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Inbox: There's only one answer

Winter is here and the best is yet to come

LB De'Vondre Campbell

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Merry Christmas, Mike, Wes , everyone involved in producing II, and everyone at 1265 Lombardi Avenue! Just want all of you to know how very much we fans appreciate all you do to make our fandom so much better than it would be without you. Here is hoping all your Christmas wishes come true! GO PACK GO! BEAT THE BROWNS!

Thank you, Linda, and thank you to all of you who keep this column merry and bright all 12 months of the year. Please take a moment to remember there are only a handful of days in your lifetime that the Packers play on Christmas Day and today is one of them. That is a true blessing. It's a great day to be alive. Good morning!

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

Mike and Wes, hope Santa was nice to you last night. Do you guys leave milk and cookies by the fireplace or brats and beer? GPG !

The pumpkin spice latte sat untouched by the fireplace this morning. Santa must be more of a caramel macchiato guy, I guess.

Rick from Lynchburg, VA

Do you know if there are any plans to stop the game when Aaron Rodgers passes Brett Favre's touchdown record or is that even allowed? And do you think the Browns will try to do anything extra to prevent Rodgers from making the record-breaking pass to Davante Adams? Since everyone must know Aaron will be looking for Davante when the time comes.

The Browns doesn't need any extra motivation to contain Adams. That antenna is up regardless. There's a good possibility No. 443 will happen this afternoon but Cleveland has bigger fish to fry right now than worrying about who's catching it. The Browns need to win this game. Period. I'm not privy to what the Packers will do if Rodgers breaks the record tonight but I'm sure they have something cool planned.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Mike and Wes, memories make us rich, and players make plays. What are the keys to victory this Christmas at Lambeau vs. the Browns? Merry Christmas from Hertel!

Get off to a fast start and contain Nick Chubb. Even if Baker Mayfield plays, Kevin Stefanski and Alex Van Pelt like to run the offense behind Chubb. Cleveland also has struggled late in games, being outscored 111-59 in the fourth quarter. So, I think the Packers win this game handily if they come out firing on offense and don't allow Chubb to get going early.

Graydon from Menomonie, WI

Which Packers player who didn't get selected to the Pro Bowl is most deserving to go to the Pro Bowl?

For me, there is only one answer – De'Vondre Campbell. Everything Spoff said is correct, but Campbell not getting selected as an alternate still bothers me. This guy came in during the last week of the offseason program, learned the defense and returned for training camp ready to be an every-down linebacker. The Packers brought back a lot of players from a good 2020 defense, but I truly feel Campbell was the missing piece at inside linebacker. Whatever the voters think, the Packers know what they have in Campbell and they're grateful he's here.

Jack from Moweaqua, IL

As great as Aaron Rodgers and the rest are, I can't help but be most impressed by Coach LaFleur these past three seasons. It starts with him and he makes that clear, and the men he is leading appreciate and respect that. That being said, how impressive do you think his not losing consecutive games streak is? Geno at UConn I think went almost 900 games without back-to-back losses. Crazy!

The Packers not losing back-to-back regular season games under Matt LaFleur is one of the most impressive things on an already impressive resume.

George from North Mankato, MN

Just wanted to mention something I haven't seen discussed in II recently. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are almost never tackled going backwards. They are very good at getting north and south. How is this taught?

Just basic fundamentals – being decisive, sticking your foot in the ground and getting your pads down. Dillon is seen as a power back because of his size but that only goes so far if he's running too upright. Why is pad level important? Just look at how Jones ran coming out of the break last week. He was a giant on that opening drive of the third quarter, putting his shoulder into his runs. That's how you do it.

Mark from Westminster, CO

Mike, it's amazing how Matt LaFleur uses the running backs. Jones is already over 1,000 all-purpose yards and Dillon is at 910 total yards. You were exactly correct at the beginning of the year. This is a difficult one-two punch to stop.

Even better? Winter is here and the best is yet to come.

Jason from New Hampton, IA

Hey II, what's been the best part of the season for you so far?

Seeing how 2021 will end compared to how everything began. Narratives come and go but legacy lasts forever. I think everyone in the Packers organization understood how important it was for this team to stick together…and it did.

Donny from Green Bay Packers, WI

I watched a recent Yosh Nijman interview and I hope he's a longtime Packer but understand he deserves a chance to get paid and start. Who is a Packers player in recent memory you saw leave and were disappointed but fully understood the situation? For me, it's Micah Hyde. I will forever be his fan.

As far as established players go, it's probably a tie between Micah and Casey Hayward. They're both unanimous first-team all-human beings.

Bill from Clive, IA

Hello II, and Merry Christmas! What happens in a "walkthrough" practice, and how does it differ from a regular practice?

A walkthrough is much like it sounds – it's an opportunity for the offense and defense to go through their respective game plans for the upcoming game with "live" offense vs. defense reps. This week, coincidentally, Davante Adams painted a pretty clear picture of what Green Bay's entail: "The way we walk through is pretty much full speed, just not the routes. The lines getting up there doing their thing, having a great get-off, the wideouts are getting all their steps but just not sprinting. … It's not often we implement a whole new concept or a whole new route that we haven't run before, so a lot of times all the work we've been putting in throughout the year, it's the same stuff."

Tom from West Palm Beach, FL

Follow-up to the schedule question, do you think Packers vs. Jets will be Green Bay's first London game, since the NFL seems to be against having "quality" matchups played there?

Well, it ain't gonna be the Patriots. That's for sure.

George from North Mankato , MN

Good morning and Merry Christmas, Wes. Just curious what your most memorable present has been?

George gets two because I loved this question. I was really into Kenner's Starting Lineup figures as a kid. My parents bought me Brett Favre's first Starting Lineup in 1994. I know the value didn't hold long-term but it was the coolest thing in the world to me back then. I still cherish it.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The stockings are stuffed,

Leave a win under the tree,

Thank you so much, Vic.

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Touchdowns are great,

Just don't go for two.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

A trip to Baltimore triumphant

King of the North once again

One goal secured while others remain

Now a talented Cleveland team unleashed from their dog pound

They come to Lambeau on this holy night desperate to stay in the hunt

Beware the Browns' bite may exceed their bark

The unseen enemy more relentless than ever you must remain vigilant

Stay the course Green and Gold the road to fourteen lies straight ahead

Perfect, Dean. As always. But I feel like there's only one way to end this Christmas edition of Inbox…

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, thank you for the gifts of a Christmas morning Inbox and great coverage of the big game this afternoon. Clinquant Christmas wishes to you, your household, and the Inbox family.

And the same to you, Lori. I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a memorable afternoon of Packers football.


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