Sat, 19 Sep 2020

Inbox: He's one to watch this summer

Packers
09 Aug 2020, 18:12 GMT+10

The Packers have their foundation in place on both sides of the ball

Mark from Oshkosh, WI

I don't want to be banned with my first submission and I know I have too much time on my hands, but I have an issue with the Packers' Green and Gold. To me, the 49ers' helmets are gold while the Packers' helmets are more of a yellow. The official Pantone of 1235 and RGB of FFB612 is called light brilliant amber. So instead of cheering for the Green and Gold we should be cheering for the Green and Light Brilliant Amber. I'm really ready for football.

Well, I can't ban ya if I don't understand ya.

Elliot from Hopkins, MN

I know you have beat this drum a lot, but I watched a little of Tom Brady's interview the other day, and it was interesting to hear him stress how much mental energy he had to put into learning a new playbook after 19 years and that it will take time to get everyone on the same page. Excited to see the offense play again and see it control games.

This wasn't a great offseason to be a first-year head coach or new player, veteran or rookie. The Packers lost some good players this offseason but have their foundation in place on both sides of the ball. I expect a fast start relative to the rest of the NFL, should we get this thing started on time. Green Bay's offensive structure is a big reason for that.

Jack from Oak Park, IL

A lot of talk about TEs this week in II. I love the big dog and have optimism for Jace Sternberger and Josiah Deguara. It's exciting to think about how ML will get these versatile athletes opportunities to make an impact. I must say I am disappointed in the lack of mention for Big Bob Tonyan, though! If you were Matt LaFleur what would you be looking for out of Robert Tonyan this year? Are there any traits or scenarios you think he fits well?

More of what he did in Dallas. Tonyan was coming on and seeing the ball well before his hip injury. It unfortunately sidelined him for a majority of the season, but he's still very much part of the Packers' plans. LaFleur said as much during his conference call with reporters Thursday. As a former receiver, Tonyan brings the versatility and movement the Packers like in tight ends. After getting a clean bill of health this offseason, he's one to watch this summer.

Benjamin from Evergreen Park, IL

This John Lovett guy is a high-character guy who is a pretty good all-around athlete. Have we dipped into the Ivy League talent pool in search of our own Kyle Juszczyk? Is Matt LaFleur putting his own stamp on pieces in this scheme?

It's not the first time the Packers have scouted the Ivy League for talent. JC Tretter (Cornell) was an all-timer. They signed Greg Van Roten in 2012 and he's turned into a starting NFL guard. You can take it all the way back to Chris Pizzotti, too. So that part isn't a surprise, but the fact Green Bay made room for Lovett right now, with everything that's going on, tells you how highly Brian Gutekunst thought of him. His skill set and background are fascinating. I can't wait to watch him work here in a week or so.

Albert from Crystal Falls, MI

Coach LaFleur has mentioned several times about a players' leadership council. What players are on this council?

That changes year-to-year but it's usually at least one veteran from each position and a few others. I think last years was like 10 or 12 players.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

I've been skeptical the season can go off without interruption or be played to a conclusion. Mitch Goldich had an article on the SI website (a proposal to save the 2020 NFL season) that made a lot of sense. He suggests an eight-game schedule (six division and two inter-conference games) with alternating AFC and NFC weeks that would allow teams to recover and adjust to any positive tests. It made a lot of sense and looked like a way to get teams through the whole season with minimal interruption.

It's a reasonable idea but I don't see the NFL going that direction at this point. The league made its choice. It kept its schedule relatively unchanged. That's how the board is set. Now, we all hope teams get to play on it.

Larry from Carney, MI

Good morning. Is the reason there won't be fans at the Packers' first two home games because it will take that long to put up the Plexiglas?

No, it's because of an ongoing pandemic that's showing no signs of slowing.

Phil from Oshkosh, WI

As a fan, where would you feel safer: in an outdoor stadium environment with assigned seating, or a packed bar or restaurant filled with people milling around and high-fiving, etc.? With the gates at Lambeau closed, while some will choose to stay home, I predict every public tavern or eatery with a widescreen is going to be filled to capacity. The total net impact on virus spread might be not much better or even worse.

