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We'll know it when we see it

Posted Nov 3, 2017

Beware of feast or famine


Steve from Broadstairs, England

With Hundley now at QB, do you see the Packers running any read-options?

They ran one or two against the Saints, and Hundley pulled one down and scooted around the end for a first down, getting out of bounds and not taking a hit. If his exposure can stay limited in that way, we may see more.

Gerry from North Bay, Canada

A question yesterday asked, "What does Hundley get from Rodgers being on the field?" Do you think that it may help Rodgers continue to feel part of the team and stay in the proper frame of mind to help him be ready when he comes back?

Of course. A quarterback needs his finger on the pulse of the offense as much as the head coach needs it on the entire team.

Kenton from Rochester, MN

Insiders, saw all the posts of how exciting the World Series has been, so I thought I'd give it a shot (seventh game and all). All I can say is it was pretty boring, IMHO. Give me football anytime.

The finale was a letdown drama-wise, but it was still a memorable series. Los Angeles had plenty of chances to get back in that game and crank up the intensity, with a hit here or hit there, but alas, that’s baseball.

Luc from St. Thomas, Canada

Release Jean Francois but don't sign anyone new. I'm guessing Biegel is about to be put on the active roster?

That’s my anticipation.

Ross from Newmarket, Ontario

Does the release of Ricky Jean Francois mean Montravius Adams is ready to contribute?

Quite possibly.

Mike from Madison, WI

Now that McCarthy has stated that he is comfortable with the two QBs on staff, how does he answer the question of why the Packers entertained the Hoyer idea?

McCarthy said he wasn’t part of any conversations to bring in a veteran quarterback, and if the personnel department was making calls to explore possibilities, it was doing its job.

Stefan from New York, NY

The officials have a tough job, everyone can agree on that. To me it makes their job so much more difficult to determine whether or not a foul (has an impact) on a given play. If the ref sees the DB grab a jersey of a receiver and the ball gets throws to a different receiver, how can he or she make the judgment call that the QB didn’t throw to the receiver because he wasn’t open because he was being held? Is the ref supposed to now look at the QB’s eyes in addition to the secondary? If you see it, call it. Onus should be on the players to stop holding and grabbing and adjust to the new enforcement of the rules.

All valid points, but I’m not talking about the obvious grab of a jersey when it comes to exercise of discretion. I’m talking about the momentary “illegal hands to the face” that is accidental, not sustained and has no apparent impact, yet the flag comes out. Or the “illegal contact” penalty downfield where a guy running his route is simply bumped beyond the 5-yard zone, but there was no real hindrance, yet it’s an automatic first down. I realize the refs have a tough job, but making every call more objective, and involving less judgment, is not the answer.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Less whistles, more cowbell.

That, too.

PJ from Minneapolis, MN

Here's how you protect the quarterback. Ready? Stop protecting the quarterback. It's an age-old observation that the more you try to regulate something, the more offspring problems it creates. Did you know that cities with the least traffic incidents are cities with no traffic control (lights, signs, etc.)? So let's say you removed all rules protecting the QB, and the QB was fair game. Naturally, the QB will start to get hit at first. QB doesn't like that. He'll start protecting himself by: A) Throwing quicker passes, B) Spiking the ball (Vic would love this), or C) Calling more run plays. This would also restore balance to offense/defense production. Jus' sayin'.

I appreciate the inverse logic, but I don’t think the consequences you outline would be good for the game in the long run, either. That’s why this is so tricky.

Darrell from San Antonio, TX

Mike, the team has 12 sacks through seven games. They are on pace for 27 for the season. Don't you agree that has to improve if we expect the team to win enough games to make the playoffs?

It must improve considerably, and as I said the other day, it starts with getting pressure from standard looks. If it takes a bunch of blitzes to boost the sack numbers, big plays for the opponent will result, too. Beware of feast or famine. Live by it, die by it.

Ernie from Wautoma, WI

What happened to the story of Bennett retiring after this season?

Bennett hasn’t spoken to the media this week so far, and McCarthy declined to address it on Tuesday.

Jerry from Harlingen, TX

Wes said in yesterday's column that if you have "the man" you keep "the man" in regard to the trade of Garoppolo, even though he was the heir apparent to a 40-year-old Brady. But didn't the Packers get rid of "the man" (Favre) in order to keep Rodgers? No complaints, but it seems a bit historically obtuse. I know, solitary for me.

From what I’ve read, Andy D., it sounds like the Patriots were willing to pay Garoppolo what it took to keep him on the roster until Brady retired, but the young guy wasn’t going to sign because he wanted to play. Can’t necessarily blame him. As for your comparison, it’s invalid. Brady has talked about playing until he’s 45. Favre was talking retirement as early as 2003. The situations couldn’t be more different from a front-office perspective.

