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Inbox: Creativity is his calling card

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine

Jarrod from Manitowoc, WI

In your opinion, has there been any one singular player in the history of the NFL that has meant more to his team than Bart Starr did to the Packers? His fingerprint on the team from player, coach, fan and mentor to two HOF quarterbacks is incredible. Not to mention the pride that the organization has taken in Starr's contributions to the state of Wisconsin off the field.

Legend doesn’t even begin to describe Bart Starr. It doesn’t do justice to the impact he and Cherry have had on Green Bay and the surrounding communities over the past 63 years. Starr won five NFL titles and yet his legacy is so much more than wins and losses. It was a remarkable weekend befitting the memory of a remarkable man. Good morning!

Bradley from La Crosse, WI

I was at the game Sunday. The crowd was electric for most of the game. I would say the fans responded to Lambeau being "quiet." Great tribute to Bart and great to have Brett and Bart Jr. walk in Cherry. Only added touch would have been had we gotten the crowd chanting "Cherry" to send her off to wrap up the ceremony. Well done by the Packers!

Sunday was special – from the pregame pageantry to the fast start on the field. To me, that was the best Lambeau atmosphere, start to finish, since the 2016 playoff game against the New York Giants. The Starr ceremony brought added meaning to the whole thing.

Paul from Northglenn, CO

For the first time in many years I can sense enjoyment on the defense. Is this more attributable to the personalities or coaching-generated atmosphere?

It’s a really good scheme paired with a bunch of players who are extremely athletic and like one another. That camaraderie is what will carry the Packers through the highs and lows that challenge a defense during every NFL season. There’s reason to believe this unit is built to last.

Bill from Menominee, MI

I think the most important thing to see was that the offense can be explosive. They dominated time of possession the first half. Being the second game, it wouldn't be surprising if they got a little gassed leading to less production. The pass catchers made some terrific plays where they had to adjust their bodies to make the catch, then still posted strong after-the-catch yardage. X’s and O’s aside, they showed a lot of full-speed offensive talent, preserving the defense for the second half.

The firepower is there in this offense. That opening drive was as impressive and efficient as any I can remember over the last five years. The Packers just need to find that rhythm more consistently.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, Davante Adams gained over 100 yards against the Vikings. What were your thoughts on the battle between Davante and Xavier Rhodes?

Like always, it was a great battle. I thought Adams looked fantastic Sunday, especially in the first quarter when the offense was clicking. He finished with seven catches for 106 yards and also drew that 25-yard penalty against Rhodes. Adams is a problem for any NFL defensive back.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

Who is your player of the game? Mine has to be Dean Lowry. Every time I looked up he seemed to be in just the right spot. For anyone curious why we cut Daniels, just watch Dean Lowry play.

Lowry’s stats (three tackles, one deflection and a fumble recovery) may not jump off the page but he had one of his best days in a Packers uniform. Lowry was tasked with defending Kirk Cousins and that bootleg action. He not only stayed disciplined but Lowry also was in Cousins’ face all afternoon.

Gary from Wrightwood, CA

Two things I feel were overlooked in the game against the Vikings: Lane Taylor carrying his block down the field, then being able to give Jamaal Williams a 3-yard push into the end zone. And Preston Smith being able to catch a wildly spinning football for an interception.

Preston Smith was everywhere, man. It’s kind of incredible he now has at least one interception in four consecutive seasons and five overall during that span. You don’t often see that with edge rushers.

Myles from Mesa, AZ

Hello II! I am rarely the armchair coach, knowing full well LaFleur has more knowledge than I ever will. With that being said, I was really surprised Green Bay went for it on fourth-and-1, leading 21-0. Do you agree that's a situation where you take the points?

The whole situation was strange. To me, it looked like Geronimo Allison was stopped short of the first down but the first official spotted the ball at place where it appeared to be a first down. Rodgers was trying to get back to the line to snap the ball before it could get reviewed, thinking the offense had the first down. In normal circumstances, the Packers would have sent Mason Crosby out for the 43-yard field goal. You live and you learn.

John from Green Bay, WI

With the fast start in Week 2, what are some of the key components to keep the pedal down for the upcoming games?

Convert third downs. The Packers made good on four of their first five and thrived in the first 1½ quarters. They converted only one of the last 10 and it was a grind the rest of the game.

