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Inbox: It's a copycat league

Let the young receivers round out their games


Chris from Chino, CA

When is the switch going to flip?

I don't know, but I believe it will, and Monday night is as good a time as any. More important is that when it does flip, it can't flip back.

Nikola from Novi Sad, Serbia

I can't shake off the feeling that the game against the 49ers is already a season-breaker. If the Packers win, they could carry the momentum and win at least one game against either the Pats or the Rams and sit at 4-3-1 with plenty of playoff hope. If they lose, those next two games will be even harder and might both end as an L. At 2-5-1, we will need yet another run-the-table. Do you agree on the gravity of the game, or can fans from Europe sleep over this game and avoid snoozing in the workplace on Tuesday?

It's a week-to-week league. I never lose sight of that. But dropping below .500 with four of five on the road against contenders after the bye would constitute a difficult spot.

Jeff from Victorville, CA

Wes had said on Thursday he feels Brett Favre's consecutive games streak is the one record in the NFL that may never be broken. With the way the NFL has decided to protect QBs, I beg to differ.

Valid point, which others made as well, but I still have a hard time seeing a quarterback play nearly 19 full seasons without missing a single game. Part of that protection, not just for QBs but for all players, is the concussion protocol. That alone likely would have stopped Favre's streak numerous times. Just because there are more flags and fines doesn't mean all the hits will disappear.

Thomas from Dunkerton, IA

I realize many things are cyclical but I can't see football going back to being a run-first sport, so I'm thinking Emmitt Smith's career rushing total is all but unbeatable.

That one would be next on my list.

Lori from Heredia, Costa Rica

Richard Sherman is coming to Lambeau? I totally forgot he was on the roster for the 49ers. That block by Adams was a thing of beauty, especially in the Lego version. Here's hoping we can soon put together a good enough game to have it be replicated in Lego.

Just as songs need more cowbell, needs more Lego.

Violet from Saginaw, MI

Hi, first time I'm sending a message. My dad has been reading me this for 6 years. I'm 9 now. I'm lost this year with how the Packers are doing. Couldn't beat the Redskins or the Lions! Do you think they will make the playoffs? Your biggest little fan!

Don't get hung up on the big picture right now, Violet. The Packers need to play better. When they do, we'll see if it's good enough to win. If it is, then we'll examine where everyone else stands.

Rod from Chugiak, AK

Just returning from a road trip taking me through Lincoln City – some 2,800 miles from here – it was nice to see Scott lead off yesterday's Inbox. A friend living near L.C. said he'd seen a prominent Packers display there. With Scott's exalted prominence in the world-famous Inbox I expected maybe something like a huge banner over Highway 101 in the center of town proclaiming, "Home of Scott from Lincoln City." Alas, scanning carefully on both my way through and back, I somehow missed it.


Mark from Hanover, PA

I will never understand why it should be the responsibility of the coaching staff to get players mentally ready to play. That said, how in bloody heck could the team have come out flat against the Lions?

Slow starts shouldn't necessarily be equated with coming out flat. You can argue that might have been the case in Washington, but not Detroit. The defense got a stop, and a bad play/call on special teams gave the Lions a touchdown. The offense came out and drove the ball 65 yards but missed a field goal. Then a rookie defensive back, in perfect position, made a bad play on the ball for a 60-yard gain that gave the Lions another TD. It was 14-0 due to costly mistakes by a few individuals, not a flat team.

Kyle from Amsterdam, NY

So this past weekend there was a horrible limo crash near my home town where 20 people died, 10 of whom I went to school with. It kind of puts things in perspective. It shows times at its worst. But to watch my town come together for a candlelight vigil was also amazing. It goes to show you that even when it seems all is dark, light isn't gone, it's just hidden. I have faith Packers will find their way as my hometown is currently doing.

Peace and prayers to all affected out there.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Amazing how a CAT4 hurricane makes the issues of a football team fade away, at least for a few days or weeks depending on how long it takes to clean up this mess and get the power back on.

Down there, too. Please stay safe.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

I am looking forward to watching Oren Burks match up against the TE Kittle on Monday night. What little I have seen of him shows him to be a very fast TE, exactly the type of player against whom 42 was drafted to match up. With a young QB, SF likely wants to make use of early-down play-action. I hope Burks is on his game.

I think he'll get his chances against Kittle, but I always say situations like this dictate mixing things up so a primary middle-of-the-field target isn't getting the same matchup or same look down after down.

Philipp from Fayetteville, GA

Hi Wes, I just want to put it out there for all the people that are asking why we don't see more of Jimmy Graham. They need to watch the latest Rock Report on the Lions game! So glad to have him.

