Matt from Waunakee, WI

There seems to be concern about which RB will be the pounder. Everyone seems to be forgetting how well Ripkowski ran at the end of last year. In addition he is probably the best pass protector. Pass protecting could determine which rookie RB makes the team.

I agree with you about pass-protection skills going a long way in sorting out the depth chart amongst the rookies. But I believe Ripkowski’s success running the ball was, in part, due to it being a surprise to defenses, and I get the feeling McCarthy doesn’t want to have to deceive defenses to be able to run the ball this year.

Gregory from Fort Atkinson, WI

Insiders, here is a question for any or all of you. If a player is inducted into the HOF (after the allotted time) and then decides to make a comeback, does he lose his spot in the HOF? Are there rules or a procedure that they would have to go through to play again? Would he keep his place in the HOF and stats just be added? Hopefully this gives you guys something to look into and think about. I don't believe this has ever happened and probably wouldn’t.

There’s a reason it hasn’t happened. To play this brutally physical game long enough to be a HOFer, take five years off to get inducted, and then come back? I don’t think that switch exists to flip, so no, they don’t need to write any rules.

Adam from Jefferson City, MO

In regards to the question about the Packers-Bears rivalry becoming boring, let's not forget that Chicago came into Lambeau just three games ago and beat the Packers ... ON FAVRE NIGHT! Maybe they aren't winning the majority of the games, but when the Pack loses to the Bears, it is a shot to the heart. It’s the definition of a timeless rivalry.

I like that line. One of the best moments in the current era of the Packers-Bears rivalry was when Lovie Smith was hired as head coach in Chicago in 2004, and he declared at his opening press conference that his team’s No. 1 goal was to “beat Green Bay.” Over the previous decade, the Bears had gone 2-18 against the Packers. Smith won four of his first five and six of his first eight in the rivalry before it swung back again. McCarthy, who’s fond of saying, “You get what you emphasize,” had to respect that.

Tom from Blaine, WA

Believe me, Seattle is on the list. You have no idea what I put up with out here.

Duly noted.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Have the Packers considered making a blaze orange throwback jersey for late November games so they can match the stands?

No, and I doubt they would, but I wouldn’t be averse to a blaze-out amongst 70,000-plus on deer hunting weekend this fall.

Josh from Lansing, MI

Out of everyone that is new to the Packers this season, there is one guy that I am very interested in: Cody Heiman. His pro day stats are very comparable to those of Jarrad Davis (ILB) who went in the first round to Detroit. I also like his story in being from Division II Washburn. What are your thoughts on him?

I have none yet. OTAs start next week, so I’ll try to watch him. Several readers have written in about Heiman.

Dan from Colorado Springs, CO

How would a Packer fan ever go to an away game if season-ticket holders couldn't resell their tickets? I go to several away games and my only means of getting a ticket is the secondary market.

How many sides to this coin are there?

Will from Julian, CA

As a Packer fan since 1957 who attended Super Bowl I, I am old enough to remember the days when games were NOT sellouts. The Packers used to even play some games in Milwaukee to attract more fans. So kudos to those fans who had the foresight to invest in season tickets before it became in vogue to do so. If they make a profit by selling some of them, so be it. I gladly pay the premium for the privilege to attend a game of my choice at Lambeau without having to buy season tickets.

More than I can print.

Derk from Chippewa Falls, WI

Coach McCarthy said they never want to be one injury away from being able to run a certain formation, or something along those lines. Do you think we have any position group where that is the case?

No, but now is not the time to think that way. McCarthy’s mantra is to never be one injury away from being out of a primary personnel group for a given game. It goes to game-planning, selection of the 46 active players, etc. Given what he said about playing more DBs and having more sub-packages on defense, perhaps it plays into the final cutdown to 53 this summer, too.

Tracy from Sioux Falls, SD

How many inaugural games have the Packers been in to open up a new or renovated stadium?

I don’t have time to ride the way-back machine today, but I believe the Packers were the first regular-season opponent in the renovated Soldier Field in Chicago (2003), Ford Field in Detroit (2005), and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (2016). Atlanta will be the fourth in the last 15 years.

Max from Troy, MO

Do you know if any of the players play musical instruments? If so, who and what?

I remember Charles Woodson telling me he started taking piano lessons when he first moved to Green Bay. I found that rather interesting. And C.J. Wilson famously played piano in front of the team at the hotel outside Dallas the night before Super Bowl XLV.

