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Inbox: There's a new game to win on Sunday

Randall Cobb created a lot of special memories in Green Bay

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WR Davante Adams

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Wes, I must tattle on myself for tattling on you. I have no excuse. I should be the one thrown to the dogs...as long as they are cocker spaniel puppies who have been house-trained and had all their shots.

I will not throw you to the dogs, Eddie, but that doesn't mean I won't ban you. Welcome to oblivion.

Jourdan from Saint Cloud, MN

What do the Packers need to do to bounce back from the ugly loss to Tampa Bay?

Remember who they are. Once the Packers step on the field at NRG, they need to get back to doing what they do best – playing clean, efficient football. This team didn't win four games and put up 152 points in four games by accident. As Marcedes Lewis told the media Wednesday, his message this week to the locker room was it's tough to win in this league and there's too much parity to expect to run through everyone. You need to take the lessons learned and move forward. There's a new game to win on Sunday.

Nathan from Lino Lakes, MN

It looks like the Texans give up the most rushing yards and seventh-most receiving. What do our first 20 plays look like?

A healthy dose of Aaron Jones. I don't care if he's motioning pre-snap, rushing or catching balls off designed routes. The Packers need to get Jones into a rhythm again. Because when he goes, this offense goes.

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

An interesting stat would be the number of drops by DBs and linebackers. GB seems to have had a ton of drops in the past few years. You've seen plenty of practice time. Is there a drill where Tim Boyle or Jordan Love fires lasers at the defense to get them used to fielding those kinds of passes? Coaches throwing cupcakes doesn't count.

No, the Packers have drills where the quarterbacks throw passes to the defensive backs at the end of routes. It's not like they're throwing 100-mph rocket balls. There's no reason to break fingers in practice. That's why you have fundamentals.

Phillip from Wonder Lake, IL

Can they play Robert Tonyan more often, since he seems to have more completions than Davante Adams?

Well, Tonyan has played quite a bit. He has 210 offensive snaps this year (62%), which already is a career high. But certainly the Packers want to get him more opportunities after what he did against the Falcons. That was a game-changing performance.

Pat from Kewaskum, WI

Not to belabor the point but what are the odds we found the right MLB in Krys Barnes? He still has time to develop but instincts and tackling are there. His football IQ must be present too if he was wearing the mic'd helmet.

It's too early to tell at this point. I mean we haven't even seen Kamal Martin play in an NFL game yet. However, Barnes has shown he is an NFL-caliber player. Whatever the reasons were for him going undrafted, Barnes possesses the intelligence and tenacity to play inside linebacker in this league. But let's take it one step at a time. Barnes is five games into his NFL career.

Jacob from Mason, OH

What's the key to Aaron Rodgers keeping a good relationship with wide receivers, even if they drop a pass?

Drops have very little to do with a receiver building and maintaining a relationship with Rodgers. Certainly you gotta catch the ball, but receivers drop passes. It's just part of the job. It happens. The way he builds lasting trust with Rodgers is through his practice habits, the way in which he runs his routes and being where he's supposed to be. It's proper preparation meeting focused execution.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, what is the word on No. 69?

David Bakhtiari didn't practice Wednesday. That's the extent of what we know.

Robert from Verona, WI

Any idea on when the Packers will start publicly discussing a projected timeline for Allen Lazard's return?

The closest you'll get is whenever Green Bay designates Lazard to return to practice. He was present at practice Wednesday for what I believe was the first time (at least while the media is watching). All he did was stretch with the rehab group but I'd take that as a good sign.

Al from Green Bay, WI

So…we've learned this week that how effectively the team practices matters on game day (Practice? You're talking practice?). What can you tell us about how the practice sessions are going this week?

Very little. We're only in there for three periods. It's not like training camp where we watch all two hours and can get a fairly good idea of how it went.

Tyler from Stevens Point, WI

I'm having a hard time framing this question, so I'll preface it by saying, Randall Cobb is one of my all-time favorites. Can compare him to Donald Driver a lot. I got pumped up when he got pumped up! I was also sad, but not definitely against his departure, with my mild understanding of NFL contracts, and difficult decisions related. If I ask would we be a better team with him today? That is an easy yes. What about in our healthy receiving core, is he a clear No. 2 and 3, or rotating with Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown?

The thing to keep in mind is it's not like the Packers cut Cobb or anything. His contract expired and Green Bay had to consider the future. A player like Cobb would help a lot of teams. He's a special guy who created a lot of special memories in Green Bay. It's great to see the success he's having in this second chapter of his career in Texas.

Alex from Duluth, MN

Snow is flying in Duluth. Winter is here, early ice fishing is just around the corner, and I can't wait to get some slabs on the ice! Who is the best cold-weather Packers running back you've covered? How about the best you've ever seen?

Ryan Grant was probably the best cold-weather running back I covered, though it was at the very end of his time in Green Bay. Ahman Green is the best Packers running back in my lifetime but I'd say Edgar Bennett is the one who made the biggest leap in his game in adverse conditions.

Tim from Green Bay, WI

Have there ever been actual brothers that played for the Packers?

It's happened before. The most recent example I can think of is Orrin and Jeremy Thompson. Within the last six years, identical twins Justin and Jordan McCray played for the Packers but not at the same time.

Tyler from Bessemer, PA

So after this completely embarrassing loss I am truly shocked that I have not seen this mentioned at all. Am I the only one who thinks missing Kevin King in this game was a huge factor in the secondary? I really believe being without his size and physicality did the Packers no favors Sunday. I can't be the only one, right? How is his injury looking this week? I would love for the defense to bounce back and shut down Watson and Co. I fully expect the offense to be more than ready, but will the defense?