Chase from Fort Huachuca, AZ

The front office hasn't done enough for Rodgers. Seasons playing with a top-10 defense in career: Big Ben 9, Brady 6, Peyton 5, Eli 5, Rodgers 2.

I’m not sure what you want me to say, but it’s an oversimplification to put all the blame in one place.

Doug from Hudson, OH

I have been wondering about this. After a team scores a touchdown it decides to go for a two-point conversion. It then has an illegal procedure penalty. At that point it decides to kick the extra point. Would they kick it from the 7-yard line instead of the normal 15-yard line? Is this legal to do?

I see my foray into all things rules earlier this week didn’t scratch every itch. In the scenario outlined, the new line of scrimmage for the PAT would be the 20, making it a 38-yard kick. Otherwise, every team would do exactly what you describe every time it wanted one point.

Bobby from Hamilton, NJ

First time Inboxer but avid follower. I can’t be the only one who misses Micah. He was one of my favorite guys to watch on our defense. I understand the draft-and-develop concept, but why get rid of a terrifically developed D-back like him? Our pass defense has always been our Achilles heel. Help me understand.

The questions about Hyde are constant right now. No one wanted to see him go, and congrats to a great guy on his recent recognition. But please understand reality. Hyde was not going to start at boundary cornerback here, and at safety he would have been No. 3 behind Burnett and Clinton-Dix. Paying him what the Bills are paying him – which is to be their top safety – or anything remotely close, was not feasible.

Barrett from Lubbock, TX

Hey Insiders, I believe it was Wes who mentioned players released from here on out, after the deadline, are subject to waivers. Does that include players who are vested veterans with no PS eligibility left? Good luck with the Inbox from here on out.

Yes, vested veterans are now also subject to waivers for the rest of the season.

Isaac from Nashville, TN

You have both entertained explanations for the defense's struggles. Can I ask you to think over one more? It seems like Green Bay has evolved on both sides of the ball to complement the QB. When the passing game clicks, it really clicks, and so other teams have to sling it to keep up. That means more opportunities for turnovers, and that's where GB's D thrives. The difficulty is that when 12 is down or opponents stifle the pass, it's difficult for the defense and running game to stay competitive independently, in the manner of Chicago or Minnesota. A double-edged sword, I suppose.

When your MVP QB goes down, you have to learn to play a different way, generally speaking. In 2013, the Packers relied on Eddie Lacy to keep them in games, and the defense, unfortunately, never really got healthy. The Packers need Aaron Jones and a healthy defense every week now. What doesn’t change is the quarterback will still have to make plays in the fourth quarter. Flynn did that to beat Atlanta and Dallas and tie Minnesota four years ago. Hundley will have to rise to those occasions. There’s no hiding from the need for solid QB play at critical moments.

John from Crivitz, WI

What does improvement look like for Brett Hundley Monday night?

We’ll know it when we see it, because the whole offense will look more balanced and efficient.

Rick from El Cerrito, CA

Does Hundley at QB in any way change McCarthy's strategy of deferral if he wins the coin toss? Why or why not? Discuss.

After seeing the quick 7-0 lead on the first possession vs. the Saints not get the Packers very far, I would surmise McCarthy will still be inclined to defer and try for the double-up score late first half, early second.

Matt from Hartford, WI

Which conspiracy theory would be the most frightening to you if true?

The CIA being behind the JFK assassination.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Maybe it's coincidence. As we look at AR's injury history, we recall broken collarbones from the Bears and Vikings, and a concussion coming from the Lions. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if division rivals have a little extra incentive to "remove" the best player on the field. Are you buying it?

More conspiracies, sigh. Rivalries might play into it, and what I’ve said all along, about the opportunity to take a shot at the quarterback, might be more enticing against a division rival. But you also play six of every 16 games against division foes. That’s nearly 40 percent. The math says a preponderance of injuries will come in division games.

Amanda from Villa Rica, GA

Since we play on Monday night, will you be doing an Inbox on Sunday instead of Monday? Or will the Inbox schedule stay the same?

It will stay the same, except Wes and I are switching days next week. So he will do Monday and I will do Tuesday, which will post around 11 a.m. after the night game. We will get back to our regular days after the Chicago game.

Roxanne from Helena, MT

Hey, I am working on something special that will help protect the quarterbacks and wanted to get your opinion on it. A protective suit that is equipped with air bags, similar to what you see in your car. If they go off, then the quarterback would have to sit out a few snaps to get deflated. Each team would have a backup quarterback with the air-bag suit. If both quarterbacks are inflated at the same time, then the ball would be turned over to the other team.

How did Wes end yesterday’s column? Is it Monday yet?

Mike from Cedar Rapids, IA

Feels like forever since Dallas. One win changes everything.

There we go.


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