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[get yarn io]Inbox: The pressure and hype would be immense

2021-08-06

  Sandy from Green Bay, WI

  There has been some discussion about COVID measures set up as precautions to protect team personnel that might become permanent going forward. Any talk about continuing to restrict media access in the locker room for player interviews? In the past those interactions have provided fans with an “up close” contact with players that has been informative, fun, and given us a glimpse into personality of the team. I would miss those interviews.

  So would we, but again, that’s a wait-and-see issue. I’m expecting everything this offseason to be virtual again, but I’m not going to predict one way or another where we’ll be (as a country, with the virus, etc.) when training camp rolls around.

  William from Speedwell, TN

  Assuming there is a 2021 HOF Game (fingers crossed) I think in most years the Packers would be scheduled to play the Raiders to celebrate Charles Woodson’s induction to the Pro Football HOF. That would give us Packers fans an extra opportunity to see a lot of Jordan Love in a Packers uniform for the first time. The fly in this particular ointment is that this is also Peyton Manning’s induction class. Will we lose this opportunity in favor of a Colts vs. Broncos game? What’s your opinion? Thanks.

  It’s impossible for me to say, and there’s certainly no guarantee there will be a game. More often than not, the HOF Game pits an NFC team vs. an AFC team, though not always. Denver was in the last one that was played (2019), so I’d suspect no on the Broncos. If Megatron is getting inducted, the simplest from a travel perspective for fan bases would be Colts vs. Lions.

  John from St. Albert, Canada

  Hello II. I am curious why teams don’t use the franchise tag more often. It seems like it can be favorable to the team if a star player is looking for a long-term, high-priced deal. The tag may pay a lower amount than the star is looking for and it’s short term. For positions that have a tendency for fast decline (CB) or high injury rate (RB) it seems like a good business strategy. GMs who balance all these decisions and put a competitive team on the field have my respect.

  The tag is favorable to teams, strategically. But players hate it, because it makes them wait for the larger payout of guaranteed money and could force them to risk another year of injury before getting what they want. That’s why using the tag can cause friction or acrimony, making some clubs hesitant to use it. They’d prefer to have an understanding both sides are going to work in good faith toward a long-term deal, and then use the tag simply to extend the negotiating period.

  Joe from Wausau, WI

  Both LaFleur and Gutekunst talked about the hurt the players were feeling following the loss to the Bucs. How do the coaching staff and player personnel people make sure that hurt becomes a motivating force, and not a hangover which could have a negative effect on the next season?

  Set a standard and demand their performance lives up to it. No different than any other year. This is the big leagues. It’s performance-based, and no one really cares how you feel. Professional athletes know that.

  Mike from Milwaukee, WI

  I hated that they added a 17th game because the scheduling was so neatly laid out. How will they determine the 17th opponent? Has there been any rumors that you’ve heard? I like the idea of ranking the conferences 1-16 and the No. 1 NFC team plays the No. 1 AFC team. I think that’s the best way to keep the neat and orderly scheduling format. Your thoughts?

  Don’t hold me to this, but my understanding is each NFC division will be paired with an AFC division (different from the one they’re already scheduled to play), and the teams match up by their place in the standings. I believe the first pairing for the NFC North is the AFC West, so the Packers and Chiefs would be the 17th game.

  Niels from Bridgetown, Barbados

  Comment regarding “biggest need”: I believe it might take luck to keep even one of Jones and Williams. Therefore, RB might turn out to be pretty high on the list.

  Entirely possible.

  Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

  Do teams ever draft a player knowing they will probably never be a significant contributor on offense or defense, but because they’re a heck of a special-teams player?

  Teams might use a very late-round pick on a player like that, but most often they’re spending their resources on players they envision developing at a specific position.