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Turnovers have defined these games

Posted Sep 6, 2017

Sunday will not write the book on 2017


Brett from Lakewood, CO

Why are we still talking about cuts, waivers, third-string quarterbacks, and Max McCaffrey? Seattle.

Am I allowed to say, “We’re on to Seattle,” or would that be plagiarism?

Mike from Niagara Falls, Canada

Maybe this question is best suited for Vic, but is Packers/Seahawks becoming the Raiders/Steelers of this decade? I get a sense that these two teams (not to mention the fans) really don't like each other. As an old-school NFL purist myself, I'm happy to see this kind of bad blood return. Rivalries make this game great.

I think Green Bay-Seattle is the best non-divisional rivalry in the NFC right now. It needs a lot more postseason drama to come anywhere close to Raiders/Steelers of the ’70s, though.

Tim from Reno, NV

We had some great wins down the stretch last year, but I think the butt-kicking we gave Seattle was the most satisfying for me personally. I really want to see Clay Matthews tackle Eddie Lacy for a loss. The baloney stops soon.

The Seattle win was when “run the table” became realistic to me.

Danny from Houston, TX

I'm tired of all the administrative questions: waivers, practice squad, etc. Let's get the games going. Who wins on Sunday? Minus turnovers, will the team that wins the rushing battle win the game, or does that even matter anymore?

The key to defending the Seahawks has been to not let their ground game take control. Green Bay’s wins over Seattle the last two years have featured strong run defense. That said, you can’t say “minus turnovers” in analyzing this rivalry. The 2015 win was sealed with back-to-back turnovers in the fourth quarter. Russell Wilson threw five interceptions last year, and four in the NFC title game Green Bay should have won. Rodgers’ only interception in the first seven games of 2014 was in the opener at Seattle. Turnovers have defined these games.

Joe from Granger, IN

It seems that for every rookie we see improve with experience over the season, we see another rookie hit the wall late in the season. Any chance that Biegel and Adams having fresh bodies late in the season/playoffs could actually help us?

Absolutely. The tough part is neither has practiced in the NFL in pads yet, and during the regular season, the team practices in pads only once per week (14 is the max allowed in the regular season, per the CBA), so it’s more difficult for young players to get fully acclimated in that respect. But I think they can help, yes, and Adams could be back sooner than many projected. He was on the practice field Monday.

Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador

Insiders, I think what TT has done these past two weeks has been masterful. He identified needs and actively sought to fill them. He ensured he had cap space to do this, if needed. He clearly had depth of knowledge with respect not only to the Packers, but to many other NFL teams' situations. With that said, just watch; next year some bozo will criticize him for a "bad draft" because not all his 2017 picks are still on the team.

He’s already being criticized for that, but I expressed my thoughts on it Monday, how the volume approach is sound thinking in an unpredictable business like the draft. The critics assume if he had packaged lower picks to trade up that his higher selection(s) would have worked out and he wouldn’t be cutting draft picks. That’s a dangerous assumption.

Ryan from Somerset, WI

I know we're not supposed to get to excited Week 1 about the roster we have. But seriously, where are the holes in this roster? I think our secondary will be a strength this year, so I see no holes at this moment. TT's best offseason to date. What's your take?

I like the additions in the secondary and the upgrades at tight end. I do think the Packers caught a break when Brooks became available to boost the pass rush. Hopefully it’s the break they needed. It reminded me in some ways of 2015, when James Jones suddenly needed a job and could help at receiver. Take the good fortune and make the most of it.

John from Denton, TX

Did we just get lucky with the right team/right scheme making so many changes, or is Ted actively seeking high-quality, veteran defenders for the first time in a long time?

Maybe some of both. I’m curious what Dial will bring to this defensive front. I don’t know much about him, but I saw him in the team dining room on Tuesday, and he’s not small.

Trev from Omaha, NE

Bye weeks are always beneficial as players are never 100 percent healthy after the season kicks off. But does having a Week 8 bye help more with guys like Barclay and Biegel to get back healthy and up-to-speed to rejoin the team?

It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Both Barclay and Biegel will be eligible to practice for the first time in Week 7, leading up to the last game before the bye. The timing might work out well to bring them back slowly.

Bill from Negaunee, MI

It is a fair assumption that every team has a player they really like that they put on waivers hoping nobody claims him and he ends up on the practice squad, so why do teams go after these players since they themselves would benefit if all teams just let them pass waivers and go on the PS. Where is the brotherhood of owners?

Yeah, really. Why don’t they just tell everybody ahead of time whom they want to draft, too?

Luc from St. Thomas, Canada

Any clue on why Malachi Dupre wasn't added to the practice squad? That was a surprising one for me.

Your question assumes the Packers didn’t make an offer. I don’t know if they did or didn’t, or if Dupre was even interested.

Jeff from Farmington, NM

Who is on the bubble for Allison?

There’s no reason to worry about it now, because there’s a game to play. Hopefully the decision won’t be injury-related, but that’s why you wait.

Kristopher from Shorewood, WI

What can you tell us about Lenzy Pipkins? Every UDFA who makes the opening-day roster seems to have a story.

I talked with him and was surprised to learn he didn’t play football until his senior year of high school. Of course, if I’d read the fine print in the Packers media guide, I’d have known that, but it was more fun to find out this way.

