Behind Enemy Lines: Bears/Packers, Part II

In Part II of an exclusive four-part series, BearReport.com's John Crist and PackerReport.com's Todd Korth continue their back-and-forth interaction with five questions from John to Todd. Is Brett Favre going to play till he's dead, can Ahman Green still get it done, and how good can Greg Jennings be? These Q&As and more inside.

John Crist, Editor in Chief, BearReport.com: Rookie head coach Mike McCarthy looked like he was leading the worst team in the league after getting drubbed 26-0 by the Bears in Week 1, but now the Packers could possibly make the playoffs with an upset on Sunday and some help. How has he turned it around?

Todd Korth, Managing Editor, PackerReport.com: McCarthy has been good at not allowing the Packers get too high or too low. There have been a few low points this season when the team was 1-4 and 4-8 when the players could have easily quit on McCarthy, but they didn't. McCarthy relates well to the players, keeps his distance as the head coach, and has been getting all he can despite the overall youth on the team.

JC: Let's go ahead and get this out of the way. Do you feel this is Brett Favre's last season in Green Bay? If not, how much could he possibly help this team next season? And if so, is Aaron Rodgers ready to step in and get it done?

TK: No, this will not be Brett Favre's last season. He loves playing the game too much. As long as the Bears defense doesn't seriously injure Favre, he will be back in 2007. During one of those aforementioned low points in the season, I felt that the Packers might try to trade Favre away to a different team next season, much like the Titans did with Steve McNair. Now I am sure that he will return to the Packers, who make lots of money off Favre, and play another season. Aaron Rodgers is itching to play and deserves a shot to be ‘The Guy,' but he's going to have to wait another year.

JC: Ahman Green was one of the better running and receiving threats in the NFL not too long ago, and he's shown flashes of his old self from time to time this season. What is his future with the Packers, and are his periodic struggles more a product of an inexperienced offensive line?

TK: I believe the Packers will try to re-sign Green to a short-term contract this offseason. He came off a major injury (quadriceps) that cut his 2005 season short. Still, he was ready to practice by the middle of training camp and started in Week 1. He has five 100-yard games this season and still runs hard. He'll turn 30 in February, which is a red flag for NFL running backs, but he keeps himself in tip-top condition and likes it in Green Bay. He is 12 yards from 1,000 this season and 116 from breaking Jim Taylor's 40-year-old team record for career rushing yards. If Green doesn't surpass Taylor on Sunday night, he'll be able to get the record in 2007 after he re-signs.

JC: Donald Driver is an underrated receiver and was elected to the Pro Bowl for the first time this season, yet rookie Greg Jennings seems to have Green Bay fans excited about his potential. What has he done well so far, and what does he need to do in order to become an elite wideout?

TK: Driver doesn't get much respect from others around the league, but with his third straight 1,000-yard receiving season, he finally was named to the NFC squad for the first time. He went in 2002 as an alternate. Driver is having a career season, and Jennings is off to a great start for a rookie. He injured his ankle Oct. 22 against Miami and his numbers have taken a hit, but he is the best rookie receiver for the Packers since Sterling Sharpe in 1988.

JC: The Packers have had an awful lot of attrition along the offensive line the last few years. Introduce us to some of the new faces in the trenches, and what other changes do you feel need to be made before this unit can get back to being one of the best in football?

TK: The offensive line was a big concern early in the season for obvious reasons. The Packers started two rookie guards (Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz), and third-year center Scott Wells is in his first season as the regular starter. To the pleasant surprise of many, the line has done well in the new zone-blocking scheme. Veteran right tackle Mark Tauscher sustained a pulled groin Nov. 12 and missed five games. Rookie Tony Moll filled in for Tauscher, and the line struggled, but Tauscher is now back. Along with veteran left tackle Chad Clifton, the line will be aiming to run more against the Bears than they did against the Vikings last week.

Be on the lookout for Part III of this four-part series as John will answer five more of Todd's questions.


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