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Inbox: If he makes it three …

It’s always on the horizon

S Adrian Amos

Dan from Peshtigo, WI

Spoff has a bicep?


Trevor from Seattle, WA

A 60-minute Hot Pocket?! I burn my tongue on a two-minute Hot Pocket. I'd imagine a 60-minute one would have a blast radius out to Navy Pier.

If it doesn't just spontaneously combust or vaporize.

Dave from Escanaba, MI

Is it OK to expect a big game from Randall (Bear Killer) Cobb this Sunday?

Fine by me.

Summer from Williamsburg, VA

Has there ever been this many comments and questions in the Inbox about kickers? Does a game like that highlight the importance of special teams in the league?

Did you see Monday night's game? Or any of the Vikings' and Lions' games this season? The kicking game decides multiple wins and losses for every team, every year.

Stephie from Flowery Branch, GA

I know it's best to keep the ball in our offense's hands for more scoring opportunities and to keep the opponent's offense from scoring. But it seems like there's a lot of talk about the defense needing to rest, as though the defense gets more tired than the offense in the same amount of playing time. Is defense more physically and mentally taxing trying to keep up a half step behind what the offense is doing? Isn't it the same amount of running around and banging into each other? IDK. Thanks guys.

The two most physically taxing jobs in football are rushing the passer and tackling. The more rested a defense is to execute those tasks with the game on the line, the better.

Randy from Raymond, IA

How much do you think the Packer offense is going to be affected this week by Mike Pettine being on the Bears' staff?

I'd give them all of Pettine's assistants, too, if it meant Khalil Mack couldn't play.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

At this point, I think with all the cornerback injuries and shuffling it's not as important as who the next up cornerback(s) is(are), as keeping Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage on the field to hold things together. I'm not reading as much about them, but both have stepped up from last year to this year's challenge to backstop this defense.

Couldn't agree more. Amos intercepted a pass against his former team in his former stadium each of his first two years here. If he makes it three, he would total his number of interceptions playing for the Bears for four seasons.

Mike from Tucson, AZ

The Bengals stuffed the running backs at or behind the line of scrimmage several times with well-timed run blitzing. Wouldn't the jet sweep slow this down? And possibly more change up of the snap count? You know other teams, such as the Bears, saw this.

I suspect the Packers will have an answer for that this week.

Richard from Livermore, CA

I love how WYMM teaches us some of the finer points of the game. This week for play No. 6 it stated, "Adams goes in motion, and when CB Mike Hilton (21) follows him all the way across, it confirms man-to-man coverage." Is that truly an absolute? Does the defensive back ever follow the motion man, but then switch to a zone after the motion is complete? Although it would take some coordination among the defenders as their zone areas of responsibility would have changed, wouldn't it confuse the QB?

It could, but the problem for the defense is the ball could be snapped at any time while the player is in motion, so it could get caught changing calls at a rather inopportune time.

Marty from Rexford, MT

Mike, I absolutely love "What You Might Have Missed." But "MIGHT have"? Who are we kidding here? I dare you to change it for one week to "What You Indubitably Have Missed."

Ha, good one.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Clearly Campbell at linebacker is a great signing. Can they keep him around for the future?

One of many significant offseason questions the Packers will have to face, when the time comes. Campbell is making himself a lot of future money this season.

Dave from Hanover, MN

I don't understand how Jaylon Smith ended up with the Packers. Didn't he have to pass waivers with about 25 other teams? It seems he was having pretty good years with the Cowboys. Is there some issue with him I don't know about? Thanks for your input.

Smith was a vested veteran so he wasn't subject to waivers when released and could sign with any team. He had a hefty guaranteed salary next year in his contract for which the Cowboys did not want to be on the hook if he got injured.

Larry from Chubbuck, ID

The yellow line being off on the Randall Cobb catch brought back a fun football memory with my son. When he was 4 we went to a high school game. About halfway through the first quarter my son asked, "Dad, where is the yellow line?" I didn't understand what he was talking about until I remembered he had been watching a little football with me on TV. Football does indeed enrich our lives.

The yellow first-down line has been a revelatory improvement for the home viewer. I could do without the "field-goal target line," however, and the down-and-distance being splattered on the screen when it's in the score ribbon at the bottom already. The networks have gotten out of control with this stuff.

Julius from Providence, RI

I just saw quoted from PFF that Oren Burks has four pressures on only seven pass-rushing snaps. While that is a small sample size, that still seems pretty significant. Do you think we will see more of him? Between De'Vondre Campbell, Krys Barnes, Burks, and the additional of the newest Smith, and given the injuries elsewhere, do you think inside linebacker may now be the strength of the defense?

It's certainly deeper than it has been, but I think your point speaks more to a wrinkle in Barry's scheme, which is a nickel look that calls on the second inside linebacker to be an extra pass rusher on occasion. Burks has made an impact in that role, which makes the package one Barry is comfortable going to more often.

Jeremiah from Madison, WI

Forgive me if I'm overlooking something obvious, but the site used to post an article highlighting the mid-week interview quotes among the coaches. I can only find the videos themselves, which are great, but the compilation article was a quick way to get a good summary of the important quotes. Is it still here?

During a normal week, it gets posted on Friday mornings now.

