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How do the Packers rebound?

Posted Nov 22, 2017

Packers.com senior writer Mike Spofford took reader questions in Mike's Mid-Week Chat


Hey everybody. Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for logging on. I've got some time here before heading out to practice, so let's get to it.

Comment From Tom

Mike, Was McCray hurt, Spriggs looked awful?

McCray left the Ravens game with a knee injury, and Spriggs was playing in his first game since Week 1 after returning from IR.

Comment From Grant

Will McCarthy trust Mays this week??? Need more than one RB....

He sounded on Monday like a coach giving Mays a clean slate.

Comment From Sean_C

Mike, with the running game being pretty successful for the most part why would we not utilize it more? seems like something worth a try to take some pressure off Hundley.

As noted, and as McCarthy said after Sunday's game, the Mays fumble on his first carry threw a wrench into everything.

Comment From Jeff in Idaho

Hello Mike, how exciting will it be to have two Packers elected into Hall of Fame.

Congrats to Butler on making the semifinalist list. He'll have a hard time cracking this year's class, though. I see Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher as newly eligible locks, and Terrell Owens was awfully close last year. If that's four spots already taken, I don't like Butler's chances this year. But I'm definitely pulling for him and believe he deserves it. Also hoping Jerry Kramer finally gets his just reward this year too, obviously.

Comment From Sean

What is the word on Kenny Clark?

McCarthy said he's starting the week with the rehab group.

Comment From Jason H.

Mike, I'm a proud Packer fan and have been getting beat up at work. I honestly think this offense is close with Hundley though. They were productive last week. Just made too many big mistakes. Do you think this offense could be close to surprising a lot of people this week?

I think the Ravens' defense was a huge challenge, and the Steelers' unit takes a back seat to nobody. This is a big week for Hundley to show what he learned from last week.

Comment From Linda P.

Mike, Glad I got to speak to Murphy yesterday. If Brett struggles any chance we see Callahan?

Nice to hear from you as well. That's the question many are asking. I honestly don't know the answer. McCarthy has repeatedly backed Hundley, and I don't see a change being made. I think he wants to work him through all this.

Comment From Sbw

Wouldn’t Hundley be more successful if he stepped up into pocket? I’m sure the lineman would appreciate it.

I think a couple times he tried to step up and misread the angle of the rusher. Other times he has escaped to the outside when he didn't need to. Pocket awareness isn't a simple thing.

Comment From Tony

Has MM painted himself in a corner on Hundley?

No. I think he's going with the QB who he believes gives the Packers the best chance to win.

Comment From John

Mike, just thought you'd want to know that there is a rogue questioner that submits the same question to Insider Inbox and Ask Vic and the other day he got the same question answered on both sites!

I heard about that. It's a good way to get banned, by either or both of us.

Comment From Matt

Why give up on Mays after the fumble? The outcome was obviously terrible, but who benefits from such a short leash?

I wonder if the decision had been different if it wasn't the offense's third straight turnover to open the game. Obviously Mays had nothing to do with the first two INTs, but part of me believes the first three possessions overall played into the decision.

Comment From Me

Here's hoping Brett can reset and play with more consistency and rythm

He needs to. His fourth quarter in Chicago was outstanding. Now he has to rebound from a really rough day. All part of the process.

Comment From Nick

Everyone wants to jump ship this season but I just want more Packers football. What about you Mike?

Aside from getting to take some vacation time, I enjoy this job during the season much more than during the offseason. I think all of us who work on the website do.

Comment From John

Mike, if we have 6 losses at the time that Rodgers is healthy, does he return?

Depends how many games are left and what the rest of the NFC looks like, record-wise.

Comment From John

Mike, I am curious how aware players are of what is said about them in the media. Do you think they listen to local sports talk radio in the car?

I don't know about talk radio locally, but they're aware of stuff that's out there through social media and other avenues.

Comment From Al

Is it possible MM got a little overconfident with Hundley based on his previous 4th quarter performance?

Maybe, or maybe Hundley did. Hard to know.

Comment From Chuck

Is king going to be available this Sunday?

McCarthy said he was going to practice on Wednesday. That's a good sign. I've felt all season this defense looks better with him as one of the boundary corners.

Comment From BrettGB

Who do you think we should hope for in the Vikings/Lions game, tomorrow?

I answered this in Inbox this morning, and for me, it depends on whether you think the Vikings are going to win their next two at Atlanta and at Carolina, or lose them. Not being able to predict the future, it's hard to know which outcome Thursday in Detroit would benefit the Packers more.

Comment From John

Do you think the players read Insider Inbox?

I seriously doubt it. If they do, no one has ever said anything to me about any answers I've given.

Comment From Justin

Mike, how do you get a young quarterback to trust what he sees and pull the trigger. I see a lot of plays where Hundley appears to look at an open receiver and he doesn't throw the ball. How does McCarthy calm him down?

