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Panic doesn't lead to production

Packers must pull together in face of adversity


Joycel from River Falls, WI

Do we have your permission to panic yet?

Panic won't get you anywhere. I remember in college panicking once during my Environmental Science test and ended up getting 60 percent. Any other response would've produced better results. I challenge you to stay strong. Remember panic doesn't lead to production. It takes a positive mindset and preparation to pull through this.

Justin from Saint Petersburg, FL.

Please tell me something good about the outlook on the rest of the season.

I think the Packers' offense is close to finding itself. Very quietly it has shot up to 11th in points per game (24.8) and 14th in passing offense (253.4 yards per game) after a slow start. A big reason for the increased production is Davante Adams coming into his own this season. The offense hasn't been consistent enough, but the pieces are there. It's just about making them fit on a down-by-down basis.

Amar from Ashburn, VA

They keep saying they're gonna turn it around. It's no surprise our defense has taken a step back with Matthews and our offense hasn't been the same without Lacy. After another tough loss vs. the Titans, when will these guys get it together? Time is running out.

There are no easy answers, Amar. I thought Jordy Nelson summed it up best on Sunday night when he said you can't just flip on a switch when you get to the stadium and everything will turn around. All you can do is try to identify the errors and work to improve. I know that trial-and-error logic doesn't move the needle for a lot of fans, but that's what you have to do. You can't rage quit and just restart the system. You have to deal with what's happened and press on.

Chad from La Crosse, WI

Hey Insiders, I read a stat a few years ago that said if the Packers or Steelers make it to the Super Bowl it has the largest impact on the country's economy more so than if any other NFL team makes it. This is because of the large fan base buying gear, travel, food and BEER. Sure seemed true in Nashville. Who knew there were so many Packer fans in Tennessee?

Packer fans turned out in droves in Nashville. I was in absolute awe of how many Packer fans turned up. I'd estimate about a third of the crowd was wearing green-and-gold at Nissan Stadium. I heard the line for our Packers Everywhere pep rally went around the block. It was a sight to behold, and credit the fans for making a truly memorable moment. We've seen it at all four of the Packers' road games this year – the fans are always there.

Jocelyn from Dallas, TX

Insiders, I was very impressed by the defense Sunday. After struggling to deal with running quarterbacks for the last few years, the unit held one of the best running quarterbacks to eight yards on the ground. Very encouraging!

The Packers did their job in keeping Mariota in the pocket. His four carries for eight yards were actually his fewest rushing yards this season, but unfortunately his 149.8 passer rating also was his highest. Green Bay just couldn't shake him out of his passing rhythm and Mariota made the defense pay for it. I give him credit, though. He made the throws he needed to make.

Aaron from Atlanta, GA

I grew up splitting time between my parents. School years were in Tucson, AZ, where I became a rabid Arizona Wildcat fan, and summers belonged to Milwaukee, WI, which led to my allegiance to the Brewers and Packers. Born in 1973, my fandom began in the early '80s. It was a lot of fun seeing the 1982 Brewers get to the World Series, but disappointing to watch them lose Games 6 and 7 to the Cardinals, then do next to nothing for two and a half decades. I thoroughly enjoyed Green Bay's dominant win over the Patriots in 1997. That was a great team from start to finish, boasting the top-ranked offense and defense in the league. But do you know what two events were dramatically more exciting to experience? 1) Just a couple of months later, watching a Wildcat team that dragged itself into the tournament at 19-9, fifth in the Pac-10, and win absolutely thrilling games against No. 1 seeds Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky, the latter in overtime, to secure the school's first and only national championship (sandwiched in between was a stress-fest overtime win over God Shammgod's Providence team). 2) In 2011, following the Packers as they squeaked into the playoffs, requiring two wins in the last two weeks of the season just to secure the No. 6 seed, they went out on the road every week and refused to lose en route to the Super Bowl title. So, either this team flounders, and we wait out the offseason, OR the table is set for a potentially uber-exciting and satisfying championship run. Let's just enjoy the ride! Don't worry about this one. If you miss it, we lose.

There are rough patches in every season. This year is a little thicker than most, but all you can do is try to pull yourself out of it. The NFC North race has increased the room for error, but the Packers need to do their part, too.

Terry from Elizabethtown, KY

The bottom line is this year's team is getting outcoached in all phases. This defense is a mess, so why does Dom Capers continue to put his secondary in tough situations by continuing to all-out blitz? This secondary doesn't have the talent to be left alone in one-on-one situations.

The Packers played back against Atlanta and many cried that they didn't blitz enough. They send extra rushers against Indianapolis and Tennessee and now the question is why aren't they helping the secondary? Every call a defensive coordinator makes is a gamble. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. It comes down to execution. The problems are obvious. The solution is more complicated.

Jay from Land O Lakes, FL

One could easily make the case the Packers have failed to adapt to losing their corners and running backs. Please make the case to me that they have adjusted?

The Packers have run into two fairly extreme circumstances at cornerback and running back. If you count John Crockett, Green Bay has actually lost its top three running backs to significant injuries at various points in the season. I'd make an argument that Sam Shields' absence on defense is in the same category as the offense losing Jordy Nelson last season. He tilts the field. I'm not going to draw a line in the sand and say this is the proper adjustment and this isn't. I'll only argue that those two positions have been stressed to the extreme.

