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Inbox: He's reinvented the art of the 'Leap'

Depth and versatility is a requirement for defensive backfields 


Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Have you noticed Jimmy Graham's "Lambeau Leap"? It's more of a "Lambeau step over the wall." Can't wait to see more of those.

He's reinvented the art of the "Leap," but to be fair, it would take quite a few fans to catch a 6-foot-7, 260-pound man. Graham is doing them a favor. Good morning!

Myles from Mesa, AZ

Insiders, is there any update on Kevin King's status? This Packers' secondary looks special when he's healthy.

Mike McCarthy said the team is being smart with King. He practiced Wednesday, indicating there were no setbacks in his limited return last week. We'll see how the week plays out, but it appears he'll be back on the field soon.

Stuart from Camberley, UK

Keep up the great work guys! Any insight on why Breeland was inactive Sunday? Was it health-related or just not up to speed enough on the defense to really contribute?

I think the latter. He also wasn't in camp with anybody, so you want to be smart. It made more sense to activate Tony Brown and have him available on special teams and as an emergency option at cornerback. Like I said last week, I expect Breeland to contribute sooner than later, but playing after signing six days earlier isn't ideal for player or team.

Zack from Christiansburg, VA

I believe that one thing being highly overlooked is what Breeland and King will bring back when healthy. We're seriously going to be five corners deep. That is a great problem to have. We talk about Aaron Jones staying healthy, but let's not forget what injuries can do to a secondary.

No question. Depth and versatility is a requirement for defensive backfields. Along with their six cornerbacks, the Packers have two reserve safeties – Jermaine Whitehead and Josh Jones – who also can play slot cornerback.

Jagger from Mishawaka, IN

All the fans have been cheering for more Aaron Jones touches. His past couple games have shown that he does indeed deserve more touches. But there must be a reason for his limited carries. I was thinking maybe because of the two-game suspension. However, I thought I'd get an Insider opinion. Why has his snap count been limited so much? He's an obvious playmaker.

I just find it interesting everyone is focusing on Aaron Jones and few are talking about the entire backfield's production. The group has recorded 340 total yards over the past two weeks. Last Sunday, Ty Montgomery had the longest play of the day with a 43-yard catch. Both Jones' touches (12) and snaps (27) increased, but there's value in what Montgomery and Jamaal Williams are doing, as well.

Sean from Glen Ellyn, IL

Wes, I was thinking about all the fans clamoring for more Aaron Jones because of his high YPC. I wonder if those fans have thought about the fact that if you double his touches, you double his chances of getting stuffed at the line. Not saying that would 100 percent happen but I think he has high averages partially thanks to his fresh legs and being able to have that burst when we need it.

This is the point I've been trying to make and reflects what Jones said after the game Sunday – there are benefits to Jones watching Williams and Montgomery from the sideline and vice versa. Those three work together. Of course, you want to get Jones involved, but it's also not like, "Well, if you give him 30 carries a game, it's an auto-win."

Rob from Aiken, SC

Spoff's response about Jones "waving in his own substitute" made me wonder – do we have a guy watching that stuff or is it up to the substitute to notice? It seems like there are meetings going on constantly on the sidelines so the sub may not even see it.

Position coaches and players are all standing on the sideline just in case someone needs to jump in at a moment's notice.

John from Kalamazoo, MI

I listen to Detroit sports radio while I'm driving, and I just want to mention that the same debate over the number of snaps/touches for running backs is dominating the air time on this side of Lake Michigan. We have Williams, Montgomery, and Jones; they have LeGarrette Blount, Kerryon Johnson, and Theo Riddick.

Right. It's a quandary most fan bases – and fantasy football players – face in today's NFL. Johnson has only three more carries than Blount this season, but is averaging 3.0 more yards per carry.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

AR has referred to Aaron Jones as a "slasher." What does that mean?

My working definition always has been runners who can find a hole in the front and possess the explosiveness to accelerate through it, making them more difficult to tackle at the second level.

Mike from Kalamazoo, MI

I see the Detroit defense currently ranks second in passing yards allowed and 32nd in rushing yards. Do you think those rankings accurately reflect their strengths and weaknesses, or are they skewed by the opponents they've faced so far? If you were McCarthy, what kind of run/pass balance would you scheme to attack them?

I'm honestly not sure what to make of that. Obviously, the Lions' defense played brilliantly against Tom Brady and the Patriots, but also gave up 100 or more yards to running backs in three of Detroit's first four games (Ezekiel Elliott, Matt Breida and Isaiah Crowell). Regardless, the running game will be important for the Packers, especially if Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison can't go Sunday.

The Packers were back at Clarke Hinkle Field for practice ahead of the Week 5 matchup with the Detroit Lions.

Brandon from Omaha, NE

I can't be the only one nervous when looking at the injury report. Rodgers is obviously going to play, but will he have anyone to throw to, let alone anyone he trusts to run the right routes?

Settle down. Everyone worked themselves into a tizzy last week when Graham didn't practice Wednesday and it was strictly a rest thing. Davante Adams was limited with the calf, but he practiced. The cupboard isn't bare.

Michael from Madison, WI

I've seen some talk about Ha Ha's interception and how it should have been called for a hit on a defenseless receiver or helmet-to-helmet. It was a big hit indeed but I know that Ha Ha has a right to make a play on the ball as well. What are your thoughts; was that a good non-call?

A lot of rule changes have tilted the game in the offense's favor, but there is one timeless truth – the defensive back has an equal right to the football as the receiver. It was a big collision, but Clinton-Dix was playing the football. That's why there was no flag. It was a clean, competitive play.

Kent from Leavenworth, KS

Not a question, but would like your thoughts on my theory. Could the increase the tie games and overtime games be loosely linked to the ability of the offenses to score, seemingly at will?

