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Inbox: They have to find that again

It’s obvious which makes for a better game to watch

RB Patrick Taylor
RB Patrick Taylor

Bil from Stateline, NV

Mike, on your green bean casserole, French fried onions on top with tots, or without tots? Thanks for educating us, informing us and entertaining us.

No tots, but real, and spectacular. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Richard from Woodruff, WI

There have been some great men in the Packers organization. Who are your favorite people of our famous Packers family? There are many who could be named. Top two for me are Reggie White and Matt LaFleur. Men of great character and principles.

There are too many to list, but for me it starts with Bob Harlan. He was the big boss when I got here, and whether or not he had anything to do with my hiring, this is a good week to say I'm forever thankful for the opportunity, and I feel privileged to know such a tremendous man.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

Is it the bye week yet? This has been such a long wait for what will be a much deserved and needed break after what hopefully will be a big win versus the Rams.

Sounds like a plan, Stan. I mean, Mike.

Arthur from Eau Claire, WI

Well, the Lions didn't make it so my question is moot. Penalties can ruin your day no matter the talent level of your team.

So can boneheaded coaching mistakes like calling consecutive defensive timeouts to turn a crucial third-and-9 into third-and-4 in the final minutes. Part of me feels sorry for the Lions, because they have been competitive in a lot of games this season. But when a coaching staff commits an error that egregious, my sympathy wanes.

Tom from Dollar Bay, MI

Watching the Dallas game, Shawn Hochuli's crew sure seemed to want his face on screen as much as possible. 28 penalties total, with another head-bob false start. Does the league ever tell a crew to cool it?

Some crews call every infraction they see. Others use some discretion and only flag the infractions that have a material impact on the play. I think it's obvious which makes for a better game to watch.

Paul from Middleton, WI

It's a shame you guys don't get paid to do a live blog during the Thanksgiving games. I'd chip in.

Maybe I'll have to try that one of these years – 10-plus hours straight of live blogging all three games. I'll just have to go easy on the pumpkin ale.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

I keep hearing commentators talk about RBs (and sometimes QBs and WRs) "getting in rhythm." I can't figure out what it really means, other than that a player who's having a good game tends to keep having a good game. Have you ever heard a player actually confess that he feels more confident after having just touched the ball, as opposed to taking a breather on the bench? Or that he's less confident early in a game until he's had a nice play or two?

I've heard offensive players talk about getting a feel for how the opposing defense is playing them, which provides a framework for what to expect on certain plays or in certain situations, generating more confidence that their calls, moves, decisions, etc., will succeed. It's about being immersed in the game as it's unfolding, which can't happen from the bench.

Larissa from Minnetonka, MN

It seems Aaron Rodgers brings attention onto himself and then tries to suggest he wants none of it. He brought up his toe unsolicited, then basically accused the media of being invasive of his medical information for asking about it. I'm sure constant questions get annoying and "toe-gate" is a dumb issue but as Vic has written about, being a public figure invites public scrutiny, doesn't this all come with the territory? Guess I'm tired of the of the media being used as a straw man, I find it damaging.

The toe had to be put on the injury report, so it was going to bring questions. Rodgers only wanted to reveal so much in his answers, which is his prerogative, but he also invited heightened scrutiny of his answers based on Aug. 26. Still, it's the media's job to ask and try to find out, but it's also the media's job to publish only what it knows to be true, based on reliable sources and vetted information, not simply what it thinks is true. The problem in our current landscape is the wildest speculation quite often beats the truth when it comes to clicks and attention, so irresponsible "journalism" has become more profitable than the responsible type.

Gary from Vista, CA

When I watch college football on TV it appears a lot of linemen are wearing some sort of a knee brace. Why don't professional players wear them? With all the knee ACL damages the Packers have had one would think the braces might help.

This is a common question. I'm sure braces would help. But they'd also limit a lineman's mobility in a way that would make it very difficult to succeed in the NFL, where nearly every player across a defensive front is bigger, stronger and faster than nearly every opponent faced in college.

Nic from London, UK

Are you at all concerned that though our offense looked better in the second half, a lot of our success particularly in the bronze zone (since it hasn't been golden this year) relied on improv? It's always great to have that ability in our back pocket, but we have not typically fared well when having to rely on it as our core offense. What does it take for our designed pass offense to start to take off so that it can then be augmented rather than replaced by Rodgers' scramblin' savvy?

