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Inbox: The Packers gotta bring the fight to them

Just because Aaron Rodgers makes it look simple doesn’t mean it’s easy to replicate

RB Aaron Jones

Scott from Alys Beach, FL

Nathaniel Hackett with the obscure "Happy Gilmore" quote – classic. My buddies and I would bet each other we couldn't sneak certain phrases into a business meeting or presentation and have it make sense (or get called out). It's a great cure for the monotony of a presser.

I most certainly would do the same. In fact, I typically do with all the videos Spoff and I are contractually obligated to appear in over the course of a five- or six-month season.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

I guess the idea of COVID not interrupting the football season was a dream. I think the Pack are in for a tough battle Monday night – lots of injuries and lots of firepower for the Falcons. What are a couple things the Packers need to do to win?

Simple. The Packers gotta bring the fight to them. This game favors the Packers on so many levels. It's 3-0 vs. 0-3. They're playing at home. It's the NFL's second-highest scoring offense vs. the lowest-ranked defense. And Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level. The Packers won't score 40 points a game all season long, but one more big-time performance on offense would catapult the Packers into the second quarter of the regular season.

Theresa from Plymouth, WI

Who do you think is the biggest challenge for the Packers this year?

The Falcons are better than their record indicates. Their defense is giving up a ton of production but that offense can keep them in any game, especially once Julio Jones returns. Matt Ryan has a respectable 100.2 passer rating in eight regular-season games against the Packers. Green Bay cannot take this 0-3 team for granted or it likely will see its own "0" go.

John from Livermore, CA

What has been the most memorable moment for this season so far for you?

Aaron Jones doing that first Lambeau Leap into empty stands. That was 2020 in a nutshell.

Liam from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

I strongly expect a Week 5 bye could actually help the Packers. As the season goes on there will have to be a Week 18 for the rescheduled games and those teams who manage to stay COVID-free will end up with a second bye week. Those who don't could end up with three bye weeks. Fingers-crossed for the Packers staying well clear of COVID.

The Packers placed two players on injured reserve Saturday and listed 10 others as either questionable or doubtful. So yeah, I think the bye is coming at the right time regardless of what the rest of the 2020 season holds.

Jason from Vernon Hills, IL

Do the Packers have enough talent at WR if Davante Adams and Allen Lazard are both out? Should they look into free agency or a trade?

I think the Packers still have enough talent at receiver. Adams should be back soon, if not tonight, and the hope is Lazard will be back this season. Every core injury is different but Greg Jennings and Damarious Randall were both able to return in-season. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Darrius Shepherd and Malik Taylor gotta step up – no different than Lazard did last year when injuries hit.

Mike from La Crosse, WI

How much consideration do players on the practice squad receive when the starting roster is affected by injury?

Significant consideration. There's no plug-and-play this year. Any waiver claim or potential free-agent additions must come in, get tested and quarantine before signing a contract. That takes time. The NFL permitted 16-player practice squads for a reason, to give teams in-house options at any time.

Mike from Holton, MI

Will Lazard's injury be a setback?

Only if the Packers let it become one. Injuries happen. You gotta rise above them.

Kyler from Redding, CA

Hey Insiders, if Adams can't go and Lazard is out, do you think we'll line Tyler Ervin or Aaron Jones up at wideout in some packages more than they would normally? What if we put Ervin, Jones and MVS as wideouts with Jamaal Williams or AJ Dillon in the backfield? Would it give us more options to run jet sweeps and also that "unstoppable play" with a wideout or receiving back to get more YAC possibly? Thanks guys, hope you guys stay safe in this crazy world we're living in!

That's one way you do it. The Packers are completely healthy in the backfield. Even if Adams does play, Matt LaFleur and the offensive coaches need to get creative with how they use those running backs. Ervin, Jones and Williams are all capable receivers, and everybody and their mom wants to see more of Dillon. So finding ways to get all four of those guys involved makes all the sense in the world.

