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The Packers have been here before

Run-to-pass threat makes the Cowboys' offense go


Matt from Hartford, WI

The Cowboys present a unique challenge, especially with all the injuries. Do you anticipate the Packers will use a unique defense to stop the Cowboys' balanced attack, or will the packages be by personnel matchup?

The Packers frequently used their base personnel against Chicago because the Bears had issues with their vertical passing game. The Cowboys are a different story, with Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. That run-to-pass threat makes the Cowboys' offense go. Dom Capers has a bevy of packages to choose from. That's the chess game coordinators play.

Ben from De Pere, WI

It seems that teams this year have been putting an emphasis on stopping Dak Prescott's check-down targets (Witten and Beasley), especially on third down. Do you think the Packers will try to do the same this week?

That's a great observation. I was surprised when I opened up the stat packet this week and saw Beasley has been held to just 11 catches for 86 yards. It probably comes down to contested passes and getting defenders in people's faces. It's also important to turn over the football. Dallas is 2-4 when Prescott throws a pick and 13-1 when he doesn't (I'm not counting last year's regular-season finale when the Cowboys sat their starters).

Will from London, United Kingdom

Danny Trevathan's suspension reduced from two weeks to one. That does not make any sense. Bet your Inbox will be overloaded with questions and fury about that today!

I'm not surprised given the appeals process usually results in reduction. Do I think it should've been more? I do, but I'm also not privy to all the ins and outs of discipline for an on-field incident.

Jackson from Rothschild, WI

I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning. Jon Gruden was guest talking about various teams and scenarios in the NFL after Week 4. The subject of Danny Trevathan's suspension being reduced to one game surfaced. Jon Gruden said, "I thought Danny made a heck of a play." Does that sound ridiculous to anybody else or am I taking crazy pills?


The Packers were back at practice preparing for Sunday's matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. Photos by Evan Siegle, packers.com.

I get the outrage – I truly do – but I think we're losing sight of the bigger picture. Davante Adams is upright and healthy. Ultimately, his voice is the one that matters on the subject and we've yet to hear it. I'm reserving judgment until then. **

Tony from Caru, NC

With the early success of the running game last week (yeah it was the Bears, but it still counts), do you ever foresee us going with six offensive linemen? Lining up a LT, two LGs, C, RG, and RT? We would have a little more muscle up front to run, but still have the option to pass. Also, it would be cool to see Bakhtiari catch a pass.

I don't see it ever being anything more than just a wrinkle. You'd have more muscle, but you'd also be inviting another defender into the box. Bakhtiari is an All-Pro left tackle. I want to see him block.

Barry from Angola, IN

Quite impressed with the defense so far, however it appears they are still susceptible to the big play, especially up the middle. Is this a characteristic of the nitro package? If so, doesn't the pass rush become even more important?

It's funny you mention that because I believe this is one of the biggest misconceptions of the defense this year. The Packers actually are one of three teams (with Buffalo and Pittsburgh) that have yet to give up a play of more than 40 yards. They're tied for 13th in allowing 11 gains of more than 20 yards. I'm sure there are areas Capers and his staff would like to clean up, but big plays haven't been an issue.

Brad from Greenwood, IN

During several games over the safer NFL years and with the hit on Adams, do you think the refs could do a better job blowing a play dead? Instead of letting the "D" hold up and beat on a ball carrier. So many times a play is clearly over long before the whistle.

I think the whistles were a little late on the Adams' hit and a lotta late on the play where Jamaal Williams was injured. I feel for officials, though. The game moves at 120 mph and we're all human. However, a quicker call would help clear up some of the gray area on those plays.

Rob from Buckinghamshire, UK

Has Justin McCray played center? If so do you think he's going to replace Barclay as the do-everything backup lineman?

It's not about replacing anyone. This first month of the season has proven you need as many versatile reserves as you can develop. McCray learned center this offseason and is the backup there with Barclay on injured reserve. McCray has a fascinating story. He has a hunger only life experience can give it to you.

