Have a wonderful and thoughtful Memorial DayWes Hodkiewicz
Jerry from Rockford, IL
Good Memorial Day, Inbox. While we thank and remember all that have given the ultimate sacrifice to our country, let's not forget that so many may not have lost their lives but still need to be honored. I do have a question though. Was it common for NFL players to serve their country during the first two World Wars and what effect did it have on the league? Besides Pat Tillman, I know very little of these heroes. Is this addressed in Cliff's "Greatest Story in Sports." Hoping everyone has a safe day.
Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Jerry, that's a great question. The NFL wasn't around yet during the first World War, but I know the second did have impact on the league. Many of the Lombardi Packers also served in the late-50s and '60s. I'm gonna send the rest of your question up to Cliff. He's a much better person to ask about 1940s Packers.
James from Asheville, NC
If I had to describe the roster Brian Gutekunst is building for the Packers in one word, it would be "flexible." It seems he values that as much as anything. What might yours be?
Doug from Onalaska, WI
This isn't math, just statistics. By my research, which could be wrong, Aaron Rodgers had a 92 passer rating, a 64% completion percentage with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2022, well below his standards. If Jordan Love had those numbers this year, would you consider it a success? If Love had those numbers, would you expect a similar season record of 7-9 wins? If we had 7-9 wins, would you consider that a success? I would but would like to hear your thoughts.
I would consider that a success for Love and the Packers, though it would be better if the win total was closer to nine than seven. Either way, that stat line gives Love a foundation to build upon in 2024 and beyond, similar to what Rodgers did in 2008 when he threw for 4,038 yards, 28 TDs and 13 INTs (93.8 passer rating). That's what I'm looking for in 2023, more than anything else.
James from Chippewa Falls, WI
Watching the interviews with the first-year players, they mention going to Aaron Jones with questions. That is the one player I would like to meet.
For good reason. Jones is the genuine article. He still has a lot of football ahead of him, but if Aaron so chooses, he'd be a wonderful ambassador for both the NFL and Green Bay Packers when his playing days are over.
Doug from Neenah, WI
Good morning, Wes. Just trying to recall...what other Packers players famously wore the No. 10? Dennis Claridge comes to mind but that's way back in the '60s.
Twenty-four players have donned a No. 10 jersey in the regular season for the Packers, including Claridge, Eddie Kotal, Lynn Dickey, Pro Football Hall of Famer Jan Stenerud, Al Del Greco, Blair Kiel, Matt Flynn, Jeremy Ross, and of course J-Love.
Mike from Baraboo, WI
What do you think would be the better move: Sign a veteran quarterback or sign a veteran receiver?
Kevin from New Lenox, IL
This upcoming season has me more excited than I have been in years...30 years, to be exact. I think we're headed into the most competitive divisional battles since the old "Black and Blue" Central Division. Mike Ditka used to tell his Bears, "Just control your division and take it from there." Appreciate the small things this year, Packers Faithful. I think we're going to be just fine.
The NFC North won't be a cakewalk by any means this year. Each game will be a battle, but every win is progress and another step into the future. How Green Bay handles Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago will be a great indicator of a young team's development from Week 1 to 18.
Dan from Cross Plains, WI
This is a season when I'm going to keep in mind the old adage...All disappointment is relative to expectation.
John from Rhinelander, WI
I might have missed the plan for Mark Murphy at Green Bay, but I thought he was going to have to retire soon from his position due to an age requirement. If that is true, it seems he would miss out on the conclusion to all his work that is bringing the draft to Green Bay. Do you have any information on what will happen?
The age limit for the Packers' President/CEO - and all board members - is 70. Mark turns 70 in July 2025, a little less than three months after the NFL Draft. So, this will be one of his final acts as the head of table in Green Bay, a tremendous capstone to a very successful run.
Mark from Rochester, MN
How many former college teammates are currently on the Packers' roster? The trio of Georgia players, obviously. Jordan Love and Dallin Leavitt played together for a year at Utah State, when Love redshirted in 2016. Also, Lukas Van Ness and Tyler Goodson played at Iowa but who else?
There are quite a few college teammates on Green Bay's roster. Rookie draft picks Colby Wooden and Anders Carlson played together at Auburn, AJ Dillon and Isaiah McDuffie at Boston College, Tyler Davis and Tariq Carpenter at Georgia Tech, and Jonathan Ford and Jonathan Garvin at Miami. The Packers also have two other rookies from the U, center DJ Scaife and defensive lineman Antonio Moultrie. Jon Runyan and Rashan Gary played together at Michigan, Sean Clifford and Rasheed Walker at Penn State, and Yosh Nijman and Luke Tenuta at Virginia Tech.
Tony from Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Hi Wes, thank you very much for answering my question about Packers and public ownership. There are so many things I admire about the Packers, but public ownership is icing on the cake and worth a root beer or two to toast such a great organization. Great news about the draft, as well!
The Packers are the exception to every rule in professional sports. This community kept this organization in business several times. Today, fans worldwide ensure Green Bay continues to flourish among giants. There is no better owner in sports.