Of course, it did. Josh Jackson hadn't started an NFL game in nearly two years. A 6-foot-3, a press cornerback like King isn't easily replaced. King was on the field again Wednesday, so that's obviously a good sign he's making progress after returning to practice for the first time last Friday.

Lynn from Jefferson City, MO

Any trade rumors the Packers might be looking to fill in some thin positions? Thank you!

No. Only thing I've heard is they need an upgrade at digital reporter.

Matt from Delavan, WI

Are there any coaches on the current LaFleur staff who are in line for a future head coach position in the near future, with another team?

The Packers have several coaches who have that kind of potential but I'll throw a plug in for Nathaniel Hackett, specifically. He has a coaching pedigree and fashioned a pretty good resume with the work he did in Jacksonville and now assisting LaFleur with his scheme here in Green Bay. Hackett is cool, calm and comfortable in front of the room, too, whether it's addressing players or media.

Rich from De Pere, WI

Last year we were one of the best in the league at pressuring the quarterback, including hits and sacks. This year, without any change in personnel, we are one of worst through five games. Did our guys regress? Have we changed the defense (sure saw a lot of Preston Smith and even Montravius Adams covering receivers instead of pressuring the quarterback)? Thanks.

There actually was some change in personnel, Rich – Blake Martinez, Kyler Fackrell (the zone-dropping OLB) and Tramon Williams among them. This defense has the playmakers to be successful but is still trying to find itself, especially with the injuries Green Bay has weathered. The Packers gotta play better but you can't treat one season as a crystal ball for what is to come. Trust me, I was there for the 2010 and 2011 campaigns. Every year is different.

Michael from Burnsville, MN

How much stock do you think GMs and scouts place on this CFB season? If a player that was tapped as a potential first-rounder has an "off" season, do you think it will cause him to slide as far as he normally might? I know it's all about what they see, but seems like an opportunity to get some mid- to later-round steals in a season that is just going to be weird for the players where they might not showcase their best stuff because of the circumstances.

All of the stock. The information GMs and scouts gather during the college season will be invaluable, not only from what they see with their own eyes but also the data that's collected by their contacts in the college-coaching realm. We don't know what this upcoming offseason is going to look like yet and whether there will be the traditional college all-star circuits or scouting combines. So this is a very big deal.

Matthew from Portland, OR

Hi Insiders, I've recently noticed players wearing their jerseys untucked. I thought it was an NFL rule that jerseys had to be tucked in to promote professionalism. Thanks for any information.

I haven't noticed. If it was an issue, the referees or the uniform inspectors would've said something.

Noel from Norwalk, CA

Greetings, with the weather starting to turn and COVID-19 cases ramping up in WI, do you see any home games being played at Lambeau?

Like just simply the team playing at Lambeau? Yes.

Griffin from Belmont, NC

NFL teams appear not as willing to run up the score as college teams. If you were coaching a week after a bad loss and you are ahead a couple scores, would you leave the offense running on all cylinders to build confidence or pound the rock to close the game out?

It's not easy to run up the score in the NFL, and if a team does get up big, it usually wants to get its starters off the field pronto.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Good morning, we remember LeRoy Butler for the Lambeau Leap, but recently I watched the Packers-Patriots Super Bowl and was reminded how well he blitzed from the corner. What has changed to make the corner blitz used less frequently?

Pre-snap adjustments, hot reads and quarterbacks getting the ball out faster. Cornerback and safety blitzes still exist. They just line up tighter to the edge rusher's hip.

Roland from Oconomowoc, WI

Is it just me or do you also see the Bears as beneficiaries of some good fortune so far this season? The Packers had a host of good fortune last year. What is it going to take to get the football gods to direct the mystical fortune back onto the Packers? Nothing like that feeling that you can always pull off a win. Last year we had it, hate seeing the Bears feeling it. Packers reclaim your swagger and your favor with the gods! Let's kick Houston's (butt)!

Sure, but you still gotta win the games on your schedule. Like I said on Tuesday, we're going to learn a lot about Chicago here these next few weeks (LA Rams, New Orleans and Tennessee). The Bears are 5-1 against not the strongest of opponents but sure beats the gauntlet the 1-5 Texans have had to go through.

Jim from Fairfax, VA

Tom Brady seeking out Jon Runyan after the game was interesting with the Michigan connection and Brady playing with Runyan Sr. at Michigan. Has any NFL player ever played against a father and later against a son, at least on a team basis; or better, against them on the field? Have any Packers done this?

Not that I'm aware of. That was a cool moment, though, especially for the younger Runyan who has been a Michigan fan his entire life.

Adam from Phoenix, AZ

Since the II answer was "flip a coin," I'd like a crack at answering Howie from Saint Ignace's question about which team's record is more surprising, the Vikings or Bears. I think it's unquestionably the Vikings. The Bears don't beat themselves and they win close games, but they're not an elite team yet. The Vikings, however, went from Super Bowl hopefuls who won a road playoff game last year to the bottom of the division and they just lost to a previously winless team at home.

The answer is Minnesota. I never saw the Vikings being 1-5 at this point.

Elliot from Hopkins, MN

In regards to the Dolphins deciding to start Tua, it is logical timing for them with the bye week, but it will be a nice welcome-to-the-league moment throwing against Jalen Ramsey and getting chased around by Aaron Donald.

I like the move. It's bold. The Dolphins are sitting at 3-3 and feel like there's more out there for them this season. There undoubtedly will be bumps along the way, but Miami believes Tua can be "the man." All the best to him.

Curt from Oronoco, MN

I just realized what I appreciate so much about you guys. In this time of divisiveness (much of it not based on fact) you seem to see the story in terms of truth, often from multiple angles. Is a career in politics in your futures?

Working in politics is the second-to-last thing I'd want to do for a living – a car length or two behind sales.

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