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Inbox: That's what it's all about

Packers have options at running back if Jamaal Williams can’t go Sunday


Robert from Janesville, WI

Spit-balling off of feedback from Dan from Rothschild, WI, in yesterday's II. What if we add a question to II each day that is the most ridiculous or personally implicating to the submitter? No II response required; just show the world what you get to see each morning. I expect this question to be the first example.

Maybe we'll add that to the ever-expanding "Insider Fun Week" activities during the first week of July with two days of "Insider Outbox." Good morning!

Cameron from Calgary, Canada

Since AT&T was built in 2009, Green Bay has won every game in Dallas, including their SB win. Do you think the Packers will continue the streak on Sunday?

That's right. 4-0, after the Packers went 0-9 there between 1991 and 2007. So historically speaking, the Packers should be good for five more wins at AT&T during this streak.

Mike from Burnsville, MN

How do you think Oren Burks factors in going forward as he nears his return?

Once Burks is healthy, I think he becomes an important piece for the defense, especially without Raven Greene's versatility. Burks can play all three downs and is more than capable of covering tight ends and running backs out of a traditional nickel package.

Renee from Green Bay, WI

What will be the Packers' biggest challenge on offense especially if Davante Adams is out of the lineup? Green Bay used to run a play where the running back would stay put, the QB would drop back, then reach forward around the back and give the ball to him with much success. Do you think a play like that would be worth a shot again?

I'm not sure about the second part of your question but Adams' value to the offense goes well beyond catches and touchdowns. He's an every-down threat defenses must account for. If the scenario you present unfolds Sunday, it's incumbent on the other skill-position players to win their one-on-ones.

Evan from Rosholt, WI

If I recall correctly the last time Green Bay was in Dallas, Davante Adams had a game-winning TD catch with seconds to go in the game. Any updates on his availability for Sunday's game, and if he can't go, who is going to step up and be that difference-making WR that Aaron Rodgers can trust late in the game?

It would take more than one player at one position to replace Adams, but if he can't go, it would put more responsibility on the shoulders of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Geronimo Allison and the Packers' tight ends. It takes a village to compensate for the loss of a player of Adams' caliber.

Jake from Athens, GA

Wes, have you heard this stat yet? Through four weeks, the Patriots' defense has allowed one — count 'em— one touchdown and scored three of its own. Unfortunately, right behind them are the Cowboys, who have allowed a total of five.

I hadn't heard that but those are impressive factoids. I do wonder how much of that is the Cowboys' defense and how much is a product of facing the Giants, Washington and Miami. Regardless, the entire NFL is going to learn a lot about Dallas during this stretch of facing New Orleans, Green Bay and Philadelphia. The Packers have to be prepared for the best version of the Cowboys.

Bruce from Appleton, WI

What kind of changes will the Packers' defense have to make against the Cowboys' run offense?

Fill gaps, finish to the ball and tackle. That's it. I don't expect any massive scheme changes besides maybe playing more traditional base fronts. It obviously would help the front if Montravius Adams returns, too. Adams practiced for the first time in three weeks on Wednesday.

Bob from Abilene, TX

How is Jamaal Williams doing and do you think that he will play Sunday? Hard for Aaron Jones to carry the load by himself – almost impossible. Any chance Brian Gutekunst looks outside for an additional back just in case? Thanks.

Williams is in the concussion protocol and didn't practice Wednesday. If Williams isn't cleared for Sunday, the Packers still have Danny Vitale and Dexter Williamson the 53 and Tra Carson on the practice squad. So there still are quite a few in-house options depending on Williams' outlook.

Adam from Rochester, NY

I was expecting to see a lot more of Danny Vitale in the last game, especially to block on the goal line. Would you expect him to be a bigger part of the game plan this week? I got a fever and the only prescription is more VITALE!

Duly noted.

Jake from Waipahu, HI

How would feel about plugging Josh Jackson into our hybrid role at MLB2?

Jackson played safety in the dime last week but still is a cornerback. And the Packers may call on him this week with Kevin King and Tony Brown not practicing Wednesday.

Paul from Phoenix, AZ

A matchup to watch in Dallas – two wily veteran "slot" players: Tramon Williams versus Randall Cobb! Should be fun to watch. Who wins?

I don't know but talk about two players who have intimate knowledge of each other's game. We have to see where things are at with King, too. Williams' utilization is tied to whether King is on the field or not.

Daniel from Delta, PA

Since it has been a thorn in your side that's just been fully removed, who has been the best Packers player to wear the infamous No. 88? It's too bad none of them had the honor of it being retired.

I'd probably say Ron Kramer. Keith Jackson was brilliant in 1996 but only played the final two of his nine NFL seasons with the Packers.

Isaac from Orlando, FL

A memorable Packers x Cowboys game that is rarely talked about was the 2007 matchup that gave us Packers fans a small glimpse of what we had in Rodgers with Brett Favre going down early in that game. Despite the loss, I was in awe of the plays Rodgers was making both with his arm and feet. I remember going to sleep thinking this dude is for real. What are your thoughts on that game?

First, props for using the Brazilian "x" for the matchup. I've always been a Rodgers believer (as many of you may recall about the UW-Whitewater story) but that game, in spite of the loss, showed Rodgers was ready to play.

Phil from Portland, OR

When Mike said that we should "Dream On" about hearing what is happening in the replay booth, I just wanted to point out that this is exactly what happens in video review during a cricket match. The replay officials are mic'd up and you see exactly what they are looking at on their screens. While some calls are still controversial, at least there is some insight into the thought process that takes away a lot of the mystery.