Justin from Wausau, WI

All this worry from fans about whether No. 88 is going to be a receiver or a running back. I don't get it. Who cares what you call him? Isn't this exactly the weapon this offense has been missing? He's a very talented athlete that can be the tail of the “I” on one play and split out wide the next. Rodgers can audible and shift him wherever he likes pre-snap if he sees a favorable matchup. What I see is a nightmare for D-coordinators, and I don't care what his official designation is. I just want to see him with the ball in his hands.

Works for me.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Mike, Wes said you are both wise and a prophet. Would you give us an example of when your prophet side manifested itself?

I make plenty of predictions that are wrong, but the best ones are when you’re right with a throng of witnesses. Last January, we had a Packers Everywhere pep rally in Dallas the night before the playoff game, and as Wes and I concluded our stint on stage, Wayne Larrivee asked for our game predictions. I referenced Green Bay’s magic in Jerry’s World – Super Bowl XLV and the Matt Flynn comeback in ’13, which included a 57-yard field goal by Crosby. So I said, “Put it on Crosby’s foot and the Packers are going to the NFC title game in Atlanta.” The next day, having forgotten all about what I said, I’m getting on the bus after post-game interviews to begin writing my stories. Our team photographer, Evan Siegle, just looks at me as I walk by and says, “Spoff, you called it.” To which I replied, as the memory bulb went on, “That’s it. No more predictions from me. I’m going out on top.”

Bryce from Ames, IA

What do the additions of Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks mean for the offense?

I believe the additions of Bennett and Kendricks are all about trying to get defenses to play the Packers honestly, meaning they’ll truly respect the run, and if they don’t, McCarthy wants to run the ball until they do.

Dale from Oaktown, IN

With QBs like Favre, Brady and Manning playing into their 40s, do you guys think we will ever see another George Blanda?

A 48-year-old QB? I hope so. Testaverde started a handful of games at 44 not too long ago. He’s not a HOFer like the others, but still. With all the nutrition education and exercise science a part of today’s game, and with rule protections for QBs not going away, I’m not ruling it out.

Monty from Hazen, ND

With Biegel on the shelf for the time being, I'm wondering about Kyler Fackrell. Players tend to make a jump from Year 1 to Year 2. They also tend to get bigger and stronger in that period. Have you seen him recently and does he look like he's ready to make that jump?

Training camp will help answer that for us, no matter what’s written about Fackrell during OTAs. He’ll be a key guy to keep an eye on during the one-on-one pass-rush/pass-block drills in August.

Chad from Port Douglas, Australia

With Rodgers not a UFA until 2020, why is there talk beginning about contract extensions, etc., now?

Because franchise quarterbacks are in their own category as far as how a team manages them.

Brandon from Appleton, WI

How long does a practice-squad question stay with the team before it is either released into cyberspace or added to the active players "Insider" roster?

Three days is my max.

Davy from Hustisford, WI

Will the NFL ever adopt a draft lottery similar to the NBA?

Only if concerns ever arise about teams tanking games in order to get the No. 1 pick. That’s how it came about in the NBA.

Brenda from Waurika, OK

Insiders, do y'all think we'll see the first-half-of-last-season or the second-half-of-last-season Vikings this year?

Neither. The 2016 Vikings had a suspect offensive line and minimal running game. They’ve upgraded both areas. They had to.

Ken from Arvada, CO

Do you guys ever run into the players or coaches at work, or is there a separation between the two groups in the building?

The coaches are on the third floor, and I worked on third floor for almost a decade until our department moved to second. The players are almost exclusively downstairs, and I usually see them only if I’m stopping down there for a specific web-related reason.

Ryan from Morton Grove, IL

Am I the only one who is excited for Trevor Davis to return punts this year? He showed flashes last year before that fumble against the Titans caused him to be benched.

I’m tuned in.

Adam from Glens Falls, NY

Thank you for your excellent coverage of this year's draft class. In a recent piece Larry said that 10 percent of the league is "difference-makers." That equates to five or six elite guys per team. Do you think the league shakes out that way?

Pretty much. The salary cap factors into spreading out those elite players over time. The teams that get a leg up are the ones that hit it big on a couple of young guys and get cheap, elite talent to go with the pricey stuff for a few years.

Tom from Eichstatt, Germany

Every time I think I have my mind made up about which rookie RB I am most excited about, I see tape or hear a story that gets me excited for another. This is a good problem to have, indeed. So eager to see how things play out.

Indeed, and Wes has a good story coming Friday about Jones and his twin brother. Be sure to check it out.


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