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Where is instant replay headed? senior writer Mike Spofford took reader questions in Mike's Mid-Week Chat


Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I've got some time here before practice today, so let's get to it.

Comment From Don H.

Happy New Year, Mike. Seattle on the outside looking in after Week 17 would bring some peace ...​

I'm sure a lot of GB fans are rooting against Seattle. The interesting part to me is that no matter who gets the last spot in the NFC -- Atlanta or Seattle -- that'll be the only team from the 2016 NFC playoffs to return this year.

Comment From Tony C.

You don't even have to read between the lines of McCarthy's statements to know that changes are coming in the off season ...

I get that sense too. What they will be and to what scale remains to be seen.

Comment From Grant

With a loss on Sunday, the packers end the year with 3 straight losses. Does that carry over to next year? I remember what the 2006 win streak did for 2007.

I think these circumstances are different, without Rodgers, with no playoffs at stake, etc. Even back in 2006, at 4-8, when the Packers started winning, there was still a mathematical chance they could make the playoffs at 8-8. So this is just different.

Comment From Ray N.

"Final Thoughts" better be filmed outside or we will question your dedication

We film outside for home games, inside for road games. That's been our MO. Why would I subject myself to the cold to preview a game being played indoors?

Comment From Willie

Is the inbox full of "fire every body" emails? How do you put up with that negativity?

Part of the job. I just try to provide some perspective.

Comment From Eric

Seasons greetings, Mike... I like your "What You Might Have Missed" pieces. This week, I am glad that you focused on the play of Reggie Gilbert. Do you think that if Gilbert has another strong performance in Detroit, the Packers may not focus as much on drafting an elite pass rusher in 2018?

Gilbert made a nice debut, as I outlined. But the Packers should absolutely focus on finding more pass rushers this offseason. You have to build a stockpile of those guys for the long term, so you can develop a rotation and have viable options anytime someone gets hurt. The Packers need to load up at that spot, in my view.

Comment From Reggie

You realize the farthest west in the Continental US Green Bay played a regular season game this year is Minneapolis ?? ... NFC East spent the season criss-crossing the country ...

I have to say, even when we travel to both coasts during a season, it's nice to be centrally located because no trip ever seems too far.

Comment From Demario

D. Adams, Lindsley, Burnett all UFA. Which is the #1 priority to re-sign?

I would prioritize them in the order you listed them.

Comment From Dean

I was wondering about Biegel. Didn't notice him much against the Vikings. Was something up? Do you expect to more opportunities against the Lions this Sunday?

He's getting more snaps than he was before, but as McCarthy said this morning, for a rookie to miss all of training camp, it's tough to just walk onto an NFL field and make impact plays.

Comment From Jeremy

Hi Mike! I always love the videos and media that the Packers team puts together. What does the group look like over there? I'm impressed by the output.

Thanks. Our department has grown incredibly in the 12 seasons I've been here. When I started, it was one full-time internet coordinator, me, and an intern. Hard to believe. Our video production crew is top-notch.

Comment From Blaine

Is it too soon to start looking forward to the draft? I suspect the Packers pick a WR in the 2nd round.

I would expect the Packers to address WR in the draft, but I'm not going to try to predict what round.

Comment From Johan

I am a huge football fan but honestly, the number of penalties, endless replay reviews and stoppage of play has made the game borderline unwatchable. To say nothing of the capricious application of rules from game to game and its impact on outcomes. The NFL has a lot on its plate this off-season as well.

I agree. Fans are annoyed with a lot of how the game is played, presented and officiated. The league has to address these things.

Comment From Susan

What has happened to Clay M.? He has had less than spectacular plays this season and, frankly, last season, too.

Matthews hasn't racked up the sacks and highlight-reel plays he's made in the past, but when you look at the film, he's still one of the most disruptive players on this defense.

Comment From Willie

I admire McCarthy's loyalty to his roster with the media. He refuses to blame any players for this team's disappointing performance. The players must respect that in their head coach.

