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Inbox: You get what you emphasize

So yeah, Davante Adams is that good


John from Madison, AL

Obviously the Packers lost a very heartbreaking game on Sunday due in part to a flagrant mistake. Every team loses games like that from time to time and move on from it. When I sift thru the blogs below your Q&As, let me just say that I am very happy some of those people don't run the team!

If I've learned anything in this racket over the past decade, it's don't read the comments. As Crash Davis once said, it can only hurt the ball club. Good morning!

Aaron from Winter Gardens, FL

Insiders, one thing to point out with the Ha Ha trade. I've seen arguments that say, "Why trade him when we'd get back a fourth-round comp pick in 2020?" This logic fails to recognize that comp picks are awarded based on net gains and losses. The fourth-round pick was not guaranteed as we may make a few free-agent acquisitions this offseason that otherwise would negate the comp pick.

You're right. In addition to the Packers having to tiptoe through free agency to not offset the formula, there's also no guarantee it would have been a fourth-rounder anyway. Micah Hyde got a nice contract two years ago, but still only commanded a fifth. Plus, Washington's fourth falls in the round instead of at the end of it. The longer I've covered the league, the more I think the compensatory process is a tad overrated.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

I just want to acknowledge that in yesterday's Inbox, Mike wrote, "The cornerback position is this team's deepest." What a difference a couple of years makes, huh? Personally, if I had to pick a position to have the most depth, that might be it.

You get what you emphasize and the Packers invested a lot of resources into that position in recent years. That entire unit has come a long way in a short amount of time. Individually, they really seem to have hit a home run with Jaire Alexander. He's a first-round talent with an All-Pro temperament.

Scott from North Liberty, IN

No question, just a statement. Alexander is here to do two things, chew bubble gum and break up passes. But by Sunday, he's all out of bubble gum.

You have no idea how much I appreciated this comment.

Philip from Salt Lake City, UT

For those questioning if Davante Adams is a product of Aaron Rodgers, just look back to previous years when Adams was hurt and how the offense struggled with WRs struggling to get open.

I tersely answered that question the way I did because it was dumb, and I was tired and agitated, but what I really should have mentioned is how the guy earned a lucrative extension despite not having Rodgers as his quarterback for seven games. If you prorate those seven games over an entire season, Adams would have been on track for around 1,100 yards. So yeah, he's that good.

Josh from Sherman Oaks, CA

What percentage of defensive snaps has Ha Ha been playing?

He's an every-down guy. He's played nearly every snap on the back end since becoming a full-fledged starter midway through his rookie year in 2014.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

I understand the concept of "addition by subtraction." Now with a couple days to digest, do you think the Packers are a better team now than they were Monday?

We're about to find out. As Brian Gutekunst said Wednesday morning, the Packers are excited about this team and the opportunities that will be presented to certain individuals on this roster in the coming weeks. Specifically, I think this will be great for Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams to really spread their wings in this offense.

Erik from Penfield, NY

Good morning. What kind of runner is Tra Carson? We could really use a sledge hammer to get us those third-and-shorts.

At 5-foot-11, 228 pounds, Carson is the definition of a physical back. He was lauded by scouts for his power, balance and effort coming out of Texas A&M a few years ago and appears to be a solid change-of-pace option to Jones and Williams. What strikes me about Carson is he's bounced around for a few years, but never really had an opportunity to show what he can do. Well, here it is.

Jim from Houston, TX

Is Randall Cobb the antidote to the third-down ailments? Third downs will decide this game. See you there!

A healthy Cobb would certainly help. Throughout his career, Cobb has been a receiver who consistently moves the chains for the offense. It seems like he came out of the Rams game no worse for wear, which is good news. The Packers are going to need him as the temperature starts to dip.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, who will be returning kickoffs for the Pack?

Marquez Valdes-Scantling is probably the next man up with Trevor Davis still on injured reserve. MVS did some of that during the preseason and spelled Montgomery earlier this regular season, returning one kickoff for 21 yards.

LeeAnn from Corydon, IN

It's obvious Mike McCarthy and Mike Pettine have a plan. By the end of Sunday, will we know what that plan is?

I doubt the plan is singular, but the approach the Packers choose against one of the NFL's elite teams probably speaks to the general direction they feel most comfortable taking moving forward.

The Packers were back on the practice field Wednesday ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Patriots.

Adam from Madison, WI

How much does Mike Pettine's experience coaching in the AFC East matter against New England and the other teams going forward? Is there anything that can be drawn from it or is the NFL too year-to-year for it to matter?

Oh, it matters. During their time together with the New York Jets, Pettine and Rex Ryan had some wars with Bill Belichick and the Patriots. It's obviously been a few years, but I believe Pettine's experience against Tom Brady and Belichick has value considering New England historically is an uncommon opponent for the Packers.

Guy from Hudson, WI

What percentage of first-round draft choices get the fifth-year option? It seems that the Pack tends to play the "prove-it option" more than other teams. Nick Perry was an example. Do you think the NFL is headed for the rent-a-player system like MLB? The Eagles gave up a third-round pick for Tate for nine games. Is this the wave of the future?

I don't think so since there only were like five trades Tuesday. MLB is in an entirely different universe when it comes to those things. I had 20 of the 32 picks from the 2015 NFL Draft getting their fifth-year option exercised earlier this year. Based on previous years, that seems about par for the course.

Gina from Waukesha, WI

I was a little surprised by the trades of Montgomery and Dix. I know Gutekunst has control of the players but I don't think he would have done this if MM hadn't been in agreement, correct?

It's Gutekunst's roster, but there's a steady stream of communication with any significant transaction to keep the oars paddling in the same direction.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

If the team needed a wakeup call they've got a full dose of it now, wouldn't you say?

