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Inbox: It says a lot about who he is and what he stands for

The Lambeau Field crowd did its job on Monday night

RB Aaron Jones

Jesus from El Paso, TX

Aaron Jones' "9-1-5 flex" celebration means "El Paso Strong," which is a motto the city adopted after a racially motivated mass shooting in 2019. I love that he has a sharp, unflinching focus on the things in life that truly matter. I would like to thank you and your readers for providing such a welcoming community. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month, y que vivan los Packers!

That's Aaron Jones. It says a lot about who he is and what he stands for. As I've said before, a lot of credit goes to Alvin Sr. and Vurgess for instilling that sense of duty in all their children. I've said this a few times now but Aaron remains the most respectful athlete I've covered, from Pulaski High School cross-country to the National Football League.

Daniel from Allen, TX

"Flea" was out looking for AJ's necklace at 2 a.m.? No wonder the players love the guy. Oh, and there is so much video/audio gold over the years on missed Vikings field goals. Thank you, Paul Allen!

Matt Schneidman, of the Athletic, was still working in the press box when he noticed Bryan "Flea" Engel searching for the pendant near the end zone. The Packers' training staff has a special relationship with those players and vice versa. I felt like that was the perfect embodiment of that.

Lyle from Milwaukee, WI

Just a comment. I wouldn't mind if all the games were close and it took to the last week to secure the division. Having to battle to win each week would help to get them used to battling, which is what happens in the playoffs. I think this might be good for the playoffs, just like the 2010 season. Just need them to be peaking after the bye. This would be exciting football all season. Thank you for the Inbox.

The battles may have helped galvanize the 2010 Packers but I think the real catalyst was how that team grew together over the course of that year. Aaron Rodgers even mentioned on McAfee Tuesday about how that might not have been the Packers' most talented team during his 16 years in Green Bay but it's up there as far as being one of the most tight-knit.

Denny from Alexandria, VA

On the 50-yard completion from Rodgers to Davante Adams (and similar long routes), when did Adams start looking for the ball? When does he start adjusting ? He obviously wasn't following the ball out of Rodgers' hand. A truly impressive play by both men.

I think part of it is Adams' natural ability as a receiver, but it's also his telepathy with Rodgers that we talk so often about. Adams knows if he runs the route effectively, Rodgers will find him. With Marquez Valdes-Scantling distracting the deep safety, it provided enough room for Rodgers to hit Adams down the sideline for the biggest play of the season. As impressive as that throw was, I'm still in awe of Rodgers' 22-yard bullet to Robert Tonyan. That throw was out of this world.

Richard from Canton, GA

On the first drive, Tonyan caught a screen to the right, after Jones motioned left into what was an "obvious" bubble screen play. Is this the sort of wrinkle that we can expect to see more of in the third year of an offense? I cheered the genius of the play call.

That was an all-around brilliant design and call. Because while Tonyan was open on the TE screen that went for 19 yards, Rodgers also had a back in the flat with blocking support and Adams coming on a crosser. It's the natural evolution of an offense, which also gives the Packers options if defenses want to keep those safeties back.

Bruce from Jackson, WI

Happy Wednesday Mike and II, hopefully the glow still shines on the team in the Packer Nation. What's the key going to be in taking down the 49ers in San Fran this Sunday night? While they are 2-0, they aren't the same team we faced a couple years back. Any insights on Jacques Patrick? On the Packers, does the release of Jace Sternberger forecast they will be signing some help at edge rusher on the defense? If it hasn't been announced by Wednesday morning, any predictions on who they'll sign? GPG!

