The speed and ranginess of Quay Walker creates intriguing possibilitiesWes Hodkiewicz
Jim from Spring, TX
Hi guys, I enjoyed your references from "The Outlaw Josey Wales." It's one of my favorite movies. I like the draft picks, and if asked, Brian Gutekunst might have said actually, I was looking to gain an edge. II is great, great work guys.
Yeah. All kind of edges. Good morning!
Herb from Palm Desert, CA
Do you mind if I steal the line, "It's a game of projection, not prediction," and use it daily in all aspects of life?
I'm sorta kicking myself for not using that as the Inbox header. I'll probably recycle that one at some point.
Steve from Anchorage, KY
Good morning fellas. All this prognostication about our soon-to-be stifling defense, the draft and demise of the offense reminded me of an (altered) quote from one of the GOAT movies: It's easy to grin, when your draft comes in since we've always got the NFC North beat. Our coaches are worthwhile, so our fans should smile, when the league thinks our QB is dead meat! So, what did Hakeem Butler say about Allen Lazard three years ago?
Ha. I got a laugh out of that. The quote came from our third day wrap-up story from the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. Butler: "Allen is a great receiver. He didn't get drafted, which I think is bogus, but he taught me a lot. He's one of the first physical, big-bodied receivers I've ever interacted (with) coming into college. He used his (body) about as well as anybody and he showed me some of that body control. ... He showed me work ethic and a lot of different things. The dude had a great career at Iowa State and I think he'll have a great career in the NFL." Keep in mind, Allen Lazard spent nearly his entire rookie season on Jacksonville's practice squad and had played just one game for the Packers at the time.
Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN
Just wanted to chime in on Lazard and his role. I think the offense could run through the ground game this year more than we've seen in the Aaron Rodgers era. Lazard is a nice weapon to have but I think it's unrealistic to see him as a replacement for Adams. That's going to be Christian Watson's role down the road. Among Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Robert Tonyan, and Watson, I think the passing game may be more balanced rather than a single WR heavily targeted. I also see that balance in the run game, with AJ taking more carries.
I don't think anyone is presenting one single player as the solution for replacing Adams. But what's interesting about your comment is I think Lazard is the receiver who fits best in the run-oriented scheme you've outlined. It not only highlights Lazard's strengths as a blocker but also creates interesting matchups for him in play-action. At the end of the day, every receiver is going to have an oar in this boat.
Sean from Palatine, IL
Good morning, Wes! I'm real tired of the handwringing and griping about the Packers "not being aggressive enough" going after a WR, or comments about Christian Watson after his first two days as a professional. Sean to the abyss: your favorite Twitter "analyst" is not better at Gutey's job than Gutey. Good grief, some people need to touch some grass.
It's great to have an opinion. It's the lifeblood of what we do here. But just tread lightly and acknowledge there's a lot we don't know. It's like me and my mechanic Doug Ahlborg. I can tell him when something is wrong with my car, but I don't have a clue about how to fix it. When it comes to football, we're throwing darts at a board we can't fully see.
David from Florence, AZ
A follow-up about the defense getting better and the offense slipping. I think Rodgers will be very happy to have a defense that gets turnovers, gives him a short field and possibly a ST that does the same. I also think he might have a very large chip on his shoulder to prove that his accomplishments were not all due to Davante Adams. Your thoughts?
I'm not going to blow smoke up your feet. It will be a challenge for this offense to find its base without Adams, but everyone is up to the task. Rodgers will have a full month during training camp to build a rapport with his new receivers and help establish the offensive identity. I think the two-time defending NFL MVP will be just fine.
Jessi from Sterling, KS
I'm so glad the draft is over and we can look forward to the develop portion of football life. Seeing rookies in their mini training camp gets my heart fluttering that we are one step closer to forming our 2022 team. We will always be sad we lost Davante, but we have our captain at the helm of our ship and for that, I'm going to cherish this season all the more! What are you most grateful for entering this upcoming season?
An offseason that feels more like an offseason. Last year was difficult. The pandemic was still ongoing and many of you were asking pertinent questions Spoff and I didn't know the answers to as it related to the Packers. This year, everything feels centered on football again and I'm thankful for that.
Derek from Norton, KS
Quay Walker excelled as a pass rusher in the FBS national championship game. Do you expect this to be a big part of his game at the pro level?
The speed and ranginess of De'Vondre Campbell and Walker creates intriguing possibilities, especially with how Joe Barry utilized inside linebackers last season. Campbell and Oren Burks both were deployed as pass rushers and A-gap blitzers on occasion. I expect even more of that with Walker joining this defense.
Brian from Maple Grove, MN
I'm assuming Elgton Jenkins will start the year on the PUP list. With his ability to play anywhere on the line, do you think he takes the place on the line of the fifth-best starting O-lineman, or might they jumble up who is playing where if he were to go back to his normal left guard spot with hypothetically Jon Runyan moving to RG and Sean Rhyan to the bench?
If everyone stays healthy, that's probably how it'll go. But we know how the best-laid plans turned out for the Packers on the offensive line last season. Jenkins just needs to get healthy - and the O-line needs to stay healthy - and let all the chips fall where they may once "74" is back on the field.
