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Inbox: They know what must be done

The thing is a lot of the Packers’ offensive looks remain unscouted

RB Aaron Jones

Matt from Burlington, WI

Gentlemen, what's a more common greeting on a submission: II, Insiders, or Mike/Wes?

None compare to "More an observation than a question…"

Arthur from Eau Claire, WI

More a statement than a question. As someone that was raised in Apopka, Fla., I wish folks would get off the acclimation wagon. You cannot acclimate in a couple days unless all you are doing is sitting around. A northern team can no more acclimate to heavy heat and humidity in a few days than a southern team can acclimate to heavy snow and subzero temperatures in a few days. So please stop using this false reasoning and just move on to the next game.

Wednesday's introductory question (and Spoff's answer) brought an immediate smile to my face. The outcome had nothing to do with the team's ability to acclimate to warm weather. The Packers need to play better, plain and simple. Everyone can agree on that.

David from El Segundo, CA

What's amazing about having such an incredible once-in-a-generation QB is that, when he has a bad day, everyone notices and thinks the sky is falling. If we think back, we will remember when Tom Brady put together a couple of bad games several years back and the headlines were that he was washed up. I think it's safe to say they were a little off. If (almost) any other QB in the league has that kind of performance, it's hardly noticed. Let's be happy that the Packers have the one where it is.

The Packers played poorly against the Saints – and that provides the perfect soil for critics to try sowing seeds of doubt. But I can promise you this locker room is still every bit as confident and focused as it was on Sunday morning. As Aaron Rodgers told Pat McAfee on Tuesday, "We know how this thing goes. It's a cycle and right now, we're taking it on the chin, which we should, and pretty soon it'll be flipped." This is a veteran group. They know what must be done.

Jake from Decatur, GA

Wes, I forgot you were a "Bad Santa" fan. You can expect a wooden pickle from me for Christmas this year. But until then… What are you going to be paying the most attention to Monday night? Week 1, the O-line was the hot topic. Is that still the case? I'd believe you if you told me a little more energy and a little more push up front are all this team really needs for the rest to fall into place.

I want to see how this team responds to what happened against the Saints. I want to see how well Rodgers plays and how this offensive line comes together. I want to see how Joe Barry rallies his troops on defense and resets against a game Lions offense that showed a never-say-die attitude against the 49ers. But most importantly, I want to see Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon run the ball more. The thing is a lot of the Packers' "unscouted" looks remain unscouted because of how the Saints game played out. I can almost guarantee that'll be the only time this season the Packers run "11" personnel on 80% of their offensive snaps. There's still two sleeves worth of tricks for the Packers to deploy Monday night.

Ed from South Beloit, IL

Good morning Wes, I guess we'll never know how many of the pass plays were designed run plays that were changed. It seemed as though AJ Dillon was having some success and the big horses up front were capable at times of moving people. I'm all for Aaron Rodgers changing plays when he thinks it necessary, but perhaps there are times when running the play the coach sends in should be tried. We'll never know.

That's hard to say from this chair. I know for a fact there were times Rodgers switched a pass to run, too. I believe Aaron Jones' longest run of the afternoon came on a "can" call. Like my previous post, the Packers need to get the ball in the hands of Jones and Dillon more. They need touches for this offense to thrive.

Rod from Chugiak, AK

Wes, Elgton Jenkins played so well with hardly a start-up hiccup against a talented pass rusher. The league was already aware of his amazing versatility and dominating play inside, but Sunday's performance has no doubt begun creating for himself a league-wide demand at tackle. As high-quality tackles are harder to find than guards and command higher salaries, do you see us eventually moving him to right tackle?

I firmly believe Jenkins could be a Pro Bowler at all five positions on the offensive line. He's that talented and that versatile. Obviously, on average, tackles command the highest salaries so it's possible that's where his future lies.

Marshall from Green Bay, WI

After the team in 2011 passed for a zillion yards, 2012 was a season of two-shell if memory serves. It took Eddie Lacy in 2013 and the big-letters promise to get back to the ground game. It shouldn't take a full season to get that corrected. Here's to hoping Jones and Dillon get on course and Rodgers follows suit.

Correct. Lacy started that push with the running game, and Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams finished it when they arrived in 2017. I don't know if there will ever be a day where the Packers are asking him to touch the ball 30 times in a game, but everyone understands his importance to the offense. Since 2018, there have been only seven games where Jones carried the ball fewer than 10 times. The Packers are 1-6 in those contests.

Nic from London, UK

I dunno, to me it looks like we just don't have enough quality NFL starters on the D-line outside of Kenny Clark. Maybe this isn't our best LB corps ever, but it isn't our worst and it sure makes it tough for them when linemen are constantly dying on blocks. Alvin Kamara was doing whatever he wanted and so was his backup, a rookie UFA. On top of that, with no pressure on the QB it's tough to even assess if our DBs are any good, no one can cover forever... Best of luck to Joe Barry solving this puzzle!

The Packers have their work cut out for them this Monday, but like I said on Tuesday, one game does not make a season. Green Bay's defense needs to smooth out the wrinkles and set the tone against Detroit. They're home and playing in front of an energized crowd at Lambeau Field. It's time to remind everyone who the hell the Packers are.

