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Ask Vic

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Don't worry; all is right with the Packers

Posted Jul 1, 2014

Packers 2011 offense one-dimensional; this one has balance

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Vic, can you share some knowledge about the Canadian Football League?

I watched a little bit of the Montreal-Calgary game this past weekend. With one play left in the game, the score was 29-1. That’s an ugly score. If I was named CFL commissioner today, the first thing I would do is get rid of one-point scores.

William from Milwaukee, WI

With so many tight ends on our roster, what about using three of them in a five-receiver set?

What would that accomplish? I understand the fascination fans have with the tight end; it goes to matchups and video football has made fans matchup crazy. I would, however, remind you of this simple fact: In most cases, when you are throwing to the tight end, you are throwing to the worst receiver on the field. In most cases, every wide receiver on your team can run faster, jump higher, catch better and do more with the ball after the catch than your tight end can do. The tight end – I’m talking about true tight ends, not tight ends that are split from the formation – has his place in the offense, and his place in the passing offense, in my opinion, involves making catches where size is rewarded.

Gene from Midland, GA

Vic, I was looking back at Tony Pauline’s tweets from May and came across his scouting report for Richard Rodgers, which simply ended with the statement that Rodgers may be a better pro than college player. Are we to interpret that as Rodgers is still developing or that the pro game better fits his skills?

He was playing out of position at Cal last season. Tony was saying Rodgers will be a better tight end than a wide receiver. Drafting Rodgers required a crystal ball. You had to have the vision to evaluate him as a tight end. I’m looking forward to seeing him block. It’ll determine whether or not he can become a true, inline tight end. If he can block, then I think the Packers might have something special in Rodgers. If he has to play in space, then he’s another wide receiver.

Mike from Maple Hill, NC

Underwear season is over and vacation season begins; not much to discuss or fret about these days. How is the Lambeau Atrium and Pro Shop renovation coming along?

The Packers Pro Shop’s grand opening is set for July 17.

Paul from Green Bay, WI

Who are the top three running backs you have seen that you would pay to see, anytime, anyplace? For me, it’s Sayers, Simpson and, going off the board, Chuck Foreman.

Paul, I am media; I never, ever pay. Be that as it may, I would enjoy seeing Jim Brown, Earl Campbell and Jim Thorpe run with the football. Brown and Campbell are the ultimate in punishing backs. They defined the concept of initiating contact, which I believe defined great backs until the NFL recently changed the rules to forbid ball carriers from dropping their heads and delivering blows to tacklers. I understand why they had to institute that rule, but I hate it and it saddens me. I love power backs. I love the memory of Campbell dropping his head into the midsection of tacklers, and I remember Donnie Shell knocking Campbell out a game with broken ribs when Shell rammed his helmet into Campbell’s midsection. According to today’s rules, what Shell did to Campbell is allowed, but Campbell can’t drop his head to protect himself. That bothers me. Thorpe is the mystery man. None of us saw him play. All we know is that he was special, and there are amazing reports of his skill. It’s been said that if Thorpe was tackled especially hard by a defender, he demanded the football on the next play so he could run at that defender and make him pay for what he did. That’s my kind of back. I would love to see Thorpe play.

Luke from New Ulm, MN

I agree with almost everything you say, but I disagree with your position on Peyton Manning, particularly your latest argument. Your greatest knock against him is his playoff record, which is better than those of Dan Marino and Warren Moon, two of your top six quarterbacks to have not won a Super Bowl.

If Manning hadn’t won a Super Bowl, he’d be No. 1 on my list of quarterbacks never to have won a Super Bowl. Satisfied?

Brian from Costa Mesa, CA

Vic, can you please stop answering questions about what you care about as a reporter or fan or whatever and stick to questions about the Packers? I can’t be the only one who could care less. You are coming off as a little bit narcissistic at this point. Anyway, I’m sure you won’t post this, but I do hope you read it and maybe stop with the mind-numbing, self-reflection answers. Don’t mean to be rude, as I do love “Ask Vic,” just a little conductive criticism.

Brian, please don’t take offense to this; I just want to make sure there’s no misunderstanding. I will continue to answer questions about what I care about as a reporter or fan or whatever, instead of sticking to questions about the Packers. At the risk of being a little bit narcissistic, that’s the way it is and that’s the way it will continue to be. Your request is denied.

Dustin from Reno, NV

Vic, do you believe the show “Hard Knocks” is a distraction to the team, or are you all for it? I think it’s a great marketing idea, but if I was a coach I would not want cameras around my players all the time. What is your feeling on this?

It’s good for the league and it’s good for a team that feels a need to announce itself, but the Packers don’t need to announce themselves. Everybody knows who and what they are. Yes, I believe it can cause distractions. I don’t think “Hard Knocks” was a positive for the Dolphins.