The AAF did, too. But the league office has zero interest in letting the viewers and media into that world. It's challenging enough to gain clarity on rulings with pool reports after games – and not for the lack of trying.

Reed from York, PA

To the question of emergency QB from Mike's Mid-Week Chat, aren't both Robert Tonyan and Ty Summers former QBs? What would the II response be if ML dialed up "Philly Special" with Big Bob Tonyan tossing a TD to AR12?

It would lose its collective mind if the "Bobby Special" was effectively executed.

Dano from Seal Beach, CA

You have mentioned that injured rookie TE Jace Sternberger will need additional time to learn the position because the TE spot is complex. Although he is not practicing with the team, is he working to learn that portion, such as classroom or on the field during practice sessions? Same question applies to the talented CB Ka'dar Hollman.

Absolutely. Sternberger is still around the building and in all the meetings. Hollman is ready to go. He's just waiting for his opportunity.

Sean from Aubrey, TX

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like the issues with challenges has an easy fix...do not let New York know what the call on the field was. Let them make the call based on the merits of what they see on the play. Not an official on the field who has to make a snap decision from probably not a great angle on a play moving a thousand miles an hour all while he's watching 20 other guys.

That's actually not a bad idea, though Valdes-Scantling probably would have wound up being flagged for offensive pass interference since he didn't allow Avonte Maddox to grab all of his facemask on the non-call against the Eagles.

Milton from Falcon Heights, MN

The "I didn't hear the whistle" excuse can be solved. Add an LED light to the facemask, visible both to the player and to others. Use a system that not only sounds the traditional whistle but also triggers the facemask light to flash. Since the light is visible to the player and others, it will show up flashing in replays. Then the officials can more clearly determine if the player reacted to the "whistle" correctly or if he deserves a penalty or ejection.

Did someone say lasers?

Steve from Tucson, AZ

To all the fans jumping off the bandwagon after loss one: Remember the mantra from the summer, "Optimism without expectations." The NFL is the ultimate week-to-week league. There are no easy outs on the schedule.

There's too much parity (for the most part) in the NFL for teams to get on a lengthy winning streak without stumbling. Look no further than the Ravens-Browns game last week.

Glenn from Fort Worth, TX

Last year during the "100 Seasons" celebration, it was mentioned that Cliff was working on an exhaustive history of the franchise and that the book would be released sometime toward the end of 2019. Is that book still coming soon? Thanks! My family and I are looking forward to meeting you at the pep rally on Saturday.

It's coming. I don't have a release date for you yet but it's coming.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

I really enjoy reading Inbox Q&As. How difficult would it be for you to take over the announcers' job on TV? The announcers now are good but you guys are real and don't change your view, period. Like now how many times we hear, 'That's the problem with AR,' then he does the same thing and it works and they change their tune to, 'That's what I like about AR.' So seriously, is there a chance you guys could get on TV and be like Jim Irwin and Max McGee. They knew how to narrate Packers football.

Talking heads push narratives that may be expired by Monday morning. I try to take the emotion out of the moment and keep things in perspective. Because while so-called pundits might forget what their "take" was a week ago, I never forget anything I say or write. Love it or hate it, that's me.

Brian from Adel, IA

With the Brewers' season over, feel free to jump on the Braves' bandwagon. My dad grew up in Wisconsin back when they were the Milwaukee Braves, so there is some history there. Besides, who wants to root for the "Big 3" (Astros, Yankees, or Dodgers)?

It's weird. I'm a casual viewer of the NBA and MLB playoffs whenever the Bucks and Brewers are involved. If they aren't, I have absolutely zero interest in either sport. I can promise you I won't watch a single minute of the baseball playoffs. Yet, I've probably watched like 90 percent of the NFL playoff games the past two years despite the Packers not being involved. To each their own, I suppose.

Chris from Portland, CT

Spoff, don't feel so bad. I came to the realization that modern English is really a mutt of a language. The rules change all the time – sometimes in ways I don't fully understand. Just like pass interference rules.

I'm still coming to terms with AP style approving the use of the % symbol over spelling out "percent."

Douglas from Westford, MA

Spoff said, "As long as you remember the 'submit' button can function as an invitation to be exposed and/or ridiculed as an over-emotional, irrational fan lacking any meaningful perspective, then we're cool." I laughed out loud. I love it when he speaks the hard truth. What he said should be a tooltip or underneath the button on the web page. Keep up the great work!

Inbox comment of the week. No, the month.

Sam from Walnut Creek, CA

"Yowie Wowie" is in reference to Bray Wyatt (The Fiend) and the Firefly Funhouse. Let 'em know, Wes.

Spoff was half-right. It's kind of a kid show.

Tony from Oak Lawn, IL

Wes, you want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don't wanna know about it, believe me. I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon...with nail polish.

Excuse me, sir. Could you please keep your voices down? This is a family Inbox.

Mike from Augusta, GA

The Swami from Menomonee? I love that! I'm stealing that one!

I don't post nicknames. I'm not opening that Pandora's Box. So Bones, T-Biscuit, Crispy Rick and Biggie can all stop trying to submit on my days.

Cambo from Indianapolis, IN

II, just a comment. Sitting here in the Philly airport the week after the loss. Enjoying a cold beer, and a delicious cheesesteak sandwich between flights, wearing my Pack hat. There's no taunting. I'll return home this weekend, adorn either my Favre or Rodgers jersey, and enjoy dinner while watching the Packers take on the Cowboys. My twin brother, a diehard Cowboys fan, will join me. It's a beautiful game, and I'm sending y'all props for the daily reminder. Cheers, gentlemen.

That's what it's all about. Thanks for sharing, Cambo.


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