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That's what 'being on the same page' means

Posted Aug 16, 2017

Removing the intentional will leave only the accidental


Al from Green Bay, WI

I'm confused by those who write into this Inbox trying to tell the Insiders how to do their job. I thought our role was to simply fire criticism at the GM, coaches, players and officials. No?

And we’re off.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Of all the players on the Packers team that won the Ice Bowl, which two would be the best fit in today's NFL? (I have two players in mind: I'd like to see if your two players match mine).

I’ll take Herb Adderley and either Willie Davis or Dave Robinson. Tough call.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

Mike, I saw a Spofford St. near Georgetown, Mass., yesterday.

The family is from the East Coast. There was a Spofford juvenile detention center in New York that shut down a few years back, so take that for what it’s worth. They used to reference it all the time in the original, way-back episodes of “Law and Order” (cue sound effect).

Patrick from Burlington, IL

I know of a couple former kickers/punters who became good broadcasters, but has one ever gone on to become a good coordinator or head coach?

I don’t think a pure kicker/punter has ever become a head coach. Tom Landry did some punting in his day, but it wasn’t his primary position.

Dave from Comer, GA

Couple questions. Claim a guy on the 13th and release him on the 15th. Why? Also on your “Three Things” you said Ty won't practice and may not play vs. Washington. Is he injured?

Montgomery sat out Tuesday’s practice with a lower leg injury. He wasn’t concerned about it, but given the precautionary approach taken in preseason, I’d be surprised if he plays this week. As for the waiver claim, sometimes medical issues crop up. Might have happened in this case.

Tyler from Orlando, FL

In the article following Coach McCarthy's press conference, it was noted that the focus of the first practice following preseason Week 1 was on the regular-season matchup vs. the Seahawks. Is it the norm for a team to prepare this early in preseason for a Week 1 game?

Yes. McCarthy used to work early regular-season opponent prep into different camp practices, and nobody on the outside was the wiser, but recently he’s been more inclined to concentrate the work into a closed practice or two.

Dan from Twin Lakes, WI

Insiders, would it be legal for the Pack to line up Nelson, Adams and Allison as receivers, put Cobb and Montgomery in the backfield, with Bennett (or Kendricks) checking in as "tackle eligible"? If so, that's six quality pass catchers, two of whom are also quite capable of running the ball, with Aaron Rodgers scanning the defense and making the decisions. Who on Earth is going to defend against that? And how?

It must be sound-effect day. All I could think of when I read this was that “X” noise, when someone gives a wrong answer on “Family Feud.”

Don from Green Bay, WI

Guys, I see the Wisconsin-Notre Dame game is Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. As part of this negotiation, does the NFL become involved to ensure the Packers are on a bye or away that weekend?

Yes. Teams can make special scheduling requests due to things just like this, and it would be an easy one for the league to accommodate.

Nathan from Sheboygan, WI

I realize it was only the first preseason game. However, Taysom really showed off his speed. There was one play where he quickly outran his blockers to get the first down, showing off not only extreme speed for a quarterback but excellent awareness seeing the open space beyond his blockers and the first-down line. All three backups have their strengths, but Taysom impressed me the most. Is there any chance we get to see Taysom play earlier in a game and play with/against higher-string players? I want to see more. I want to see if he's for real. If he plays the same, I think he makes the team.

I’m not going to go that far just yet, but a lot of folks are asking if Hill has earned more snaps and an earlier entry into the next game. I think he has earned it, but whether or not he’ll get it will depend on how the game goes, and whether or not Rodgers plays.

Matthew from Brooklyn, NY

Ty's article in “The Players' Tribune” was pretty amazing. It's nice to see how players like him grow to love the feel of the team and the area. Do you think other players read that and are perhaps swayed slightly to come to Green Bay?

Not really, because the money matters first for free agents, if that’s what you’re getting at. What I liked most about Montgomery’s piece was the encounter with McCarthy in the hallway last year when the idea of switching to running back was broached. I hadn’t heard him tell that story before.

Jon from Eden Prairie, MN

I think Kevin Harlan has to be my favorite TV football commentator. I really wish he covered more Packers games.

If CBS ever lets him go, I’d love to see FOX snatch him up. I inevitably have at least one hotel elevator conversation each summer with Kevin on a preseason road trip. He’s fun to talk to.

Mike from Chanhassen, MN

It was talked about a little in a podcast I listened to last season and I was hoping a little more detail could be given. Rodgers makes a pre-snap read and sees the corner (let's say playing inside technique). I'm guessing the receiver should also make that read. What comes next? Does Rodgers audible or is there an acknowledged alternate route the receiver runs, or does he still run the route for the play called? I'm curious because there's the offensive playbook and then there's the way Rodgers runs the offense.

