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Inbox: You need to throw the records out

Who has the best hands of any Packers receiver you watched?

201212-insider-inbox-2560
WR Davante Adams

Scotty from Lombard, IL

This upcoming game is a classic trap game. Forget about both teams' current records. Last year, we did not win the games until time expired. In 2018, we lost both games. Ford Field has always been a tough place for us to play: Rodgers' concussion, Lacy's safety in the end zone, and Crosby's nightmare game. Stafford is a top quarterback. The receivers have always been a problem for us. The Lions had a come-from-behind win in Chicago. The Lions have nothing to lose, which makes them dangerous.

You need to throw the records out anytime you cross over Lake Michigan. The Packers split the 2010s with the Lions at Ford Field (5-5) and you'd have to go back all the way to 2011 for the last time Green Bay won by two scores there. I understand the tendency to get complacent. Detroit is missing a lot of its top players. Trey Flowers is on IR, and Kenny Golladay, Jeff Okaduh and Tyrell Crosby are all out. Heck, even Matthew Stafford is listed as questionable with a thumb injury, but it would be a fool's errand to count the Lions out. The Packers need to bring it Sunday.

Logan from Eads, CO

While many question the "success" of the 2020 draft (it's way too soon to go there), can we take a look back and appreciate how the '19 class is playing out?! Gary, Savage, and Jenkins have all shown they belong and the upside for all three remains massive. Keke and Hollman have both flashed as late-round flyers and Jace has shown glimpses of his upside as a move tight end. Seems like quite the haul for Gute and company.

It goes back to that Year 2 jump we're always talking about. I asked Mike Pettine on Thursday night about what those young players have added to the defense as of late and he agreed that group is propelling the Packers into the fourth quarter of their season. More trust means greater responsibility – and more responsibility means more productivity.

Gary from Chippewa Falls, WI

When Darrell Bevell was made offensive coordinator, I was expecting better things from the offense. The reports make it sound as if the head coach created some problems. The lessons learned from being in Seattle will have the Lions energized for Sunday. Is Bevell underrated as an offensive play caller?

I think so. He's a brilliant offensive mind who got kind of a bad rap for the goal-line call in the Super Bowl. But this man has been an offensive coordinator with three different NFL teams over the last 14 seasons who's been a pass here or there away from being a strong head coaching candidate. He knows this is his ultimate audition right now.

Klay from Great Falls, MT

Wes, do you see any chance of Oren Burks getting back into the hybrid backer/safety mix? Hope you and yours are well.

No. Burks continues to roll with the outside linebackers. Aside from his one emergency appearance last month, that's where I anticipate he'll stay moving forward.

Spencer from Crystal Lake, IL

I think the fill-in for Raven Greene will also depend on the opponent. I wouldn't be surprised if more inside linebackers, such as Kamal Martin and Krys Barnes, were used against more run-oriented offenses (e.g. Titans with Derrick Henry). Against a team like the Lions, might look different.

The Packers played 16 snaps of true, two-ILB nickel against the Eagles, so that package is available if Pettine feels two ILBs is the best path forward for the defense. Vernon Scott also has impressed me during his limited appearances and has the size to play in the box. Green Bay needs to figure out its plan quickly, though, with Christian McCaffrey possibly coming to Lambeau Field a week from today and Derrick Henry soon after that.

Dar from Mansfield, TX

Dean Lowry was mostly invisible until the last couple games but has started to flash a bit. What do you think the difference is?

Lowry does his job. He's not being paid to be the Smith Bros. He's being paid to pick up double-teams, be stout against the run and plug gaps. The difference last week was he was getting a good push with his inside pass rush. Both he and Kenny Clark collapsed the pocket well. I don't know what the coaches saw but I felt like it was his best all-around game of the season.

Melissa from Woodbury, MN

Do you like noon games, 3 p.m. games or night games best from a coverage point of view?

Noon games, then night games and then somewhere beneath the water table is where I'd rank 3:25 p.m. games. I was devastated when this game got pushed back. It also kind of sucks for the Packers, who have to play again on Saturday. They'll be kicking off around the same time they'd be getting ready to fly home and start their regen.

Josh from Nazareth, PA

As far as the playoff scenarios go I'll be rooting against the Saints. Other than that: Just win baby.

Spoff does an absolutely terrific job with Path to the Playoffs. Every December, it's one of our top performing pieces of content. That being said, I need at least another week of games for the picture to start making sense to me.

Tyler from Green Bay, WI

The Packers had a bye in the playoffs last year and won. Then they lost on the road. A bye this year means the NFC path to the Super Bowl goes through Lambeau. Next question.

Boom. Roasted.

Chun from El Monte, CA

Shout-out to Matt LaFleur and the coaching staff, they have done an amazing job even if you take away the X's and O's and play calling. The culture he brought to the locker room and getting everyone to play for each other and having fun is something great leaders do.

Corey Linsley spoke to the media Thursday afternoon to discuss his Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination (well-deserved, by the way) and had an interesting line near the end of his Zoom call about how all the great men who reside in the Packers' locker room are who motivate him to get involved in the community. LaFleur and the coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for identifying leaders and promoting those voices in the locker room. It makes the team better, both on and off the field.

Estillac from Belém, Brazil

Morning, Wes! Benjamin from Bear, DE, said Packers players seem to have a genuine concern for one another and it reminded me of a cool moment of last game. Right after Adams' first TD, as the offense was leaving the field, Za'Darius Smith got closer to Adams and helped him to put on his coat. It's not his job, but it's something you do for someone you care about. Hope that such energy keeps that way moving on. BTW, I'm also on the team that likes reading Dean's poems every game! Keep up the good work, dude!

