Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: You have to fight through all of it

The difficulty is in the doing against Atlanta’s run game


Dave from Waterford, OH

Funny how things can change so dramatically so quickly. Before the season, most were picking the Packers to finish third or fourth in their division. And most had the Jets finishing first or second in their division. So, for Aaron Rodgers to come to Lambeau next year, a lot of folks thought the Packers needed to have a better record than expected, possibly even having to finish first to play the Jets next year. Now, it looks more likely that NYJ will hope to finish as well, position-wise, as GB.

Like we say every year around this time, this league is an 18-week rollercoaster. Peaks and valleys happen, but the trick is not getting too high or low. You have to fight through all of it to win. Sunday is the second chapter in the story of the 2023 Packers.

James from Panama City Beach, FL

Facing "The Dirty Birds," Joe Barry's defense will be tested on how good they are. Can they stop the run?

Yes, but it'll take effort and execution. The Packers know what must be done against the three-headed monster of Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson, but the difficulty is in the doing. Green Bay has the talent and depth to do it. If they can, it sets up the defense to pin its ears back and get after Desmond Ridder. The Packers must foster discomfort to come out victorious.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Hello Mike and Wes, this game the saying holds true, "Stop the run and run the ball." It'll be a true test for our defensive front.

No question. This matchup will test the Packers' endurance and discipline. We'll have to see what happens with Aaron Jones, but Green Bay will have a plan regardless of its Pro Bowl running back's status. If Jones can't go, the Packers must find those yards to support Jordan Love's cause. It isn't just on AJ Dillon, Emanuel Wilson and Patrick Taylor (if elevated) to step up for Jones. It's up to every skill-position player wearing a Packers uniform.

George from Kennebunkport, ME

For years, talking heads criticized the Packers for "not giving Rodgers weapons" and "no first-round WR," etc. Back in 2009, the WR room was young, with no first-rounder and within a year, the pass game blossomed. Now, Jordan Love has the youngest pass catchers in the league and no first-rounder. I hope other teams underestimate our pass game as we build chemistry. The football does not care how old you are or where you were drafted. I see the potential for history to repeat itself. GPG!

Like I've said for years, the Packers don't care where, or even if, you're drafted. They care if you catch and make plays. The Packers are focused on themselves, now more than ever, and I think this team relishes the position it's in. I know the veterans definitely do.

Cindy from Minneapolis, MN

If defensive backs watch the QB's eyes to anticipate a play, has a QB to your knowledge worn a tinted visor; do you think it would work? Seems like perfecting the no-look pass would be better and keep the QB's field of vision clear.

I think some of you took this a little too literal. Yes, DBs track quarterback's eyes but it's also everything that comes with the eyes – body language, positioning, etc. Jessie Bates has played a lot of ball. He's paying attention to everything.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, is a bird in the hand worth two Falcons in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium? Go, Pack!

You know Jayden Reed's nickname, right? This could be a good game for the Packers' "Bird" to go off.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Who's going to be the most important Falcons player to shut down for a win?

It's hard to isolate one player on a roster this deep, but the Packers can't let Robinson hurt them. He's going to get touches, but Green Bay needs hats to the ball and not allow him to squirm free. The Packers also need to test Robinson in pass pro. The more comfortable these rookie RBs get, the more difficult it becomes to get them off the field.

Bob from Grand Rapids, MI

Coach Ryan Downard on Darnell Savage: "He's bought into tracking the football in our team periods, not only in the air but in tackling, searing his eyes into the near hip." Could you please decipher what that means?

Downard is referring to Savage's pursuit to the football, whether it's been thrown or carried. By locking his eyes to the hips, the tackler can adjust his body to the ball carrier's movement, make the tackle and ultimately stop the ball.

Russ from Odell, IL

In regard to the question of why we don't see coffin-corner punts much anymore, IMO, very few were adept with positive results. Many punts were angled out before the desired goal and the referees would move the ball back up 10, 15 to 20 yards. Not a successful corner kick. I believe the ST coaches are relying on a more athletic player in this era to make the plays to wherever the ball may be kicked.

Any of you guys play "Madden" in the 2000s? Repping the coffin-corner punts in "Training Camp" mode was a total nightmare. Like Spoff said, the Aussie-style punt changed everything and also challenges the opposition to handle the football, which could lead to a muffed punt or fumble.

Jeremy from West Allis, WI

Here's an outrageous hypothetical question just for fun. Assuming the civilized world goes on forever and the NFL continues functioning indefinitely, which do you think happens first: another perfect season (20-0 or 21-0, etc.) or a Super Bowl championship three-peat?

A perfect season. If a team was ever gonna do the trifecta, it would've happened between Super Bowl I and the advent of free agency in 1993. I think there's just too many variables.

Matt from Fitchburg, WI

This talk about letting your drafted quarterback sit is nice and all, but I liken it to investing money to grow your income. You can't buy real estate or invest in the stock market if you don't have disposable income in the first place. On the same line, you can't sit your rookie quarterback if you don't have "the man" in the first place. Most people don't have that kind of disposable income and most teams don't have "the man."