John from La Crosse, WI

Who is the backup long snapper and who is the backup holder? How much practice do they get in with those responsibilities? Keep up the good work.


Richard Rodgers and Randall Cobb. I don't see them practice there often, but honestly I'm not looking very hard. Plus, we only see a small portion of in-season practices.**

Jamie from Brooklyn, NY

It's still early in the season, but the stakes seem suddenly very high. A loss to the Cowboys allows them to jump ahead of us in the standings (both teams 3-2, they'd have the tiebreaker), while a win would give us a three-game lead over them (4-1 to 2-3, we have tiebreaker), most likely ensuring any rematch would occur at Lambeau. Are we going to get December football in October?

The stakes are high for a Week 5 showdown, but the Packers have been here before, especially in that stadium. It's bigger than just one game, though. Sunday is the start of the second quarter of the season and you can rest assured Mike McCarthy is stressing the importance of these next four games with the team this week.

James from Milwaukee, WI

I have a problem with you guys using stats to argue for the defense but seem to ignore the stats when it comes to the running game. Our running game ranks 29th in YPG. Do you really believe that our defense ranks seventh in the NFL or have they played three horrible offenses and one spectacular one? Should we not judge our defense and hold them to the standard of playing well against good offensive teams?

You can only play who is on your schedule, Jim. And if the defense didn't play well in those games, you'd be hollering from the rooftops about what's wrong and who's responsible. Also, it's not like Green Bay is playing FCS schools. Atlanta and Seattle rank in the top 10 in total offense and Chicago was eighth in rushing offense prior to Thursday's game. Stay thirsty, my glass-half-empty friend.

Ian from Albuquerque, NM

Was letting Micah Hyde go to the Bills a mistake looking back? He's had three interceptions this year so far.

I put Hyde's departure in the same category as JC Tretter's. They both signed lucrative free-agent contracts and now are getting the chance to start elsewhere. Hyde is playing safety in Buffalo. The Packers are well-stocked at the position. I'm happy for him and his family, but I don't view it as a mistake. I see it as a terrific opportunity for a player who earned it.

Federico from Montevideo, Uruguay

I'm a bit concerned about the TE position. It's not working properly. Only a few sparks from Bennett and Rodgers but almost nothing from Kendricks. Time to regret about how we let Cook leave?


Almost nothing from Kendricks? What about the 51-yard catch and 33-yard pass interference call he drew against the Bengals? And why is the conversation always about regretting Player A or Player B? We still have a long way to go, people. **

Jacob from Port Huron, MI

Janis sweep vs. Dallas?

Sure. Why not?

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

A lot has been said about the pass protection Rodgers was afforded against the Bears, but I was just as surprised about the holes that were opened in the running game by the hodge-podge group.

This was perhaps the most underrated part of the Packers' victory. I thought Corey Linsley's athleticism and communication really shined throughout. Lucas Patrick worked well with Lane Taylor in opening gaps off the left side. I also felt this was Jahri Evans' best performance in his short time with the Packers.

Ron from Tama, IA

If Ty doesn't play Sunday, do you think we'll see Randall Cobb in the backfield like in years past?

That package is always in play, but the Packers drafted three running backs for this scenario. If Montgomery and/or Jamaal Williams can't go, they'll have no qualms about using Aaron Jones or Devante Mays in the backfield. Both running backs have played well when given the opportunity.

Gerbschmidt from Elk Mound, WI

Does it really make sense for Montgomery to struggle through broken ribs and place his season in jeopardy rather than giving the keys to the younger drafted players for a game or two?


It all depends on how Montgomery and the training staff feel. While much has been written, only they know the full story of his injury. He's a tough guy and obviously wants to play. Together, he and the trainers will make the best decision for Ty Montgomery. We'll see how things unfold.**

Bob from Longmont, CO

What is the status of Montravius Adams? He was being talked up before his foot injury, but nothing much since. Is he practicing and when might we get to see him play?

