Jay from Land O Lakes, FL
Guys, it's apparent to me that cornerback is the most important position on defense. Many more games are won or lost through stopping the pass than stopping the run. Yes, pass-rushing specialists are a close second in importance, but they can't get to the QB every time, so that leaves the cornerback. I think we use our first draft choice on a fast, tall corner. Your thoughts?
I agree, but that’s why the Packers used their first two draft picks on the position in 2015. By all accounts, they have unearthed two pretty good prospects in Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins. They’ve been asked to do a lot at a young age and probably are light years ahead of where Tramon Williams and Sam Shields were in their second NFL seasons. You have to be patient and give young cornerbacks time – not just in Green Bay, but anywhere in the NFL. It’s a tough position to hop right in and dominate. Also, I highly recommend reading Mike Spofford’s story on Randall currently on packers.com before drawing any conclusions.
Josh from New Berlin, WI
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Odell Beckham Jr. ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, Sterling Shepard ran a 4.48, and Victor Cruz ran 4.46. For comparison, Jeff Janis runs a 4.42. How can a team stop three WRs who all have the speed to blow the lid off a defense?
As your numbers suggest, those are three premium talents Eli Manning can throw to. Victor Cruz’s health has been an added luxury for a passing game that already had high expectations with OBJ and the rookie Shepard. The Packers have the athleticism to keep up with those three receivers. It just comes down to being fundamentally sound and not allowing them to get over the top. You definitely can’t sleep on any of those receivers.
Ben from Monterrey, Mexico
In his press conference, Mike said yesterday when questioned about studying the Giants that they hadn't seen them play on natural grass, and that they were about to play in dome against the Vikings. How is that a factor at this time of the year?
It’s just getting a feel for how fast a team plays. Players naturally are faster on turf, so there’s a slight transition to be made for running backs and receivers switching over to natural grass for the first time.
Adam from Overseal, Derbyshire
Given our performance against the run, do you worry (as I do) that teams that prefer to pass anyway will not be as affected by our making them one-dimensional?
I don’t think so. I actually think that’s preferable given the amount of pass-rushers the Packers have off the edge and inside. If teams completely abandon the run, it’ll allow those rushers to pin their ears back even more. There have been too many big plays in the first three games through the air. That’s a given, but this secondary is too talented for it to be a long-term concern in my mind. As Dom Capers likes to say, turnovers and sacks usually come in bunches. Winter is coming, my friend.
Ryan from Monticello, MN
At what point this season will we see Mike Daniels on the offensive line to take advantage of his ability to penetrate? This man needs to be on the field making room for Lacy anytime we're inside the 5-yard line.
I think it was in 2013 that the Packers installed a package for Daniels as a goal-line blocker that they used a handful of times. He’s a former high-school running back, so it wasn’t exactly a stretch to line him up in the backfield. That’s when he was still a rotational interior rusher, though. I don’t know whether you’ll see that again. He’s way too valuable to the defense now.
Katherine from Superior, WI
What are your thoughts of Eddie Lacy's game production against the Lions? Is he going to just get better from here or worse? I have high expectations for him and hope him the best of wishes in his career.
History will tell you Eddie Lacy is only going to get better as a season progresses. That’s been the case in each of his previous three NFL seasons. His punishing running style wears on a team, especially when the temperatures dip. Lacy is off to a great start, but consistency obviously is the key. He has to carry it through an entire season, but right now I have no reason to believe he won’t.
Matthew from New Berlin, WI
Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 105.3 to start this season. What can the Packers do, other than wait for Sam Shields to return, to improve this number? Dom Capers and Mike McCarthy both point to this stat as one that is meaningful.
Get their hands on more footballs, whether it’s an interception or deflection. The Packers lead the NFL in picks dating back to Dom Capers’ arrival in 2009 and often ranked among the best in opposing passer rating. The two statistics go hand-in-hand.
Guilherme from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul
Can a player receive a punt or kickoff and attempt to throw a forward pass?
Jerod from West Fargo, ND
Other than when a player is a rookie trying to get drafted, do teams have players run 40s?
It might come up in a workout with a street free agent, but otherwise not that I’m aware of. I think it was a few years ago T.J. Lang congratulated on Twitter all the offensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine for running the last 40-yard dash of their career.