Jon from Milwaukee, WI

Static stretching is the 10-second stretch and hold and needs to be stopped. Stretching, like what happens with yoga, Vic, will be the future and I’m sorry to be the one to have to break it to you.

Proper stretching is at the heart of every championship team. You are what you stretch.

William from Danville, KY

Yesterday, you asked “to stretch or not to stretch?” Are you a real Shakespeare fan, or just stick to the cliches? Will you be reading a play or two during your vacation? Titus Andronicus might help you get in the spirit for training camp.

Shakespeare ’tis an abysmal thing, a foul villain to be shunned.

Terrance from Indianola, MS

With the improvement in the running game and the offensive line, do you think the Packers put up numbers similar or better than they did in the 2011 season?

The Packers offense was No. 3 in the league in 2011. It set team records and for much of the season it was unstoppable. The problem with the Packers offense in 2011 was that it was one-dimensional; it was No. 3 in passing and No. 27 in rushing. It posed little threat of run and the lack of a running game, in my opinion, caught up with the Packers in the postseason. The Giants ignored the run; they rushed four and dropped seven. I don’t know if this year’s offense is going to set records, as the 2011 offense did, but I fully expect better balance between run and pass, and that should make the Packers offense better overall than the one-dimensional unit of 2011. I think the Packers could have the best offense in the league in 2014.

Paul from De Pere, WI

I watched the interview with Troy Aikman. I had not seen it before. I’m surprised by what he related. I have always thought his bias against the Packers stemmed from the fact he was the anti-Favre, and it hung on after that. That sentiment may have departed when Favre did, but I will try to listen objectively going forward. He earned that much with his remarks.

He has no bias against the Packers. The problem is Packers fans have such a strong bias for the Packers that 20 years later they still are having trouble dealing with the hurt from all of those postseason losses Aikman dealt the Packers. I’ve watched replays of Aikman’s broadcasts, at the insistence of fans who’ve claimed great bias against the Packers by Aikman, and I heard nothing but solid, objective commentary.

Bob from Colby, KS

My chiropractor/PT told me not to stretch before strengthening exercises, which includes pushups.

I’m opposed to all forms of strengthening.

Nick from Green Bay, WI

Vic, Darren from Toronto has to go in the “Ask Vic” Hall of Fame for that last question yesterday.

It’s one of the most telling questions in “Ask Vic” history. Within its innocence, we found the menacing truth. Why does football struggle with its past? Because it is hopelessly stuck in its present.

Kyle from Sheboygan, WI

Wait, do we really have to choose between Nelson and Cobb?

Packers fans worry too much. It’s Fourth of July week. The weather forecast for Green Bay is fantastic and the team’s forecast for the 2014 season is even better. Training camp is just around the corner, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have a broken collarbone, the Packers drafted a safety, the 49ers aren’t on the schedule and the Packers will have a chance to beat the Super Bowl champs on the opening night of the season. All is right with the Packers. Don’t look for reasons to worry. I am officially forbidding all forms of worry this week. Be winsome. Enjoy what you have.

Matthew from Maffra, Australia

The Steelers pick linebackers and the Packers pick receivers. Which position would you pick most if you were a GM, Vic?

It’s running back. I love running backs. I’ve always considered that position to symbolize everything I love about football. When he has the ball, every player on the defense is trying to knock him into tomorrow. I love that confrontation. I am in awe of what it must be like to know you’re going to get the ball and 11 of the most fierce and physical men in the world are going to attack you. Running backs are special men. I am a running game romantic trapped in the era of the forward pass.

Jeff from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I’m the sort of person that always sees the glass half full. Doom and gloom don’t work for me. Even with all the injuries last year, I still had hope for the team. How do you view life?

I’m a realist. If I’m drinking from the glass, it’s half empty. If I’m filling it, it’s half full. The same applies to football teams. When it’s young and acquiring more talent than it’s losing, its glass is half full. When it’s old and losing more talent than it can replace, its glass is half empty. I think in terms of arrows, and whether they’re pointing up or down. The Packers’ arrow, in my opinion, is clearly pointing up.

Ric from Longmont, CO

May your swing be straight and the ball fly far, may your rounds be blessed with no more than par. Enjoy your time off, Vic.

When I return, I will be a kinder, gentler sports writer, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

The 2014 “Ask Vic Day” will include dinner and a movie, an “Ask Vic Live,” and a few other surprises along the way. The event will be held on July 23, 2014, at Lambeau Field. Registration will begin at 4 pm with a 5 pm kickoff. Door prizes will be awarded during the reception. Register by clicking here.

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