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Mike's Mid-Week Chat: What do the Packers expect from Russell Wilson?

Senior writer Mike Spofford answered fan questions in his weekly live chat

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

Hey everybody. Hope all is well. Thanks for logging on today. Go ahead and start sending in questions and I'll get rolling shortly.

Mike, you need to take the day off so the Packers sign OBJ :) Cuz you know what happens when you are on vacation :)

Ha, good one. Lots of questions about OBJ and there's not much I can say, really. It makes plenty of sense he's interested in coming here. I don't know how interested the Packers are. These are decisions way above my pay grade.

Do you think OBJ is a good addition?

It's a tough call, frankly. I'm not speaking for the Packers here, but when you have two really good running backs and the best WR in the league, there's only one football to go around. Everyone else on offense has a pretty specific role. OBJ has never been shy about wanting the ball, and there's no denying his talent. I leave it up to the guys upstairs if they feel he's a fit.

Any news on Kenny Clark's status?

Nothing yet. The first practice of the week is this afternoon.

Can you give a quick rundown of our D-Line injuries?

Clark left the KC game with a back injury, and Kingsley Keke was inactive due to a concussion from a prior game. Tyler Lancaster exited the KC game with an injury briefly but returned. I think that's it as far as the interior D-linemen on the injury front.

Mike let's talk Seahawks. Their defense certainly looks susceptible, but the offense is a bit of an enigma to me. What do the Packers need to do to hit Russell Wilson and end this game quickly?

This is not a game I see ending quickly. The combination of Metcalf and Lockett is tough to defend in the back end because those two are so different, and then you have to be careful with the rush plan vs. Wilson because of his mobility. This is a challenging offense. For me it starts with stopping the run and keeping Wilson in the pocket, then you go from there.

Did Mason Crosby speak yet or at all about the FG operation ? Was it a case of the jitters for the new long snapper ?

Crosby has not spoken to the media about the FGs from last week. I'm not sure if we'll be hearing from him or not.

where do we stand on 53 max? We need room for 69...if OBJ signs....

I believe the current active roster is at 51, but that's with Aaron Rodgers and Isaac Yiadom on the Covid list, as well as David Bakhtiari on PUP.

What sort of defensive challenge does Seattle present this week (scheme, personnel, etc.)?

Seattle has struggled defensively this season. This is not the same Seahawks defense from a few years back. The Packers just have to stay true to who they are -- run the ball to set up play-action, and pick your spots for when to take shots. When GB runs the ball well, this offense is pretty darn good against anybody.

Did you hear there will be a documentary on the 10 men who won the Heisman and were inducted in Canton? CWood is in that group, of course.

I did not, but that sounds pretty cool.

If Bakh is ready to go, did Royce Newman place himself outside starting 5 OL? Who are your starting 5?

No news on Bakhtiari yet. As I said in Inbox, I expect the Packers to activate him this week, because the 21-day practice window with the roster exemption is closing. But that doesn't mean he's going to play right away. We have to wait and see. As for how the line adjusts when he's back, there are several possibilities. It starts by deciding whether Elgton Jenkins plays LG or C. Then another decision will be made from there. I don't know what the coaches are thinking.

How much rust can we expect from Wilson this week....cant be easy for him to just pick up a ball and sling it. He wasnt throwing with his injury

That's a good question, and I'm very curious as well. It might be a tad chilly Sunday at Lambeau, too (high 30s) so you wonder if that will have any impact on that finger as he gets back into playing. Wilson is a talented pro, though, it's not like anyone should expect passes to go sailing all over the yard.

Can't wait to hear coach Grey speak about last week's dismal performance.

You're being facetious, right? Jerry Gray's DB room played an outstanding game in KC.

Barring any further injuries, the Packers will have some interesting decisions as more guy come off IR and roster spots are needed. Good chance they try to slip some guys to the practice squad, assuming they clear waivers ?

That's always a possibility with certain young players. Every move will come with that risk of losing a guy.

Do you think the Packers will change their practice to allow Jordan Love to get some reps in weekly with the starters? It seems ridiculous that he's been here over a year and he's never tossed a ball Davante Adams' way before.

I don't think people realize how little practice time there is during a normal NFL week. The players are on the field for around 2 hours, sometimes less, on Wednesday-Thursday-Friday, and only one day in pads. That's it. Any reps with the No. 1 offense that a backup QB takes is limiting the preparation for the starter who's expected to play. That's why it was valuable for Love to be running the show through OTAs and minicamp in the spring.

Why does CBS have the Seahawks game this weekend?

Part of the newfangled way the games are shifted around to different networks now. The traditional assignments aren't always done anymore. This was a week CBS had the national doubleheader, and they chose this as the best game on the docket, I guess.

