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Inbox: The other elements were a piece of cake

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Bob from Riverside, CA

I had been seeing the Lombardi Cancer Foundation commercials with Blake Martinez and thinking, "How nice that he is helping the Packers promote the cause." Then I read Wes's beautiful story of Blake and his childhood friend Richard Blau. Gripping. It shows how one person can make such a big difference in a life. Kudos to Blake for dedicating his life to giving back in Richard's memory.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Wes’s story, it’s an absolute gem. One of the best that’s ever appeared on this website.

Stephen from Washington, DC

On the game-tying TD play, did you notice 88's blocking? He knocks one guy into a second and basically negates any inside pressure. I agree we need a little better run-pass balance, but I have no problem with the snaps that all three RBs are getting. We've got a great group back there.

Where Montgomery is now as a pass protector compared to when he first made the transition to running back speaks to his dedication to the craft. The other elements of the transition were a piece of cake, relatively speaking.

Benjamin from Delray Beach, FL

Regarding the '07 Giants as "proof teams with hard-fought wins" are successful later, anecdotes are not data. For every team like the '07 Giants with a series of close wins, there are dozens that immediately lost in the playoffs and were forgotten as flawed teams that ran out of luck. As evidence against the premise, more "close" wins in one year predicts fewer wins the next year. Why? Because winning close games reflects luck, and statistical regression to the mean always wins in the end.

Well, you’re no fun.

Spencer from Rockford, IL

Hey Mike, I could use some advice from you and the Inbox community. My wife and I welcomed our first son to the family in June. Unfortunately we are a rivaled household (and community living close to Chicago) with my wife being a Bear fan. Any suggestions on making sure my son grows up a Packer fan and not a Bear fan?

Congrats on your new addition. When the time is right, take him to a Packers-Bears game at Soldier Field first. Then take him to one at Lambeau.

Kevin from Rockton, IL

Fourteen teams with three wins currently in the NFL. Parity or mediocrity? I'm leaning towards the latter.

Can you have the former without the latter? They’re practically one and the same to me. League-wide, wins and losses are a zero-sum game.

Lynn from Somers, WI

Re: Kevin King's interception head turn. On the most recent "Mike McCarthy Show," Larry asked him how he knew when to look. King said that as the ball gets closer, the receiver's eyes get bigger and he hears the crowd suck in its breath. While chasing the opponent down the field, he has the sense to notice such minute details. Each time I hear about the fine points of playing this game, I am ever more impressed with their skills.

Did he actually hear that? That’s a new one for me, but I put nothing past these guys.

Tim from Pepin, WI

Randy Moss's favorite trick was to fake like the ball was arriving early. The DB would panic, resulting in PI or an easy catch. Do receiver and DB coaches teach that technique?

Absolutely, but some guys naturally pull it off more easily than others. Same with the “late hands” technique, where a receiver waits until the last possible moment to put out his hands to catch the ball. Adams is really good at this, having learned it from Nelson, who learned it from Jennings…

Carolyn from Marion, IA

Are there any telltale signs that a player (lineman) is improving enough as he works on the practice squad that he is becoming a threat to join the active roster? Can a fan see a roster improvement, from within, coming? Or, do improving players need to be kept secret from the opposing teams?

You won’t see it, and I won’t either, because there’s no access to practice in the regular season. But the coaches notice when a practice-squad player really starts to stand out on the scout team, and that gives him a chance to get the call to the active roster when an injury strikes.

Chuck from Rhinelander, WI

I was very embarrassed on the pass to Adams in the corner of the end zone on Monday night. I could be seen sitting on my hands like a statue. Note to Lego self, stand and cheer next time!

Lego lethargy strikes again.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Time management topic. Last Sunday night (KC at NE), down by one score, Andy Reid called defensive timeouts with over three minutes to play. KC got the ball back, scored quickly, and NE had plenty of time left for a game-winning drive. On Monday night, down by one score, Coach McCarthy called defensive timeouts with over three minutes left. After the GB score, SF had plenty of clock for a game-winning drive that was thwarted by King's pick. Why not wait on the TOs until after the two-minute warning?

With the dual-possession OT rules (except in the case of an opening TD), the defense is likely going to have to get a stop at some point to win the game anyway, so I don’t have a problem with coaches hedging their bets on how much time they give their offense for the game-tying score. The only thing that worries me is using the last timeout before the two-minute warning, because then you can’t challenge a bad call.

Col from Ludlow, UK

Do you know for sure that there are multiple Margos submitting questions? Could there be just one, who is either a serial house-mover, is very well-traveled, or even on the run? Could we have a Margo-only day after the season is over to find out?

On the run? Are you suggesting the Inbox is being used as cover for a vagabond?

