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Inbox: The entire class is on the rise – Packers.com

The last time the Packers drafted two defensive players in the first round their names were Clay Mathews and B.J. Raji. In Year 2 of their careers the Packers won the Super Bowl. Are Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage making that type of an impact?

They’re different players being asked to do different things, but most of the 2019 draft class is making an impact on this year’s team. You want to see your young players get better throughout the course of the year and that group is hitting the target. I write that “Player on the Rise” story on first- and second-year players who are ascending and that entire class is on the rise at the moment.

If you want to see how the front office knows what’s it’s doing, listen to ML’s after-game press conference. Speed ahead to the last question. We’re blessed to have the decision-makers we have, top to bottom. And if you wonder what it looks like on the other side, just read sports from that big city on Lake Michigan.

The years pass, the roster changes but some things remain very much the same. The Packers’ ability to identify talented players and develop them has paid dividends. Green Bay had to plug some holes in free agency two years ago to make up for not having anyone left from the 2015 draft class, but otherwise it’s been a familiar model – draft, develop and re-sign. That’s how you stay in the hunt every year.

Did Jon Runyan get hurt? I did not see him in there much.

No, Runyan is fine. The Packers chose to slide Billy Turner to right guard because he had experience against Fletcher Cox, who often lines up on that side of the ball. LaFleur said afterwards they really couldn’t have made a bad decision there with both Runyan and Rick Wagner available.

After the game, I watched David Bakhtiari’s touchdown run at least 20 times on YouTube. Sure, the big man technically didn’t “block” anyone, but at least three DBs would’ve been a lot closer to making a play on Jones if they hadn’t gone out of their way to give Bakhtiari a very wide berth. I think they could tell he was looking for someone to squish.

The combination of Aaron Jones running at near-full speed and Bakhtiari’s 6-foot-4, 310-pound body was going to make it difficult for any Eagles defender to catch up.

Gentlemen: Rodgers, Adams and Jones are great players having tremendous seasons. But let’s not forget about the offensive line making everything go. Rodgers doesn’t have time for those deep balls unless the O-line does their job. When you consider the injuries and shuffling of positions, their versatile performance is even more amazing. Who deserves the credit for hiring Marshfield’s Adam Stenavich as coach?

That was LaFleur’s hire. Their relationship goes back all the way to Houston in the late-2000s when LaFleur was a quality control coach and Stenavich was a reserve offensive lineman. Stenavich then went on to work for Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco before joining the Packers’ staff. LaFleur had a vision for what he wanted the O-line to be in Green Bay and Stenavich has helped turned that plan into production.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Just a comment, it’s nice when Adams easily gets over 1,000 for the season and it gets largely ignored by announcers and in II because he’s just that good.

There was no drama this year with Adams and that 1,000-yard mark. He continues to leave no doubt with his performances. When it’s all said and done, I don’t see how Adams finishes the year without being the Packers’ first AP All-Pro receiver since Sterling Sharpe (1993).

Good morning Mike/Wes. I thought my old eyes were deceiving me. On one of the last kneel-down plays, did I see Bakhtiari and Lucas Patrick swap positions? Is that normally what happens on a kneel-down?

Those old eyes did not deceive you. I didn’t pick up on that at first but you were spot-on. Bakhtiari did indeed move to guard and Lucas Patrick shifted to tackle. That’s gotta be Bakhtiari’s first snaps at guard in an NFL game, no?

Katherine from Milwaukee, WI

Is Jaire Alexander the best CB in the NFL?

The fact Alexander is 23 years old and you’re asking that question tells you everything you need to know.

My favorite play from the Philly game? I loved that pass to Big Dog. After he caught it and turned upfield, I was waiting for the thick plume of black diesel exhaust to come out of his helmet. It was just like watching a fully loaded gravel truck accelerate from a stop sign!

I mean, Packers fan or not, how could you not love that play? The 36-yard catch was Marcedes Lewis’ longest as a member of the Packers.

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