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Inbox: The same principles are still in play for the Packers

Sunday will be another golden opportunity for Yosh Nijman

DL Dean Lowry and LB De'Vondre Campbell
DL Dean Lowry and LB De'Vondre Campbell

Brandon from Pleasant Prairie, WI

Knowing Wes is a "Family Guy" fan explains A LOT! That response had me laughing. Thanks.

That was the "Tom Crabtree fake field goal" play in my vault of Inbox references. It was in the game plan for years and all it took was me knowing absolutely nothing about country music to finally call for it.

Kyle from Waunakee, WI

GB can frustrate me because it seems like they try to do their normal plan regardless of the opponent. With the SF game it felt materially different, where the quick passes (no play-action) were emphasized in the early going. If the Packers' offense has a Pittsburgh-specific plan, what does that plan emphasize in the early going?

You have to mix it up this week but the same principles are still in play for the Packers against Pittsburgh – run the ball and protect, stop the run and pressure. The Steelers are a hurting unit right now. While Najee Harris is going to be a factor in the league for years to come, the Packers need to delay that train for another week.

Dale from Aurora, CO

If kickers start to become proficient at 60-plus FGs, will this now have a negative effect on the game? Seems to me it will stunt the overall action of the game in some way. Example: Punts from a team deep in their own territory could place the other team already in FG range with no need for them to move the ball on their first three downs.

Not at all unless you're some punting aficionado. First, I don't see that day arriving anytime soon. There's already a dearth of franchise kickers. There were 10 in the league last year who fell below 80% on their field goals and another four who didn't even make 70%. But leaning into your hypothetical, I think having kickers who can routinely make 60-yard field goals would be a good thing for the league. It would form another level of strategy of the game instead of having punters pooch the ball.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

If Yosh Nijman continues to perform solidly, could you see the Packers moving Elgton Jenkins back to his usual position at left guard until David Bakhtiari returns? In my mind, it would mean one less starter playing out of position, a quicker path to chemistry between Jenkins and Josh Myers for the long haul, and a seamless transition for Jenkins when Bakhtiari returns.

Mayhap. Without Jenkins again, Nijman has a golden opportunity to show he can be counted on – just like Jared Veldheer and Rick Wagner before him. Regardless of the circumstances, the great thing about Jenkins is you don't have to worry about him at any of the five positions. Last year, he filled in for Corey Linsley at center for three weeks and then moved back to left guard like it was nothing. So, even if they don't play many snaps next to one another, I still think Jenkins and Myers will quickly gel whenever the Pro Bowl left guard moves back inside. In the meantime, let's see what Nijman can do.

Bil from Stateline, NV

The "Rock" on Kenny Clark: "314 pounds of romping, stomping fury..." I LOVE it, Larry. Just one more reason the Packers have the BEST radio team in the league. Go, Larry! Go, Wayne! Go, Pack, GO!

Larry is the best at what he does and I'm thankful anytime he tailors a "Rock Report" to the guys in the trenches. Because it brings life and personality (see: "You got Lucas'd!") to positions that are often underappreciated. Clark doesn't get all the headlines but he's one of the very best at a thankless position. He just does everything well.

Cody from Round Lake, IL

I asked the question during training camp of "Which new addition to the team besides rookies would have the biggest impact this year?" and I believe it was Wes who said De'Vondre Campbell. I was skeptical of Campbell, but man was I wrong! Who has been the biggest surprise with their play this year so far in your eyes?

It's a long season but Campbell is off to a great start. My biggest surprise is probably Stokes. It's never easy for a rookie cornerback to step in and play significant snaps early. While Stokes is very talented, what impressed me most is the composure he's displayed in big moments. That's telling.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Why are we not seeing more of Randall Cobb in the offense? I expected him to have more catches at this point in the season.

That could change as soon as this Sunday. It's not easy to replace someone with the ability of Marquez Valdes-Scantling but the Packers have the receiver depth to get the job done. I think this is the perfect game for the Packers to get Cobb and Amari Rodgers going.

Tammy from Appleton, WI

How did they find Aaron Jones' chain?

Head athletic trainer Bryan "Flea" Engel has eagle eyes.

Randy from Clarksville, TN

Hey fellas. Why don't more teams try for a two-point conversion if they score first? I would think being up 8-0 would put more pressure on their opponent. Are there any stats to confirm or deny? By the way, I met Yancey Thigpen at a local golf outing and he couldn't have been more gracious when I kidded him about "the catch." Great guy!

I've never been a huge fan of going for two unless it's a "must" situation. Most teams struggle to score from two yards out with four downs, let alone one. I don't know all the analytics behind it but obviously the percentages favor kicking the extra point. If they didn't, you would see more teams pressing the gas in those situations.

Chuck from Menomonie, WI

Aaron Rodgerss' football IQ is clearly off the charts. However, in listening to Corey Bojorquez's press conference, I was surprised by the depth and complexity of his analysis of the punting process. Have either of you ever been caught off-guard by the level of mental commitment that an athlete might have shared with you?

I owe Mason Crosby, Tim Masthay, Giorgio Tavecchio and Jake Schum a debt of gratitude for how much they taught me about the art of kicking and punting. On the surface, special teams appear to be so simple but the operation is incredibly complex. So many things need to go right on a kick, punt or coverage to avoid disaster. I thought Bojorquez did a wonderful of explaining the "why" that goes into punting. I've only known him for a month but it's easy to tell he's a bright dude with an absolute cannon for a left leg.

