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Inbox: It's going to be one heck of a show

There’s no one better at the hard count than Aaron Rodgers

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TE Robert Tonyan

Chris from Hannibal, MO

How good a chance do the Packers have to make it into the playoffs this year?

Playoffs? You want to talk about playoffs? I don't know, Chris, but the percentages go up if the Packers improve to 3-0 on Sunday night.

Ross from Roswell, GA

Gents, when I listen to Aaron Rodgers explain what he sees and does in regards to reading defenses, motion, pre-snap adjustments etc., I am sometimes in awe that anyone can process all this so quickly and concisely. It's mind-boggling.

I got mentally exhausted listening to him describe the details behind his touchdown throw to Robert Tonyan and the 41-yard pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling down the sideline. He has a high-performance calculator for a brain. Meanwhile, I'm sitting here with a pen and paper.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Is this the week we see MVS on the jet sweep? Wouldn't it behoove the Packers to give it to him rather than Lazard given the speed factor? I understand Ervin but can't for the life of me figure out Lazard over MVS.

That's something, isn't it? Perhaps the fastest guy on the team is the one receiver who hasn't come on a jet sweep yet.

Nick from Fort Belvoir, US

Spoff/Hod, when did the national media or you two start referring to Rodgers as a "future Hall of Famer"? When was it known that he was destined to be a first-ballot guy? Thanks!

First off, thank you for your service, Nick. I'd say Rodgers was guaranteed of the Pro Football Hall of Fame after he won his second MVP award in 2014. He may have been a first-ballot HOF then, but I think it was guaranteed by 2016.

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

What is it about Rodgers' hard count that makes it so much more effective than most other QBs?

His rhythm, timing and awareness are through the roof. It's difficult for pass rushers to zero in on it. There's no one better at the hard count than Aaron Rodgers. It's perfection.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

New Orleans on the road at night is a really tough game. What is the top matchup that favors the Packers and the top matchup that favors the Saints?

The absence of Michael Thomas is a big deal, but Alvin Kamara is still a 60-minute nightmare for any defense. Whatever combination of Green Bay defenders has Kamara's assignment better bring their A-game. The same goes for the Saints trying to slow down Aaron Jones. At the same time, don't sleep on Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon. Those two power backs could be exactly what the Packers need to soften up New Orleans' defense.

Brian from Sussex, WI

The best near-term future for Dillon may be as the RB in the four-minute offense. A fresh, big, fast back with agility against a tired defense. All he has to do is secure the ball and get as many yards as possible, without worrying about pass protection responsibilities. I hope we get to see if that's the Packers' plan for him Sunday night.

His time will come. It's a long season. Stay patient. The Packers drafted Dillon for a reason. They'll need him.

William from Palmdale, CA

Continued tremendous work each of you two and how lucky are you to work with the Rock?! This time we have a question: What is the likelihood that GB employs a spy on Kamara? Not only is he a very powerful runner of the ball but also perhaps most dangerous in the open field with those many swing passes they employ. IMHO, keep him in reasonable check and you take away about half of the Saints' firepower. Without Thomas, they appear to be severely weakened regardless of their 41-year-old quarterback.

You can spy Kamara, but the Packers still need to swarm Kamara every time he touches the ball Sunday night.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

What do the Packers need to take away from the Saints to win Sunday night?

Everyone keeps talking about Taysom Hill, and rightfully so, but the lack of respect being shown to Jared Cook by outsiders astounds me. That's the former Packers player I really have my eye on Sunday night. Green Bay needs an answer for the Pro Bowl tight end.

Scott from De Pere, WI

Preston Smith has been quiet in the first two games with only three tackles and one sack. Let's hope the other Smith brother can get going this weekend!

The Packers are asking Preston to do a little more dirty work this year and drop into coverage with Kyler Fackrell now in New York. Preston knows his role in this defense and remains confident more pass-rushing opportunities will come over the course of the year. Because they will.

David from Valdosta, GA

After reading that Marcedes Lewis was telling Aaron Jones Sunday he had a big run in his near future, it was cool to get to hear him say "I told you" 75 yards downfield after Aaron's second-half burst. In getting the Evan's-eye-view of practice we see the non-participating Lewis present. The combination of these two made me wonder how "alternatively active" Marcedes is during practice, and has he expressed interest in coaching once his cleats are dulled?

Lewis' talents extend well beyond football, but he'd be an excellent coach if he chose to go that direction once his playing career is over. Lewis has a lot of things – culture, fashion, MMA, etc. He's a man with many layers and an affable personality that endears him to people.

Gary from Oregon, WI

Why do I seem like the only person thinking highly of Allen Lazard? He has an NFL pedigree, and had he not committed early to I-State and honored that commitment, he would have come from a major college program. He then worked up from practice squad, to regular roster, to the starting rotation. Yet, most articles seem to sell him short, cast love all over MVS (because of his yet, and maybe never, to be seen "upside"), and beg the team to trade for a WR. What gives? What am I not seeing?

You don't have to rag on one to appreciate the other. Both MVS and Lazard are good receivers. Lazard is just so steady and consistent, and unfortunately that art isn't often appreciated. But this guy is the real deal. Lazard has great size, tremendous hands and good blocking ability – and Aaron Rodgers trusts him. As long as he stays healthy, Lazard is going to play in this league for a long, long time.

Jim from Eau Claire, WI

Even if Davante Adams plays, the Packers will have to bring up a WR from the practice squad. Who do you think it will be and do you think they may bring up two?

