Presented by

Inbox: They've given the Packers something they've long been searching for

Matt LaFleur deserves every bit of credit thrown his way

211026-insider-inbox-2560
P Corey Bojorquez

Steve from Wigan, UK

No mention of Corey Bojorquez yesterday? Booming pressure punts out of the end zone and then the punt that bounced inches from the end zone. He's got to be a keeper?

You know what, Steve? We'll make him the headline for ya. How 'bout that?

Mike from Cascade, ID

Hi II, that punt that Corey Bojorquez planted on the goal line was a thing of beauty! I haven't been this excited to watch a punter since I watched Ray Guy play for the Raiders when I was growing up in Oakland. I think the contribution that Bojorquez makes to the Packers can't be overstated.

Something very interesting happened this summer. The Packers signed an inside linebacker at the end of the offseason program and traded for a punter at the end of training camp, and they've made a significant impact on their respective phase. De'Vondre Campbell is on pace for like 156 tackles this season, while Bojorquez has been a weapon on punts. He hasn't only been consistent – he's been a game-changer for Green Bay's special teams. The contributions of Campbell and Bojorquez cannot be overstated because they've given the Packers something they've long been searching for at their respective positions.

Jon from Fargo, ND

As much as I want to see 69 play this week against Arizona, sure seems like a good opportunity to take advantage of the mini bye after a Thursday night game. My prediction is that we first see him play against the Chiefs. Thoughts?

It would seem difficult for David Bakhtiari to be game-ready with no real practices this week, but I also will never say never. With an extra practice day next week, however, Kansas City does seem much more reasonable.

Craig (not Lori) from Brookfield, WI

For public consumption, everyone in the Packer organization has to say that no opponent can be taken lightly, and that winning is difficult no matter who you're playing. There's truth in that. But do you think the Packers held back on returning any injured players against WFT, knowing they faced a much tougher opponent in AZ – and a short week?

No, I truthfully don't believe that was the thinking. The team might have held back some players who were borderline because GB is facing a stretch of two games in five days, but I don't think it had anything to do with the 7-0 Cardinals. If any player held out against Washington plays in Arizona, it's because that player is healthy and good to go.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, when a Mason Crosby field-goal attempt is blocked, is that reflected in his personal stats?

It is. It went down as a missed field goal. He's now 12-of-16 on the season.

Scott from Palos Park, IL

Robert Tonyan attracts attention in the flat and Marcedes Lewis is open on a crossing route 10 yards deep. This look has worked a few times recently and this look will pull safety help at some point. My question is when is MVS expected back?

MVS is the name, or acronym, that's on my radar for Thursday night. When asked about his potential availability for Thursday, LaFleur replied: "Absolutely. There's hope for that." Similar to when Allen Lazard was out last year, the Packers don't have another receiver on the roster that can do what Marquez Valdes-Scantling does on a football field. If MVS is able to get back Thursday night, that would be a huge shot in the arm.

Brendan from Warren, MI

Good morning, Wes. I'm sure II has gone over this before, but I wouldn't mind a refresher. How do these short Sunday-Thursday turnarounds affect the team's preparation? Are the coaches already analyzing film and preparing a game plan ahead of Sunday's game against WFT, or does the staff just put in some OT on Sunday and get ready for the installs on Monday? Can't imagine how much hard work goes into these short weeks not only for the staff and players, but for you media guys, as well.

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said all the assistants pulled a little double-duty last week, formulating plans and whatnot within their own individual emphasis (e.g. third downs, red zone, etc.). Then, after the Washington game, the coaches returned on Sunday night to begin game-planning for the Cardinals. That carried over into Monday. The Packers will put those plans in place today, practice a little on Wednesday and then get on the plane for Arizona.

Paul from Northglenn, CO

What does GB do to contain Kyler Murray to the pocket? As short as he is, would it not benefit GB to make him throw over linemen versus have free reign outside the pocket? Can a spy contain him? Could that be Jaylon Smith?

