July 30, 2021

Pro Football

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That’s the challenge, and it’s on everyone

5 min read
That’s the challenge, and it’s on everyone

Greg from Downers Grove, IL

Watching the Houston-Jax game. I am convinced that playing across the pond is a bad idea as it is done today. Game after game of poor product. To me it is evident that the time change is difficult to overcome. Has the league considered scheduling the teams on the back side of their bye weeks?

That would put the teams coming back from overseas at a distinct disadvantage against their next opponents. For all the challenges with the current setup, at least the two teams playing are on equal footing.

Time for II to eat humble pie. You demeaned your readers about this being a trap game. Some of your readers have been involved in football longer than you’ve been alive. Oh, and ummm, we don’t have a defense.

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe in trap games. I didn’t demean anybody. I said all week there are plenty of ways the Chargers can beat the Packers. It wasn’t hard to find them. Any game is a trap game when you play like that. Whatever makes you feel better.

Carolina from Olympia, WA

Do you think a suspension is coming for Za’Darius Smith?

We won’t know until we know.

Do they always bring that much food on the plane?

Oh yes, especially for a long flight. There is food provided on the plane, but the players like to have options and/or appetizers.

Steve from Mount Vernon, WA

In viewing the photos of players boarding the plane at Austin Straubel Airport, I couldn’t help notice that many players were clutching a white envelope addressed to themselves. It got me thinking. Is there per diem allowance for the weekend or a team memo from management? Also, did you fellows receive one too?

Players get a per diem for any meals not provided by the team. When Wes and I board the plane, we each get two envelopes – one with per diem and the other with our game credential to get in the stadium.

I’ve been thinking about the game for a couple of hours now. Obviously I’m not a professional, so can you tell me. What happened? I’m baffled.

It’s the NFL. It was reminiscent of the Denver road game in ’15, when the Packers were rolling along at 6-0 and then somehow did nothing right for a whole game. We didn’t know at the time that Denver defense would end up being historically, Super Bowl-winning good. But regardless, that defeat led to a three-game losing streak that got things really off the rails. The task is to avoid letting this loss spiral. One game before the bye. Put everything into it and get to the break 8-2. That’s the sole focus.

Fun fact – JK Scott’s brother is the punter at Air Force. Both are having good years.

That would be neat if they were to follow the Colquitt brothers.

I heard the announcers state Green Bay’s defense gives up more 40-plus-yard plays than anyone else in the league, which followed with Alexander giving up a 47-yard play soon after by trying to go underneath and more later in the game. What gives? Is it players trying to make plays and getting burned?

The crossing route early certainly was. On big plays I see times the help isn’t there, and other times the defender not playing to his help. It’s never just one thing.

Wes: I have been member of the no-shave club for nearly 80 years. Whenever it comes up, I just tell people that I am a little further along the evolutionary scale. It works.

I’ll keep that in mind as well.

It seems like there is a lot of young coaches being hired in the NFL now. As an aspiring pro football coach how do you think the journey to becoming an NFL coach is?

It’s full of long, long hours. Believe me, no one at 1265 Lombardi works longer hours than assistant coaches.

Home game coming up and a week off. I believe we are ready for both.

Agreed. I’ve felt for the last few weeks the defense was in need of the bye getting here. Now it surely feels like the whole team is in that spot. Ten games without a break is not easy. As I said in my postgame editorial, the Packers’ biggest challenge of the season thus far is this week.

The entire team wasn’t prepared, wasn’t focused, had no energy, put up no fight. Is that something you can see happening during the week or right before the game, or does it just show up unexpectedly at kickoff and it’s a total surprise to coaches and players?

I don’t think anyone can see it coming. If they could, they’d do something about it before it happens. It’s look-in-the-mirror week. Every team goes through these. The Patriots’ perfect season fell by the wayside, by 17 points.

Disappointing, for all involved.

Well, here’s that adversity we were waiting for. Everything was going too well for too long. Now we find out what Coach LaFleur is made of.

And his staff. And the locker room. Come out better because of what happened. Make eating the “slice of humble pie,” as Rodgers so aptly put it, worth something.

The outcome of the Chargers game surprised me, especially with the return of Davante Adams. What do you feel the Packers have to do to get back on our feet and beat the Panthers?

Protect the quarterback, stick with the run, knock off the penalties, communicate better on defense, and block more effectively on special teams.

I believe questions have been asked whether or not the Packers have played their best game. Let’s hope this was their worst game.

No question, just a few comments. The Packers were not going to go 8-0 the rest of the season. The Chargers are a good team. They are better than their record indicates. Sometimes you need to be reminded of your faults. It’s the only way to correct them. It’s all about getting to the playoffs. The Packers are still in control of the division. On to Carolina.

The outcome of a football game is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get. Learn from the experience and move on to the next game.

And one more. Happy Monday.


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