Fri. Oct 23rd, 2020

Make it as uncomfortable as possible

4 min read
Make it as uncomfortable as possible

Matthias from Colgate, WI

The Patriots have had a knack over the years to use players both ways, Mike Vrabel and a wide receiver/cornerback that escapes me at the moment. The last Packers to have played snaps on both sides of the ball for planned snaps are Spencer Havner and T.J. Lang. Among the roster today, who is more likely to play both ways?

The Patriot you couldn’t think of was Troy Brown. I would say Tremon Smith has the best skill set to be a good two-way player. He’s listed as a cornerback but Kansas City toyed with the idea of having him play receiver earlier this summer.

How much game-planning do assistance coaches do, or is that left mostly to the coordinators and LaFleur?

All the coaches are involved in it. LaFleur obviously has final say but every assistant coach’s voice is heard. Each coach has an area of expertise he specializes in. LaFleur and Mike Pettine weigh it all to make their decisions.

Tom from Douglassville, PA

Besides Kansas City which game left on the schedule are you worried about the most?

That San Francisco game is looking tougher and tougher by the week.

Murphy from Salt Lake City, UT

Glad Oren Burks is back. Any update on Equanimeous St. Brown?

St. Brown’s 2019 season is over. He’s not eligible to return because the Packers didn’t carry him on the initial 53-man roster. E.Q. is still around the building, though. It looks like his rehab is going well.

I just watched a fair-catch/free-kick try with no rush in this crazy overseas game in London. I’ve never seen it or heard of it. Man and I thought I was a hardcore NFL fan. Please explain.

If a player successfully makes a fair catch on a kickoff, the team can attempt a kick from the spot of the catch. Mason Crosby came close in 2008 but just missed the crossbar from 69 yards. Former Chargers kicker Ray Wersching was the last to successfully convert a free kick on a 45-yard field goal on Nov. 21, 1976.

Jack from Indianapolis, IN

I hope you can clarify some confusion for me. What’s the difference between Aaron Jones’ wave to the defender and Tyreek Hill “chucking up the deuces”? As far as I know Hill has never been fined for his signature pre-score celebration.

Much like Aaron Jones’ wave, I’m guessing the refs didn’t see it. We’ll see what the league says later this week.

Dave from Bentonville, AR

Insiders, do you know how the term “play-action” came to be used in describing what is essentially a fake handoff?

I believe the phrase grew in popularity in the 1960s. It’s derived from the idea of “run-play” action. Every sport is based on forms of misdirection and feints. Play-action serves that purpose in the game of football.

Jeanne from Holliston, MA

I’m surprised by Wes’s response to Daniel from Johnston, IA. Whatever you want to call it, waving at the defender is not something I want to see from a team I’ve always considered a “class act.” Next, we will see high school football players emulating these “role models.” And pro players will feel free to push the envelope and try something a bit more unsportsmanlike. Where is the line? My feeling: Give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile. No thanks. Kudos to the NFL for getting it right.

If you heard the things the Cowboys players were saying to Jones throughout the game, then maybe you’d feel differently. Or maybe you wouldn’t. Or maybe I don’t care.

I’ve always felt two things were unfair about fines. 1) Defensive players are far more likely to incur them and 2) Charging a flat amount seems outrageous when you consider the huge disparity in pay between, say, AR12 and an undrafted rookie. One consideration to fix this might be to charge the team and let them regulate it. Would coach’s pressure help minimize situations like Vontaze Burfict? Maybe violent and unsportsmanlike fines could count against the cap? How would you fix it?

It’s time the NFL and NFLPA revisit the fine process, for many of the reasons you already outlined. I also want to mention Derek Barnett was only fined $5,000 more for his hellacious hit on Jamaal Williams than what Kenny Clark was fined for bumping into Carson Wentz. That’s ridiculous.

When a player gets fined by the NFL, where does the money go? If it goes to charity, do the players get to choose which one?

The money goes to benefit programs for former players through the NFL Player Care Foundation and the Gene Upshaw Players Association’s Players Assistance Trust.

John from Yorba Linda, CA

Would Mike McCarthy be a good fit in Atlanta? Looks inevitable Quinn won’t last much longer. Do you think McCarthy would be interested in going to Atlanta?

I’m not sure what McCarthy is looking for in his next NFL job, but there are quite a few teams out there that could use a coach like him. McCarthy has been successful in this league, he’s organized and knows how to build a team.

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