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Inbox: That makes a significant difference for this offense

The Packers must do what they’ve done all season and play well in the second half

RB AJ Dillon

Jimmy from Plover, WI

Umm Wes, Creed was from the '90s, but what can this team do to take themselves higher?

Embrace the challenge this Sunday…with arms wide open.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Hey II guys: The Steelers' stout pass rush and blitz tendencies have me worried. Does the "Pony" package help with that, with two backs to help the O-line? Or does putting "33" in motion negate that advantage? Another question: Given the challenge this week, how much do the QB and WRs work on blitz recognition off the snap? Did I mention I'm worried?

I can tell, Joe. But the "Pony" is helpful because of how proficient both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are in pass pro. Like I said on Thursday, it's going to be on every offensive player to keep T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith at bay. Also, running the "Pony" doesn't require the Packers to motion Jones every time. Matt LaFleur and his staff have developed plenty of variants out of that package, several of which call for both RBs staying in the backfield with Love. That's what led to "Fullback" AJ Dillon last year.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

I know all of Packerdom is glad that No. 33 is back and looking healthy again. I'm sure he will have a significant role in the gameplan, and his presence will be felt. But this game seems tailor made for his backfield mate, the one and only Quadzilla. Best way to negate a ferocious pass rush is to run it right at them. Nobody wants to hit a 240-plus pound freight train in the fourth quarter. Feed Dillon early and often, move the sticks, protect the football and the plane ride home should be a happy one.

I've spilled a lot of ink on Aaron Jones' value to the offense over the past month, but a productive Dillon often yields positive results for this offense, as well. As we've been saying, Dillon is attacking and running behind his pads more. Matt LaFleur said it himself this week, Dillon is "playing his best football of the year right now" and that makes a significant difference for this offense.

Barry from Green Bay, WI

Hello II. I was surprised at the results of a recent poll for the Steelers game that only 35% of the fans think we can win. Now, unless the majority of the ones polled were Steelers fans, I was quite upset with the lack of support for our team. Yet, in another poll 65% believe Jordan Love is the QB of the future. I don't get it. I, for one, believe in Love and this team and feel we are fully capable of a win. GPG!

Self-belief is stronger than outside opinions. I firmly believe that. It may not be as fun to talk about as some fancy straw poll, but that's what really matters when a football team takes the field. The Packers went a month without winning but never stopped believing they could win. Now that Green Bay has, I'm eager to see what becomes of that domino.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Green Bay's first winning streak of the season? Some reasons to believe: 1) I don't know if momentum carries from one game to the next, but confidence does. Results yield confidence, which can, in turn, yield results. 2) A healthy offensive team is going against a questionable Steelers secondary. Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, and Luke Musgrave could have big games. 3) The Packers' D has found some swagger and should perform well against a Steelers team averaging only 16 points/game. What have I missed?

I have three keys for this game: Protect the ball, take the ball away and do what the Packers have done all season and play well in the second half.

Matt from San Luis Obispo, CA

Regarding Jordan Love's deep throws, Rodgers made a ton of great deep throws. Rodgers also MISSED a ton of deep throws, even wide-open throws. Everyone needs to settle down on this topic.

Dare I say "relax"? Expect progression, not perfection.

Steve from Ankeny, IA

As a Cyclone fan, I loved seeing Anthony Johnson Jr. pick off the pass on the deflection. Those quick reflexes and just seeming to be in the right place at the right time was what made him a star playing for Iowa State. He has only played safety for one year, so I'm hoping he continues to improve and see the field more. I believe everyone will know his name when his time comes!

I liked the Johnson Jr. pick since the Packers drafted him in April. He is a natural leader with upside at a new position. Like a lot of Day 3 picks for Green Bay, Johnson Jr. had to wait a few weeks for his turn but was ready once his opportunity was presented. He may revert back to a reserve role this Sunday, but the Packers' coaches won't forget how he stepped up in a major pinch vs. the Rams.

Terry from Elroy, WI

Regarding players' assignments on a play changing in the NFL, our high school football coach, Len Van de Hey, devised a scheme where on every play, just before the snap, the left tackle, center, and right tackle would call out "I go," "you go," or "split." The only one of the calls that mattered was the call for the "live" hole through which a running play would go. The "live" call told the guard if the tackle would cross first, wait for the guard to cross, or each block straight ahead. It seems complicated, but it worked well. Also, that was only one area of the game (a pre-snap call for offensive line blocking), while players in the NFL would need to adjust for DB positioning and route-running, blitz packages and blocking, etc.

