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Inbox: There are forces in this world well beyond our control

The discussion might be different

Green Bay Packers kicker Ryan Longwell (8) has his field goal attempt blocked in the final seconds of a game against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 7, 1999, at Lambeau Field. The Bears won, 14-13.

Dave from Gwinn, MI

Fruit or a protein bar to refuel? Real men use McDonald's French fries to refuel.

And some folks still wonder why their high school gridiron exploits never led to an NFL career.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Mike based on your response to Jeff from Omaha is it fair to conclude the idea of halftime adjustments is overrated? More accurately the adjustments are occurring constantly, series to series, quarter to quarter. That said many times I have observed performances of both teams change significantly half to half. Maybe because we're looking for it. Are those adjustments happening at all levels? Player to player, to position group, to and from the coaches?

Yes. Given every commercial break is at least 2½ minutes and there are numerous such breaks throughout, there's more total time to adjust during the game than at halftime.

David from Cable, WI

Heard about Magic's rant. Intensity or the lack thereof seems to be a regular topic among fans including the Inbox. So how can you tell because I can't. Or is this part of the blame game which fans like to play when their team loses?


Will from Rochester, MN

When JA23 covers Adams, knowing that they sharpened one another during years of practices and knowing 23 likes to talk, will it be a friendly banter or business as usual for Jaire?

It could depend on how the results are unfolding.

John from Jupiter, FL

Morning Mike. We know Davante Adams will "get his" but what does limiting him look like? Under 100 yards? No TDs? Thanks.

I never really know how to answer these questions. I don't think it's about final numbers necessarily, but explosive plays and touchdowns. Don't let him gash you, and when they get in close, make someone else score.

Skip from Kirkwood, MO

Not a question, just a comment. Not a Jets fan, but would love to see the Jets take it to the Broncos just because what Sean Payton said about Nathaniel Hackett.

If Hackett is as well-liked by the players in New York as he was here, which I suspect is the case, the Jets will be pretty fired up for this one.

Mick from New Richmond, WI

With all due respect to Bill from Brooklyn Park, the Gold package was originally the Midwest Shriners, then home game No. 2, not No. 3, and home game No. 6. They played the Giants in '95 for home game No. 2. The change to No. 5 was, according to the news media, due to home game No. 6 occurring too often during the opening weekend of deer hunting (to some degree Thanksgiving) and the chance of game No. 6 winter roads being worse for the 40,000 Milwaukee ticket holders than game No. 5. Hence the day game requests, too.

There we have it.

Tom from Harker Heights, TX

Hi Mike, Dick Butkus' passing brings back great memories of my youth. What a competitor he was, bending guys like pretzels, spitting on the ball as the opposing center was lining up … and my favorite – with one game well in hand and the clock down to the final seconds, he called timeout just so he could hit an opposing lineman one last time! It made me laugh watching him tell those stories behind that handsome giggling smile.

One-of-a-kind is an overused phrase, but it truly applies to Butkus.

The Green Bay Packers practiced on Friday, Oct. 6, ahead of their Week 5 Monday Night Football matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Gary from Davenport, IA

Mike, I think you were too young but did you ever see any commercials where Ray Nitschke was in an ad selling cars and at the end he called for his dog "Butkus" to come over to him?

Oh sure, I remember that ad. Brilliant.

Bruce from Travelers Rest, SC

Drafting Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers by one team over a multi-year time frame would be impressive. To do so in the same draft, my goodness. R.I.P. Mr. Butkus.

And neither ever experienced a playoff game, which is a shame to some degree, but there's no shame in it based on their era.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Mike, it really is a week-to-week league, maybe the passing of Butkus spurred the Bears.

The Bears weren't going to lose on the night of Butkus' passing. No way. If gambling weren't illegal at Bushwood, I could probably retire today. Many will remember the Bears' first game after Walter Payton died in 1999, at Lambeau Field, when Bryan Robinson blocked a chip-shot Ryan Longwell field goal on the last play to give Chicago a shocking 14-13 victory, breaking a 10-game Green Bay winning streak in the rivalry. I was actually standing on the sideline right where the block occurred – back in those days of the pre-renovation Lambeau, media could descend from the press box to the sidelines very late in the game to facilitate getting to the locker rooms afterward – and I've never stood so close to such a stunning in-game moment. The kick was said to be blocked by the "hand of Walter." I truly believe there are forces in this world well beyond our control.

Dan from Columbus, OH

We can root for or against the Bears all we want (to avoid them picking No. 1) but the reality is they have Carolina's pick which is also going to be high and if they want to go get a QB they're going to have a significant amount of ammunition to do so. Better to just worry about ourselves.

Fair enough.

Josh from Newhall, CA

With regards to Caleb Williams not wanting to go to a bad team, we have to distinguish that Elway and Manning had issues specifically with how the Colts and Chargers were run, not with how bad they were. They both still ended up going to teams picking in the top five. I'm sure Williams will just want to be drafted as high as possible. On a side note, one of the best things about II is that all the seemingly off-topic submissions spark all kinds of fun thoughts and conversations!

Also valid, on all counts.

Brad from St. Paul Park, MN

As a fisheries scientist for 40 years, and diehard Packer fan for all my 60, I feel compelled to rush to the defense of the northern hogsucker. Despite its less than flattering name, it can be quite striking, a mix of black, white, and golden yellow. Not much in size, generally around 8-10 inches, and the Wisconsin state record is a whopping 1 pound, 13 ounces. Hog molly is a colloquial common name, don't suggest Presque Isle, rather more like the Tomahawk area. GPG. Just beat the Raiders.

