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No trophies are given out for 3-0: Read Mike's chat transcript senior writer Mike Spofford took questions from readers in his weekly chat on Wednesday


Hi everybody. Thanks for logging in and finding me on a different day, due to the Monday night game. Ask away, I'll do my best.

Comment From juan

any news on Dantone Jones?

Nothing yet, Juan. The Packers are scheduled to practice right after this chat is over, so we'll see then if he's on the field or being held out.

Comment From Jon

Mike, I love the way the defense is trending. Getting Guion back should only boost that.

The first 2 1/2 quarters on Monday night were as dominant as I'd seen this defense play, Jon. It was impressive. Getting Guion back will definitely help, because it never hurts to have another big guy to add to the rotation up front. Hyde is no slouch of a back.

Comment From Jackson

Mike, after watching Janis make a rather impressive 1-on-1 tackle as a gunner on punt team, I was wondering if GB teaches offensive players proper ways to tackle in practice or camp in order to boost special teams performance?

The tackling drills that are done daily in practice are done by everyone on the team, offense or defense, except the QBs, Jackson.

Comment From Guest

Mike, I'm realistic; we are eventually going to lose. Who on the schedule do you see being our first loss?

I don't think in those terms, but I do know there are three 3-0 teams right now that are all on the road schedule coming up -- Carolina, Denver and Arizona. The Packers' road slate the rest of the way looks really tough.

Comment From Bobby

How About Adams?

McCarthy just said at his press conference he wouldn't practice today, Bobby. Don't know about the rest of the week, but given he lasted only three snaps before re-aggravating that ankle, I'm thinking he'll be out this week.

Comment From Justin

Hi Mike, thanks for the chat. A lot of emphasis has been placed on our opponents RB's through the first three weeks. Packers struggled a bit against Russell Wilson in the second half of week one. What do you think will be this week's emphasis for stopping Hyde & Caepernick?

You can be the Niners are looking at how Wilson was so effective with the read-option, Justin, and CK is going to use it quite a bit in this game. They may also get him on the move in the passing game as well. This will be just as tough an assignment defensively as the Seahawks game was, in my view.

Comment From Jacob

Mike, It's nice to see Joe Thomas out there making plays - has he moved ahead of Ryan in the depth chart?

Thomas got in on defense as the dime linebacker, meaning the only inside linebacker in that package, allowing Matthews to shift outside. Ryan also left Monday night's game with a hamstring injury, Jacob.

Comment From Guest

Mike, Arizona looks like the real deal if they stay healthy at the QB position.

No doubt. People forget Seattle was possibly on its way to being a wild-card team last year if the Cardinals hadn't had the QB injury issues.

Comment From Heather

Hi Mike, are you recovered from a late Monday? I'm a bit confused about "making room" for Guion when he comes back and having a whole week to do it. Is someone going to get cut/demoted to give him space? I thought he always had a space on the roster, suspension aside.

No, Heather, suspended players don't count against the 53. They will have to release someone this week, or place someone on IR, if they want Guion to play in the game on Sunday.

Comment From Josh S.

Mike, Kaepernick threw four picks last week, and didn't do much better the week before. What do the Packers need to do to keep that streak going?

Keep him in the pocket, Josh. This game won't be about sacking CK, it'll be about keeping him contained and making him throw it. I'm not saying he'll throw four picks again, but lose contain and it becomes a different game.

Comment From Alan

TT's astute cap management in retaining vital players one of the principal reasons why we have so much depth to bounce back from injuries. Any news on the Mike Daniels contract front? His play this year has been tremendous. Do you think Nick Perry will be retained based on how he has played so far?

I haven't heard anything on Daniels' contract situation other than what's already been reported by others. He certainly has played well, Alan. As for Perry, there are a ton of guys on this defense like him in the last year of their current deals, so they're all motivated and have reason to compete. They'll let the year play out on most, if not all, decisions, I would think.

Comment From James

Richard Rodgers was only targeted a few times monday night, is his blocking becoming more important with the short passing game? Do you think defenses will start challenging AR to go deep with Jordy out?

AR had the matchups he liked with KC's CBs, James, a group that was thin, so he went with Cobb and Jones all night. TE Rodgers' targets will depend on matchups more than anything. Challenging Rodgers to go deep? If they want to sit on the short stuff, I'm guessing the Packers will have answers.