The Packers have options. They have two open spots on the 53-man roster, and Robert Foster, Reggie Begelton, and Darrius Shepherd are all eligible to be elevated to the game-day roster under the new practice-squad rules. Foster has NFL experience but Shepherd was on the active roster last year. Who will it be? Your guess is as good as mine.

Joe from Dundee, IL

If Adams sits out against the Saints, I almost feel that the job of the Saints DC is almost harder. He cannot be sure if the Packers will lean more on their RBs, TEs, or even the other receivers may step up their game. Of those three, which might you expect the Packers to lean on more?

I agree, to an extent. As Rodgers said this week, the Packers are a much better team when Adams is on the field. But if they have to go without their three-time Pro Bowler, the Packers have plenty of playmakers to turn to. I see this being a big game for the Packers' backfield, whether it's running or catching the ball. And if the Saints sell out to stop the run, Green Bay has receivers and tight ends that can hurt New Orleans, as well. It's going to be one heck of a show.

Mark from Studio City, CA

Hello gentlemen! Thank you for all you do! One more comment on the fines for coaches not wearing masks. If they are that negligent about following the rules when cameras and millions are watching, how vigilant are they when no one is there to see? Plus, the coaches are leaders and set an example for others to follow. The NFL has a lot riding on keeping everyone healthy and is fortunate they haven't had an outbreak or had to postpone/cancel games because of COVID. They don't want to start now.

Bingo. There's no room for error with this virus – and that goes for me, too. I have to wear a mask every second I'm in the building unless I'm at my desk or in a private conference room. I covered last Sunday's game wearing a mask. It's what's required to do the job, whether you're a schmuck like me or the head coach of the ball club.

Greg from Sacramento, CA

When a coach gets fined by the NFL for not wearing a face cover, who pays the fine? The coach or the team?

The coach.

Marc from Aachen, Germany

Referring to the Greg Zuerlein onside kick, have you ever tried to safely pick up a football spinning that way? There is a certain hesitation I do understand. If you touch but don't secure it it's a live ball.

Sure…but I think you'd agree you have a better chance at catching a fastball coming at your face with your hands than your teeth.

Matt from La Crosse, WI

Who is a sleeper player on the Saints you think might make an impact this coming Sunday?

Thomas Morstead.

Michael from Dover, PA

How does the contract of a player who is placed on season-ending IR affect the salary cap? A roster spot is cleared to make room but is cap relief available?

It depends on the player and his contract. If a player has split-salary language in the contract, his contract is halved if he's placed on IR. So that provides some cap relief.

Jack from Indianapolis, IN

With all the talk regarding fans back into the stadium, it had me thinking: Would the NFL want players jumping into a crowd of strangers to celebrate a touchdown? No matter how limited the capacity that kind of blows up the whole social distancing thing, right? I don't want to see a rule implemented that ends the Lambeau Leap because of a weird year.

I don't know, Jack. Honestly, I haven't thought that far ahead. I'm trying to get through today and today the first eight rows are to remain tarped off regardless of whether there are fans in NFL stadiums.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Does it seem to you that the team on paper, and so far in fact, is more favorably positioned to deal with artificial and natural grass than in years past?

The Packers would prefer to play on grass but their offensive personnel are a threat on the fast track of the Superdome. It's going to be a fascinating game to watch, especially with only 750 Saints family members in attendance.

Jesse from Bonita Springs, FL

I hate to step away from the football talk but this can't wait 'til the offseason. I read an article that stated Steak 'n Shake is at risk of going out of business. Their shakes are too good to go away and the II combine tradition is at risk. Please everyone, go buy a shake!

If that's true, then Spoff and I are caravanning down to Indianapolis during the bye week to use up those gift cards.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Wes, could you handle the fame and notoriety of being an uber-famous pro football player? Being in the limelight isn't for everyone, but is it for you? I'm pretty sure that I couldn't handle it, as I value my privacy about as much as I value my cardiovascular system!

I don't think so. I'd be fearful celebrity would change me. That's why I've been so impressed with how Davante Adams has conducted himself over the years. As I've said before, Adams is a superstar receiver but he's still very much the same guy he was back in 2015.

Gordon from Newport Beach, CA

Wes, who's the next Paul Coffman?

Chase.

Jeffrey from Eau Claire, WI

Wow. What a performance by Ryan Fitzpatrick Thursday night.

Has Fitzmagic ever had just a normal, OK game? It seems like it's always one extreme or the other.

Ferdinand from Woodbury, MN

Wes, where did you learn to curl and how long did you play? You may not have thrown a stone down the ice for a while, but there is no such thing as an "ex-curler"! Great sport!

I learned down the street here at the Green Bay Curling Club. I did it for a few years in high school and had a good time with it.

Mike from Ames, IA

Based on the stats we've seen in this column lately, is it too soon to call the 1919 Packers the greatest team ever?

The '72 Fins would point to that egg the 1919 Packers laid against the indomitable Beloit Fairies as evidence against that argument. Still a good club, though.

Dave from Escanaba, MI

No question, just thanks. Due to some medical problems I've been more or less stuck at home for a few years. But every Mon to Sat morning I look forward to "Insider Inbox" and Mon-Wed-Fri morning to "Ask Vic." A little joy every morning.

Those words mean the world us, Dave. Best wishes to you.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Once more the Battle is joined
The journey to a land of Saints and Sinners
A land of Pagan Rituals and Voodoo Spells Beware
A formidable adversary awaits Glory awaits
March on Brave Men of the Bay

A Dean poem must mean only one thing – it's almost gameday. I am ready.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Week 3 Haiku:

The Bayou awaits.

With elders taking each snap,

A win is a win.

Oh, Derek coming for Dean's throne. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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