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Mike's Mid-Week Chat: Will the Packers be making any changes?

Senior writer Mike Spofford answered fan questions in his live chat

Packers' sideline
Packers' sideline

Hey everybody. Thanks for logging on today. Go ahead and start sending in your questions and I'll get started shortly.

Do you use Cliff Christl as a resource on the history of the Pack or do you pretty much know everything already?

I know most of the Packers' history from during my lifetime pretty well. But Cliff always has more details, and he's a great resource for anything prior to my start watching football. I learn something every time I read one of Cliff's pieces, even if it's on a player who retired recently. He's forgotten more history of the Packers than I'll ever know.

Any news on what the OL lineup looks like this week? Hanson's Bicep?

No idea. The team hits the practice field in a couple hours, but the media won't be watching any 11-on-11 and I doubt anything will be revealed in advance as to what the lineup is going to be, if it's changing. We're going to find out Sunday during pregame warmups, most likely. Regarding Jake Hanson, he told reporters Monday he hadn't had any scans done on his injury yet so it was wait and see.

I heard 2--4 weeks for Randall Cobb. True?

It sounds like he avoided a major injury but LaFleur said Monday he'd be out multiple weeks. If they don't put him on IR, that would be a good sign because that could mean less than 4.

Mike, what will be going into the third floor offices after the coaches move to their new location next year?

Great question. I honestly don't know. I haven't heard anyone saying our digital/video dept. is moving anywhere, so I expect to still be on second floor when it's all said and done.

What's the best part of working with Wes Hod?

He's young, so he keeps me young.

Mike- if you look around the league, there are a bunch of teams off to surprisingly slow starts (Rams, Bucs, Ravens, Bengals,) in addition to the Packers. There are only 4 teams in the NFC above .500... I know there are plenty in the media who want to write off the Packers but I think that is a mistake. There is too much time and a lot of games left. As we have seen in the past, it's about who is playing their best in January, not September & October. Your thoughts?

You're right, only four teams are better than 3-3 in the NFC, and three of them are in one division. 3-3 is not some kind of death sentence. It's an alarm that there's a lot of work to do, and you're fighting uphill a bit when you're two games back in your own division already, with a head-to-head loss against the leader. But there's plenty of time. The Packers can't put together a winning streak on Sunday and make all the struggles go away. All they can do is win one game, so that's what they have to do.

Who among the young linemen have experience at right tackle?

Yosh Nijman hasn't played it in a game but has taken some practice reps there, though not many. Rookie Zach Tom worked at RT during training camp. Rasheed Walker also played RT during camp and preseason but he's been a gameday inactive in recent weeks

Seems the DB changes were mostly successful, and even seems they used Ford in passing downs a lot. Is this a knock on Walker in a way, or just trying something different?

They hadn't used much dime defense (six DBs) at all this year, and they brought the package out Sunday. Interestingly, though, instead of a fourth corner, the sixth DB was a third safety (Ford), which usually moved Amos closer to the line of scrimmage. I don't think it was a knock against anybody, just a way they wanted to try matching up against certain personnel.

What's one word or a phrase Packer fans can have in mind going into this game, considering the last two weeks?

Just win, baby.

I really hope GB can run some jet sweep motion against this front. What is your take on what / who we may see, assuming Christian Watson is still limited?

I don't know what goes into the decisions whether motion is seen as potentially effective against a certain defense or not. But if Watson isn't healthy enough to go, I could see Aaron Jones or Amari Rodgers used as a motion guy. Maybe Samori Toure if he's active on game day.

Mike, I appreciated Wes's Rashan Gary article. Part of me thinks Gary should have 10 sacks I too optimistic about his ceiling?

He's been around the QB a lot, and he had that one sack in London taken away by a downfield penalty. Gary is off to the best start of his four-year career thus far, and he's showing no signs of slowing down.

Do you think last week's special teams effort was an anomaly or are we seeing the beginning of the end in that department?

You certainly hope it's the former. There hadn't been any major, costly breakdowns in the first five games, but then Sunday was a rough one. The players know what it should look like and know what to do, but now they've put their breakdowns on tape for other teams to study and attack. They have to make those attacks go away by playing better.

Why am I the only person that seems to think WAS is a much better team with Heinicke than Wentz? I'm not saying that Heinicke is the better QB necessarily, but I feel like he's more consistent.

I guess we'll find out Sunday. Heinicke brings a scrambling and improv element to their offense that they might not have with Wentz. But this will also be his first start since last season.

Seems Rodgers is not so keen on all the motion, but surely he sees the benefit of it. Still wondering what he meant by simplify, cut down the playbook size or?

