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Inbox: They'll have to pick their spots

That would get the hype train on the tracks

Head Coach Matt LaFleur
Head Coach Matt LaFleur

Glen from Eugene, OR

So did Spoff take a one-day vacation out to Door County or something on Wednesday?

This was an immensely popular question in the Inbox over the past couple of days. I was at my desk, all day, before-during-after the news broke. Honest. Perhaps this officially breaks the curse, such as it is. I don't know.

Jim from St. Petersburg, FL

Hello Insiders! Did I miss Mike's Mid-Week Chat or did he bail on it to avoid a torrent of Rodgers/COVID questions?

It was called off because given the timing of the news, it wasn't appropriate for me to address any questions before LaFleur did. The focus of our website at that point became LaFleur's press conference and the story I wrote right afterward.

Jay from Altoona, WI

The Arizona Cardinals played a lot of eight-man and nine-man defensive fronts due to the Packers missing their top three wideouts. As inexperienced quarterbacks tend to favor short passing routes, would you expect the Chiefs to attempt a similar defensive strategy?

Not if Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard are the wideouts. In certain instances, the Chiefs will certainly key on the run, but if Adams and/or MVS gets single coverage, Love will be giving them chances to make plays.

Sam from Skokie, IL

Spoff, I agree that running the ball, ball security and takeaways on defense are key. However, KC knows that too. Don't you think they will load the box and force Jordan Love to make some plays over the top to win? I think JL will have to hit a couple of big ones for the Pack to pull it out.

I think he will, too. Not all day, but here and there. The Packers aren't going to be able to solely run the ball and dink-n-dunk their way to enough points. They'll have to pick their spots and Love will have to make good decisions when downfield opportunities are dialed up.

Joe from Wausau, WI

Jordan Love will be facing the kind of crowd noise he's never dealt with before. What, if anything, will Matt LaFleur have to do differently than he would do if Rodgers were in there?

There's not much that can be done differently from a preparation standpoint regarding crowd noise. What Love won't have is the history with the veteran receivers that Rodgers has, where Rodgers can look at the defense and signal a route adjustment just by making eye contact with the receiver because of all the time they've played together. Love's audibles or adjustments will have to be communicated verbally despite the noise, or with hand signals most likely.

Kevin from Savage, MN

"Four days to make turkey soup out of gizzards"? Please see yourself out. As for JL playing this week, I would MUCH rather have him play with several days' notice than coming in spur of the moment and cold. For many reasons, including game-planning and mental preparation. KC would obviously prefer to avoid Aaron Rodgers, but what advantages or disadvantages do they have knowing the situation in advance?

The Chiefs can take a look at the preseason and Week 1 film and see which types of pass plays/concepts Love executed best and prepare for those. But they won't know what else might be in the game plan that he's repping this week.

Kyle from Pittsburgh, PA

My favorite part of II is that neither of you gets overzealous about pre-game prognosticating or post-game interpretation. It's what ruined sports programming outside of the games for me. So many analysts and commentators go over the top on game results, roster moves, player/coach relationships, etc. Do you have any insight that a new ethic will emerge where sports analysis will be more technical and pragmatic? Or are forced (often loud) opinions/predictions the industry standard?

The latter is what drives clicks and audience numbers. I'm forever grateful my employer doesn't judge me based on such metrics.

Woody from Cincinnati, OH

Hello II, sometimes even sports reporters drive me crazy. Why are they so fixed on whether or not AR12 was vaccinated? Don't they know that any person can catch Covid regardless of vaccination status? Have they not heard of the many "breakthrough" cases? Vaccination only lessens symptoms. It does not keep a person from contracting the virus or from passing it on to others. So, if a player is vaccinated and then still catches the virus (or is only exposed to it), is it "selfish"?

The issue, purely from an NFL standpoint, is the mandatory absence time and other protocols are different for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated individuals, according to the agreement reached between the league and the players' union. So an unvaccinated player is subjecting himself to different consequences should he contract the virus, and creating the risk of being deemed a "close contact" relative to other positive tests, compared to a vaccinated player.

Larry from Green Valley, AZ

AR essentially lied to everyone … how do view that thru your rose-colored glasses?

My glasses are not rose-colored nor any-other-colored if you have any familiarity with my work. Yet you believe that and still come to our website, so I'll let you sort that out. As for Rodgers, I want to hear what he has to say. I think we all do.

Jeff from Montclair, VA

No question, just a comment: Crappy day at work today. Came home, checked the INSTAGRAM, and bam...saw that Cliff's book is finally valuable for pre-sale. Instant mood change. How awesome is that? OK, so maybe that's a question, but Dec. 10 can't come soon enough, and just in time for my trip back to the motherland for Da Bears! First stop...the Pro Shop.

After a couple weeks off, Cliff resumed his weekly Sneak Previews of the chapters in his history book this week. Even if you don't plan on buying the book, all of Cliff's teasers and nuggets are worth digesting.

David from Oak Hills, CA

It has been noted, rightfully so, how well Packer fans travel for road games. Is that something that has been historically true, even during long losing stretches, or is it more of a reality in recent history with Favre and Rodgers at the helm? It's great to see so many Packer fans on road games "taking over stadiums." May we enjoy what we have while we got it. So many fan bases would give anything to have what us Packer fans have had for the last 25 years or so.