He has always corrected players behind closed doors, not for the world to hear.

Comment From Blaine

The only reason I said 2nd round for a wide receiver is because they have found some really good WRs in the 2nd in the recent past (Jennings, Nelson, Cobb).

That has been the round of success at that position, no doubt.

Comment From T.J.

Does Devante Mays get another opportunity against Detroit? Thank You

It sounds like Aaron Jones will be out this week, so this should provide a chance for Mays.

Comment From Jack

The Packers travel to New England next year. What does someone have to do to have a Pack prep rally in this area?

That'll be up to our fan engagement team to set that up. I don't think they've been looking at next year's schedule yet to make any plans.

Comment From Lizandro

What positions should the packers aim for in the 2018 draft? Give me an order of Positions on what they need the most

Pass rusher, corner, offensive tackle, receiver, tight end all come quickly to mind.

Comment From BrettGB

What's the highest and lowest draft pick we can get when the games are over on Sunday?

I said in Inbox this morning it's between 11th and 19th, but I think I was off by one. I think it's actually between 11th and 18th.

Comment From Tim

Do you ever get to chat with the other team writers and compare player profiles, fan opinions, etc.?

Frankly, there isn't a lot of time. We see each other in press boxes here and there, but we're always working, so that's just the way it goes.

Comment From Brett

I see where Adams is out of the Protocol. Does he have any say in weather he plays? With the potential for another concussion could risk a big pay day.

McCarthy just said moments ago he had not yet been cleared.

Comment From Lauren

When was the last time we had a draft pick 18 or lower?

In 2009, the Packers took Raji at No. 9 overall.

Comment From Do you think that type of parity in playoff teams is what the NFL wants/needs?

Is this a good draft class to have a higher pick?

Haven't looked at any college prospects yet, but I can't say it's ever a bad thing to have a higher pick. The days of rookie contracts high in the draft ruining the salary cap are over.

Comment From Dan

I just noticed that the Browns' last chance for a win this year is against... the Steelers. Oh boy. Wouldn't that be an upset.

But I don't think the Steelers are playing for anything, so they might rest up their guys for the playoffs.

Comment From Good game

With Daniels and Clark playing so well, I'd expect more from the LBs. Another draft, another 6 defensive players, another below avg defense?

Hopefully not. The rookie seasons for King, Adams and Biegel were all knocked off-kilter by injuries, but the Packers will need them to develop and come through in Year 2. They could all play significant roles in 2018.

Comment From Blaine

Do the Steelers rest their guys with a bye week coming too though?

Good question. That's what Tomlin has to weigh.

Comment From Dean

It is obvious that the Packers have many areas that need shoring up this offseason. Both sides of the ball. What areas or positions would you identify that are in good shape and low priority?

Defensive line and running back are the team's strongest and deepest positions right now, as I see it.

Comment From Steve

What's the one rule change you would like to see made in the off-season??

I just want clarification on how the replay rule will be applied. Does the call on the field matter, or doesn't it?

Comment From Lauren

What is your Super Bowl prediction at the moment?

I'm going with Saints-Steelers.

Comment From Lincoln Packer

Did the Vikings play down to their level of competition last Saturday? They sure weren't too impressive. Lots of other playoff teams seem to be peaking; not them so much.

Those conditions were pretty brutal, and they weren't used to them. I got the sense that once they got ahead 10-0, they simply did what it took to win the game.

Comment From Jack

It seems like the laundry list of needs is growing on this team. When do we learn about how many compensatory picks we will get for the upcoming draft?

Those used to be announced at the owners' meetings over the winter, but it's been coming out sooner the last couple of years. We might know by the combine at the end of Feb.

Comment From Micah

.... better start paying attention to SF again. Just about the time SEA becomes a mirage, another team takes their place (and notable, LAR this year)

The Niners made a great deal for a QB, and it looks like they hit on him. The landscape of the NFC West is changing dramatically.

