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Inbox: He can play wherever the Packers need him

Fundamentals and discipline are requirements to beat a Bill Belichick-coached team

CB Rasul Douglas
CB Rasul Douglas

Matt from Burlington, WI

Wes, what are the results of the "eye test" from you, through three games?

Beautiful blue skies and golden sunshine all along the way.

Bob from Emmaus, PA

Good morning II. Do you have any doubts about Romeo Doubs?

No…and I'm starting to understand why there was so much confusion about the pronunciation of his last name after all those routes he won at Nevada. The kid is a natural.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Loved the follow-up on Romeo Doubs. How in the heck did he fall to the fourth round? Was there a perceived chink in his armor? Or is it just the inexact science of the NFL draft process? I'm glad the Packers seized the moment when they did.

"But what about a first-round receiver???" The Packers' personnel department has made a cottage industry out of unearthing diamonds in the mid-round rough at receiver for the past 25 years. This isn't anything new. Y'all must have forgot.

Dennis from Seal Beach, CA

I get the double sighs at the end of yesterday's Inbox. And I agree…just beat the Patriots! But we are fans. Isn't dreaming part of what make being a fan the other six days a week half the fun? Now I don't want the players looking ahead. But what does it hurt if Dennis from Seal Beach has high hopes of going 6-1 by Week 7?

I love when fans make a habit out of looking past their team's current opponents and then blaming said team for doing the same thing if they get beat by a perceived lesser team. My favorite soundbite of the weekend was Tyreek Hill after the win over Buffalo – not because of how gregarious he was but rather the part when he didn't know the Fins were playing on Thursday Night Football this week. Because until then, everything was about beating the Bills.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Wes, you two have schooled us well about the premise that there is no such thing as a "trap game." These players are pros who bring their lunch pail and motivation to every game. That said, this feels like a, um, trap game. A week after beating a powerful conference foe, at home facing a backup QB on a team that has lost its luster, and a week prior to a once-in-a-lifetime London trip. Tell me I'm wrong, just like I was wrong to stay in Florida this entire week following the Bucs game.

First, I hope you are safe and well, my friend. The images from Florida are terrifying. In less important matters, I'm not worried about this being a trap game for the Packers. The team's focus is where it needs to be. When asked about the schedule plans for London, LaFleur was emphatic that every bit of energy is devoted to the New England Patriots.

Josh from Beaver Dam, WI

What game are the Packers planning on wearing their third uniforms this season?

It was announced Wednesday the Packers will wear their 50s classic uniforms at the New York Jets game on Oct. 16.

Steve from Plover, WI

Have the Packers announced which game will see LeRoy Butler's name go up on the ring of honor?

They did that, too. It'll be against the Titans on Thursday Night Football (Nov. 17).

Ed from Hilltown, PA

I believe I read recently that Matt LaFleur felt Yosh Nijman was still working on his skills at right tackle. Is work being done to improve those skills throughout the year or is his focus on LT only? An O-line of David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan and Yosh Nijman would be as formidable as they come.

Nijman rotated at right tackle a little during camp but most of his time was spent at left tackle. Like I mentioned Tuesday, the Packers have to weigh continuity on the offensive line with inserting Nijman in at a new position, which would require Elgton Jenkins moving to one of the interior positions. Both Runyan and Royce Newman played well last week and have been entrenched starters for a year now. So, I honestly don't know what the right answer is there. I just know the Packers have a lot of options on the offensive line…and that's a good thing.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

You guys were in a zone during your “Unscripted” after Sunday’s game. Residual adrenaline rush after the Bucs win? It did get me thinking if the most important part of Rich Bisaccia's influence is creating a system for the players to excel or his ability to change the Packer decision-makers' perspective on the importance of identifying the right players for "teams" success?

I can't speak for Spoff, but I definitely was feeling it a little when we did the podcast Tuesday morning. I think it's a credit to both the scouting department and Bisaccia that they've had open lines of communication on personnel. Player evaluation is also about communication and finding guys who fit well into a coach's scheme. What's great is the new veteran additions have meshed well with the Packers' returning special-teamers, too. A mentality is brewing and so, too, is the confidence on teams.

Kyle from Pittsburgh, PA

I am going to respectfully disagree with Jeff from Ogden about Rasul Douglas in the slot vs. corner spot. I agree that he's given up a few catches in the slot, but he has also had several incredible plays at or behind the line of scrimmage! I get where Jeff is coming from, because Douglas got his name called several times Sunday, and deservedly so. But I was really impressed with his reactions closer to the scrum. It's an adjustment but having three No. 1 corners on the field is awesome!

Douglas has played mostly outside but I'm beginning to understand more the slot comparison Rodgers drew between Rasul and Charles Woodson. With his size and how well he tackles in space, Douglas has already made some plays while stopping screens and passes in the flat. What blew me away was how Douglas mentioned Wednesday that he didn't know Jaire Alexander was hurt until Keisean Nixon came in and told Douglas he was going outside. You gotta be ready for everything in this business and Douglas was.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

Do slot CBs tend to have more run-ins with the opposing team's RB? If so, I would think that was factored into using Douglas as the slot CB as opposed to Alexander, with Douglas having the bigger frame between the two.

Douglas is a good fit in that regard. We haven't seen the slot corner blitz as much under Joe Barry but that's something Dom Capers liked doing with slot corners, too. Again, Rasul Douglas is capable of handling whatever's assignment he's given. He can play wherever the Packers need him.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, what is the most underrated strength of New England's team?