I believe it's a product of the last quarter century. I don't recall watching games on TV growing up in the '70s and '80s and seeing a lot of Packers fans at other stadiums. I'm curious to see/hear the volume of Packers fans at Arrowhead on Sunday.

Matt from Fountain City, WI

Suppose the Packers go into Arrowhead and come home with a win. Does ML finally get some real recognition regarding Coach of the Year talks?

Another popular sentiment. That would get the hype train on the tracks for sure.

Richard from Menasha, WI

When does No. 69 need to come off the PUP list to be able to play in KC?

The Packers would have to activate him by Saturday afternoon.

TC from Waunakee, WI

Good morning II, any idea why the Packers made the change at long snapper? I haven't noticed any poor snaps on kicking plays, and I can't imagine there's much salary to be saved at that position by going younger. Did the new guy just out-perform in practice or what?

As soon as Steven Wirtel was signed to the practice squad, this move was a distinct possibility. Bradley had plenty of snaps that, while not disastrous, were off on both punts and field goals. I'm surprised the change wasn't made sooner, actually.

Ken from North Tonawanda, NY

Packer fan since 1963. Just a comment: It seems to me this team is made up of a group guys who welcome a challenge. I won't be surprised if they get it done.

Cooper Rush, Mike White, Trevor Siemian …

Doug from Neenah, WI

Good morning, Mike. What is the over/under for the number of times the TV cameras show Brian Gutekunst in the press box at Sunday's game? Seems like it will be a lot...good or bad. Thanks.

All part of the deal. It's funny, though … prior to last year when our website team traveled regularly, anytime the TV cameras showed Murphy or Gutekunst in the press box I was usually no more than a seat or two away. But alas, no screen time for me. No soup either, of course.

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

Best Packer backup QBs in no particular order: Zeke Bratkowski, Brett Favre, Babe Parilli, Matt Flynn. I suppose AR though he didn't see much action. Who'd I miss?

Rodgers saw more action as a backup than Favre, who was a backup in Green Bay for only three weeks before he became the starter for 16 years. Didn't Cecil Isbell back up Arnie Herber for a while? He'd have to be on the list.

Phil from Portland, OR

When the Packers drafted Love, initially I actually liked the move. In the years prior to his pick, Rodgers had missed some significant time to injury, and the team struggled to win enough games to keep in the playoff race. We can yadda, yadda, yadda through all the drama in between, but I guess isn't this situation exactly why you want someone who can be "that guy" as your QB2?


Jim from Eau Claire, WI

I would like to take this time to thank the Arizona Cardinals for allowing us access to De'Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas.

I know the Packers just beat the Cardinals. As we all know, anything can happen in any given game. But keep in mind your post speaks to just how good the Cardinals might actually be.

Christian from Metairie, LA

Hey Mike, it looks like Wes doubled up on the AFC North and snubbed the AFC South. I blame his editor for missing it and stealing his sandwiches, malnourishment causes cognitive decline. Are the Bengals with Burrow legit? They seem very inconsistent and were not impressive against the Packers.

I'm sure the AFC South snub was a reflection of the injury to Derrick Henry, with the Titans by far the best team in that division. I look at the Bengals, Chargers and Chiefs as teams all struggling with inconsistency but capable of vaulting themselves into the AFC conversation at any point.

Zack from Spokane, WA

Hello Insiders! I was curious on what you guys think about how likely it will be for AR to play against Seattle if he is able to return on the 13th?

I have no idea. If any QB can not practice for two weeks and go out and win a game, it's Rodgers. But it's LaFleur's call whether that will be best for the team, and how Love performs Sunday may factor into the decision, potentially.

Derek from Sheboygan, WI

What are the Packers going to do regarding kickoff return with Kylin Hill being out?

Patrick Taylor has been put on the active roster as the No. 3 running back, and he might get a look. Malik Taylor also has handled the duty. If it's not one of those two, the Packers are springing a surprise on Sunday.

Mike from Cascade, ID

I'm disappointed that the story about De'Vondre Campbell being named NFC Defensive Player of the Month is being pushed to the background somewhat due to the Rodgers news.

We could be looking at the first Packers inside linebacker headed for a Pro Bowl in 11 years (A.J. Hawk, 2010) or All-Pro recognition in 14 years (Nick Barnett, 2007).

Tanner from Lake Forest, CA

"Fairy tales do not start, nor do they end in the dark forest. That son of a gun always shows up smack-dab in the middle of a story. But it will all work out. Now, it may not work out how you think it will or how you hope it does, but believe me, it will all work out." – Ted Lasso

I recently found the time to watch Ted Lasso and heard this quote last night. I felt the need to share as it could resonate with our community.

I like it.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

OK after this game, no more drama please. This is getting tiring.

Ha. You're watching the wrong league, man.




Kurt from Long Lake, WI

First and foremost, I hope No. 12 is healthy and recovers. A message for our fans … Character is defined during adversity. This team has been dealing with adversity since the draft and it has galvanized them. I believe they will go into Kansas City and have another defining moment in this special season. The players are mentally tough and bonded together like no other team I've seen in my 50-plus years following them. Fans need to stop worrying about the negatives and enjoy this journey.

No matter the outcome, and however we got here, how can anyone not be interested in what unfolds? Happy Friday.