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Inbox: The man was cut from a different cloth

The defense has made strides, but there’s still work to be done


Kenny from Derby City, KY

Hey Spoff, I love AR's use of "Favrey." Can anyone else get away with that?

Oh, you mean to say Spoffy? Good morning!

Ryan from Littleton, CO

The Bears still...oh...

I get Matt Nagy is thinking protect the football, but I think you need to be a little more aggressive and give your franchise quarterback a chance to make a play. The Bears played it conservative and there you have it. The Packers can now pull themselves within a ½ game of the division lead with a win today. Nobody is running away with this thing.

Darrell from San Antonio, TX

One of my heroes and a true Packer legend passed this weekend. My first remembrance of football was watching Jim Taylor run the power sweep for Lombardi's Packers. I became a fan then and remain a Packer fan today. Mr. Taylor was one hell of a football player and will be missed. God bless the entire Taylor family and prayers will be sent to comfort them during their time of loss.

They broke the mold with Jim Taylor. I tweeted this Sunday, but I remember doing an interview with him a few years back. Looking to break the ice a little, I asked him what he's been up to lately. He replied he'd just finished with a two-hour workout and had another one planned for later in the afternoon. He also ran between 40 and 50 miles each week. I believe he was 77 or 78 at the time. The man was cut from a different cloth and they don't make fabric like that anymore. He'll be forever remembered for his toughness, grit and competitive fire.

Chris from St. Louis Park, MN

Jim Taylor may be the least talked about among the Packers' legends of old. I hope his passing shines a fresh light on his tremendous career and contributions to the beginnings of the Lombardi dynasty.

His legacy is without question. I had a good conversation about this with my friend and former Press-Gazette colleague, Scott Venci. He made the same argument. Taylor's credentials are extraordinary – four-time NFL champion, six-time All-Pro, NFL MVP in 1962 and a career-defining performance against the New York Giants in frigid conditions during the 1962 NFL Championship Game. A Louisiana sports icon, Taylor also was the first player to have five consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 rushing yards.

Chuck from Santa Ana, CA

Just a memory after hearing of Jim Taylor's passing. In the early '60s, I was a huge Packers fan. So I sent off a bunch of letters to Green Bay asking for autographed player pictures. About two years later, I got this large brown envelope in the mail, hand addressed from Louisiana, return address and all. Inside, of course, was a large black and white picture signed by Jim Taylor, same ink and writing as on the outside of the envelope. Obviously a fan forever. Still can see Taylor and Bednarik.

What a neat memory. I once wrote Ben Sheets when I was in grade school. I still haven't received anything back yet.

Myke from Janesville, WI

RIP Jim Taylor. I got out of Marine boot camp beginning of January 1963. My favorite players were Ray Nitschke on defense and Jim Taylor on offense. I thought both of them were hardcore. On leave, I got to watch a Browns-Packers game showcasing a great running back and a just-as-great fullback. Anyway, with my memories on full alert today, who did you guys, part of the Inbox, have as favorite players, in your 20s? Doesn't have to be Packers. Curious.

Thanks for your service and sharing those memories, Myke. Very powerful stuff. I don't have anything that can compare to that, but the players I most enjoyed watching were Priest Holmes, Rashaan Salaam, Charles Woodson, Michael Vick, Ki-Jana Carter and Tim Tebow (because he made the game fun and won in unconventional ways).

Antonio from Albuquerque, NM

Is it just me, or did we just hear the famous Rodgers phrase, "I feel like we're not that far off"? I still remember "RELAX."

We're going to need more seashells if that turns into this year's catchphrase.

Glenn from Aiken, SC

Jimmy Graham: "He's doing exactly what the Packers need him to do." What? The Packers need him to get open and catch passes. Every moment he just stands there after his route and doesn't get open is a catch he doesn't get the chance to make and a hit Rodgers has the chance to take. "He's learning a new offense"? What happened to, "These guys are professionals and are paid to do their job"? He wasn't picked up in free agency to be eighth in the league.

He wasn't? What did you expect? 150 catches for 2,000 yards? You're right, though. Graham entered Sunday eighth among NFL tight ends with 245 receiving yards. Quick question – how many Packers tight ends had more than 245 receiving yards last season? Better yet when was the last time a Packers tight end finished in the top 10 for receiving yards at his position? I suggest you take a breath, walk around the block or grab a cold shower. Whatever it takes to cool off. Let's see where the season takes us before we start drawing conclusions about Graham's play. My opinion is he's doing what the Packers are asking of him, with increased potential for big plays as the season progresses.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, who will have a breakout game against the 49ers?

Kevin King.

