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There's plenty to like about Knile Davis' game

Thursday night's contest will be a war of attrition


Adam from Lake City, MN

Don from Stevens Point wins the Internet or at least should win free tickets or something. That punter comment was just too good!

It was pure gold. Maybe we should start doing an "Insider Inbox comment/question of the year." That would be an early frontrunner.

Braden from Brookfield, WI

What are realistic expectations for Knile Davis?

To improve and learn more each week. It's not going to be easy to come in with two days of practice and make a significant impact in this game. Sure, that would be a bonus, but this move was about helping the run game in the weeks to come. Davis has a lot of talent, quickness and should fit well into the offense Green Bay runs. There's plenty to like about Davis' game. Just don't expect it all to happen overnight.

Josh from Oshkosh, WI

I find it strange that I've heard nothing about this yet: 2016 Packers are first in the league in third-down efficiency compared to 2015 Packers being 28th in third-down efficiency. Isn't that something "the wolves" were howling about last year? Strange, I don't hear them now!

The two areas that jump right to the top of my mind are third-down offense and four-minute offense. The offense successfully closed out a pair of wins by being able to run out the clock against Detroit and the New York Giants, and the third-down offense has had its moments, too. You have to give credit to the run game for creating favorable down-and-distance situations for the offense.

Edward from Canton, SD

Is Sam Shields on the type of IR where he could be activated for the playoffs or is his season over?

The NFL changed the rules for returning players to the active roster from injured reserve this season. Teams no longer have to designate a specific player to return when placed on injured reserve. Instead, they now can activate one player off injured reserve after he's been on the reserve list for eight weeks.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Well, if there was ever a game the Packers would need Rodgers to snap out of his funk it's this one. A division opponent at home to avoid falling three games behind Minnesota, without the top two running backs and top three corners. Rodgers needs to play like Rodgers again to withstand these injuries.

The Packers will be looking to their passing game with Lacy and Starks both out, and Davis only a few days into the offense. That's where Rodgers and the passing game come in. There were too many turnovers against the Cowboys, but it overshadows the positive things the offense did with the different packages it used early in the game. The Bears are really banged up, too. Thursday night will be a war of attrition for both teams.

Tim from Upland, CA

Just watched Aaron's Tuesday, post-practice interview. What I saw was a QB, owning his mistakes and shortcomings (by his standards) but confident in his abilities to fix them. He is human, after all, and I did hear a bit of frustration and edge in his word but, for the most part, I heard a calm in his voice which called for trust in him. I think he's earned it.

I don't think I could have said it better myself. I get why so many people are up-in-arms over Rodgers and the offense. The Packers have set a standard everyone wants to see replicated each week. When it doesn't happen, there are immediately cries for why it wasn't up to that level. I only hope that people don't lose sight of the fact that they're trying to find answers and improvements. The sense of urgency is there. It always has been.

Jeff from Woodbury, MN

Is the hard count killing the offense? Leading the league in drawing teams offside won't get you into the playoffs. The offense needs to focus on execution not the hard count. The offense also needs to not jump on the count. Execute the play. Teams don't win with tricks.

Does it really have to be one or the other? Why can't you have both? After all, the Packers have made the playoffs the past two years after leading the league in drawing teams offside.

Jay from Land O Lakes, FL

How can the Packers compensate against the Bears in coverage to help their young, inexperienced corners?

I think Spoff did a pretty good job of outlining this the past few days, but keeping two safeties back like they did against the Giants would go a long way in helping those cornerbacks. They needed to stack the box against Dallas' run game with Ezekiel Elliott, but they could allow their safeties to hang back if the Packers feel their front six can contain Jordan Howard. What's been forgotten this past week is how deep the Packers still are on the back end with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett. The cupboard isn't bare.

Stephen from Roswell, GA

Wes, why do you think color-rush uniforms appeal to millennials? I think they are a complete waste of money. Are they really accomplishing anything except ticking off old-timers? Maybe that's the appeal. For the record, I also hate the throwback uniforms. Both are pointless and annoying. Can't we just play football?

That's just what all the research says. I think there was a USA TODAY report about this last month that Thursday Night Football tends to skew more towards millennials. Obviously, you're not going to appease everyone. I think people just like variety. It's the same reason I shelled out 10 percent of my annual income to buy retro Brewers apparel in college after they reintroduced the alternate jersey in 2005.

Matt from Minocqua, WI

Can you please give me a scouting report on Shields' game? What you see, what jumps out at you. Remind us readers what we should look for in a shut-down corner. What makes Sam great?

Shields has tremendous speed and an eye for the football. What he lacked in coverage ability early in his career, he made up for with recovery speed and a knack for finding the ball. As he's matured, Shields became more of an all-around cornerback who can match any receiver in the league and operate without having to keep a safety over the top of his coverage. His development is a credit to Joe Whitt's tutelage and Shields' stick-to-itiveness. I just love watching him play.

KJ from Minneapolis, MN

It's not that hearing about the team's poor play makes us feel better, it's that we want to hear the facts. It's disingenuous to fill column after column with what the Packers are doing right and then to say, "Well, I'm not a coach so I don't know," when it comes to their weaknesses.