The Packers have to stay in their rush lanes and play with discipline. Murray is going to make plays. Like Joe Burrow, Murray also is going to give the defense a few chances to make a few of its own. The key is not allowing him to kill you with his scrambling. If you lose your gap, Murray is going to sprint right through it. Campbell would be an ideal guy to spy him but the Packers also need him in coverage. That's a tough call for Green Bay.

Chun from El Monte, CA

I think Matt LaFleur deserves a shout-out. It's very difficult to win in the NFL, with teams adjusting each offseason to adapt to teams. ML has been able to win and win at an astonishing rate. We get he has one of the GOATs in his corner but he really is a good coach and seems to be improving his craft every year.

LaFleur never likes to take any credit but the fact is the guy has won 32 of his first 39 regular-season games in the NFL. That's remarkable and puts him in elite company. He's built the right offense, called the right plays and empowered the right people. LaFleur deserves every bit of credit thrown his way for how the Packers have performed under his watch.

Brandon from Margate, FL

This isn't a question but I get just as excited watching Marcedes Lewis catch a 6-yard check-down as I do when Davante Adams makes a spectacular one-handed catch. I really hope the "Big Dog" can get his ring this year!

Lewis has been quite the unstated weapon in the Packers' offense this year. Even if there weren't 17 regular-season games now, Lewis would still be on pace for his most catches, yards and touchdowns in a Green Bay uniform.

Tom from Green Lake, WI

Good morning. Thank you for the great job you do in providing this forum for fans! Joe Barry, our defensive coordinator, has tested positive for COVID-19. He has been vaccinated, but now the question is, who has he been in contact with? In addition, I see the Packers have placed WR Davante Adams on the reserve/COVID-19 list. What does all this mean regarding the team the Packers will have at Arizona?

That's all we know right now. The Packers went into heightened COVID protocols on Monday and conducted meetings virtually. Players and coaches will continue to get tested this week. Like anything with the pandemic, the goal is to mitigate the spread. The Packers had a couple blips on the radar last season and managed to control it.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Now this is a five-alarm emergency! What are the chances that Davante can play Thursday?

NFL teams cannot comment on the health of players placed on the COVID-19 list but we do know it's reserved for players who have either tested positive or been deemed to be a close contact with someone who tested positive. Either way, Adams would need two negative COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart to be eligible for activation.

Kyle from Raleigh, NC

Good morning II! If Adams is out Thursday, I would love to see Randall Cobb shine yet again and our other receivers build on the awesome progress we saw on Sunday. Even if we don't win, let's hope this can lull the Cardinals into a false sense of security when we meet them in the postseason. Let's get redemption for 2015!

You guys saw earlier this month what kind of difference Cobb can make on short notice, so it's not out of the realm of possibilities. No, it wouldn't be ideal if Adams was out but the Packers have the weapons to survive without him for a game, especially if MVS is back.

Al from Green Bay, WI

We learned from QB1 that throwing to Davante Adams "there are no 50/50 balls." So, what's the split? 80/20?

Or 83/17.

Stephen from Green Bay, WI

Speaking of Robert Tonyan and Allen Lazard finally getting some love, I wonder if we are going to see a lot more action Thursday night for those two?

I would think so. With Adams' status up in the air, it would seem to me Tonyan and Lazard are two of the "constants" as the coaches develop their plan.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

Good day. I thought I would submit this comment. In 2012, I was hoping the Packers would draft Whitney Mercilus but the Texans drafted him two picks before the Packers' pick. I waited nine-plus years to see Mercilus in a Packer uniform. He did not disappoint and he is still a good player. Good pickup by the Packers. Sometimes you have to exercise patience especially when you have no control. On to Arizona.

Aaron Rodgers sure liked the move. He went out of his way to praise Mercilus after the game and expressed how he feels the 10-year veteran could be a missing piece for the defense with Za'Darius Smith still on injured reserve.

Terrence from Austin, TX

I am seeing a lot of praise for the defense's first goal-line stand where the touchdown was overturned on review, but honestly that sequence of events felt like a technicality of the rules. I don't feel right saying that was a "stand" by the Packers' defense when they really didn't guard the goal line well enough on third down. The fourth-down stand was clutch though.

