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Inbox: The scariest part is he's only getting better

The focus is being as healthy and prepared as possible for Washington

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DL Kenny Clark

Brock from West Lafayette, IN

So, Wes outbid a 14-year-old for a Tim Boyle card, huh? I didn't realize he was so cutthroat! Maybe he needs to put a card in his lunchbox and Spoff would think twice about stealing his lunch!

I needed to teach a young Big B an important lesson. I'm sorry, son…but if you come at the king, you best not miss.

Jeff from Milwaukee, WI

When will David Bakhtiari be back?

He practiced Wednesday. That's the first step.

Estillac from Belém, Brazil

Mike, I know this week is all about beating the Football Team, but I wonder if there are adjustments to the players' schedule knowing next week is a short one, including a long trip to play the Cardinals. Do you know?

Nothing major. The Packers held a lighter practice Wednesday but Matt LaFleur said that's mostly to give a banged-up roster some rest. The focus is being as healthy and prepared as possible for Washington.

Dan from Edgerton, WI

Davante Adams amazes me! How can he work free for a 40-yard reception in the final minutes of the fourth quarter with the game on the line?

Adams is not of this world. The Packers' success against the run also forced Chicago to place more bodies in the box, which in turn occasionally freed Adams from double coverage. One feeds off the other.

Subhadeep from Middletown, CT

The rushing touchdown by Aaron Rodgers against the Bears put him third behind Cam Newton and Steve Young. That surprised me and firmed my belief that in NFL, you can be a running QB as an option but to succeed long-term you have to be a true pocket-passing QB. We have seen several QBs in the last decade with running pedigree succeed a couple of seasons and then get injured and disappear. Thoughts?

This question keeps getting asked about Rodgers' mobility. He had good speed coming out of Cal but what made Rodgers dangerous is how he used that speed. That facet of his game is still there and defenses must respect it. As Rodgers said on Wednesday, he hasn't been running as often because of the scheme and solid protection.

Jesus from Janesville, WI

With the potential of having a three-headed monster in the backfield, should Matt LaFleur incorporate all three running backs in future schemes?

The Packers would like to get Kylin Hill more involved but that's not easy to do with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon both healthy and producing. It's the same predicament they were in last year with Dillon behind Jones and Jamaal Williams. That's how it goes for young players. Like I always say, Aaron Jones was a healthy scratch in his first NFL regular-season game. Hill has been a nice seventh-round find for Green Bay. He just needs to stay ready.

Miguel from Monument, CO

After drafting Amari Rodgers, there was hope that the slot receiver would again appear as a specialty and that the reincarnation of Tyler Ervin's jet-sweep motion would provide even more oomph to an already powerful offense. With the Randall Cobb trade, anticipation ramped up. But, through six games, Ervin-style plays seem like history, and Cobb and Rodgers have combined for 13 receptions, two TDs and 190 yards (to go along with a rush for one yard). How can the Packers unleash Cobb/AmRodgers?

I see the polar opposite. I think Rodgers' role is growing on offense. He had a couple nice plays last week against Chicago, including one on a jet motion. The Packers are using pre-snaps motions and receivers in the slot, but it's not just one individual. As far as the slot is concerned, there are a lot of ways the Packers can go. Last week, they had Cobb, Adams and Allen Lazard all lined up there.

Keith from Dodgeville, WI

Do you think the reason the Bears allowed the two long runs was partly due to the defender trying to punch the ball out instead of just making the tackle?

Possibly…or maybe, just maybe, it's just that freakin' hard to tackle AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones in the open field. If that train is coming at you, I'm getting off the tracks.

Al from Green Bay, WI

I was surprised to see Krys Barnes on the sidelines for so many defensive snaps on Sunday. Do you know if that was based on injury, or were the Packers simply implementing sub-packages in which he's normally off the field? He is a physical player who "brings it" on every play.

The Packers are using more nickel variations this year and Barnes, Jaylon Smith and Oren Burks each have a part to play in that. Barnes is playing well in the role the Packers have built for him. Green Bay didn't play much traditional 3-4 base on Sunday against Chicago.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Morning. I saw someone write yesterday about the potential fumble by Aaron Jones on his TD scamper and how he might have been a dodged bullet. On the flip side, did you see how AJ Dillon put both arms around the ball on that long run as defenders closed in around him? I don't think anyone was getting that ball out!

Jones will learn from that moment and it won't happen again. Dillon showed perfect fundamentals on his run, though. When pressure was mounting on both sides, he did what he's coached to do and covered up the ball.

Kevin from Janesville, WI

Hi Wes. I'm sure this has been addressed before but refresh my memory. Do players on IR remain in the building to participate in film study and game prep? The physical aspect of re-acclimating to the game must be difficult enough, but so much of what these men do is in their mental preparation as well. Thank for the laughs and for all the hard work you, Spoff and crew put in.

Yes. If they're in town, players on IR have full access to the facility and can attend team/position meetings. If it's a season-ending injury, players sometimes will rehab away from the facility to expedite the process but their keycode still works whenever they need it.

Mike from Madison, WI

Good morning. While watching Kenny Clark's second sack, I saw something I thought I had seen all during the game. I noticed the right tackle kicks his right leg back, just before the snap. Would that not still be called a false start? I'm sure the line judge can see that.

I saw that, too, and then Clark was all up in Justin Fields' business and I totally forgot about it. I love what I've seen from Clark all year but last Sunday was special. The Packers were down both Smith Bros. and three starting defensive backs, and the best player left standing on the Packers' defense played like it. The scariest part is he's only getting better.

