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Pack­ers beat writer Ryan

Wood an­swered ques­tions from read­ers Mon­day, fol­low­ing Green Bay’s loss in the NFC Cham­pi­onship Game. Read the tran­script at json­line.com/pack­ers.

Q: Is the prob­lem Ca­pers’ D or Thomp­son not be­ing able to draft de­fen­sive play­ers? I know Rodgers makes play­ers bet­ter but the D is ridicu­lous.

A: I don't see a lot of tal­ent on this de­fense. I see an ag­ing pass rush that was in­ef­fec­tive. I see wide-open re­ceivers on the perime­ter ev­ery week. I see a de­fense with ma­jor holes at the two most im­por­tant po­si­tions: edge rusher and cor­ner­back. Shadow Julio Jones with LaDar­ius Gunter? Se­ri­ously? That's never go­ing to work on a big stage like the NFC cham­pi­onship game, but Dom Ca­pers didn't have a choice. Da­mar­i­ous Ran­dall, the first-round draft pick last sea­son, wasn't a real op­tion for the job. So I'd ar­gue a lack of tal­ent is the big­gest prob­lem for this de­fense, not scheme. Where are the dif­fer­ence mak­ers? The game chang­ers? Ul­ti­mately, that falls on Ted Thomp­son.

Q: Think we'll hear within the next cou­ple weeks of Dom Ca­pers fir­ing? By mid next month Ted Thomp­son should fol­low.

A: There are real prob­lems on that de­fense, but I don't think any­one is get­ting fired. Cer­tainly not Ted Thomp­son. I cer­tainly un­der­stand the frus­tra­tion on a day like this, but you don't make fir­ings after eight straight play­off trips and two con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game ap­pear­ances in three years. That's not to ex­cuse what hap­pened. This de­fense needs to be re­built dur­ing the off­sea­son, and I don't think the NFL draft is enough to do it. But don't ex­pect fir­ings. Q: Who is re-signed among Lang, Cook, Tret­ter, Hyde, and Starks. Does Cobb have to take a pay cut and what are top two draft pri­or­i­ties? A: Haven't heard much on some guys. I ex­pect Jared Cook to be back for mul­ti­ple years. I think they need to bring back Micah Hyde; he does too many things for this de­fense. Hyde is es­pe­cially im­por­tant if they want to play Mor­gan Burnett more at line­backer in their sub­pack­ages. It's just a guess, but I would be sur­prised to see James Starks back, de­spite an­other year re­main­ing. I think Nick Perry is back. Don't know about Da­tone Jones, but it would have to be for the right price. As for T.J. Lang, that may be the tough­est de­ci­sion. I think the wise move is to bring him back, even if that risks keep­ing Ja­son Spriggs as a backup. You can re­place a guard, but Lang is im­por­tant to the fab­ric of that locker room. With that said, you can re­place a guard. So Lang's re­turn would prob­a­bly have to be at the right price.

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