Comment From Justin

Mike, I'm all for the fast start and certainly do not want to be in 'panic' mode like many fans, however, I cannot help but remember 2011 when we went 15-1, then quickly exited the playoffs. What do the Packers need to do to continue their level of play, but also make sure and become even 'hotter' in December?

You see the areas other teams are attacking and what weaknesses they perceive later in the season, and then do what's needed to shore them up. It's a long season. I like what McCarthy said the other night about finding ways to win early-season games. The Packers haven't done that since 2011, and this team is way more well-rounded (running game, defense) than that one was.

Comment From Freddie B.

Mike Jeff Janis had a great game on special teams last game, do they plan on getting him more looks with Adams potentially being out?

It's certainly possible, but if Montgomery is ahead of him at WR, then the 3-WR set will most often be Cobb, Jones and Montgomery, Freddie, but again, it can depend on matchups. They tried Janis deep early in the KC game, and that'll give defenses something to think about.

Comment From Willie

I can not believe the difference in Kaepernick's play this year. Is Harbaugh the difference or is it the players around him in your opinion?

SF's defense isn't as strong, for one, Willie. That defense from 2011-13 was outstanding. The offensive line also has changed a bit. All that plays into it, and teams have also studied plenty of film on CK.

Comment From Mark

Who is the surprise player so far for you?

For the Packers, I'd probably say Jayrone Elliott. To see him have this many impact plays on defense early in the season was not expected, Mark.

Comment From Jesse

Which aspect of the 49ers might give Green Bay the most trouble this weekend?

The running game combined with the read-option with the QB, Jesse.

Comment From Kaleb

So, Ha-Ha's and Damarious' hits looked to be on equally defenseless receivers... What was the difference that got one called a penalty and the other not?

I think they ruled that Ha Ha's hit was too high, a head and neck area type of hit, even though I thought it was legal, Kaleb.

Comment From Ben

We're pretty thin at TE now. Can Richard Rodgers be an every down player? And doesn't this hurt our 2 TE sets?

Rodgers can definitely play every down, Ben. As for 2-TE sets, we'll see if they work Backman into the lineup or bring Perillo up from the PS. They went with Josh Walker as an extra TE on some running plays Monday night after Quarless went down.

Comment From Tony C

What's the trick to the Packers's hard count ?? It seems to me it requires considerable discipline to not jump on the O side of ball before encroachment happens and it's off to the races. What's the plan for picking up a few "free plays" in Santa Clara ??

I don't know the trick, Tony, I just know Rodgers is very good at it and his linemen have been around him enough to know the drill. Those are much harder to get on the road, though, when the silent count is used so often. The free plays have become part of GB's home-field advantage.

Comment From Linda P

Mike, With Eddie still recovering from his ankle injury, do you think we will see more of Harris? I was surprised after his nice carry that we didn't see more of him in the last game. Weren't you?

He had a great first run, Linda, that's for sure, and that could put him in line for more. He did have some ball-security issues in the preseason, though, if I recall, which is probably why they went almost exclusively with Starks with Eddie needing to rest the ankle and with the big lead in the second half.

Comment From Sezer

Packers coaches,players,fans said 'We want fast start.' and now we are 3-0. Is that fast enough?

McCarthy said 4-0 through the first quarter would accomplish the fast start. Works for me, Sezer.

Comment From Karl from Valpo

Mike, How impressed are you with the play of the offensive line, especially with Bulaga going down and Barkley stepping right in and filling those big shoes so capably?

They've done the job against two fierce pass rushes, Karl. Rodgers' mobility certainly helps, but even when someone gets the edge, there's enough protection for Rodgers to find an escape lane. If you had said before the Seattle and KC games that Rodgers would attempt 68 passes and be sacked only three times, I'd say the O-line more than did its part.

Comment From Matt

It seemed like on a couple of those short TD's our WR's were blocking downfield before the ball reached Cobb. They did call it twice, so it's not like it was completely neglected, but am I wrong to think the league will probably be keeping a closer eye on this going forward?

I would suspect so, Matt. Coaches get a pre-game meeting with the officials, and the more that's seen on film, the more those coaches are going to tell the officials to watch for it.

Comment From Chris

Hi Mike! Lang, Sitton and Linsley are proving to be a formidable force keeping throwing lanes open for Rodgers. Do you think they are among the best trio in the league (G,C,G)?

I haven't studied everyone's personnel, Chris, but there's no reason to think they aren't among the best trio. I doubt Rodgers would trade with anybody at this point.

