I used to think that, too, and then I covered the 2012 Packers.

Tristan from Aurora, CO

A lot of noise has been made about the Pack potentially signing Snacks Harrison, Mike Daniels, or Timmy Jernigan to help shore up the run defense this upcoming season, but this morning, a new name entered the fray, as the Raiders cut PJ Hall after two seasons. As a former second-rounder with good size and a great athletic profile, as well as the fact that he'll probably come cheap, he could be a name to watch for the Packers as the season approaches!

I want to see what Chandon Sullivan, Josh Jackson, Ka'dar Hollman and an undrafted rookie like Marc-Antoine Dequoy have to offer first before looking elsewhere. And there's only one way to find out. They need to play. Even if disaster struck, in this environment, I'd be keener on bringing back Tramon Williams, a veteran who has knowledge of the system, than an unknown.

Steve from Gurnee, IL

Just another idea should college football not be played this fall...With the exception of Thanksgiving Day, move all Thursday games to Saturday. This will give the players two more days to heal from the previous game and still provide fans with Saturday football. Cheers to you guys!

The Thursday games won't move. For one, the ink on those broadcast contracts is dry and the layout of the schedule takes into account the Thursday slate. However, as I've said before, I could see the NFL moving select Sunday games to Saturday during the second half of the year if the college season is scrapped or bowl games are greatly reduced.

Dan from Morehead City, NC

With Mr. Funchess opting out and missing all of last year he will have a harder time getting back into football shape, both physically and mentally. So how much contact can he have with the team now? Can he still be virtually coached? Can he come to the facility to see the trainer? Could he come and work out with the team at any point during the season?

The language of the COVID agreement says the opt-out is "generally irrevocable," so I take that to mean the player sits out the season and does not have access to facilities during the 2020 season. So it'll be up to Funchess to stay in shape should he return to football in 2021.

David from Minneapolis, MN

Once again, how is "End Racism" controversial? Was there backlash to the political nature of breast cancer awareness? Support our troops? Isn't feeling that these items are political, actually the first politically charged atom within this molecule? If you can't watch football because ending racism is too political, please go find the people not watching because they support cancer. There have to be empty seats in that room.

I stand by what I wrote last week and applaud Spoff for what he wrote Monday. There's nothing more to add. I feel like it's a straightforward message: "End Racism." That's how it hits me. If others want to go somewhere else with it, that's up to them.

Jeremy from Phoenix, AZ

OK, so I was hoping you guys could dedicate a day in the Inbox where there's no talk of kneeling, COVID-19 or anything besides football. Just asking for a breather. So with that out of the way. How do you see guys like Ty Summers and Yosh Nijman progressing in Year 2? Summers' combine numbers were very similar to Patrick Queen's, and Nijman looks like an absolute monster.

I am excited about Summers. He has a high football IQ, good athleticism and checked all the boxes for me on special teams last year. Judging by how Summers looks, it appears he put on more muscle in the offseason. I don't know much about Nijman but he carries an impressive build. Size doesn't make the O-lineman but it also doesn't hurt when put to use properly. Plus, the swing tackle job is there for the taking.

Charles from Omaha, NE

Let's say you are wandering around Lambeau one morning and encounter Mark Murphy. Do you say: 1) Good Morning President Murphy; 2) Good morning Mr. Murphy; 3) Hi Mark; 4) Good morning Sergeant Major; or 5) Good morning Lord Hand?

I say, "Oh, hi Mark."

Chadro from Janesville, WI

Hey guys, I see "Three Things" has made its triumphant return. I gotta say, those masks look pretty, pretty, pretty, good. I know Spoff is a big "Seinfeld" fan. How about "Curb Your Enthusiasm"? Thanks guys. Stay safe.

Spoff and Larry did a tremendous job. I'm excited to be rejoining them at some point. To the best of my knowledge, Spoff isn't a "Curb" guy but I could be wrong on that.

Scotty from Lombard, IL

Insiders, the team I am on is getting new shirts with numbers. I am going to ask for No. 88, but before I do, I need your permission.

Permission granted.

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