Fri, 17 Sep 2021

Inbox: He's built to thrive in any role

Packers
23 Jul 2021, 18:12 GMT+10

There’s a long history of Packers receivers who were strong blockers Wes Hodkiewicz

Andy from Wausau, WI

Milwaukee Bucks! Championship! Resilient team. Lifelong fan for the past 50 years. Wow, that's what makes sports great.

The amount of Bucks-related submissions we received from 2-4 a.m. Wednesday brought a smile to my face. I hope everyone had a fun (and safe) night, especially those celebrating in the Deer District.

Kyle from St. Charles, MO

Congrats on the Bucks win, Wisconsin. Regarding the bandwagon fan, I say, "Hop on board! There's plenty of room!" At least that was my mentality in 2019 when my Blues won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. It really is/was an awesome experience that I'll continue to vividly recall for the rest of my life. Here's to hoping all you lifelong and newly christened Bucks fans who have this memory of when and where you were for years to come!

I recounted on Twitter the time I attended a Bucks game with my father at the Bradley Center in the mid-90s. After yet another loss, I remembered asking when if the Bucks would ever be good? He told me to give it time. While my dad is currently down in Alabama for work, I made sure to send him a celebratory text as soon as the clock hit zeros. I hope all of you made some lifelong memories Tuesday night.

Adams from Madison, WI

While we are talking about Giannis' greatness, can we mention how unreal it is that he will go to the free-throw line, shoot an airball, and the very next time he touches the ball he goes right to the paint to draw another foul? Another Eastern Conference player crumbled from his struggles at the line and cost his team a series. Giannis is unfazed. No conscious. Then, in a clinching game, he can't miss. It reminds me of Mason Crosby's off-year.

It goes back to that clip from earlier this week where Giannis was talking about ego, pride, and humility. It's not that he's the best basketball player on the planet right now. He also is keenly self-aware of how the mental approach to the game is as important as the physical. Talent will get you to the NBA and discipline will keep you there. But for superstars to become champions, they must overcome adversity. And I'd argue few did it better than Giannis Antetokounmpo this year.

Richard from Madison, WI

"But WHO do you trust to make it when it counts?" You were just testing to see if we've been paying attention, weren't you?

I mean, how could I not after the recent tutorial?

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Assuming Aaron Jones is healthy all year, O/U 150 carries for The Quadfather?

If Jones starts all 17 games, I'd probably take the under with AJ Dillon for no other reason than Jamaal Williams averaged 115 carries per season in that secondary role the past three years. A lot could also depend on how much Matt LaFleur wants to get a third running back involved. The good news for the Packers is Dillon is built to thrive in any role.

Christo from Hanska, MN

Good morning everyone! Long time reader of this column but first-time submitter (fingers crossed). I saw that Devin Funchess bested Gronk's record of catching a football dropped from 750 feet in the air by helicopter. Is there any chance that we see you or Spoff attempt to break this record? Would have made for a great filler during the dead zone. Thank you both for the daily read & entertainment!

What a cool video on Global Field Day, which raises money for youth-oriented charities. I can't speak for Spoff, but I will not be attempting to break Funchess' record anytime soon. Shoot, I had a difficult enough time trying to catch a football from Tim Boyle during practice last season from 15 yards away. I have zero interest catching a ball dropped from 800 feet at Mile High Stadium.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

With the previous talk about Funchness and Allen Lazard's blocking abilities, not much is said about Davante Adams's blocking ability...why is that? Other than he is the one usually catching the ball?

Adams is an exceptional blocker and that should come as a surprise to no one. There's a long history of receivers who could block in Green Bay. It was a fundamental Edgar Bennett preached to his receivers and I think that attention to detail has been passed down from Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb to Adams and now this next generation of wideouts.

Tom from Phoenix, AZ

Weston, during past preseasons, the two teams meeting in the HOF game got to start training camp a week earlier than the rest of the league. Is that still the case this season and is that part of the new CBA? Spiff mentioned last week the preseason schedule is worked out among the teams. If so, who picks and chooses the HOF game participants? To me, the best part of the HOF game is the press box visits with the new inductees.

Oh, you didn't see Mike McCarthy rocking his shades on Wednesday? Heck yes, the Hall of Fame game is still a thing. Dallas and Pittsburgh reported for camp Wednesday and play on Aug. 5. The NFL selects two of the teams with players in the enshrinement class to play in the game.