Jon from West Des Moines, IA

Love the start to the season. I really hope we don't overlook the Broncos coming in at 0-2. A lot of people think I am insane, but I personally think they are underrated. Would you say there is an advantage or disadvantage with the head coach being Vic Fangio, who spent the past three years as the D coordinator for our division rival?

I can assure you the Packers won’t overlook the Broncos. Aaron Rodgers and the other veterans on offense have seen enough of Fangio to know you can’t take his defense lightly. Denver didn’t trade for Joe Flacco to rebuild – the Broncos aimed to contend straightaway. Now, their back is against the rope. That makes them dangerous.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

How well do the Packers match up with the Broncos? What are some of their strengths the Pack needs to eliminate, and what are some of the weaknesses the Pack can exploit?

I think they match up well as long as they take care of business Sunday. Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay pack a solid backfield punch and Flacco has a lot of experience, but the stats are what they are. The Broncos’ offense has only scored 30 points in two games. Defensively, I still think the Broncos are better than how they’ve played the first two weeks (no sacks, no INTs). You can’t take anything for granted.

Ryan from Somerset, WI

Darnell Savage has been incredibly impressive. The “Peanut” punch that forced a fumble on Kirk Cousins is such an instinctive play that I feel is so hard to teach! Also, excellent play to break up the pass that led to Preston Smith's interception! He's the real deal!

I expected Savage to flash his speed and athleticism right off the bat but he’s really impressed me with his football IQ. Again, he’s only 22 and already commanding the back end. Savage has been everything you want and more from a rookie stepping into the starting lineup on Day 1.

Janet from Cedarburg, WI

Last week after the Bears game all we heard is how awful Mitchell Trubisky was. This week we hear about how awful Kirk Cousins is. Do you think it was more solid defensive play or playing poor quarterbacks?

As Mike McCarthy once said, everyone is good at this level. These players are the best of the best. Cousins is a franchise quarterback who has won a lot of games in the NFL. The Packers have been on the receiving end of some of those performances. All Green Bay can do is play well and move on to the next one. If the defense keeps shutting offenses down, it’ll get the respect it deserves at some point.

Mike from Somerset, WI

Wes, winning seems to solve all relationships issues in the NFL. The Packers are healthy, talent-infused, and winning. Our team is suddenly well-adjusted. This isn’t a chicken-and-egg thing. Just win baby!

You hit it on the head. Anytime a team comes up short, there are questions. Anytime a team wins, everyone wants to be the first to label the sole reason. But wins and losses are larger than a single person or player in this game. The Packers are playing well as a team and that’s why they’re 2-0.

Tom from Fairfield, CT

As a Notre Dame football fan, I've pretty much watched all of their games the past few years. While I understand Dexter Williams apparently has some limitations in passing situations, let me tell you he is a one-cut-and-go rocket ship. His football speed is fabulous regardless of his 40 time. I'm thinking to insert his fresh legs into the running game in the fourth quarter with the opponent's defense becoming fatigued and it could be like a hot knife through butter. When will we see this?

Dexter has a lot of fans out there but right now it’s the Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams show in Green Bay. If those two are healthy, that’s the Packers’ ground game. Dexter just has to stay ready – no different than Jones and Williams back in 2017.

Amy from Bayport, MN

Wes, watching games this weekend I was surprised how many times I saw a flag thrown on a passing play and was expecting an offensive pass interference call. PI penalties have heavily favored the offense for years, but I don’t want to see an overcorrection to benefit the defense either. Is the prevalence of these OPI calls a result of the new point of emphasis, much like the roughing-the-QB calls to start last year? Will we see them decline as the season progresses or is this the new norm?

It’s a reflection of the emphasis. It’s not like receivers are playing more physical this year than in the past decade. As I wrote in the Vikings game notes, the most interesting byproduct of the new review rules is how it’s putting pick plays and OPI under the microscope on scoring plays. Those are tough bang-bang calls for refs to make in the moment, but the eye in the sky is finally watching.

Jim from Eau Claire, WI

Are the Packers wearing their throwback jerseys Sunday against Denver?

Correct.

Patrick from St. Paul, MN

But I want the Packers to win with style, panache, and aplomb. How else will they rise in each week’s power rankings? After all, only the top four teams in the power rankings get to go to the postseason every year, regardless of what their record is.

