Sat, 19 Jun 2021

Inbox: He's the perfect player for this team

Packers
09 May 2021, 18:12 GMT+10

Kamal Martin isn’t afraid to attack the football Wes Hodkiewicz

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning. The Packers signed undrafted free agent safety Christian Uphoff to a contract. If former players Tim Couch and Vince Workman were still on the team, you'd get "Uphoff, the Couch and Workman." Sounds like an unhappy Mother's Day directive.

We are crawling to this weekend, aren't we?

Joe from Swansea, IL

"Where do you get the nerve?" I laughed out loud. On that point, what do you do to tune out the sound and fury from "experts" who have no insight - just a microphone? Can you provide us some serenity now?

This was an unprecedented development. In a single submission, we have a frontrunner for both "Inbox Submission" and "Inbox Reply" of 2020-21. Listen, you are whatever you feed your mind. Some junk food here and there is OK. But if you live, breathe and eat junk, don't come to me complaining that you feel like junk.

Jim from Eau Claire, WI

Does Amari Rodgers seem as exited to play with Aaron Rodgers (there I said it) as I am to have him on the Packers?

Amari is coming to Green Bay under uncertain circumstances, but he's saying all the right things. The more you learn about Rodgers, the more it makes sense. He had a distinguished run as a receiver at Clemson but what stands out to me the most is how beloved Rodgers is at Clemson. As a talent, Rodgers is exceptional. But it's who he is as a person that makes him special. More to come on that next week...hopefully.

Michael from Dover, PA

MVS can go over the top. Davante Adams is a beast on the perimeter and outside. Doesn't it stand to reason that if Amari Rodgers can play the slot and open up the middle, the passing game becomes a "pick your poison" a defense would have to employ? Yikes!

For all the consternation about the Packers not taking a receiver last year, they had no shortage of offensive weapons in 2020. The one thing missing was a slot guy. Rodgers checks that box, while also providing a weapon on jet motions and an upgrade on returns. He's the perfect player for this team.

Al from Green Bay, WI

I love all the Inbox optimism surrounding the newly drafted Packers. With that said, would you agree that the success of the 2021 Packers is more dependent upon development of second- and third-year players than contributions from the rookies?

Always.

Levi from St. Paul, MN

Good morning II. I want to thank you and packers.com for having this forum for me to work through this and other trying times as a Packers fan. Even if my questions are not answered, it gives me a place to vent, complain, praise and simply ask questions. Today, I am able to turn my attention to the drafted players and the rest of this talented team that wants to be there. I think Josh Myers from OSU will end up being the best pick and this offensive line will be the strength of this team. Do you agree?

I like the way the Packers have assembled the offensive line. They took one of their biggest strengths (depth) and made that group even deeper. It doesn't have a proven, readymade starting five like most of Green Bay's O-lines over the last decade, but based on the team's track record, I'd expect a few big-hitters from this six-pack of prospects the Packers drafted over the last 12 months. Oh, and you have Yosh Nijman, too. I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Matt from Minneapolis, MN

Although Kamal Martin only played 19% of the defensive snaps last year due to injury, he ranked as the second-best rookie off-the-ball linebacker according to PFF. He had sloppy gap discipline at times and definitely has room to improve, but he showed some real flashes. Do you think that Joe Barry's background as an inside linebackers coach will help Martin make a big second-year jump? Of all our rookies from last year Martin and Barnes are likely the most important in 2021.

Martin just needs to learn to pump the brakes every now and then, but I love the way he plays the game. The kid is not afraid to attack the football and hit people. Maybe the Packers add a veteran here in the coming weeks and months, but there's a lot to like about a Krys Barnes and Martin combination inside on early downs, especially if Joe Barry goes with a hybrid safety in dime.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

I don't know about "Seinfeld" references, but I do hope Newman performs several feats of strength as a Packer ;)

Rest assured, I already have my "Hello Newman!" and "Newman's Own" headlines ready for the Gameday program.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Can Jon Runyan play the tackle position?

He could, but Runyan's primary concentration has been the interior offensive line so far.

Brock from Albany, NY

Good afternoon Insiders. Regarding the O-line depth, was there any progression last season with Simon Stepaniak's comeback from injury? I remember hearing he had the talent to be considered a late Day 2 pick if he hadn't been injured before the draft. I'm personally very excited to see his and Runyan's development!

I haven't heard any updates on Stepaniak since he was placed on injured reserve late last season but he could be a real sleeper for the Packers. He's an extremely strong dude who played A LOT at Indiana. Patrick Taylor is also one name to keep an eye on.

Ronald from Edison, NJ

How many running backs are on the roster?

Six. Count 'em.

Jeff from Waukesha, WI

Hi II! With the offseason workout schedule being released, could you remind us what workouts the media is able to attend? I'm ready to start reading some tweets about our guys on the field!

The Packers usually "open" locker room once a week during OTAs and for as many minicamp practices as the team holds (two or three, depending on whether a team-building exercise occurs).