Dar from Mansfield , TX

Given that Aaron Rodgers is tied for ninth with Bears ex-QB Erik Kramer for most wins at Soldier Field (11), wouldn't it make sense for the Bears to put AR12 in their Hall of Fame one day? The exhibit might prove irresistible to Bears fans. They could call it the "Double Bird" display.

Oh my. I didn't realize that.

Michael from Charlotte, NC

Everybody wants technology to fix the reffing problem, but the real problem is constantly added complexity. You also can only review so much at risk of becoming a weight on the game and ending 1 p.m. ET broadcasts at 5 p.m. without OT. I don't claim to know what the solution is, but if adding technology is the only change then the problem will continue. Tech is used by humans who make decisions; it doesn't make the decision for them. That process needs to be simplified BEFORE tech is added. It's a mess.

I agree. The game keeps getting faster and the NFL is still asking its crews to officiate like it's 1990. It's time to start thinking outside of the box instead of locking us all inside of it and say, "Well, the bad calls all even out in the end."

Jesus from El Paso, TX

How would a merciless player on defense fit in with the Packers?

I think he'd fit quite well. I think a merciless player, especially on the edge, could help this defense. Check back tomorrow and see if the flag on the mailbox is up. We might be in for another delivery.

Jack from Ketchuptown, SC

Insiders, it is intriguing to see the Packers have the fifth-ranked defense, according to NFL statistics. Now if the offense can replicate that magic from last year, this team could become a runaway freight train moving forward. The Washington Football Team defense ranks at the bottom statistically. Playing at Lambeau Field, do you see this as a potential coming out game for the Packers' offense?

The Football Team is nobody's underdog. As Spoff wrote, Washington's defensive line is as talent-rich and dangerous as any in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers paid that group a lot of respect at the podium Wednesday. Green Bay needs to be ready for Washington's best. If they get a chance to put their foot down on the gas early, the Packers gotta keep it there.

Russ from Henrico, VA

Why is Washington's defense not living up to its billing? Being in their market, I see them a lot and the defense just seems out of sync. However, the offense has run 364 plays while the defense is out there for 423 to date. They are on the field about 3-4 minutes more per game than the offense. That's a tough row to hoe.

Being in the Washington market, you probably have a better pulse of the Football Team than I do. The time of possession doesn't help, but as NFL.com's Bucky Brooks outlined earlier this month, Washington's defensive effort just isn't where it needs to be. It's a very talented group with several high draft picks, but talent doesn't guarantee success.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

Having watched a lot of Washington games this year, I can tell you Taylor Heinicke is not to be underestimated. He can make every throw if given time. What should the Packers do to keep him off rhythm?

Pressure and takeaways. It's no coincidence Heinicke had his two best performances this season in Washington victories. The guy is a gamer who gave Tampa a run for its money last year in the playoffs. If you let Heinicke get comfortable, he'll make you pay. The Packers can't look past him.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

What's the best Packers-WFT game you've watched?

It's funny. While you don't think of the Packers and Washington as a big rivalry game, they've had some important meetings in recent years. It would be easy to say the 2015-16 playoff game in Washington but I'll actually go with the Week 11 loss in 2016. The Packers fell to 4-6 after that game but I left FedEx Field thinking: A) They might have something here in Jared Cook and B) This team is better than what its record says.

Joe from Las Vegas, NV

Hi guys, great work. I don't have a question but an observation. All the injuries remind me of 2010 and we all know how that season ended.

Speaking of premonitions, give Joe some credit here. He submitted this at 12:17 p.m. CT on Wednesday…roughly three hours before Aaron Rodgers took the podium inside the Lambeau Field media auditorium. Good call.

Jack from Edina, MN

I haven't seen this brought up before, but do you think the issues of the Washington organization has an impact on the players? I'd imagine contract-year guys have their own motivation, but those locked in on long-term deals I could see giving less effort. Makes you really appreciate having such a great, classy organization in the Packers.

I know it would be a distraction for me and how could it not be? But if I'm Ron Rivera, I'm centering my message on the locker room and making sure the players on the roster are playing for one another.

Scott from Salem, WI

Not a question just an observance. After watching Wisconsin play Army this week I think every defensive coordinator should show film on how Army tackled. They put on a clinic on tackling and wrapping up. No arm tackles. What's your thought, is it easier to tackle in college or just the speed that makes tackling harder? Love II.

Both?

Jennifer from Middleton, WI

Yesterday my nephew Sam turned 10. I surprised him with a trip to GB this weekend. HOF, Lambeau Field tour, and Pro Shop on Saturday, then Titletown and his first Packers game on Sunday. He told me to pick him up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. You think he's a little excited? We have already explained being quiet while on offense. Gotta start 'em young.

It sounds like Sam has a pretty cool aunt.

Jake from Lansing, MI

I don't know much about Tim Harris, but I have a lot of his football cards. So, what can you tell us about him? I'm most curious about why they haven't selected him for the Packers Hall of Fame until now, seems a little late. What say you?

Harris had some big years in Green Bay but only played five seasons here. With the exception of 1989, the Packers didn't experience much success during Harris' time in Green Bay, but the statistics speak for themselves. It seems like the Packers Hall of Fame and its voters have concentrated on getting in a few more of these forgotten stars of the 1980s. Mark Lee was a big one a few years ago.

Ross from Roswell, GA

Gents, that mini-bye after the Cardinals game can't come soon enough.

You're telling me.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

A Seinfeld question? At first, I thought, "That's a little out in left field." Then, "Hey, it's their column and they can answer or not answer any questions they want." If someone complains, tell them to write their own column and they can not answer or answer any question they want.

"If you don't like it, then go write your own column" might be the next shirt.

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