Jon from Madison, WI

Do you think we'll be able to handle Detroit on Monday night or will it be like last week?

I don't want to bake myself a word pie that I'll be forced to eat on Tuesday morning, so I'll just say this – I'd be very surprised if Monday night's game is "like last week."

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentleman: I know this week's game is an evening kickoff but the weather looks almost identical to last week: 86, high humidity, and high dew point. Let's hope our offense can keep our defense on the bench hydrated and rested. Thank you!

The weather might appear identical but Jacksonville heat hits different, especially once the sun goes down. Either way, I don't expect the weather to be a factor.

Brock from West Lafayette, IN

Good morning! Just wanted to give a shout out to the fans who showed up in Jax. Even when the game was out of control, I still heard the "Go Pack Go" chants coming through on the TV.

It reminded me of the Packers' loss to the LA Chargers in 2019, when like 85% of the stadium was wearing green and gold. I got tickets for my buddy Adam and his family to attend Sunday's game and felt terrible about the outcome. But I was reminded afterward that comes with being a fan. Regardless of the final score, you just have to enjoy the experience for what it was and the memories you created.

Terry from Rockford, IL

Why did Green Bay get rid of its defensive coordinator from last year when he did so great? Why?

Never change, Inbox. Never change.

Mike from West Bend, WI

Hi II, great work you do. Kept my season in perspective on more than one occasion. After listening to Aaron Rodgers talk about the first interception, do you think that gives a new meaning to the Tampa 2 defense?

Yes…and underneath pressure.

Nikhil from Guatemala City, Guatemala

Am I kicked out of the Packers fan club for rooting for Matthew Stafford this year?

Not at all. I'm a huge fan of Matthew Stafford as a quarterback. I'm pulling for him to succeed in LA.

Jeremy from Wausau, WI

This week in his book club Aaron Rodgers recommended a book about Pat Tillman. With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 having just passed, I wondered if you guys had any thoughts on that?

I feel privileged to have gained a unique perspective on Pat Tillman from two of my closest friends in this industry, Kent Somers and Darren Urban, who covered Tillman during his time with the Cardinals. Over the years, they've told countless stories of the extraordinary human being Tillman was and what it meant for him to serve his country after 9/11. I haven't read that book Rodgers was talking about, but I do love Jon Krakauer and "Into the Wild." I'm definitely going to check it out this offseason.

Marcus from Midvale, UT

I disagree with Brian from Columbia. Socks are a great gift. You always have to take care of your feet. It was more like knowing you have 17 gifts under the tree and you opened the first to find a can of beets. You pray that's the worst gift and are glad it's now out of the way. On to the Lions.

It's funny how life goes. As a child, I hated getting clothes. That was my Saints game when I opened a Christmas present and it was socks or undershirts. Today, however, I'm grateful whenever I open a box with jeans, gloves or sweatshirts – because now you realize how much those items cost. And the more essentials you check off during Christmas, the more you can spend elsewhere. This is growing up.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Will Jamaal Williams be tossing the ball around with Lambeau fans during pregame?

I wouldn't be surprised.

Mike from St Louis Park, MN

The past few years this NFL "power rankings" thing has really grown. Does anyone really give a hoot about this? Has a team won or lost a game because of their ranking? Come on man!

I couldn't care less about power rankings. The day they hand out Lombardi Trophies and MVPs for having the highest power rankings is the day I'll start giving a (darn).

Kent from Lewiston, ID

Good morning. I know you guys didn't travel this past week. Is that for the entire season? Enjoy your Sunday evening meal at home, we all need some home cooking after the plate of surf and turf we had OTR last week.

We'll see where the season takes us. Right now, I'm content covering away games from home. I flew commercially for five years in my previous reporting life and wasn't a huge fan – and that was before COVID-19. I'll take "Covering an NFL game from the Evrard Room for $1,000, Aaron."

JR from East Moline, IL

RIP Norm MacDonald. Comedy legend.

There are so many reasons I love Norm MacDonald. First, my dad raised me on "Letterman" so I obviously saw plenty of MacDonald on there, and "Billy Madison" is a classic. But when I think about MacDonald, I remember his improbable run on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and how much it meant to him to win as much money as possible for his charity, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. You could tell how badly he wanted to win that money for those kids. I thought that spoke volumes about the type of person he was. He always was a jokester – except when it meant something to those less fortunate than him.

Robert from Verona, WI

Thank you both for the content you put out in II and packers.com in general. When the Packers win, I will read just about everything I can find out on the internet, but when the Packers lose, I really limit myself to your work. I just can't handle the sensational BS that gets put out there. Did you know that teams have figured out the blueprint to beat Rodgers? Did you also realize that Joe Barry is already a bust and that the Packers have no stars on defense? Thanks for keeping it real!

It's OK to be upset. It's fine to be disappointed. It's completely normal to want more from the team you're rooting for. But just remember the cycle Rodgers talked about. The Packers will be back…and the next game will be here before you know it.

Caleb from Knoxville , TN

How many kneecaps will the Packers need to bite off to defeat the Lions?

So, we're totally sure Dan Campbell was talking about human kneecaps and not cream puffs, right? Because my grandma used to refer to cream puffs as "kneecaps" and they were fantastic. Thanks…now I'm hungry.


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