Charles from Mondovi, WI
No question. Just wanted to tell you that I enjoy the Insider Inbox very much.
No answer. Just wanted to tell you that I enjoy your comment very much.
Tom from Dade City, FL
First, I would like to thank you for helping me stay grounded in relation to the current season. There are so many what ifs it can drive you nuts. That being said, with the expansion now to 18 teams in the playoffs (if needed) will that change the first-round byes?
Thankfully, the most there would be are 16 teams in the playoffs (eight per conference) with no byes. Right now, the 16-team field is Plan C for the NFL. Here's hoping the league gets all its regular-season games in over these next eight weeks. Fourteen teams are enough.
Al from Green Bay, WI
The last time a one-win team visited Lambeau Field it didn't go so well. Now the one-win Jaguars, a two-touchdown underdog, have their turn. If you were the Jags' defensive coordinator, would you view it as a higher priority to limit Davante Adams or Aaron Jones?
If we've learned anything, it's that if defenses focus too much on either Adams or Jones, the other is going to burn them. If forced to pick one, however, I'd say Adams. Because when he goes off this season, the Packers' offense tends to go right with him.
Mark from Quad Cities, IA
What is the NFL's reasoning behind adding teams for the playoffs if the season is shortened?
In case some games that matter for playoff eligibility or seeding cannot be played. It's to avoid a scenario where a 9-7 gets in ahead of an 8-7 because they played one more game.
Dean from Ottawa, IL
Halfway into the season, can you give us a report card on Green Bay's rookie class?
Promising. Kamal Martin, Jon Runyan and undrafted free agent Krys Barnes look like they belong. AJ Dillon has flashed in a limited role and Josiah Deguara might have been the most impressive player of the entire class before the ACL injury. Meanwhile, Jordan Love has the best apprenticeship in the league. His job is to learn.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
Players at this level are all pros and I assume attack their job as being competitive and bringing their best effort each day. What is special about those who are coined being "a pro's pro"?
To me, a pro's pro is someone who not only does his job but also sets an example for the entire locker room. Marcedes Lewis epitomizes that. He brings it every day he steps into the building and demands that same accountability from everyone around him. Julius Peppers and Jordy Nelson were like that, too. They don't just put on a smile for the cameras and slink away. They were veterans who set the tone.
Aidan from Noblesville, IN
Here's a heck of a stat – Aaron Rodgers is 12 TDs away from becoming the seventh player in league history to throw 400 in his career. Here's how many interceptions the other six had when they threw No. 400: Brady (143), Brees (196), Manning (198), Rivers (202), Marino (231), Favre (258). Rodgers has thrown 86.
Fifty years from now, they're going to look back at Rodgers' career and have a difficult time comprehending some of the NFL records he's destined to set. Rodgers' interception numbers will be on par with Favre's ironman streak.
Michael from Burnsville, MN
How will the Packers prepare for Jake Luton given his limited film? Will they rely on college tape to see tendencies/playing style or will they look closer at what he was asked to do last week?
I asked a version of this to defensive backs coach Jerry Gray Wednesday night (on behalf of the Prince of Platteville). It pretty much comes down to two things. One, it's watching the film of the Houston game and understanding the looks Houston gave Luton, and how the rookie responded to them. Two, it's taking nothing for granted. Because back in 2001, there undoubtedly were a few teams early on that underestimated Tom Brady. The Packers' defense needs to be ready for Luton's best effort on Sunday, especially if Jaire Alexander is unable to go.
Justin from Los Angeles, CA
I'm fascinated that Billy Turner seems to be a better tackle than guard. It seems like a rarity, to go in that direction, although we see a lot of the reverse (and the Packers often draft that way). Can you think of some other guys who made the switch from OG to OT and improved? And what qualities make someone better on the end than inside?
I don't think it's that surprising at all, to be honest. There are plenty of offensive linemen who are better suited outside than in the interior, and for a lot of the same reasons I outlined Tuesday. Turner is a really athletic offensive lineman and sometimes those traits can get lost inside with the physicality of that position. Turner can play anywhere but the tackle position brings the best out of him, I feel. He was an All-American there, after all, at North Dakota State.
Kevin from Park City, UT
Playoffs? C'mon I think we better be very careful looking past this week. I remember in December of 2004 when we played the Jaguars with Brett Favre. It was at the coldest Packer game I ever attended, we were heavily favored and they came in to Lambeau and kicked our butt. So much for the cold-weather advantage, I have never really believed in it after that day. It was so cold that day tailgating that you had to keep your beer on the grill to keep it from freezing.
If the Packers live up to the line the oddsmakers have set for this one, it would be a first for the Green Bay-Jacksonville series. All six encounters have been tightly contested games.
Jim from Wisconsin Rapids, WI
When will Allen Lazard be back on the active roster?
Lazard has one more week of practice eligibility before the Packers need to elevate him back to the 53-man roster. Barring a setback, it'll either be Sunday vs. Jacksonville (his former team) or against Indianapolis. He looks good in practice.
