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Inbox: Mike Pettine has made ends meet

Nobody deserved a Pro Bowl nod more than No. 17


Demo from Demo, Demo

Demo test

I think this season is wearing on Demovsky. Good morning!

Rex from Dillsboro, IN

Where is Michael Clark and why not give him a few opportunities?

Have you been in Jumanji?

Shawn from Blaine, MN

How in the hell is David Baktiahri not a Pro Bowler?

It's like the Broadway smash-hit "Wicked." Why were the other tackles chosen? Because they were popular! It's all about popular! It's not about aptitude. It's the way you're viewed. Seriously, people need to start paying more attention to Bakhtiari. They're missing a hell of a career here.

Darrell from San Antonio, TX

Kenny Clark and Bakhtiari getting snubbed for the Pro Bowl is just plain stupid. I suppose that's what happens when you're at five wins through Week 15. But fact remains that they deserved to be selected and in Bakhtiari's case as a starter.

Clark faced stiff competition for a spot against the likes of Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox and Akiem Hicks. He's young. I get it. What I don't understand is how BOTH Bakhtiari and Corey Linsley get snubbed. Linsley has played every offensive snap for two straight years and arguably had the best season of his career.

Robert from Pflugerville, TX

Guys, what in the heck (sorry for the language) is it going to take to get David Bakhtiari in the Pro Bowl? His protection rating has consistently been tops for left tackles. This guy is an amazing player and deserves the accolades.

Bakhtiari's exclusion is utterly inexcusable in my estimation, especially when you consider he could very well wind up being a three-time All-Pro in a few weeks (only two left tackles in the entire NFL are chosen). It is what it is. I've seen both sides of it. I covered this team when Jeff Saturday was selected to the Pro Bowl the same week he was benched for Evan Smith back in 2012. I'm not really interested in what the press release says, Bakhtiari and Linsley are Pro Bowlers in my media guide.

The Packers were back at Practice Wednesday afternoon before Sunday's matchup with the New York Jets.

Talon from Newcastle, Ontario

I guess the wolves howling to cut Davante Adams a few years ago are quiet these days. He has been a bright spot over the last couple disappointing seasons.

The brightest spot. The NFL got this one right. After the Pro Bowl teams were announced Tuesday evening, I went back and read the cover story I wrote on Adams in this year's Packers Yearbook. This last quote in the story hit home with me: "(The respect) is starting to come in a little bit more. I feel like people still don't want to fully admit it half the time because I'm not in it to be a celebrity. … I'm going into Year 5, but at the same time, it's early. We have a lot more time to keep proving it to them." Nobody deserved it more than No. 17.

David from Janesville, WI

Another stat that seems to indicate Pettine has done a good job this year: Of the 2018 initial 24 members of the Week 1 roster, only 14 defensive players remain on the active roster (assuming a Kenny Clark IR move). Offense in general has been the larger issue this year, and while they dealt with their own injury challenges, 21 of the initial 26 members remain. The defense wasn't perfect, but generally didn't lose games. With that type of turnover, you have to give credit to the players and staff.

I think Pettine and Blake Martinez deserve a lot of credit for how smooth the defensive communication has been with all the new pieces that have been added. Morgan Burnett had an entire offseason to prepare to play the hybrid linebacker position back in 2015. Eddie Pleasant had like two weeks to learn that spot in Pettine's scheme. Losing 10 of your initial 24 defensive players should be a recipe for disaster. Pettine has made ends meet.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

"I think it's a lot about leadership. If I want to be listened to and followed and looked up to, how could I stand here and say that these games that don't matter for playoffs, I'm going to cash it in? That's just not the way I lead." *TerrellOwensThatsMyQuarterback.gif*

The truest measure of an individual isn't when he or she is at the peak of accomplishment. It's how they respond through moments of adversity. I think it says a lot about Aaron Rodgers, Bryan Bulaga and Kenny Clark that all three want to lay it on the line despite the playoffs being unattainable this year.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, what matchup are you looking forward to watching against the Jets?

Record-chasing Davante Adams vs. Tremaine Johnson and Robbie Anderson vs. Jaire Alexander.

