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Inbox: There's nothing the guy can't do

A win points the Packers in the right direction entering the second half

G Elgton Jenkins

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

Daniel from Allen, TX: "...can he (Wes) now see all obstacles in his way?"

Spoff: "Another classic set-up by Wes, just to annoy me."

Me: Sorry Spoff, but according to weather.com, Sunday is NOT going to be a bright (bright) bright sunshiny day. GPG!

It was never my intention to cause Spoff any vexation whatsoever. Consider today's column that rainbow he's been praying for.

Anthony from Auburn, WA

Could Sunday be the first perfect weather day of the season in Green Bay? Here's to hoping that it's snowy and cold!

I felt that biting chill in the air on Friday. The forecast is calling for a high of only 37 degrees on Sunday with a 70% chance of flurries. Winter is coming.

Mark from Madison, WI

After watching a Miami guard look like a pass-catching fullback, the Packers might consider moving Elgton Jenkins to tight end.

After listening to Jon Runyan on Friday, I have zero doubt Jenkins could pull it off. There's nothing the guy can't do.

Claudy from Chandler, AZ

More on Elgton's versatility/adaptability. What is the main difference between offensive line positions? I know center should be able to snap the ball but can you explain other differences between center, guard, tackle positions?

Centers and guards are your road-graders. It's power and technique. Tackle is more of a finesse position. Yes, you need to be strong but footwork and gamesmanship are so critical. It's a 60-minute chess match against edge rushers who are looking to bop and weave past you. As Jenkins put it, the smaller mistakes get amplified at tackle and obviously the repercussions are more severe if the O-lineman gets beat.

Tom from Douglassville, PA

So, who is going to start Sunday: Jordan Love or Aaron Rodgers?

Today is the day we probably find out. By all accounts, Rodgers will be 10 days out of his positive test and allowed to return to the facility. If Rodgers passes the necessary protocols, the Packers have until 3 p.m. CT to activate him from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Meanwhile, Love has been practicing like he's the starter. If it's determined Rodgers needs another week, then Love will be ready to go.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

Is not getting OBJ a good thing or a bad thing?

Maybe. Probably. I'm not sure. I kind of wanted the Packers to sign Beckham, but after seeing the terms of his deal with the Rams, I totally get why Green Bay didn't. The Packers need to be conscious of their cap situation. It's fun to be all-in but the Packers gotta take care of Davante Adams sometime in the next four months. He's the past, present and future of this offense. You can't jeopardize that production with a rent-a-player who may or may not work out.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

In answer to a question about the ILB position, Spoff said, "I'm not sure they'll change their approach so much as make sure they have the right type of guys, now that they know what it looks like." I have always felt that the LB positions have lacked speed. Do we have the necessary speed now?

Yes and no. There's no chance a guy with 6.4 speed like me is ever going to make it, but elite inside linebackers don't need to run 4.3, either. Football IQ is just as important as 40 time at inside linebacker. Krys Barnes was overlooked due to measureables but you see how much faster he plays on the field because of how quickly he can diagnose things.

Kirsten from Madison, WI

"After a pre-snap assignment switch with fellow inside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell..." How precisely does this happen? I realize this is probably a basic question. But I've always been an offense watcher, and I'm trying to learn more about how the defense functions. On offense, the QB calls out the plays, but I actually don't know how the defense communicates and adjusts to what they think the opposing offense is doing. Thanks.

It's referring to the positions Barnes and Campbell were playing and how that correlates to the offensive formation. If I'm understanding LaFleur and Barnes correctly, Barnes and Campbell likely should've swapped sides on the play but chose to stay put and react accordingly.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

In the prior two seasons, our defensive starters played heavy snap counts early in the year which raised the issue of fading down the stretch. It is noticeable in the last stretch of games how much push we are getting from the DL and OLB group. Is there any thought to those players wearing out down the stretch or have the snap counts been spread out more amongst the group?

I can see why you'd think that, but the three defenders up front (the Smith Bros. and Kenny Clark) who have played their best down the stretch are the same three who also played more than 80% of the total defensive snaps the past two years. I think it comes down to the defense getting healthy and staying healthy. If Za'Darius Smith gets cleared to play this season, you're suddenly infusing a fresh All-Pro pass rusher into a top-10 defense. That would be the jolt of all jolts to a championship run.

Curt from Algonquin, IL

There were a couple questions yesterday about LaFleur lamenting that he didn't run enough, or that the offense should lean on the RB 1-2 punch more. In the universe of a single play call, there is a bias toward putting the ball in the hands of your best player, and that is clearly Aaron Rodgers. It's got to be hard to call a run that will likely result in a modest gain when you know every throw is a home run waiting to happen. Eating vegetables is good for you but ice cream tastes so much better.

Committing to the run is sort of like licking a Tootsie Roll pop. As good as it tastes, it's still tempting to bite down on the darn thing and devour it whole. But the Packers have seen what is possible when they pair a consistent run game with Rodgers at quarterback. As the pieces fall back into place on offense, you'll see a renewed commitment to making the ground game go. A productive running game benefits the quarterback just as much as it does the team.

