Inbox: Allen Lazard developed a blueprint for every young player to follow – Packers.com

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Craig from Appleton, WI
Lost in the week that was the Outsider Inbox was Mark Murphy’s announcement that the end of his time with the team is near. I wanted to give a thanks to Mr. Murphy for all he has done to steer this ship and also ask what finding his replacement will look like? Will they name his replacement before he moves on so the new person can learn from him or wait until after he’s already gone to name a replacement?
If I’ve written it once, I’ve written it a thousand times: History will look back fondly on Mark Murphy’s tenure as Packers President/CEO. He had some of the biggest shoes to fill in team history and he did it – with consummate professionalism and class. Murphy not only oversaw some monumental decisions but also pushed the Packers organization into the future. The foundation at 1265 Lombardi Avenue is firmer today because of Murphy’s stewardship. I don’t know what that hiring process for the next team president will look like, but I expect the search to be as thorough as it was when the executive committee tabbed Murphy in 2008. But we still have exactly three years to go. There’s still plenty of winning left to be done in the Murphy Era.
Jason from Austin, TX
Insiders, do you think coaches use preseason games to display or showcase a player with the hopes that a team will like what they see and trade for them? I know preseason is mostly about evaluation, but if you think an owner liked a player, wouldn’t you want to show that player off?
Teams usually take the opposite approach in the preseason unless it’s a veteran likely to be cut. I think back to 2020 when the Packers felt like they might have something with undrafted free agent Krys Barnes but were able to sneak him through waivers because no NFL teams had seen him. Kamal Martin went on injured reserve, Barnes was activated days later and started the opener in Minnesota.
James from Ottawa, Canada
Wes, there is obviously much more opportunity at WR after some big offseason departures. Although everyone will get their chances to make a case for themselves to make the 53, there will obviously be a working depth chart when camp begins. My question is regarding opportunities for guys further down the depth chart. Will all receivers get adequate first-team reps (e.g. playing with QB1) to gauge chemistry? Or will some of those guys have to prove their worth solely based on second/third team play?
The young receivers will have to earn those reps with Aaron Rodgers, but I’m also reminded of Allen Lazard‘s first summer in Green Bay. He and Tim Boyle kept making plays in camp, to the point Rodgers began to wonder when Lazard was going to get some looks with the first team. I’m sure you get tired of me talking about “making the most of their opportunities,” but that’s how skill-position players carve out roles in this offense. Draft pick or college free agent, Allen Lazard developed a blueprint for every young player to follow.
Chris from San Diego, CA
Thoughts on Malik Taylor? He hasn’t seen a ton of action, but I was hoping he would break out last season. It seems like every time he makes a catch, he turns straight upfield and lays the lumber to any unfortunate tackler. No dancing around. I hope he gets an opportunity this season.
A lot of people forget this is going to be Taylor’s fourth training camp in Green Bay – and his biggest. For my money, receiver is the biggest position battle on the whole roster. Taylor is one of those veterans who’ll play a lot in the preseason, on both offense and special teams.
Gary from Benevides, Brazil
The drama surrounding Rodgers intrigues, wearies, and confuses me. He always said he wanted to play into his 40s and retire a Packer. Then, after the Jordan Love pick everything blew up. Fences were mended and we seem to be in calmer waters thankfully. However, everyone keeps speculating that he will retire sooner rather than later. Do you think the drama has wearied him too? Is this just media hype? Or will we see him in a Pack uniform five years from now?
I’ve said since 2014 that I see Rodgers playing well into his 40s and haven’t backed off that stance. Now, I wouldn’t fault him if he decides to hang up the cleats in the coming years since Rodgers has literally accomplished everything there is to accomplish in this sport. But I still believe generational talents such as Rodgers and Tom Brady want to see how many miles are left on the tires. The years pass but that fire still burns.
Jeff from Omaha, NE
With the evolution of the game and heightened focus on player safety, are we approaching the end of the days of a true workhorse running back? Will we ever again see a stretch like Ahman Green had from 2000-2004? Green averaged over 1,800 yards from scrimmage for those five seasons (1,370 rushing, 435 receiving) and only missed three games over that stretch. Are the days on one guy carrying the load a thing of the past?