It sounded from his comments on McAfee yesterday that he was talking about the players mentally simplifying their job on a given play. There's benefit to understanding the big picture with every play, but sometimes that can get in the way of playing fast and free. So maybe he's just wanting guys to narrow their mental focus on a given snap. That's how I'm reading the comments at this point, but what do I know.

Do you expect a Packer friendly crowd at FedEx Field this weekend?

I would imagine there will be a decent contingent of GBP fans, and a lot of empty seats. That fan base has soured on that franchise, understandably so.

My second favorite team is the chiefs. I see what Kelce does for Mahomes. Really glad to see Robert Tonyan back.

Tonyan's performance against the Jets was great to see. Every week he's shown he's closer and closer to being all the way back. We haven't seen many big plays down the seam, but perhaps those are coming next.

It was reported that Innis Gaines was resigned to the practice squad after previously being released with an injury settlement. Do you recall what his injury was?

It was a hamstring injury that he dealt with in camp and then re-aggravated in the preseason finale at KC.

Glad to see Amos get some love, he been solid since he arrived!

He's a rock solid, steady, reliable player back there. As I noted in my WYMM this week, it's always enlightening to watch him on film.

With Josiah Deguara trending up, and Tonyan seemingly back, I could see more of offense thru the TE's. With the goal of getting the RB's more touches too, will the WR's see less targets?

I honestly don't know how much that matters right now. The offense needs to find what it does well, what it can hang its hat on, and build from there. It needs to be able to consistently move the ball, whoever gets it. I still think the foundation needs to be the two RBs, both running and receiving, but the coaches have to zero in on what they can rely on for the best execution up front, too.

Any word on if Sammy Watkins will be back this week Mike? Heard he was running routes in practice which if that's the case obviously is a good sign.

He was on the field pre-game Sunday running some routes, so hopefully that means he gets back out there this week. The WR group needs him with Cobb going down and Watson in and out of the lineup lately.

This team has players and coaches with proven talent. I don't know why they are struggling. But common sense says they'll be better.

I agree. This team is better than it has showed in the last 6 quarters. The first half against the Giants, which was pretty dominant against a team now 5-1, wasn't that long ago. They're plenty capable.

Interesting, Dale. Mine is BUF as I have close friends from that area (and I've been a huge fan of Josh Allen even while he was still in college).

I know it's not the same as a playoff game, not even close, but Buffalo getting that win at Arrowhead last Sunday had to feel pretty good for them.

Does Luke Tenuta have to be on the roster after being pickup on waivers or can he be on the practice squad? What do you think the plan is for the first couple of weeks?

Waiver claims have to go on the 53. I'm sure they'll work to get him up to speed on the offense and see what he's got.

I don't think Dillon can run the ball out of shotgun. I get the need to hide the play call with the formation but at what point is it not worth it?

We'll see if anything changes in that regard. Aaron Rodgers' thumb was hurting and LaFleur suggested that was one reason there were so few under-center snaps against the Jets.

Any whispers of trade deadline activity Mike that you have heard? Heard Aaron Rodgers has voiced his opinion on what the front office should be doing. To be active if the deal is right.

That's what I expect from Gutekunst, too. He's been true to his word that he's in on every conversation, but price, compensation, etc., all have to be right to make a move. He's not going to pick someone up just to sit there and say he did.

Mike, thank you and Wes for all you do. This sure beats waiting on the newsletter in the mail. Looking for a win so we can bring back Lego football!

Yes, we are in dire need of a Lego highlight game, that's for sure.

Should we be all that surprised the Giants and Jets won? Both losses were disappointing in their own way, but those teams have been drafting half a round earlier than the Packers for over half a decade now. It stands to reason both teams have more talented rosters than that of the Packers, QB excluded.

Eventually when you draft that high for that long, you're going to build a pretty good team. At least most teams will. But the Packers still could've won both of those games. Leading the Giants by 10 at the half, tied with the Jets in the third quarter -- both of those games were there for the taking, and in this league, you have to take them when the opportunities are there.

Could we be missing Getsy and Hacket more than we might think in the O coaching group? And Stenavich having less time with the OL as well?

Everyone is looking for reasons and explanations. And it's everyone -- players and coaches -- who have to do better. This team was 3-1 with a 10-point halftime lead in its fifth game when things turned south. They can turn right back around again, too, if everyone does their part.

All right, I'm not seeing any new questions coming in so I guess I'll call it a chat. Thanks everyone and enjoy the rest of your week, Take care, Mike.

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