That's a good point about the off-schedule stuff producing a couple of TDs, which doesn't necessarily "fix" anything. I think it comes back to being able to run the ball in the red zone. The Packers were so good at it last year, as well as running screen passes. The success of the ground/screen game in a compressed part of the field set up the otherworldly efficiency. They have to find that again for the other red-zone calls to work as intended.

Tony from Denver, CO

In Week 10, the Rams seemed to emphasize getting their two new signees involved, with less than desirable results. Odell Beckham had two catches for 18 yards and Von Miller didn't get any pressure on the QB, but these two are certainly still formidable players. What kind of impact do you think Beckham and Miller will have for the Rams after an additional two weeks of practice? And what can the Pack do to minimize that impact?

I'm not sure how much the Rams practiced over their bye week, but the extra time would allow the coaching staff to come up with better ways to integrate new players that focus on their strengths. I would expect both to be more involved and the Packers will have to trust their training and techniques to react to what they do.

Josh from Eau Claire, WI

How concerned are you about Aaron Rodgers' fractured toe?

Well, certainly no one wants it to get worse, so that's the first fear. But he's already proven he can play well while dealing with it, and if nothing else happens to it, hopefully it can heal a little each week. As noted previously, the larger concern is the missed practice time, given how the offense as a whole has struggled to get going early in games much of the season.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Happy Thanksgiving to all. While I am in favor of the eye in the sky/booth review/replay review...whatever you want to call it, there can be a problem with "over-reviewing." After all, there is holding on almost every play. Where do you draw the line?

That's why I say the first adjustment should put all the safety rules (helmet hits, RTP, defenseless players, etc.) in the hands of the review system, and hopefully that will allow the officials on the field to adjudicate the traditional rules of the game better. I'm not saying it's the ultimate solution. It's the starting point to seek overall improvement in the officiating.

Steve from Kansas City, MO

I'm getting upset about this year's Hall of Fame selections, as it seems the powers that be have decided to push the candidacy of Rodney Harrison – and not even mention LeRoy Butler! They are comparing Harrison with Lynch, when Lynch never should have been selected before Butler. Is the selection process as politically biased as it seems?

Well, Harrison didn't even make the semifinalist stage this year (after doing so last year), so it would appear he has a long ways to go in the eyes of the selection committee. At safety, both Butler and Darren Woodson are stronger candidates right now, as it should be, based on All-Pro honors. Harrison had a great career, but it isn't easy to get into the Hall of Fame, as Butler well knows. And, again, as it should be.

The Green Bay Packers held practice on Clarke Hinkle Field on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021.

Daniel from Allen, TX

If we're going to talk about Boselli and the Terrell Davis rule, then I would also submit Sterling Sharpe. He was amazing. In his last five full years, his stats were nearly identical to some guy with the last name Rice.

We've had this discussion before regarding Sharpe. Maybe Wes disagrees, but I said when Davis got in I strongly believe his postseason accomplishments were a huge factor in mitigating the drawback of a short career, so he wouldn't immediately open the door for Sharpe, who doesn't have Davis' postseason accolades. That said, if Boselli gets in, with a shorter career and minimal postseason pedigree, I think the door does open wider for Sharpe.

Trevor from East Side Brew City, CA

How do green sticker logistics work? Particularly on defense where a potential backup play caller might play on ST or the play-caller might change per package (or does De'Vondre Campbell play every snap)? I'm assuming there is a rule of only one green sticker on the field at a time? Do play-callers have multiple helmets, one with a sticker and radio and one without? How many guys on a team can have a green sticker?

Only one speaker helmet can be on the field at a time, so defenses generally have an every-down player wear it. Others can have spare speaker helmets on the sideline in case that player goes down or exits the game for any duration, but there isn't time for quick substitutions or helmet switching if that's what you're asking.

Joshua from Pittsburgh, PA

So, the Vikings are who we thought they were. Who do we think the Rams are?

A loaded, explosive team that has had time to regroup after hitting a couple bumps in the road. I expect them to give the Packers absolutely all they can handle Sunday, and the key defensively will be to limit the big plays.

Paul from West Allis, WI

Good morning. Who will need to step it up big-time? An offensive lineman, a tight end, a cornerback, or maybe someone on ST – a return?

I'd be in favor of all of the above.

Sonia from Fairbanks, AK

Morning Wes, it would be nice if you could have Ororo Heated Apparel send some swag Spoff's way before you tape Final Thoughts this week. He looked to be shivering last week. Where do you tape these?

Our gear came in! It will be making its debut in this week's Final Thoughts.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

I don't have a good question, I just really want to win this weekend.

We just want to tell you good luck, we're all counting on you. Happy Friday.