I think we’ve seen that door close. It may not be completely bolted and locked, but NFL teams are smarter these days with how they utilize running backs. I think time has proven it’s better to monitor the reps of an Aaron Jones and sustain him for the long term than run a back into the ground. Mike McCarthy doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how he managed Jones early on. Could he have used him more? Absolutely. But at what cost? Now in Year 6, Jones is the Packers’ most proven offensive playmaker.
John from Stevens Point, WI
Do you anticipate many changes to special team personnel with the new coordinator at the helm?
It’s going to look different. In terms of playing time, the Packers’ top three special-team players from last season are gone. It’s a new day for a unit with many new leaders, including Keisean Nixon.
George from North Mankato, MN
Hello again Wes, which three-game stretch has you most concerned this season? I think it has to be Weeks 3-5: at Tampa, home vs. the Patriots, and the Giants in London. Am I wrong?
That’s a problematic stretch, especially given the turnaround to face the New York Jets at home in Week 6. For me, I think it’s the three-game road stretch midseason. Hear me out. I get Washington and Detroit won’t strike fear in the heart of most fans, but those two games and the matchup with Buffalo are critical. If the Packers can take care of business on the road, then it gets much less daunting hosting Dallas and Tennessee at Lambeau afterward.
Ted from Findlay, OH
Wes, thanks for all you do. Please share one of the questions you would ask each of Jack Vainisi, Lee Remmel and Curly Lambeau. Interested parties would like to know.
I’d ask Vainisi what he saw in each of those stars the Packers drafted in 1956 and ’57. I’d love to know more about the challenge of scouting when there was no cloud storage and film wasn’t always readily available. Remmel would be a week-long seminar. So much Packers history was lost when Lee passed away in 2015. Finally, I’d like to ask Lambeau what he would have done differently, if he could.
Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN
Was there an uptick in ACL injuries league wide last year or did we just have bad luck?
It sure seems like it, especially in Green Bay. I remember McCarthy talking about the league average was about two ACL tears per year for each team. Green Bay had twice that.
Ron from Trempealeau, WI
I know chortling is not allowed, but one can’t help but enjoy the look on the Detroit fans after the Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary!
I know I’ve said this before, but I could’ve shouted “Spofford Double Discount Days” from the open-air press box, and everyone would’ve heard it inside Ford Field. That’s how quiet it was after Richard Rodgers came down with that ball.
Larry from Chubbuck, ID
First, let me tell what an honor and treat it was to have my story of how I became a Packers fan posted in OI. It was like waking up and getting exactly what you wanted for Christmas. What is your favorite piece of Packers memorabilia?
A piece of rubber that was melted onto the field at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which caused the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game to be canceled in 2016.
Jonathan from Milwaukee, WI
What ONE game would you like to go back and watch LIVE in the stands again. Any game, anywhere, any time.
The Packers-Steelers game on Christmas Eve 1995. To the best of my recollection, it was the first Packers game I attended and still the most memorable.
Neil from Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
What input does the head groundskeeper have when Lambeau hosts offseason events in order to protect his playing surface?
Ha, all of it.
Tom from Platteville Township, WI
What was Kurt Warner’s uniform number when he was with the Packers during training camp?
I believe it was ’12’ based on the only photo I’ve seen.
Dick from Four Oaks, NC
I may have missed it, but have this year’s throwback uniforms been decided upon? If so, where might I get a peek at them? And do we know for which game they’ll be worn? Finally, is there any rule that says both teams can’t wear their throwback uniforms for the same game. For instance, take a year that was significant for both the Packers and the Bears and have them both wear that year’s throwbacks both home and away. I think that would be neat! GPG!
No changes on that front. The alternate/throwback uniforms will be the same as last year. They were a hit. I’m not sure at which game they’ll be worn, though.
Josh from Long Beach, CA
I have repeatedly tried to get into fantasy football but could never get past having to root for a player playing against the Packers. I also tended to draft a few too many Packers players to be any good at it. You said you used to be big into it, what was it that made you stop playing?
