There will be plenty of shovels in the ground over the next 23 monthsWes Hodkiewicz
David from Janesville, WI
That comment at the end of Thursday's Inbox was a bold strategy, Weston. Let's see how it works out for you.
I feel shocked.
Brendyn from Howard, WI
Going into the season, I feel as though a lot of Packers fans are cautiously optimistic. What are the chances Jordan Love can come in right away and win games, even with some mistakes that are going to happen? Stout defense or everyone do their job type of gig?
Love can definitely win games as a first-year starter. Lamar Jackson, Mac Jones and Brock Purdy all did it as first-year/rookie starters. But any Packers push starts with everyone doing their job and making Love's life easier. It can't all be on him.
Robert from Verona, WI
Do you think people generally underestimate Christian Watson's overall skillset due to his speed? So often we hear about how he can stretch the field and take the top off a defense, which is undeniably true. However, I think he showed during his rookie year that he has the skillset to be more than a guy who just runs go routes in the NFL simply because he's fast.
That may be the perception of some, but anyone who's regularly watched this young man knows the type of playmaker he is. Christian Watson is an all-around threat. He commands respect on slants, crossers and deep drags, not just go routes. As his route tree expands, Watson will only become more formidable. By the way, Robert, I'll be in your neck of Wisconsin this afternoon for a project we're working on. So, I got that going for me...
Mike from New Orleans, LA
If Christian Watson plays the entire season at the exact same rate he played the second half of last year, would that be considered a second-year jump?
For sure, because that would constitute a complete season and, dare I say, full consistency. Like I mentioned yesterday, Watson looks strong, lean, and determined entering Year 2. If Watson stays on the field, defenses are immediately put on notice.
Kenny from Tomah, WI
Just wondering how you feel about this... as long as Romeo Doubs and Watson show growth, if Samori Toure really explodes, we could be looking at a very dangerous offense. Not to mention Jayden Reed, the new tight ends, and Aaron Jones. Defenses could have difficulty adjusting to all the different weapons we could throw at them, keeping them on their heels (literally) and giving us a much-needed advantage in a division that appears wide open.
It won't all be sunshine and rainbows this year, but your submission illustrates how it won't be doom and gloom, either. The Packers have a lot of young talent and young talent provides hope for the future.
Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN
I could see the Packers keeping six receivers this year, all of whom were drafted in the past two drafts. That would be something.
It's a good possibility the Packers keep six receivers. They've carried at least six on their Week 1 roster five times in the last seven years. In fact, Green Bay has retained seven wideouts four times (2016, '18-19 and '22) over that same stretch.
Ross from Hudson, WI
The Packers' defensive scheme is rooted in a 3-4 system, which by nature, will struggle against the run more so than a 4-3. That is unless you have a dominant front three. Kenny Clark has been the one model of consistency in the middle over the past six seasons. With Kenny saying he may be moving outside more this season, can T.J. Slaton fill the nose gap, so to speak? Clark, Slaton, and Devonte Wyatt, on paper, have the potential to be dominant? Is that the projected starting front three?
Barring a signing, that trio is the starting point for this defensive line. The Packers brought Slaton and Wyatt along slowly but now is the time to produce, especially in Slaton's case. He has everything you could want in a run-stuffing nose tackle - strength, size and athleticism. As Jerry Montgomery often says, it all comes down to consistency with the 6-foot-4, 330-pound defensive lineman. We've seen flashes. It's on Slaton to keeping the light shining.
Mike from Baraboo, WI
The 2025 draft in Green Bay will be an outstanding opportunity for us to welcome people from all over to historic Lambeau Field. Will additional hotels be built leading up to the NFL Draft to accommodate the high number of visitors?
There aren't any 25-story high-rises going up but there has been continued development around Lambeau Field the past five years. Discover Green Bay says there are now 4,653 hotel rooms in the Greater Green Bay area following the addition of Hotel Northland in Downtown Green Bay and the Home2 down the street from Lambeau. I believe there's a Hampton Inn going up over there, too. There will be plenty of shovels in the ground over the next 23 months, I'm sure.
Jim from Marietta, GA
The 2025 NFL Draft offers the GB homeowners an opportunity to offset the cost of upgrading their homes by renting their place out for the long weekend. Just a thought.
Judging by gamedays, I'm sure many GB homeowners will be renting out their homes and spending the weekend at the cottage.
Etienne from St-joachim-de-tourelle, Canada
For the record, the Fleuve Saint-Laurent, between Escoumin and Montreal, is the hardest waterway to navigate. Any commercial ship needs to bring on-board a specialist pilot/captain. Ice has been weird the last few years on the gulf of the St. Lawrence. Usually early April, it's all gone. Ice used to be so much earlier and steady and stay longer into the spring. Any way, if an armada of Packers boats use the St. Laurent waterway, I'll see them sail through from my barn. Might be crab time!
That's very interesting. I know precious little about boats or sea vessels. I trust those in charge of those matters know what's possible down the Fox River. Cruise ships certainly would help put a few more roofs over people's heads without leaving Brown County.
Al from Green Bay, WI
We often hear references to "locker-room leaders" or leaders in the receiver room, TE room, etc. Can you help us to understand how this leadership is exemplified? Any examples or stories to share?
Leadership comes in many forms. It's Aaron Rodgers talking about the Packers being able to "run the table" in 2016 or Marcedes Lewis speaking up in the locker room in San Francisco after the Packers lost 37-8 in November 2019. It also can be a quiet player leading with his play on the field or a veteran assisting a younger player in the meeting room. Personally, I like what I'm hearing about Clark coming out of his shell a little more this spring and being vocal with the young D-linemen. Without Dean Lowry or Jarran Reed, Clark is the most veteran player in that room by five seasons.
