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Inbox: It's such a limited number of opportunities

Now we know why

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Jake from Culver City, CA

My favorite thing about "Unscripted" is the hard rock music intro followed by Mike's soft welcome to the show. The juxtaposition gets me every time.

Just like the silent majesty of a winter's morn, the clean, cool chill of the holiday air, and an (idiot) in his bathrobe emptying a chemical toilet into the sewer.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

The question about Kizer and Boyle having the opportunity to practice more was an interesting one to me. Yes, it's certainly helpful for them, but on the flip side, our defense probably wishes AR was out there to challenge them. Personally, I'd prefer the D get more reps against a stud QB than the backup QB getting reps with the No. 1 offense. Which do you see as the greater advantage?

In the regular season, the No. 1 offense and defense don't really go against each other, except maybe in a two-minute drill. The 11-on-11 periods of practice have scout teams on one side or the other to prepare for the specific opponent. Regular-season practices are not the same as training camp.

Dave from Bolingbrook, IL

I have a special appreciation for players that visit children's hospitals. My daughter had open heart surgery at three weeks old and had to stay in the hospital for six months during her recovery. Plenty of Bears and Bulls players stopped by doing one-on-ones with each patient. Cameron Meredith was the most memorable. Sat in our room for over half an hour and took a picture with our daughter who was wearing a Packers winter hat at the time.

I have nothing to add, other than how compelled I felt to post that.

Jeremy from Lethbridge, Canada

Through four games, Goff is on pace for 5,624 yards, 44 TDs, and just eight picks. Cousins is trending towards 5,548-40-8. And those aren't even the two hottest QBs in the league. Ryan Fitzpatrick (!) is throwing for 410 yards a game, which would give him 6,560 on the season (or over 1,000 more than the current record). How much of this is September football getting worse vs. structural changes to the rules?

Some of both, plus a Thursday night game with dynamic QBs is going to skew toward offense. The league has been headed this way for a long time, and last year's Super Bowl (which was not in September) was all the proof needed.

Josh from Chicago, IL

Watching Sticky Shields play tonight only brings back good memories. Love seeing him make big plays but selfishly wish it was still for us.

That's understandable. It was a long road back for Shields. I wish him continued health and success.

Deb from Camarillo, CA

Thanks for going back to using bylines. Will readers ever know the reason for eliminating bylines?

They weren't eliminated. There was a glitch in a recent Packers app update that inadvertently removed them and had to be fixed. The bylines remained on the website.

Jeremiah from Denver, CO

It's fear, you're missing a fear of the unknown. Most people are quite insecure about the unknown; the things they can't control or don't understand. It is typical for an insecure person to project some sort of illusion that imitates control and gives them a feeling of power, like a high draft pick for tanking. As a professional, you are familiar with the long season and accept the ups and downs that come with it. More relevant, are teams conservative with injuries earlier in the season?

I think most teams take a similar approach no matter what time of year – if your best guy is able to play effectively, he plays. Maybe depth at a particular position factors into it on occasion, but I think that's rare. I understand the faction that wants Rodgers to heal up and not take any additional risks, but I just don't think you can operate that way in this league. Sixteen games is a long season, but at the same time it's such a limited number of opportunities compared to other sports.

Baxter from Milwaukee, WI

Christian Yelich, Aaron Rodgers, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Could this be the MVP trifecta in the making?

We can say we heard it here first.

Jarle from Kirkenes, Norway

Witty Spoff is also factually incorrect Spoff. Three teams were standing at 1-1-1 in both 1972 and 1973. The Packers were one of the teams in '73. The fourth teams were 0-2-1, and now I feel like a jerk for ruining a good joke.

You didn't ruin it. I executed it poorly, and many readers pointed out my math oversight, though I think everyone knew what I was getting at. That's why I'm sitting here and Jerry Seinfeld is sitting on gazillions of dollars (among many other reasons). I know I'll always have the Inbox to keep me honest.

Aaron from Forest Grove, OR

Anyone else feel one underrated aspect of the young Kenny Clark is his durability? It seems we have the same guys on defense getting injured over and over again while he continues to press on. He's an impressive dude.

He was carted off the field last November and missed one game. His snap count is way up this year, and the loss of Wilkerson will put even more responsibility on him, but the Packers have to be smart and make sure he's good for the long haul.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

I know Jason Spriggs is a developing player coming off a bad injury but he struggled against Kerrigan in the Washington game. I understand the "next man up" mantra but, with the injuries to our O-line on the right side coupled with the devastation the Bills' D put on the Vikings' offense, do you anticipate our coaches using Lewis, Kendricks, or chip blocks from our backs a bit more to give our injured line a little help?

In certain situations, yes. Going into a week game-planning for these issues boosts the chances for success versus reacting in-game on the fly when certain concepts may not have been practiced. That said, Bulaga practiced on Wednesday and Thursday, so it may be just McCray out of the starting lineup on Sunday. We'll see.

Lu from Norwich, England

Through his career so far Byron Bell has played right across the O-line. Where do you seem him being needed most for us this season? (Yes, this question is partly because I felt bad that he's never the Bell anyone is talking about.)

He finished the game for McCray in Washington, so he could get the starting nod at right guard this week. He was a versatile veteran brought in precisely for situations up front like this.

Doug from Westford, MA

"See you Sunday." I don't know if it was the extra space between the question and Wes's answer or what, but it made the comic timing of Wes's response so perfect, I laughed out loud, at work, for at least 15 seconds. Spunky Wes is the best Wes!

Now that belongs stitched on a pillow. For the baby's crib.