It's a gritty team coached by perhaps the best strategist the game has ever seen (See: New England's win over Buffalo last year). Regardless of Mac Jones' status, the Patriots have a pair of solid running backs in Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson to lean on. Deatrich Wise and Matthew Judon also have combined for seven sacks this year. New England is gonna come ready to play.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Sound tackling is essential in order to defeat the Patriots. Belichick loves to pound the rock and he has shown a willingness to do so on almost every play. The Packers can't afford to allow the Pats to move the chains because of missed tackles. Don't you agree that this week is all about performing well with fundamental football?

Fundamentals and discipline are requirements to beat a Bill Belichick-coached team because the Patriots won't beat themselves for you. Many of the same principles the Packers needed to turn back Tampa Bay will carry into this matchup with New England, including the battle in the trenches.

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022.

Greg from Danbury, CT

What did Aaron Rodgers see on the Jumbotron? Enquiring minds want to know.

As Rodgers reiterated on McAfee, he saw something that may or may not have even mattered. That's all he had to say about it and that's all I have to comment on. I'm now moving on with my life and suggest you do the same.

Joe from Wausau, WI

A Green Bay Packer has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. This may take some getting used to.

And Pat O'Donnell earned every bit of it.

Greg from Danbury, CT

Here's a WYMM that I'd like to see: How the heck did Keisean Nixon get downfield – apparently untouched – to down the punt at the 1-yard line? Up to that point, his was the most impressive play of the game.

Nixon, Dallin Leavitt, and Rudy Ford are pit bulls. That's been my main takeaway from watching them on special teams the past three weeks. They don't let defenders get their hands on them – and if it does happen, they're quick to disengage. They're on a mission in coverage.

Michael from Santa Cruz, CA

Great to have Big Bob back as a key piece to the offense. Even when he was a TE newbie, his athleticism always flashed on film. Based on what I saw during the Bucs game, he is still working towards regaining his full athleticism (he's still only 11 months out from his injury after all). Assuming he can avoid any injury setbacks, do you expect him to be an even bigger part of the passing offense as the season progresses?

I think so. What's already clear is Tonyan's hands haven't gone anywhere. He's still a reliable target for Rodgers whose role is going to increase as the season progresses. Tonyan also is Green Bay's most well-rounded tight end. He can play in any situation. The offense missed that after his injury.

Jacob from West Allis, WI

Now that we are carrying a third RB on the 53, how crucial is it for the Packers to get their third RB involved in the offense as the season progresses? I'd love to see 1-3 touches a game from the third running back by the end of the regular season.

I don't think crucial is the right word, but LaFleur has spoken in the past about how he likes to have three running backs involved on offense. The Packers were making it a point to get Kylin Hill more touches before he tore his anterior cruciate ligament last October in Arizona. Patrick Taylor is ready to contribute when called upon but his primary job at the moment is on special teams.

Rob from Hartland, WI

Does the scout team typically just run the X's and O's of the opponent or do they imitate any of the players' tendencies as well? If the opposing QB tends to throw riskier 50-50 balls or the RB has a certain cutback move, do those get imitated?

They'll try to show tendencies with quarterbacks. I know Danny Etling was doing his best Justin Fields impersonation before the Bears game. I'm not sure about other positions.

Barton from Tulum, Mexico

Gracias for confirming which penalties are reviewable! Do you agree that coaches should be able to throw red flag to challenge non-calls on obvious penalties? My gosh, Nick Bosa tripped Russell Wilson and refs inexplicably picked up yellow flag. Non-calls on obvious OPI at goal line resulted in a difference of six points in close games. What think you?

I saw that question come in a couple days ago and was like, "Yep…saving that one for Professor Spofford." Personally, I believe in the fewer penalties, the better. The tripping calls are tough because they happen in the blink of an eye.

Dave from Hollywood, MD

Since Pro Bowl rosters will be chosen but the game won't be played, there won't be players who opt out of playing. Won't that affect contract incentives for those who would have been selected as replacements or, do the incentives normally apply only to those originally selected?

No. Most Pro Bowl incentives are tied to the player being selected to the Pro Bowl on original balloting, not as an injury replacement.

Bette from Chamberlain, SD

Who will be your toughest opponent this year?

The alarm clock the Monday after getting back from London.

Brian from Twain Harte, CA

In the dictionary, the word "dagger" should be defined as "the play that seals a Packer victory." Love listening to Wayne Larrivee and the Rock call the game and I am grateful that now has a link to the broadcast for all of us out-of-market fans.

Me, too.

Jake from Orem, UT

Aaron Rodgers returning punts? Now that's something I'd pay to see. He's definitely got some wheels.

Our apologies on that. Our tagging system mixed up the two Rodgers on the roster. We fixed it…but quite a few of you (understandably) had some fun with it.

Phillip from Carefree, AZ

Insiders, I noticed in the stat lines, the top eight defenses in the NFL are represented by one team in each of the eight divisions. Would you call this a parity or just an anomaly?

According to my research, which could be wrong, that's the textbook definition of a par-omaly.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

All these years together. Then you lower the boom Weston... MMA.

When Spoff talks Brewers and I talk MMA, we might as well be intergalactic species trying to communicate in different languages. Just smile and nod.

Rich from Miami Gardens, FL

Is there any consensus how the team feels about the Pro Bowl changes? I am kind of excited to see the NFL's best play a real game of flag football instead of a fake game of real football. It will be nice to see their faces on the field for a change, too. We might even get to see Aaron Rodgers actually play in one.

I haven't asked and probably won't. To me, the Pro Bowl game is a zit that just won't go away no matter how much you pick at it. I'm happy for the players. I understand the contract implications, but the season is long enough now with 17 regular-season games. In 2022, I see no reason for a game.

Max from Brisbane, Australia

Will the real Wes Hodkiewicz, please stand up?... Never in my life expected a Slim Shady reference in the Inbox.

I am whatever you say I am. If I wasn't, then why would I say I am? Have a great Thursday, people.