It may be disingenuous to say I'm not a coach, but it would be sloppy for me to throw out every conceivable idea of what the offense could be doing differently. Personally I feel a lot of the issues could be solved with execution – ball placement, ball security and timely receptions – but some readers don't want to hear that. They just want to complain.

John from Flanders, NJ

Hi Wes. Why no mention of our practice-squad running back? He knows the system and would be the next man up, so to speak.

Don Jackson (5-10, 208) out of Nevada. McCarthy said this week that they're keeping him ready. I just don't know much about him since he was injured during the offseason program, released during the summer and brought back after the regular season began. He was productive at Nevada with 2,318 rushing yards in three seasons, though.

Nick from Denver, CO

The way I see it, Rodgers is a fraction of a second away from potentially making a game-changing play to end the half against Dallas. I agree, Wes, he definitely did all he could. Because of Aaron Rodgers, I always have hope; down to every fraction of a second of every game.

The elite quarterbacks give you a reason to believe on every snap and that's all you can ask for in the NFL. The possibility of a big game is always present with Rodgers regardless of what the stats say.

Gordon from Ladysmith, WI

While I don't claim to know more than the coaches, our offense has also been at its best running on high-octane premium fuel. Right now it looks like a small engine running on corn gas. Anyone who knows anything about corn gas and small engines knows that it gums them up and they run like crap. Our quarterback, our offense, need to get back to high-octane premium fuel. That means up-tempo, no-huddle. Enough with the over-analysis, do what we've always done best!

I don't have much to add here other than to say I now know more about corn gas than I did 30 seconds ago. Thanks for educating me, Gordon. I appreciate your point.

Trevor from Dublin, CA

It seems like the plan against Aaron Rodgers is to rush only three or four on controlled rushes to keep him in the pocket and drop everyone else into coverage. Would maybe having a tight end or running back, who initially stayed in to block, leak out on short routes force the defense to play up, giving our wide receivers gaps and room to get open deeper downfield?

There are a lot of ways to defeat the coverage, but Jordy Nelson summed it up Wednesday when he said it starts with receivers finding the soft spots in the defense. When teams drop seven or eight defenders, they're typically operating in a zone coverage to defend the receivers. The key is finding the openings whether they're deep downfield, in the middle of the field or underneath.

Dan from Marshfield, WI

Good morning guys. Just a thought here and I'm sure others think this same way. With all the injuries to our backfield why not go five receivers most of the game (Montgomery and Cobb can shift into the backfield when wanted)? Put the ball in Rodgers' hands, go no-huddle and speed up the tempo. Hopefully this would get our offense out of its funk and get opponents afraid of us once again. Your thoughts, please.

I don't know if you'll see it on a down-by-down basis, but the Packers have made attempts to use more four- and five-receiver concepts over the past two weeks. It's definitely an alternative depending on what the backfield situation looks like Thursday night. Cobb and Montgomery are both schooled in playing out of the backfield. The blueprint is the same with both players – get them the ball in the open field and let them operate.

Matt from Fall Creek, WI

Hey Insiders, what's your take on Cameron Meredith? Do you think he's getting targeted by Hoyer so much simply due to the attrition at that position for the Bears (Kevin White, Eddie Royal both injured), or does he look like the real deal? Will he pose a matchup problem for our banged-up secondary?

It's probably a little of both, but Meredith is a big, tall dude who definitely has the respect of the Packers' secondary. It seems like Hoyer is comfortable with him based on his 20 catches the past two weeks, and he's the target the Bears have needed to rely on with White and Royal out. We'll see how the Packers handle him, but his recent production jumps out.

Matthew from Manitowoc, WI

Hey Insiders! How long has it been since we have worn our traditional "away" white uniforms at Lambeau? Obviously these are different circumstances, but still curious.

Spofford Stats & Info reports the last time the Packers wore the white jerseys at home was against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 17, 1989. For what it's worth, Green Bay won 35-34.

Nathan from Phoenix, AZ

I'm glad we didn't have to use our get-out-of-IR-free card on Corey Linsley, because he was on the PUP. I saw the Saints used theirs on Sheldon Rankins, who was injured during training camp, and I wonder what prevented them from putting him on the PUP instead of IR like we did.

The only way a player can be placed on regular-season PUP is if he spent all of training camp on PUP, as well. Since Rankins was a participant in training camp, he's no longer eligible for regular-season PUP. Linsley, on the other hand, never practiced and was eligible.

Keith from Greendale, WI

With footwork being so critical for every player on a football team, who on the Packers' current squad would perform the best on Dancing With The Stars?

I'm going to go with Chris Banjo. I'm pretty sure his wife was a dance student, so maybe she'd give him a few tips.

Denis from Hot Springs, AR

As a lifelong Packers fan (thank the football gods for the NFL ticket) and a Razorback fan, I cannot tell you how excited I am for Knile Davis to be a Packer. It'll be great to watch him again.

I'm guessing Brett Goode is pretty psyched, too.

Neil from South Range, WI

I hate to tell you Mike, but you are becoming Vic. 10/19/16 might have been one of your most entertaining commentaries yet. What's hilarious to me is that Wes sounds like Mike used to. I guess living in the dark depths of Packers fans hearts and minds can change a man. Loving the Insider Inbox gents.

There you have it…the evolution of the Inbox.

Thursday night's contest will be a war of attrition

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