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Inbox: It's only happened once in NFL history

Certain circumstances dictate the no-huddle


Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Hey Mike, is it hot enough for ya?

That was some mid-June weekend, eh? You never know in this state.

Helen from Omaha, NE

Happy Father's Day to you both and to all of the Dads in Packer Nation. I lost my Dad 22 years ago when he was only 58. I received my love of sports from him. Today is also the first Father's Day without my honey of over 20 years. He was only 52. I was blessed to have them as long as I did. We would have been at the College World Series. I just wanted to remind everyone to cherish their Dads everyday, not just today.

And not just the day after, but thanks for your note. So sorry for your losses, which were way too soon. I would love to get to the College World Series someday. I hear it's quite the event.

Dane from Franklin, WI

We're often told the NFL is a matchup league. What positions are most often used to create mismatches and what traits should we be looking for in players to identify mismatches?

It's usually a size-speed combination that makes a perimeter weapon, such as a tight end, too fast to cover with a linebacker but too big for a defensive back. Or it's the physical freaks like Julio Jones who have no good matchup and require extra attention from another defender. Mismatches also can be schemed with personnel groups, if a combination of your players reaches so far into the depth of the opponent at one position you feel you're going to have an edge somewhere, simply because a lesser-talented player is forced onto the field.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

In my opinion AR is at his best on broken plays and no-huddle offense, respectively. I know players need to catch their breath but especially in the beginning of both first and third quarters, wouldn't you feel we could gain an edge by going to a no-huddle offense? Get that fast start and let our defense feast on a team trying to catch up a little as the game progresses. I know the defense can sub players easier without losing the continuity the offensive line depends on but...

Personally, I like the no-huddle in two circumstances, outside of the obvious clock-running-down scenarios. One is if you can get the defense stuck in a personnel group you like from a matchup standpoint. Yes, they can try to substitute, but Rodgers will probably get a free play out of it, too. The other is if the offense needs a spark, and changing the pace might be a way to accomplish that. Otherwise, I'm in favor of giving my defense a rest and keeping it on the sideline. It's a long game.

Balint from Budapest, Hungary

There were two replay reviews already on the third day of the World Cup, and I think FIFA seems to have nailed the process. The difference vs. the NFL is that all control remains in the referee's hands. In case of a questionable situation, another referee from the control center can tell him to take another look at it, but it's still the referee's call whether he changes his mind or not. Why do you think the NFL transfers the final say to New York? What do they think is the key benefit of that?

The NFL used to keep the control with the referee but decided a few years ago to make it a collaborative process with the command center. I think the league got tired of having to explain incorrect or controversial replay decisions after the fact, so now the guy who used to have to explain those decisions is in on them.

Doug from Brookfield, WI

Wasn't JK Scott's father (Kim Scott) a pole vaulter, not a high jumper?

Yes, and I should have corrected it in Wes's previous column. Or maybe Wes found out he was so good he didn't need the pole.

Kyle from Los Angeles, CA

I just read that Sam Bradford told Josh Rosen that if he knew (pre-snap) from experience that a WR would not be open during a play, he would just skip him in his progression. That, to me, is the answer to what a shutdown corner is - forcing a QB to pretend his own player doesn't exist.

It can mean that. It can also mean the pre-snap coverage read tells the QB where the safety help is going to be, and therefore who won't be able to get open.

Gina from Waukesha, WI

Are the players allowed to bring the playbook home with them while they are away?

Yes, and the next five weeks are one big long study hall for those who need to take advantage of it.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

I don't think I'd fully registered the pay difference between the practice squad and the active roster. If practice squad players get $7,600 a week (the 2018 mininum) and the active roster minimum is $480K a year, that's a difference of tens of thousands of dollars a week. We fans don't think much about it when someone gets called up at the end of the season for a week or two, but it must be a huge deal for these guys.

Absolutely, and when a player is signed to an active roster from a practice squad, he is guaranteed three regular-season game checks whether or not he remains on the active roster that long.

Paul from Cumming, GA

On the subject of touchdowns mattering: to a team they are very important, but for an individual player they can be mercurial. For example, is Julio Jones status as a top-level player legitimately in question because he only scored three TDs last season?

Valid point, and I never realized until reading your question and looking it up that Jones has produced only one double-digit TD season, and it was back in 2012. That's incredible, really. I can only imagine what the film shows regarding how much attention he gets in the red zone, because Matt Ryan throws plenty of TD passes.

Ben from Kewaunee, WI

We know guys like Rodgers and Adrian Peterson would be studs in any era of football, but not everyone today could play in the NFL of old. Who are a couple Packers on the roster today who would excel in, say, the Lombardi era of football?

Mike Daniels and Corey Linsley are the first two that come to mind.

More Green Bay Packers players took their 2018 season headshots at Lambeau Field.

Carrie from San Jose, CA

I feel like you left us hanging on Friday. Was your attempt to steal second base successful?

Oh, yeah. I made it. I was already popping up from my feet-first slide when the shortstop was applying the tag.