Erick from Chicago, IL

I get why Bobby Wagner was selected for the Pro Bowl at inside linebacker. But Luke Kuechly over Darius Leonard and Martinez? What does he have on them besides age?

Like the quandary with the offensive linemen, there's name recognition with Wagner and Kuechly. That's the uphill battle for the likes of Martinez and Leonard. Still, I was surprised to see Leonard left off the AFC list. I get he's a rookie, but those numbers (146 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception) are loco.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

Since next year will be the Bears' 100th season, do you think Packers vs. Bears in Chicago is likely for the first game of the season? I've already got my calendar marked. By the way, the last two days of responses to questions regarding laser up rights have been priceless. Thank you.

Totally possible.

Tom from Woodbury, MN

2-6-1 in games decided by one score, 3-2 in other games through 14 games. An improved defense and a season of experience for some young talented players. I am optimistic that this can be turned around next year. Now need to find the right leader of the Pack.

This season reminds me of 2008 in that regard when the Packers had a 6-10 record on paper with several close losses. That offseason, McCarthy restructured the defense and put Green Bay on a path to win the Super Bowl. Now, the Packers will look to do the same with the head seat at the table.

Sam from Melbourne, IA

Being an Iowa State fan, I've gotta say I like the Allen Lazard signing. He's a big target that could be a great possession receiver for the Pack as he caught everything thrown his way in college. I was hoping the Pack would spend a late-round pick on him this spring. I feel like he just needed a chance to show what he can do in the league and hopefully he'll get a chance now.

I know two very proud ISU alums in our digital department who are happy to see a Cyclone back on the Packers' roster. Lazard is a big dude. I don't know how much work he'll get these next two weeks, but excited to see what he can offer next summer.

David from Oak Hills, CA

I have always viewed Dom Capers as one of the great minds of defensive football and one of the "nice guys" in the game. While he was a DC in Pittsburgh, and a head coach in Carolina, his teams were known for a great defense. And then of course in 2010 when the Packers won the Super Bowl. Dom Capers' coaching resume goes back to the college game in the '70s when defense was a premium. When the years go by how do you think Dom Capers will be viewed in Packers history?

Capers should be held in high regard. If Capers had retired after 2010 or even 2011, I think Packers fans would talk about him with the same fervor as Fritz Shurmur. I truly do. His scheme was innovative and helped this franchise secure its fourth Lombardi Trophy. The impact of Capers can still be felt today with Vic Fangio and what he's accomplished in Chicago.

Chris from Madison, WI

For all of those in Packer Nation who have lost hope, the 1994 Denver Broncos are a perfect example of a franchise with an aging, future-HOF QB that was able to turn things around in a hurry. After a 7-9 season in 1994 which resulted in the team firing their HC, the team hired Mike Shanahan and drafted Terrell Davis in 1995. Three years later after the 1998 season, John Elway retired after winning two straight Super Bowls.

The same could be said for the Packers and Brett Favre in 2006-07. When a team has a HOF quarterback in place, it's only one offseason away from contending.

Jason from Summerville, SC

What is the benefit, either for the team or the player, to place a player on injured reserve when the season is almost over?

There's no reason to rush injured players back when the playoffs are out of reach. Now, the Packers can take a look at some of the top practice-squad players in the league and see if any of them might fit into the forecast for 2019 (e.g., Robert Tonyan and Jake Kumerow last December).

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

How did you rank our kicking game this year? I'm not sure Scott was a draft-worthy upgrade. Did you see otherwise? Also, I think serious camp competition for Crosby could be a win-win after this season. Reality is we had some games he could have won for us.

Drafting Scott wasn't just a move for 2018. It was an investment in the future. We saw his leg talent in training camp. Scott's goal just needs to be consistency next season. As for Crosby, I find it incredibly impressive he's making a bid for 80-percent accuracy on the season after missing four field goals in one game in Week 5. That speaks to his mental toughness. He's made 86.7 percent of his field goals besides that game in Detroit, including 17-of-19 at Lambeau Field. The Packers have bigger fish to fry than their specialists this offseason.

Paul from De Pere, WI

Who else was available when the Packers drafted A.J. Hawk in 2006?

