Hunter from Oshkosh, WI
Insiders, how do the Packers avoid being gashed by Julio Jones this weekend with a depleted secondary?
They do it by being physical and keeping tabs on Jones at all times. Dom Capers drew up two pretty good game plans to help neutralize Odell Beckham and Alshon Jeffery in the past few weeks. He and the defense again will need to be at their best when the Packers step into the Georgia Dome. Jones has been difficult to contain, but Wade Phillips and the Denver defense seemed to devise a pretty good formula for defending him earlier this month. The Chargers’ decision to match Casey Hayward against him last weekend also seemed to help San Diego limit him after a 107-yard performance in the first half. You can’t let him gouge you with big plays, so keeping a safety over the top could be the way to go. He’s the total package and unlike any other receiver in the NFL.
Jake from Racine, WI
Hi Insiders, what does G-Mo bring to the receiving corps?
Geronimo Allison is a big, lengthy receiver who caught everything thrown his way during training camp and the preseason. He made an impression on the entire organization and the Packers felt fortunate they were able to get him on their practice squad. I don’t know what his role will be right off the bat, but there are a lot of attributes to like.
Jon from Alexandria, VA
Obviously Julio Jones is a focal point for Atlanta, but I'm also anxious to see how the Packers’ ILBs play the Falcons' running backs as receivers. Atlanta used their backs very effectively against Denver. This will be a great test for the young ILB group.
Absolutely. Joe Thomas has done a remarkable job slowing down running backs who trickle out from the backfield. However, the load may need to fall squarely on Devonta Freeman’s shoulders with Tevin Coleman reportedly not playing against the Packers. Coleman currently leads all NFL running backs with 19 catches for 330 yards and a touchdown. With his status in question, Atlanta signed former Patriots RB Stevan Ridley Tuesday.
Marjorie from Roseville, CA
It seems to me that players are being placed on IR much sooner than in the past. Is this just serendipity or a new philosophy?
The Packers were able to navigate the first month of the season without placing anyone on IR, but attrition won out. They needed the roster spots. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Matt from Minocqua, WI
In today's game, and the way tight defenses operate, and being a game of “making a play” as many of these games come down to a play or two, I think an unnoticed aspect in making a play that people don't speak of as much is breaking tackles. Is this emphasized heavily in practice? After all, ya get what ya emphasize.
The Packers have emphasized the importance of breaking tackles and earning extra yards as long as Mike McCarthy has been the head coach. It’s engrained in receivers and running backs as much as any other fundamental. It’s an essential part of the offense.
Andy from Fort Collins, CO
Perhaps I'm too early in asking this question, but how do you think a tie between two perennial NFC playoff contenders will affect the overall playoff picture at the end of the season?
Everything matters at the end of the year. I don’t know exactly what the tie will mean in the grand scheme of things, but I’d have to imagine it’ll come into play somehow based on Seattle and Arizona’s success in recent years.
Matthew from Milwaukee, WI
Insiders, has there been an update on Jared Cook's timeline to return? That would be a nice boost.
Cook spoke to the media on Tuesday. He said he’s feeling much better, but he wasn’t sure what his timeline is.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Has Julius Peppers missed any games because of injury during his career?
Peppers missed two games in 2007 due to a knee injury. That’s it. He hasn’t shown up on the injury report at all in his two-plus seasons with the Packers, either. His durability has been remarkable.
Daniel from Castle Rock, CO
I saw Joe Callahan was picked up by the Browns. Maybe he is the QB of the future in Cleveland.
I was so impressed by Callahan as a player and person during his summer in Green Bay. The game wasn’t too big for him despite that quantum leap from the Division III ranks. I hope it works out for him. While he’s no longer with the Packers, the coaches and front office can take a lot of satisfaction in how they developed him this summer. He’s a better quarterback because of his time in Green Bay.
Pete from Sheffield, UK
Regarding Matt’s question yesterday, what have Americans got against ties? Is it so hard to accept one team is as good as the other?
I’ve never had an issue with ties, but I think the lack of resolution is what befuddles fans. In a sport like football where ties no longer are prevalent, I can see why it would be disheartening for players and coaches who dedicate a week to formulating a game plan, and fans who only are guaranteed 16 regular-season games.
Tal from Ascot, UK
About Rodgers' offside calls, how do officials prepare for a game? Do they study players and know what they are prone to do?
They do. Former 49ers coach Jim Tomsula said he had an entire tape of incidents where Rodgers catches a defense with a player offside or 12 men on the field. The Packers were feeding off that early in 2015 before referees started to crack down on plays where Rodgers draws a player offside. It became more a point of emphasis to blow the play dead than let it continue.
Luke from Ellendale, ND
Hey Wes, I noticed that in the past, Knile Davis has been used to return punts and kickoffs. He's super-fast (4.37 in the 40 to be exact) and he's had some pretty good returns, so do you think that MM might try to utilize his speed in that type of role as well as in the backfield?
Absolutely. I think you saw that a little against the Bears when the Packers lined him up for kickoffs despite the plethora of capable returners they already have on the roster. His speed is what jumps off the page, but he possesses a lot of the traits you look for in a solid running back. That’s why John Dorsey drafted him in the third round in 2013, a draft class that has built the foundation of Kansas City’s roster. As he gets more grounded in the offense, I’m sure McCarthy and Co. will find ways to get him involved.