It's a copycat league, and when the Bears successfully sacrificed some edge rush to disrupt the timing of Graham's routes, it was a given other teams would do the same. I think Graham's six grabs for 76 yards in Detroit, with opportunities for more he didn't cash in on, speak to the adjustments the Packers have made to still get him involved.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, there's some obvious things we want to see moving on to San Francisco, such as player health, protecting the football and consistency. What is or are some less obvious things we need to see to come away with the W?

I think penalties rank up there as another obvious one. The numerous flags have constantly affected field position and down-and-distance situations for Green Bay's offense. That has to change.

Matt from Salt Lake City, UT

Gents, not to dwell on the past, but I'm in Milwaukee visiting family and I was reading an article about Mason Crosby's struggles from the Detroit game. In my line of work (building sports fields, by the way) I don't know if getting a case of "the yips" is even possible. Have either of you ever had the journalistic equivalent of Mason's day, and if so, how'd you put it past you and move on to the all-important next piece?

It doesn't really apply in our field, either. The story always gets done. Some are better than others, but our results aren't scored as "3" or "0" with no other possibilities, if you get my drift. For the record, I don't think Crosby has the yips. I didn't see any strange ball flights or shanks. He was just a little off, and couldn't get it quite right that day.

Stan from Jupiter, FL

On why visiting teams stay in Appleton, you said: "Because Green Bay hotels rely on the higher prices and multi-night minimums on home-game weekends to succeed. Any local hotel hosting the visiting team would lose money." The answer makes no sense. Teams stay multi-nights and they have loads of $$. What am I missing?

With some exceptions, teams fly in the day before the game, stay one night, check out, play the game, and fly home right after. Multi-night stays aren't very common, at least not in the central part of the country.

PJ from Pullman, WA

Mike Tomlin was fined $25K for the content of his speech regarding officiating last Sunday. Something doesn't feel right with the NFL fining him in what is, essentially, a threat to exercise prior restraint. Tomlin was simply expressing his opinion and calling upon the NFL to take action. Attempting to suppress these opinions and discouraging transparency is, in my opinion, not a good look.

Now you're trying to get me fined.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Just an observation. On the muffed punt call in Detroit everyone was focused on the ball as it came down when it clearly hit the Detroit player's arm and not King's back, but if you watch the ball after it hits the ground and is traveling upward, it appears that the flight of the ball may have altered slightly, indicating a touch. I wonder if this is what the replay officials saw. It still burns me though.

After I finally had a chance to study the replay closely, I had the exact same thought.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

About a third of the season in, Packers are totally average, lost some games they were expected to win but by no means out of it. I'm trying to find something about this team that can emerge to get them to the playoffs (with a bye might be asking too much already). Leaving Rodgers out of it (yeah he can play better), do you see any players that are quietly positioning themselves to make the jump from NFL starters to NFL difference-makers this season?

Jaire Alexander and Geronimo Allison, but both need to get healthy.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

A fun tidbit about the Purdue-Wisconsin game where Drew Brees chucked the ball 83 times: that was the first game in which the "Jump Around" tradition appeared at Camp Randall. That we are still watching Brees throw that ball as masterfully as he has been is simply astounding.

That memory hit me later in a weird way after I wrote about that game, right before I read this.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

There's some excitement for how fast ESB and MVS are at running, but how fast are they at stopping? The WYMM on Adams showcases the importance of controlling speed, whether it's a sudden burst, sudden stop, or hesitation to allow the route to set up.

Let's give them time to round out their games. I don't mean this in a disparaging way, but if they had all the tools Adams has, they wouldn't have been on the board on the third day of the draft. They're just getting started.

Eric from Cary, NC

I just read a great article on how Bakhtiari grades out as by far the best pass-protecting tackle in the game and they brought up the tackles chosen ahead of him in the draft. Isn't it weird to think only five years ago two tackles were the first players to come off the board?

Having made second-team All-Pro each of the last two years but without getting an initial Pro Bowl nod either time (he was an injury replacement in 2016), it'll be interesting to see if Bakhtiari climbs to first-team All-Pro this year and is still waiting for the Pro Bowl voting to catch up.

Brandon from Oshkosh, WI

What's Spoff going to do Monday night? Gotta watch the Brewer game somehow, right?

I'll be checking for updates during the TV timeouts, but I won't shortchange my job. That wouldn't be fair to y'all.

John from Clintonville, WI

Mike, in response to the non-question by Justin from Raleigh, NC, about bumping into you while taking a stadium tour, I'm wondering if there's a chance of a "Spoff and Hod Reality Tour" at Lambeau complete with muffin stumps? You guys aren't J. Peterman but you're still pretty good.

Only if the tour requires Himalayan walking shoes. Happy Friday, everyone.