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They're going to try to dictate the action

Posted Oct 20, 2017

The Packers have to tackle and tackle well


John from Crivitz, WI

What unique problems does it pose for defenses when they are trying to scheme against a quarterback with a very short resume?

They know they’ll have to react to something schematically they haven’t prepared for, so they’ll be on the lookout. Otherwise, they’re going to try to dictate the action, not the other way around. Such is life for a young QB.

Jeremy from Green Bay, WI

I know this is certainly premature, however what type of play would we have to expect from Brett this season to warrant the conversation of who our future QB is? I know Aaron is Aaron for a reason, but it's happened in the history of the NFL several times...Brady/Bledsoe, Prescott/Romo, etc.

That is entirely too premature, but I’ll just say this. Bledsoe was not Rodgers, and Romo was not Rodgers.

Ryan from Suamico, WI

Even with the injuries that helped shorten two of his seasons, would Aaron Rodgers be a Hall of Famer in five years if he didn't play another down?

No question.

Corey from Kings Park, PA

The “Rock Report” on Hundley solidified my reasons to believe he can lead this team. Even watching the game, I noticed many of his positive highlights were very Rodgers-like and his movements closely resembled Rodgers to an extent, though it's dangerous to compare skill sets. After studying three years behind the all-time great, how realistic is it to think Hundley could emulate a part of Rodgers’ game into his own?

I see the back-shoulder throws and out-of-pocket stuff as areas where Hundley resembles Rodgers some. What can only come with experience, though, is Rodgers’ ability at the line of scrimmage to get the offense in the best possible play based on the defensive look. Jahri Evans made an intriguing comment this week discussing how he wasn’t going to overwhelm Hundley with info on the Saints’ defense. He said, “The thing about this game is you don’t want to see things that could happen, you just want to diagnose what’s going on in front of you.” Rodgers can do both, which separates him, and he’d adjust accordingly, pre-snap or on the fly. That only comes with years of experience combined with his mind and talent. Hundley will be taking it one step at a time.

Wade from Milwaukee, WI

I'm glad the Raiders were able to get the win Thursday night. The overturned touchdown to Jared Cook doesn't make sense to me. He's falling towards the goal line while making the catch. He has to maintain possession all the way through the process of going to the ground for it to be a catch. By the time he finishes falling he's in the end zone, but they call him down at the one foot line when his butt first touched. So he's down before he even caught the ball?

He has to maintain control while going to the ground according to the catch rule, yes. But the point of contact, defensively speaking, to rule him down begins when he first establishes said control. Clear as mud, I know.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

The Oakland Raiders wearing all white instead of all black? C'mon man!

I was disappointed, too, even though the all-white looked pretty sharp.

Brad from Spirit Lake, IA

Watching the Kansas City-Oakland game, with about 40 seconds left in the first quarter, Khalil Mack had a shot at Alex Smith that looked identical to the hit that Rodgers took. Mack let off the gas, though. Wish Anthony Barr had that much professionalism.

As I said earlier this week, some guys take the shot, others don’t.

Dylan from Houston, TX

Don't put the misinterpreters in the Inbox Hall of Fame. Put them on Double Secret Probation.

That’s how seven years of college go down the drain.

Sal from Mullica Hill, NJ

Insiders, not a question but simply a pop-culture comment. I can't believe people didn't get the "Germans bomb Pearl Harbor" reference. I had a similar recent experience. I went into a costume/Halloween store and asked for a Hannibal Lecter mask/costume. The 20-something clerk never heard of him. When I mentioned "Silence of the Lambs," the clerk never heard of the movie. I sadly walked out, head held low…I am too old.

Wes helps keep me young with his references, but hey, he let his frustration get the best of him yesterday – in part, because I threw out the Pearl Harbor/Animal House one last season and he spent the next day clearing up that my apparent ignorance of basic historical facts had been greatly exaggerated.

Craig from Dacula, GA

Could the overall letdown and poor play last week have been due to mental lapses due to the shock of losing Aaron and the drop in morale? I know they are professionals, but that type of loss could affect anyone. Just look at military battles where the leader was struck down and even though the troops are the same, they get defeated. I am hopeful for a strong showing against the Saints.

Me, too. There’s definitely some truth to what you say. We’re all human.