Holy cow, Bruce. I can tell you're the guy who comes out hacking at Wednesday night softball. Where do I begin here? The Packers already signed La'Darius Hamilton to fill Za'Darius Smith' roster spot, so I don't expect any more moves at edge rusher. Since Hamilton was signed off another team's practice squad, I believe Green Bay is on the hook for at least three weeks of his salary. For that reason, the Packers didn't really have a spot open for Sternberger. If you look at the gameday inactives, the healthy scratches were all rookies the Packers are committed to developing. As far as the 49ers are concerned, I've covered enough of these games over the last nine years to know Green Bay cannot take San Francisco lightly. Kyle Shanahan's teams always are innovative and determined. After a couple injury-riddled seasons, the 49ers are aiming high this season.

Perry from Ishpeming, MI

Happy Wednesday Wes! What do you attribute to the lack of sacks in the first two games? Lack of pressure overall? Scheme? Not winning the one-on-ones? Watching the first two games, I can't put my finger on the problem. Can you help me out please?

It's a little bit of everything. The Packers played two solid tackles in Terron Armstead and Penei Sewell the first two weeks but obviously that's not an excuse. You still need to find a path to the QB. I felt like the Packers made some key adjustments in the second half, including putting Kenny Clark over center. They technically didn't get a sack in the second half but there was significantly more pressure.

Matt from Montclair, NJ

Simple and straightforward question that I think will determine if this team can reach its potential. Does GB have the personnel up front to improve their run defense? I believe everything else can improve with time but I am not sure what time can do for the DL getting blown off the ball and giving up significant yards per carry.

They do. It's mostly just about figuring out how they want to use Kenny Clark. My hunch is Barry wanted to use Clark as three-technique disruptor (ala Aaron Donald) in that "Penny" base package with the five-man front during the first half. But if Clark is lining up over the guard, then someone needs to step up at nose tackle. The defense changed when Clark went to nose tackle in the third quarter. When Clark moved back to three-tech, I thought T.J. Slaton gave Green Bay some quality reps in there, too, in the final two quarters.

Matt from Vero Beach , FL

I know teams like the double-up opportunity of deferring, but at this stage having your best player take the field after wearing a baseball hat for 15 minutes and being down 7-0 consistently seems an area worth exploring. Thanks for the great work.

I've always preferred to defer and I'm sure most "Madden" players would agree with that. But whether you take the ball or not, you gotta execute. As much as it hurts to have your best player on the sideline, it also doesn't do a team any good if it elects to receive and goes three-and-out.

Larry from Cumming, GA

There seems to be a presumption that Elgton Jenkins will move back to left guard when David Bakhtiari is back. Could we be looking at the Packers next right tackle instead? PFF doesn't grade Billy Turner very highly.

I no longer have a PFF subscription so I couldn't give you much insight into how it's grading Packers players, but I continue to say Billy Turner has more value to this offense than he gets credit for. I thought he's played fine at right tackle since moving there last year.

Jeff from Athens, WI

The second half saw a lot more plays with the Packers bringing four at the line on defense. Is that considered their version of a blitz or does their scheme include both a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense? Also, major props to Eric Stokes and De'Vondre Campbell. I loved how Krys Barnes located and covered up the botched snap to Goff.

I mentioned in the Clark answer but the Packers ran their "Penny" look quite a bit, which is a five-man base front with nickel personnel behind it. I think that's what you're referring to. Stokes balled out, man. I thought he took his opportunity and ran with it. Like I said before, all these top cornerbacks find their way to the field eventually as rookies. Stokes played well and looked like he belonged.

Al from Green Bay, WI

AR threw only five incompletions against the Lions. I recall three of them were intended for MVS – one on a short slant route in the end zone, and the others being long balls. On a night when AR was his accurate self, he seemed genuinely disappointed that he didn't connect on these opportunities. Were these two not quite on the same route page, or were they simply off-target throws?

You can tell those incompletions were bugging Rodgers after the game. Detroit had good man coverage on MVS down the sideline on the second series but those other targets could've easily been completions – especially that last one when MVS got an inside step on the cornerback and a free release to the end zone. That's just how it goes sometimes. Those two will be back. The explosive plays will come.

