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It's neat to see young players expand their games

That was the wake-up call on free plays


Matt from Hartford, WI

I don't have a prediction, but I don't see Janis going anywhere this fall.

Neither do I.

Tyler from Lincoln, NE

The commentators for the last game had a lot to say about a Packers player slamming a receiver to the ground in the fourth quarter. To me, it was just a tackle. Do you think that defenders will soon be penalized for how they tackle?

They already have been, and I've seen what Pipkins did get flagged many times over as unnecessary roughness.

Todd from Rochester, NY

Let's talk about Josh Hawkins.

Hawkins has come a long, long way since that play at the end of the first half vs. Detroit last season in Week 3. He might be the most improved player on the entire roster from last year to this year. McCarthy said he had the highest grade among the corners in the Washington game. His comment about the special-teams coaches pushing to get Hawkins active on gameday late last season was enlightening, too.

Scott from Norton Shores, MI

On the play that Rodgers caught the Redskins with 12 men on the field, Bennett was moving forward and was not set at the snap. The ref/replay official is supposed to notice something like that and call it while reviewing the potential defensive infraction, correct? I'm thinking there should have been offsetting penalties there if the play was reviewed correctly.

That's a rub of the replay system. The false start or illegal motion on the offense, whatever it might have been, isn't subject to review. If they see it on the replay while looking for the 12-men infraction, they can't call it, and the opposing coach can't challenge it. After what happened last night, the officials got their wake-up call on free plays. They're going to be on their guard to call it correctly in Green Bay's games, similar to the aftermath of the early barrage in 2015. The opposing coaches will be alerting the officials to it in their pregame meetings.

Keith from Greenfield, WI

Where was Josh Jones on Saturday night? With the way the Washington RBs abused the coverage LB, the "nitro" package looks even more important.

He didn't dress. He got stepped on in practice on Tuesday, wrapped his foot/ankle in ice, came back to practice on Wednesday, but was held out of the game. Washington's pass offense was entirely predicated on finding a one-on-one matchup to attack. Their receivers took a back seat to the backs and tight ends.

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

Jeff Janis made several well-contested, well-covered grabs. No exaggeration here, he looks a lot more polished than I remember. And G-mo is pretty incredible after the catch. Very smooth but with surprising jump-cut ability.

I**wrote about Janis late last week**before the game, and he backed it up. Allison's open-field moves were impressive. It's neat to see young players expand their games.

Scott from Neenah, WI

Since you guys seem to like T.V. and movie quotes, in reference to Edger Bennett's ability to run in the slop, "He's a mudder. His father was a mudder. His mother was a mudder."

I'm incredibly disappointed I didn't think of that one myself.

Carly from St. Joseph, MI

We spend a good amount of time talking about rookie RBs learning pass protection. Why is it that these guys haven't got a solid background of pass protection from their college years?

They have some background, but NFL pressure schemes are more complex than college ones, in terms of offensive players deciphering their assignments. Plus, everything happens faster at this level. It takes in-game exposure.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

QB Taysom Hill's skill set, during the past two preseason games, makes it appear the arrow is pointing up for this young man. However, how much stock do the coaches give for his play, considering he is up mostly against the opponents' late-round picks and street FAs?

The next step for Hill is to get in the game sooner and do what he's done against better competition. It's up to the coaches to give him that chance.

Calvin from Jacksonville, FL

Any chance Hill makes the team...as a running back? Imagine the mismatches that could cause. They could run the wildcat, and the defense might forget that he also can throw the ball. He wouldn't even have to switch numbers!

Serenity now.

Ron from Waukesha, WI

The focus will be on the Trevor Davis' muffed punt, but Kevin King needs to do a much better job of slowing down or altering the path of the opposing team's punt gunner. He did neither. Do starters ever make good special-teams players?

All the time. King has to do his job, yes, but Davis absolutely has to catch the ball. Has to. Period. If the gunner is beaten, that's what a fair catch is for. The returner has to make the right read and decision.

Tim from Spooner, WI

Am I the only one that is concerned that Green Bay's offensive line looks dangerously thin? Spriggs struggled last night and one has to wonder if he could adequately replace either tackle due to injury. Barclay's status seems to be a big question mark. Second-string offensive line looked pretty weak against the Redskins.

You're not the only one. The backups on the offensive line were better than the first game, and they need to keep improving. McCarthy seemed most critical of the high number of mental errors. Barclay is the veteran of the bunch and he's missed, but that's no excuse. They've got two more preseason games to shore things up. Let's let the process play out.

Benjamin from Madison, WI

Boy, looks like Martellus Bennett is the red-zone weapon we've been waiting for, huh?

We'd have seen more of that from Cook last year if he hadn't missed six games.

Nancy from Phoenix, AZ

What is the outlook for Reggie Gilbert, undrafted free agent on last year's practice squad. University of Arizona grad.

That's another guy I'd like to see come into a game sooner to face better players.

Tony from Rochester, IN

What is your biggest question mark left to be answered? Consistent running game, young corners making adjustments or Vogel's hang time?

The running game was better in the second game than the first, so I want to see continued improvement. The line play mentioned previously will factor into that. I'd like to see Vogel be more consistent. Getting his first road game under his belt should help there. A lot of readers are concerned with the pass rush, and more is needed. If Capers is forced to scheme to get pressure, that's not a good every-down recipe.