Sam from Melbourne, IA

Hey guys, do you think the team plans on activating Davis or Kumerow? Haven’t heard much about their injuries so was wondering if either was ready to return. If I had to guess they’d probably choose Davis over Kumerow given his return ability and experience along with the emergence of the rookie receivers. While I get why people would rather see Jake with his preseason hype, I think Trevor gives the team more options right now.

They could activate one or both, and McCarthy hinted news of some kind is coming Monday. Given anyone new going on IR now would have to be out until mid-December before being eligible to play, I think the odds are good at least one of the receivers gets activated. If not both, then it’s a question of priorities – another receiver option, or getting Williams off punt returns.

JD from Palm Bay, FL

First off, your response about the hypocrisy within NFL rules had me rolling on the flooring, laughing out loud, and crying tears of joy. Thank you so much. Not a question here but a quick comment. On the pass to 'Te above the outstretched fingers of the defender, I was initially in awe of another exquisite pass by Rodgers, but the more I watch it, I am equally impressed with 17's "hops." That man can fly.

His vertical jump of 39½ (as measured at the combine) allows Rodgers to put the ball in different places for him.

Patrick from Dover, FL

Davante Adams has truly become a stud in this league. He seems to be on the pinnacle of becoming recognized around the league as one of the very best. I know players like him are never satisfied and always seeking to become even greater. What is the next step for Davante to continue his rise among NFL receivers?

Just continue the production he’s put up over the first six games this season. He’s on pace for a monster year.

Dan from Denham Springs, LA

The picture of Crosby standing next to JK Scott reminded me of a story I believe Jerry Kramer wrote about in “Instant Replay” (great book) about being in training camp and feeling old. A rookie linebacker walked up to Kramer smiled and shook his hand and said, "You don't remember me do you?" After a while Kramer gave up and admitted he had no clue and it turned out the rookie was the Kramer family paperboy from back in Idaho from a few years ago. Kramer said it just made him feel like an old man.

But I guarantee you he smiles broadly now every time he retells that story.

Adam from Racine, WI

I found it interesting that MVS got the most offensive snaps among the WRs on Monday. While he obviously isn't our top receiver, could that be a sign that he might have carved out a role in the offense for himself even after Cobb and Allison get healthy?

I expect him to continue to be in the rotation, yes.

Chris from Kirksville, MO

Aaron Rodgers and the offense took care of the clock exceptionally well in those last two scoring drives. But in situations where we’re down by multiple scores, clock management has to begin before the two-minute warning. So I’ve got a time-management question. If a player runs out of bounds with 5:01 left in the fourth, does the clock stop running at 5:00? Or does it only stop if he steps out after the 5-minute mark?

If a player runs out of bounds to stop the clock at 5:01, the clock restarts when the ball is set for play and runs as normal. If the clock is at 5:00 or under, it stays stopped until the next snap.

Tyler from Fargo, ND

In Week 6 the Packers and Bears were in similar positions in that they both needed a field goal to win. The Bears had about two minutes left in overtime and decided to run the ball until fourth down and make a failed attempt at an approximate 50-yard field goal. On the other hand, with no timeouts and the clock expiring, the Packers decided to keep gaining yards through the air until the field goal was a chip shot. Do the two approaches simply come down one simple difference – Aaron Rodgers?

There’s no doubt in my mind, even if no one will say so publicly, that Trubisky’s forced throw into the end zone on first-and-goal early in the fourth quarter that got picked off – which came with the Bears up by eight and prevented them from easily re-establishing a two-score lead – factored into the play-calling decisions in overtime. Trust in risk management is huge. So to answer your question in a word, yes.

Aaron from Forest Grove, OR

Not only did Crosby redeem himself with his leg, he made a potentially game-changing tackle while almost everyone else stopped playing. Did anyone else notice? Another sign of tremendous awareness and leadership on his part.

Crosby is as mentally in tune with what’s going on at all times as anyone on the field.

Scott from Seattle, WA

Mike, with the insanity we saw in the way the first quarter of the season was officiated, do you think we will experience more serenity later?

I can’t imagine experiencing less, but I guess you never know.

Eric from De Pere, WI

If a player is traded midseason from a team that has not had its bye week to one that already had its bye week, is there any additional compensation if the player is on roster for 17 games in 17 weeks? Or any player-specific week off that the second team has to recognize?

No, and no. Player salaries are divided into 17 weekly paychecks during the regular season. If via trade a player experiences zero bye weeks, or two bye weeks, he still gets paid the same.

Marano from Cerritos, CA

Gentlemen, do either of you recall the "handshake" celebration the DBs used to do? Can someone ask Tramon Williams to bring it back? It was such a classy and business-like way to celebrate an INT.

I’m trying to recall if it was the DBs or wide receivers who did the handshake first. I know they’ve both done it.

Freddie from West Valley City, UT

As a lifelong Cubs fan, it's difficult not rooting for the Brew Crew. Maybe I'm wrong, but there's something about this team.

This series had seven games written all over it from the beginning. Have a great weekend, everybody.

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