I've never played football, let alone coached it, so I have no idea. But that's what practice is for. McCarthy knows way more about what Hundley needs than any of us, trust me on that.

Comment From Margeaux

I did not get to see the Ravens game. Is it true that the Packer fans were booing . if so, how widespread was it?

It was multiple times as the offense came off the field, but nothing I would consider overwhelming. The frustrations were felt by all.

Comment From Steven

Mike, what is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?

It's a holiday with no obligations other than family, food and football. McCarthy has set the team schedule so everyone can get out by around noon tomorrow, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Comment From Chuck

Do you know how far MM childhood home is from the stadium?

I don't, but I know we're doing a Packers Everywhere pep rally in McCarthy's old Greenfield neighborhood on Saturday night.

Comment From Bruce

Why do you think the Packers offense looks pretty good when using the scripted plays at the beginning of the game and then seems to struggle thereafter?

That's football. Defenses see what you're doing and adjust. Offenses have to counter. The early scripted plays are the ones that have been practiced the most, so the execution is usually more efficient. But the game is about adjustments on the fly, and making things happen in clutch moments. The script is just a starting point.

Comment From Bud

Do you think the the Packers should open negotiations with Davante Adams now given that the the playoffs for this team are a distant reality and the price may be lower now than at the start of free agency?

It wouldn't be a bad idea, but with six regular-season games to go, it's not exactly in Adams' best interest to sign an extension now, if he thinks the market will treat him more favorably after the season. Always two sides to these things.

Comment From John

Did Mays have a fumbling problem in college?

Not that I'm aware of. You could see on that first snap how nervous he was. He took his first step straight ahead as though he was taking a standard handoff, and it was a toss play. He almost missed the ball. Mentally he needs to get past it and move on.

Comment From Linda P.

Mike, The Viking fans are really gloating. They look real good to me unfortunately. You said the Saints were your Super Bowl pick. Who do you see them playing in the NFC title game? And the Super Bowl?

I don't like making predictions this early, as I even said about the Saints in Inbox. The Steelers might be the most complete team in the AFC, but they've played a few klunkers this year. Vikings, Eagles, Panthers, Falcons ... all of them could have a legit chance in the postseason in the NFC.

Comment From Dave

Do you believe Brady can really play effectively until he is 45 like he claims?

Wouldn't surprise me.

Comment From Clint

This Steelers defense seems far superior to the Ravens defense. Another offensive showing like last week should have far worse results. What do you think needs to change for success?

Find a way to run the ball, to give the offense balance and Hundley some play-action opportunities. It won't be easy, though. As I said since Jones had the big game against the Saints on the ground, teams are going to load up to stop the run and make Hundley beat them.

Comment From Jim

Sorry Mike but your answers seem to be what a coach would say instead of objectively looking at the way Hundley has played. This is the best he is going to be as he looks scared out there and has little vision. It was what was said of him in college. You can't train instincts

The best he's going to be? I don't know how anyone can honestly believe that after five games.

Comment From Tony

I'm excited for Antonio Brown. Aren't you?

He's an electrifying player. I'm always curious to see those types of guys in person for the first time in a while.

Comment From Matt

Do you and Biff ever think of yourselves as our (the fans') coaches?

More like therapists, I think. :)

Comment From Filipe Almeida

Will the packers be able to stay alive in the playoff fight until Rodgers returns?

I don't know if Rodgers can come back when he's first eligible, which would be with three games left, but if that is indeed the case, then you have to win 2 of the next 3, so you're at 7 wins with a chance to get to 10. That's how I see it.

Comment From Goofus

Thanks for the chat, Mike. We keep hearing that "players have to step up" to make up for the loss of Aaron. Doesn't that imply they weren't giving their all prior to his injury?

Some see it that way. I think the expression is just a recognition that every small opportunity for an individual to make a play must be seized, because the team's biggest playmaker isn't around to make the most of his.

Comment From BrettGB

Any plans for Thanksgiving, Mike?

I'm heading to my in-laws' house as soon as I get done with work tomorrow. I'm hoping to get there in time for the second half of Vikings-Lions.

Comment From Joe

Give us your three picks for Turkey Day!

OK, I'll take the Lions, Chargers and Redskins. But I honestly have no idea.

Comment From Peter V.

Davante Adams is having a great year! He should definitely be nominated for the Pro Bowl!

That's a tough group to break into at receiver, but Adams is definitely putting together a solid season.

OK, almost time to head to practice. I'll take a couple more.

Comment From Tony

What would Vic say of the Barr hit?

Probably it's a tough game for tough guys.

Comment From Joe

I meant the food!!!!!!

Oh, sorry ... turkey with cranberry, green bean casserole, pie. With those three, I'm good.

Comment From Tim

Mike: Thanks for the good work, and have a wonderful holiday

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there. Enjoy the day. Talk again soon, Mike

 
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