Dar from Mansfield, TX

I liked Spoff's intro to the scrappy draftee CB. Is his last name pronounced JEEN-Charles or ZHON-Charles?

John.

Elliot from Hopkins, MN

My buddy and I were talking about how Steph Curry has completely changed the NBA and the way it is played. We were trying to think if there was a player in the NFL that has impacted the game as much as Curry. Our first thought was Michael Vick.

Mine too. The NFL has continued to evolve since Vick's prime but his speed changed the game in so many ways - from how quarterback is played and offenses are structured to the way teams construct their defenses.

Brian from Urbana, IL

Hey fellas. Let's say you were granted an imaginary role as U.S. media/journalism czar. What is one thing you would implement to help humanize athletes, coaches, and other sports staff?

Eliminate the race to "be first." Breaking news is fine. It's what makes our world go round...but get it right.

Scott from Albertville, MN

What year did the first NFL Draft take place?

1936. Chicago had the No. 1 pick and drafted Jay Berwanger, while the Packers selected Russ Letlow with their first-ever draft pick (seventh overall). Letlow played eight seasons, won two NFL championships and was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1972. Berwanger never played for the Bears, opting instead to become a rubber salesman.

Eric from Durham, NC

I know we're all rooting for Tim Boyle but I went to the Lions website and could barely find his name outside of the roster page. Do you think coaches there will feel pressured to start Jared Goff since he was acquired in a blockbuster trade? Also, with the release of Kerryon Johnson, Jamaal Williams has one less person to beat out for a starting spot. I, for one, would cheer for a Boyle/Williams-led Lions team 15 games a year!

I nearly corrected you and then remembered, "Oh yeah, 17 games now. Great..." But Goff is the leader in the Lions' clubhouse. While they received a bunch of picks for Matthew Stafford, the Lions made that trade with the intention of Goff being the starter. All I've said since the beginning is Boyle is going to open some eyes this summer. He's no longer a feelgood undrafted success story. Boyle is a fourth-year veteran now. This is his shot.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Does Jamal Williams have the most career carries as a Packers without a fumble? If so, who is second?

I'll check next week with Tom Fanning in communications if the Packers keep those records, but Williams must be up there. I also love how he went exactly 500 carries without a fumble during his four regular seasons in Green Bay.

Mike from Green Bay, WI

Would Mike Holmgren allow the crap to happen? No.

Stop.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Wes, soda or pop? (I'm just here to get my Packers Perks points.)

Me? Soda. My wife (who was born in Texas and raised in Kansas)? Pop.

Jim from McLean, VA

I just hope Rodgers is doing his offseason squats, meditating, and ending his day with a rare 30-year scotch.

A question for all of you consumers of spirits: Does liquor ever go bad? I heard Quinn Meinerz talking about taking a few sips of his great-grandfather's cognac after he was drafted and grimaced.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Thanks to Cliff Christl for his comments on the relationship between Lombardi and Jim Taylor. No. 31 broke my heart when he left the team and angered Coach Lombardi. Later, Lombardi himself would leave the Packers. Fans tend to think our favorites should chose team loyalty (or perhaps loyalty to us) every time. Athletes/coaches make their hard life decisions just like the rest of us and we all need to honor that even when it hurts us.

All good things must eventually come to an end and every exit is different. Taylor was a fascinating individual, and I'm interested to learn even more about him in Cliff's book. I believe everything Cliff said, based on what I've gathered over the years. In my only interaction with Taylor seven years ago, he was respectful, but stern. He had a straightforward way about him that rubbed some the wrong way, but I think that attitude is also what probably made him such a great football player.

Nick from Hamilton, Ontario

NO SOURCES?!? ALL THIS DRAMA AND THERE WERE NO SOURCES? Remember when journalistic integrity meant something? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Please don't get me started on that.

Alexander from Menomonie, WI

The red or blue pill to just get to football?

*Grabs both pills and swallows* before Morpheus can explain the rest.

Derek from Norton, KS

On night one of the draft, ESPN aired a schedule release promo with Rodgers vs. Mahomes as the featured matchup. Starting the next day, Rodgers had been replaced by Jackson. I think the Rodgers situation will have an effect on how the Packers' schedule plays out.

I stated earlier this week that I don't see this affecting the schedule, but that opinion was born mostly out of how complicated the process is. At the same time, I noticed Gil Brandt tweeted on Friday "will be interesting to see how many primetime games GB gets when the schedule is released. ... NFL could be showing its hand as to whether or not it believes Aaron Rodgers will be playing in GB next season." Gil would know a lot better than me. I guess we'll all find out together Wednesday.

Jon from Laramie, WY

No question, just wanted to say thank you for not overloading the II with all of the Rodgers drama. It is much appreciated, as I never hear the end of it from my coworkers who happen to be Vikings fans.

Feel whatever it is you want to feel and believe whatever it is you want to believe, but pace your emotions. We have a long way to go yet, friends. It's exactly one month until the start of mandatory minicamp and almost three months until training camp. With that being said, I'm ready for the weekend to begin. Happy Mother's Day to my mom, my beautiful wife and all the other moms out there!

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