Friends don't let friends get cold in December.

Ron from Beaver Dam, WI

With injuries being a fact of life in the NFL, the Packers and many other teams have certainly benefited from the changes in the injured-reserve and practice-squad rules. They really help a team racked by injuries to remain competitive. They also allow a few more competent players to remain in the league. I hope the league keeps them going forward.

I'm so ready to put 2020 in the rear-view mirror and never think about it again…but the measures the NFL took to increase flexibility with the practice squad in the age of COVID-19 was indeed a change for the better. I hope the league keeps it moving forward. It gets more money in young players' pockets and keeps healthy players on the field.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

Since the last episode of "Packers Unscripted" was published on 12/10 and my idea for the show was posted on the 12/11 edition of II, I guess we will see the smelling salts challenge on the 12/17 episode. Wes, I think you can take him. You have a young child that keeps you moving and sleep-deprived. Go Wes Go!

I'd have to check if I'm even allowed to.

George from Olympia, WA

Why was AJ Dillon on the COVID list so long?

Because COVID is kind of a problem in our country right now and a lot of folks are struggling with it.

James from Asheville, NC

No question, just an observation. Watching Jared Goff and Cam Newton in Thursday night's game makes me even more appreciative of the miracle that is Aaron Rodgers.

You guys have heard me say before but quarterback is the hardest position to play in professional sports…and the Packers have arguably the best to ever do it. Enjoy it.

Derek from Norton, KS

Talking about vertical leap and how it played a role in Savage's interception has me wondering. Are there tools in place (NextGen Stats) that allow teams to calculate the catch radius for draft prospects?

It's getting there.

T from Waterloo, IA

Good morning, gents: First off, you are correct. Cherry, orange, strawberry and lemon – that's the Starburst order. With Pro Bowl voting underway, I noticed an unfortunate listing for Mr. Crosby. In the voting, it lists all kickers numerically by successful field goals. MC has 14. He is also the ONLY kicker on that list who is 100% field-goal percentage, with most of the competition having missed at least two on the season. I hope this doesn't cause someone to vote for more field goals, worse completion percentage.

Yeah, I saw that, too. It's unfortunate how they moved the goal posts on Mason with this year's format (Get it? Get it? Try the veal. I'm here all week). Also, strawberry over orange.

Andy from Verona, WI

Which receiver you've covered has the best hands? Perhaps a household name and a more obscure name.

Probably Jordy Nelson or Adams. While I wouldn't call Richard Rodgers obscure, he probably had the best hands of any skill-position player whose name doesn't immediately come to mind at first. I've only covered the team for eight-plus years, though. The better question is probably who has the best hands of any Packers receiver you guys have watched?

Darren from Fargo, ND

Concussions seem to be down in the NFL, how much of that can be attributed to rules and how much does better equipment (helmets) have to do with it?

Helmet technology has improved significantly over the last 10 years, but I also think the changes the league implemented to kickoff returns and emphasizing defenseless receiver penalties have helped minimize head and neck injuries.

TK from Grafton, WI

How have Madden and fantasy football affected fans' perception of "real" football?

Generally speaking, I think it's been positive. Fans know much more today than they did 25 years ago. But it still pales in comparison to what coaches and scouts know. It's good to know something – just don't act like you know it all, in football or in life.

Kim from Hudson, WI

Slobberknockers is my new favorite word.

I saw a lot of these submissions over the last 36 hours. You folks need to watch more pro wrestling.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

The comparisons of GB's QBs to Chicago's was amazing. As Mike said it shows the importance of getting the QB position correct. Yet people still complain about drafting Love.

The worst time to look for a quarterback is when you need a quarterback. Everyone talks about Favre to Rodgers but very few mention how the Packers took out an insurance policy in 2008 by drafting Brian Brohm in the second round. Fortunately, for the Packers' sake, Rodgers was the answer, after all.

Ingrid from Superior, WI

In Friday's II, Spoff mentioned, "What it means to get the QB position right should never be undersold." Can we please put the Love draft choice to rest? If Aaron Rodgers plays for more than three years, we may possibly have a good trade chip if needed.

There are so many reasons to shelve this conversation – namely the fact the Packers are 9-3 right now and beginning a run. What will be will be with Love, but whatever it is, it won't be today.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

I can't say enough for Adrian Amos' efforts to increase awareness and find a cure for Alzheimer's. When you have a member of the family afflicted with Alzheimer's, it is a gut-wrenching experience witnessing just how insidious this disease truly is. As a 24/7 caregiver for a member of my family having Alzheimer's, I know where Adrian's coming from based on his experiences with his grandmother and truly hope someday there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

It's a neat thing Amos has been doing, pledging $1,000 for every tackle he records this season. He's up to 55 with four games to go. You can learn more about his foundation and what you can do to help here.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Identity forms,

A true football family

plays for each other.

Stockton to Malone. Favre to Freeman. Derek to Dean.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The challenge echoes across the narrow sea

A challenge from a familiar foe that was easily defeated on your hallowed ground

Stay the course your King of the North crown nearly secure

On his home turf beware a dangerous wounded Lion

This Lion will not go gentile into that goodnight

Men of the Bay you are the authors of your legacy

The time has come to write the next chapter

And get win No. 10. Enjoy the game everybody.

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