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Inbox: The next step on the adventure continues this Sunday

The Packers are thankful for every wideout who’s stepped up in the face of injury

LB Kingsley Enagbare
LB Kingsley Enagbare

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Through camp and the first two months of the season I often heard about this team establishing its "identity." Have they? Words that have come to mind: Young, talented, unpredictable, winners and others. The word that most sticks out to me: Resilient. After 18 weeks, what's your impression of the Packers' identity? Any words come to mind describing that?

Resiliency is the first word that comes to mind, and it applies to every facet of this 2023 team.

Dylan from Houston, TX

Thank you for the great look at how hard the equipment staff works to keep the NFL operation rolling behind the scenes. I always look forward to the Inside the Locker Room pictures on gameday, but this was a fantastic, in-depth look. Many thanks to the unsung heroes behind the scenes!

It's one of the coolest projects I've ever been part of. I appreciate Red Batty, Evan Siegle, Emma Pravecek and all the wonderful folks in the equipment department for bringing me along on the journey. It took two months for all the words, photos, and layout to come together, but it was worth it. Red and his staff are the lifeblood of this building. I very much enjoyed sitting down with him, T-Bone, Bryan Nehring, Tim Odea and Chris Kuehn in the equipment office to get the backstory on Evans' and Emma's beautiful photography. That imagery provided a first-of-its-kind look at the day-to-day interworking of the organization. I was proud of how it all came together.

Packers assistant equipment manager Bryan Nehring and quarterback Jordan Love

Photo Essay: Traveling with the Green Bay Packers

Team photographers Evan Siegle and Emma Pravecek follow Green Bay's equipment staff on three road trips

Jack from Black Mountain, NC

The Cowboys are certain to press Jordan Love and test to see what he is made of. Does this seem like an opportunity to add more tight-end plays, quick passes to pick up steady 5-6 yards per play?

We'll see what Dallas does, but Love has become a very dangerous quarterback when blitzed. The burden of proof is always on the defense to stop the opposing offense and the Packers are rolling right now. Matt LaFleur and his staff will have their plan. It's up to Dan Quinn and the Cowboys to concoct theirs.

Josh from Napoleon, OH

Good afternoon II. Last year Jaire Alexander faced a red-hot Justin Jefferson and shut him down. Do you think it would be wise for Joe Barry to have Jaire shadow CeeDee Lamb to see if he can do the same?

Yes, as much as schematically possible. Dallas' offense is much deeper than Chicago's, but the passing game flows heavily through Dak Prescott and Lamb. You need an answer for those two, first and foremost.

Tom from Nolanville, TX

Dudes, while I concur that Micah Parsons and Lamb might garner the most attention, I think Jake Ferguson is the one weapon that can do the greatest damage and we know how much Mike McCarthy loves scheming his tight ends going back to his days as the Packers HC.

That's why Dallas is formidable, especially on its own turf. Whether it's Lamb, Ferguson, Brandin Cooks or Tony Pollard out of the backfield, the Cowboys can hit you from a lot of different directions. Meanwhile, Prescott is at the peak of his powers right now as a QB.

Brandon from Imperial, MO

Good morning, since the running game for the Pack has only started to really get going the last three weeks (or so) and Dallas has a stout run defense, do you anticipate a lot of nickel or base 4-3 from the Cowboys? I would imagine they're going to try to get home with a four- or five-man rush and force the Pack to win through the air since Jordan Love has been pretty good against the blitz. How many points do you think the O will need to put up for a realistic shot at beating Dallas?

With how Aaron Jones is going right now and his history at AT&T Stadium, I still run it right at 'em. How many points? As many as it takes, Brandon.

Michael from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hi Weston and Michael and II. This is a truly enjoyable site since back in the Vic days. I know you don't have this right in front of you, but have you noticed the difference in Love at the line with time vs. delay-of-game penalties and/or timeouts? If no one mentioned this improvement by the coaches and play callers, then I think that attributes to Love's growth also. Do you agree? The collective is rolling and where it stops, no one knows. I love it!

He's in total command – of both the offense and line of scrimmage. Love has been a calm and confident football player since the day he walked in the building. The difference now is Love has grown his experience and knowledge bank. I think that's allowed Love and the offense to be more efficient in and out of plays.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, congratulations to Jordan Love who was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive time. How does a guy who played the backup role for years stayed grounded and focused in the face of the accolades, attention and awards being heaped upon him? How do the coaching staff and the team help him?

By being who he is. Echoing(-ish), Matt LaFleur from after the game on Sunday: Love is "made of the right stuff," and that makes guys want to win for him.

Jim from Tucson, AZ

Who we gonna play? Same question. Same answer. Whole different meaning. At the beginning of the year, who was going to play receiver was; of this group who do we think might do the job adequately. At the end of the year, how can we get all of these guys in the game. Who we gonna play?

The Packers will welcome that problem whenever that time comes. For now, they're thankful for every wideout who's stepped up in the face of injury.

Michael from Littlestown, PA

I really love our QB and wide receivers. I love Christian Watson but am concerned about the hammy. Any chance he will be ready for Sunday afternoon? Proud of what you two do! GPG.

Watson was estimated as limited during the walkthrough. He said afterward that he's feeling good but just couldn't quite hit that next gear in order to play against the Bears. We'll see what this week holds. There's obviously a difference between wanting to play and being able to play the way the Packers need Watson to play.