Zeke from Anna Maria Island, FL
Just an observation, the Packers are the most conservative team when it comes to injuries, to the point that it’s a huge competitive disadvantage. It seems like they baby players at times. What are your thoughts on this?
Injuries are kind of important. You typically want to give players enough time to recover before sending them back on the field. They’re professional athletes, but they’re also human beings. You want to do what’s best for the human being. That’s my thought on this.
Ryan from Somerset, WI
Wow! Can we give our boy John Kuhn a shout-out? He had one heck of a game for New Orleans.
It’s great to see John Kuhn still doing his thing. He’s a great ambassador for professional football, let alone the Packers. It’s also been cool to see the “Kuuuuuuuhn” tradition continue in the Bayou.
Mark from St Pete Beach, FL
I noted in (Monday’s) column that John Kuhn scored three touchdowns (on Sunday). I had no idea he had been picked up and was still playing. I have found it unsettling that packers.com doesn't keep us up to date on the fate of players that have been released since they have been members of the Packer family, and we like to know what happens to family members when they move on. Could you please update us now and in the future? Thank you.
I’m sorry you feel that way, Mark. Oh…and here’s the link to our story posted on Aug. 6 with his goodbye to the Packers after signing with the Saints. Good day, sir.
Ralph from Naples, FL
Is it just me or have others commented that the bye came at the perfect time because it allowed us to enjoy the shellacking the Americans put on the Europeans in the Ryder Cup without any distractions?
Timing is everything, isn’t it?
Dean from Leavenworth, IN
Insiders, through four weeks what are your biggest surprises around the league so far? Both with teams and players, good and bad.
The Los Angeles Rams are 3-1 despite Todd Gurley averaging only 2.5 yards per carry, and the Carolina Panthers have started 1-3 after winning 15 games during the 2015 regular season. I would not have predicted either team to be where it is a month into the season.
Justin from Powhatan Point, Ohio
Is Herb Waters still transitioning to cornerback? I haven't seen any recent updates.
Yes. He’s still working with the defense in practice.
Jeff from Verona, WI
The Pack is back on the clock this week. I see two big concerns three games in: timing in the passing game and coverage when our only shutdown corner is out. Which one will come back to haunt us this season?
None of the above. I’m guessing fans will find a third option to nitpick in another game or two. Give it time. The narrative always changes.
Mitch from Reno, NV
Gentlemen, wonder if you have any closing comments on the great Vin Scully's final regular-season broadcast after 67 years behind the radio and TV, mic and camera.
Truly remarkable. As someone who grew up as an aspiring broadcaster and baseball fan, Scully’s longevity and contributions to sports journalism are unparalleled. He seems like a wonderfully humble and easygoing gentleman. I wasn’t born until after he was through calling NFL games, but he’ll forever be a voice that transcended one sport or team. He obviously means a great deal to the Dodgers. I’m holding on tightly to Uecker because it just doesn’t seem like there are many of those icons left.
Aaron from Dallas, TX
Someone asked Vic about conceding a touchdown to get the ball back for the chance to win. It got me thinking back to Super Bowl XXXII and the rumor that Holmgren did just this. Hypothetically speaking, say this season comes down to the same scenario in the Super Bowl. Does McCarthy concede for a chance to win or take a chance trying for a stop?
That’s a really difficult question for a number of reasons, but it really comes down to what the exact game situation is – how much time is left? What’s the deficit? How is your defense playing? How many timeouts are remaining? So I don’t really have an answer for you other than to say it comes down to what a coach feels is best for his team in that given moment. That’s why they’re head coaches and I’m a writer.
Duncan from Fort McMurray, Canada
Monday 5:54 pm MDT on nfl.com there is a link to the "if the season ended today" playoff standings! Week 4 isn't even over yet. Why does everyone want to skip the season so bad?
That’s life, Duncan. As humans, it seems we’re always more focused on the future than living in the present. I’ve always tried to enjoy today. Tomorrow will come soon enough.
David from Groton, CT
Fan Poll from Packers.com: How will Green Bay fare in October? (NYG, DAL, CHI, @ATL) What are your thoughts? (49% 4-0) (38% 3-1) (10% 2-2) (2% 1-3) (1% 0-4) Are the fans being too optimistic or are the Packers good enough to win all four games?
It undoubtedly will be a challenge, but as Andy Dufresne once said, “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.”
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