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Inbox: They must make it work with what they have

There is time, but it has to start now

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Offensive huddle

Matt from Des Moines, IA

It was a live chicken, but apparently a KFC bucket works.

And once again we're off …

Jesus from El Paso, TX

I absolutely loved watching the two of you squirm in my new favorite Three Things video of all time. Can anyone ever get enough of The Rock? He sure knows how to lighten up the mood!

For anyone who has doubted me and Wes that we have no idea what Larry is going to say when the camera goes on, that edition of Three Things should serve as definitive proof.

Andy from Birnamwood, WI

I could be misremembering, but I believe Mike McCarthy had an amazing record coming out of bye weeks up until towards the end of his tenure in GB. I believe GB is going to see the best version of Dallas this week. With how poor execution has been, do you believe GB is even worried about who they are playing this week?

As far as I'm concerned, it's been way more about the Packers than the opponent for a few weeks now. And yes, McCarthy was 9-2 following regular-season bye weeks in Green Bay until losing his last two.

Tim from Superior, WI

Regarding the hopeful elimination of artificial turf in NFL stadiums, would this be a collective bargaining issue with the NFLPA and the owners? If so, the owners' silence can be logically explained. In negotiations, neither party will acquiesce without something else given in return.

It's not that simple. There are a lot of separate entities and tricky details involved in stadium ownership across the NFL. There isn't nearly enough time to get into all the potential difficulties regarding something that is immensely unlikely to happen.

Doug from Parker, CO

Commentators talk about players knowing what each other is thinking, but it takes time, practice, games, and repetition to get the chemistry of Aaron Rodgers to Adams/Randall Cobb/Nelson. It doesn't just happen. When you practice all week with a group of receivers to get on the same page, then start losing them on the second play of the game...well, that's why the casual fan wonders, "Where is he throwing it to?" The scheme isn't the problem. We need player continuity. Is there enough time for that?

That's been the biggest week-to-week proposition with the offense all season. They must make it work with what they have and find it at some point. There is time, but it has to start now.

Ron from Bellaire, MI

Is it time for AR12 to set his need for trust aside and begin to just fire on schedule and let the young men begin to take ownership and responsibility for their performance? It seems he has been cautious and trying to protect the young receivers and it has affected his focus, timing and accuracy. Have you noticed anything along these lines?

It's very hard to know when all this stuff happens at hyper-speed in live games, but there may be some truth to that. I don't honestly know. But again, he plays the game the way he plays it, and he's been awfully successful. In my mind, he has to be who he is, no different than regarding the questions I answered earlier this week about his attitude and demeanor. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think asking him to change is going to produce the benefits many assume it will.

With temperatures peaking near 70° in Green Bay, the Packers held practice outside on Clarke Hinkle Field on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.

Doug from Odell, IL

Do we need another outside LB?

Edge rushers don't grow on trees, out back or anywhere else. It helps the Packers are getting Tipa Galeai back from IR now, and La'Darius Hamilton is another option on the practice squad, but this was a position not overly stocked with proven depth from the start. These young guys have an opportunity to seize.

Aaron from Shelley, ID

I looked at the injury report and it seems to be missing a foot injury for the team continuing to shoot themselves in the foot. Do you think the players are all trying too hard to be perfect that they are forgetting how to play loose, which is leading to continued penalties and inability to execute?

I don't think they're trying too hard to be perfect, but channeling emotions properly and effectively should help get the discipline penalties under control.

Craig from Lakeville, MN

What is the plan for Johnathan Abram?

Find out what he can do and how quickly he can learn the systems on special teams and defense. I would imagine he could step into Bisaccia's special teams right away.

Robert from Verona, WI

With the addition of Johnathan Abram, and the injury to Eric Stokes, is it reasonable to think this could be the catalyst to move Darnell Savage to the slot?

We shall see. If that's in the works, and I stress if, I don't see it happening just a few days after Abram's arrival. I also think the coaches like what Keisean Nixon brings to the slot position, his crucial penalty last week notwithstanding. Either way, what the Packers do have in the coming weeks is options.

Dennis from De Pere, WI

That Ford-Nixon answer was Bush-league, at best. Ha Ha!

Now we can both see ourselves out.

Scott from Hudson, WI

Hi Mike, one of your Inbox answers stated that the Packers "are capable of more." I'm your typical diehard Packer fan for 64 years but in my humble opinion and watching the mistakes, penalties and seeing both lines being dominated by the other team each game, I think we are who we are, pretty average. What are you seeing and the rest of us missing that shows we are capable of more? Thanks and keep up the hope.

What I've seen over the past five weeks is the Packers storm out to a 17-3 lead on a Giants team that is 6-2; allow a mere three points over eight possessions (eight! and the one score was after a turnover in plus territory) against the Jets, another team that is 6-2; take a 14-3 lead and be a ticky-tack flag from going up 21-10 on the road at Washington; rush for 200 yards at Buffalo and allow just three points in the second half to that explosive offense; and do everything but get the 1 or 5 or 17 yards needed for a victory in Detroit. By detailing all that, I'm not suggesting the Packers deserved to win any of those games. They absolutely didn't. But if they're capable of all those things at different stages of games, they're capable of playing like that long enough to win some.