Appreciate the knowledge.

Jake from Decatur, GA

All this talk about hog mollies reminds me of my favorite Chuck Noll quote: "Some coaches pray for wisdom. I pray for 250-pound tackles. They'll give me plenty of wisdom." It's a little outdated weight-wise, but it gives me some hope for the run defense. Now that Barry and Montgomery know a little more about what they have in these young guys (Wyatt, Brooks, Wooden, Enagbare), I don't think it's crazy to believe a few scheme changes over the bye week could yield substantial results.

We shall see. With the expected ups and downs of a young offense that has dealt with a greater share of the team's injuries to date, a lot is riding on the defense getting this figured out.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Mike. It's a treat to have you here on a Saturday. With Allegiant Stadium getting checked off your list of NFL stadiums you have visited, how many more do you have to check off to complete the list? Looking at the schedule, are there any more to be checked off this or next year?

After Monday night, the only stadium that currently hosts NFL games in which I will not have covered one – aside from the various international locations – is SoFi in Los Angeles. The Packers should be scheduled to go there next year. According to my research, which could be wrong, Allegiant in Vegas will be the 42nd different stadium in which I've covered an NFL game, including venues no longer in use/existence, temporary homes, etc. It would be No. 43 if not for a certain paint job in Canton.

Tim from Charlotte, NC

I've always hated the fact that the HOF put a Vikings jersey in Favre's locker display just because he played two years in Minnesota. So, regarding someone like Julius Peppers, do you suppose the HOF will put three jerseys in his locker since he played for three teams all for at least three years? I haven't been to the HOF since I was a kid so am not familiar with the protocol of players' displays. By the same token, does Montana have a Chiefs jersey, and Namath a Rams jersey, etc.?

I would imagine they'll include both Packers and Bears jerseys for Peppers. But just to clarify, the locker displays at the Pro Football Hall of Fame are not permanent. Most of them are temporary set-ups for the inductees going in that year, and then they rotate others through, so I have no idea what the Hall did with Montana or Namath.

Chris from Ashland, WI

In regards to longtime Packers in the HOF, does Clay have a shot?

Canton? Realistically, no. He made just two All-Pro teams (first team in '10, second team in '12) and had only four double-digit sack seasons, none after his sixth year. The way he saved the defense in '14 by moving to inside linebacker, had that year ended the way it should've for the Packers, the discussion might be different.

Tony from Edinburgh, UK

My rant for today pertains to MLB, though enough room to complain about the 17-game NFL schedule. I know it's about money, but 16 games seemed much for this punishing game. Again, money accounts for these absurd wild card playoffs, which I disdain. Winning the division should mean more than being a WC team in a best-of-three series?!

I totally agree, and as an old-school type, I have never been in favor of adding the fifth and sixth playoff qualifiers in each league in MLB. That one-game wild card playoff was sacrilegious to the spirit of baseball and this isn't much better. The Rays won nine more games than the Rangers in the regular season but saw a 99-win season vaporized in two bad days. The Brewers won eight more than the D-backs but were still tasked with winning two more to eliminate them. I've long said if baseball is going to let that many teams in the playoffs, then the regular season should be shortened to 120 games so the playoffs start sooner and we get on with it. There's no point in playing a marathon six-month season of 162 games if this is the desired playoff format. Long regular seasons should be meant to disqualify teams, not let more in. Don't get me started on the NBA or NHL, and everyone knows I much preferred the NFL's previous six-seed arrangement, even though the seventh spot admittedly kept the Packers alive a little longer last year. But I get it, it's all about the money, and that's not changing. OK, rant over.

Craig from Sussex, WI

The Packers have a very early bye this year, but I think the timing is right not only with injuries but the coaches can change up some things to better themselves. Last year's bye was way too late.

The difficulty with last year's late bye was compounded by the fact the Packers didn't get a mini-bye from a Thursday game until Week 11. Those first 11 games were a non-stop stretch with a London trip and three straight road games thrown in the mix. As early as this bye is, on top of an early mini-bye, those are at least balanced by another mini-bye on Thanksgiving weekend. While this schedule isn't ideal either, it feels much more manageable to navigate. That said, just beat the Raiders.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Mike. You and Wes will be conducting a roundtable discussion at the pep rally on Sunday. Are you going to alternate commenting, or will you be jumping all over each other? Will you stay after to mingle with the fans? I'm sure lots of attendees would like to meet and chat with you. (Remember, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas".)

Ha. Our game preview comments on stage alternate rather smoothly, but in a live setting one of us can end up saying what the other planned to say and leave him hanging a bit. So it goes. We usually can hang around for a few minutes afterward, but only until the bus leaves to go back to the hotel. That's our ride.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

What do we think Larry would do to Wes if he calls him a hog molly during the next "Three Things" video? I didn't intend to start an Insider Inbox trend but I feel like I can smell a T-shirt now...

Larry might be flattered. Then again he might not. We'll see if one of us has the guts to find out before season's end.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

Good morning! If given the opportunity, and taking into account the knowledge, perspective, and insight you have attained over the years (which in my mind is massive and impressive), would you be tempted to take over play calling for an NFL game?

Oh, goodness no. Not a chance. I appreciate the kind words, but my knowledge and insight would be judged decidedly minuscule and unimpressive with call sheet in hand. I wouldn't have to cover my mouth to hide anything because it wouldn't matter. Have a great weekend, everybody.

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