NFC North Saturday Mailbag

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2012

Hey folks, these mailbags always seem to bounce to Saturday—I might as well move it there permanently.

As always, I have a few good questions from you guys as well as some good comments to some stuff I asked about on Thursday.

Heavy Packers and Bears content with a little Lions thrown in.

Don't know where Vikings fans were—but maybe sitting contentedly watching some very good practice from their team.

So, let's see what you guys had to say first.

With the left tackle battle looking darn near, if not finished, and J'Marcus Webb the likely winner, I thought I'd get your take on the fallout.

I sort of agree with Midway that Chris Williams ends up back at guard and Lance Louis ends up the swing replacement. It could easily flip the other way—it sort of depends on how disappointed the staff is with Williams, if they are at all.

Sandeep disagreed, pointing to Louis' mean streak as a reason he should get the nod at guard, but as Midway points out, the attitude isn't going to cut it if he simply can't play.

Again, it comes down to what the staff thinks of Williams. Louis isn't great, that's the truth, but if Williams is falling on his face, they may still keep Louis in.

Williams was swung to right tackle for a bit to give Gabe Carimi a breather, but didn't play there long and has bounced around in general.

A lot of folks tell me he never got a fair shake at tackle or guard. I think we are seeing what the coaching staff might have suspected all along: Williams might be a bust.

Meanwhile the Lions are dealing with backfield issues, ones that might be a real issue down the line if injuries hit. Mind you, this is a team that survived just fine when the backfield imploded in 2011.

Jahvid Best is out until—well, we've no idea how long. I was wondering your take on what to do the longer he is out.

Like many of you, I want him to be OK. The problem is, the longer he's out, the more I think he isn't. I can't imagine trying to figure this out, and weigh the player's and club's wants vs. the safety of the player.

I've said before that, ultimately, he's a grown man and knows the risks. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we need to help someone help themselves.

Conner makes a separate point below, by the way.

Before you call him cold, from a football standpoint, he's very right. I like Best, but he's not LeSean McCoy or Ray Rice. He can be replaced. Mikel Leshoure going down, to me, would be a more serious problem, but again one I believe the Lions could overcome with the right moves.

On to the Packers.

The whole Charles Woodson-to-safety thing is hard to grasp for people who are not Packers fans—or at least seems to be hard for some people to grasp.

He's a safety, but he's not. He plays corner, but he doesn't.

So, I figured I'd ask the Packers faithful what their take on the situation is.

Without a doubt the overall sentiment, as you can see, is that Davon House gets the No. 2 corner when Woodson is the safety, notably in base formation.

How much they will play in base (or how much Woodson will be at safety—two separate but equal questions) is subject to more debate.

Mary points to Mike McCarthy's number of about 6-8 percent, which is about what it was last year.

I'm not one to debate with McCarthy, but I lean closer to Jordan's 15 percent take, though Woodson is in safety meetings, meaning they want to play him more at safety.

So, is Brandon's 40 percent insane? Probably not as much as you might think.

All this is serving to say you guys are just as unclear as the rest of us.

Which is what McCarthy wants, I'd reckon.

Finally, we get two Bears questions from you guys. First a not-so-serious one from Mike G:

I know he was just being sarcastic, but I thought it would be a good launching point for a brief reminder that, while they have greatly improved at many areas this offseason, the offensive line is still a question mark.

Webb has apparently improved. Carimi is playing well. The pieces are falling into place.

I'm almost on board. Not quite, but almost. The thing is, maybe the question is, does the Bears -line still suck?

Because that's really what has been holding them back the last few years.

A more "serious" question from Matt:

I don't think Wright or Chris Conte is very secure. Oh, they've been doing alright in camp, and it's their position to lose, but this is the season to put up or shut up.

Staying healthy is a must as well. Wright has missed way too much time, and Conte ended 2011 on the IR. With Craig Steltz having a solid end to the 2011 season and Rod Marinelli hot on rookie Brandon Hardin, their room for error is razor thin.

If they end up hurt or playing badly, expect the next guys up to get their shot, and quickly.

That's it for this week, see you Monday (barring cataclysmic events or a trade) with more camp stuff and the usual news and notes.


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