Rich from De Pere, WI

Maybe the stats prove me wrong, but I feel we still aren't getting the sacks and pressure on the QB that we need. One sack and four QB hits against a mediocre Vikings O-line and third-string QB just isn't good enough.

No, it’s not, and the Packers were healthy enough in the defensive front to do better against Minnesota’s offense. But this isn’t the week to measure the defense’s effectiveness in sacks and pressures. Brees gets the ball out quickly. The Saints’ passing game is built on yards after the catch. The Packers have to tackle and tackle well.

Scott from Fredonia, WI

The Packers are viewed as a good screen-play team, but against the Vikings the screen game was not good. How can they develop rhythm in the screen game? Consistency at O-line?

It starts there, for sure.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Spoff, I can't be the only one writing in about Marty B., but I see nothing in the Inbox. Marty B. and I have the same amount of TDs and I don't play. He also drops most passes, including Aaron's injury play, right in the hands. Thoughts on his play?

I thought it was coming around after the Dallas game, making his drop last week even more disappointing. Hundley is going to need his tight ends. All of them. To help run block, pass protect, and make plays. I expect Bennett, as an accomplished veteran, to step up.

Kevin from Tucson, AZ

Mike, can you remind us at what point do communications in the QB helmet turn off prior to the snap? We will all surely be watching BH closely Sunday.

It shuts off with 15 seconds left on the play clock, or when the QB is in position to begin the snap count, whichever comes first.

Lisa from Plymouth, MN

Do you think Jordy will continue the spinning of the football tradition prior to Sunday's game? As a way to honor Aaron's absence and at the same time make a statement that the Packers will press on, if he can do it, I'd like to see Jordy do the spin by himself with one ball in his right hand and one in his left.

As competitive as Hundley is, I wonder if he’s been waiting for his chance to beat Nelson.

Sergio from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Spoff, you answered a question about coaches’ challenges so I need to ask the obvious question...why are coaches tasked with fixing officials’ errors? If replay is needed then it should be initiated by an official in the booth like in college. There should be no challenges, just a system to fix obvious errors like we saw last week. Agree or disagree?

I agree, but given the NFL’s past and present reluctance to emulate the NCAA – let’s not forget the league didn’t institute the two-point conversion until 1994, and it has shown no legitimate interest to date in the targeting rule for player safety – my focus has been to suggest a solution the league might actually consider.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

In your estimation, are the people who write to Insiders more control freaks than the coaches who coach and players who play? It seems that many can't grasp the idea that even the best laid plans go to (pot) sometimes and we all are best defined by how we deal with those moments.

You go, Margeaux.

Johan from Pembroke, OH

How have the Saints been against the run? A good running game is a QB's best friend and it'd be nice if Aaron or Ty, depending on availability, could get something going on the ground Sunday to give their defense something else to think about.

Absolutely, but the Saints are ranked 11th against the run. It’s the better half of their defense. Combining that with the logic behind putting the game on the shoulders of a young, inexperienced QB, is going to make running the ball an even greater challenge Sunday, in my view. But the Packers will still have to find a way to keep them honest.

Tinger from Red Wing, MN

Will Brett Hundley be the first African-American quarterback to start for the Packers? I sure hope him all the success in the world.

Coincidentally, the first to start for the Packers was Seneca Wallace in 2013, the first time Rodgers broke his collarbone.

Dale from Nekoosa, WI

When a team calls a timeout, how is it decided/determined if it's full commercial time or 30 seconds?

I believe it’s just where the network is in its commercial break schedule for the game.

Matt from Hartford, WI

Favorite “Cheers” character?

Woody Boyd. He was the perfect successor to Coach. I have to start sneaking in some “Cheers” references.

Tim from Madison, WI

I find it interesting that Mike called the Saints’ defense typical and vulnerable in the passing game. A blunt and accurate assessment, but when you talk about the Packers’ defense you don't afford us such honesty.

Have I ever lied to you? Please don’t confuse my disinclination to rip, cut or fire players and coaches with dishonesty. I always try to present the whole picture to provide proper perspective, and I understand a greater portion of the picture with this team than any other. My comment about the Saints was based on their league rankings, which is all I know. I’m sure there’s more to their struggles on defense than meets the eye as well.

