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Inbox: The memories make us rich

Those players in that locker room want to win for each other

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Team huddle

Brandon from Orlando, FL

Vic has finally decided to hang up his keyboard and bring "Ask Vic" to an end. The end of an era some might say. Do either of you have any stories you'd like to share with us on how he's impacted your life or something you'll always remember about him? After all, memories make us rich. Hopefully, the Packers will summon "the thing" in order to achieve FULL CONSISTENCY down the stretch run. Next time I see someone playing soccer outside my window, I'll make sure to close the blinds in his honor.

I always enjoyed my little conversations with Vic during my Press-Gazette days. He's a football encyclopedia and a magnificent storyteller. Vic also could not have been more gracious when I came on board in 2016. In Insider Inbox, we stand on the shoulders of the giant who worked the farm fields from which we cultivate our words today. I wish Vic an overabundance of happiness in his next chapter.

Noble from Washburn, WI

Hey boys, just wanted to shout out Vic for the posting of his blog's final edition yesterday. I'm very grateful for the culture and community he created during his time in GB and grateful to you two for continuing what has now become tradition.

We gotta keep this thing going.

Jack from Moweaqua, IL

I know it's a week-to-week league, but these last three games scare me. Two of the three have their seasons on the line and the third gets us at home after beginning to find some success and identity as a team, of late. Healthy and hot are two things you want to be going into January, but why is it so hard to be both? It seems as if the two are never in the same room at the same time.

Don't be scared, Jack. Be confident. Have a little faith in your team.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

What do you think of Kevin Stefanski and his Browns coaching staff? What areas do they excel in? Where can they improve?

Smart scheme, smart team. I didn't know much about Stefanski when the Browns hired him and kind of raised an eyebrow at the time, but his system works. I also have a ton of respect for Alex Van Pelt and everything he's accomplished. Cleveland has weapons on both sides of the ball, with Nick Chubb and Myles Garrett being among the best at their respective positions. It's a dangerous opponent that needs this game to keep its playoff hopes alive.

Frogger from Marinette, WI

All I want for Christmas is Aaron Rodgers and ____ to break Favre's touchdown record. Fill in the blank. Mine is Big Dog. Yours?

Rodgers mentioned on "The Pat McAfee Show" how it'd be cool to have his record-breaking 443rd touchdown pass come on the same play he and Davante Adams connected on their record-breaking 66th touchdown pass together, moving past Rodgers and Jordy Nelson. As cool as it would be to see Lewis do it, it would be apropos for No. 443 to go to No. 17.

Hap from Graham, WA

Hey Wes: No question, just a comment. I pity the fool on the opposing defense whoever refers to Marcedes Lewis as "the old guy." The Big Dawg can still hunt! Now catch the record and beat the Browns!

Lewis is like that old, reliable Chevy Silverado that just keeps on getting you where you need to be.

Brian from Ontario, NY

For those who watched McAfee this week, A-Rod seemed energetic, confident and prideful being a Green Bay Packer. As a Packers fan, I can't help but smile hearing how he views the Packers brand. Through all the chaos we've witnessed, it's clear he values being a part of this beautiful organization and that I believe resonates with fans no matter what the future holds.

Rodgers' line about the double-edged sword opposing teams face either coming to Lambeau Field or having to host the Packers and their rabid fanbase may have been my favorite of his words this year. Because it's very much true. He sounds like a guy who is excited to be back in the title hunt for the third straight year with a locker room he enjoys. For all the injuries and adversity the Packers have faced, the common thread all season has been the close-knit nature of that locker room. Those players in that locker room want to win for each other.

Dan from Houston, TX

How come people aren't talking more about Yosh Nijman? All the guy has done is step into the breach when Bakh went down and protect Aaron Rodgers' blindside like a champ. Where would we be now if we hadn't been able to keep No. 12 upright in the pocket?

The Packers want David Bakhtiari back. The Packers need David Bakhtiari back. But Yosh Nijman is a legit NFL tackle. If we've learned anything in Nijman's six starts, it's that he appears to be the most recent in a long line of undrafted gems Green Bay has unearthed on the O-line.

Karen from De Pere, WI

With the numerous plays the Packers didn't have the correct number of players on the field, what would you think about assigning someone to be responsible for counting players on each play? I'd be happy to come in and do that for them.

The players need to be aware of their surroundings on the field but ultimately, it's up to the coordinators and assistant coaches to make sure the right personnel groups are on the field.

Earl from Lake Zurich, IL

Your Inbox teaching and knowledge are finally taking hold. During the Baltimore game, I turned to my wife and said we need to contain the edge better. And right after that the announcers said the exact same thing. So, thank you for the excellent football education you have provided. I noticed that the Baltimore tackles seemed to be blocking our edge rushers to the inside. Were they doing that deliberately or were our edge rushers trying to get to the inside? Was Clark's absence a factor?

Earl knows. Earl gets it. I'm not sure everything that went into the game plan for blocking Green Bay's edge rushers but certainly Kenny Clark is a game-changer in the trenches. Clark wasn't practicing Wednesday but there's still a couple days here for him to potentially be back in the fold.

Sean from Cortland, NY

Marquez Valdes-Scantling is out after one of his best games. So, whose turn is it to step up and fill the void?

If Marquez Valdes-Scantling isn't cleared by Saturday, then the Packers will be asking even more of Allen Lazard and Co. Green Bay did get Equanimeous St. Brown back at practice Wednesday, which also could provide a boost.

Randy from Westminster, CO

Is Aaron Rodgers proving practice is overrated? Or is he the exception to the rule?