Jason from Keno, OR

I know this is baseball, but I thought I'd tell you the rarest thing to happen is a no-pitch save. It has happened once in the MLB. What noteable, rare things have happened in NFL games?

I believe there's only been one rushing touchdown of 99 yards in NFL history. It was by Tony Dorsett for the Cowboys against the Vikings on Monday Night Football in the early 1980s. Might have even been in the first season of the Metrodome.

George from North Mankato, MN

Any thoughts on who may be the 12th man this year? McCray looks like he took the award last year and has now earned a starting spot.

Maybe it'll be Byron Bell. If he's not starting, he'll be coming off the bench with starting experience at both guard and tackle. Ideally, the Packers won't have to find out.

George from Hutchinson, MN

Good "Packers Unscripted" last Friday, gentlemen. Bittersweet realization to hear of your pending vacations and six-week downsizing. Some R&R is good for the soul they say. So hang up those "Do Not Disturb" signs for now. The distant sounds of training camp drumbeats can wait awhile. We'll be waiting too.

Thanks for listening. Those drumbeats will be loud enough before we know it.

Collin from Kirkwood, MO

Garoppolo at Lambeau is your most intriguing matchup? I may be in the minority but are we jumping the gun a bit on Garoppolo? 5-0 is so impressive, I agree. He also threw seven TDs and five INTs last year. In three of his five starts his defense gave up 16 or fewer points. I am not saying he isn't the real deal, but I do think he's a classic example of QBs getting overhyped for win-loss records.

We'll see. But for a guy to step in for a 1-10 team with only two previous NFL starts under his belt and win five straight, posting a 96.2 passer rating, he has my attention. It's the definition of the arrow pointing up. Straight up.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

If you were ranking the best single-season NFL teams of the Super Bowl era, where would you rank the '13 Seahawks? And to answer Spoff, because I'm sure he's dying to know, Katie is my sister-in-law and you could say she "likes" Micah Hyde. She was genuinely angry with me when I expressed my frustration with that drop during that game.

I remember being the first reporter to ask Hyde at his locker after that game about the play, and he made no excuses. He said, flat-out, he should have had it, and he knows it would have won the game. As for the '13 Seahawks, I don't rank them that close to the '85 Bears or '89 49ers, primarily because Kaepernick was 20 yards away from beating them in Seattle for the NFC title. They dominated a Super Bowl, yes, but there are a handful of others who had more thoroughly dominant postseason runs.

Chad from Colfax, WI

Immediately upon reading your explanation of no soccer at Lambeau, I took off my shirt and ran across the office sliding to my knees in front of the copier. I got a red card for excessive celebration. Hope your calf is feeling better.

It is, thanks.

The Packers hosted the 10th annual 7-on-7 passing tournament with eight Wisconsin high school teams at the Don Hutson Center.

Jay from Greenwood, SC

Time to show off some football knowledge. "Banjo" is a type of coverage. It's when one corner plays close to the line and another plays a couple of yards behind him. The lower corner will press the first receiver he can and then pass him off to the deeper corner, and then guard the next receiver. It allows a jam at the line as well as staying on top of a deep route.

Appreciate the knowledge.

David from Chicago, IL

In addition to players, another BIG change in the NFC North is the Bears' new head coach, Matt Nagy. I'm getting a close-up view living in Chicago and I think his teams will be much tougher opponents than the previous HC produced. He will probably be the Packers' biggest change regarding the Bears in 2018. What are you hearing or do you know about Nagy that we should know?

My thoughts the other day on NFC North changes were strictly roster-based. The coaching changes in Chicago and Detroit are obviously significant. Nagy was hired to develop Trubisky, just as McCarthy was hired to develop Rodgers. If he's successful, the Bears will be tough for a long time.

Bryce from Houston, TX

How much time do you think AR12 has left? His play style is dangerous for a QB trying to play into his 40's and honestly, if these type of injuries he's endured keep reoccurring, who's to say we don't have another Tony Romo on our hands? Basically, do you think he can play the way he does and stay safe into his 40's, do you think he will injure himself doing so, or perhaps do you think he'll adjust his play style later on to maybe that of Brady's, primarily a pocket passer?

I think eventually Rodgers will cut down on the out-of-pocket phase of his game in order to play as long as he wants to. Father Time will tell him at some point he can't play that way anymore. But he's made it clear he's not going to change right now, and he's in the type of shape that tells me we'll still see the same Rodgers for at least a few more years. Will he take more precaution to avoid contact in the open field? Perhaps, but I don't think Rodgers repeatedly puts himself in unnecessary danger. The one in '13 was a blindside hit when he had barely started to scramble. Last year, he got caught in the wrong moment by the wrong guy. Brady tore an ACL a decade ago on a pocket sack. You can't avoid everything.

Matt from Janesville, WI

Why does everyone want to talk about JK Scott so much? With this revenge tour Rodgers is going to be on, we won't have to punt at all.

OK, then.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

Is it the dead zone now?

Yes, but I'll still be here every day until Wes gets back. Happy Monday, everyone.