Hey Spoff, thanks for joining my lunch again. What do you see as the soft points of Carolina’s D we should attack on sunday?
Teams have run the ball on Carolina. They’re near the bottom of the league in rushing yards allowed and yards per rush. It has to start there. Against the pass, the Panthers lead the league in sacks with 34 and are second in INTs with 12, and they have a bunch of guys making plays in both categories. Seven guys with three-plus sacks and four with multiple INTs this year. The Packers have to get after them with the run, and then use that to set up other stuff.
Good morning Mike so excited to see this game live so how do you thinking we are gonna bounce back? Huge test for run Defense coming to town!
No doubt. McCaffrey is as good as it gets in the league right now. The Packers have faced Cook, Elliott and Jacobs — three pretty good backs — but McCaffrey is the best in the league at the moment. For me it always starts with tackling. You can’t let him break a bunch of tackles, because if the tackling is sloppy, there’s no scheme in the world that’s going to help.
Hey Mike thanks for the great work you guys do. Do you think a home game is what can get us back on tracks?
It certainly doesn’t hurt. Back-to-back road trips is a lot to deal with, even if the second one was in front of home fans. Traveling for a night game, when you get home in the middle of the night, and then going all the way to the West Coast is a tough back-to-back, and the Packers have a West Coast-to-East Coast back-to-back coming up after the bye. This is a big game regardless, but especially so with Carolina in the mix in the NFC.
Hi Mike,like all, was disappointed with the game. I was curious as to how does this effect the whole teams syke going into the Panthers game?
They can’t let it affect their psyche. That’s the challenge NFL players deal with all the time. The other guys get paid, too, and sometimes they get the best of you. You have to believe in yourself, your teammates, your preparation and the work you’re putting in. That’s how you get back on track.
What will it take to get a little more rotation on the D-line and get Kenny Clark some plays off? He is battling injuries and playing way too many snaps, which in turn has diminished his effectiveness. He is still a fantastic player, but you can see him visibly gassed and he is not nearly as disruptive as a pass rusher as previous years.
I wish I knew the answer on Clark, but he’s not having the same impact we’ve seen in the past. That’s obvious. Is he playing through something? Is he getting worn down? I don’t really know. I don’t think he’s playing poorly, necessarily, that’s not what I’m saying. But he’s counted on to be an impact player in the middle and we haven’t seen as much of that as we’ve grown accustomed to.
Hi Mike, Do you think the coach covered for the players when he said that there was no curfew violations?
Couldn’t tell you. I don’t think LaFleur would lie. All I know is I was wiped out after a day of work and the long travel itinerary, and when I got to my room at 9:30 p.m. PT Friday night, I crashed.
Reading between the lines, something was obviously wrong with the preparation for the LA game. Have we become any wiser as to what it actually was?
I think the coaches are going to use the bye week to drill down on that and study it, because the SF trip is coming up right after the bye. You can’t get bogged down by that now, because Carolina is coming in having won five of six, and no one wants to go into the bye on a two-game losing streak. But LaFleur said they’ll definitely examine everything.
Mike, we all know the Panthers run through McCaffrey. Would it make sense to have Jaire Alexander shadow him the entire game? He’s a good tackler and the one guy on our defense that I think can contain him.
People keep suggesting that, but if you assign Alexander to McCaffrey, that’s a lot of DBs on the field when the Panthers use their regular complement of receivers, so then how do you stop the run if McCaffrey motions into the backfield before the snap? You’re going to be awfully light up front.
Do you see any confusion by the offensive players in the last several games when facing Coach P’s defense? I thought the strength of his defense is deception?
You can get to deceptive looks and be effective with them when your standard looks are getting the job done and the offense is focused on those. If you aren’t getting pressure with a straight four up front, the offense is prepared to react to anything else you might throw at them. You have to succeed with the basics first before dialing up the crazy stuff.
Mike, would you know the status of Raven Greene? If memory serves, he is on the list of players the Packers placed on IR who is eligible to return during the regular season.
He is eligible to return but I have not seen or heard any updates on his status.
Should Rashan Gary get more playing time? Put a Smith inside and you’ve got Gary/Z Smith/KC/P Smith
Gary played 18 snaps last week I believe, and we’ll see if he gets more. We saw more rotation amongst the OLBs in LA than in some prior weeks, and I recall Kyler Fackrell almost getting a huge third-down sack but Rivers just shoved the ball to Gordon before going down.
How does the game plan get cemented even if mistakes on the opening drive against Carolina?
It’s always hard to recover from negative plays and penalties, because those long-yardage situations are no way to live. That said, LaFleur admitted he didn’t stick with the run enough last week when it was still a two-score game at 9-0 and 12-0. The Packers were one TD from getting right back in it, but the offense seemed to be searching for the big play, the big spark, and it never came.
Packers will bounce back and never look back.
I think we’re going to find out a lot about what this team is made of this week. They responded to their first kick in the teeth pretty well after the Philly loss. Now they got really humbled. This response will mean a lot.
Hi Mike – I think what surprised me the most was how sluggish the team was in the 2nd half as well. The 1st half could have been more explainable, but I expected them to bounce back, make some adjustments during halftime and rise to the occasion a bit more. The energy and urgency (and obviously the execution) was just not there the entire game. Do you think the lack of improvement in the 2nd half is more on the coaches, the team leaders, the whole team?
It was on everyone. There was plenty of blame to go around. I, too, expected them to come out with the ball in the second half and put a drive together. The first run lost 3 yards when a block was missed on the edge. Then a scramble when no one was open and a deep shot on third down, and it was another punt. And the Chargers hit a 20-yard pass on their second snap of the next drive and were off and moving again. The Packers didn’t hit one 20-yard play the entire game. Nothing happened to get them going.
McCaffrey is a beast. How do we contain him? Thanks Mike.
If anybody knew how to contain him he wouldn’t be an MVP candidate leading the league with 13 touchdowns right now. I think you have to go in with different matchup options and see what’s working best, and go from there. You can’t come in with one idea and just sell out to make it work.