Comment From Justin

Is this the week Montgomery breaks one for a TD?

He's had some nice running lanes here and there, hasn't he, Justin? You have to think it's coming at some point.

Comment From SteveO

Hi much as A-Rod gets credit for his pre-snap tactics (drawing defenses offsides, 12 men on the field, etc.), the "snapper" has to be in tune with him. Amazing to me that Corey Linsley is just starting his second year- he may have been the steal of the draft last year.

Yeah, those on this chat regularly know how I feel about Linsley, SteveO. Fifth round. Great pick. With Bulaga out, the entire Packers O-line right now was drafted in the fourth round or later, or not drafted at all (Barclay).

Comment From Drake

Hey Mike, great work on the chats. How much credit to the 'fast start' goes to MM handing off the playcalling duties and become more of a game Manager/Strategist?

I don't think that's it, Drake. I think it's been the team's ability to adjust on the fly, with these injuries to Nelson, Bulaga, Barrington, etc. They've stayed focused and just charged ahead.

Comment From Josh

I cant help to think with the way wilson ran it and the way Kaepernick is throwing it we dont see alot of read option on sunday. Have we finally figured this out ? Does help it help having Hundley on the scout team?

Interesting point. I wish we could watch those portions of practice, Josh, because I bet Hundley will be running a lot of read option this week.

Comment From Linda P

Mike, How much does the short week and travel impact you and Vic? How detrimental is it to the team?

For me and Vic, it's just a sleep issue, but I'm almost caught up now. For the team, the short week is always a challenge. Today's practice will be light because it's only two days after the game. Players really have to hone in on the mental work because physically their bodies can't be stressed too much in practice. It's not easy to play a road game on a short week, no.

Comment From Lonny

What do you make of all the penalties, league-wide, thus far?

I wish the officials would let more go, to be honest, Lonny. I said to Vic in the press box on Monday night, the officials are always looking for reasons to throw the flag. I think they should look for reasons not to throw flags, if that makes sense. Make sure it's an obvious call clearly impacting the play. Otherwise, let 'em play.

Comment From Tom

What percentage of the fans in the stadium Monday were for KC?

Hard to put a percentage on it, Tom, but I saw plenty of red. I think the fact KC hadn't been to Lambeau for 12 years due to a scheduling quirk had something to do with it.

Comment From Matt

Loved seeing the two FB formation with Ripkowski and Kuhn. Mentor and mentee on the field together.

Again, another formation/package other teams will have to think about, and another option with a TE down.

Comment From Jesse B

Mike, are the offensive tackles coached to jump as soon as they see the defensive end off sides? Couldn't this result in the play being blown dead and free play not happen? Or blowing the play dead more dependent on the defensive end continuing to the quarterback unimpeded?

They jump when they see it to draw the flag. Yes, it can lead to the play being blown dead if the ball isn't snapped right away, but the league has said it's a judgment call whether or not to let the play go, usually based on the timing of the snap and the unimpeded to the QB point you mentioned. So far, those have worked out for the Packers, but there's always a chance it gets blown dead if the O-linemen move.

Comment From Dave B

HI Mike, Last week I questioned the way the Packers use their timeouts. It seems that Rogers used a couple timeouts in the second half with the clock running down, if they are home why can't they get the plays off in time? It could have cost the Packers, since they didn't have a timeout to challenge the 4th down play where Kansas City was clearly short of 1st down? This use of timeouts will eventually haunt us, what's your thought!

You're right, Dave, that's two weeks in a row and it cost them on the KC 4th down conversion. I don't know the issue and they're not going to tell us. McCarthy did say today the timeout on the punt was a formation problem, and I think he feared a blocked punt if he didn't call the TO.

Comment From Ray N

Any chance the Frozen Tundra ever catches on fire ?? That was absurd.

They keep the pyrotechnics here to the roof of the stadium suites, Ray, and that's a good thing.

Comment From JDG

Mike, if the Packers decide to wait until a player goes on injured reserved before adding Letroy Guion to the 53-player roster, what is the latest week he could be activated?

I think a decision has to be made at some point this week, JDG.

Comment From BrettGB

How do you think Damarious Randall has played so far?

Lots of folks asking about Randall. I think he's played very well. He gave up the long one to Maclin late Monday night, but that's the first pass of significance he has given up, if memory serves. I think the Packers have a keeper there.

