It’s been the recipe for sustainable success

Rich from Southampton, UK

Morning, Insiders. See you in London in October. No idea what the root beer situation will be for Wes, but Mike should be OK. Apart from the game, what are you both looking forward to most over that weekend?

Going to England is good enough for me. I’ve never been there before and am thrilled to possibly check that off the ol’ bucket list. I’ve wanted to cover an international game since I started covering the NFL. Now that a date is set, you can already feel the excitement. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Steve from Toronto, Canada

Not gonna lie, I’m a little surprised by the selection of the New York Football Giants as our opponent in London. I thought for sure we were going to see either the Rams, Cowboys, or Titans as those all would seemingly have the makings of a much more entertaining game. I guess there’s a lot of NFL history on the field whenever the Giants and Packers meet, though. Who did you guys think it was going to be?

Through the process of elimination, I had it narrowed down to the Jets or Giants. Those three games you mentioned are all potential primetime matchups, so I didn’t think those would get shipped overseas.

Steve from Kansas City, MO

I think time will validate that this was a very successful draft for GB. However, given that the vast majority of WRs take some time adjusting to the pro level game, wouldn’t signing Jarvis Landry or Will Fuller to a prove-it year be beneficial in the short term while the rookies develop?

But they already have that, Steve. The Packers have six receivers with NFL game experience, with Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Sammy Watkins leading that group. You wanted draft picks. You got draft picks. Don’t look back now. Please, don’t do it. (You did it, didn’t you?)

I feel Christian Watson was the steal of the draft getting him in the second round. He should have been taken before many other first-round WRs. thoughts?

That is what I’ve been trying to tell people. Watson has every tool you could ask for in an elite receiving prospect. First or second round, that’s what made him a top 40 pick. He’s a Green Bay Packer now. That’s all that matters.

Has everyone forgotten about Lazard? An unselfish teammate like that will have plenty of chances to shine this year!

The plane is ready. The runway is clear. Time for take-off. As I’ve said several times before, I can’t wait to see what Lazard does with this opportunity.

It has been well documented that practices are more amped up when Aaron Rodgers is in attendance. Do you feel the website/communication crew has enhanced focus when he’s around as well? I’m assuming Wes is even packing better lunches when “12” is in the building.

The antennas go up when Rodgers is here. Because you know it’s business time and I expect Rodgers will be locked in and ready to go this summer.

Hey II, this question goes back a ways, but I never understood why Malik Taylor didn’t get more of a chance at wide receiver. I know a lot of people said he made the team as a special teamer, but during last preseason he made a lot of impressive catches. I think back to that Arizona game we played short Adams et al. and how I felt surprised that Juwann Winfree got the chance over Taylor. Now many are doubting MT makes the team this year. Can you shed some light on why he’s gotten so few shots?

There’s no looking back. It’s forward, only forward. Just like with Lazard, every wideout in the room has a life-changing opportunity in front of them. What are you going to do with it?

Dear Mike and Wes, what jumped out at me was none of the draft picks or rookie FA are expected to be starters or impact players immediately. In every pick and in every position, they have experience and starters on the roster. For example, at inside linebacker, Krys Barnes is a veteran now that he can play while Quay Walker is learning and the same for all the OL draft picks. The Packers are not picking players to start and turn All-Pro Year 1 which makes them a draft-and-develop team.

Competition is what the Packers look to cultivate in the offseason. It’s been the recipe for sustainable success. With a few exceptions, rookies aren’t typically thrown right in with the starting offense or defense. Eric Stokes, Rashan Gary and Elgton Jenkins have all followed on that learn-and-earn blueprint. Maybe it only takes a week or two in training camp to get in with the ones, but that price must be paid in full before a young guy gets there.

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