William from Newburgh, IN

So, Mason Crosby has 30 special-teams tackles in his career. Is this anywhere near a record for a kicker? Seems like a lot to me.

Not even close. Neil Rackers had 50 tackles in his career. Many of you seem to forget the ball wasn't always kicked off from the 35. It used to be a lot more difficult to get a touchback when kicking from the 30.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Much has been written this week about Tucker's 66-yard FG. I still think Tom Dempsey's 63-yard FG was considerably more impressive. The Dempsey kick was off a muddy field outside on a humid day in New Orleans (a heavy atmosphere). I think it was Tex Schramm who petitioned to NFL to no avail that Dempsey was using an unauthorized shoe to kick due to his birth defect. His shoe was shaped more like a sledgehammer with a steel plate in the front of the shoe.

If social media were around back then, I can only imagine how crazy people would've been going once the video of that field goal hit their timelines.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, how would you complete this simile? Tom Brady going to Foxboro is like... Odysseus returning to Ithaca? Rhett Butler's final visit to Scarlett O'Hara, complete with the line, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a ... ." Shadow's reappearance at the end of "Homeward Bound"? Another 007 movie appearing in the theater?

Tom Brady going to Foxboro is like…Michelangelo walking back in the Sistine Chapel.

Scott from La Crosse, WI

Good morning Wes, there continues to be endless talk over the calls on the field and was wondering if there is still a designated pool reporter assigned to talk to the officials following the game? Prior to COVID, I remember there was an option to ask the officials questions following the game, but haven't heard anything about that since the restrictions were implemented. Would be interested to hear if there were any answers to some of our concerns following that last game. Thanks for all you do!

I'm not sure whether that's an option right now but Rob Demovsky was the PFWA rep who served as the pool reporter at Lambeau Field if there's an issue with officiating or a controversial call prior to COVID-19. I think he talked with the officiating crew after the NFC title game.

Joshua from Chicago, IL

I'm not sure where Gary from Belle Mead, NJ, learned to do math, but the distance from the kickoff spot to the front pylons is 70.3 yards. The distance from the kickoff spot to the back pylons is 79.6 yards.

This is why I don't publish math.

Gary from Benevides, Brazil

Kind of late asking this question, but I have not seen this addressed here yet. Was that roughing the passer on Jaire Alexander legit? I know he "hit" him after the ball came out but only shortly after, and the hit was not even hard enough for the QB to go to the ground. Is it reasonable for a defensive player that is going full speed at the QB to expect him to be able to completely pull off in a split second? How can it be roughing if the QB is barely moved from his spot? That was a costly call.

No. It wasn't legit. I don't agree with the call on Za'Darius Smith from the opener but I can see why he was flagged. It was a clean hit but Z is a powerful man. The ref saw Jameis Winston's head snap back, panicked and threw the flag. It happens but there was none of that on the Garoppolo pressure from Jaire. The back judge was seeing ghosts.

Eric from Mequon, WI

Which "behind the scenes" hero would you like to give a shout-out to this week? Tell us a little bit about them.

Jamie Woodbeck. One of the few silver linings of the pandemic was it gave me the opportunity to get to know our fine folks in security better. For most of last season, we entered through the loading dock to get our temperature checked and receive our tracking devices. At the end of the day, we had to return them to the security office and some of my favorite conversations in this building over the past 5½ years happened with Jamie as I was leaving. Jamie has been an avid and loyal reader of Inbox but it wasn't until the pandemic that I got to know him better and understand his background a little more. So, while COVID sucks, I'm grateful for the relationships I've built because of it. And I sure needed that relationship two weeks ago when my tire went flat in the parking lot. Thanks to Jamie, I didn't feel so much like an idiot when I had to call him and let him know my truck would be staying overnight.

Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA

I go in for spine surgery Monday morning. This means no drinking for the Steelers game. My dad's favorite team. I got us both showdown at Lambeau shirts from the Pro Shop before I knew my surgery date. He has decided to avoid beverages also. If drinking is part of your game-day routine, please enjoy one for us. I look forward to reading II Monday evening in recovery. Thank you to everyone in the Inbox community, especially Dean. Get us ready to beat the Steelers.

Saying an extra prayer for you tonight and sending positive vibes your way on Monday.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Lambeau in the fall,

Golden leaves and cool crisp breeze,

Golden chance to win.

Crisp breeze? Derek, I don't know how the weather was in Eau Claire on Friday but it was 82 here. I give you points for the creativity, though.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The journey west produced a heroic effort against a worthy contender

Now another is needed to stay on the right side of the ledger

A hungry franchise with a rich history travels to Green Bay

Bask in the warm light of your home turf and adoring fans

Embrace the opportunity to once again prove your worth Green and Gold

Rise up and answer the challenge

This is a big one for the Packers…and historic. It's not only the first time Aaron Rodgers has played the Steelers at Lambeau Field, but also the first time he and Roethlisberger have shared the field since Super Bowl XLV. If you're going to the game, please take a moment to appreciate what you're about to watch. Have a good weekend, everybody.