He played a few snaps in dime against Cincinnati and then was a clean scratch versus the Bears. He's working his way back in after missing all of training camp due to the foot injury.

Hilmi from Ankara, Turkey

A patchwork offensive line also means opponents don't have game tape of those players for game prep. Do you think that factored last Thursday against Chicago? Can we expect Dallas to key onto weaknesses Taylor might have? Finally, can subbing unscouted backup linemen at times produce something, or is it being too cute and we should just put the best five on the field and let them gel?

I actually think it was probably the exact opposite. It was no secret Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari might not play. There already was tape of McCray playing right tackle. Also, I don't think any perceived advantage of unscouted looks would be more beneficial than having your starting five on the field. They're starters for a reason.

John from Buxton, ME

What is the timetable for Mike Daniels' return? He is the key to the Pack's defensive success.

Your guess is as good as mine. I know that's probably not the answer you want, but that's the best I got. I get why fans want the answer to these injury questions, though. Waiting is the hardest part. We'll find out Sunday.

Chip from Seattle, WA

Just getting back to the McCarthy winning coach of the year thing in 2010. Which obviously was an amazing year for us and Mike, but isn't that award just like the MVP award, it's solely based on the regular-season body of work? Whatever happens in the postseason doesn't affect the voting?

If that's the case, McCarthy should've won it in 2011. Don't @ me with Jim Harbaugh/49ers turnaround comments.

Tony from Burbank, CA

Mike mentioned Trevathan's suspension is equivalent to a fine of more than $100,000 since he forfeits a game check. Does his forfeited salary go to the league, like a fine, or do the Bears keep it and not cap it, since it wasn't paid to the player?

Don't quote me on this, but I think the team keeps the money and whatever salary the suspended player misses out on is prorated from the cap. The allocation of fine money is collectively bargained and donated through the NFL Foundation after it's taken directly from the player's check.

Joseph from East Moline, IL

Wes, you were probably a senior in high school when Rodgers was drafted, so you may not know the answer to this question. As I understand it, a knock on Rodgers when he was entering the draft was a lack of athleticism. We all know how that turned out, so my question is, did the scouts whiff or did he just work really hard on his athleticism while sitting on the bench for three years?

I was a junior, actually. There were so many analyses and opinions out there about Rodgers entering that draft, but his arm talent, drive and athleticism were without question. I believe he ran somewhere between 4.66 and 4.71 in the 40-yard dash. The fact of the matter is the NFL missed on him. Nobody drafted him with the first 23 picks and nobody traded up to grab him, either. The league's loss was the Packers' gain. Furthermore, he's worked tirelessly to develop every ounce of talent in his body. His dedication is world-class.

Shel from New York, NY

Regarding your answer to the question involving RB Blount, I understand that you can't sign everyone. But don't you think it would have been logical to just take a look at a RB who scored 18, I say 18 touchdowns in one season and has been pretty productive his entire career? And I think he probably came pretty cheaply. It really amazed me that the Packers passed in him.

Well, the good news is you can still get him on your fantasy team.

Jason from Winona, MN

I have always wondered why the NFC East has Dallas in the division. Why not Carolina? It seems to make more sense that way.

I'm not sure, though we are talking about the same league that had Tampa Bay in the NFC Central for 23 years.

Jay from Sheboygan, WI

No question, just wanted to say thanks for all the work you guys do. I recently had back surgery and the Packers page has kept me from going completely insane while recovering. Keep up the great work.

Get well soon, Jay. We appreciate you following our coverage.

Nate from Amherst, WI

The only way the Lego highlights would be better is if they had Matthews' hair! And maybe some beer in the stands.

Now there's an idea.

Steven from Montclair, NJ

What criteria/thought process do you guys use to decide on the headline of the Insider Inbox each day?

Whichever line made me go, "Atta boy."

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