This submission honestly made me giggle. The point is valid. The Packers won with plenty of pomp and circumstance during their 15-1 season – and yet weren’t the best team come the postseason. And it was almost the opposite in 2010. Wins are the only things that matter, especially in September.

Mark from Bloomfield, NJ

Did the Packers suffer many injuries in Sunday's game?

Not many that we know of – the Packers return to the practice field Wednesday – but safety Raven Greene was placed on injured reserve Monday with the ankle injury he suffered Sunday. It’s heartbreaking for the former undrafted free agent, who worked his tail off this summer to carve out a role in Mike Pettine’s defense.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Hi Insiders, who is the next man up for Raven Greene's role?

Pettine slid Adrian Amos into that hybrid spot against Minnesota and had Will Redmond fill in next to Darnell Savage at deep safety. We’ll see if that’s the direction they choose to go against Denver. Ibraheim Campbell played the hybrid last season, but he’s still out for at least four more games. I’m sure Pettine will come up with something, though. Creativity is his calling card.

Michael from Madison, WI

I agree there was too much purple in the stands. I feel this is a trend that is growing as tickets have gone from supporting your team to making money. There are websites where numerous tickets are for sale for any game by one owner. I have gone to many games and I know opposing fans will get in but when the stadium had a purple hue to it on Sunday, it was kind of sad. Cheers to the fans that were there, though. As they were loud on TV, I can only imagine how loud they were live.

Any Packers fan who sold his or her tickets solely for profit missed out on a lifetime of memories Sunday.

Greg from Sacramento, CA

Are we leading the league in turnovers or close to the top?

The Packers (plus-three) are tied for third right now behind Tennessee (plus-five) and New England (plus-four).

Barry from Green Bay, WI

JK Scott. Once again buries one deep late in the game to help the defense hold down an opponent. What a find.

Scott finished strong, killing eight seconds on the last punt when the Packers needed him to drain as much time off the clock as possible. You’re seeing a young player take steps.

Ray from Janesville, WI

More a comment than a question. JK Scott continues to prove his worth as a fifth-rounder in the draft. With the way things are going, I hope he continues to have a Pro Bowl year.

My advice is to vote early and often once the Pro Bowl balloting begins…because only one of the 16 NFC punters makes the Pro Bowl each year.

Kent from Chicago, IL

I was at the game Sunday and saw a couple with a sign. The guy was a Packer fan and his girlfriend was a Viking fan. The sign said, “Dating a Viking fan is fun...she’s not expecting a ring.” That made me laugh pretty hard. Have you seen any other funny signs around Lambeau?

That sign is gonna be hard to top. I won’t even try.

Randy from Salem, OH

Any thoughts on our punt receiving? It felt totally out of rhythm and made each reception a nervous ordeal.

I don’t know about that. Trevor Davis got hit on one of them but held onto the ball. Otherwise, I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Even at 34, Britton Colquitt is legit. Davis made the right decisions.

Zach from Hoagland, IN

Watching the Bears game live, I did not think that they should have been given the last timeout. Watching more replays I can see it going either way, but I still find it hard to believe that the refs can stop the clock in the same half of a second that the receiver is tackled...

That final sequence was strange – the phantom roughing-the-passer call and then gifting the Bears the timeout. If that’s a real use of a timeout, then every team should designate a player to continuously signal timeout as soon as the ball is snapped on any last-second play.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Big Ben out, Drew out. We know the feeling. How do you assess the Steelers’ and Saints’ backup QBs?

The Steelers invested a third-round pick in Mason Rudolph last year and moved on from veteran Landry Jones, so they obviously think highly of the young man. This is a career-defining moment for Teddy Bridgewater, whom the Saints have invested a lot of time and resources into the past year. This is his chance to show he can be QB1 again with one of the most potent offenses in the league. I’m pulling for him.

Tracey from Madison, WI

Packers.com is the only website I don't run my ad blocker on. I like to think that my suffering through ads on the page helps to pay for your salaries. You can thank me later!

I will thank you now.

Mike from Rapid City, SD

Week 1: one great offensive series. Week 2: one great offensive quarter. Week 3?

I don’t know but it should be humming by February based on that trajectory. Have a good week, everybody.

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