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Inbox: This is an opportunity to step up and show your talent

There’s no better example of that than Rasul Douglas, himself


TK from Grafton, WI

Sad to see Rasul go! Good, tough player. The Packers need more guys who fit that description. However, the two main ingredients in a rebuild are draft picks and cap room. The trade of Douglas provides both.

I enjoyed my time covering Rasul Douglas. A co-winner of the Stand-Up Guy award last year, Douglas treated Green Bay media with utmost respect and always held himself accountable. Douglas played every snap with passion. That's just who he is. The guy wears his heart on his sleeve at all times. I wish Sul well in Buffalo.

Carmel from Green Bay, WI

What will be the immediate impact of trading Rasul Douglas on the next game? What does this do to the morale of the defense?

Trades are rare, but change is constant in the NFL. That's just the business. I think back to when the Packers traded Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at the deadline in 2018. As much as it hurts to see teammates leave, Tramon Williams embraced the challenge of playing safety during the second half of that season. For Keisean Nixon, Carrington Valentine, Corey Ballentine, and Robert Rochell, this is an opportunity to step up and show your talent. There's no better example of that than Rasul Douglas, himself.

Rick from Trempealeau, WI

Like a lot of Inboxers obviously, I was shocked at the Rasul trade. Do you think it was Gutey taking a page out of Ted Thompson's playbook, "You want to trade a player BEFORE his abilities start to decline, not after?"

Brian Gutekunst addressed the media for more than 20 minutes on Wednesday and reiterated the Packers weren't actively trying to deal Douglas. A phone call came "out of the blue" and Buffalo met Green Bay's demands. Douglas still has a lot of good football in front of him, but I view this more as the Packers getting value while rededicating themselves to the plan before Douglas signed off Arizona's practice squad. They have a half season now to see what they got in Eric Stokes and the players I just mentioned.

Bruce from Travelers Rest, SC

Remember this summer when you two received an (over)abundance of questions about how the Packers could possibly find enough playing time for Jaire Alexander, Douglas, Stokes and Nixon?

As we responded, these things always have a way of working themselves out – whether it's injuries, circumstances, or trades.

Jeff from Waterford, WI

With the trade of Douglas, who do you think is going to be starting cornerback?

Valentine has been the next man up for most of the year, though Eric Stokes also could be a candidate once he comes off injured reserve. Green Bay does have a small decision on what to do in base, though. It could plug in Valentine or use Nixon, who has only played nickel cornerback so far.

Josh from Newhall, CA

We're all disappointed to lose Rasul but it's a perfect example of the business end. We have what the GM believes are three starting outside CBs for two spots. Rasul is older and had a bigger cap hit than Stokes, which means he wasn't a lock to be on the roster next year. And I think there's a big value difference moving from Day 3 to Day 2. It sucks as a fan because I loved him, but I get it. The GM's job is year-round.

You raise a good point, which will double as my final take on this matter. Again, the Packers projected Stokes as being their perimeter cornerback opposite Alexander when they drafted him in the first round out of Georgia two years ago. They've had to deviate from that based on all these injuries, but the runway is clear for all these young corners to shine.

Andy from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

I agree in the past, we have had a great culture of overcoming adversity, but couldn't the sudden and expansive youth movement along with lack of positive results change that culture just as fast? Or would ML simply not allow it to happen?

I feel the leadership is sound on this locker room. Marcedes Lewis, Aaron Rodgers, and Randall Cobb are no longer here, but Aaron Jones, Kenny Clark, and Preston Smith are still showing this team what it means to be a professional.

Tom from Southfield, MI

II, let's stay with Pete from Hillsborough's puzzle analogy. When you work on a puzzle, you build the edge/corners/frame first. For this Packers team I think that's the mental mistakes and penalties. Get those taken care of, and the rest of the pieces should start to fall into place, right?

Fundamentals are the foundation. The cleaner you play, the more it's going to translate to execution on the field. The penalties are part of it, but it's also how you just fulfill your assignment every down.

Doug from Eugene, OR

Our current situation reminds me of a comment from Jack Nicklaus about winning. He said, "To win these tournaments, (major championships), you first have to learn that you can win, but you also have to learn why you shouldn't lose." I'm hopeful this team is somewhere in step two of this process. There is no particle accelerator for experience. Time and quality are the only ingredients. At this point, suggesting we switch to the purple Gatorade isn't gonna cut it. We need to learn to win, aye?

I liked what Jordan Love said to a version of this question at his locker on Wednesday: "That's the frustrating part is we don't want to wait. We know it's a process, but we want to speed up that process and just have that urgency that we know we gotta get better right now, right away." I talked earlier this week about progression leading to production, with patience also a part of that formula. You have to set the staircase before you build the tower.

Phil from Madison, WI

The Bills traded a low-third for a high-fifth and Rasul, who is expected to step in as their No. 1 corner. According to the draft value chart the two picks currently balance out to the Packers getting the top pick in the fourth round, value-wise. Fair trade?

I think the Packers got good value. Nobody is dealing first-round picks at the deadline. Shoot, San Francisco netted Chase Young for a third-round pick. That's more equity the Packers now have in this year's draft to either select a player or move around.

