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Inbox: It all works hand in hand

Every quarterback has to go through it


Bill from Forest Park, OH

NGL, I miss the exploding "G" when I open the Packers app.

Your objection is noted, counselor.

Austin from Denver, CO

To the topic of starting on the road for two weeks, I imagine that is a tough assignment for the players, but is there a mental advantage in knowing you have more home games later in the season?

I don't know if that really applies this year. The 17-game slate is 8-9 home-road, so after this week the remainder is 7-7.

Peter from North Caldwell, NJ

Will the Packers be able to incorporate Dontayvion Wicks when Christian Watson returns?

It would appear to me he's earned future snaps, yeah. I'll have more on Wicks in my Saturday "One Last Look" column. Had a fun conversation with him after Wednesday's practice.

Joshua from Milwaukee, WI

Jordan Love leads the NFL with a 118.8 passer rating. But his 55.8% completion percentage ranks 30th. Is the former sustainable if the latter doesn't improve?

If he keeps hitting explosive plays and throwing TD passes without interceptions, sure. But the offense would love to get that completion percentage up, of course.

Bil from Stateline, NV

JL10 was a first-round pick who had three years to learn the system behind one of the all-time greats. Are we wrong to expect more than 11 yards in the fourth quarter from him? I don't think so. Not to say he should win them all, but at least compete. A long drive, or even a couple of first downs was all that was needed to ice the game and we couldn't muster that. There was one play that Romeo Doubs was alone streaking down the right sideline. JL threw into traffic on the left. He's not "the man," yet.

I don't think I could emphasize the value and importance of crunch-time performance more than I have in this column. Love got his first crack at one and came up short, but it should be noted one of those fourth-quarter possessions was three straight running plays. That's not on him. As I mentioned this past summer for those who recall, Aaron Rodgers' first two game-on-the-line opportunities in 2008, at Tampa Bay in Week 4 and vs. Atlanta in Week 5, he threw interceptions. Every quarterback has to go through it, learn, and figure out what it takes.

Jim from Edgerton, WI

Jordan Love acknowledged he called the wrong "live" call on the botched QB sneak. My impression is, he seems like a very calm, composed leader. How do you explain messing up something as basic as a "go" option?

Teams change their hot words weekly, because of everything the broadcast mics catch on the field, and apparently he called an old hot word, not the latest one. The brain is a funny thing, especially when it's distracted (such as by noise) and put under major stress. As noted, it was his first foray into the NFL crucible. It happens.

Steve from Kansas City, MO

The one thing that always stands out with new QBs is that they seem to be turnover-prone as they are learning their craft. Not so with Love – he appears to have embraced ARod's motto of not losing the game by throwing interceptions. Checkdowns beat the heck out of a turnover, would you agree?

Of course, but I guarantee you Love isn't glossing over the fact that he threw one right in A.J. Terrell's breadbasket in the fourth quarter and got away with it.

John from Stevens Point, WI

Mason who? Early results are positive for Anders Carlson. Have the Packers found their kicker for the next decade?

That's a tad premature. I wish Carlson had gotten his first crunch-time opportunity last week, too.

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

Who is the most recent non-QB to throw a touchdown for the Packers? With two consecutive first-ballot HOF quarterbacks they obviously haven't wanted anyone else throwing a pass very often, if at all, for a very long time. I'm curious if the rate of trick plays will take a leap in Lambeau this year.

The last non-QB to throw a TD pass for the Packers was holder Tim Masthay, to Tom Crabtree, on a fake field goal in 2012. On a play from scrimmage as opposed to special teams, you have to go all the way back to 2004, when running backs Tony Fisher and Ahman Green both threw TD passes. As for the rate of trick plays, so far this season we've already seen a funky throwback screen and a first-play-of-the-game flea-flicker, so who knows?

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentlemen, I am foreseeing a low-scoring defensive battle this Sunday vs. the Saints. One key to the game for the Packers is to limit the number of three-and-outs especially in the fourth quarter when the defense doesn't have halftime to recover and rest. Your thoughts?

I could see this game being low-scoring as well, which to me means it'll come down to which team makes the most of its minimal scoring chances. Are you kicking field goals or scoring touchdowns? When you get a shot, you'd better cash in.

Tim from Superior, WI

Is it logical at this point that David Bakhtiari would be unable to play twice in five days? Do you see him playing in the more important Detroit Lions game rather than Sunday versus the Saints?

I don't want to speculate there. My expectation is Bakhtiari will be questionable on the injury report on a regular basis until we hear otherwise.

Bruce from Las Vegas, NV

Has there been any word on when Eric Stokes will return to practice?

He will be first eligible to return to practice after the Lions game. Whether or not he will, I have no idea.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

What current coaches look like they may be Canton-bound some day? I say Belichick and Reid are locks, with Tomlin, McCarthy and Carroll as possibilities. I love seeing great coaches recognized, the job is more demanding than ever.