Michael from Hillsboro, OR

There is an online petition circling to bring you-know-who to fill in at QB. Would the Packers organization ever even respond to such a petition? Or would it go ignored?

Petition? What petition?

Ryan from Santee, CA

I always view Nelson as our No. 1 receiver, but an interesting observation was that Rhodes was following Adams. Do other teams view Adams as our No. 1? If so that's a big and well-deserved jump for Adams.

Different teams will decide their priorities in terms of who or what they’d like to take away. It won’t be the same every week. The Vikings’ response was interesting, though, after the Cowboys left a rookie corner on Adams for the entire final drive in Dallas.

Dave from Lake Bluff, IL

I just wanted to say thanks to Spoff. Perhaps it was the initial shock but I, like many, went to a place of "season over" when Rodgers was carted off the field in Minnesota. I have found myself re-centered, in no small measure due to Spoff's reasoned, calm responses and tone. An "everything is fine" approach would have lacked credibility, but a "let's see what Hundley’s got and enjoy the possibilities in a topsy-turvy NFL" is a sentiment I can get on board with. Thanks.

You’re welcome.

Logan from Menasha, WI

Who has been your favorite player to watch this year and why?

In live action, Clay Matthews. It’s fun to figure out where he’s lining up and whether he’s attacking or dropping into coverage. On the all-22, Kenny Clark. The work he does in the trenches is a treat.

Eric from Goodhue, MN

The Saints are on a bit of a hot streak. What are they doing so well now that wasn't happening to start the year?

Brees is getting more comfortable with an almost entirely new set of receivers, and the Saints’ defense is starting games stronger after two ugly beginnings in Weeks 1-2.

Stephen from Chicago, IL

Mike, Wilson and Prescott would seem to be two examples of mid-round QBs who had first-year success by playing to the strengths of their teams. The former had a tremendous defense and running game, the latter had the best O-line in football. What things will Hundley be leaning on to succeed as a first-year starter?

His head coach and his mentor.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

What players on both sides of the ball are the X-factors to beat the Saints?

On offense, Aaron Jones or a tight end. On defense, Josh Jones or Kentrell Brice.

Paul from Cumming, GA

Vic frequently said that courage was one of the most important virtues a quarterback could have. I thought Brett Hundley showed quite a bit of courage in the face of Minnesota's pass rush. Would you agree?

Yes, and he not only stood in there, he didn’t let the frustrating results bother him. He just kept playing.

Jesse from Verona, WI

Let's not forgot the game in 2010 when Aaron exited the game against the Lions and Matt Flynn didn't have much success. The next week Flynn leads us to an almost upset against the Pats. Let see how Hundley does this week with the first-team reps and a game plan tailored for his skill set.

McCarthy started that game at New England with an onside kick. As I said on “Unscripted,” I wonder if he’s got something up his sleeve for Sunday.

Barry from Aberdeen, SD

Who is the Packers’ NFLPA representative?

Jordy Nelson, with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Mason Crosby as alternates.

Dennis from Naples, FL

Today, I remembered that we traded up for Brett Hundley. I set out to find out who got drafted in the Packers’ original pick. It turns out it was Joe Cardona who is a Naval officer, Super Bowl champion, and the Patriots’ long snapper. I just thought I would share that information. Was there another draft pick involved in the trade?

To trade up 19 spots in the fifth round to grab Hundley, the Packers also gave up a seventh-round pick, which the Patriots used on Marshall cornerback Darryl Roberts, who is now with the Jets.

Casey from Manitowoc, WI

Watching Brett Hundley's locker room press conference, that guy exudes confidence. I think we are in good hands. Also everyone in the locker room is all in with him. How do you think that will translate onto the field?

It all starts with Hundley, but it’ll be a team effort. McCarthy talked this week about not trying to do too much, as far as the game plan, with a new quarterback. Hundley has to try not to do too much as well.

Glen from Leesburg, VA

It's us against the world. That is the new mantra this team needs to embrace. This is the kind of stuff greatness is made of.

It’s the Packers vs. the Saints, and I guarantee you that’s McCarthy’s message because he’s made it clear over the years he and his team are “nobody’s underdog.” If the doubter chip works for you, go ahead, but the most successful professional athletes and coaches believe they will win because they believe in themselves, not because others don’t.


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