Zak from Huntington Beach, CA
Salutations, Insiders! I have three related questions: Regarding NFL training camps, what are some of the newest technologies being used around the league? Have you seen any new drills in practice this year? Is there a general consensus among the players as to which drill is the most "fun"?
Well, the Packers now use a JUGS machine that could probably pass the bar. In three practices, I haven't noticed any out-of-the-ordinary drills so far. Maybe we'll see some tennis balls or bricks in camp, but it's been pretty much status quo in individual periods. To your last question, I think players and media enjoy 11-on-11s the most. It epitomizes competition and is closest thing to real football.
Barry from Green Bay, WI
With Aaron Rodgers being traded to the Jets and his impeccable career with the Packers in the books, what are the chances his number gets retired like Bart Starr and Brett Favre? If that is a no-brainer, does it stop getting used immediately or after he goes into Canton? Keep up the incredible work gents!!
It's a guarantee no Packers player will wear No. 12 again. Mark Murphy already said the organization will retire Rodgers' number. Like Favre, I imagine it'll happen a year before he goes into Canton.
Tom from New Berlin, WI
I want to apologize for not being prepared for my previous question. I was asking about Dontayvion Wicks. I have a friend who lives in Virginia. He told me the Packers got a steal with this guy. He said a new coaching regime and new system kept this guy from being drafted in the third round or higher. What do you feel about that statement?
I agree 100%. That's the trajectory he was on after his junior season. Looking at the totality of Wicks' senior season at Virginia, he should be proud of the way he handled a difficult year. At the end of the day, Wicks is a Green Bay Packer now. As Matt LaFleur likes to say, it's not how you got here. It's what you do now that you are here, and Wicks has turned the page to a new chapter.
Tom from Wauwatosa, WI
Definitely surprised by the lack of "Sign Hopkins NOW!" submissions. Is that a reflection of a better-educated readership or did you just decide you didn't want to indulge the ignorant? Great summary response, by the way.
I think it's largely Hopkins' release happening on Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend. I'm sure the water is pooling behind the flood gates.
Jerry from Lancaster, CA
Just read Andy Reid is not happy with the new fair catch on kickoffs. As he said we are heading to Flag Football. I couldn't agree more. Football is a dangerous sport, and safety rules need to be in place, but as they say, you still have to play the game. The game is football, and kickoffs and punts are a big portion of the game and need to remain as vital parts of the game.
I get that, but Andy Reid is one of 32 head coaches in the NFL. He's one of the few who actually can do something about it. If he doesn't like the fair-catch rule, Reid can coach his returners to not do it. Problem solved. We saw how officials can neglect to overturn any challenge on offensive pass interference. Coaches and players can do the same with this change if they don't like it.
Mike from Pewaukee, WI
I took my daughter on a tour of UWGB yesterday. On the way over the high-rise bridge, I noticed cranes erected at Lambeau. What's going on? More seats? Venue expansion?
Spoff is getting a brand-new cubicle. No, we've had cranes at Lambeau for the past year - first for the construction of the new football space on the east side of the stadium and now the jumbotron renovations in the north and south end zone.
Chris from Kennesaw, GA
Happy Memorial Day weekend guys! I'm a vet; so, too, are my father and my mother's father, with uncles in Vietnam and Germany. We take this weekend seriously. Do you not have access to the players other than the day of the week that media is allowed at practices? You can't get into the locker room or have player interviews on black out days? I can totally get behind ML wanting no distractions so his guys can focus and get stuff done.
First, thank you for your service. Spoff and I can go down to the locker room on non-media days if we need an interview or check in with a player on something. For me, it's just important to have a reason to be down there. The locker room is the players' space. You don't want to abuse that privilege. I don't want people hanging around my cubicle for no reason, either.
Dan from Kenosha, WI
Wes, I share your "...the world" sentiment and I think we need to chip in and buy gear with that motto on it for the team (by we, I mean Mark Murphy). Feel free to share this with him. As it relates to weather, I sat through the "Mud Bowl." Torrential rain, 35 degrees, and chunks of ice (hail) falling sporadically out of the sky. One of the favorite games I've ever been to.
You are tougher than I am.
Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL
Good morning, Wes! I was just getting ready to give you props for a Weston-ism. Fortunately, I know your tricky, so I stopped myself and looked before I leaped. There it was, a Yogi-ism I didn't know. Well done, another lesson learned packaged with improving my writing. Wink!
Ha, I'm not smart enough to think of something that witty. I went straight to the source.
Tom from Virginia Beach, VA
Mike from New Orleans got a reply from 'Wes'? I propose an II addition: no math, no AI.
Kevin from Rockton, IL
How about asking the II readership about their most prestigious athletic accomplishments for the Outsider Inbox? There has to have been some great athletes in this august group. Maybe Margeaux has had a hole-in-one or Dar led his high school conference in free throw percentage?
If that's what people want, we aim to please. Outsider Inbox is your Inbox. Have a wonderful and thoughtful Memorial Day, everyone.
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