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Inbox: More at-bats should mean more swings

The wait continues…


Adam from Rochester, NY

Wait, if we are wearing white color-rush uniforms, does that mean Seattle is wearing their horrendous neon pea green ones? If so, how do the Packers adjust their eyes? You can practice with noise but not neon pea green visors.

Wes is planning on finding a filter for his binoculars. Oh, just a heads-up and disclaimer, I got bored on the long flight, so I wrote a bit more for today than usual.

Christian from La Canada, CA

Considering the fact that Adams lined up in the backfield once this previous Sunday, is Marge already making number adjustments to his color-rush uniform? All jokes aside, I'm curious as to what extent you believe the Packers will incorporate Jones into the passing game. The way he makes defenders miss tackles in addition to how he bounces off of big hits is very similar to how Kamara handles his chances.

Rodgers threw three passes to Jones on the first drive against the Dolphins. He dropped the first one and moved the chains with the other two. He caught another pass later but didn't gain anything. I think we will see him continue to become a bigger factor in the passing game.

Aaron from Dallas, TX

How much does one Marcedes Lewis catch affect the game plan for future opponents? It's on film now, but is it easily dismissed as one catch when teams have the Aarons (awesome!) to worry about among other prominent players?

The better question is who's going to be open when the Packers run the play again and the defense covers Lewis? Or is there another route concept to combine with the same action from Lewis that can take advantage of a potential adjustment?

Nic from London, UK

I feel like it's better to have a superstar pass rusher (Donald, Watt, Lawrence) than a scheme that generates a lot of sacks with average rushers because a stud rusher can break a game open single-handedly. And yet logically I would think spreading out the sacks is more consistent game-to-game and harder to scheme against. My head hurts. What is it?

You play your hand the best you can.

Kyle from Aberdeen, SD

I'm curious on the illegal block by Adams where he cut the Dolphins player's knees. I get why it's illegal as it does seem very dangerous, but we see RBs cut the knees of blitzing linebackers all the time. Why are these not penalties?

Players outside the tackle box, or players who go in motion, cannot move back toward the ball – which is called a crackback block – and block below the waist. Cut blocks by players inside the tackle box are legal, as long as the player being blocked isn't already engaged with another opponent. Otherwise, that's an illegal chop block.

Don from Swaledale, IA

Does Jones remind anyone of Ahman Green? Power, speed and elusiveness.

I mentioned that on "Unscripted" earlier this week, in terms of similarities. Jones doesn't have as much power as Green had, though.

Tom from Pine River, WI

You were discussing the last time the Packers drafted a running back as explosive as Aaron Jones and my first thought was Eddie Lee Ivery in 1979. Unfortunately, we never got a chance to see his full potential due to the multiple knee injuries.

You're right about that. I remember Ivery having a much longer stride than Jones, but yes, he did possess a lot of special physical qualities before the injuries hit. Sean from Portland, ME, brought up Johnathan Franklin from the 2013 draft. That's not a bad comparison, either. Again, we'll never quite know, unfortunately.

Eric from Erie, PA

Did anyone notice that "Good Morning Football" stole "bloviate" from the Insider Inbox? I think someone on that show must be reading from your site, guys. What is Seattle's defense like these days? I don't know much about them. They aren't really the Legion of Boom so much these days, or are they?

Webster's is an equal opportunity resource. Seattle still has Wagner and Wright in the middle, but the rest is a different cast of characters. Clark and Reed have combined for 13 sacks this year. Thomas still leads them in interceptions with three despite being out, but you still have to protect the ball. Nothing gets that crowd going like a turnover.

Sam from Harlan, IA

It is easy to see a lot of the nonverbal communication that happens between the quarterback and receivers. What does nonverbal communication between the linemen look like in a loud environment?

The center pointing to the mike 'backer to set the protection is the main one, as well as other linemen pointing to their assignment to confirm for the guy next to him. No one is going to hear numbers barked out.

Neal from Fort Worth, TX

For the past 2-3 years, Seattle's glaring weakness has been the O-line. What do you see as their biggest weakness now?