Kent from Appleton, WI

Considering "the Aussie kick killed the coffin-corner star," got me to wondering who first punted one in an NFL game and how quickly did it become popular?

I could be mistaken, but I think the first one to do it might have been the Chargers' Darren Bennett, who was from Australia, which contributed to the moniker. Some readers pointed out Wes should have referenced Australian Rules Football not rugby, and ARF was Bennett's game. The kick grew popular quickly, another example of the NFL being a copycat league.

Greg from Knoxville, TN

Since my question about McCarthy's future hasn't been addressed on this site by an Insider, I will speculate and answer it. Whether it makes sense from a numbers and logic standpoint, a large percentage of Packer fans will call for McCarthy's termination if they don't win the Super Bowl this year. A playoff loss again won't cut it. Division titles and one playoff win won't cut it. Care to speculate in the preseason or wait for the guillotine if he falls short?

The guillotine won't be falling. The fan base doesn't fire the head coach, and any speculation along those lines isn't worth the time I've already given it.

JD from Hendersonville, TN

I can solve the player-safety, concussion problem with four screws. Remove the face masks. Done.

That would be a radical approach. I think the NFL is going to try incremental steps first, but your general point (which others have made as well), about changing the helmet as a prerequisite to effectively change the usage of the helmet, is logical.

Theodore from St. Louis, MO

Mike, you mentioned your afternoon in my city. Did you by chance have time enough to go up in the Arch? Depending on what year you were here, you could have looked out and seen where the Cardinals defeated the Brew Crew in '82.

We stayed at a hotel right next door to (the latest) Busch Stadium multiple times. One year I took the tour and snapped a photo of the '82 World Series trophy, which had a small Brewers logo on it. It was cool, yet tough, to see.

Rich from De Pere, WI

I see the director of the NFLPA is saying there will likely be a strike or work stoppage when the current CBA expires in 2021. What are the current issues the players are struggling with that would cause them to indicate this far out that a strike is likely?

I think the discipline issue is at the top of the list, and the most recent suspension levied on Ezekiel Elliott has re-fueled the union's frustration. The good news is economically the current CBA is working very well for both sides, and if the money isn't at issue, hopefully that means any other CBA issues can get worked out a little easier.

Luke from La Crosse, WI

In this season, if the Packers can match or better their offensive production of 2014 while also match or better their defensive and special-teams results of 2015, will that get them back to the big game?

I've said it before. I'll take the offense and defense from 2014. Just finish the deal.

Jerome from Midland, MI

Insiders, both players and coaches emphasize watching film as a learning, teaching, game-planning tool. Is the NFL the one professional sport (hockey, baseball, basketball) that utilizes film to their advantage the most? I never hear basketball and hockey players refer back to watching film as much as football players do.

It probably isn't talked about as much because there isn't as much time to watch it between games, but all the big sports utilize video to its fullest these days. It's not unique to football.

Chris from Racine, WI

Mike, be careful. It's serenity now, insanity later.

I'm aware.

David from Madison, WI

If three- and four-point stances are eliminated it would be saving a different game.

I'm not so sure. Have you watched the modern-day, third-down passing situation? The only offensive lineman with his hand near the ground is the center, and it's not strange to see defensive packages with only one or two players in a three-point. The game continues to trend that way.

Michael from Wausau, WI

Do hybrid player positions start because of a particular player, or does the team look for a player to fit the hybrid position?

It starts with a player and evolves from there. Again, copycat league.

Dan from Twin Lakes, WI

In Saturday's Inbox, Jon from Guttenberg, IA, referenced the lean years that many of today's young fans didn't have to survive. Here's an example of just how bad it was. My older brother attended Memphis State (now the University of Memphis) and had a class with Terdell Middleton. Terdell rushed for 1,000 yards in 1978 and it wasn't done again until Edgar Bennett did it in 1995. Shortly before the 1977 draft, the professor asked Terdell where he hoped to be drafted. His answer was "anywhere but Green Bay." That attitude was pretty much universal at that time. It was that bad. Thankfully, Reggie White's signing removed that stigma and other guys were more willing to come to Green Bay. This is why I've always believe Reggie White did more to revive the franchise than Brett Favre.

Good story, but careful. The Packers needed to win for White's signing to change attitudes. They needed Favre to win.

Ben from De Pere, WI

Haha, pumpkin spice!? Wes is so basic! Does he wear yoga pants and uggs to work, too?

I warned Wes he was going to get clobbered for that response. Some were asking if he got his brats from Starbucks, and I've never read so many references to yoga pants in one Inbox before. Others found plenty of better uses for ice-cold club soda, with which I concur.

Jeremy from London, UK

So, I ran the numbers on the members of the Packers 1994 QB room. They combined for 142,000 yards, 934 TDs, 18 Pro Bowls, and 5 MVPs. Favre, Brunell, and Warner each had at least three Pro Bowls, one season as NFL yards leader, one season with most games won, and one Super Bowl ring. And Detmer was a two-time All-American who won a Heisman. Oh, and two of them are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Given the rise in QB values, can you foresee any group ever coming close to that?

I can't imagine, but I love it when the Inbox does the research for me.

Mark from Indianapolis, IN

I have asked for a sign from above that Green Bay will win the Super Bowl this season. Nothing earth-shattering, maybe just something to do with the sun so we're all clear it's our sign. Do you think it will work?

Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime event today, everybody.

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