James from Sawbridgeworth, UK

Mike, I wish we could rewind the clock to Watford, sitting in the pub with a roasted nuts ale with a 3-1 record … Maybe the Packers caught a London curse?

I don't think that's it, but yeah, I'm starting to wonder if I just chose the wrong beverage that night, James.

Thomas from Cedar Rapids, IA

In regard to the question by Ken from KY about the play clock, the frustration was magnified in the Detroit game because of how late the team broke the huddle. Running the clock to zero is one thing but getting to the line with less than 10 seconds is another. This happened numerous times. The problem isn't that AR is taking too much time to evaluate the defense, it's that he doesn't have enough time! It's a consistent self-inflicted wound.

No argument here. I think the plethora of personnel adjustments last game due to injuries made the offensive communication a constant struggle.

Kevin from Bogart, GA

Great response to Dan from Algonquin; the workplace is pretty much the same for a pro team and an office/plant whatever. No one wants to be blamed or called out, there is a right way to communicate, there is team building. The big difference is most of us are not under a microscope like professional athletes. Fortunately we do not have to read about what we could have would have or should have done the next day. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

"The film room is the NFL's truth serum" might be my favorite line of all the good ones Wes has written in this space.

Tom from Tucson, AZ

You got me wondering about the film room process. Does the entire team and coaching staff watch the entire game together? Do position coaches and position players watch their areas of interest together? Do players watch alone, etc.?

All of the above. Most of the film study is conducted via the latter two, but there are times the whole team gets together to review certain segments as a collective group.

JD from Madison, WI

Mike, it is my understanding that every player is graded on every play. Is this done by an independent source and by the position coaches? Who grades out as the best and worst on offense, defense and special teams so far this year?

The position coaches grade all their players and do not share that information with the media.

Al from Pasadena, CA

Mike, I think your piece on Rodgers and McCarthy is exceptionally well written.

I appreciate that. I took a very unconventional approach in order to cover a lot of ground in a succinct manner so we could get the story up very quickly after Rodgers' interview was over. Hopefully it worked.

Craig from Sheboygan, WI

Seahawks are the most surprising team in the NFL this year. Now add to that they received three first-round picks for Wilson and they can build a winner for years to come. I don't think anyone saw that coming.

Nope, because nobody saw Geno Smith halfway through the season leading the league in completion percentage (73.1) and ranking third in passer rating (107.2). What you say about building a winner for years to come will hinge on whether Smith can sustain this level of play over the long haul, or if Seattle caught lightning in a bottle this year.

Austin from Manassas, VA

At what point is there too much parity? It seems like this season we're getting a taste of what that might look like (not saying we accomplished this). Complete parity would mean there are no perennial contenders, or it would be more about luck than anything else. As a fan, I don't like the sound of that.

Parity doesn't convert everything to luck, but it makes the margins smaller and allows games to turn on a play here or there. It also keeps as many teams as possible in the hunt down the stretch, which keeps more eyeballs on the games.

Aaron from Lawton, OK

Living near Dallas, I am surrounded by Cowboys fans that remain anxious about this week's game. My boys and I went to the Dec. 2013 game and were in the dumps at halftime as Romo led the home team to a big edge with Rodgers in street clothes. The Cowboys fan that told me, "Don't worry, we've blown bigger leads," was prophetic and we witnessed the biggest comeback in Packers history. Maybe this game is just what the Packers need – a Cowboys team with all the pressure on their sideline?

That's a nice thought, but said pressure needs to be generated by the Packers playing clean football, executing productively, and not looking like a 3-6 team Sunday. That's where the pressure on the Cowboys must come from for them to feel any.

Spencer from Union, KY

What young player are you most excited to see given the injuries?

The other day I mentioned Kingsley Enagbare, but the one I talked about on our latest "Unscripted" is Christian Watson. He hasn't played enough to be as far along halfway through his rookie season as anticipated, but I believe he's got to be a factor for this offense to start scoring more points.

Scott from Hayward, WI

For the sake of staying optimistic and being realistic at the same time, let's say the Packers beat Dallas, and most of the NFC teams lose this weekend. As much as it pains me to say it, is it too early to become a cheerleader for the Vikings to knock off our competition for the wild card, and create a rematch for us to beat the Vikings in the playoffs?

Just beat the Cowboys.

Patrick from Folly Beach, SC

Not a question, but as a retired, disabled veteran, I want to thank your whole news staff for outstanding coverage and sane commentary on my favorite team. I remember being huddled in a tent overseas waiting on your coverage of the Packers. And, later, when I was in the hospital I had internet coverage as well. I had a friendly rivalry with other service members and because of your stats and information I was able to provide good responses. Again, thank you!

All the best, Patrick, and a sincere appreciation to you and all the military folks and their families on this Veterans Day. I posted this in my live chat Wednesday, but for those who didn't see it, here's the link to the story I did three years ago on former Packers offensive lineman Daryn Colledge's post-football military career. Colledge is the organization's Salute to Service nominee for 2022.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Good morning, there's so much consternation about what needs to happen. Simple. Mike, can you go on vacation?

I'm willing to try anything, and that sounds like a great deal for me. Happy Friday.

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