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Inbox: That's what winning teams do

You can’t simulate the experience DeShone Kizer is getting 


Corbin from Plymouth, WI

I tried searching the internet to learn more about the Packers GM, Don from Superior, but couldn't find anything. With such divine insight and strong faith, I can't wait to see what other great decisions he will make for the organization.

It reminds me of what Ma Hod used to tell me as a little Hod – when the going gets tough, get out of Dodge…or something like that. Good morning!

Chuck from Rhinelander, WI

Fill in the blank. Rodgers is playing at ___ percentage of full effectiveness. I'm not calling for a change, but at what percentage is QB No. 2 the best option? I hate seeing our franchise QB hobbled and exposed for more injury. Would it be better to rest Aaron a few games to heal or is his injury not going to heal anytime soon?

Rodgers has a 104.5 passer rating. He's completed 66.4 percent of his passes this season and has yet to throw an interception on 116 attempts. I don't mean to be crass, but what am I missing here? Is he 100 percent? No. But it's not like they're wheeling him around the field.

Sam from Eau Claire, WI

I have to say the Gute has impressed me so far. Morrison for Pipkins seemed like a steal, now he goes and grabs arguably the best CB on the market when House goes on IR, for pennies on the dollar might I add. What can you tell us about Breeland, any insight on why he was still on the market?

What did Brian Gutekunst say from the beginning? The Packers are going to be in every conversation and not leave any stone unturned. That doesn't mean they're going to sign or trade for every free agent, but they're going to look into it. Breeland was considered one of the top young cornerbacks available in free agency before he suffered a freak injury with his foot while on vacation. He's healthy and hungry to prove himself. I loved this line from him Wednesday, "I get a chance to really change the perception of Bashaud Breeland and really re-create a new player. It's a new start, a new beginning, a new journey for me."

Dan from Toledo, OH

I think the Breeland signing has the potential to be a steal, but the real question is how is Kevin King doing in recovery? Our defense plays at a much higher level when he is out on the field.

King was in the rehab group Wednesday and didn't practice. He told reporters he's "day-to-day." Right now, he's focused on his conditioning. The Packers are hopeful he'll be back sooner rather than later. That's all I got.

Al from Green Bay, WI

When the NFL schedule came out, Buffalo in Week 4 was a "gimme." Of course, it was also a gimme for Minnesota in Week 3. What can the film of the Buffalo/Minnesota game tell the Packers' coaching staff that will help the team to come out with a well-earned win over the Bills?

There are three keys to victory in my mind – Protect. The. Football. It's not a mystery how the Bills beat the Vikings. Buffalo won the turnover battle and time of possession. The Bills had a solid opening drive, forced a few early turnovers, and converted them into points. Josh Allen was efficient, but it's not like he had some monster game (15-of-22 for 196 yards and a touchdown).

Brian from Pensacola, FL

I have a question regarding Bell, especially now that there are rumors of trade talks; not that I'm saying we should pursue him. Realistically, what would a team need to probably give up in draft picks to acquire Bell, and at what point during his holdout does the combination of draft picks needed to acquire Bell start to decline?

I got excited for a second because I initially thought you were asking about Byron Bell. But alas, it's another "What would it take to acquire Player X" question. I don't know. Ask your video game.

Jason from Rockton, IL

The Inbox is far and away the best sports read on the inter-webs! Thank you so much for all the X's and O's, pre and postgame breakdowns, sarcasm, and wit! I chuckle, scowl, shake and nod my head daily as I digest the season's quest from the best! Where can I get one of these shirts? Inbox On fellas!

I'll have my people (Spoff) talk to Tom's people.

Elliot from Minneapolis, MN

Did DeShone Kizer win the lottery? Being in an environment that has produced some quality QBs, being able to presumably take the majority of the first-team reps during practice, and being able to develop without pressure of winning each week must be somewhat of a relief for him, especially after his last year with the Browns.

It's a rare opportunity for a young quarterback during the regular season. It's somewhat beneficial for Tim Boyle, who is getting more No. 2 reps than he'd otherwise see. This is a great environment for a young QB to develop even when Rodgers is taking all the starter reps, but you can't simulate the experience Kizer is getting right now.

Doug from Eugene, OR

Hi Insiders! Love the column. One of the key principles in sports psychology is "locus of control," meaning that as an athlete you must only focus on those elements that you can internalize and influence. By my estimation, everything we've seen from our team is controllable and therefore within our ability to improve. Officiating is external and not controllable. We're playing hard, we're in on every play and I have a really good feeling about this team. What's your sense about where we're at?

You just have to stay focused on the game ahead of you and not what happened last weekend. Buffalo is the only game that matters now. Sunday was tough, but the Packers have to put it behind them and not let it snowball. That's what winning teams do.

John from Evans, GA

Risk in overusing Aaron Jones? Didn't you scold me for suggesting we not risk Matthews playing too much because we want our best players on the field because they give us the best chance of winning? All this talk about reps. These are million-dollar athletes playing a game once a week. They will be fine, and if not, next man up. If you are not using them to win now, you won't have the playoffs to worry about them being over used anyway. Jones is our best back, statistically. Why keep him on a bench?

I have a hard time recalling whom I previously scolded. There have been so many. Also, I'm not sure how many teams have won Super Bowls with the Week 3 mentality of "they will be fine, and if not, next man up." Typically, you want your playmakers on the field in January. I don't get why the concept of "the long game" is so difficult to understand. Jones hadn't played in an actual game for two weeks and was coming off a hamstring injury before that. Let's see what the Packers have planned for him Sunday.