I agree with your thoughts. I'd probably add John Harbaugh to the potential consideration list. A second Super Bowl win would do wonders for the chances of all four.

Duane from Oak Creek, WI

If Aaron Jones is out this week do you think we'll see more carries for Emanuel Wilson?

It's certainly possible, but my desk isn't on the "game plan distribution" list.

Kyle from Wallingford, PA

The article and comments from Matt LaFleur about the Saints’ defense this week stung as they are a reminder of what our defense is not, given our investment in it. LaFleur described it as effort plus scheme plus talent adding up. What do you think the disconnect is in these three that is preventing our defense from reaching the Saints' level?

I wish I knew. This is a popular, and understandable, question given last week's performance and this week's opponent. I do think the Saints' best defenders are more accomplished, when you look at the sheer number of All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors of guys like Jordan, Davis, Lattimore and Mathieu. That's a lot of years being among the best in the league individually, not just here or there. That said, the Packers have the talent to play like that, and there are times they have played like that – the SF playoff game in '21, last year at Tampa, the first halves in London and vs. Jets, the game at Detroit, the late-season home games vs. Rams and Vikings – but they don't do it consistently. They don't have that identity because they haven't done it more often and more regularly. How do they smooth it out? How do they find a level commensurate with their abilities and stay, at least relatively close to, there? It's on the players to execute their responsibilities more reliably and on the coaches to get the most out of the unit in the areas they can control. To me it all works hand in hand.

Jeff from Athens, WI

As stingy as the New Orleans defense can be, I still find reason for optimism this week. The two teams they have played this season are not playing like powerhouses. I think the Packers are better equipped at the skill positions and overall are better coached than the two teams the Saints have beaten so far. The biggest threat in my opinion is Taysom Hill. I have always liked the way he plays and he can do it all – he may even be able to play defense.

If they think Hill can play safety for the suspended guy on Sunday, somehow I don't think they'd hesitate to put him back there.

Howie from St. Ignace, MI

I often hear analysts describe receivers as exceptional route-runners. Considering all receivers are paid to run routes and create separation from defenders, what nuances make some pass-catchers elite route-runners?

Several things. The ability to not give away when and where they're making a cut or breaking off the route. The smoothness to stop quickly and change direction suddenly. The subtlety to make every route look the same off the line of scrimmage, until it's not. The savvy to use a defender's leverage against him with a head fake or hip turn. Scheming a guy open has its limits, but superb route-running is an asset in any situation.


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Mark from Carlsville, WI

Is there a difference in the number of TV cameras in a "prime time" game and just any game, like Packers and Falcons, for instance? A couple of those plays that were reviewed had only one or two views, and none from the backside, whereas prime games seem to have cameras covering every view possible. Since the NFL uses those for challenges and making sure a call was correct, it would seem they would have in the contract that every game has the same number of cameras.

But they don't. It's up to the networks, who are paying billions for the rights fees, how they want to cover the games, and different games absolutely have different numbers of cameras.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

What would you consider the most important or memorable game the Packers and Saints have played?

The kickoff opener in '11 was pretty cool, and a wild game. The one right after the Fail Mary in '12 was down to the wire. The game in '89 still stands as the Packers' largest comeback for a victory at Lambeau Field, down 21-0 and winning 35-34 (the team-record 23-point comebacks against the Rams in '82 and the Cowboys in '13 were in Milwaukee and Dallas, respectively). I still think it's a shame Rodgers and Brees never squared off in a playoff game.

Steve from Frederick, MD

Comment on the videos in your WYMM segment. I had the same issue Week 1, no videos loading. I have this with other sites from time to time. The "trick" is to find where to delete all of the site-specific data (cookies) for I know how to do it in Chrome. That's what I did, deleted all the site data for Then I reloaded the web page and all the videos flowed right on it. Deleting site-specific data/cookies helps users retain data for other sites.

Repeating this suggestion for those who, dare I say, might've missed it yesterday. I'll see myself out.

Michael from Shawano, WI

Gents, I believe most of us are all the same in that we remember highlights of personal achievement or happiness thoughout life, but often we fail to remember it was the "stang" of failure that propelled us to try harder, put in more time, to grow. Very interested in how this last "stang" motivates this team. A sturdy tree with deep roots doesn't stand the test of time because it had easy.

I like to say make failure count for something.

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

I'd like to challenge those of you having a really hard time with this loss to look up and read the short story, "Who Moved My Cheese" by Spencer Johnson. I had a friend suggest it to me this week so I gave it a read. One of the many life lessons contained within is when something doesn't go your way, you're much better off moving on than you are dwelling on it. Someone moved your cheese? So what? Go find new cheese. I guarantee that's what the team is doing. Time for us to do the same.

Happy Friday.

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