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Packers are ready to play; are we ready to watch?

Posted Aug 29, 2014

Time to say farewell to summer and a lot of good football players

Aaron from Anchorage, AK

I recall hearing an interview with Ted Thompson in which he was asked to name some hidden gems he unearthed in the draft over the years. I was surprised when he answered there weren’t really any because all personnel departments pretty much have similar scouting information. Still, Jeff Janis fell to the bottom of the last round. Do you think Ted may have to change his answer in a year or two?

I think my inbox is giddy this morning. I think it is bordering on chortling, and I don’t like chortling as much as Mike McCarthy doesn’t like making headlines. I think we need to come to balance, for our own sake. Pendulums with wide swings can be dangerous.

Justin from Reno, NV

Vic, how would you describe this team using one word? I would say deep.

I was asked that question last night in “Ask Vic Live Postgame” and the word I chose is “poised,” as in poised to have a good season. I have high hopes for this team. I prefer the word hopes to expectations. It promotes balance.

Martin from Tisovec, Slovakia

Mike McCarthy said they’ve hit the targets. What does he mean? Reps? Enough tape to watch players?

It means his team has accomplished the goals he set for it prior to the start of training camp, and that’s an especially good feeling for a coach because it means he’s done his job. That’s what we were sensing in Coach McCarthy’s postgame mood last night. We were sensing satisfaction. He knows his team is prepared to begin the season. He knows he used the preseason the proper way, to evaluate talent. It’s a wonderful feeling for any of us to know we have done our job. Just do your job. Coach McCarthy has done his.

Andy from LaSalle, IL

Vic, I don’t know why but I’ve always noticed Aaron’s throwing motion and how perfect it is, especially the little finger curl thing he does as he releases. Call it a man crush. Whose throwing motion have you grown up liking the best and why?

I could say Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath, and nobody has ever thrown a football more mechanically sound than Dan Marino did, and I could also say Rodgers and Terry Bradshaw, but Joe Gilliam threw the football with flair. He made the ball look long and thin. He held it at waist level, which isn’t mechanically sound, but when he whipped his arm from that position it made the ball sing. Bradshaw’s ball sounded like it needed a heat shield. Gilliam’s whistled. I’ve never heard that whistle again.

Jean from Eagle, AK

Vic, the Raiders handily beat the Seahawks today. Our Packers beat the Raiders. I know it’s only preseason, but didn’t Seattle play a lot of their ones on Thursday? Should that give some hope to us Packers fans out here in the boonies?

No, it shouldn’t. Never attach meaning to the preseason other than for the evaluation of talent.

Joey from Columbus, OH

Your posts have given me so much more interest in the preseason. I’ve made my 53-man roster. Be happy Mike and Ted are in charge because I’ve got six wide receivers.

It could happen, but fans love wide receivers. They usually go heavy with wide receivers and light with big guys. What most fans don’t consider enough in roster decisions is how one player’s circumstances affect another player. When you get to the bottom-of-the-roster guys, you’re trying to retain as much talent as possible to develop for the future. If a guy has practice squad eligibility and you feel strongly he’ll clear waivers, he can create a roster spot on the 53 for someone who’s out of practice squad eligibility. It’s all about massaging your 63, which means your 53-man roster plus your 10-man practice squad. The same can be said of injured reserve. We saw some knee injuries last night. I think it’s likely they will help the Packers retain talent without using a spot on the 53. Take care of the future and the future will take care of the present.

Ryan from Schofield Barracks, HI

When do you believe the Packers will reach look out status? I’m saying the defense will reach look out in Week 1 by the end of the third quarter.

I’m glad there is such joy in my inbox. I just hope my inbox is singing the same tune next Friday morning. It’s a long season, folks. The Packers are ready for it. Are we?

Nathan from Denver, CO

After finalizing the roster cuts, what are personnel offices’ priorities for the rest of this weekend?

As teams release players, the pro personnel departments begin plugging those players into the data base of available talent. The Packers’ personnel department doesn’t delude itself into believing all of the good football players in the world are in Green Bay.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

Vic, what would you say is the biggest challenge for a rookie center facing the defending Super Bowl champions in his first start on the road with so little time to prepare?

Bobby Wagner.

Eric from Mequon, WI

What’s going to be more difficult in getting good players to clear waivers and get on the practice squad, WR or RB?

It’s neither position. Everybody’s looking for big guys.

Mark from Portland, OR

Do you think you look too tan in your press photo? It doesn’t send a good message to my kids about sun screen.

Fortunately, I have the kind of skin that can tan in the dark, because if I had asked my parents to buy me sun screen, they would’ve burst into laughter. Why weren’t we worth protecting from skin cancer? By all means, tell your kids to lather up. Never go out of the house without being covered in sun screen or clothes.

Juan from Astoria, NY

If teams tried that gamesmanship now, fans would explode. Then the media would explode, then Twitter would explode, then fans would explode again. Those stories sound fun, Vic. It almost sounds like football was a game back then. Why don’t we have that now?

We’re angry. We don’t want fun, we want more anger. I don’t get it. Why?

Christopher from White Bear Lake, MN

I’m pretty happy right now.

Good for you. I am delighted to hear you’re happy. It’s Labor Day weekend. Be happy. Let’s give summer the kind of farewell it deserves. Remember, guys, no more white pants after Monday.

Ron from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I totally agree with you about teams trying to weed out bad-actor players through scouting. What do you think about the league fining the team instead of the player?

I’m not sure where I stand on this. I’ve considered what you’re suggesting. When you make teams accountable for the mistakes of their players, you’ll make teams scout harder and more responsibly, and I think that’s a good thing. The Packers do it voluntarily and it works for them. I don’t want to journey deeper into crime and punishment, but I would favor an attempt to make teams more accountable for their players’ indiscretions. A lost roster spot on the 90?

Adam from San Jose, CA

Did Coach McCarthy seem annoyed in his press conference after the game or is that normal?

Annoyed? No. Energized? Yeah. I’m not looking for a tea party to attend after the game. I’m looking for a place where I can acquire information that’ll help me write my story. I’m looking for information I can pass onto the fans. I got that last night. That was Coach McCarthy at his press conference best. His opening monologue was beautiful.


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