Jennifer from Kenosha, WI

Hi Insiders! Now that the countdown to the real games is on, I expect more content on packers.com to help time move quicker. Three written articles per Insider per day might do it. I CANNOT wait for Sunday. Sunday CANNOT come soon enough!

No doubt, especially if I’ve got that much work to do between now and then.

Scott from Sparta, WI

Interesting times since the end of the preseason. If job one of the offseason was to get better on defense, did the Packers get the job done? My sense of it after cut-downs and recent signings is that they didn't gain as much as they wanted.

I think the Packers got better on defense, but no matter what we see on Sunday, it will not write the book on the 2017 unit. It’s a long season.

Jim from Ottawa, Canada

Haven't heard much about Lowry's injury. Is he good to go for Sunday?

Lowry was on the practice field Monday, as were Matthews, Perry, King, Clinton-Dix and Brice, who were all dealing with injuries of one type or another during preseason. Whether they can practice Thursday in pads will tell us more.

Joe from Gaylord, MI

What will the expectations be for the new additions at OLB Week 1 against Seattle? Is it as big a learning curve as it seems?

As I wrote on Monday, Brooks has the better chance to help right away, given his experience in the league and this defensive scheme. Odom’s situation is very different as a rookie transitioning to a new position, but the athletic talent is there.

Gerbschmidt from Elk Mound, WI

Is there a concussion protocol for Insiders who suffer injury from hitting their forehead after reading questions?

It’s a tough job for tough guys.

Barry from Hayward, WI

What message does it send the league that the Packers held on to all the rookie running backs? What does that commitment convey to Ty Montgomery?

I think it conveys nothing to Montgomery or the league, other than the reality that running back is a brutal position, and McCarthy isn’t interested in re-inventing his offense again midseason if he doesn’t have to.

Pete from Clarkridge, AR

One sports writer's criticism of Aaron Rodgers is that sometimes Rodgers never even looks at the receiver for whom the play was designed. How can a sports writer know who is supposed to get the ball, and assuming he can, is this a correct evaluation of QB1?

I don’t know how any analyst would know that. Either way, if Rodgers is deciding before the snap that receivers deeper in his progression have a better matchup, he knows he only has so much time. His mind is always processing the best possible result. It’s part of what makes him great.

Jason from Austin, TX

How much information will newly acquired LB Odom be able to give the Packers on Atlanta's D? Atlanta's O?

Not to pick on you specifically, but as I said last year, this is the most overrated concept that permeates the Inbox. I don’t plan to address it again.

Decoda from Memphis, TN

So we got Jerry trying to trade Aaron away for nine draft picks and Paul wanting to simply give Spriggs, Clay, and Hundley away. Are we making this a thing, now? The last question/comment coming from a contestant for the next Jerry Springer episode?

A friend of mine said he got yanked in off the street to be one of those impromptu security/tough guys on a Springer episode once. I have no idea if it’s true, but it’s a good story.

Chuck from Horizon, WI

Our staff sounds excited to get Odom, but how much film do they have on him besides college?

Four preseason games, plus the Packers must have had one or more scouts in attendance for the weeklong College Gridiron Showcase in Texas in January. It’s like a Senior Bowl for lesser-known prospects who don’t get invited to the Senior Bowl. Three of the undrafted free agents the Packers signed this spring (CB Daquan Holmes, RB Will Stanback, and LB Cody Heiman) were at the CGS, where Odom was named defensive MVP.

Rob from Kodiak, AK

Can you please describe the Packers’ defense? I know a lot of fans get confused by the multiple fronts as well as the nickel packages. It's become much more complex, and it's difficult to help fans understand it on the fly during games. People seem to especially get lost with phrases like “elephant” position or the “psycho” package. Knowing what to watch for should help fans better understand and enjoy the game. Thanks!

I’ll try to make this as succinct as I can. Think of the starting point as two linemen, two outside LBs, two inside LBs, two safeties, and three corners. That’s your true nickel, which is really the de-facto base now. From that, there are three primary variations. 1) A lineman replaces a corner. The old “base” of a classic 3-4. 2) A corner replaces an inside LB. A regular “dime” with six DBs (four corners, two safeties). 3) A safety replaces an inside LB. A newer “dime” the Packers call “nitro” because the extra safety lines up as an inside LB and could take on any number of responsibilities. To be clear, those variations are all singular substitutions from the “starting point”; it’s not a progressive description. Hope that helps.

Trent from Brooksville, FL

Bold prediction: Justin Vogel wins rookie of the year. In all seriousness, when if ever is the last time an undrafted free agent won rookie of the year?

I don’t believe it’s ever happened, and with The Associated Press voting on offensive and defensive rookie of the year awards, I’m not betting on a punter to make history.

Randy from Leavenworth, KS

I look forward to the day when Packer fans realize it's our team that is feared. It's time to find the champion's heart, to come of age. In pursuit of perfection, we attain excellence. The best plays the best. You want to win the NFL Central? Come and take it...if you can!

Or the NFC North. Either one. C’mon man!

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

Ah, preseason. Where the Browns are 4-0 and Falcons are 0-4. It's time for games to count.

Amen.


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