Rocco from Green Bay, WI

Is it possible the league looks at extremity injuries, even as serious as a torn ACL, as the better alternative to multiple concussions? If so, I see where they're coming from; walking away from football with a bad shoulder or knee is much preferable to walking away with brain damage. The rule changes in the last few years seem to have made it easier for rookies or backups (Fitzpatrick) to dominate (sell tickets) when a star inevitably gets injured. Should I get out my tin foil hat?

The NFL wants to minimize concussions and rightfully so. I just don't get how "scooping and driving" or whatever is contributing to that. In my opinion, neither Kirk Cousins nor Alex Smith was in a compromising position on those hits from Matthews. Unfortunately, William Hayes was when he tried to contort his body in an unnatural fashion to avoid landing on Derek Carr with his full body weight.

Trevor from Seattle, WA

I'm excited for Clay's first official sack of the season. Here's to hoping the ensuing celebration is him imitating tucking the QB into bed.

He'll definitely have a decision to make on how he wants to handle that.

The Green Bay Packers returned to the practice field on Wednesday, preparing for the Buffalo Bills at Clarke Hinkle Field

Jim from Maple Grove, MN

Mike said yesterday he is expecting more impact from Clay Matthews without all the controversy. Given how vocal he has been about the calls against him and his comments on the league getting soft, I worry that he's putting himself under the officiating microscope and that the controversy could get worse. The officials are professionals and won't invent calls against him, but is it possible Matthews is making himself a "point of emphasis"?

The game moves too fast for officials to be influenced by one particular player. Also, it's not like any of Matthews' hits have been egregious. It's just a few unlucky penalties. Matthews has played this game long enough to put this behind him. His focus will be on the quarterback Sunday.

Matthew from Allentown, PA

I understand drafting WRs to give Aaron more weapons, but how does it look seeing them inactive? Maybe we should have given Aaron more protection up front. What do you think? I know hindsight is 20/20 but we didn't draft any offensive linemen.

I don't know what to tell you. The Packers drafted Cole Madison before either Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Equanimeous St. Brown this past spring. They didn't neglect the offensive line.

Dan from Indianapolis, IN

When a defensive player is flagged on a sack, does he still get credit in the stats for the sack?


Barton from Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico

Hi guys! I was named after Bart Starr, grew up in Wisconsin loving football for its fairness. Why are the officials getting worse? They are missing PI calls and making phantom block-in-the-back calls on returns. The new 10-minute overtime rule is unfair since the winner of coin flip wins game most of the time! Not to mention the new enforcement of roughing the QB which is impossible (and dangerous) to accommodate.

Officials aren't getting worse. I'd say they have too much on their plate. So why not green light centralized replay to help them do their jobs more effectively? It's a tough job that I do not envy. I'd honestly rather do cold-call sales on Velp Avenue than be a referee.

Jack from Omaha, NE

I hate to ask a question about the Vikings but the Everson Griffen situation is pretty bizarre. How does his loss impact their defense and possibly the division? Have you ever seen a situation like this?

I can remember a few situations in the past like Barret Robbins not showing up for the Super Bowl, but nothing quite like this. I just hope Griffen gets the help he needs. It is a big loss for the Vikings' defense in the meantime. He's one of the NFL's top pass rushers in the prime of his career.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

When a player is lost for the season does anything change as far as the team's salary cap to sign a veteran player to take his place?

Only if the player who was placed on IR has a split-salary clause in his contract.

Glen from Leesburg, VA

I saw Mo Wilkerson was listed on the injury report. While that's not a surprise, I thought he was out for the season. Has that been determined yet?

If you're on the 53-man roster, you're on the injury report. Regardless of what's been reported, Wilkerson remains on the active roster at the time I'm writing this.

Daniel from Los Angeles, CA

I'm a Packers fan.

That's good, Daniel. I'm very happy for you.

Dale from Kettering, OH

The "entertainment" theory of watching football is bunk unless you stipulate that, like professional wrestling, everything is being manipulated for the storylines. There is nothing entertaining about four-hour games with 56 minutes of maneuvering and rules interpretation and four minutes of good football, if you're lucky. No question.

You literally just described Wrestlemania 34.

Tom from Pine River, WI

If Wes wore a fancy Brewers shirt that said "Fear The Beer," do you think it would catch on?

Now that made me laugh (but don't get any ideas).

Jeramiah from Neenah, WI

Do you ever find yourself wishing you could track down people from the Inbox and hit them in the head with a lead pipe or something? I'm not saying it's right, or that you would, but I'm asking if you daydream about it.

You can't do that, man. These guys, you know, they're like me, they're pacifists.

Joe from East Moline, IL

I really liked Robby Anderson coming into this season and, as a result, reached a bit for him in the sixth. I'm usually very patient with my guys in fantasy, but Nelson is just sitting there. Do you think it would be wise to drop Robby for Jordy?

I was in the same boat. I've already dropped him.

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

Insider Question: When, if ever, was the last time there were four teams sitting at 1-1-1? Spoff Answer: I don't know, but I do know there's never been three. Thanks for that answer. It made my day (so far at least)! And thank you guys for putting in pictures of the public service stuff that Kizer, Kendricks and other Packers do. It shows the human side of these professional athletes as well.

Witty Spoff is best Spoff. And kudos to Mike Vandersnick, Evan Siegle and Julie Campbell for their work documenting those activities down in Milwaukee Tuesday. Also, the photo of the Packers players with the child at Children's Hospital made me well up. It keeps life and sports in perspective.

Sean from DeSoto, TX

After Sunday's game, I said I was done, I just didn't find what I was watching entertaining. I used to consume every article you guys wrote, now I find myself having a hard time keeping up with the Inbox. OK, I'm being over-dramatic because it's been like three days. That being said, this spell the NFL has on me will be put to its first real test next week when hockey begins. If my Dallas Stars are playing at the same time as the Packers, who will I watch? Stay tuned...

See you Sunday.