Nick from Puyallup, WA
Hello, I was recently looking over the NFC standings, and New Orleans is listed as first. Just curious, how can they be listed higher than GB while tied with a head-to-head loss?
Three-way tie for first (Seattle also 6-2) is broken by New Orleans' 5-1 record against the NFC.
Bill from Iowa City, IA
Do you think Coach LaFleur's offensive scheme makes the job of OL easier? I was wondering if that could be a factor in the strong play of the Packers' OL, despite the frequent changes in the linemen playing.
I think the offensive line is playing really well and LaFleur's brand of offense makes the starting five's job much easier, especially with how the Packers have established the run early in games. Aaron Rodgers mentioned Wednesday how playing on time has helped, too. But when the O-line has needed to make a block, it's done so effectively. Rodgers is on pace to only be sacked 18 times this year, which would be a career low.
Chris from Clive, IA
I like the apparent addition of Mike Weber to the practice squad. One scouting site listed his NFL comp as Aaron Jones. I'm in no way a scout, so I don't know how comparable their skills are but that's intriguing. Any insight on him?
No. But I'm excited to learn more about him. He has a lot of speed and played at a big-time program. That's enough to get in the door.
Keith from Oakland, CA
I have not studied the Packers' defensive line makeup from game to game very carefully, but it seems like when they need to stop the run (Titans?) maybe they should go to four defensive linemen and only play three linebackers. Is that a crazy way to address our run defense?
It creates two problems. First, it makes the defense more susceptible to the play-action pass. Secondly, it leaves you shorthanded at the next level if the running back finds a hole. The Packers have played with a lot of five-man fronts this year. At the end of the day, guys have to get the job done – and they did against San Francisco.
James from Chicago, IL
Why are fans (as a group) so eager to have the Packers give up draft picks and spend money on other team's aging stars, while at the same time completely accepting of the idea the Packers let (arguably) the best player at his position in the NFL, in his prime, walk out the door in name of "saving money to sign other players"? The notion the Packers should just let David Bakhtiari leave is beyond foolish. Have the Packer fans forgotten the left tackle years between Chad Clifton and Bakhtiari?
If your garden is plentiful, I see no reason to pick your neighbor's carrots. The Packers' garden is full and Bakhtiari has a perfect head of lettuce.
Scott from Las Vegas, NV
There was quite a bit of criticism in the media about not trading for a WR. I've also heard you mention a $20M cut in the salary cap next season and seems like Gutey is considering that impact along with upcoming contract renewals. Do you feel other teams are not taking the cap reduction seriously and are going to be in cap trouble next season because of it?
I think there's also a handful of organizations out there that don't care. They'll just cut players to get under the cap. The Packers don't operate like that. They're not going to dump contracts for the sake of dumping contracts – not if the player has earned the salary he's receiving.
Tom from Douglassville, PA
Being it was Veterans Day on Wednesday, I'm curious are any of the Packers (past or present) military vets?
There have been quite a few in the past – Tony Canadeo (who once missed an NFL Championship Game because of his Army service), Clarke Hinkle and Paul Hornung to name a few. More recently, Packers strength and conditioning coordinator/former linebacker Chris Gizzi served in the Air Force.
David from Minneapolis, MN
Did you watch any part of the Jets-Pats game Monday night? Notice Denzel Mims' jersey? Kind of a cool-looking number similar to 88.
Maybe it's just the Julio Jones fan in me, but I think the '11' is such a fresh look on a jersey for a receiver…or Ty Detmer.
Drew from Sugar City, ID
I can't be the only one wondering who the leading scorer for the Green Bay Media Basketball Team was. I picture Wes leading the way with turnaround baseline jumpers learned from Khris Middleton's YouTube highlights.
Matt Hietpas (from WBAY) and Andy McDonnell (who now works at KARE in Minneapolis). I was the human victory cigar for our team, nothing more.
Rodrigo from Mexico City, Mexico
Picking up on the Nikki Lauda and Alex Smith story, it's amazing they got back to their respective "fields." However the Inbox would be remiss not to mention the Chapecoense story. A few years ago their plane crashed in route to a continental final and most of the roster and accompanying journalists sadly passed. A year later with a hastily assembled squad, they were able to win and retain the state championship. Great example for everyone.
Wow. That's some "We are Marshall" stuff right there.
Phillip from Wonder Lake, IL
Will we ever go back to normal attendance at Lambeau?
Someday, I hope. This season, I'm not so certain. I commend the Vikings for announcing they'll host no more than 250 fans at home games the rest of the season as COVID spikes in Minnesota.
Richard from Farmington Hills, MI
Well, while Tyus from South Range, WI, is unhappy that the game against Indy has been flexed to late afternoon, Richard from the Detroit suburbs is delighted! With the inability to watch games at sports bars, any Packers game that is flexed to national TV is a gift.
With the Packers off to a 6-2 start, it's the gift that keeps on giving.