You can stare at the half-empty glass all you want. I'll continue enjoying the half-full side of life. It's football. Nothing is perfect.

Jack from Moweaqua, IL

That game looked a lot like last year's defense, bend but don't break. Love the resiliency of this defense even with a lot of star players out. I thought that fourth-down stop by Eric Stokes right before halftime was a HUGE play in the game. Even after giving up that long TD he comes back and make some big stops on defense. I can't say enough how this organization has invested in that position. You guys agree?

Resiliency was the word sitting on the tip of my tongue as I drove home after the game. The defense played well against an unorthodox offense. While Taylor Heinicke moved the ball on Green Bay, the Packers' defense didn't collapse. Green Bay needed to flash that element of its defense and it did Sunday. Only one of Washington's seven explosive plays came on a touchdown-producing drive. As the field shrunk, the Packers got stronger and stronger.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Both of you had predicted a big breakout on offense in terms of points but we still are in the curious space of having our offensive production being reduced each week; with this week being tied with last week at 24. Is it possible the quick releases on passing to avoid the rush are trimming our playbook down too much? It seems like in the WFT game we tried to go back to some long developing plays but the pressure got to us and we could not convert.

That's fair criticism. Aaron Rodgers mentioned after the game there were a couple times when a play was developing but he just couldn't get it off before the rush got there. I'm not alarmed, though. When Rodgers said they're close, there's iron in those words. MVS could be back this week. David Bakhtiari will be back here in the next few weeks and hopefully Josh Myers shortly after that. Green Bay just needs to stem this tide a little longer.

Logan from Dublin, GA

Will we ever see the navy Packers' throwback uniforms?

On a long enough timeline…yes. But the Packers will be wearing these '50s Classic unis for the next five seasons.

Daniel from Allen, TX

In what is a rare occasion for me, I'm going to disagree with Spoff. Although I liked Sunday's throwbacks, my favorite is still the 1929 jersey; the blue jersey with the gold circle with the number in it along with the gold pants. Wonder what others think?

I miss the blue gear, too. It's much more difficult to coordinate green and yellow Monday through Friday than blue and yellow. But I thought the '50s unis looked fresh. It's nice to have a little change of pace once in a while.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

Is there a deadline each week by which time players need to be elevated from the practice squad in order to be eligible to play in that week's game?

I believe the day is the waiver wire at 3 p.m. CT on the day of the game. The Packers elevated Equanimeous St. Brown hours before the Monday Night Football game against Detroit.

Dan from Waupun, WI

How do they come up with an injury report on a Monday? Do they ask who can get coffee?

Of all your alter egos…Dan always asks the best questions. And yes, that's exactly how they did it. Estimation is the spice of life in the NFL.

Joseph from Salt Lake City, UT

Can we be optimistic "20" and "91" will be active Thursday?

Both were estimated as limited on Monday. That's actually a good sign for Preston Smith, as it suggests he didn't have any setbacks from his return to practice on Friday.

Randy from Erlanger, KY

One week the opposing kicker celebrates missing a game-winning field goal and another week the opposing QB celebrates not scoring a TD. What could possibly happen next? "La La Land" winning best picture?

Strong reference, Randy. Quite strong.

Kyle from Eden Prairie, MN

As Packers fans, we have much to be thankful for, not the least of which is Aaron's thoughtful approach at the mic during postgame pressers. I'm not sure I could be any happier than watching a player of that caliber make subtle "Big Lebowski" references while wearing a Doc Holliday tee. Beautiful.

That sly Lebowski reference made my year.

Subhadeep from Middletown , CT

Not a question but a comment that this week's Packers' goal is to make sure there is no unbeaten team left in this season. Let's tie the Cardinals at 7-1.

It won't be easy…and Monday's developments didn't exactly help. Every week is a new challenge in the NFL. The Packers know what must be done.

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

Hi Wes. Please answer the following question:

The "one" key to beating the Cardinals on Thursday is:

Me: Containing Kyler Murray.

What say you? Thanks.

Wes: "What Jeff said."

Advertising