Nathan from Phoenix, AZ
Even though we've been lining up Cobb and Montgomery in the backfield for years, it's just now striking me how unique that is. I can't name another team I've seen do that in recent years, can you?
The Rams’ Tavon Austin is the only one I can think of off the top of my head. He has 110 carries in his first four years for 871 yards and seven touchdowns. Maybe Ted Ginn? Julian Edelman has 10 carries this year, but I think that’s mostly off end-arounds.
Bill from Raleigh, NC
Hi, I'm not buying Montgomery at RB as being anything more than a stop-gap measure. It will be interesting to see what MM tries this week. Don't you think he will use more Jackson and Davis?
I’m sure we’ll continue to see it as long as it’s successful, but your point is pure. The Packers traded for Knile Davis and promoted Don Jackson for a reason. Last Thursday’s game was a pretty extreme circumstance with Davis only on the roster for three days and Jackson injuring his hand.
Todd from Portland, OR
Insiders, the Bears scored a defensive touchdown in Thursday's game and I noticed that those points were added into the total points given up in the Packers’ defensive stats. I noticed this same thing last year as the Packers gave up defensive touchdowns against Arizona and Minnesota at the end of the season. I always hear that the most important defensive stat is points given up, but given this info, that seems to be misleading. Any thoughts?
I see that, too. That seems pretty ridiculous. I thought they took those things into account when calculating scoring defense. If you subtract the touchdown, it actually decreases the Packers’ points allowed per game from 20.5 to 19.3. Strange.
Eloy from Alicante, Spain
Wes, on Monday you said that it’s personal preference for players, who have final say in what helmets they wear. But can they choose any helmet or does the league put some restrictions? I mean, can they play with an Adams A2000 or a Riddell VSR4, or does the league give them a variety of helmets they can choose from?
Good question. They can choose from whatever helmets that are approved by the league. I’m not sure how many fall under that category other than the SpeedFlex.
Ann from Larsen, WI
What is going on before the Titans game for fans to get together and where will it be?
We will be having another pep rally at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. The full details should be out on Monday, but you can find more information here.
Dean from Leavenworth, IN
Wes, I believe there's a difference between a playoff contender and a championship contender. When you look at recent Super Bowl winners who were wild-card teams, you see championship-caliber teams who had to overcome adversity to make the playoffs and rise to the top. Through the first seven weeks the Packers have had their share of adversity and I'm sure there will be more. This Sunday will be a good opportunity to see if they can overcome and rise to the top. As the season plays out there will more opportunities with Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minnesota. I know I'm getting ahead of myself.
I don’t think you are. You raise an excellent point. The NFL doesn’t hand out trophies for best team in the regular season. It’s all about February. Every game is another chance to improve and move towards that goal. This is a measuring-stick game. Over the next month, we’re going to learn a lot about this team with the lengthy road trip and injury list.
Geert from Old Windsor, UK
Insiders, all three of you have articulated you see no merit in providing the rest of the league a “self-scouting report” particularly as it pertains to your weaknesses. Why do you think Mike Zimmer called out his O-line so publicly? He simply could have said they had an off week.
It definitely caught me by surprise. You just don’t hear many players or coaches – let alone head coaches – talk like that these days, but Zimmer knows his team better than anyone. I’m sure there’s logic behind what he’s saying. We’ll see how the Vikings respond.
Mike from Geneva, IL
I know there are a lot of new football fans on here so I wanted to clarify something from yesterday's Inbox. Mike stated the goal posts are out of bounds, but there is an exception since a ball can hit the goal post and bounce through for a successful FG or PAT. If it was truly out of bounds then the attempt would be unsuccessful.
I don’t want to speak for Spoff, but I believe it only pertains to when the ball re-enters the field of play.
Luis from Eden Prairie, MN
Are we under-playing how well Mason Crosby has been playing this year? With our offense having stagnant moments, he has been as close to automatic as I can remember.
Crosby has been cooler than the other side of the pillow this season, as Stuart Scott used to say. He’s really been that way for the last four years. It’s a credit to him that he’s been able to roll with the punches with his holder and long-snapper to get off to such a fast start. Fifty-three consecutive extra points made isn’t too shabby, either.
Bob from Milwaukee, WI
Seriously Insiders, GB played against a 30th-ranked opponent with a 1-5 record and a third-string quarterback and I'm hearing, "He's back”? – Chris from Upland, CA. If you want to complain when the Packers lose to a team that’s 5-0 or 5-1, maybe you should enjoy the wins, too. Otherwise, you’re going to be exhausted and bitter by the end of the season. – Wes, 10/24/16. Shouldn’t your reading comprehension be a little better considering your line of work? What's hilarious about you eternal optimists who constantly feel the need to blow sunshine up butts is that you can't recognize when someone is simply being realistic; you foolishly associate a reality check with pessimism and negativity. Just because somebody dares to point out the opponent last week was a weak one doesn't mean they're complaining and it doesn't mean they didn't enjoy the win, it simply means they had the audacity to acknowledge that one win against a sub-par opponent doesn't instantaneously mean all is well. How dare he point this out! He certainly deserved a tongue-lashing. Maybe you should ask yourself why you're so scared of this line of thinking. Whatever the reason, it's reflected in your writing which is amateurish and lacking objectivity. You're actually making Vic's writing look good which is really hard to do. Maybe take a lesson or 10 from Mike, who is far and away the best writer on the site.
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