Bob from Riverside, CA

RIP Jim Taylor. I really appreciated Cliff Christl's wonderful tribute article on Taylor's career. I was especially interested to read about his outstanding ball security. Taylor fumbled only 34 times in 2,166 touches. Now that is something for which our current-day players should strive.

Incredible. The only modern-era player who comes to mind with that kind of reliability is Steven Jackson. I think he only fumbled on 23 of his 3,225 career touches.

Eric from Greenville, WI

I'm pleased with the defensive improvement. We have some real players on that side of the ball and young. I also don't think they're close to a finished product and that will only come with time. But does a "real" top five defense let a struggling red-zone team go 4-for-4 on touchdowns even if they're put in a bad situation? I have to believe they'd force a FG or two at least.

That's a brasher way of saying what Mike Pettine told reporters on Friday. While the defense was put in a few disadvantageous positions, it needs to find ways to keep points off the board in those instances. Credit to Pettine, he wasn't hanging his hat on the Packers' No. 4 ranking in total defense, either. The defense has made strides early on, but there's still work to be done.

Jah from Banjul, Gambia

Hi Insiders, big African fan of the Packers. Thank you guys for the hard work. Coming out of the draft I thought J'Mon Moore was going to be the real deal. Can you please explain why he is not getting the opportunity like the other rookie receivers? And just wondering how many Africans follow your Insider Inbox?

Thanks for your question and interest, Jah. I don't recall answering too many questions from Africa. Moore is like a lot of third-day draft picks. He just needs opportunity. Right now, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown are getting those "next-man-up" reps, but Moore is just one play away from being out there. He has as much ability as any receiver in that room; just needs to harness it.

A.J. from Brisbane, Australia

Josh Jackson: how many passes has he defensed, and how does that compare to the rest of the team?

Jackson has three in five games. I believe he's tied for the team lead with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

As fans I'm sure we were all hoping for something better than 2-2-1. I can see how the Packers could easily be 1-4, but, just as easily they could be 4-1. There are 11 games left to be played – a lot of things could happen. Not just for Green Bay, but for the rest of the league as well. These next five games should tell us everything we need to know about this particular roster of Packers. Why do you think it's so difficult for some fans to be more patient and objective?

The blessing and curse of the NFL is there are only 16 games. Every contest is worth the same as five NBA or 10 MLB games. If your team loses, then you have a full week to overanalyze everything that went wrong. In contrast, NBA and MLB teams and their fans have a chance to press the reset button a day or two later.

Dennis from Horicon, WI

I know Jake Kumerow is eligible to return after being on IR for eight weeks. Have you heard or seen him practice at all?

He's eligible to return to practice after Week 6, or in this particular case, after the Packers' Week 7 bye.

Dayv from Hustisford, WI

Is penalty yardage ever a good indicator of who won? I'm not talking one team gives up 80 yards of penalties and the other team 65. I'm talking the lopsided games. How often does a team overcome 150 or more yards given up in just penalties?

That sounds like a nifty idea for an offseason project.

Cid from Orlando, FL

If Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown had middle names that included F, H, J, K, P, X and Y, the two of them together would use the entire alphabet. Just tossing that out there.

Well, St. Brown's middle name, Tristan Imhotep, covers the H and P, so that gets us closer to the NFL All-Alphabet Team.

Steve from Land O' Lakes, FL

I went to the Green Bay Brett Favre Hall of Fame induction. My understanding is that the bowl sold out in less than a half hour. He carried the Packers back from obscurity with his love for football. It showed that day in Green Bay as the crowd greeted him. What an ovation.

I've covered every Packers home game since 2010. I have never heard the stadium bowl louder than when Favre walked out of the tunnel and back on the field that day.

Jeff from Bakersfield, CA

I just read where three of our players in the defensive secondary had more than $10,000 in fines from last week's game against Detroit. I've always wondered what happens to the money that's taken in from fined players in the NFL, and what kind of use is it put to?

All money the NFL collects from fines is directed towards charities supporting retired players.

Barb from Marengo, IL

Just curious, what is Cole Madison's current status? And what exactly is the "did not report" list for?

It's for players who did not report. No update on Madison.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

Are you aware if there are any penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct for batters who intentionally break their bat over their knee when they are struck out? I understand the frustration but sure would be nice to not see this kind of behavior. Had a tough time to explain that to my grandson. I don't know if I did a good job with that one. Any ideas I could pass along to explain this to young sport fans?

Not that I'm aware of, though admittedly I'm not as knowledgeable about baseball as Spoff. I'd just tell your grandson, "You see what that man did? I better not catch you doing that or you're going to have to buy a new bat out of your allowance."

Thomas from Vista, CA

What do press guys have to pay for when traveling to away games?


Kristen from Surprise, AZ

My kids and I will sure miss "Unscripted," but kudos to you both for taking a little break. I'm sure your families will enjoy having you around.