I think it has more to do with overtime being cut to 10 minutes.

Jeff from Oxnard, CA

Ongoing excellence from you guys. Just a couple comments from today's column from Spoff. With outstanding work from the O-line, Rodgers had a pretty good stretch during the 2016 "Run the Table" regardless of what the numbers were. And then also from today, I have to think that Davante Adams is looking like a top pick from The TT era as well. I know there can only be so many, but...

Those "Mount Lambeau" lists Spoff put together were solid. Adams is only 25 and under contract for the next four or five seasons. He has time and potential to be one of those all-time great Ted Thompson picks.

Shawn from Kissimmee, FL

Jermaine Whitehead looks like he plays a similar role that Morgan Burnett played when he was a Packer. I'm really surprised by him so far this year filling the void left by Josh Jones and Oren Burks in the early games.

Whitehead is a gamer. He's a smart player who has proven versatility. He earned his spot the hard way on the practice squad and only continues to get better. He's going to be an important piece to the defensive puzzle this season.

Joe from Madison, WI

In response to the heavy workload Eddie Lacy carried during his rookie year, Vic wrote, "What are you saving him for – the prom?" Apparently, that's the plan for Aaron Jones.

Or maybe they just don't want him to be playing through a high-ankle sprain in the postseason?

Dennis from Parrish, FL

I am pretty sure this week will be a breakout week for "Country Strong Big Bobby" Tonyan? Yes, I want writer's credit for the nickname.

Are you giving me credit for "Big Bob" Tonyan? He's been active on special teams, which is the first step towards getting an opportunity on offense. He has a lot of ability. I bet we see him get some looks at some point this season.

Michael from Savage, MN

Mahomes is already a top QB and exciting to watch but with the numbers you gave, I really can't believe he will have five stretches that combine to have 67-3 TDs/INTs. That is such a heady stretch of games to fathom. Wow.

It's an incredible start to any NFL career, but there will be bumps in the road, as well. Just ask Dak Prescott. When those moments come, a young quarterback must respond accordingly. That's what separates goodness from greatness.

Rafe from Nolensville, TN

Gentlemen, please make my day. Tell me the Packers have opted to make their default home uniforms the throwbacks they wore last week. Those unis rock. Yeah, I know, the league says, "No." Do I not recall that one year the Niners stayed with their throwbacks with the shadowed numbers all year after feeling they were lucky? I think that was Steve Young's Super Bowl year. Anyway, keep up the good work.

I think the way it works now is teams can wear their alternate jerseys up to three times a season. It's also optional for teams to wear those color-rush uniforms for Thursday night games. I believe the Packers will do so in Seattle next month.

Guy from Lino Lakes, MN

In 2010, the Pack rotated their defensive linemen throughout the game; they were always fresh. As the season wears down, I see our defensive line wearing down. Even without the many quality linemen the Pack had in '10, don't you think we are better using a fresh good lineman rather than a tuckered great lineman? In other words, shouldn't we be rotating more?

First, that has to be the first time "tuckered" has snuck its way into Inbox, no? To your question, no doubt the Packers' top three defensive linemen have been getting a lot of work. Kenny Clark (80.9 percent) and Mike Daniels (61.8) are playing quite a bit, but it's also a different time. Unlike 2010 when defenses played a lot of 3-4 base, the Packers have been using a lot of sub-packages with only one or two defensive linemen the past two weeks. Still, I'm sure they'll look for ways to get Dean Lowry and Montravius Adams more involved as the season wears on.

Matthew from Minneapolis, MN

As far as previous holdouts go, let's not forget about Javon Walker. He held out of training camp and was called out publicly by Brett Favre. Walker showed up grudgingly and was injured in an early game and missed the rest of the season. He was subsequently traded.

That was the first name that came to mind after reading Mike's Inbox and Donny's response Wednesday, especially the mini-feud that sparked between Favre and Walker that offseason.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Wes, after researching the last three "Packers Unscripted" episodes, I noticed that you have gone from the finger point to the pen point. All of us longtime Beatles fans wish to know if there is a hidden meaning behind this?

During my Press-Gazette days, we used to do a show called, "Three Guys Talking Packers." My gimmick was throwing my pen at the junk camera we used to shoot. The cameras we use for "Unscripted" are a bit more expensive and I don't make nearly enough to pay for a broken viewfinder. So I just point now.

Tom from Iron River, WI

Reading Donny's question from Green Bay on the drafting of Rodgers, how do you think the Insider Inbox would have treated that draft?

I think fans would have handled it OK because Rodgers clearly was the best player at No. 24. Plus, there were all the questions about whether Favre was going to retire.

Dan from Herriman, UT

Wes, just got done watching "Unscripted" for Oct. 3 and you mentioned having troubles with your Surface. Do you guys check them beforehand? Because it looked like your USB wasn't plugged in all the way.

It was just doing one of those weird things where you try to scroll down and it keeps going back to the top of the page. We also were scrambling because I had to get down to Matt Patricia's conference call.

Sam from Brentwood, CA

The Inbox is littered with movie quotes and references. What are your top five movies for referencing/quoting? Have a wonderful day.

I'd say it's "The Big Lebowski," "Bull Durham," "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "Draft Day," and "Anchorman."

Doug from Lafayette, OH

Wes, with the talk about sacking your nephews, is it possible you're taking work home with you?

You have no idea.

Dale from Prescott. WI

Isn't an MVP also based on where their team would be without them? The Crew would not have won the division or even made the playoffs without Yelich! Enough said!


Brian from Adel, IA

A Google search for "follyrot" now shows the top two results as Inboxes. Very important, thought you all should know.

Why not make it three?