Having to work on Sundays.
Jared from Pittsburgh, PA
Good morning, Cheeseheads. I am a lifelong Packer fan and I bleed green and gold, however, I am a recent transplant to Pittsburgh and love the NFL in general, so I have started paying some attention to the Steelers. Heinz just lost the naming rights to the stadium out here and it is now a terrible name of Acrisure Stadium. It does not roll off the tongue at all. How lucky are us Packers fans that big-time Corporate America has not yet invaded our stadium’s name?
Lambeau Field is here to stay. This also is a good reminder the Packers are next scheduled to play at Heinz Field in 2025.
David from Janesville, WI
I wanted to drop in a comment related to the alumni interviews on the site. Wayne does a great job, and it is interesting to hear what some of these players have been doing since they played and to get some insight on what their time with the Packers was like. If only we had more similar video archives from older Packer teams. I can only image what Lambeau era players would have to say if they were interviewed in the ’60s.
That’s a credit to Wayne. Those often are recorded on Saturdays before home games, and we appreciate him chipping in to assist with the interviews. Wayne and our video staff go above and beyond to make those happen.
Venny from Montgomery, AL
What seems to be the video game of choice amongst the players? Is it “Call of Duty,” “Madden,” “NBA 2K,” “Fortnite?” Do players get excited about “Madden” player ratings? I assume the vets don’t care much unless they’re getting their first 99 overall rating like Tae did a year ago.
“COD,” for sure. Adams getting a ’99’ in “Madden” might be the only time I remember a player commenting on his rating. Adams deserved it, though. He was slept on for many, many years.
Team photographer Evan Siegle shares his favorite photos from the 2021 Green Bay Packers season.
Michael from Santa Cruz, CA
Wes’s query to II Nation about a Kurt Warner Pack jersey reminded me of something that always makes my day – spotting someone rocking a totally random Packers jersey. Favre and Reggie White do not qualify. But the random Mark Chmura jersey I saw at the beach last month definitely does. So does the Johnny Jolly road white I saw earlier in the year. My all-time favorite was the Jeff Query No. 85 jersey I saw at a summer music festival in the mid-aughts. Any random Pack jersey sightings you can recall?
Tim Couch is probably the best one I’ve seen in-person. I haven’t been to a Brewers game in forever, but I always make sure to wear my No. 14 Russell Branyan jersey. It’s like one of three adult-size jerseys I own.
Jeremy from Red Deer, Canada
As globally homeless traveler, I often wish there was a resource to find local Packers fans on game days when I’m in a new city. Does such a thing exist?
Check out our Packers Everywhere page. You’ll find links for local Packers bars and fan clubs. Safe travels!
Ben from Pensacola, FL
“Nostalgia isn’t living in the past but appreciating that you lived.” – Well done, Wes, well done.
Not gonna lie. I punched myself in the shoulder after that one.
Ryan from Noblesville, IN
Wes said Ginger Ale because there’s no way he’s wasting a Root Beer on someone’s back. Also, do you think he voted Spoff as the Inbox MVP because he can’t vote for himself? Regardless, I’m sure everyone would agree, that MVP was a shared MVP.
There are two things you do not waste – a good cigar and quality sarsaparilla.
Dar from Mansfield, TX
I recall that last off-season we were all aboard the idea of Inbox happy hours and Taco Tuesdays during this year’s dead zone. I realize it’s too late to pull this off now, even in the form of a church bake sale, but if we could, what would we call our eatery/watering hole? Insider Eatbox? Treat Things? Dos Writers? I’m sure Inboxers will have some great name suggestions.
My vote is for “Treat Things.” I envision the mascot being Spoff in his ’80s Dairy Queen garb.
Steve from Colorado Springs, CO
“…including Dan/Charles/Ralph/Dillard from Waupun.” How the heck do you guys keep track of all of us? I am always impressed by your knowledge of the II crowd, just one more thing that makes us all feel part of this. Thanks for allowing me to contribute my 9.09% (oh no, II math again?)
It’s amazing what you remember when you write 312 Q&As each year.
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