Sure, but that's up to the individual. I'm worn out asking people to kindly consider the health and well-being of their neighbors, only to have this other segment of society stick out their tongues and say, "Don't want to." You wanna go to the bar or get together with 50 people? Fine. Then, this is the quarantined country we get to continue living in. But the Packers can only do so much. The organization is doing what it feels is in the best interest of its fans asking them to stay home for the first two games at Lambeau, and possibly more. You ask where I would feel safest. The answer is my living room.

Chase from Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Do you know what, if any, additional online security measures are being taken to ensure teams (Patriots) aren't hacking Zoom meetings where their opponents are discussing game plans? It wouldn't take a very good hacker to be able to pull that off.

I don't. My hope is the league is staying on top of it but the Packers have state-of-the-art football technology and IT departments as potential firewalls.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Someone asked about the sideline procedures looking much different from years past. I don't see them needing to change. The NFL needs to be very sure that all players and coaches taking the field for a game a negative. Once everyone on the field is negative it should be "play ball" for three hours with no one thinking about the virus, right? If you have to worry about the virus on the field then this whole thing is dead in the water.

Yes, but I expect the league to be very careful and teams to utilize every possible precaution during the first month of the season. It's a game of risk and exposure right now, and nothing can be taken for granted.

Larissa from Minnetonka, MN

Talking about the glory days of Jared Cook may be an exaggeration to the point of revisionism. I really like him and maybe if he hadn't been injured and had later been re-signed he would have had a couple great seasons with the Packers, but I'm pretty sure he finished with less than 400 regular-season yards. We are letting a good playoff run with a great Cowboys performance distort our recollection. Who is a current TE you think Aaron Rodgers would gel really well with?

I really like Cook, both personally and professionally. But yes, he had the greatest 30-catch, 377-yard season in franchise history back in 2016. Great player, great postseason, but we all do romanticize it quite a bit.

Sreedharan from Pewaukee, WI

Mike, if the answer to George from North Mankato's question is the second option, then you should ask Gute for a raise! You don't even have to ask him directly... just include it in Inbox, and if the answer is right, you'll get your raise.

If the Packers score off a direct snap to Ty Summers or John Lovett on a fake punt this year, then they need to write Spoff a blank check.

Tom from Portage, MI

With all of the talk on wide receivers I don't hear much about Reggie Begelton. Wasn't he very productive in the CFL? Why not for us?

Surely, you can't be serious. I feel like Begelton has received more media coverage than any other January "street" free-agent signing in team history. I can't wait to see him in-person, though. I love his game and I love his story.

Dallas from St. Ignace, Canada

Good morning II gurus: Just a clarification on touches. When a receiver or RB has, for example, 200 touches in a season, if that player recovers a fumble by one of his teammates, does that count as a touch? Thank you so much for ensuring comments and discussions in this forum are civil; that's so refreshing in a time when "civil discourse" is on the endangered species list! I really appreciate that!

No, it does not. And you're welcome.

Bob from Port St Lucie, FL

Does no fans = no Lambeau Leap? Maybe they should get some dummies dressed in spectator jerseys in the front row of the end-zone stands and put mattresses behind them. Let's not ruin a tradition!

I could see it now - the Lambeau Leap section, filled with teddy bears. Player jumps in and streamers go off.

Bruce from Las Vegas, NV

If we're talking about the best trio of running backs ever, how can we not include Jim Taylor, Paul Hornung, and Elijah Pitts? Two HOFers and a really solid guy who would have started on most teams.

One of the best. And how many backfields featured three future Packers Hall of Famers? That's special.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

I noticed when Larry and Mike were doing "Three Things" that your masks really looked substantial and padded. Must have a filter in there, nice! Just wondered if you have a certain number of padded face-mask presentations written into your contract when doing "Three Things," or can you do any amount?

Presently, it's one. If I break mine, I'm going to have my agent negotiate for a second.

Max from Toledo, OH

Mike, are the shorts "chick bait." My wife says you have nice legs.

I'll pass that along.

Karl from Fort Collins, CO

After weeks of doldrums, the Inbox recently had some thoughtful, excellent questions, and answers. Then we see some bizarre questions come floating in. Is this part of the normal ebb and flow of the Inbox, or are we now in the Twilight Zone?

I have no idea what you're referring to.

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