Presented by

Inbox: The execution is meeting the vision

Kevin King keeps moving forward, no matter what

211116-insider-inbox-2560
CB Rasul Douglas

Liz from Beavercreek, OH

"I guess Presidential press conferences in Iraq and wintry Sundays at Lambeau now have something in common." – unexpected but perfectly timed. That had me CRACKING UP.

Sunday was a late night for Spoff but it was good to see he still had his fastball.

Joe from Swansea, IL

Eight games left. Four in the division. Six in the conference. Two against AFC opponents. Four home. Four away. The opponents 25-29-1, but one team is 7-2 and another is 6-3. How do you handicap the stretch run?

Four words: Just. Win. Bay. Bay. The Packers have two more weeks until their bye week. We're 10 games in but you can't let up now. It's almost time for that final kick.

Scott from Sheboygan, WI

Insiders, like everyone else, I'm fired up about the defense. There doesn't seem to be all the communication problems that were prevalent over the last few years. Is this current defense less complicated, or are the coaches just teaching it better?

Aaron Rodgers hit it on the head after the game. This scheme is versatile enough to defend the run with a light box and still keep two safeties back. The Packers also have an every-down inside linebacker in De'Vondre Campbell who makes it all possible. The execution is meeting the vision, and it's resulting in the best statistical defense I've covered.

Linnea from Milford, PA

We all remember a few years ago when the ILB group was so thin that Clay Matthews moved inside (and brought much-needed quality play at the position). With the depletion at OLB the team is now experiencing, could you see a similar move, asking an inside 'backer to take on a regular pass-rushing role? Even if you think it's unlikely, which ILB or two currently on the roster do you think is best suited to play outside if called upon?

As I've said, there are parallels between the way Campbell plays and what Matthews added inside from 2014-15. That being said, Campbell is way too valuable to have him rushing outside. Oren Burks is a bit undersized for an edge rusher but he's trained there. He was the emergency OLB late in the fourth quarter against Seattle.

Fred from Brantford, Canada

I'm guessing it's time to acknowledge the contribution(s) made by defensive coordinator Joe Barry to the Packers' success this year. Agree?

You say that like it's a bad thing. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone. Barry has coached in the NFL for three decades with some the game's brightest defensive minds, including the innovative Brandon Staley. If you all you'd done is drawn your conclusions on Barry based on his two past stops as defensive coordinator in the NFL, then be less lazy. The guy can coach.

Bob from Bella Vista, AR

Someone on ESPN called the game a boring game. I didn't listen or watch the game. Was it boring? If boring means dominating defense, I'll take it and ESPN can take a hike.

Somewhere along the way we lost the plot and now refer to defensive football games as "boring." It comes as no surprise to me you're reporting ESPN was the culprit in this particular instance. If your attention span is longer than an eight-second soundbite, then Sunday's game was for you.

Erich from Sheboygan, WI

What I'm loving most about watching this well-coached defense is seeing DBs actually looking for the ball instead of tackling the WR when the ball is unwatchable. I gotta say I was skeptical of the Barry hiring with his past resume. I said at the time in ML I trust since all he's ever made was good decisions.

The secondary is playing with so much confidence right now. Jerry Gray has done a brilliant job empowering his players and developing the young talent that's in that room, and Barry is trusting them to make plays. Guys are flying to the ball. If the Packers can keep defending the run with six-man boxes and pressuring with four, this defense is going to continue giving the opposition fits this winter.

Chad from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Just a quick shout out to Kevin King. For a guy that's been as much maligned by fans and in the media as he has (and some of it, rightfully so), he is out there battling and I'm sure glad he was on the field this weekend.

King has played his butt off the past two weeks. Really, all the corners have. Everyone knows what King is capable of when he's healthy. Before there was Jaire Alexander, there was Kevin King. As I wrote last week, the Packers need him now more than ever.

Larry from Chubbuck, ID

I believe it's been said that the true measure of a person is how they handle adversity. After the NFC title game last season Kevin King was attacked mercilessly on social and public media. It would have been so easy for him to pack his bags and leave town. Instead he stayed either to prove to everyone or to prove to himself that he a valuable member of this team. I'm so impressed how he has accomplished his goal and is playing at a level worthy of his pick. Keep it up young man, Packer nation is proud of you.