They're better up front than they were, but they're much stronger in the run game than pass protection. They're the top rushing offense in the league. What also stands out is they're 29*th* in the league in yards allowed per rush at 5.0. The Packers lead the league at 5.2. That's why I say, to answer another question from Ruben from Santander, Spain, this game has a run-the-ball, stop-the-run feel to it.

Aaron from Forest Grove, OR

The Seahawks allowed Melvin Gordon to run for 160 yards at CenturyLink two weeks ago. Last week Gurley got them for 120-plus. If we run the ball well and protect the football we'll have a good chance. Also, Tramon Williams alluded to having "unfinished business" when he re-signed. The last time he was in Seattle in a Packers uniform he was on the wrong end of a game-winner. He's my pick for making a significant contribution Thursday night. Thoughts?

Run the ball, stop the run, and get a pick. I think we're on the same page.

Gary from Davenport, IA

I heard a couple of statistics after the Washington vs. Tampa Bay game that blew my mind. Tampa Bay scored only three points despite gaining 501 yards from scrimmage. The other is there have been no lead changes in any game Washington has played so far this season. Which of those two seems more unbelievable to you?

Hard to decide. Both are just bizarre.

Andrew from Memphis, TN

At the risk of looking too far ahead, the other side of the short-week coin means the Packers will at least have more time to prepare for a tougher divisional foe in the Vikings. Not only do I think Minnesota is a superior team to Seattle, but obviously as a divisional game it holds more implications. Speaking of implications, while I think a Minnesota victory would put us closer to becoming the Kings in the North, do you think the Packers prefer a Chicago or Minnesota victory this weekend?

That's a popular question this week. My gut says, at this point, the Packers will want the Bears and Vikings to split. So, since the odds are presumably better the Bears will win at Soldier Field vs. U.S. Bank Stadium, I think cheering for Chicago Sunday night is the way to go. But it's a tough call.

The Packers were back on the practice field Tuesday before traveling to Seattle for Thursday Night Football.

David from Florence, AZ

Just a comment. Byron Bell pulled his dislocated finger back in in the huddle. If there was a sledge hammer award for offense he should get it.

Didn't somebody used to say, or still says, it's a tough game for tough guys?

Bobby from Joplin, MO

Mike, correct me if I'm wrong, in regards to the EQ penalty, I don't think it would've been a first down from 15 yards back like Wes and the writer from yesterday mentioned. That penalty happened during the play. It would have been 15 yards from the spot of the foul, which would've left Green Bay about 2-3 yards short of a first down. They would have had to replay third down from there. Any knowledge if that is correct?

I believe you're correct. I wasn't sure at first a personal foul could be a spot foul, but apparently it can, depending on the play.

Al from Green Bay, WI

The Seahawks are quietly the top-ranked team in the NFL in rushing offense (152 yards/game). Green Bay's defense is ranked 22nd against the run. Is this a game where we might see Mike Pettine deploy more "base" defensive looks to slow the running game? It seems this may be the "game within the game" that will determine time of possession, and how many kicks at the can "the Aarons" will get on offense.

Two of Pettine's "base" looks with nickel DB personnel could have Morrison next to Martinez in the middle, or a five-man front (three linemen, two outside 'backers) in front of Martinez and a hybrid DB. Most likely we'll see both and Pettine will determine which works better. You can always take DBs off and go bigger if Seattle's personnel dictates.

Wayne from Seoul, South Korea

I love how despite injuries in the secondary, we have guys at the bottom of the depth chart who are not a liability and can make some plays. During TT's last few years, it seems like he routinely kept some players who were not ready to see the field. Do you think this is more because of BG's vs. TT's differences in philosophy of roster building, or because of Pettine's simplified scheme?

Let's be careful not to jump the gun, here. While Raven Greene made an impressive debut and Tony Brown appears to have overcome his early penalties, their sample size is still very small. I think the difference is how many injuries it took the Packers to be forced to put them in, which does speak to how the roster was built.