Kristen from Glendale, AZ

It was great to see Randall Cobb get a few catches! Any idea why they seem to be waiting so long to get him involved in the games so far?

Because there are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense. Cobb knew that when he came back in July. The Packers want to get him and Amari Rodgers more involved but that big three of Adams, MVS and Allen Lazard is formidable.

Luke from La Crosse, WI

So how would you guys grade the home crowd Monday night? Any waves during the offensive possessions?

That was the best Lambeau Field crowd I can remember; not even joking. They knew when to be quiet. They knew when to get loud. Nobody did the wave. Chefs kiss. That crowd did its job on Monday night.

Tyler from Cross Plains, WI

I was at the game Monday night and a group of buffoons behind me were trying hard to get the wave going as the Packers were on offense. I did my best to politely let them know that is not appropriate while we're on offense, to no avail. Sorry, I tried... If it's any consolation, it was a poor excuse of a wave and died quickly.

You're doing Vince's work, Tyler.

Rob from Orlando, FL

Hey Insiders: In the second half, I had to look at who wore No. 47 for the defense. Chauncey Rivers – he seemed to be creating a lot of push and quickness from the OLB position. Any thoughts on him from what you've seen in practices?

Solid player. He showed some savviness, too, when he drew attention to the Lions' false start in the first half. Hopefully, that game will provide a jolt of confidence to both Rivers and former seventh-round pick Jonathan Garvin, who had the pressure on Campbell's INT.

Juan from San Antonio, TX

I thought the special teams played uneven. At the end of the second quarter, the kickoff was high and short of the end zone to use up time but we allowed a long return. Kylin Hill had a nice kickoff return. Punting was average. Is that the way you accessed the special teams play?

No, I thought Corey Bojorquez punted the ball well and special teams had a good day. Amari Rodgers needs to get north-and-south on that punt and there needed to be better coverage on Bojorquez's 56-yard punt but otherwise I was pleased with what I saw.

Robert from Georgetown, TX

Wes, the article you wrote about Ted Thompson may have been some of your best work. It was touching and insightful while showing us what Mr. Thompson's true character was all about – team! Thank you for all the great work you and Mike do – it is truly appreciated. GO PACK GO!

Thank you, Robert, and thanks to everyone who reached out with kind words. My main objective with that story is to remind folks of what Thompson accomplished in his 13 years as the Packers' GM. He made brilliant draft picks, tough roster decisions and built a perennial winner in Green Bay. No GM or scout is going to bat 1.000 on his picks or signings but Thompson hit for a high average – and did so without ever drawing attention to himself. That's incredibly rare in this day and age.

Georg from Neuss, Germany

Morning Wes. E-n-t-s-p-a-n-n-e-n. Do you train your German for a Packers international series game here in Germany? Many Packers fans in Germany would appreciate such a game.

I took German for seven years. What better reason to finally put it to use than an NFL international game?

Gene from Anderson, IN

Did you guys buy stock in Kleenex before your Ted Thompson tribute/article? I needed a tissue while reading about how much Ted made meant to the Packers. Problem is, I was in the waiting room of a car dealership waiting for my wife's car to be repaired. You sure know how to embarrass someone. Love ya Ted, really miss you and appreciate all that you did for the Packers as a team and the players as individuals and football players. You MADE an IMPACT and deserve the honor you received.

Thanks for making time for it…and I hope the repair went OK.

Keith from Dearborn, MI

Everywhere you turn, someone knows Wes-Hod. Sincerely, The Trifecta

That text finally came through this morning, Keith. It made my morning. I hope the three of you had a great time. I'm also thrilled you got to meet one of the truly amazing human beings who make this place special.

David from Richmond, IN

It's annoying to me that so many readers send in questions for II to answer, and end their question with, "Thoughts?" Of course, II will respond with their thoughts, that's the whole point of the question! Seems overly redundant to me…thoughts?

I guess I never really thought about it.


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