The best compliment I can pay King is he epitomizes the old adage of cornerbacks having a short memory. His car doesn't have rear-view mirrors. The guy keeps moving forward, no matter what.

Ivan from Little Chicago, WI

It sure seems like the 2010 season all over again, but different. If we can get some guys back, that's a big plus.

Man, who knows what this year's team would've done in 2010 without the ability to call guys up from the practice squad or designate players to return from injured reserve?

Kirsten from Madison, WI

All I'll say is this: There is no universe in which Matt LaFleur goes on the radio, gripes about the officials and insinuates that that's why they lost a game. Will he sometimes note a questionable call that doesn't go the Packers' way? Absolutely. But he'd also say, "Them's the breaks. It's on us to win the game." Except he'd say it with better grammar.

LaFleur wins a lot…more than anyone else in NFL history over their first 40-some games as head coach. Yet, he is his most thoughtful and reflective after losses. That's a credit to his character, the way Denny and Kristi LaFleur raised him, and also having confidence in diagnosing what went wrong and not doing that anymore.

Jeffrey from Taylors, SC

Did you see Preston Smith turn on the jets for that late sack of Russell Wilson? WOW! He looked like a sprinter!

That was great to see, too. I get the game was over but Preston Smith earned that sack with the way he played the first 59 minutes, 38 seconds. Without Za'Darius Smith, Preston has been the lifeblood of that outside rush.

Hap from Graham, WA

Good morning, Wes. Despite the Packers' unrelenting, inspirational win over the Seahawks, I find a question burning in my mind today: What does the Packers' offense have to do, or continue to do, to effectively handle the Vikings' A gap blitz tendency? Here's hoping for the return of D-Bak!

The Vikings scare me. Inconsistency and missed opportunities have Minnesota sitting at 4-5 but that team can play with anyone. Heck, the Vikings' worst defeat was a seven-point loss to Cleveland. Anthony Barr missed Sunday's game with the knee injury that's hampered him all season, so we'll have to see what his status is. But yeah, I would imagine Mike Zimmer will look to test Green Bay's interior O-line. Getting David Bakhtiari back at left tackle and sliding Elgton Jenkins inside would be a big plus.

Joe from Las Vegas, NV

What a great defensive game Sunday. The offense with time-consuming drives helped keep them fresh. Minnesota is always a tough game. Now with all the injuries, what does the Pack have to do to win this big game?

The Packers managed to shut down DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on Sunday. Now, turn that dial up to 11 and duplicate that performance against the best young receiver in football, Justin Jefferson. It won't be easy but it must be done to come out of U.S. Bank Stadium with the win.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Fortunately, the Packers have seemed particularly fortuitous in a number of personnel decisions. Alexander is out with an injury, but they have No. 1 selection Eric Stokes to help. Robert Tonyan is out with an injury but they have third-round pick Josiah Deguara to help. Jones now has an injury but they have second-round pick AJ Dillon to help. I'm excited to see what the Pack has in undrafted RB Patrick Taylor especially with Bakhtiari returning and Jenkins moving back inside to help with blocking.

Rashan Gary fits into that, too, with the Packers drafting him the same offseason they signed the Smiths. Trusting your development process will never steer a team wrong. Because as much as you want your team to stay healthy from beginning to end, it rarely works out that way.

Randy from Westminster, CO

Is it safe to say the only people concerned and grumbling about Aaron Rodgers' vaccination status are those outside the locker room? Sounds as if the players have Aaron's back all the way.

People can feel however they want to feel about it. That's their right. Just know Preston Smith and the rest of that locker room is behind Rodgers.

Gary from Davenport, IA

Did you realize how close we were to seeing the Badgers and Packers pitch shutouts during the same weekend? Only a long defensive touchdown late in the Badger game spoiled that possibility. According to my research, which could be wrong, it last happened the weekend of October 7-8, 1933. I wonder if any of your readers remember that weekend.

I really want "According to my research…which could be wrong" on a shirt.

JR from East Moline, IL

I'm no football expert, and can't analyze play or players, so I just have to go with how it feels when I watch, and to me this feels like the best AR-led team. If they had some key guys back, there isn't a single matchup I would not genuinely believe they would win. I didn't feel that way in '10, '14, '19, or '20.