For 99% of quarterbacks, I think it would be a problem. But Aaron Rodgers is the top 1% of the 1%. That's not to say Rodgers couldn't benefit from practice. I think he's already talked about how much he wishes he could do more during the week. But the guy can make ends meet like few others in NFL history.

Shane from Austin, TX

So, with Rodgers about to pull ahead of Favre's record as a Packer, what is the next NFL record (not just club record) to keep an eye on for Rodgers to break?

With Rodgers still being a few years away from the career passing yards records, the next big one for Rodgers is probably Favre's 508 for fourth place all-time in career touchdown passes. One other thing to keep an eye on is Rodgers currently leads the NFL with a 110.4 passer rating. If that holds, it'll mark the fourth time in his career that Rodgers has led the NFL in passer rating – pulling him out of a three-way tie with Bart Starr (1962, '64, '66) and Arnie Herber ('32, '34, '36) for most seasons (three) leading the league in the category.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Much has been discussed over the past weeks about Packers pass rushers "staying in their lane" to contain the QB in the pocket. Cleveland QBs don't have the same scrambling aptitude (or desire) as recent opponents. How do the Packers approach the pass rush differently against the Browns?

It's a fine line that Mike Smith touched on Wednesday evening, discussing the balance between not rushing scared but also being mindful of the lanes Tyler Huntley had to work with. Unless the Packers play Baltimore in the Super Bowl, the defense won't see another scheme or quarterback like that again this season. That being said, the Packers have to take what happened Sunday and learn from it. Because Van Pelt and the Browns have now seen it and so will other teams with mobile QBs this postseason.

Pete from Babylon, NY

ML has had the correct formula all along. Focus on the next opponent and don't worry about all the peripherals. Just beat the Browns! Go Pack Go!

You can't win 'em all without winning the next one.

Dan from Muskego, WI

As much as we would all like to see Matt LaFleur get the COY recognition, you have to remember that Matt Nagy has also won it, so it's not really that prestigious.

And then the voters moved the goal posts the following year when LaFleur led the Packers to their biggest single-season turnaround in franchise history. Whatever.

Bart from Point Roberts, WA

I noticed Cooper Kupp fielding punts. Why not Davante Adams back there too? Just fair catch it and hopefully avoid some of our miscues.

No, and I wouldn't have Kupp within a mile of a punt, either.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, looking at the schedule, two home games and a short trip to Detroit could really help this team, especially if we can get the bye. Any word on any of the big-name guys we're missing coming back?

Just that they won't be back this week.

Mitchell from Edmond, OK

Can you explain why Arizona is still leading the NFC West over LA? I thought the first tiebreaker procedure was head-to-head wins but it looks like AZ has the lead due to better division record. Is it because several teams are tied at 10-4?

The Cardinals and Rams split their season series. If you recall, Arizona beat LA in a battle of the unbeatens earlier this season. So, the next tiebreaker is division record, where the Cards (4-1) have a one-game advantage over the Rams (3-2).

Joe from Wausau, WI

The Packers are the only team to clinch a playoff berth. That is a great position to be in. With COVID ravaging rosters, I'd fear being a team that still needs a couple wins to get in, not knowing what your game-day roster might look like. Has the adage "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush" ever been truer? Also, any talk of NFL using a bubble for the playoffs?

If the NFL didn't use a bubble last year, there's no way in Hell, Mich., it happens this time around. I think we've already seen the card the league intends to play. The stakes are still high for the Packers, as they look to lock down that No. 1 seed, but certainly it helps to be a few car lengths ahead of the field right now. Just beat (insert team here). Just stay healthy.

Chris from New Canaan, CT

How about a thank you and shout out to the fine people who work in the Packers Pro Shop. My gear arrived today, on schedule and as ordered. It is for sure a busy time for those folks and they get the job done. Great organization, worthy of the Packers' legacy of excellence. Merry Christmas to all! Beat the Browns...

Through the pandemic, gamedays and holidays, I have no problem saying the Packers Pro Shop folks are the best of all of us. They are lovely people…not to mention Lisa Treichel is a better on-air personality than I am.

Mike from Madison, WI

Mike and Wes, if we could set football aside for the moment and talk about the season, do you each have a holiday tradition for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day? Mine would be something started by my maternal grandmother who would always make a huge pot of chili on Christmas Eve. People could go help themselves as they got hungry. I have passed this down to my children. If possible, I would like to hear from both of you. BTW, Go Pack Go!

My side of the family always celebrates on Christmas Eve. We'll put out some cocktail shrimp. I'll pop some of the finest sparkling cold duck Festival Foods has to offer. We open presents by the fireplace, with my dad buying the same box of Beerntsens chocolates he gets every year and yet I always act surprised. We'll open presents with "It's a Wonderful Life" on TV. On Christmas morning, I look forward to opening presents with our kiddo before I head over here for some football. I can't wait.

Bob from Rome, NY

Mike and Wes, when I was a kid, 3 p.m. on Christmas Day was when all the uncles and my grandfather fell asleep after Christmas dinner only to wake for the 5 p.m. second dinner and dessert. Merry Christmas to you and your families and just to be sure set your alarms! BTW – I hope the Green Bay execs treat you nicely on Christmas Day! Thank you.

I'm pleased to report my "Jelly of the Month" subscription has been extended through 2022.

Tom from Rancho Cordova, CA

I just saw Vic wrote his last column as he rides into the sunset. I felt like I just read one of Wes's amazing articles, which I have trained myself to never do at work. I'm not sure if this is the proper place, or if Vic reads these, but I wanted to give him a big shout out. As silly as it is to say a sportswriter has changed my life, Vic changed my thoughts for the better. Keep up the good work guys, I appreciate all you do and thanks for keeping up his legacy while building your own.

The memories make us rich.

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