Justin from Brookfield, CT

The Packers lead the league in sacks. I was surprised to see this, because it doesn't feel like the Packers really generate much of a consistent pass rush. Is this because the sacks have been coming in bunches? New England is 30th in sacks, yet in that game, Rodgers seemed under duress for the majority of it while Tom had a couple of "drop-to-the-ground" sacks, but otherwise didn't seem to feel much pressure. I'm just so confused by the pass rush this year. Why do you think this is?

Well, 13 of the 31 sacks came in two games (Buffalo and Miami). That's part of it. Also, those are the only two games this year in which the Packers had significant second-half leads. So that matters, too. Generally speaking, I think the Packers have been pretty good at pressuring the QB in obvious, third-down passing situations. Better than in recent years anyway. Normal down-and-distance or when the sticks favor the offense, Pettine more often has to play things straight up. It's a situational game. Getting in the right situations is the first step.

Bryant from Hanover, MD

I keep hearing concerns about Jones's injury history. I understand the concern, but the Packers have to split these next two games at a minimum. I think the time to play scared about injuries is past. Do you think MM continues to let Jones carry a workload of a minimum of 15 carries moving forward? Also, I predict a Davis TD return this week...just hope there isn't a flag.

I don't call it scared, but caution with a young player given his health record was more than understandable. But it's mid-November now, and yeah, as the stakes rise the limitations should fall. The Packers only ran 53 plays last week (25 rushes, 28 passes) and Jones got 19 of them (15 rushes, 4 targets). More at-bats should mean more swings for Jones. Davis? The special teams need a spark, and you can't run a fake punt every week.

John from Yakima, WA

Approximately how long before kickoff on Thursday do team buses arrive at CenturyLink Field? Want to be on Royal Brougham Way to cheer as team buses enter the stadium. Reason is part of game day is an early Christmas present for my grandson who is flying up from Las Vegas for the game.

For most road trips, there's one set of buses that leaves the hotel roughly four hours before kickoff to head to the stadium, and another set that leaves an hour later.

David from Oak Hills, CA

Can you give us an inside look as to what happens when teams travel? So much is made of travel time, but do professional athletes need to go through the tiring hours of security, waiting at baggage claim, and then sit in traffic coming out of the airport? From an outsiders' point of view it seems like teams get police escorts to and from the airport on chartered buses, have chartered nonstop flights, and luggage packed by team staff. Sounds like a dream come true for a normal business traveler.

I admit it is pretty slick. The Green Bay airport is kind enough to provide a dedicated security line for the team charter, and for the return we go through security either at the stadium before we get on the buses (which then drive us right out to the planes) or in an adjacent hangar at the airport. Everyone is responsible for his or her own personal luggage, which is brought on the plane.

JC from Madison, SD

If Corey Linsley isn't the Packers' most underrated player, I don't know who is. He has been great all season and should be an All-Pro. Talk about playing under the radar.

Linsley has really come into his own, and using the past couple of offseasons to get fully healthy has played a part. I expect recognition to come in due time.

Dan from Twin Lakes, WI

Mike's article on the ongoing defensive adjustments vs. Miami brings up a question. Since the Packers won't review the Miami game film with the players during the short week heading into Seattle, will they review it, and the Seattle film, during the 10 days between Seattle and Minnesota? If so, will either or both film reviews be abbreviated? Perhaps "best of/worst of" only? From the outside looking in, it appears film review has always been a pretty high priority to Coach McCarthy.

I suspect after the weekend off, film review of both the Miami and Seattle games will take place on Monday. The coaches will decide based on the two games the areas requiring the most attention.

Matt from Waukesha, WI

We're just over the halfway point of the season now; which teams have surprised you the most and why?

I don't think anyone saw Mahomes doing this right away, so the Chiefs are at the top of the list. I put the Bears as a bit of a surprise, too, because I wasn't sure where Trubisky would be in Year 2, but the revamped receiving corps has done wonders for that offense. On the flip side, I didn't see the Super Bowl champs at 4-5 through nine games with Wentz coming back, nor the Raiders going into a full-scale rebuild.

Big from Rochester, NY

"His judgment cometh and that right soon." Seattle. Minnesota.

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. One at a time. Happy Wednesday.