Ron from Beaver Dam, WI
I can't resist this OT suggestion. Settle overtime with alternating two point conversion attempts. Everything on the line to get two yards. Everyone gets their chance.
You’re still here? It’s over. Go home. Go.
Jim from McLean, VA
Having grown up in Wisconsin during the dry spell of the 70s and 80s, I just don't understand how fans continue to question TT's drafting and free agent strategy. Besides the Patriots, which other teams have made the playoffs the past 8 years?
The BC Lions?
Tom from New York, NY
Does the draft and develop philosophy transcend Ted Thompson? Is it just a harsh reality for small-market teams that can't sway big name free agents away from the spotlights of New York, Miami, or Los Angeles?
This might be the case in the NBA or MLB, but I don’t know if it applies to the NFL. At least, it doesn’t seem to affect the Packers in 2017. Charles Woodson, Julius Peppers, Ryan Pickett and Jared Cook were all high-profile free agents who signed with the Packers when they could’ve easily taken their talents elsewhere. If you’ve noticed, it’s not like they’ve lost many of their own talent due to geographical location. Players want to win and there are few better places to play than Green Bay right now.
Paul from Milwaukee, WI
I know Clay Matthews’ production, motor, and tenacity dropped off a bit once he got blind-sided. Do you think some of that was injury-related only or do you think Clay was always looking to his left and right to avoid another nasty hit? It just seemed to me he wasn't as effective late in the year and I wonder what a hit like that does to your mental stability.
Shoulder injuries are tough. While you usually can play through them, you’re still going to be compromised. After all, you’re only human. Randall Cobb didn’t miss a game in 2015 after spraining his AC joint in the preseason, but he dealt with constant pain all year. I don’t know how much it affected Matthews physically or mentally other than it was a fairly significant injury.
Don from Cedar Rapids, IA
The Insiders often mention that players "will only get better" (e.g. Randall, Rollins). But don't a lot of players hit an early peak, then fail to grow (or even digress)?
I wouldn’t say a lot. I think on an average, you see young players in Green Bay take a jump more often than not. Just look at David Bakhtiari, Mike Daniels, David Bakhtiari, Nick Perry, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Jordy Nelson. That’s only the tip of the iceberg when you consider all the guys who have developed into Pro Bowl players in Ted Thompson’s 12 years in Green Bay.
Mike from Novato, CA
Hey guys, talking about Wolf's bold move in trading for Favre got me to thinking about an underrated (IMO) move by Thompson. In 2009, he cut Brian Brohm. Not many GMs will cut a second round pick after the first season. You can argue he was a bad pick, but you can't deny TT didn't compound the mistake.
You’re not going to hit on all of your picks. That’s just the reality of the NFL and it was something Wolf completely understood. Even a team like New England has missed on early draft choices over the last 10 years. The key is not fooling yourself into thinking you didn’t. Sometimes you need to know when to cut your losses.
Alan from Park Falls, WI
Any chance we see JC Tretter back with the Packers?
A lot of questions about pending free agents this week. This is a big offseason for the Packers with roughly a dozen unrestricted and restricted free agents to make decisions on. I don’t know how it will all shake out, but my one bit of advice is never say never during the offseason. You hear many voices on the eve of free agency, but nothing is ever certain. Anything is possible until the ink is dry.
Josh from Seattle, WA
I believe too much of a focus on the run game led to the funk in the passing game. When we had no running game in 2011, great passing game. Same last year, I still prefer the run game but food for thought.
I don’t know if commitment to the running game is to blame for the slow start. You need balance. Teams have to respect the run if you’re going to have success. The biggest difference between the offense in the second half of the season and the first is rhythm and execution. It took a team effort to get the offense back in rhythm.
Jordan from Dallas, TX
I have heard a lot about Lacy, Montgomery, and Ripkowski. Nothing has been said about John Crockett. Is he still on the team after being on IR the whole year? Do you think he could make an impact next year if so?
Crockett spent the entire year on injured reserve. He’s an exclusive-rights free agent this offseason, so the Packers would have to tender him a contract to be back in 2017.
Dan from Woodland, WI
The Tony Romo situation is really intriguing. Bet the Texans are kicking themselves for blowing the money on Brock Osweiler, hey? What do you think about Da Bears going after him? Arguably, a decent QB to throw to those receivers makes them a legit second tier of the NFC North team.
Tony Romo could make a lot of teams better. He’ll have no shortage of potential suitors. Quarterbacks who have thrown for more than 34,000 yards with a 97.1 passer rating aren’t readily available.
Ted from Boston, MA
WES! I need to know. Do the players care about getting ranked in the NFL Top 100? The videos of the players talking about each other are fascinating. I've won my fantasy league two years in a row now, largely off critique and praise from the peer analysis.
Some guys get really excited about it and some don’t. Everyone has their own opinion of it. It’s like writing awards for journalists. There are people who live for them. Others couldn’t care less about them. To each their own.