Ray from Rochester, MN

Just a follow on to yesterday's comment from Bob in Oconomowoc. Larry McCarren's "You just got Lucas'ed" has a better ring to it than "You just got Stepaniak'ed"

I'm holding out hope for a "You just got Yosh'ed."

Dale from Lima, OH

So, my (unposted) question from a couple days ago about Amari Rodgers being listed by OTC as an URFA for 2022 was based on the misconception that he had already signed. Mea culpa. Theoretically speaking, if a player in that situation never signs with the team that drafted him, what happens? Would that player just be out of luck for the current season? Or would he immediately become an URFA? If the latter, is there a deadline by which a player must sign in order to play in the current season?

I'm not aware of any deadlines for players to sign and play. But if a rookie doesn't sign and play for the team that drafted him that season, then he goes back into the pool of draftable players for the following year's draft.

Mark from West Bend, WI

So Dar is correct that Wisconsin is the least populated state with three major sports teams, Bruce is correct that Minnesota is the least populated state with four major sports teams, one of which has never won a Super Bowl, and ice-cold root beer goes great with just about everything. Did I get that right?

Maybe? There also was another submitter who said neither was correct and Colorado should be the answer. I'm removing myself from this thread.

Bob from Kennesaw, GA

Wes made reference to "the Post-COVID world we live in." I was just wondering which parallel reality he's living in, because the infection numbers in pretty much every state in THIS reality are on the upswing...

I was referring to the effect COVID-19 has had on the world and how we live in it. I wasn't claiming the pandemic was over. My goodness, people.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

If you were an Olympic athlete, would you participate this year? Would it matter about the sport you play? Something like golf or soccer, where they just had tournaments/cups around the world, I would feel pretty safe playing with no spectators. Some of the other sports that don't come with a lot of travel would make me nervous since there is no real system in place to prevent the spread within the game already like wrestling. Do you think they should cancel some or all events?

Coming off the postponement of last year's games, I think it would be idealistic to think COVID-19 wasn't going to affect the 2020/21 Summer Olympics in some shape. I would be cautious if I were flying out to Tokyo right now, but since I'm vaccinated, I probably would participate.

Aidan from Sandy Springs, GA

As a big fan of "Rock Report" and "Three Things," I get distracted by Larry lineman fingers. Can we get him a foam finger for the next session? Seriously, as someone who's broken most fingers, I still get the goose bumps looking at that pinky!

You know the foam finger also has a broken pinkie, right?

Joe from Ormond Beach, FL

Everyone says that football is a game of inches. I would argue basketball is too. Imagine if Kevin Durant's foot was an inch shorter...

But it wasn't...and that's the beauty of sports. Also, wouldn't it be fair to say Wisconsin has endured enough heartbreak over the last 10 years? It's long overdue that fate favored a state team for once.

Tyler from Green Bay, WI

Spoff, if you want to steal Wes's lunch tomorrow...He's packing a 50-piece (not 51, not 49, 50) with a large (no ice) half Sprite and half lemonade.

Again, I want to learn more about this half Sprite/half lemonade concoction. I also have a sudden, insatiable hunger for tendies.

Steven from Silver Spring

The most amazing part of Giannis is how he built it here. Not going and joining a group that was already winning or writing off whole blocks of years to load up for three established players like a video game All-Star team. It was Jordan-like. Winning and overcoming and taking the good with the bad and willing the team's parts to be better as a whole. It was special how the team was built piece by piece. And it all came after the years they dominated the regular season.

The Bucks have restored my faith in the NBA. Because this championship team was built brick-by-brick over the last eight years. You can bring it all the way back to Brandon Jennings being enough of a star for the Detroit Pistons to do a sign-and-trade with the Bucks, which was the deal that brought Khris Middleton to Milwaukee.

Tim from Columbus, GA

"...Ice-cold root beer (but no actual ice)" Awesome, just totally freaking awesome! And Wes, if you're ever in upstate New York/Alexander Bay, they have a microbrewery that makes a good root beer. I wouldn't say it's the best I've ever had, but it has got to be in the top two. GO PACK GO!

So, like, top two, not two?

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