I hope we get to see it, especially on defense. The Packers lost arguably their top two defenders and still tout a top-three unit in both yards and scoring.

Kevin from Grand Rapids, MI

Amari Rodgers has taken some guff for his mishandling of punts but he did a really nice job in the cold and snow Sunday afternoon. What were his stat numbers?

There was one early that could've been fielded cleaner but otherwise Rodgers did fine on his four returns for 29 yards. He was one trip away from potentially breaking a big one on the 16-yard return at the end of the third quarter.

Sean from San Diego, CA

My understanding of the Kevin King interception is he had control of the ball with both feet down in the end zone. At that point the play is dead. He appeared to get the ball knocked out/fumble after the interception and then recover on the ground, but none of that matters as the play was dead after a completed interception in the end zone, right?

I've stopped trying to figure out what a catch/interception is anymore. I just assume the officials will get it right occasionally. I am at peace with my decision.

Lambeau Field hosted a Week 10 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021.

Nik from Moore, SC

Are there any veteran pass rushers out there we should kick the tires on?

First off, that's awful for Whitney Mercilus. I thought he brought a lot to this defense and proved he still had a lot left in the tank. I don't have that rolodex of available pass rushers but they could pick La'Darius Hamilton back up after he was released Saturday. Tipa Galeai is still on the practice squad, too.

Steve from Ankeny, IA

Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but it really frustrated me to watch a team, down by 17 points with less than a minute to play, continue to hurry to the line to keep running plays. The Seahawks were soundly defeated, yet put not only their own players at risk, but our players as well for a game that was over. Where is the sportsmanship to take a knee and shake hands?

Russell Wilson didn't spend 19 hours a day rehabbing his finger for nothin'. All kidding aside, the Seahawks need something to hang their hat on right now. I didn't have a problem with them trying to put points on the board.

James from Murfreesboro, TN

Will the Packers add another RB with Aaron Jones hurt?

I don't think it's pressing. The Packers have Patrick Taylor on the 53-man roster now and could elevate Ryquell Armstead from the practice squad during Jones' (hopefully brief) absence.

Terry from Machesney Park, IL

Has there been any discussion among the owners on the harmful effects on the game, by extending the season to 17 games? My understanding, they want to eventually have an 18-game regular-season schedule. We've seen how the injuries pile up as the season goes on, thus reducing the quality of the game. The fans want to see the "stars" of their favorite team. This extension of the regular season diminishes the quality of the game with more substitutes playing.

My NFL beat writing days might be over the day the league approves an 18-game regular season. That's all I have to say about that.

Bubba from Kenosha, WI

There were two personal foul/unsportsmanlike penalties on Seattle and one on the Packers so they offset. Hypothetically, the second Seattle penalty could have been a player taking off his helmet and using it as a weapon, kicking a player in the gonads, etc. and the team wouldn't incur loss of yardage. Your thoughts?

As long as Darnell Savage doesn't get fined, I couldn't care less. What Metcalf did was bush league. Everyone knows that. But thankfully no one got injured. Moving on.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, what are the repercussions when a player ejected from the game returns to the huddle? Kudos to the refs for noticing Metcalf's return.

I had never thought about it until Sunday. I thought players who were disqualified/ejected had to go to the locker room. It sounds like Metcalf will be fined for grabbing the facemask of Henry Black and Eric Stokes but no suspension.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Wes. Green Bay isn't the only team with kicking issues. With all the shuffling and recycling going on around the league, are you surprised another team hasn't picked up JJ Molson for their 53-man squad? Thanks.

The Packers have been protecting him each week. They're not only using that spot to keep an extra specialist in-house during COVID but also to develop the young man.

Gary from Arvada, CO

Any chance of a new nickname, Billy "One-Shoe" Turner?

Who throws a shoe? Honestly?

Warren from Conway, SC

I loved your comment about snow-covered Lambeau Field feeling like the eighth wonder of the world. It truly is the eighth wonder of the world, and in my opinion, it could move up a few spots in the rankings. Have a great week!

If a snowy Lambeau truly is the eighth wonder of the world, does that make doing the wave while the offense is on the field the ninth?

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

That was worth leaving the deer stand for.

See, I told you it wasn't boring.

Advertising