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Inbox: He's everything that's right about this game

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid

Brian from Grand Rapids, MI

It really is all about crunch time, isn't it?

It really is. And Kansas City was up for it. Good morning!

Patrick from Lakewood, IL

I'm happy for Andy Reid and the KC Chiefs.

Congratulations to Kansas City and its fan base. The Packers went 29 years between Super Bowl II and XXXI. Now, imagine having to wait 50 years between titles. As for Andy Reid, what an incredible capstone to amazing coaching career. It's obviously not over yet, but a Super Bowl was really the only accomplishment missing from his head-coaching resume. Reid has been one of the league's most innovative coaches for more than 30 years, including his time as an assistant in Green Bay. It's great to see decades of work rewarded. He's everything that's right about this game.

Chris from West Allis, WI

Is it just me, or are we now living in an era where it's a play-action league?

This question came in during middle of the game when San Francisco was ahead by two scores. Play-action, pre-snaps motions and misdirection are hallmarks of the next generation of NFL football, but sometimes it's an MVP quarterback making some absolutely sick throws. Reid took a lot of gambles, but he trusted his QB and Patrick Mahomes rewarded him every time. It was beautiful to watch.

Sal from Hailey, ID

Best moment of Super Bowl LIV? Mine was the fullback TD, hands down. Only moment I got off the couch yelling. Happy for Andy Reid. What was your play of the game?

Tyreek Hill coming free for the 44-yard catch on third-and-15. Mahomes didn't even hit him in stride. Hill had to sit down in his route and wait for the pass. The momentum turned on that play.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Was the route that Sammy Watkins beat Richard Sherman in the fourth quarter the same route that Davante beat him on in the NFC Championship Game?

That was the first thing that crossed my mind, too. In his post-game news conference, Watkins gave credit to Adams after the game for putting that route on film against Sherman.

Brad from Gallatin, TN

Did referee Bill Vinovich save Dustin Colquitt a major embarrassment?

It sure looked that way. That would've been an all-time blunder if San Francisco deferred the choice and Kansas City elected to kickoff.

Joel from Yagur, Israel

So Andy Reid gets his 222nd win on 02/02/2020. First international palindrome date since 11/11/1111, and Reid's first palindrome win since No. 111 of course. Since it couldn't be us, I'm thrilled for the Packers alumni.

That's incredible. I also learned what 'palindrome' meant on Sunday.

Russ from Billings, MT

Hey...just a quick comment. Barely in the second quarter of the game, and Mike Pennel and Bashaud Breeland are bringing it.

Pennel was a nice midseason pickup for Kansas City and played some key snaps for the Chiefs in the second half of the year.

Bob from Riverside, CA

Did you guys notice how far the yellow first down line was off? I noticed one time in early fourth quarter when it was exactly one yard shy of the actual field marker. Maybe it would be better not to have one.

It's almost like it's not an official NFL measurement but rather an estimate used for entertainment purposes.

Dale from Prescott, WI

Worst Super Bowl halftime show ever. Or am I just getting old.

I enjoyed it but honest question: Has there ever been a Super Bowl halftime show that's universally loved? Maybe Prince? It seems like John and Jane Q. Public hate it every year. I thought Shakira and J-Lo did a fine job.

Tristan from Boulder, CO

Having grown up a Packers fan in Colorado, I've been privy to the LeRoy Butler or Steve Atwater conversation, with a lot of input on both sides. Both are Hall of Famers, in my mind, and both should've been in before. I don't mind Atwater getting in before Butler, for the simple reason that Denver has constantly been snubbed in Hall of Fame talks. It's time to get some Broncos in. Hopefully, Atwater begins a run that will include Gradishar, Reeves, and other old timers.