No, but I think sometimes teams make excuses for rushing their rookie out there. You don't have to be in situations such as Aaron Rodgers (with Brett Favre) or Philip Rivers (with Drew Brees). Cincinnati played Jon Kitna in front of Carson Palmer for a year, while Alex Smith warmed the seat for both Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Mahomes.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. I only have one question in regard to Aaron Rodgers. Do you think he will play football next season? I don't know what the recovery period is for his surgery, but he then would have to get back into football shape. I just can't see him going through all of that.

Only Rodgers knows that answer for sure. Nobody is writing his story other than him. I did enjoy what Matt LaFleur said on Wednesday, "I would bet he would have no problem coming back from it." From there, the choice is whether Rodgers wants to keep playing or not.

Alex from Sanford, FL

To Pat from Kennesaw's point on growing grass indoors, haven't the Packers even used growing lights to help the field in the winter months? I would assume that could be a solution for those indoor teams, but again comes with additional costs. Also, doesn't just about every team in the league have indoor practice facilities with artificial turf where these injuries are just as likely to happen?

Yes, but the Packers also exercise more caution when practicing inside the Hutson Center. Even in the winter months, they will go outside for team periods. And yes, the Packers use grow lights inside Lambeau to great success.

Joe from Hampshire

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the UK and Gelre Dome in the Netherlands are examples of stadiums growing grass indoors using grow lights. They have mechanisms to store the field under the stadium stands during other events. Two challenges I see are expense, and also pulling this off in a stadium retrofit, as opposed to a brand-new stadium using a clean sheet design.

We live in innovative times. I think it's time to innovate. If your employees – the same employees you cannot live without – are asking for change, I think it's worth gaining their perspective and finding resolution. As I said Tuesday, no argument can be made that the NFL is better without Aaron Rodgers playing on Sundays. He's a really good quarterback but also one of the league's biggest stars.

Tony from Wauwatosa, WI

What are the most passing yards in a single game by Brett Favre? And what game did it happen in? Thank you.

Strangely enough, it happened during Favre's last NFL season in 2010. Favre threw for 446 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 27-24 win over Arizona on Nov. 7. 2010. He fashioned only one other 400-yard passing game – Dec. 5, 1993, against the Chicago Bears (36 of 54 for 402 yards with two TDs and three INTs).

Jake from Greenfield, WI

What's your opinion on the "fumble out of end zone equals touchback" rule? I personally kind of like it. It's such an offensive-skewed league these days. I say throw the defense a bone!

I've never had a problem with it – and not because it bit the Vikings the way it did. Those are the rules. It's always been that way. Don't like it? Don't fumble. Risk and reward.

Ross from Summerville, SC

Gents, I know chortling isn't allowed but seeing the Vikings go 0-2 to start the year brings a smile to my face.

I watched most of that game and it was the millionth reminder of how narrow the margin for victory is in this league. Minnesota first loses at home to a team it should have beaten in Tampa Bay and then falls just short of pulling off the upset in Philadelphia. Either way, 0-2 is 0-2 and the Vikings have another tough matchup on deck against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Kenton from Rochester, MN

I love the feature articles you both write for the site (Wes's piece on the rookies, for example). My question is: How do you come up with the ideas for these? Do you huddle up and discuss things between you, or are you directed from "above," or do you have the artistic freedom to do whatever the heck you want? Whatever the process, just keep doing it!

It's funny you ask. Earlier this week, I had the very same conversation with one of the Packers beat reporters about this. Whatever the outside perception is of working for a team website, I have carte blanche on what I write. Mike is a magnificent editor, but he has not once told me what story I should be doing unless it's an assignment for the Packers Yearbook. I pursue the stories I'm interested in pursuing. I'll get tips here and there, but most of what I write is just from getting to know players and paying attention.

Luke from Kenosha, WI

I just want you all to know how much the Packers meant to my dad. He died unexpectedly early Wednesday morning. While in the hospital after he suffered a stroke, he still had enough left in him to drink a beer with me and watch the Packers beat the Bears Sunday. That was the last thing he was able to do, and I am so thankful that I got those three hours with my dad before he got really bad. Please tell your dads you love him every day. I miss you dad (Bob)! I love you! Go Pack Go

I'm so sorry, Luke. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts. A shout out to all the dads out there, including my own. I'm glad you had that final smile with yours.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Don't chortle, don't flinch.

Embrace the challenge ahead.

Love is all you need.

Desmond Ridder's first career INT also wouldn't hurt.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The new era dawns triumphant and the light shines bright

Veterans led the way and youth made their mark

Like a child grown tired of a toy we warmly embrace the new

Now another week with new questions to be answered

The road ahead will have many potholes to overcome with every game

And victory must be earned every week in this league

Stay the course, Green and Gold

Opportunity lurks behind a massive obstacle in the ATL. I can't wait to see how this young club attacks it. Enjoy the game everyone.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox