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Packers' receivers earned the extra yard in win over Bears

Aaron Rodgers really ties the team together


Matt from Roanoke, VA

It's easy to give credit to flash plays on offense, but my MVP player of the year so far goes to Nick Perry. Do you agree that he has become the most impactful linebacker on the roster?

Nick Perry has been one of the most impactful players on the roster regardless of position. If you count his two playoffs games last January, Perry has 34 tackles, nine sacks, a forced fumble and interception over his last eight games. Yes, the career-high 5½ sacks this season are nice, but he's been essential to the defense stopping the run, as well. The stars have finally aligned for Perry this season. If the injuries stay away, it'll be interesting to see what he can accomplish.

Peter from Eau Claire, WI

Rodgers praised Adams for showing confidence and asking for certain routes. Play-calling by committee a normal thing, a Packers thing, a Rodgers thing? Or just an expression Adams was showing Rodgers he was confident and gung-ho?

There are a lot of options built into routes of the Packers' passing game. Adams saw something he felt the offense could exploit and relayed that to his quarterback. It's similar to when Andrew Quarless was calling for the ball near the end of the game in Miami two years ago. He felt he had a good matchup against a linebacker and took advantage of it.

Del from Sterling, IL

Any predictions for the fate of the running back position from here on out?

Thursday night's game proved the cupboard isn't bare at running back. I'd have to imagine Montgomery's versatility played into why the Packers didn't immediately add a third-string running back after they cut Jhurell Pressley. He looks like he's up for handling the job going forward. James Starks will be back at some point and Knile Davis will continue to learn the playbook. The Packers would love to have Eddie Lacy back tomorrow, but the run game can still succeed without him.

Bob from Durango, CO

Insiders, I know there has been a lot of talk about how the check-down and swing pass have taken the place of the run game. But, didn't we rush for over 100, yes?

I felt this was the most promising sign for the offense. You'd obviously expect Montgomery and Cobb to catch the ball well out of the backfield, but I was impressed by how effective both were running between the tackles. Montgomery's 30-yard run was perfect execution by the offensive line to create the hole and the running back to bust through it.

John from South Lyon, MI

When the Packers hosted Carolina in the NFC Championship of the '96 season, Dorsey Levens caught a ball on a deep route. Thinking about Montgomery out of the backfield, doesn't a wide receiver running deep routes out of the backfield present a big matchup problem?

Absolutely. That's why Montgomery is such a good fit in that role. At 6-0, 216 pounds, his frame isn't dissimilar to a running back, but he can catch the ball like a receiver.

Jeremy from Mountain House, CA

Everyone was so down on McCarthy for giving the ball to Montgomery on the goal line. I watched the handoff and was excited to see him use his wide receiver ups to go up and over the defenders into the end zone. Then he didn't jump and crashed into the much larger defensive linemen. Maybe next time?

I know it didn't lead to points, but I thought it showed how much confidence the Packers have in Montgomery to not only get the yard, but also plow through the middle. If nothing else, it puts on tape that the Packers are willing to do everything with Montomgery that they would with a traditional running back.

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

Why is no one talking about YAC? Cobb, Adams, and Montgomery kept things going with great YAC. That's been a missing element. YAC is soooo important. I need to know if YAC can be coached up or if it's just a matter of a guy's natural elusiveness.

The Packers' receiving corps earned the extra yard against Chicago, which is something the coaching staff has preached for the last decade. Broken tackles go a long way in establishing success with an offense. Plus, it's entirely in your control when it comes to effort and keeping a play going. Green Bay's receivers did just that against Chicago. Edgar Bennett had to be smiling from the sidelines.

Geert from Old Windsor, UK

The team is off until Tuesday. Is there any additional work planned for Knile Davis to get up to speed?

I asked Davis that very question after the game. He planned to stay in the playbook this weekend and keep picking up the offense. The more he does in practice, the more confident the coaching staff will be with using him in an in-game setting. That's really what it comes down to. He said he has most of the run plays figured out, it's just understanding the offense as a whole.

Josh from Eau Claire, WI

Guys, passing the ball or running the ball are just the vehicles by which the offense gets the ball to the team's playmakers. Handoff, pitch, short pass, medium pass, long pass, it's all the same after the intended recipient has the ball in his hands. I think there's too much emphasis placed on running to open up the pass. Creativity is shunned in this forum in favor of an unwillingness to accept that it's sometimes necessary to adapt or otherwise fail. Although none of the visitors to this page have even an iota of the knowledge the NFL coaches too, it doesn't require rocket science to understand the stubborn commitment to trying the same thing week after week wasn't working. Kudos to McCarthy and his staff for finally opening it up a bit. Just get the playmakers the ball by whatever creative means necessary.

You make a strong argument, Josh. It really comes down to getting the ball in your playmakers' hands. For me, I always look at how many touches a player has in a game rather than just receptions, carries or returns. As I wrote about Friday, it's no coincidence the Packers are now 5-0 when getting Cobb at least 10 touches from scrimmage in a game. Numbers like that reflect offensive efficiency and tempo.

Chris from Upland, CA

Seriously Insiders, GB played against a 30th-ranked opponent with a 1-5 record and a third-string quarterback and I'm hearing, "He's back?"

I love this line of thinking. You really can't win. You either get beat by a 30th-ranked opponent with a 1-5 record and a third-string quarterback and you're terrible, or you beat a 30th-ranked opponent with a 1-5 record with a third-string quarterback and it's meaningless. If you want to complain when the Packers lose to a team that's 5-0 or 5-1, maybe you should enjoy the wins, too. Otherwise, you're going to be exhausted and bitter by the end of the season.

Dan from Rosemount, MN

It seems like none of the analysts are answering the question about the offense. With their personnel, can the Packers win against better teams than the Bears by playing without a running back?


Joshua from Pella, IA

I know a lot of the SEC teams have a reputation for a lot of players being drafted. The Packers have three players from Iowa that are key players, though. So which college do you think produces the best players for the Packers' schemes?

That's an excellent question. Iowa certainly has done a fine job of getting players to Green Bay with Bryan Bulaga, Mike Daniels and Micah Hyde all developing into starters. Miami (Fla.) has had a pretty solid pipeline to Green Bay. It seems like there's always an undrafted free agent who's on the roster every offseason. A lot of the Pac-12 schools – UCLA, USC and Stanford – have developed players who fit well into the Packers' system, especially in Dom Capers' defense. Offensively, the Packers' scouts seem to find players from all 50 states. It's incredible the amount of detail that goes into their thought process.

Bill from Tampa, FL

How many times can a team put a player back on the practice squad?

Unlimited. There isn't a "three-option years" rule like in baseball. If the player agrees to it, he can be released and re-signed as many times as an organization sees fit, within a given year that he is eligible for the practice squad. Accrued service time eventually makes a player ineligible, but the rules are complicated.

Mike from Exeter, PA

With the success our offense had against the Bears, I believe it can only improve once Jared Cook comes back to full health. Do you agree?

You never want to see anyone get injured, but the one silver-lining to Cook's situation is it leaves a portion of the playbook open for when he returns. I think the Packers were just getting started with how they planned to utilize Cook when he succumbed to his ankle injury. The Packers want to win in the middle of the field. Cook can help make that happen.

Josh from Chicago, IL

Hi Insiders, does the person designated for return have to be chosen now, or can they choose anyone from the IR when they are ready? If it were up to you, would you choose Shields or Lacy? I am torn on this one.

You'd love to see both players get a chance to return, but it just doesn't work that way. At the same time, this is why I was happy to see the league rework the designated-to-return rule this year. It's so difficult to accurately gauge timelines and you hate to see that spot go unused like it did in 2012 when Cedric Benson's foot injury eventually required surgery and he was out for the season regardless. Now, it gives you the opportunity to return any one player whenever he's healthy and ready to play again. We'll see how it plays out.

Richard from Brooklyn, NY

I've noticed a difference in the helmets that Cobb, Montgomery, and Bulaga wear having a cut out or replacement-type area in the forehead area. Others on the team wear a helmet with no such area. What is the reason for the different helmet?

Those are Riddell SpeedFlex helmets. They're designed to help minimize impact to the head and neck area. They've been prevalent throughout the college ranks and the numbers seem to be increasing in the NFL in recent years. A lot of players on the Packers' offensive line made the switch last year. It's personal preference for players, who have final say in what helmets they wear.

The Packers and Bears faced off at Lambeau Field in a Week 7 Thursday Night Football contest. Photos by Evan Siegle,

Malte from Odense, Denmark

How do you think the depth chart at the cornerback position will look next season, if the corners keep playing like they do know? Will Gunter step up to third corner or will Rollins keep that spot?

With respect to your question, the Packers need to get through this season first before figuring out what the future holds. Gunter, Randall and Rollins will need to play big roles this year with Shields on injured reserve. If they all play well, next season will take care of itself.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, don't you think an occasional naked bootleg on the goal line could be effective?

Sure. It never worked for me during flag football, but I'm guessing Aaron Rodgers could pull it off.

Wanda from Safford, AZ

This is not a question, but I do have to tell you an amazing thing that has happened. My 26-year-old son has loved this team since he was a little boy. He still loves this team and follows it closely. He just sent me a picture of two players standing by each other in the locker room. "Brice" and "Evans." My son's name is "BRICE EVANS." That made his day! We love the picture! We just had to share. WAY COOL!

That's awesome, Wanda. I'm glad to hear the Packers' undrafted rookie safeties helped make a memory for your son. That's a pretty cool name, too.

Peter from Stoke, UK

Is there any chance that at some point the Packers will play a game in the U.K.?

I would love that, but the Packers aren't going to take one of eight regular-season home games off the schedule to make it happen. It means too much to the community and the thousands of season-ticket holders. Since Packer fans travel so well, it also makes it difficult to move a road game over the pond. Why would a team like Jacksonville play Green Bay in the U.K. when the Jaguars can easily sell out a home game instead? I look forward to the day the Packers play overseas. I just don't know when it will happen.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

Wes, do you think Rodgers was channeling his inner dude because his game is a metaphor for the rug, and he just wants to get his game back because it really ties the team together? And meanwhile the fans are all acting crazy yelling at him and the team and coming up with wild theories and talking about our buddies that died face down in the muck during the 2010 season when it has nothing to do with this season?

That's a pretty good theory. I guess the only thing I would add is you know sometimes there's a man – I won't say a hero because, what's a hero? – but sometimes, there's a man. And I'm talking about Rodgers here. Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's Rodgers, in Green Bay. All kidding aside, Rodgers was very Dude-like on Thursday night and there's probably something to be said for that even-keeled approach.

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