Neal from Chicago, IL

Ty Montgomery is one of our best playmakers on offense, and I know Nelson and Adams had big days, but where was Ty in this game? This seems to happen a lot, a game where one of our best playmakers wasn't involved and then McCarthy says we need to give him more opportunities. I guess I just don't understand how it happens so much. What's your opinion on the subject?

McCarthy said on Monday not to read much into the personnel they used against Tennessee. After falling behind early, the offense went to a pretty strict no-huddle offense while trying to catch up. From that perspective, I thought it made more sense to deploy James Starks for pass-protection purposes. I think people forget how effective he was as a third-down back last season.

Paul from Ellensburg, WA

Hey fellas, I'm sure you're going to filter a lot of questions about this, but I'm curious. It seems like our no-huddle, up-tempo offense works. Give Rodgers the ball and prerogative and he scores. Why do we seem to save this for the points in our games when we're desperate rather than to gain early leads? MM says it's not kind to the defense, but injuries and inexperience are giving up big plays in between unsuccessful drives. It feels like it would be kinder to them to have points on the board to make up for their misses.

If they do and go three-and-out right away, then people will immediately question why they didn't run the ball more. They're trying to find balance. You can't be only a one-trick pony because teams will figure it out quickly. They've had playmakers emerge with Adams and Montgomery over the past few weeks, but they're trying to find more personnel and packages that work, as well.

Rob from Orlando, FL

Do you think the Packers have enough veteran leadership to lead the locker room through this challenging season? Or does the draft-and-develop method leave them short on leaders?

I think they have ample leadership. A lot of players have made their voice heard, whether it's established veterans such as Julius Peppers and Aaron Rodgers or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Davante Adams. The Packers' culture encourages young players to move into positions of leadership.

Sonia from Fairbanks, AK

Vic says a running game fixes everything. I have not been able to find any information about Lacy's surgery. Is it possible he might return? Maybe Crockett?

Both running backs are on injured reserve and the Packers still have the option available to return one player from IR to the active roster. Running backs coach Ben Sirmans said last week that Lacy has been attending individual meetings in between his rehab sessions.

Adam from Prairie du Chien, WI

At this point, do the 2016 GB Packers compare more favorably to the 2005 or 2010 GB Packers?

The 2005 Packers were 2-7 through their first nine games, so I'll let you do the math.

Danilo from Sao Paulo, Brazil

"Adjust your expectations." Is it an invite to accept the mediocre?

I don't want to speak for Vic here, so I'm going to answer your question with a comment I received from Jared in Pewaukee regarding the same line. I think he got to the crux of what Vic was saying. Take it away, Jared.

"I keep a running list of quotes on my phone to look to when inspiration is needed or I need to gain some perspective during the day. Mostly the quotes are said by writers, philosophers, etc. 'We can ease our pain by simply adjusting our perspective' by Vic, just made the list. Yeah, the Packers have put up a few stinkers this year, but how lucky are all of us that we live in a country with the freedoms that the play of a sporting event is a big deal in our lives? How lucky are we to root for a team with the history and tradition of the Packers? Life is good."

Nick from Charlotte, NC

I said it after our loss to Atlanta and I'll say it again. Injuries have hurt this team badly. We still have a chance to change the narrative and it starts this Sunday. What will it take for this team to exorcise their demons against the 'Skins?

You have to pull together when adversity hits. The Packers aren't going to use injuries as an excuse, but it's been a huge obstacle for this year's team. Where it differs from the 2010 squad is that the injuries aren't of the season-ending variety.

Green Bay visited Tennessee to take on the Titans in a Week 10 matchup. Photos by Evan Siegle,

Jacob from Colorado Springs, CO

Insiders, I bet the Giants are happy they didn't fire Tom Coughlin after his first losing season. We need to be patient. What are your thoughts?

I think recent NFL history has shown teams respond better to consistency than upheaval. It's hard to build a foundation on a moving surface.

John from Waupaca, WI

I think the refs missed the call on the muffed punt. It should have been interference with the opportunity to make a fair catch. The player can't be interfered with until the ball touches the ground. That was a huge play at the time. Did the ball hit the ground before contact by the defense?

I didn't get a chance to really dive into that play until we got back to Green Bay, but special teams coordinator Ron Zook corroborated my thought that it should've been a flag for fair-catch interference. Even if Davis bobbles the ball, he needs to be given a chance to catch it before the defender makes contact with him. It's a live ball once it hits the ground, but Beau Brinkley has to give Davis a chance to catch it. The referees missed it. Fortunately, Davis wasn't injured on the play because that's a dangerous spot for a player to be exposed like that.

Tim from Perrysburg, OH

When Rodgers threw the ball behind Cobb on the first series, we had to punt. Ryan got hurt on the punt play, and that affected our run defense. It's the little things that add up. Do you think the Packers can turn around their season when the little things start adding up in their favor?

Absolutely. It's a week-to-week league. The Packers will have more triumphs this year and they'll face more adversity. It's about not getting too high or too low.

John from Hartford City, IN

What has happened to my Packers? It seems like we cannot keep them healthy.

Your Packers are dealing with some adversity at the moment, John. Hang tight. There's another game on Sunday and six more after that.

Tim from Upland, CA

Hello Insiders. Yesterday, I visited my favorite restaurant. Somehow, my order did not make it to the table the way I ordered it. I immediately want the waitress, cook and manager fired because I didn't get what I wanted. If I don't get what I want from my favorite restaurant, do you think it would be a good idea to find a new favorite? Just wondering.

Your response to that scenario reminds me of what my 3-year-old godson does when he doesn't get what he wants.

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