Brian from Grand Rapids, MI

In such a copycat league as the NFL, and with all the TV copy available with clear audio of the QBs, why aren't more QBs across the league stealing 12's cadence and using it the same way Aaron does?

Just because Rodgers makes it look simple doesn't mean it's easy to replicate. He's a future Hall of Fame talent and one of the brightest minds the NFL has ever seen. But nobody seems to give him credit for the fact he's been mastering that cadence since many of these QBs were in middle school.

Wayne from Oakland Park, FL

What is a core muscle? Where on the body is it?

Tears to the "core muscle" area can range from as high as the chest down to the mid-thigh. They used to call it a sports hernia. As I learned the hard way, those are fighting words with those in the medical field these days.

Dave from Waterford, WI

Now that the Packers are off to such a great start, what do you think their record will end up being?


Caleb from Rosemount, MN

Who got the Packers' O-line into "Pitch Perfect 2"? Excellent performance to win a $42K Dave and Busters gift card.

I believe that was Mr. David Bakhtiari.

Aura from Houston, TX

With the high rate of COVID in Green Bay, what strategies is the team using to protect the players from getting infected when not at work?

The Packers are doing the same thing I'm doing with my own family – telling them to be smart and think of the team at all times. That's going to be especially true this upcoming week when players are required to stay in town for the bye. The goal is to win tonight and remain vigilant this week.

Josh from Houston, TX

"Finally, over the years, I've found that yelling at the TV is not effective." Mark Murphy was on fire this month. But that NFL metro COVID graph is terrifying. Please stay safe, and wear your mask.

Mark's monthly column is always worth a read. He tackles tough questions…and offers a few witty responses, as well.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

Why have they removed the back-shoulder throw from the playbook?

It wasn't removed from the playbook but the Packers are throwing more to the middle of the field this season.

Evan from Oesterle Lake, WI

I understand why the time of the Packers game was changed, but why couldn't the time of the Packers game be left alone, and just have the Patriots-Chiefs game be moved to a completely different time? I know it was changed to best suit for two games on Monday night, but I think the Packers game should've had precedence.

This way CBS and ESPN each get an hour and change of being the only NFL game on the tube. Fair's fair.

Bryce from Westcliffe, CO

When I saw Nick Foles sign with Chicago, I was not a happy camper. Did anybody else in Insider Inbox see the potential problems he could cause for the NFC North?

I don't know about the NFC North but the Colts seemed to be cool with him playing.

Dan from Morehead City, NC

First of all, I wish to thank the Packers and the NFL for moving the start time back. A friend of mine was going to be shorthanded at his restaurant on Monday so I volunteered to help him out, knowing I would miss the start of the game. With the start moved back to 8:50 p.m. ET I will be able to watch the whole game. Could you have the team roster on your site put an asterisk by the PS players for each time they are on a game-day roster so I can tell who would be eligible to be brought up?

I don't think that's going to happen but I can tell you Billy Winn, Willington Previlon and Tipa Galeai are eligible to be elevated one more time.

Jesse from Bonita Springs, FL

The change of game time is a definite advantage for the Packers. The Atlanta players will be stuck in their hotel for a good part of the day and just about their bedtime (Eastern Time) is opening kickoff. The sun will be coming when their plane lands on Tuesday. Ouch.

BEEN THERE…and then some.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Loved the Final Thoughts in the stands at Lambeau, will it be a regular thing?

Before every Packers home game, rain or shine.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

On Saturday, Terry from Springfield, MO, asked when will domes have natural grass? Two indoor fields have natural grass, Phoenix and Las Vegas. The fields are moved outside when not in use.

Boy, Terry really set the Inbox ablaze with this one…

David from Riverside, CA

Terry from Springfield, MO, asked when we will see dome stadiums without artificial turf. I was surprised you didn't include this fact in your answer to his question: We already have one in Arizona.

