Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: None of this is new to him

Gunner is one of the more underrated positions in all of football 


Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, which opponent have you chosen for Baby Hod's first game at Lambeau?

Welcome back, Lori. He actually already attended his first game. He was in the crowd (briefly) for the Packers-Vikings game two weeks ago. Good morning!

Jay from Land O'Lakes, FL

Guys, I am very intrigued to watch Byron Bell as well as the new defensive back Bashaud Breeland. If our depth is solid, we will always be in a position to win. I believe the secret sauce is the willingness by Gute to bring in free agents. Thoughts?

I love the approach Brian Gutekunst has taken. With all due respect to some of the undrafted free agents and rookies who have stepped in over the past few years, Bell and Breeland are two motivated veterans who have seen it all it in this league and know what to expect on game day if they play Sunday. Gutekunst was on staff when the Packers claimed Howard Green off waivers and signed Erik Walden during their Super Bowl XLV run in 2010. He's seen what effect a timely veteran can have on a football team.

Vinny from Arlington, VA

With Breeland not participating in any training camp or preseason games and recovering from a foot injury this offseason, what kind of contribution can we realistically expect from him? How long do you think it will take him to understand the play calls and scheme?

None of this is new to him. Abrupt change and learning on the fly isn't new to Breeland. He had three different defensive coordinators in four seasons in Washington. I don't know what his impact will be Sunday, but I expect his learning curve to be quicker than you're alluding to.

Glen from Leesburg, VA

After reading about the reaction everyone had with Rodgers returning to practice on Thursday, do you get the feeling like this is a mini-Run the Table moment? I sure do.

I don't think anything quite compares to "Run the Table" because the Packers' season was at a crossroads at 4-6 when Rodgers predicted the turnaround. Do I think a healthier Rodgers can add something both in practice and on game day? Absolutely. He's been laying it on the line every week.

Jim from McLean, VA

I don't understand those that want to sit Rodgers because he isn't 100 percent for fear that increases his chances of sustaining a worse injury. If I'm not mistaken, his two clavicular fractures occurred when he was perfectly healthy. In addition, he has carried this team on his back to some epic wins when not healthy. Thoughts?

If your MVP quarterback is cleared to play, he plays. Fin.

Karl from Fort Collins, CO

If a charging defender adjusts his path to not land square on the QB, but the QB steps to cancel that adjustment and the defender does land squarely on the QB, is that a foul on the defender or not? Could a QB, knowing that he was about to be sacked, decide to take the punishment for big gain instead of a loss?

Maybe if he's the Last Airbender. The game is played at 158 miles per hour. I don't think there would be time for a quarterback to make an adjustment that quickly.

Mike from Glendale, CA

My nickname for our running back trio: Ja-Mo-Jo. Either that or The Alan Parsons Project.

I thought my former colleague, Rob Demovsky, had the best idea so far – "The Three-Man JAM (Jamaal, Aaron, Montgomery)"

Ross from Hudson, WI

Now that MVS is making an impact, I will again assert my suggestion for an official nickname, "Dash."

I'm not saying that it's a bad nickname – it's actually pretty good – but MVS is money to begin with. I love what Valdes-Scantling is doing right now. It's incumbent on those young receivers to carve out roles for themselves and MVS is doing that. Gunner is one of the more underrated positions in all of football. Valdes-Scantling's speed makes him an ideal fit.

Steven from Fresno, CA

When can we expect to see Josh Jones again at safety? I feel like he can give us some hope in the backfield.

It depends on how the Packers and the medical staff feel about Jones and his ankle injury. Once he's given the green light, Jones can do a lot of things for this football team whether it's on special teams, hybrid linebacker, slot cornerback or safety.

See photos of Packers running backs during their college careers.

Bryce from St. Augustine, FL

Has Marcedes Lewis been effective so far this season? I haven't heard his name much.

He's doing what the Packers are asking him to do as a blocker. I think we'll see them open up the playbook a little more with Lewis as the season wears on. He has a unique skill set beyond his capabilities as a blocker.

Jeff from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA

Watching Coach McCarthy's press conferences, I've noticed they are varied in their lengths from 5-15 minutes. Are the press conference times preset or is it based on how many questions the reporters have? Thanks.

It depends on the questions. Mondays and Wednesdays are the longest pressers, usually anywhere in that range of 12-15 minutes. Thursdays are anywhere from 7-10 minutes, while Fridays only run a few minutes. The media, myself included, is usually all questioned out by then.

Jerry from Green Bay, WI

I would like your opinion. I feel there should be a referee in a box that can watch the game via video and be able to weigh in on calls. What do you think?

Sold! I'll even supply the recliner from Bob's Discount Furniture to ensure proper comfort for "box referee."

Andy from Milwaukee, WI

If Clay wraps up the QB and pulls the guy on top of him (with all of his body weight landing on Clay), will there be a 15-yard penalty on the QB? Asking for a friend.

Not unless Clay changes his number to somewhere between 1-19.

Brian from Springfield, IL

Thursday night's game, I saw Aaron Donald use a different type of technique for a sack on Kirk Cousins. He had his entire body to one side and only hit Cousins with part of his shoulder and an outstretched arm. Almost like a clothesline move but hit at the armpits and not the neck. By the current ways the rules are being called, it wasn't flagged. But to me, it looked more violent than Clay's hit on Smith this past weekend. The league will end up just having QBs injured differently it seems to me.

To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Adapt or die, right? I imagine we'll see more butterfly effects with these rules emphases throughout the season.