Comment From Potato

Don't get me wrong, I like winning at all costs ... but do you think the hard-count and catching defenses with 12 men is kind of cheap? I don't think the founders of the game meant for the presnap or huddle management to be a significant factor of the game. I'd like to see Rodgers let the 12th guy get off the field, call hike, and beat them straight up 11-on-11.

So winning isn't enough? They have to win a certain way, and be nice to the other team when they're slow to substitute? Call it cheap if you want, but that's like saying a fake handoff is cheap. Just give it to him so everyone knows who has the ball?

Comment From Rudy

Hey Mike, I saw that the Packers were leaving a day earlier than usual, what will they be doing in San Fran on the extra day?

They'll have their final practice of the week on Saturday out there, Rudy.

Comment From PackMan

Vic can't get enough of Ernie Holmes. Who was the most dominant player YOU've ever covered?

In my time here, PackMan, the Packers haven't had a flat-out dominant defensive lineman up front, but if I were to pick two defensive players who've had the most impact on opposing teams, I'd say Woodson and Matthews.

Comment From Darryl

Mike it seemed that the Chiefs were losing there footing quite a bit during the game. Was it the rainy wet conditions or what?

I thought the same thing, Darryl. I thought they were slipping around a lot more than the Packers were. Maybe they didn't have the right cleats on, I don't know.

Comment From Tony V

What do you observe being around the team now after 3-0? Still focused, confident, cocky etc. I suspect Coach McCarthy knows how to keep them stable.

There are enough veterans are on this team, Tony, that know no trophies are given out for 3-0.

Comment From Curtis W.

Do you think that James Jones can lead the league in TD's again this year?

Why not? Rodgers will be at or near the top of the league in TD passes at year's end, probably, so someone here has a chance. Cobb has 4 too, you know.

Comment From Bernie

Big Mike! When during the season do you usually see teams struggle? Back to back road games? November?

A lot can factor in, Bernie. Sometimes injuries can catch up to you. Or a team later in the season might be coming off its bye week when you're in a tough stretch. Those kinds of things. Sometimes one loss can hang over a team if they're not careful. I was shocked KC came out so lethargic on Monday night after that awful loss to Denver and plenty of time to get rested and healthy, but it seemed to work the other way for them.

OK, the hour is almost up. Practice soon. I'll take a few more.

Mike, I want to change the rule that says a coach can only have two opportunities to challenge a play. If a play is overturned due to a coach's challenge, why charge him for it? In other words, give them two strikes, rather than two opportunities.

Couldn't agree more. I've been saying that for a few years now. Going 1-1 on challenges takes them away, same as going 0-2. You only get an extra if you go 2-0. I don't get that.

Comment From Puma

Do you think the league may make a new rule about the 12th man if Rodgers keeps this up? For instance, it's not a penalty if the player is making an effort to get off the field and dose not return or disrupt the play.

Not a chance, Puma, but Vic said in the press box Monday night he wondered if teams were going to start faking injuries to avoid those 12-man situations. We'll see.

Comment From Jeff P

Was Reggie White before your time?

In the mid-90s, I only covered Packers home games for the publications I worked for and I didn't go on the road, so I was only including my time as a reporter when I've been seeing all the games in person.

Comment From Brooke

I just got here, so I haven't read through the comments yet but I wanted to get this out there before you left. Did you hear Chief fans saying that the equipment people forgot to bring extra cleats along and so their footing was the reason for the loss? I found that funny.

I hadn't heard that, but they definitely were having footing problems.

I would like to see challenges removed from the coaches all together. Why not have an ref in the sky who can radio down to the guys on the field to get it right.

I don't rule out that happening at some point, Andy.

Comment From Josh S.

Do you enjoy seeing new stadiums? Looks like SF has a pretty nice facility.

I am curious to see this new one. Looks pretty cool on TV.

Comment From Gretchen

Some of that red in the stands were Packers fans wearing red ponchos. don't get too disappointed in the crowd.

I wasn't disappointed, Gretchen, and you make a good point. I just did see more opposing color than normal, and I thought it was funny when the Chiefs fans tried their yell of "Chiefs" on the final word of the national anthem, like they do at Arrowhead. I could hear it in the press box, so it must have been heard out there.

All right, gang, gotta get to practice. Thanks for all the participation today. Talk to you next week. We should get back on the regular Tuesday schedule for now, until we get to those Thursday games later on. Take care. --Mike

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