I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, but receivers have option routes on certain plays, and in the situation you describe, which route to run based on the defensive alignment is generally understood by both QB and receiver. That’s what “being on the same page” means. Sometimes Rodgers will give a signal, or a glance over with his eyes, just to confirm, but if he’s fully confident the receiver’s pre-snap read is the same as his, he won’t. That said, not all routes are option routes. Some have to be run the way they’re called because they’re further down the progression and integral to the play design, to hold a safety or linebacker in a certain area, or cause him to react one way or another, for instance.

T.J. from Tampa, FL

Unpopular opinion, but the discussion of Crosby potentially doing a Lambeau Leap led me here. I'm not crazy about excessive or inorganic Leaps. I wish they'd be performed more in the same vein as Butler's original Leap – that is, when a player is already running and continues his established stride towards the wall and fans. Long gaps between the TD and Leap cheapen the experience a bit.

I like the ones that happen in stride the best, too, but organic or not, I don’t think the experience is cheapened for those fans in the front row.

Greg from Appleton, WI

Seems our CBs have problems with stiff-arms. Why not wrap two hands around the wrist and fall down? He'll come down with you.

I think grabbing that wrist is easier said than done.

John from Madison, AL

The concussion protocol is a fairly new safety mechanism for today’s players. Could this be the key to reducing CTE/dementia later on in life? It really makes sense because if I injure any other part of my body and don't rest it, I'll suffer permanent damage. How is the brain any different?

That’s why I keep saying the future studies of the brains of players from the current, safety-conscious era will provide invaluable information, but we have to wait.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

So, if the Packers don't send in tape of the two hits they felt were illegal, the NFL won’t review?

No, the league would review any hit that causes an injury like those, but sending the play in is a way of saying you expect an explanation as to how the league views the play, whatever its decision is.

Mitchell from Edmond, OK

Mike, regarding the Dupre hit, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but doesn’t it seem the league is making it impossible for defenders to play the game? With all of the things defenders have to think about during the course of a game, how is it realistic to expect them to follow such stringent rules? As fans, we get to evaluate these violent collisions with multiple slow-motion replays, but I think people sometimes forget how fast everything moves in real time of these games.

I don’t disagree with your general take, but the re-training of defensive players is going to take time, more than just a few years. The basic tenet now for defensive players is don’t use the head, and don’t hit to the head. I think that’s reasonable. Will the speed of the game played by supreme athletes create unintended violations? Of course, and those fines and suspensions won’t always be fair or just. But training to remove the intentional (of leading with the head, or hitting to the head) and whittling the problems down to the accidental would be a big first step.

Kent from Rochester, MN

This might be a little late but any idea on why we saw so many blitzes against the Eagles? I would have thought with the young cornerbacks that Dom would have liked to see longer coverage.

McCarthy explained on Tuesday it’s about learning the time clock on pressure packages, which is difficult to replicate in a practice setting. I believe it’s a function of having a young secondary that hasn’t experienced much of the in-game timing on the back end on blitzes. I thought the pressure calls against the Eagles were pretty basic, nothing too exotic, but they did run quite a few.

Jacob from Port Huron, MI

What do you think of players not standing for the national anthem?

I’m going to say basically the same thing I said last year. If the league or team wants to make a rule regarding anthem conduct, we’re having a different conversation. But absent such a rule, players have a right to do what they want and that right should be respected, even if some find the behavior objectionable. Those folks have a right to criticize and express why they don’t appreciate it. Civilized debate is good for the soul.

Wayne from Green Bay, WI

It seems that every year, there is one position that becomes the Achilles heel of the team, either because of an unqualified starter or an injury exposing the lack of competent depth. Safety, ILB, RB, RT, backup QB are positions that TT gambled by going light or inserting a green starter in the past. What do you think are the positions we should worry about this year?

I think I’ve been saying all offseason it’s edge rusher. The Packers have a lot to prove there behind Matthews and Perry. Let’s see what unfolds.

Jon from Towanda, PA

Did we get a "Roethlisberger" moment from Wentz? Watching a guy like Clay Matthews just fall off a sack/tackle like that, I mean Ben had to have smiled if he saw that play due to all of the comparisons we heard during that draft. Every defender in the AFC North knows that feeling. Play through to the whistle.

Both 6-5, with listed weights three pounds apart (240-237). Different quarterbacks can be tough to sack for different reasons.

Bob from Oosterhout, The Netherlands

Did any defender ever accidentally hit Aaron Rodgers in practice?

I’ve never seen it, and I don’t want to.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

Just a thought about the comment Leonard Fournette made. The first game he finishes with under 50 yards rushing he's going to get destroyed by the media and fans. Why put that pressure on yourself?

Maybe he got to take the elevator. We’ll see.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Mike and Wes, I have to thank you guys for your perspective. I must admit that last year I fell into the expectations trap. This year I am not feeling it and have adopted a let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may attitude. I am looking forward to the games for the opportunity to watch Packer football whatever the result. Of course making the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl would make the experience extraordinary.

Glad to help.


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