Geoff from Omaha, NE

I know this was brought up by a previous Insider, but has the NFL responded to the fact that Smith hadn't thrown the ball, thus making Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9(b) not applicable? It seems like if they are going to take a stance on these types of hit, they would at least cite an arguably applicable rule.


Justin from Iron Mountain, MI

I read that Bashaud Breeland signed a one-year contract with the Packers for the veteran's minimum. Apparently, his signing qualifies under the NFL's veteran cap benefit rule. This allows for the team to pay him as the four-year veteran that he is, while his salary cap hit reflects that of a player with only two vested years. This saves the Packers a few hundred thousand dollars in cap space. Is this the one exception to the rule that if you pay the money, it counts against the cap?

You're right. It's a clause the NFL created to not price veterans out of the league. As long as the signing bonus stays under a predetermined threshold, veterans receiving the minimum salary benefit count the same as a second-year player against the cap.

Jeff from Chandler, AZ

I love how the Inbox has had some good movie and TV quotes woven into the conversation. Using a tiny bit of poetic license here is some advice for Clay Matthews. "My father once told me never ever hit a quarterback in anger unless you are absolutely certain you can get away with it."

Or there's 11 or 12 bodies muddling the referee's vision to an obvious suplex of the quarterback.

Todd from Farmingville, WI

Great pictorial of Marge Switzer and her team. There is a lot of experience in that seamstress room. With the third jersey, they had a heck of a workload this week. Is Marge's team allowed a practice squad? They won't be replaced easily!

They do a wonderful job down there. I tried to sew with my grandmother once. She never let me touch the machine again.

Norm from Raritan, NJ

With Aaron Rodgers' recent knee injury we need to have a backup quarterback that can step in in case Rodgers' season gets ended. We always seem to have a backup QB that has good athleticism but isn't too good at reading defenses. My question is why didn't the Packers sign Teddy Bridgewater when the Jets cut him? He was the QB of the Vikings and he knows all the teams in our division well. I feel the front office blew a golden opportunity by not signing him.

The Jets didn't cut him. They traded him to New Orleans for like a third-round pick. Thanks for playing.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

I know the two of you have little if any interest in the NBA, but are you going to at least visit Fiserv Forum for a Bucks game this season? I hear it's REALLY nice.

I've heard the same thing. Excited to check it out. I try to make it to a Bucks game every year. Coincidentally, the only game I attended this year was the same game Aaron Rodgers was announced as a new part-owner.

Mike from Florence, MT

"Unscripted" music: Want to know which one of you is ripping the guitar and who is on drums?

That's Spoff on guitar and Marv on drums. I'm more of a cowbell guy.

Steve from Green Bay, WI

There's a lot of consternation of late but it's way out of proportion. While the record matters and 1-1-1 is disappointing, the team is fine. Consider this: everyone in the football universe (except Al Riveron) knows the Packers are a really a 2-1 team with division wins over co-leader Chicago and preseason favorite Minnesota, who is now 1-3. We have a winnable game at home this weekend. Who wouldn't be thrilled with that team? That's the Packer squad taking the field on Sunday. GET LOUD!

Sunday's game is the most important game because a 2-1-1 record at that quarter pole keeps the Packers in the driver's seat of the division with a win over Chicago and with Minnesota off to a 1-2-1 start.

Dan from Madison, WI

I'll be honest, I had to scroll up and check who wrote the column when I saw the "Christmas Vacation" reference. I thought Vic might have made a brief comeback.

We come from three different generations, but I think we're all well-versed in "Jelly of the Month Club" references.

Trevor from Carmel, NY

Unbreakable records? How about the all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith? Unless the game changes drastically again, this record will never be broken. The backs are devalued, they aren't playing as long and there is just too much passing. I'll go a step further, not only is Emmitt's record safe, but once AP retires, the top 10 may be the same for a long, long time.

You're not wrong. I'll throw Frank Gore into that, as well. There's a dying breed of bell-cow running backs good for 300-plus carries and more than 1,200 yards when the games start every September. It's a different game now.

Dave from Comer, GA

While I may not be Lori from Brookfield, I have had a question or two answered here and I thank you. Having said that, a couple days ago I wrote in asking you to post an email address for the NFL offices so I can voice my concern about officiating. Can you help a guy out here?

Who sends emails anymore? Just tweet at them if there's something you really need to get off your chest.

Daniel from Albuquerque, NM

So if the Packers want revenge on Anthony Barr, apparently all they need to do is match him up with a wide receiver.

It's a copycat league. I'm curious how the next three or four teams on Minnesota's schedule attack the Vikings' defense. Yes, it didn't have Everson Griffen, but I'm not sure how much that would have changed what the Rams did to Mike Zimmer's defense through the air. Stay tuned.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, you have a great imagination. What is it like taking questions and comments for the Vikings Inbox right now?

Based on my experience, probably something like…


Roger from Eau Claire, WI

I saw the instructional video on tackling the QB for the first time. The first example of an illegal hit was Barr taking Rodgers out last season. If I remember correctly Barr was not flagged for that hit even though there were no other bodies in the way and a ref was looking right at it. After the game, the league "doubled down" by saying it was correct to not flag it. If that is correct, then the league doesn't have much credibility in my mind.

I'm just here to post comments and answer questions…and I'm all out of questions so enjoy the game, folks. Here's to hopefully no controversial Clay Matthews roughing-the-passer penalties clogging up the Inbox next week.