Aaron from Beaumont, TX
I cannot wait to see what Amari Rodgers can do this year. Do you believe Amari can make the jump and fight his way into the starting lineup this year?
Absolutely. Like Randall Cobb said last month, this sport is not easy. There's a learning curve for young players. I don't think the Packers have even scratched the surface of what Amari could potentially do in this offense.
Dave from Middletown, CT
I predict there won't be any more questions about the pronunciation of Romeo Doubs' name as soon as he either scores 10 TDs in a season or catches 10 passes in a game. How could it be anything but Dubs?
Q: Dubs or Dobbs? A: Either is fine. That was a first for me during draft weekend, but Packers fans will pronounce Romeo's last name any way he desires if he develops into the Packers' next great mid-round receiver. I also can't say anything on the topic since my father and I pronounce our last names differently.
Bill from Clive, IA
Good morning, Wes! My question involves rookie Devonte Wyatt vs. second-year T.J. Slaton. Other than that clear difference, do you see them as more similar players than different? How about a compare/contrast analysis?
They're both extremely athletic but the comparisons probably end there. Slaton goes 6-5, 330 and is more of a three-technique defensive tackle on run downs. Wyatt is more like Kenny Clark, as two-way lineman who can defend the run but also rotate in on third downs. Both Slaton and Wyatt are key pieces for the Packers, though. With the addition of Jarran Reed, this is the deepest the D-line has been in years.
David from McCormick, SC
Guys, I just watched Matt's last press conference during which he was asked if he had ever been close to a guy 6-9 and 370. I looked at the draft class and couldn't find a match. Do you know to whom he was referring?
That's because it wasn't from the draft class. LaFleur was asked about tackle Caleb Jones, an undrafted free agent out of Indiana who would be the largest player to wear a Packers uniform if he makes the 53-man roster. He started 30 of his 41 games at left and right tackle for the Hoosiers.
David from Oak Hills, CA
Has any team that ever played in London during the regular season go on to win the Super Bowl later that year?
The Giants did it straightaway. They won the first game in London, a 13-10 victory over Miami, on Oct. 28, 2007. As you probably know, New York went on to win Super Bowl XLII. Since then, it hasn't happened again. Kansas City won Super Bowl LIV after playing in Mexico in 2019, though.
Keith from Dodgeville, WI
So will the London game be only on NFL Network, and if so, a lot of the Packer Nation might not be able to watch. I am not very happy about that the bars in my town do not open that early.
Many of you have asked this. I honestly do not know yet. This is new ground for all of us. Maybe we'll get that answer when the schedule is released on Thursday night.
Bob from Corpus Christi, TX
I thought the Packers were going to play the Raiders in Vegas this year, but on the web page it does not show the Raiders as one of the away opponents. I'd like to go to a game at the new Raiders stadium. When will the Packers play there?
Next year, Bob. The Packers only travel to play AFC teams every eight years, unless it happens in the cross-conference game due to the addition of the 17th game.
Joe from Swansea, IL
With the schedule announcement looming and so many tantalizing opponents this fall - all the division games plus Cowboys, Bucs, Bills, Rams, Titans and Patriots - how many games do you think will be in primetime? Put another way: Are you guys gonna get any sleep this coming season?
As sure as Sunday, the NFL will load up the Packers' dance card with primetime games for as long as Aaron Rodgers wants to play quarterback here. So, I expect the max.
William from Charleston, WV
Good morning II. I appreciate Mark answering Marilyn. There are too many who think like her. By answering her question in the manner Murphy did, he showed respect and spoke to who knows how many others. This is the only way we're going to change the cultural conversations and their tenor.
I've always had a great deal of respect for how Mark tackles his column every month. He's not filling the page with applause and adulation. Fans provide their questions and comments, and Mark answers openly and honestly.
Brock from West Lafayette, IN
Good morning! Wes, you blew my mind with the info that Lex Luger was a former Packer. I tried to rack my brain for other pro wrestlers with connections to the Packers and could only come up with Reggie White and Kevin Greene having stints with WCW. Who else might I be missing?
Steve "Mongo" McMichael, Dean Muhtadi (Mojo Rawley) and Nick McNeil (Percy Watson) are the only others I could come up with. I'm sure there are more.
Mike from New Orleans, LA
What is your favorite palindrome? I'm a sucker for "oozy rat in a sanitary zoo."
Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA
Wes, where does Mug root beer fall in your power rankings? I was forced to buy cans because the grocery store was all out of Barq's and the niece and nephew take after their uncle. Am I doing a disservice by giving them an inferior drink or do I get points for providing a necessity for a family gathering?
I like Mug more than I think most people do. My grandparents used to have Mug in their refrigerator, so I drank quite a bit of it as a child.
Tom from Bamberg, Germany
This is for Mark from Tomahawk. Welcome to my world, brother! I've been working for Uncle Sam in Germany since '92. Mostly my choice, my better half comes from here. We do what we must to see our beloved Packers play. I just hope I can get tickets for the London game. Keep up the great work guys and GO PACK GO!
May the odds be ever in your favor, Tom. Have a great week, everyone.
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