Comment From Jeremy

Why do you think the Vikings aren't as good as the Saints?

The Saints' offense is more explosive in my mind. What that running game has done is immeasurable for New Orleans. The Saints most likely would have to play at Minnesota, but they were there back in Week 1 in MNF before they really got going. If they are the 3 seed, as expected, the Saints won't have a gimme against Atlanta or Seattle in the first round, though. But I would expect them to win at home.

Comment From Ray L.

Has there been any discussion regarding the poor field conditions at Lambeau Field? Not the first time cold weather resulted in a soft slick heated field.

There hasn't been a big discussion because plans are already in the works to replace the surface this offseason. They're going to re-do the field and the stitching process.

Comment From Ron

Mike, your comment today in the Insiders, regarding ball movement and the catch, was the clearest description of the issue I have seen. Thank you for your comments on this.

Thanks. I'd been trying to figure out how it all got to this point, and I think that's one of the big reasons.

Comment From Nathan

Have you sensed a change in tone from Coach McCarthy since the Packers have been eliminated from the playoffs?

Not really. Other than to hear him say last week he was in essence starting to evaluate big-picture things.

Comment From Ruth

Keenum. He's got no shot to take them to the Super Bowl... none...

I wouldn't say he's got no shot, but if he has to beat, for example, Brees and Newton in two playoff games to get there, the odds are with the QB who has been there, done that.

Comment From Larry

I say get rid of replay entirely. GI back to the old days. The game is played by humans - let the refs do their job. Just live with the good and bad calls.

We're way past that point. Are you going to tell the networks not to show the close-up, slo-mo replays? If you're going to let the fans at home know what actually happened and have calls on the field not match up, you're asking for an even bigger disaster.

Comment From Ian

What did Rodgers' absence reveal about the rest of the team?

Nothing to me other than it's a QB-driven league, and it's difficult to go .500 or better without your best and most important player.

Comment From Anton

Big Ben or Brees winning another ring is something I could live with very well. Just not the Vikings and the Pats.

I pretty much feel the same way.

Comment From Dale

Did your son's first semester of college go well? Big step.

Yes, thanks. He's off to a great start. Been fun to have him home over the holidays. Since the Packers aren't in the playoffs, I'm going to take wild-card weekend and drive back to school with him. Praying for good winter weather.

Comment From Ray L.

Not many gave Eli Manning a shot over Romo, Favre, and Brady in 2007, but he had a defense to lean on as does Keenum.

Absolutely, that's why I'm not going to say he has no shot. But I think he's playing uphill, as Manning was.

Comment From Jk

The wolves may not be so loud if Bostick did something different. Crazy how one play can change so much

No question about it.

Comment From Blaine

I heard the vikings have Bradford practicing again. Does a coach actually consider a QB change in the start of the playoffs?

I wouldn't think so, but he may be thinking of Bradford as the backup rather than Bridgewater if something happens to Keenum.

Comment From Bob in Maine

The Packers had 4 wins when Rodgers was hurt. I was one of those guys that immediately felt the season was over and it would be best if Green Bay didn't win another game. I think my stance has been proven correct. Having the 5th pick in the draft beats having the 15th.

You're right about the draft pick part, but it's just not the right mentality to ever give up on a season. The Packers stayed alive until Week 15, and they were 28 yards away from staying alive another week. It's professional football. You don't just mail it in.

Comment From Zack P.

I've gotta say my fiancé and I went to the Carolina game, first time I've ever seen my beloved packers (fan for over 22 years). The experience was almost ruined because of their fans. They were very terrible to visiting fans. Is it like that everywhere else?

Couldn't tell you. I know certain cities it can be pretty bad. Sorry you had a bad experience. Sports are supposed to be fun.

Comment From Grant

Can this team ever get back to what they were in 2014? So many things were lining up......