Brian from Grand Rapids, MI
I don't understand the consternation regarding the new kickoff rule. The returner doesn't have to fair catch it, right? So, the return is still in play, the onside kick is still in play, all while giving the returner an option that increases safety on the most dangerous play of the game? Seems like a pretty good compromise to me.
I'm with you. I'm curious how fair-catch percentages turn out on kickoffs. If low, the NFL likely will take another step to address the issue next year. This debate isn't going away.
Josh from Stevens Point, WI
I think Green Bay will be rocking for the draft. Was it just me or did Kansas City look like one of the lamer drafts in recent memory? A crowd of people, then a gap and a bunch of people in a field far off and I didn't see many event tents, games or even extra screens in that distant field people were gathered at. Other drafts seemed to have a lot of events going, meet and greets, games....it looked like it could entertain for days. Kansas City, all due respect, seemed lacking.
I thought Kansas City did an awesome job given the scale of the event, but my biggest takeaway was the draft isn't too big for Green Bay. I feel like this area has the infrastructure and willpower to get the job done. In my opinion, Nashville set the draft standard for the event. I love how it weaved Broadway into the festivities and made the event feel larger than life.
Eric from Springfield, VA
Which do you see happening first? The best 10 QBs in the league are all making $60 million a year, or the NFL salary cap is $300 million a year.
A $300 million cap, with a raise in $60 million QBs shortly thereafter.
Caleb from Knoxville, TN
What's the wildest weather experience you've had at a stadium?
I stayed until the bitter end of the 2003 preseason finale against the Tennessee Titans, which was delayed for 2½ hours due to thunderstorms. That was a wild night. I didn't leave Lambeau Field until like 1 a.m. CT.
Kevin from Ocean Isle Beach, NC
Thanks for all you do on II! I'm really disappointed in the NFL flex scheduling. I'm trying to arrange a flight for my son to Charlotte on Dec. 23, so we can go to the game on Christmas Eve. I can handle a time change on the 24th, but now I have to worry about a Monday/Thursday flex? This is ridiculous. I applaud Mark Murphy for voting against this fan unfriendly idea.
I'm sorry to hear that, Kevin. I'm afraid this will be the first of many stories we hear on this issue over the next seven months. I also have friends who are counting on specific dates in December. While I keep fingers crossed the Packers stay on schedule, I'll also be holding my breath during those five weeks.
Jim from Franklin, WI
Over the last couple of years, I have enjoyed the Inbox as part of my morning routine and feel like I know you guys and some of the questioners. That said, during this down time in the offseason, I thought it to be prudent to ask what Wes' and Spoff's backgrounds are...I know Wes has stated he is from Green Bay and went to college there, too. Not sure on Spoff-secret? You guys should have a profile page on the app just like a player or coach in my humble opinion...you guys play sports? College?
Many don't realize Spoff was a decorated student-athlete at Lawrence, where he played baseball. Instead of turning pro, however, Mike earned his master's degree at Northwestern and went into sports journalism. Our tenures at the Press-Gazette didn't overlap, but we both cut our teeth in Downtown Green Bay before finding our way to Lambeau Field - Spoff in 2006 and Hod in 2016. And the rest was history.
Steve from Mukwonago, WI
Wes, I was pleased that the marathon and half marathon routes returned to having the start/finish line near Lambeau. I have run the in the event 10 times and it is so much better to get the adrenaline rush of running a lap around the field and then reaching the finish line a short distance later! Was this your first half marathon? How was your experience?
This was my second half marathon but first since 2018. I felt really good about it. I hoped to get under two hours but still managed to cut 11 minutes off my time. I had great support, too. My parents cheered me on at three stops and my son ran a short stretch with me.
Kristian from Aarhus N, Denmark
Hi Inbox, reading everyone's advice to temper our expectations with regards to our team's chances (e.g. postseason success), I wonder what the primary reason is? I get the obvious point about transitioning from experience to inexperienced leadership, but we seem equally stacked - if not more so - at the game's other premium positions. Is it not possible to contend with a stacked team with a good quarterback? Thank you for all you do.
Because nobody knows anything until everybody knows everything. I'd much rather fans be pleasantly surprised than unrealistically angry.
Brian from Twain Harte, CA
I used to get disappointed when I would ask a question that didn't get posted, only to be asked (and answered in the II) by someone else a week later. I now realize that the question was good, only my timing was bad. Maybe I need to participate in some sort of offseason II OTAs to get my timing back.
You just need to read your keys and trust your technique. You can't chase submissions, Brian. You gotta let the submissions come to you.
Zak from Huntington Beach, CA
I enjoyed the "Dodgeball" reference to close the column yesterday, Westopher. I saw a story recently that Vince Vaughn is working on a sequel, and it appears most/all of the original cast is open to returning. What movie, sports-related or otherwise, do you think most deserves a sequel? I would love another "Big Lebowski," but the original was a masterpiece and I'd be worried about tainting it's legacy (which would be very un-Dude).
I love "Lebowski" but that needs to remain a one-and-done. I thought "Major League 4" could've been fun 10 years ago, but it's probably too late now. Honestly, "Dodgeball 2" is probably the highest on my "want" list.
Jericho from Last Chance, IA
Insiders, Green Bay has officially been ranked at the top as "the best place in the nation to live." How does it feel to be living in the best place to live in the USA?
That's rad. Enjoy your Friday.
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