Jace from Eagle, ID

The league's informational video on how to tackle the quarterback does not take "all variables into account." They need to realize that none of the four examples they provide as "legal" tackles show the defender hitting the quarterback from the front (such as Clay's hit in the Washington game). All four examples are OLBs or DEs rushing the QB from the outside, which makes it easier for the defender to roll off the QB upon contact.

Couldn't agree more, and Matthews pointed out the same thing Thursday. The crux of that video is the league is placing the responsibility on the pass rusher to avoid landing with his body weight on the QB. That's the new emphasis, when the original rule (if I'm not mistaken) says it's only a foul if landing with the body weight is "unnecessary." A huge difference there. A friend in college used to tease me all the time when, after I messed up, I'd say, "But I wasn't trying to." To get my goat, the response was always, "You have to try not to." The league has changed the rule from the former to the latter in terms of how it's being interpreted, and I think it's patently unfair to defenders. Everyone can get on board with eliminating that "little extra" intended to "send a message" to the QB, but this change or emphasis just goes way too far. It's not practical.

Tom from Pine River, WI

I would like to share this headline from the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "Packers Robbed of Victory by Referee in Rough Battle." This isn't from this week's paper, it's from 1919 when Green Bay lost to Beloit.

A 6-0 loss when the Packers came in 10-0, preventing the franchise's inaugural season from finishing undefeated. Now we know why the Packers are always in the middle of this stuff.

Tim from Manitowoc, WI

Sorry if this has been previously discussed. Why not add two more officials for each game to increase better angles and less missed calls? Maybe a QB official and another official in the defensive backfield?

I still don't think my idea of separate safety officials is all that bad.

Dylan from Houston, TX

Will the "100 Seasons" patch be on the throwbacks this weekend? If so, will it be changed more blue to match the uniforms?

The patch will be on the uniforms, but it will be the same patch they've been wearing, not a special color.

Take a behind-the-scenes look inside the Packers sewing room, as Marge Switzer and her team prepared Green Bay's third jerseys for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills

Steve from Green Bay, WI

Let's hope for a Packer victory this week if for no other reason than you can get back to answering questions in an insightful manner rather than the defensive, insulting and childish manner you have approached this week.

OK.

Garrett from Houston, TX

So Drew Brees just broke Favre's completions record. I know a bit about the well-known records that probably won't ever be broken, like Favre's consecutive starts, and I think Don Hutson has the most seasons leading in receiving yards. What are some other records, or quirky records, that will probably never be broken?

All of Favre's passing records have now been broken except interceptions. That one could stand forever, and he should be proud of it. I'm not joking. To throw 336 picks is amazing, because you have to be one incredible player to even get the opportunity to have that many.

Ryan from Algonquin, IL

I am a parent and have concerns of my son playing football. He is not likely to play college ball at any real level and not going to make a living at it. So it seems like a bad idea to play in HS, high risk, no real reward. But I noticed lots of kids moving towards flag football and no joke the games are exciting! I think it might become a big thing. Thoughts?

Flag football at the youth levels will be instrumental in saving the sport over the long haul, I believe.

Drew from Rogers City, MI

Rodgers has always played well after a loss. Is it reasonable to expect a beatdown of the Bills this weekend?

I'd never predict a beatdown in this league, but I do think Rodgers will play very well, coming off a game he was disappointed in, being back at home, and having returned on a limited basis to practice on Thursday.

Nathan from Milford, IA

When facing a rookie QB, what is more important – blitzing the QB or throwing multiple coverage plays at him?

Yes.

Ross from Grand View, WI

What did you think about Joe Whitt's comments in reference to DBs making business decisions on every play?

No one is a straighter shooter than Whitt. I think he was being brutally honest. He's always very in tune with the players he coaches, so I have no doubt they've had discussions, whether formally or over a bite to eat. It's the reality they're living in.

John from Grand Forks, ND

Uh oh, Big Ben went on record that he "sold it" a bit when JPP's hand hit his helmet. Winter may be coming but...flopping is coming. Look out NFL.

That's only going to increase the odds those plays are eventually reviewable.

Corbin from Plymouth, WI

Hi Mike, from listening to "Packers Unscripted," I definitely agree that these penalties that significantly swing the game should be reviewable, but how would the league clearly differentiate these from the rest of the not-as-significant penalties that happen on almost every play all game? I could be wrong, but I can start to picture players and coaches asking for replays every time they think there's a foul/penalty. I hope football doesn't become a game of who gets penalized less.

I know Vic and other purists would crucify me for suggesting this, but a challenge system for penalties might not be so out-of-whack. Separate from the other challenges, but similar structure, with limited number and last two minutes of each half being automatic reviews, something like that. Head coaches would probably have to hire a "challenge coach" to advise them on all replay decisions, with so much to monitor. But we've reached a point where technology continues to show us how much is missed and/or called incorrectly, while the league continues to complicate the rules. It's a bad recipe right now.

Joe from East Moline, IL

If you were a new parent today, would you allow your children to partake in swimming or bowling, or would you steer them toward something less violent and dangerous like quarterback?

I can always count on the Inbox to end my week with a chuckle…

Andy from Baraboo, WI

I am also 62 and am giving up watching football, until Saturday, then I'll start again. Don't make me do this every week.

…or two.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Playoffs? Yes as a matter of fact, playoffs officially. For the second year in a row the Brewers raced out quick then slumped out of first place in July. What was the difference this year over last?

Look no further than the top two spots in the batting order. Cain and Yelich changed everything. And now if you'll excuse me, I need to get the rest of my Friday work done so I can get down to Milwaukee for tonight's game. Have a great weekend, everyone.

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