David from Verona, WI
During the 2015 season, I read a number of stories about players using Yoga to stay well and avoid muscle pulls. Is that now part of most players' routines?
Yes. While most of those stories have run their course in the media, a lot of players continue to incorporate yoga into their training to safeguard against potential soft-tissue injuries.
Dennis from Rhinelander, WI
When will find out what number Ty Montgomery will be wearing next year? Will he get to choose if he is being switched to the RB position or will it be assigned?
We’ll know by the start of organized team activities in May, but you could hear about it before then if Montgomery announces it. I don’t know the exact team policy, but I’m guessing he’ll get to pick his new number.
Mike from South Milwaukee, WI
What happened to Janis? Why didn't he get an opportunity? I feel like the coaching staff isn't doing enough to get him involved.
The hand injury was a big setback for Janis during the first third of the year since he couldn’t catch the ball. The depth of the position and emergence of Geronimo Allison limited his opportunities down the stretch, but the Packers still found ways to get him the ball. I thought the two end-arounds were an interesting wrinkle. As one of the team’s top special-teams players, Janis will again get a chance to show what he can do on offense in the spring and summer.
Diego from Mexico City, Mexico
With the release of Mario Williams in Miami, does the whole Inbox is calling him the 2017 Peppers for the Packers?
Good question. Let’s see…
Mark from Missoula, MT
I doubt I'm the first to suggest this, and I almost certainly won't be the last. But with Mario Williams cut from the Dolphins, this seems like a Ted Thompson kind of free agent. One that could make an impact, yet not count against the compensatory pick accumulation.
Craig from Temperance, MI
Mario Williams intrigues me. Two years ago 14 sacks. The right system and scheme and the right price I think he can be bought cheap which is right up our alley.
Dave from Bellingham, WA
Wes or Spoff...if you were forced to go against each other at the combine in one drill or event, what one do you think you'd have the best chance of beating the other in?
Ron from Delavan, WI
I have asked this question several times with Vic and no answer. I really enjoyed Costner in ‘Draft Day.’ Were any parts of the draft preparation and draft day drama close to being realistic? It seems the GM has to be a stone cold bluffer with lots of guts to make the moves he thinks are necessary.
I loved ‘Draft Day.’ I have a “Vontae Mack No Matter What” post-it note on my cubicle thanks to my good friend, Nick Goddard, but no, it’s not a realistic representation. No general manager is without his top executives on the first day of the draft because his salary-cap guru needed them for “salary-cap troubleshooting.” The movie was responsible for some great one-liners such as “I’m sitting here, eating my pancakes, thinking about moving No. 1” and “People pay to get wet.”
Jared from Philadelphia, PA
Insiders, the amount of penalties for excessive celebration or unsportsmanlike conduct after a touchdown boggles my mind. These guys play football for a living and when they score they should be able to celebrate and be proud of what they accomplished. What do you think about the idea of having a 15-second celebration clock? This would allow the team/player to celebrate their achievement and then go back to the sideline for the extra point or two point conversion. If the celebration goes over the 15-second clock, similar to the play clock expiring, the team gets flagged. I feel like this would soften the "No Fun League" chatter, entertain the fans, and make the players happy. Thoughts? How can I get this in front of the league?
I don’t have much of an opinion on this, but I’m publishing the question because of Jared’s perseverance. I’m pretty sure he submitted this same question for the past two weeks. All I’ll say is I don’t believe most of the penalties are related to delay or game as much as something that’s deemed unsportsmanlike. I don’t know whether installing a “shot clock” on celebrations is a valid solution that’ll appease all parties.
Jeff from Farmington, NM
Guys, do you think the competition committee will suggest the jump over the center to try to block a field goal an illegal jumping penalty? I could see the officials jumping up to signify the call.
It probably comes down to whether there’s a consensus it endangers players. From a football standpoint, it’s such a risky decision to begin with because you have to perfectly time the jump to execute it properly. If you mistime it, you’re moving the field goal 5 yards closer to the uprights.
Jimmy from New Richmond, WI
Wes! My man! You seem to be a Green Bay native, and after reading your favorite places to eat at opposing cities, it got me wondering, what is Wes' favorite eatery in Green Bay? Please tell me you've been to Al's Hamburgers. I make it a point to go there every time I'm in Green Bay and it's phenomenal. Best burgers on the planet, although not sure about the moon.
Best corned beef hash in all of the (Packer) land.
Mohammed from Teaneck, NJ
Just wanted to say that with all the craziness that is going on around our great country, I love escaping to your column every day. Keep up the good work!
Thanks everybody. I had fun driving the ship this week. As usual, Vic will handle Monday’s Inbox with Spoff taking the wheel for the remainder of next week. If you’d excuse me, I have some yard work to do. Have a great weekend.
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