Mike, I know you probably want to move on from the Rodgers drama, but I'm curious on one thing... Did you and the other Packers beat writers know he was unvaccinated? Or was that an unfortunate surprise?

I had heard rumors that he wasn't, but based on him doing his press conferences the way he did in person, I figured maybe he was, and after his comment in late Aug. I never gave it another thought until last week.

Is Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, going to play Sunday?

If he's medically cleared to come off the Covid list on Saturday, it is LaFleur's intention to start him.

I believe the protection on STs simply HAS to stop leaking. The blocks and so many close calls has everyone hurrying to get kicks off and that leads to mistakes and the misses. Why can't they get them blocked up?

I wish I knew. But it's a tale as old as time in the NFL that when you show you're weak in a certain area, teams will come up with ways to test that weakness until it's fixed. The Packers haven't fixed it, so opponents are being extra aggressive in that area.

Greetings Mike, and thanks for your commitment to these chats! If you're still watching road games remotely, do you mute the sound so you can get your own perspectives on the game?

No, Wes and I keep the sound on while we're covering the games off TV, but I have to admit I'm not listening much. Maybe when there's a replay review or something, but otherwise I tune it out.

Do you think Amari Rodgers is losing focus in his receiver duties and progress with his special teams' struggles ? Or just typical rookie issues while acclimating to Rodgers and our complex offense ?

He's having rookie ups and downs. He's not the first, won't be the last. The fact that he was back there for two more punt returns after muffing the one he recovered himself shows how much this coaching staff believes in him. They're expecting a payoff down the road by sticking with him. As for the role on offense, everyone knew that would be limited when Randall Cobb arrived.

I love and all the wonderful content you all provide. However, I haven't seen the coordinator comments articles in awhile. I've always appreciated their word for word comments. Have I been overlooking them?

We post them every week. Sometimes it's late Thursday, or early Friday. Not always consistent with that, but we do post them. We will do so again this week.

Bratwurst or Cheese Curds Mike?

Why do I have to choose?

We have some significant injuries keeping starters out (DB, Jaire Alexander, Za'Darius Smith). Do the Seahawks have any similar issues now that Wilson is back?

Seattle is coming off its bye week, so the first real look at their current health will be the injury report later today.

Mike, I missed the last game (was stuck with the 49er game in CA)... What were the biggest issues with special teams (it seems like every aspect was bad?), and do you think those problems can be cleaned up before the Seattle game?

They have a lot to clean up. The issues were with punt return and the FG unit. Corey Bojorquez had a solid game punting, and the KO cover team was fine. But the miscues in the other areas factored into nine points being scored (or not scored) in a close game. You can't have that. That's too much damage. Can they fix it in one week? I don't know, but that's the task at hand.

Appreciate Lucas Patrick's versatility. In your opinion is he better at guard or center?

Great question. I'm not sure if he has a better position. I love watching the offensive film and seeing how Patrick just battles his butt off all the time. Sure, he gets beat once in a while, and it's not always pretty, but he's a fighter. There's a lot to admire about his game, even if he's not someone who's going to be talked about for Pro Bowls like Elgton Jenkins or David Bakhtiari.

I am a big Blake Martinez fan… what does the current ILB success mean for his play several years ago? Was it him, system or missing complementary IlB?

I always thought Martinez was a solid player. But he never had a very strong partner player at inside LB, and the high-impact plays (TFLs, sacks, turnovers, short-yardage stops) weren't frequent enough. His career stats bear that out, and I understood why the Packers weren't going to pay him the $10M per season the Giants did. That said, the INT he had in Week 17 at Detroit in '19 that helped the Packers get the first-round playoff bye was one of the biggest plays of the season, and his career. Martinez was a great guy to talk to and I was sad to see him get hurt this year.

How much trust do coaches have in our current RB3 ?

They've only seen Patrick Taylor in preseason games, and as reporters we don't get to see any 11-on-11 in the regular season in practice, so there's not much to go on. If he's on the roster, they believe in him or they would have found another guy to take that spot. I think he's got a lot of talent but we'll see if he's able to display it if he gets an opportunity.

Do the Packers have the deepest O-Line in the league?

I have no way to compare to all the other teams in the league, but the unit has weathered injury issues and lineup shuffling quite well both last year and even more so this year. It's a strong group and line coaches Stenavich and Butkus deserve plenty of credit for that.

So much Drama this year, too much for this old man. As far as OBJ count me out. I just don't need any more Drama. How about you from that aspect?

Anything to return to calmer waters would be just fine with me, and winning and calm waters usually go hand in hand, so there's that, too. With that, I'm going to sign off folks. LaFleur is headed to the podium in about 15 minutes so I'm off to that. Thanks for all the questions today. Take care, talk again soon. --Mike

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