The Cardinals have a great setup in Scottsdale. I've seen it firsthand but you need the available acreage next to a dome for a retractable field to be possible. Some domes – like U.S. Bank, Lucas Oil, the Superdome and Ford Field – don't have that, but I would like to see ones that do give it a shot.

Dwight from Brooklyn, NY

You'd be surprised at how many Packers fans are in my neighborhood. Outside of the Giants and Jets fans, we're the largest group at my local sports bar pre-pandemic. And speaking of the pandemic, with some teams testing positive (most notably Cam Newton) I've seen talk of a 12-game schedule. Be still my beating heart, but what's your take on that, especially if the Packers go into the bye at 4-0?

I don't see the NFL backing away from a 16-game regular season. For one, the league already has shown it's willing to move around bye weeks and alter game times. The NFL also started its season on time without delay. For that reason, I would think it has more flexibility than MLB, the NBA or the NHL did.

PJ from Edmonton, Alberta

With the current COVID positive tests around the league impacting several teams, shouldn't there be some thought about avoiding the postgame handshakes? I understand sportsmanship but the health of players and the ability to play out the season should be the top priority for the league. Maybe each team stands on their respective sidelines, applauds and raises their helmets to their opponents? I don't know what the solution is, but it seems to me that the current situation should change.

I agree. If you wanna congratulate the opponents that badly, send them a letter. I want nothing more than to see Justin McCray on Monday night, but instead will be sending him a nice hello on IG from the press box. That's life right now.

See headshots and action shots of the complete Green Bay Packers 2020 roster. #BuildingOurTeam

Patsi from Riverside, CA

To Mike and Wes, what a sobering weekend. Prayers for you, your families, GB, and Brown County. We have experienced the same grave concern with Riverside County having the second-highest COVID case rate in the state for the past seven months. I have not been on campus since March 13, and our Provost just sent out an email to plan remote instruction for winter quarter as well. Be safe, be healthy. We love the Pack and pray the team will continue to be able to play.

Thank you Patsi. We appreciate your concern. Spoff and I are doing our best to keep each other healthy, and more importantly, our families healthy. I'm grateful for all the precautions and measures the Packers organization has taken to provide us with a safe work environment.

Scott from Seattle, WA

If Ma Hod packs the crunchy on the bottom and some puffs on top as a deterrent, do you think that's enough to get Spoff to risk going for Larry's lunch?

No. Spoff doesn't have a death wish.

Michael from Alameda, CA

Mike, I find it necessary to chime in on the Great Cheetos Debate. I'm going with the puffy version, with the caveat that the bag must be left opened for a day or two before eating. This brings about a slightly stale crunchiness which I find to be the best flavor...

Save it for Outsider Inbox IV.

Tom from Scottsdale, AZ

Good morning, just curious if the team is still planning on wearing throwback uniforms this season? If so, do you know from what year? Guessing 50 years from now no team will wear a 2020 throwback.

The Packers won't be wearing a third alternate uniform this year. That's expected to return for 2021.

Chris from Aurora, OR

So if the NFC East is disqualified this year, will that offer a second team the bye in the NFC playoffs?


Scott from Los Angeles, CA

I have been staying in Wisconsin since early August – my mother passed unexpectedly and I have been here with my father (they were married for 65 years). With work leaving me no choice, I head back to sunny, smoky LA Tuesday. I waited for Tuesday so I can get one more game at home with Dad. Just want to say that the Packers and Wisconsin are special – and, at the end of the day, wins and losses don't matter. Family matters. Glad the Packers are family. See you in November.

My sympathies, Scott. Enjoy the game and safe travels back to Cali.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Week 4 Haiku:

Tundra starts freezing,

For quarter pole perfection,

Win first, rest after.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Beware all the unseen enemy that surrounds you

Hallowed ground and your castle once again under siege

An Iceman cometh on the wings of a Falcon

Wounded warriors that will fight to the end

Don the colors and rise up men of the Bay

Put on a pot of coffee and enjoy the game tonight everyone.