The argument about the Broncos getting snubbed no longer works for me. They've had like eight people inducted in the last 16 years, including Terrell Davis. I didn't want to make this about Atwater vs. Butler but the Hall of Fame voting process leaves me no choice. If you want to say Atwater is better than Butler, fine. I don't agree with you, but fine. But the fact Butler didn't even make the cut to 10 in the same year Atwater was among the final five is tone deaf and unconscionable. And I've yet to hear a valid and applicable argument for why the door is open to Atwater but remains shut on Butler. And one more thing – only one coach from Super Bowl XXXII is on the record talking about how his team's game plan was to work away from the opposing team's safety. That was Mike Shanahan talking about LeRoy Butler. And while Butler is now the only offensive and defensive player from the NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team not in the Hall of Fame, he still appears to be trailing John Lynch on many voter's ballots. I noticed some already trumpeting Lynch for next year's class. Never mind the fact Lynch was never voted to an All-Decade Team and has two fewer first-team All-Pro selections than Butler.

Jim from Woodbury, MN

Atwater and Butler seem like pretty equal players to me. Is it just a matter of time for LeRoy? He sure said all the right things after he found out he was not elected.

I expected nothing less from LeRoy.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Which youngster improved the most during this past season?

Aaron Jones. He went from being a good running back with solid upside to one of the best all-around playmakers in the NFL.

Steve from Niagara, WI

Do you think the team sees Elgton Jenkins' long-term future at guard or back inside at center? He really played well his rookie season, but I'm wondering with his skill set at what position specifically in Matt LaFleur's offense he would be the best fit.

Jenkins has the positional flexibility to fill in at other spots in a pinch, but he looks like a Pro Bowl-caliber guard to me. He was terrific in 2019, especially given the circumstances, and Corey Linsley is one of the best centers in the game. Why mess with that?

Peter from Orland Park, IL

With the gauging the Pack's run defense experienced, and the retaining of Pettine, do you know if they will revert to playing gaps and containing the ends instead of simply pinning their ears back and rushing the QB?

There is no foolproof scheme. If you emphasize A, you're giving up something in B. The Packers' defense took a step in 2020 but there's still a lot out there. I'll be curious what answers Pettine and the defensive coaches find in their offseason film review.

Mike from Kronenwetter, WI

Do you think joint practices will still be sought by Coach LaFleur? Will they be policed differently this year?

The last we heard, LaFleur wanted to conduct joint practices again in 2020. I'm sure it'll be a popular question at the combine and owners meetings.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Throughout the season, Kenny Clark seemed to never leave the field and the concern was if that would impact him come playoff time. The snap counts were also significant for our two EDGE players as well, who are really DEs in practice. With the way our entire DL front got pushed backwards during the SF game, is there any credence to reducing the snap counts next year for our primary defensive players? Or do most team's All-Pro caliber DLs never leave the field either?

It's not uncommon for defensive linemen to play that often. Clark played 869 snaps and finished second among DTs in pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. That was fourth-most among defensive tackles behind Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Heyward. Five others played more than 800 snaps. The Smiths were 14th and 15th, respectively, in snaps among edge rushers.

Jake from Shoreview, MN

Tyler Ervin is an upcoming free agent. He has bounced around to a few teams already, so I would anticipate that he will be cheap to re-sign, relatively. He provides a much-needed spark on special teams. Ervin seems to be fairly similar to Aaron Jones in size and running style. Would re-signing him as a backup shore up the Packers' backfield depth?

Ervin was a valuable late-season add for the Packers. He was an immediate upgrade on the return units and even made some plays as an offensive wrinkle. At 5-10, 192, Ervin was a good change of pace to Jones and Jamaal Williams. Brian Gutekunst has a lot to consider between now and the start of free agency. It's a good problem to have.

Caroline from Olympia, WA

What updates or changes would best benefit our team at the tight end position?

Improvement from within. When it comes to that position specifically, there are no easy answers or remedies. I highly doubt Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper reach free agency, and it's tough for a rookie tight end to step in Day 1 and dominate. The Packers need a big jump from Jace Sternberger and Robert Tonyan in 2020.

Diane from Hot Springs Village, AR

What percentage of throws were directed to Davante Adams this past season?

PFF charted Adams for 146 targets. Packers quarterbacks attempted 573 passes this year, so that would put it at 25.5%.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

Do you have a sense on whether negotiations have already began with Packers free agents or do these typically pick up steam as we get closer to the start of free agency? Thank you.

