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Inbox: It's what you do with them

That’s not how he operates

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Chicago Bears Defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson celebrates after breaking up a fourth down pass from Tampa Bay quaterback Tom Brady that resulted in a 20-19 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field on October 08, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

Dan from Embarrass, WI

Here I thought I was the only Embarrassite partaking in the Inbox. Not sure if that's the correct demonym, but I'm going to roll with it unless anyone has any other ideas?

If you're gonna drop demonym in the Inbox, you can roll with whatever you want.

Bob from Riverside, CA

Mike, given the record cases of COVID in Green Bay for a NFL city, do you see people wearing masks at the grocery store, gas station and drug store? If not, I hope our players are ordering food and supplies via contactless delivery to avoid the risk. Our team has done so well so far – knock on wood – and I'd hate for the surrounding community to end our season.

The grocery stores I go to, I see masks, otherwise I wouldn't go there. But clearly the community as a whole is not taking it upon itself to protect everyone. I spend as little time indoors as possible, except at my own house.

Christopher from Austin, MN

It seems like Rick Wagner was playing better than Billy Turner at RT. Do you see a change coming soon?

I'm not sure Turner is all the way back from his knee injury just yet. Let's see if the bye week helps him return to full health.

Scott from Issaquah, WA

In regards to the comments about the Packers practicing against Aaron Rodgers' hard count, when Smith got drawn offsides he kept going. Most opponents pull back and then have lost a couple steps in going after Rodgers, which actually buys him extra time to set up a deep pass. Smith made sure to have a free path to the QB so the play would be called dead.

I don't blame defenders for trying to get back. If an offensive player isn't contacted or enticed into moving, and if the ball isn't snapped, they can get back and avoid the penalty altogether.

Mike from Allen, TX

Gentlemen, what is your opinion of the officiating so far this season? It seems like there's more of "let the players play" philosophy. And I don't hear a huge cry to reinstate official review on PI.

Thursday night's Bucs-Bears game was the first one I've seen with a significant amount of flags, particularly offensive holding (six). Was it a one-off, or will this start the trend of flags returning to more historically normal levels?

Marin from West Lawn, PA

This year have Wayne and Larry worked doing their radio calls of the games from their regular broadcasting booth at Lambeau Field or from another location inside the stadium?

They're in their regular booth.

Cheryl from Strawberry Point, IA

What do you make of Jimmy Graham's success in Chicago when he was a disappointment for Packer fans during his time in Green Bay?

I see Graham catching passes he had the opportunity to catch in Green Bay but didn't.

Jake from Oswego, IL

Just a friendly reminder that we need to be careful underestimating the Bears. I have heard a lot of my fellow Packer fans say the Bears have a better record than they deserve. I seem to remember a team that a lot of people said that about last year that ended up one game away from the Super Bowl. You don't win in the NFL unless you earn it. The Bears may not be winning pretty but they are winning. I have the upcoming Bears games circled on my calendar and I'm sure Matt LaFleur does too.

The Packers don't play the Bears until after Thanksgiving, so trust me, they're not even on LaFleur's radar right now. That's not how he operates. But no, you can't underestimate the Bears. They have no running game, Foles made several awful throws, and they still found a way to beat a good team. He's going to play better, I believe, so their team will look better as well. I believe the Bears have gotten two huge breaks to get to 4-1 – Detroit's dropped pass in the end zone, and the blown pre-snap penalty Thursday night. It turned what should have been third-and-17 into third-and-7 because the officials called defensive offside and missed Chicago's false start. That became a huge missed call when the drive produced the Bears' first TD late in the second quarter. But breaks are breaks. Every team gets them. It's what you do with them.

Dave from Waterford, OH

It appears that Foles and Russell Wilson, although completely different athletes, are similar to each other in one respect. They both possess that knack/skill/art of accurately dropping that high-arcing pass into their receiver's hands. I think that quality is a huge reason for the success they achieve.

I like to call those parabola passes. They were Foles' most effective throws Thursday night during an otherwise uninspiring performance.

Renee from Green Bay, WI

I noticed Tom Brady took some cheap shots from social media for not shaking hands with Nick Foles. Why don't people get it? Tom has never seemed to be a bad sport in the past and should be commended as many others for playing the game and doing what they can to keep teammates and opposing players safe as possible.

Absolutely. I don't fault any player for not participating in the postgame commingling in these circumstances.

Jeff from Hagerstown, MD

It appears Tom Brady forgot it was fourth down. I don't feel so bad when I can't find my car keys now.

We might have witnessed the first instance of the lack of crowd noise working against the road team. I can't imagine a full-throated surge leading up to a game-deciding fourth down wouldn't have clued Brady in. It's too bad there wasn't the time or opportunity for a teammate to scream in his face on the sideline about his mistake for all the cameras to see.

Ross from Roswell, GA

Do you think Aaron Rodgers' comments on the Pat McAfee show in regards to the media and how he feels about it will change his interactions with you and the other members of the media?

No.

Statham from Pineview, GA

If the Bills vs. Titans game is a go on Tuesday, the Bills will obviously not be able to play their Week 6 TNF game on two days' rest. Is it crazy that I have this weird feeling that the league will try to flex Brady vs. Rodgers into the Week 6 TNF slot? If you dig into it, it makes more sense than any other game to move with the Pack coming off a bye and the Bucs coming off a Thursday game the previous week.