Hawk caught a lot of flak from fans as the fifth overall pick, but the 2006 NFL Draft wasn't a star-studded class. The other first-round options were Vernon Davis, Donte Whitner, Haloti Ngata, Tamba Hali and Antonio Cromartie. Honestly, three of the better picks came in the second round – Maurice Jones-Drew, Greg Jennings and Andrew Whitworth.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, the Pro Bowl announcements are out with both Rodgers and Adams being named. How much do players care, apart from possible financial rewards, about things like Pro Bowl, All-Pro team, etc.? Is this just more PR for the NFL?

How much did Clark Griswold care about his Christmas bonus? Sure, he wanted to make the down payment on the pool, but it also was about getting his proper respect from Mr. Shirley.

Ken from Eau Claire, WI

I've seen a lot of names thrown out as a potential new head coach, including Joe Philbin, yet virtually nothing regarding Mike Pettine. Other than his defensive mindset, is there a reason why he wouldn't be given serious consideration?

The Green Bay media corps asked Pettine a few weeks ago whether he'd consider it. He seemed to suggest that he hasn't softened his stance about not wanting to be a head coach again, but also added he'll cross those bridges once the season is over.

Subhadeep from Rocky Hill, CT

Whether AR plays in the last two regular-season games or not I really hope he comes out early and declares he is not going to play in the Pro Bowl.

For whatever it's worth, Rodgers has sat out of his last four Pro Bowls. He hasn't played in the actual game since 2011.

Loran from Platteville, WI

When do we start looking for Rodgers' heir? Assuming Aaron has at least 3-4 seasons left before Father Time catches up to him, would the team be better served to hold off until the 2021-22 draft class, or do we draft earlier to give the new QB time to develop?

The Patriots have two quarterbacks on their roster: 41-year-old Tom Brady and 33-year-old Brian Hoyer. I don't see Robert Kraft or Bill Belichick tripping. What's the rush?

Bobby from Joplin, MO

Wes, I have seen it alluded to a couple of times Green Bay will not be on "Hard Knocks" because they will have a new coach. What is the story behind that? Is this a league rule? An HBO rule? How did that come about?

NFL owners passed a rule in 2013 to compel a team to do the show each year. Teams that have made a playoff appearance over the past two years and those with new head coaches get a pass from being forced on the show.

Richard from Madison, WI

Home-field advantage may be a thing in the regular season, but by the time we get to the playoffs, it should really be called the better-team advantage, don't you think?

I think the Saints might have both on lockdown.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

If a kicker can't see the hypothetical invisible lasers, what does he aim for when lining up the kick?

They are neither hypothetical nor invisible. Think lightsabers.

Curt from Oronoco, MN

Shouldn't one be banned for throwing the word impractical around in a discussion involving lasers destroying footballs during an NFL game?

This gave me a good laugh.

Eric from Keene, NH

All this talk about lasers and uprights makes no sense. It's a lot harder to hit an upright than to kick the ball between them. I propose four points for hitting an upright on a field goal, two on an extra point.

I wish this is how golf worked.

Jerrod from La Crosse, WI

A jetliner traveling over Wisconsin on Sunday mysteriously had both wings seared off by a set of laser beams exactly 18 feet and 6 inches apart. Safety officials are investigating the final black box message which read "Field goal is good!"

There's a no-fly zone over NFL stadiums on game day. The jetliner should've known better.

Dick from Four Oaks, NC

Ordinarily, I'd be happy to see something of mine posted, but not today. You totally deleted the last part of my question and substituted your ending. Not cool. As a matter of fact and for lack of a better term, I'd call that reverse plagiarism. Certainly not an award-winning journalistic practice. If my ending wasn't good enough for you, you should not have posted anything. Either that, or you should have contacted me. Sorry to say, you've just lost a reader.

I can't help you. But since this will be your last ever published post on Insider Inbox – here is your full question and my altered response…

OK, so the uprights on the goal posts are going to be lasers, right? What happens when the ball hits the laser? Is it automatically no good? Sometimes, a bonk goes through. Sometimes, it doesn't. How's the laser to tell? I'd rather see a laser set up on the goal line with some kind of receptor implanted in the ball. If the ball crosses the goal line, it starts beeping and automatically throws itself into the stands!