Christopher from Stratford Upon Avon, UK

Hey II facilitators, I was as surprised as the next that Rasul was traded. Would it not have served us well to have also made a trade for an OT, or OG? With 69 out and issues along the line, do the coaches think the OL is strong enough? Do you think they've sacrificed this year for a strong draft next year? It seems there are too many needs to rely on a perfect draft.

I think I'm going to change my job description to senior facilitator. Speaking generally, Gutekunst said the Packers considered adding to the roster at the deadline but there really wasn't anything out there and I tend to agree with him. The O-line skews younger than any of us expected, but it was a deep room. I'd rather see what the young tackles on this roster can do rather than trading for an expendable veteran elsewhere that may or may not be an upgrade.

Jason from Austin, TX

Do you think teams that become known for committing a lot of penalties get scrutinized by the refs more or is every play in its own vacuum? Similar to how teams study ref crews to see what they tend to call, do refs study teams to see what penalties they usually commit?

Penalties are no different than plays. If you put something on film, teams – or in this case, officials – will notice. Opposing teams also can point out particular emphases to officiating crews, as well.

Steven from Tucson, AZ

I can't help but wonder how the Vikings game might have been different had that ridiculous ineligible down field not been called. It might have boosted their confidence and got some momentum going. What do you think?

Hypotheticals are what they are, but that was a sick grab by Romeo Doubs. That would've been an explosive start for a team seeking an explosive start.

Laurie from Sheboygan, WI

Having the officials focusing on the minutiae, such as the ridiculous number of ineligible man downfield penalties, while letting player safety penalties go uncalled is a real headscratcher. At what point did the officials decide to focus on meaningless penalties at the expense of player safety?

While I don't disagree with your question, I'm gonna steer clear of the ditch on this one. The Packers have to do their jobs and allow the referees to do theirs. Sometimes the flags fly against you, but teams must perform to a level that makes poor calls irrelevant to the final result.

Dave from Comer, GA

To those people who say JL10 has had four years in the system and should be playing better. I liken it to practicing tennis against the back wall for four years, then getting thrown into a doubles match against world-class players and your partner is new on the circuit. Yes, you know how to swing the racquet and how to serve, but you don't have experience with your partner and the opponents are giving you different spin than the wall ever did.

In-game reps are infinitely more important than practice. As many times as Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson connected at Nitschke Field, it's what those two did together on Sundays that made that combination as lethal as it became. Love is getting the work he needs right now.

Bob from Marshfield, WI

We need to learn exactly what we have in Jordan Love before this season is over. Would you agree with this statement?

That would be helpful, yes. But I'm not going to sit here and say the Packers must know what they have in Jordan Love on this specific date. Development knows no timeline. Like Brian Gutekunst said, the Packers are looking for little victories and signs of growth over these next nine weeks.

Adam from Rapid City, SD

I know it's a chicken or egg question, as Love needs the team to improve their play and the team needs Love to improve his play for improved results. I think we need to recognize they are all doing their best and improvement will come in time. I believe all our expectations as fans pale in comparison to those of the players and coaches of themselves! Enjoy the ride for better or worse! Sorry, more of a rant than a question.

It's the nicest rant I've read in a minute. For that, I thank you.

Mike from McFarland, WI

What are the most fun sports-related Halloween traditions you've witnessed? Do all the players in the locker room dance to the Monster Mash or something?

I don't recall many Halloween traditions. I will say it's a shame the Packers lost on Sunday to Minnesota because Preston Smith having one of the best games of his career after showing up to Lambeau dressed as Michael Meyers would've been "Key to the Game" story material. That outfit, and subsequent performance, was iconic.

Joe from Las Vegas, NV

Hey, thanks for putting my submission first. Now what's your opinion of what the Raiders did? Thanks for all the positive context here.

Probably necessary. Thinking of our dude Edgar Bennett, though. E.B. is a real one. Hoping for the best for him.

Bob from Rome, NY

Wes: Yesterday, Spoff stated, "If I did, I'd have a job much higher on the totem pole around here than perusing hundreds of fan emails daily." I like the quote, but everyone should remember that no fans and emails, no team or league. II is right there at the top of priority for us! Thank you!

No doubt…and Spoff and I love Packers fans so much we purposely didn't go into player personnel.

Brian from Green Bay, WI

Can you explain the difference between QBR (quarterback rating) and passer rating? Which is a more accurate metric of QB play?

The day I collect a paycheck from ESPN is the day I'll start using QBR as an official statistic. To me, it's just another grain of rice in the statistics box. Call me old school but passer rating works perfectly fine for me.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Marketing thought: I have not been fortunate enough to attend one of the rallies where you two have appeared, but from reading this forum it is clear that several have. It might be fun to have the Packers Pro Shop sell reusable "Insider Inbox" name tags that have two permanent lines: "Handle" and "Last Published" where people can use a dry erase marker to write their name and last published question date for wearing at the rallies. Cheap to produce, draws interest at rallies, and helps people meet. Thanks.

The customers have spoken. Your move, PPS.

Juan from Miami, FL


Now that's the spirit. See y'all, Saturday.

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