Adilson from Rotterdam, Netherlands

I thought I vaguely remembered the name Rasul Douglas, so I did some digging. It turns out my suspicions were true. You guys did a Prospect Primer on him back in 2017. Does that still count as a hit?

Of course! I'm taking credit for it whether Wes likes it or not.

Jeremy from New Glarus, WI

With this game being important in the battle for da North, do you see the Bears finally unleashing Fields in the running game, similar to the Bills unleashing Josh Allen's running game vs. the Chiefs last week? To me it feels like a wild card the Bears were maybe saving for a big game.

It wouldn't surprise me, but Fields is still dealing with a knee injury so I think they'll be careful. There are always risks to having your quarterback run too much. That said, I think the Packers have to be prepared for some read-option looks this week, and I don't recall them seeing many of those so far this season.

Sal from Hailey, ID

Davante's explanations of his deja vu when he's on the field sounds like a unique version of visualization – real-time muscle memory triggers. Pretty fascinating stuff. The greats always seem to really hammer down on repetition of past success.

Adams gives a whole different definition to the "headspace" an athlete can be in.

Pete from Chippewa Falls, WI

What's worse: (1) making derogatory comments about women, gays and minorities in emails; (2) punching a woman in the face; or (3) breaking the arm of a 3-year-old and threatening the child's mom. The person who did No. 1 is out of the league forever. The person who did No. 2 scored a touchdown against GB on Sunday. The person who did No. 3 is a Chiefs wide receiver who is making over $15 million this year. Shouldn't all three be out of the league? If words matter, shouldn't violence matter too?

I'm not condoning any of the aforementioned activities, but if you want to understand the apparent imbalance, always remember that the players have a union while coaches and league/team employees do not. The NFLPA has collectively bargained the procedures and punishments for the wrongdoing of its members. Like it or not, that's the reality.

Keith from Yorktown, VA

If professional athletes will spot a fraud, or even a temporary show, from a mile away why did it take leaked emails, some of them 10 years old, to expose Jon Gruden?

That question assumes Gruden always had a fully on-board, cohesive locker room, which was the impetus for the original question about LaFleur that prompted my answer. His coaching track record shows, after winning a Super Bowl with a team he inherited from Tony Dungy, Gruden never won another playoff game and only reached the postseason twice.

Keith from La Pine, OR

I believe it is important for fans to remember; the Commissioner serves the owners, period. While we are all calling for more transparency about the breadth of the Washington Football Club investigation, Roger Goodell will not say a thing that is not approved by the owners.

True, and there are 31 other owners (well, 30 plus Mark Murphy) who could have a say in the matter if they choose to.

Jeff from Athens, WI

The Packers added Dunbar to the PS this week. Is he eligible to be activated for Sunday if they need him, or is there a minimum amount of time he would need to be on the PS before he can play?

He could be elevated anytime.

Luke from La Crosse, WI

With regard to the increase of going for it on fourth down deep in the red zone: How much do you think the kickoff rules changes over the past several years have contributed to this?

I don't think that's a factor. I think it's just the analytics showing increased probabilities of scoring more points by going for it in certain situations. I saw a statistical chart yesterday that showed last season and so far this year, teams have gone for it on fourth-and-1 about two-thirds of the time. In the early 2010s, it was in the 35-40% range. Fourth-and-2 now is around 35% compared to 10-15 percent in the first half of last decade.

Rich from De Pere, WI

It seems like the forgotten man through five games is Robert Tonyan, especially in the red zone where he thrived last year. Is this by design, is Aaron Rodgers not looking his way? I'm thinking he has a huge game on the horizon, maybe against the Bears?

It's always on the horizon for a player who has proven before he can answer the bell. It could come anytime now.

Joe from Wausau, WI

How long can a team that is 27th in red-zone efficiency offensively, and 32nd in red-zone efficiency defensively keep winning?

It's not a long-term recipe for success, but with five down, 12 to go, we're in the early chapters. The full book isn't close to being written.

Rusty from Eustace, TX

Wes may have been too young to remember my favorite Packers-Bears game, Halloween night 1994 on MNF in a maelstrom. Packers in their throwback uniforms not only turn around their season, but truly begin a new era. Reggie White was all over the place and Edgar Bennett was a fantastic "mudder" in that game. It's the kind of game I could see AJ Dillon excelling in. What say you?

I can't imagine how tough Dillon would be to tackle on a night like that. Mercy. That game was like the non-winter equivalent of one Bill from Bloomfield Hills brought up, the '07 arctic blast. It was so cold and windy, one of the Packers' punt snaps almost didn't make it back to Jon Ryan. I remember leaving the press box in the fourth quarter and thinking I'd walk out on the field just to see what it was really like. I got halfway down the tunnel and turned around. Not a chance. John Kuhn told me that was the most uncomfortable game he ever played in, and I believe him.

Seth from Chicago, IL

Not a question, but just realized that all four of Rodgers' NFC champ game losses came against teams they lost road games to in the regular season. Just need to play someone the Packers didn't lose an away game to earlier in the year and bam, Super Bowl. I kid, but now we will know who they need to avoid come NFC champ game time if they make it.

(Sigh.) Just beat the Bears.

Dan from Grass Valley, CA

How does NFL.com set their team strength list? Dallas at home beats a 1-4 Giants team and moves up two spots. The Packers, away, beat a good Cincinnati 3-2 and move down two spots. What up?

Who cares? Happy Friday.


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