I think with another good draft and filling a hole or two in free agency and they can be right back there. We'll see if other changes are on the horizon.

Comment From Itsame

Mike! Favorite memory of the 2017 season? Mine is the 10 second field goal ST put together.

The final drive to beat the Cowboys in Dallas, for sure. It was 12 at his absolute best.

Comment From Adam

In a world where we can read license plates from space, Houckuley (sp) uses an index card to measure for a first down. That to me was the best example of the preposterous hypocrisy of technology and the NFL. Review a catch from 16 angles in Hi-Def to see if turf pebbles moved but measure using an index card. Ridiculous.

It was Steratore who did that, not Hochuli, but I hear what you're saying.

Comment From Eric

In addition to Rodgers' injury and the Packers missing the playoffs, the thing that i will remember most about the 2017 season are the hits to the head that Davante Adams took.. i would like to see the league use immediate ejections for players going helmet to helmet.

I would too. Make the plays reviewable so the officials aren't having to make an ejection decision at full speed in the heat of the moment, where they might not have seen it correctly. I think that's why they've been reluctant to kick players out to this point.

Comment From Jerry Erie

Do you think House will be in Green bay next season?

Good question. The Packers have decisions to make on those guys who signed one-year deals, like House and Evans. I really don't know which way they'll lean.

Comment From Ron

Mike, did you get to attend any Packer games in Milwaukee while you were growing up? Is so, were there any "snow games" held there that you remember?

I never went to a GBP game in Milwaukee, actually. Wish I would have at some point, but never got the chance. My first GBP game was at Soldier Field in 1984, and I don't believe I made it to a game at Lambeau until about 10 years later.

Comment From Anton

Chat schedule for the offseason? Sorry, but I can't remember how it was in the past.

I'll do another next week and then as events dictate there's enough to talk about -- maybe combine, draft, etc. It'll be fluid, not necessarily a set schedule. Thanks for your interest.

Comment From Dale

What is your opinion of the Chiefs? Vic would say they're getting hot at the right time.

They might be, but I think the Pats and Steelers are the class of the AFC, and the Jaguars might make some noise, too.

OK, I've gotta run pretty soon. I'll take a few more.

Comment From Chris

I like McCarthy. Smart man and a very good coach. He is certainly seasoned enough to know that AR will not play forever and his personal legacy is tied to AR's remaining time in the NFL. And ke knows that time is slipping away. My point is, I think this is the off-season where we finally attach some urgency to changes that are needed to capture at least one more SB title before #12 is retired.

You may be right. They've tried it a certain way for a while and had a lot of success but come up short of the ultimate. That's why I started by saying I think change is coming, but I'm just not sure of the scope and size of the change.

Comment From Jk

I was front row at AT&T for 12 at his best, just yards from Adams when he caught it. So much anticipation for how good the 2017 team could be.

No doubt. It's a cruel business sometimes.

Comment From Ron

Perhaps the league should get Judge Smails to make the decisions regarding penalties for targeting?

Nice one.

Comment From Steven P.

I lost my mother last year to Alzheimer's Disease (age 68). Watching her decline over the course of several years was worse than words can express. When I see hits like the one that Davante took two weeks ago, it makes me sick to my stomach. I hate the weak/fake apologies, the lame excuses by the offending coaches, and how the NFL preaches player safety but quickly - almost automatically - reduces the suspension. Will the league ever actually practice what it preaches, and what will it take to finally end this? My thoughts would be multi-game suspensions that cannot be reduced, and fining / suspending coaches who have multiple players that willfully offend.

All valid points. I think the involvement of the players' union, if it gets involved, will tell us a lot about where this is going. The next CBA will have to deal with the appeal provisions for suspensions, etc. This isn't going to be solved overnight, but every move will be watched closely.

Comment From Don H.

Happy New Year to you and all the folks at !!

Thanks and we'll call that the last word for today. Happy New Year everyone. Best, Mike

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