I don't know if I'd call it a wakeup call, but it's definitely a new day in Packerland. Not only because of the trades, but also Gutekunst stepping to the podium Wednesday and saying one reason the Packers traded Clinton-Dix instead of waiting for the compensatory pick is because they want to be active in free agency.

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Just watched Larry's Rock Report. Blake Martinez is the new Chad Brown if we're doing a reach back. Has explosion and speed that he used last year for run fits and is now applying it to blitzes with great effect. If we have to keep our comps local, he is Desmond Bishop with 15 more pounds of muscle. Has his pass protection improved enough to call him complete yet? He clearly seems to have the athleticism for it.

Martinez is an important piece to the puzzle for Pettine and his defense. Not only is he the key communicator, but it also would be tough to "go small" and roll those six-DB packages out without Martinez's steady hand in the heart of the defense.

Mark from Omro, WI

When a veteran player is traded in-season, how much time is he allowed to get to his new team? I assume he wants to get there ASAP, but, he has to pack, get a ride to the airport, catch a flight, get to a new town, rent a car, and try to find his way around. Then, find a hotel/apartment, and still spend most of his time learning his new team's playbook. How much help does he get from his former/new team? I see a stressful situation.

Antonio Morrison described the process as stressful and fast-paced after he was traded to the Packers in August. I believe it. Montgomery told Baltimore reporters Wednesday he was working on about three hours of sleep. Teams have people in place to help players transition to a new city, but most will stay in a local hotel for the first week or so until they have time to settle in and find a place. As for learning the playbook, let's just say they better keep the midnight candle lit.

Mike from Los Angeles, CA

Any chance the Packers would take a fresh look at Jayrone Elliott? He has been out of football for some time now and it appears the Saints decided he will never reach starting status, but with the trade deadline expired he might be able to bring the Packers some temporary depth to the edge.

I don't want to open a can of asparaguses about whether the Packers should be signing (insert player here), but I would like to express my disbelief Elliott isn't on a 53-man roster somewhere in the NFL. It's too bad he's no longer practice-squad eligible because he has the ability to play in this league as a reserve rusher with special-teams versatility.

James from Lake Havasu City, AZ

Wes, I'm curious to know now that we traded Ha Ha to Washington. What happens to the cap situation? Does it get broken up for individual games played? Or does Green Bay have to pay the whole thing for this year? Thanks for all the insight you guys provide for us. Big fan.

You hit it on the head. The Packers get a prorated percentage of their cap space back since Clinton-Dix and Montgomery were only on the roster for eight of 17 weeks.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Who will be the free agents next year from the Packers? When they traded Clinton-Dix, my immediate reaction is that the Packers have decided to put their money in one or more other free agents that the Packers currently would like to re-sign. What are your thoughts on this?

I'm not privy to what the Packers' plans are, but they have 10 unrestricted free agents in 2019, including Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb, Mo Wilkerson, Jake Ryan and Lance Kendricks.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Hypothetically, say a wide receiver converts to a running back and is allowed to keep his number. If that player joins another team as a running back, is he allowed to still wear his original number?

Montgomery is still wearing No. 88 for the Ravens. I'm sure the writers at will enjoy answering these questions as much as I have.

David from North Potomac, MD

Another perspective on the trades I'd like to share. My kids are now looking at their Jordy Nelson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix jerseys in their closets. They are wondering if it is even worth asking for other jerseys for Christmas since those players could be gone next year as well. What would you advise your kids to do in this situation?

I'd kindly explain to them that 10 (Nelson) and five (Clinton-Dix) seasons, respectively, is actually a fairly long time for an individual to play for one team in the NFL. If that's not good enough, I'd suggest getting a Bart Starr jersey.

Mike from Rota, Spain

I was sad to read about the death of Bob Skoronski. Underrated is understated, watching his film shows he was a beast. Looking at the Jim Taylor film from a couple weeks ago, he showed up over and over again making important blocks. One play in particular I recall, Taylor had reeled off about 30 yards, right next to him, guarding his left side opposite the out-of-bounds line was Skornoski. And Taylor was FAST! Any special moments about Bob that you guys can share?

What I'll remember most about Bob Skoronski is how Starr held his former left tackle and center in such high regard. He really valued Skoronski's presence and contributions during their 11 seasons together. An underrated anchor on those Lombardi offensive lines, Skoronski was a beloved leader who selflessly did whatever the Packers asked him to do.

Kevin from Lake Forest, IL

One thing lost in all of the hand-wringing regarding the Packers loss to the Rams is how sharp the Rams looked in those uniforms. I forgot how much of a mistake it was to change them after the 1999 season.

I agree. Spoff and I talked about it before the game. Those should be their permanent uniforms.

Ryan from Somerset, WI

When is "Unscripted" going to be on Spotify?

Sources close to my desk tell me **it already is**.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

This is why I watch the game. 3-3-1 is perfect, 0-7 would be terrible and 7-0 would be boring until the first playoff game. What more could a guy ask for, other than more cowbell?

Are you not entertained? Honestly, if it's November and you're not out of it, you're winning. Just ask Cleveland.

Joe from Asbury, IA

I know there is an Inbox hall of fame (or shame?), and as far as I can remember it's dedicated to questions asked. How about that answer by Mike to Scott from Oregon's question. I vote that as Inbox reply of the year, LOL!

It's the early favorite in the polls, and with only two months left in 2018, I honestly don't see anything beating it.

Will from South Jordan, UT

Wes, what were you for Halloween? I really hope you go as McLovin from Super Bad.

I've been going as a disheveled writer for the last 12 years. It seems to work for me.