Tom from Palatine, IL

All those games that Aaron Jones was held out because he wasn't 100% seem to be worth it now as he obviously came back at full strength and at the right time of year. It's amazing how much his return to the lineup has done for the entire offense. If Christian Watson is able to return this week, do you see him bringing another level to this offense or has the rest of the receivers' room developed enough that he will just be another target? Love watching this young team grow up together!! GPG

Jones is the perfect example of what I was getting at with Watson. It was a long and frustrating road back for Jones, but his return to health and productivity had a lot to do with the Packers advancing to the postseason. To your question, once Watson is given the green light, it opens up so many things for Green Bay's offense. Even if Watson can't go 60 plays yet, there's still plenty he can do on a monitored workload.

Jayne from Anchorage, AK

Good morning, Wes! Just wanted to say thank you for the article about Dontayvion Wicks and his teammate from Virginia. The things you don't know about these players and what they might be going through on any given day! Thank you for helping us all get to know this young receiver a bit more. Stories like the one you wrote (made me cry) but also make me cheer even more for all of them. When do players typically share these personal stories with you and Mike? Thank you for all you do and GO PACK GO!

My heart goes out to Wicks and everyone at Virginia who was affected by the shooting in November 2022. I commend Wicks for channeling that adversity into something positive. He honored the memory of Lavel Davis Jr. with his performance on Sunday.

Kurt from Sartell, MN

During the playoff run in the 2010 season, the coach told his players "they were nobody's underdog." Can this team use Mike McCarthy's words against him now?

It's always been Green Bay vs. everybody, but I see no reason to dust off old idioms for this matchup. This is Matt LaFleur's football team. It's no different than McCarthy telling reporters on Monday that he's a Dallas Cowboy now. That was then, and this is now.

Jeremy from West Allis, WI

I also don't recall two wild-card teams meeting in the postseason, but the 2008 season playoffs had the fourth-seeded Cardinals hosting the sixth-seeded Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. The Cardinals played their playoff games at home, on the road, and at home again. Is that the only time you know of featuring a team returning home after playing on the road in the playoffs? Of course, not counting the Buccaneers and Rams playing the Super Bowl in their own stadium.

Since the establishment of the 12-team playoff in 1990, the final two seeds in a conference have never met in a conference championship game. However, there have been a few cases of teams from the wild-card round playing each other in the NFC title game. The Cardinals and Eagles were one pair. The other was obviously San Francisco traveling to Los Angeles to face the No. 4-seeded Rams in January 2022.

The Green Bay Packers held practice inside the Don Hutson Center on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024.

Mark from Waterloo, IA

Wes, thank you to yourself and the staff for that "Photo Essay: Traveling with the Green Bay Packers" piece. I have been curious about the behind-the-scenes infrastructure and support the team gets and this was thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening. Shout out to the truck drivers who also pack the trailer. I was a mover for a bit, so the "Game of Tetris" comment resonated with me.

T-Bone's one-liner was the only direct quote I used in the piece because I felt like it was too good to not include. Over the past eight years, I've watched all the parties involved in the story do their job before, during and after games. I'm in awe of their professionalism, work ethic and dedication. If the reader walks away with anything from the story, I hope it's a greater appreciation for all the people behind-the-scenes who help put the Packers on the field every week.

Michael from Stuttgart, Germany

I've read that Love invites the offense and the defense every Monday to his home for dinner to strengthen their bonding. Also, he is doing extra hours with his receivers on Tuesday. Have you more details about that? What a great leader on and off the field!

Clearing up one part of that story, Love told reporters on Wednesday that he has hosted players at his house a few times this season, but it's not a weekly thing. Still, it is indicative of the leadership he's demonstrated this year. Check back later today on for more on how the Packers have rallied around their quarterback.

Jon from Soldiers Grove, WI

"Propel-lination, if I may "... actually, no Wes, no you may not! Haha. On another note, is it not a major improvement to go from three-and-outs or punting to leaving points on the field? Feels like growth to me.

I've learned when the dictionary fails you, make up your own word and pass it off as originality. But yes, that's the point Spoff and I have both been making over the past few days. Leaving points on the field can bite a team in a hurry, but not having to punt a single time also can be a major jolt of confidence for an offense.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Tell us your favorite Mike McCarthy story!

Cheesehead TV intern Tyler Herrick has a funny bit on Twitter where he'll re-post that clip of Mike walking to his office from the loading dock. I laugh whenever I see it because that isn't a made-for-TV bit. That's legitimately how Mike came into the building, and I can't tell you how many times I ran into him on gameday while he was making his way down to football. I love Mike. It was great seeing him at the NFL meetings last March. I can't think of a conversation with him that I didn't enjoy.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Felt bad for Luke Getsy getting fired from Chicago. Not sure how you fire someone that helped create such a strong finish to their season, but someone always takes the fall. With ties to both McCarthy and LaFleur, you think he might have a chance with one of them?

I hate to see that. Luke is a great dude, smart coach and tireless worker. I don't know where he ends up, but he'll have options.

Eric from Branch, WI

With the NFC hosting the "17th" game next season, do we know if that extra game will go to the Green or Gold season ticket holders? The original plan was for the Gold package season ticket holders to get that game two years ago, but that turned into the London game. Are we keeping the original rotation, or allowing the Gold package three home games?

These questions have been pouring in the past few days. Here is a link to how all that is determined. I'm deferring any other questions to the Packers' ticket office.

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentlemen: I really enjoyed the piece on "Top 10 plays that got Packers into playoffs." Can I add an honorable mention? The PI call against the Chargers that kept the go ahead drive alive. Feedback? Thank you.

Hey, we might have our first question for Outsider Inbox next July.

Riley from Waukesha, WI

Fully aware that this is a week-to-week league, all I'm asking for is a four-game win streak from here on out. Is that too much to ask or accomplishable?

You can't win four playoff games in a row without getting the first one. The next step on the adventure continues this Sunday. In the meantime, enjoy your Thursday.

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