If the league had any inclination, it would have been required to give the Packers more notice to adjust. The CBA stipulates a minimum of four consecutive days off for the players during their bye week. LaFleur gave the players Thursday through Sunday off. It's too late for the league to involve the Packers in any switch.

Dwight from Brooklyn, NY

An observation. Regarding last season, I was never more nervous. When it began I was thinking the team would go anywhere from 9-7 to 11-5. And we know how that played out. But it was such a rollercoaster ride – too many of the victories had a fragile feel to them, that luck was as big a factor as the skill of the players. This season, more important than the 4-0 start, I feel a lot more confident about the team being in control on the field. A testament as to how well the transition worked.

Multi-score leads in the fourth quarter, and an offense that has been able to score seemingly every time it's in a position when it really needs to, will naturally feel different.

Carl from Antigo, WI

Will Corey Linsley finally get the credit he deserves and be All-Pro?

I take nothing away from Jason Kelce (Eagles) and Rodney Hudson (Raiders), who were the first- and second-team All-Pro selections at center last year. But we'll see. I think Linsley deserves to be right there with them. A Pro Bowl bid at least, after alternate status the past couple of years, would be a nice step in the right direction for a deserving veteran player.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

I predict the Packers don't miss any tackles this week. What say you?

It should keep them undefeated.

Dan from Toledo, OH

I respectfully disagree with rooting for the Vikings. Let Seattle's division take care of Seattle. I want the offseason NFC North favorites to continue to slide. Zimmer is a fantastic coach that could easily rebound and snag a seventh seed as the Vikings' rookies find their legs.

I completely understand this line of thinking.

Cameron from Wayland, MI

With Za'Darius Smith winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week, he could be a candidate for DPOY when this is all done. That guy Rodgers is not too bad either. I was wondering if there has ever been a team that had both the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year award?

For context OPOY and DPOY have only been awarded since the early '70s, and it's happened twice: the 2017 Rams (Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald) and the '03 Ravens (Jamal Lewis and Ray Lewis). It's happened once with the MVP and DPOY, with the '94 49ers (Steve Young and Deion Sanders), not counting the two times the MVP and DPOY were the same player (Lawrence Taylor in '86, Alan Page in '71).

John from Greenville, WI

True or False: The running back tandem of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams is the best since John Brockington and MacArthur Lane in 1972-74.

I think that's true. The only other pair that comes to mind is Edgar Bennett and Dorsey Levens, who statistically were close. Jones and Williams last year combined for 2,271 yards from scrimmage (1,544 rushing, 727 receiving) and 25 TDs. In '95, Bennett and Levens put up 2,269 yards (1,187 rushing, 1,082 receiving) and 14 TDs.

Campbell from Bristol, England

Mike, you are aware that, when referring to people, it's "et al," not "etc."?

I am now.

Chris from Bettendorf, IA

Who is responsible for ensuring there is only one "green dot" helmet on the field at a time? If Ty Summers and Krys Barnes are swapping play-calling and both need to be on the field for a play, somebody needs to remind one of them to change helmets or there will be a penalty. I'm guessing an equipment person handles it as the players should have bigger things to worry about in the middle of a game.

Mike Pettine said inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti was managing that.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, I don't know if it's my influence, but it's been great to see a few other people open with "hey fellas." Full disclosure I adopted the opening when I wasn't sure who would be doing II as a way of not limiting my questions to one of you. For my question, have you noticed missed opportunities for turnovers on defense that they capitalized on last year?

There have been fewer opportunities this year, but missing them still hurts. The Saints put the ball on the ground twice (once on a kickoff return, the other on a sack), but got it back. Matt Ryan also threw a pass that should have been an easy pick.

Bryce from Kenosha, WI

Following up on JR from East Moline regarding David Bakhtiari: I'm always amazed watching him off the snap as well. But I'm sometimes startled by his pre-snap adjustments. He often gives a little kick/reset that almost looks like a false start. Obviously it is a legal adjustment, but what is the line that stops it from crossing into false-start movement? Keeping his head and shoulders fixed?

I think he generally does that before Rodgers starts his cadence, or when he pauses to call out a check, so it's not viewed by the officials as simulating the start of a play.

Reed from Myrtle Beach, SC

A graphic during the Atlanta game showed ML is tied for the second-best start among coaches after 20 games at 17-3, tied with Paul Brown. George Seifert is tops at 18-2. Seifert had Joe Montana (and Steve Young). Brown had Otto Graham. ML has, of course, AR. Conclusion: It sure helps having HOFers at QB to jumpstart a coach's career.

That's why the Packers' post was the most attractive available job heading into 2019, just as it was heading into 2006. The number of pundits and analysts who said otherwise, and many did so both times, clearly don't know football.

Griffin from Belmont, NC

It feels like individual Packers don't get the love they deserve because outsiders look at it as Rodgers that is doing everything. Coach of the year? He inherited Rodgers. Jones a top back? Must be Rodgers. Davante Adams a top receiver? Look at the QB. Do the pros even care or is it just us fans that want to see the organization get more respect?

The players want to win and they want their contracts to reflect their value. The rest may get under their skin once in a while, but that's about it.

Cary from Sioux Falls, SD

The best answer to the "players or plays" debate I've ever heard came from legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. He was asked in an interview if there was a coach in his conference that he feared. "Oh yes," he replied. "The one with the best players."

Priceless. Have a good weekend, everybody.

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