Shannon from Ovilla, TX

Jordan Love obviously could have been better last week but I think we all are expecting a bit too much comparing him to when Rodgers showed what he could do in the Dallas game in 2007. Rodgers was in his third year with 12 preseason games, McCarthy's QB school, more OTA and practice time due to the old CBA. Love has two games of preseason, a lot less on-the-field time and his first start was in the loudest stadium in the league. Despite all that, his stats were still better than Patrick Mahomes'.

Again, I felt like Love did perfectly fine. He has a first-round pedigree but this is still a 23-year-old quarterback we're talking about. Like I said earlier this week, Love was skittish on Sunday regardless of the pressure he faced. He'll be better in the long run for what he experienced in Kansas City.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

Call me petty or small, but I will never forgive Pete Carroll or Russell Wilson for their reactions after the Fail Mary and lack of acknowledging what should've been a loss. I have zero respect for them as competitors. For that reason alone, the Seattle game always feels like a divisional rival. I hope we thump them by 50.

You're not alone, Eric. Since Sept. 24, 2012, I would say the Seahawks have been the Packers' most consistent archrival.

Al from Green Bay, WI

As Spoff pointed out in "Three Things" the home team has won 14 of the last 15 in the Packers-Seahawks rivalry. That's a ridiculous 93% in favor of the home team. Simple question: How do you best explain the home-team dominance?

It is jarring just how slanted the series has been in favor of the home team, but Green Bay and Seattle are perennially talented teams with a long history of success at home. So, it's probably not all that surprising.

Jeffrey from Taylors, SC

Wes, can we make a true home-field advantage? How about everyone in the stands yell, "UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!" when Russell Wilson throws a long high bomb the DB might not know is coming? Show the 12th man a thing or 12!

Matt LaFleur was calling for noise and energy on Friday. Packers fans were on a nice run before this midseason break from home games. It's their job bring it on Sunday and let Wilson know he isn't at Camp Randall anymore.

Dennis from Toledo, OH

Hello, if I recall Blake Martinez was a tackling machine during his tenure here and I believe continues to be elsewhere. Now that we know what ILB looks like, what made him expendable? I'll surmise his coverage skills and overall speed were less than desirable compared to communication skill and/or salary demands? Thanks and the love daily banter in the II.

Martinez deserves credit for the durable, consistent player he was in the heart of Green Bay's defense for four seasons. Prior the Packers drafting Blake, they'd been rotating through inside linebackers at a pretty good clip. Martinez steadied the tide and was rewarded for it. That being said, everything has worked out the way it should. Campbell has been the right fit for this Joe Barry defense.

Kevin from Milwaukee, WI

In regards to OBJ's salary with the Rams, I was wondering why they'd structure so much tied to team performance in the playoffs. From what I saw, the Rams only had about $2.5 mil in cap space before the signing yet OBJ's contract could be worth up to $4.5 mil. Do playoff bonuses not count towards the salary cap and was this a clever way to get around their salary cap restrictions?

I believe that makes it an "unlikely to be earned" bonus, which would make that portion of the bonus first hit the cap next year.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Hi Wes, on "Three Things" Spoff mentioned in 15 games in the Packers vs. Seattle series the home team won 14. Who lost at home? GPG!

That answer and more…in Mike's "One Last Look" column…out later today. In the business, we call that a teaser.

Judi from Caledonia, WI

Not a question but a comment on the Maurice Drayton press conferences. If I wasn't old and had bad knees, I'd run through a wall for the guy. I'm confident special teams are going to get it done. I never thought I'd say I love listening to the intricacies of special teams, but Mo has brought such an energy and insight that I thoroughly enjoy!

Dratyon's enthusiasm for special teams is admirable and you can tell guys enjoy playing for him. The Packers need to harness that energy and put it towards shoring up special teams. The will is there. Hopefully, the way will follow.

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

Something tells me that having one OBJ question-and-answer in Friday's Inbox was not, shall we say, "proportionally representative" of the volume of OBJ questions that you guys received. How many OBJ questions did you guys get this week, and how did they change in tone throughout all the twists and turns?

More than what the situation probably warranted.

Bil from Stateline, NV

Hello, II. Mike, with Wes sporting new glasses, it seems you will face a bigger challenge, now that he will better be able to monitor the situation of his lunch. Have you scripted any trick plays to catch him off-guard?

What do you think I got new glasses for? We must protect this lunch!

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The tundra freezes,

A test of will and focus,

Time to right the ship.

The Packers have yet to lose back-to-back regular-season games in the Matt LaFleur era. Why start now?

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

As fall begins to turn to winter the schedule turns to Lambeau with three of four on the hallowed ground

The opponent's dangerous leader returns with its back firmly against the wall

While the leader of the Packers' status remains in doubt

History may show the Seahawks struggle in Green Bay but with their season on the brink expect them to fly

A treasured playoff bye ensures that every week is a challenge and none will be given

Embrace opportunity and meet the challenge Green and Gold

Paraphrasing the great philosopher Preston Smith, "It's time for a new streak." A win on Sunday points the Packers in the right direction entering the second half of the 2021 campaign. Enjoy the game everybody.


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