It’s a game of constant adaptation

Scott from Palos Park, Illinois

Tucker Craft seems to be getting more opportunities lately, and in the eyes of an amateur, his blocking seems to be improving. Have there been any discussions by the coaching staff about his development in recent weeks?

Kraft is a young tight end who is catching up to the speed of the NFL game and finding what he does well.

Good day to you too, Mike and Weston! I realize that youth and inexperience are contributing factors, but the fact that we are 1-4 in games that are decided in the fourth quarter is a troubling trend. What is your opinion on the matter?

It goes back to how you learn from those failures. If the Packers can pull off a few fourth-quarter comebacks in the second half of the season, then I’d say they’ve responded appropriately. Any loss that leads to an eventual win is valuable. This is the flower that grew out of the 2008 6-10 campaign.

Scott of Noblesville, IN

Hey Wes, as a retired hoops coach from Indiana, I loved the Hoosiers movie reference! But praising your opponent’s veteran DB experience in your next reply is a bit confusing. Do you believe a veteran in the DB room is far more important than the possible help a true veteran WR could provide; or are you basing your differentiation because we are now 11 weeks into the season?

Bingo. There’s a difference between having a veteran on the roster and bringing in a veteran off the street. I also think the game is kinder to older DBs than older receivers. According to StatMuse, there are 23 quarterbacks over the age of 32 in the NFL this season. There are six receivers. That includes New England special teams ace Matthew Slater, who hasn’t caught a pass in more than a decade.

I seem to recall playing a rookie QB, Mike McCarthy would say it’s more about whether the team is ready for your QB than the QB is ready. ML often points to the other 10 men when asked about Jordan Love. I think Love would look different with Nelson, Driver and Jennings in the middle of their careers than he could with all his inexperience. Looks like he’ll be fine. What do you think?

Sure, but you’re talking about three of the greatest receivers in Packers history, and you’re picturing them all in the primes of their careers. These are not the cards the Packers hold. I have no doubt that this receiving body may be special, but you can’t force the mold to harden. You have to give it time to set.

Contrary to many, I am optimistic about our team. The last two projects have brought a new young talent that is starting to show. The players who left don’t perform in a way that makes us miss them. Adams’ performance would have been too expensive and Rodgers’ injury support moved away from him. Those moves netted valuable picks in the draft. I am confident that the continued growth of our young talent and quality draft picks in ’24 (and perhaps the FA) will lead to a strong future performance.

The Packers have been in a tough spot this offseason. They lost quite a few free agents, but none of those departed players had a standout year. I would say that structurally Green Bay is in the best place it can be, especially when you consider the ongoing rebuild with the salary cap. Unfortunately, it just hasn’t yielded enough wins…yet.

I watched the two Denver FGs on replay initially. After Wednesday II mentions DEN picking up a live watch at the end, I went back and watched the whole series and have a question. During a normal drive, the defense is given extra time to change when the offense makes a change. Does this apply to bulk changes like the FG unit? It feels like Buffalo could have waited for Denver to change, “confirm” Denver’s personnel, then initiate their own changes and possibly run out of time.

It doesn’t work like that. As far as I understand, this rule does not apply to a “mayday” field goal.

Christian from Metairie, Louisiana

Hi Wes, I was catching up on the inbox and had to commend you on your quick reply to Richard Taylor from Caledonia, WI. I can’t believe it hasn’t been tracked. As for my question, I’ve been very impressed with AJ Dillon’s run lately, has he made a big adjustment or are things just lining up better for him right now?

I’ve never felt more confident about sneaking an Easter egg into a column than this reference. Dylan has talked about it a little bit in the last month, but I think the difference is that he’s doing more than just thinking—see a hole, hit a hole. A more cohesive offensive line also helped matters, but Dillon plays downfield and puts his pads at linebacker.

Do you know if the Packers will do the Salvation Army signings again this year? And if so, when can we expect an official announcement?

Yes, they start next Monday at the Lambeau Field Atrium. Rashaan Gary, Elgton Jenkins and Isaiah McDuffie are the first three signing autographs. Fans are asked to donate a minimum of $20. (Editor’s Note/Update at 10:03 a.m. CT Thursday): Monday’s signing has been canceled due to a change in the team’s schedule. Remaining dates and times will be finalized next week).

Darren from Wakefield, Michigan

Hang in there guys. Sounds to me like you both might be having a rough week. Not that you’d be “complaining”, but how much harder is it to do your job when the team is on the wrong side of the W more often than we’d like?

I am fine. It’s always me, regardless of the outcome. The challenge is dealing with the fans after a loss. This can be tried.

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