On the first Saturday of every month, Mark will write about a topic of interest to Packers fans and the organization, and then answer five fan questions. Fans are encouraged to email Mark with their name and hometown at:MurphyTakes5@packers.com.
What a difference two weeks makes. The loss to the Saints in Jacksonville was one of the more disappointing performances I've witnessed with the Packers. We were dominated by the Saints in all phases of the game. The win over the 49ers, on the other hand, was one of the most exhilarating wins we've had here in years.
While we didn't play a perfect game, and let the 49ers back in the game when we had a chance to put them away, I thought our team showed a lot of character on Sunday night. We had many calls go against us, and giving up the go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute left can be very demoralizing. However, I was very impressed with the way we handled the situation. A win like that can give a team tremendous confidence – that no matter the situation, we will find a way to win. Now, we have a lot of games left to play, but I do think this win bodes well for the future.
Now, on to your questions.
A question from Scott
You need to get the officials from that game FIRED. From ball spotting, to PI call on Stokes, to no head-hunting call on Adams, to bogus roughing the passer on Alexander. As a Packer fan this game was a cluster f… from beginning to end. I know your job seems to be dismantling this franchise. Why they brought in a Redskin alum doesn't sit right with me. However YOU NEED TO PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS, and get the league to take action on these officials.
Thanks Scott. I've received several e-mails regarding the officiating Sunday night, although none quite as colorful as yours. First, the officials in the NFL have a very difficult job. The game is so fast, and they often have to make split-second judgement calls. There were several questionable calls in the game, ones that benefitted both the 49ers and the Packers. The league office evaluates the officials after each game, and teams can send in tape of plays that they think were called incorrectly. My experience has been that the bad calls tend to even out over time, and that the better teams do not let bad calls impact their performance. Also, by the way, my former team is now officially the Washington Football Team.
A question from Tim
Hello Mr. Mark Murphy, first of all I wish you and the Pack good luck this year. The question is about defensive linemen size and strength. Going up against five offensive linemen 300-plus pounds each, would you personally rather see two down linemen on your D-line or four? It seems edge rushers are only the same size as linebackers. I personally would like to see four Kenny Clarks or bigger on the defensive line, plus a constant blitz of at least one or two linebackers. Good luck and best wishes.
Good question, Tim. The best defensive teams are able to get pressure on the quarterback in multiple ways. If you do the same thing over and over, teams will eventually find a way to stop you. You can rush the passer with power, speed or blitzes. Good defenses (and good pass rushers) mix things up to keep the offense off-balance. With regard to the size of the defensive players, a big factor is whether you run a 3-4 defense like the Packers or a 4-3 defense (outside linebackers in the 3-4 are typically lighter than defensive ends in the 4-3 defense). Interestingly, most teams now play more nickel than base defense. The key is to get teams in obvious passing situations.
A question from Alex
Hello Mark, this is Alex, a student from Ball State University. I was emailing to possibly ask a couple of questions about your program and career. Anyways, I would just want to know why you chose to work with sports in general after you were done playing? Finally my last question would be what's your favorite thing about your job and what are you most excited about everyday you go to work? Whenever you get the time, answering these would mean the world to me! Go Pack Go!
It's great to hear from students like you, Alex. After my playing career ended, I had been accepted to law school. I went to law school at Georgetown at night and worked at the NFLPA during the day. I was the Redskins player rep and vice president of the NFLPA as a player and I enjoyed my work with the union. After I graduated from law school, I worked as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice. I loved my work there (I was in court all the time, gained great experience and had a lot of responsibility), but I did miss my involvement in sports. When I had the opportunity to become the AD at Colgate, I jumped at it. It not only changed my career path, but it was also a great opportunity for my wife Laurie and I to raise our four young children in a small-town, college environment. In terms of the favorite part of my job with the Packers, I really enjoy my interaction with our fans. They are so passionate, and there is nothing better than seeing a fan visiting Lambeau Field for the first time.
Bob from Algoma, WI
I'm a 65-year-old lifelong fan of the Packers. I was on the waiting list for 29 years before finally getting my own season tickets. With Covid still going strong, I'm wondering why the Packers aren't requiring proof of vaccination to get into the stadium. Is that a big deal? As an older attendee being packed shoulder to shoulder with other Packers fans, I feel that my health will be at risk. Is a game more important than the safety and health of the fans? I'm leaning to not going to the game because of this, so there might be at least two open seats for this season. Thank you for reading this.
Thanks, Bob. Our local health officials do not think it is necessary to require proof of vaccination since the vast majority of our seats are outside. Also, in the indoor public spaces at Lambeau Field we require all of our employees to wear masks. In addition, we have many signs in the indoor areas strongly encouraging people to follow the CDC guidelines.
A question from Sam, The Real Big Packer Fan
Hey Murphy, why don't you ever answer me? I think I know the answer to that, you're a joke you know I'm right. The offense is starting to look good but this defensive unit once again stinks and why? Because every year you pass up really good defensive linemen and inside linebackers in the first round in the draft. Gary was the only player you picked, he's a decent player but there were plenty of better players still on the board. Two years ago I was excited when I saw you guys moved up in the draft, I was thinking we're going to get one of the best LBs still on the board, but what did you do? You drafted Love as you can tell we don't need a QB yet you ass…! Well because of you and Gutekunst our offense is going to have to carry this team once again, pitiful!
Because you never ask questions, Sam. MT5 is based on answering five questions from fans, not responding to five complaints about our team. Thanks for understanding.