They'll pick up now that the Super Bowl is over but it's the deadlines that spur real action. Bryan Bulaga and Randall Cobb literally agreed to terms with the Packers hours before the start of free agency in 2015.

Mark from Saginaw, MI

My favorite Packers Super Bowl moment is when Brett Favre threw a TD pass on the first play! He came running off the field with his helmet in hand and the whole world could feel what the Packers were going to do that night! And in the same game comes my second greatest moment – No. 92 with the Lombardi Trophy!

Technically, it was the Packers' second play (Edgar Bennett opened with a 1-yard carry) but Favre's 54-yard touchdown pass to Andre Rison has to rank up there as one of the greatest starts to a game in Super Bowl history.

Adilson from Rotterdam, Netherlands

My favorite Super Bowl story? It has to be when Nick Collins was completely ignored by the national media shortly before the big game. I think he got everyone's attention afterwards.

What a memory. It should have been the beginning of something great. Unfortunately, it was the third-to-last game Collins ever played in.

Keith from Bend, OR

Being old enough to have seen all of the Super Bowls and the NFL-AFL Championship games, I still have to say Joe Namath running off the field after they beat the Colts. That game entirely changed the NFL forever.

A quintessential moment in the history of professional football and also the dawning of the entertainment era of the sport.

Mike from Verona, WI

Great NFL Honors program last night. I picked up an interesting fact I wasn't aware of. The undefeated 1972 Dolphins played the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Stadium. Why? Pittsburgh had three losses in the regular season.

From 1970-74, playoffs weren't based on records and seeding. They actually were preset on a division rotation. It was the AFC Central's year. Since the Steelers won the division that year, they had home-field advantage.

Eric from Reedsburg, WI

That was a great tribute for honoring late football legends at NFL Honors, wouldn't you agree?

It was but what was the deal with Bobby Dillon being omitted? You know, the Packers' all-time leader in interceptions who passed away in August and will be enshrined in Canton this year?

Scott from Martinez, GA

If a player spends a season on IR, does that still count as an accrued season?

Yes but I don't think it counts toward the player pension.

Daniel from Delta, PA

I understand the sentiment about giving up on the PI review system due to how it was handled this year by the refs but in my opinion, that would be a huge step backward as it would give in to them and what they want. It seems to me the officials and NY took offense to the added rules and are trying to bully them out by blatantly ignoring the film. The teams need to push back and stand their ground if there is going to be any real change.

Reviewable pass interference was a considerable flop, but I think it would be a mistake to give up on it. The change was initiated because egregious errors made it necessary to create a method of oversight. Stepping back from it now would allow those who don't want it to win. If New York wants to keep ignoring it, then it's on its hands.

Jeffrey from St. Clair Shores, MI

Instead of a 17th game, expand the playoff to 16 teams and drop the byes. There would be an extra week of playoff football, and that is the best kind of football. What's wrong with that?

What the NFL has going for it over other sports is how it means something to make the playoffs. I don't want to water that down with the addition of four more teams.

David from Bay Minette, AL

I had the privilege to work on the auxiliary chain crew this past week at the Senior Bowl. We used the NFL's experimental laser chainless set which showed down and distance on the forward stake. They are trying out new technology, so chips and other types of technology are not out of the realm.

Thank you! That also sounds like a cool gig.

Mike from Lake Villa, IL

Wes, I believe the odds of Rodgers using "Spoff" or "Hod" as an audible call are substantially greater than him using "Kuhn." The reason should be obvious. Would you bet me your lunch?

Absolutely.

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

A "double zap" could only occur if someone had mistakenly set the lasers to stun. Otherwise, that prolate spheroid would be obliterated into a pink mist on first impact, which I would take over a doinker any day. The dream is alive, Wes. Dare to dream!

I can breathe again.

Willy from Isny, Germany

Hey Mike and Weiß, posted several questions, never mentioned. No problem. Just want to say thank you for your inspiring work. It's always great to read a new chapter of II! Looking forward to the next season with you guys! Greetings from Germany.

Thank you all for reading this past season. I hope you all enjoyed Super Bowl LIV to its fullest. I'm excited for everything 2020 brings.

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