Every once in a while, a fan will ask "If you could play any position besides quarterback, which would it be?" Rarely is the question asked which position you'd least prefer to play. The answer to that question would be center. Given all the pre-snap reads involved (some of which you just mentioned) and the physicality of the position, I say no thank you.

Robert from Salem, WI

I know we are past the trade deadline, but curious if there are ways that trades can still be done in the NFL? In MLB trades can be done after the deadline, using waivers and such...

There are no revocable waivers in NFL, but any player released between now and the end of the regular season is subject to waivers. Recently, the Packers claimed vested veterans Jared Veldheer and Whitney Mercilus through that process.

Ed from Windsor, CO

Dean and Mike, it should be "Cool Hand" Luke Musgrave. Hope the Packers do not have a failure to communicate on the "Hollywood" play.

I haven't seen enough "Cool Hand Luke" to respond in kind, so instead I'm sticking with my bread and butter: "I reckon so."

Jim from Oshkosh, WI

Regarding the Hollywood play: fake screen one way, fake screen the other. Screen and Hollywood seem like a match. Double feature even better.

My vote would be for "Double feature."

Mant from Falcon Heights, MN

If you hate the "brotherly shove" play, don't you also have to hate the "push the pile" play down the field? Seems like the same thing to me (and true to the original spirit of the game of football – e.g., pushing the ball down the field until the defense can bring you to a halt).

In theory, I don't mind the "Brotherly Shove" play. I really don't. My issue is the NFL and the competition committee allowing it to happen this season and then trying to police it after the fact. The horse is already out of the barn. The cat is out of the bag. The Spoff is back from lunch. As Joe Cooper once said to Doug Remer, "I'm not gonna cave in. End of story, dude!"

Mike from San Diego, CA

Watching the Bears-Panthers game Thursday night, I remembered all the ex-Packers the Bears have acquired (Big Dog, Lucas Patrick, Robert Tonyan and Equanimeous St. Brown)! Is this the most Packers alums on a different team before? It seems like a lot for being in their division.

I thought the same when Patrick, St. Brown and Tonyan were all on the screen Thursday night. I'm sure there's been a team with more than four former Packers, but I think what makes the Bears feel like the most is the fact those three veterans and Marcedes Lewis are all on the offensive side of the ball.

Chad from Middleton, WI

I wasn't able to find a way to watch it again to verify, but on Thursday Night Football this week Jason Kelce was in the booth with Al Michaels and was talking about what it was like to be in the middle of the Brotherly Shove play. I could have sworn that he said they pushed "Jordan Love" forward when he meant to say Jaylen Hurts. Nobody on the broadcast picked up on it so maybe it was just my imagination. Any way you can verify? Go Pack Go!

I watched all the Kelce segments. If it happened, I didn't catch it.

Richard from Racine, WI

Do the INSIDERS ever travel with the team on road trip games?

Yes. They even give me a Biscotti.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

When we won in Pittsburgh in 1970, on the first play of the game, Larry Krause took the opening kickoff to the house for 100 yards! Let's do that!


Richard from Caledonia, WI

Once again there seems to be a lot of injuries to players. It seems more repeat injuries and many more reported than teams the Packers are playing. Who is responsible for conditioning and recovery of injured players? Wasn't there a change in personnel a year or so ago?

It's me, Richard. Hi. I'm the problem. It's me. It's 100% my fault. Because for some reason, you've been asking me for eight years what's the root cause for so many injuries in this collision-based sport. I evidently didn't pay close enough attention at Bay Port High School in Mr. Stubbe's biology class and Mr. Shefchik's physics class to form the necessary brain power to solve this question. My sincerest apologies.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. The Packers face a real challenge on Sunday facing the Steelers. They need to play a complete game, especially the fourth quarter. Are they up to the task?

They showed flashes against the Rams. They need to keep the lights on Sunday.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Uncommon foe,
Unfamiliar momentum,
Unlikely playoff shot,
Unwavering belief.

Undeterred underdogs.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

A Rams game where the path is found, and victory achieved
Now the road leads to Pittsburgh and a challenging place to find victory
A team that thrives on mistakes and a defense that knows how to create them
Avoiding self-inflicted wounds and ball security never more important
Stay the path Green and Gold

We are back on the road this Veteran's Day. A huge thank you to all the servicemembers who protect this great country. There are no words to express my gratitude. I'm wishing you all a tremendous weekend.

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