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Ask Vic

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How about tied with Bears for Thanksgiving?

Posted Nov 5, 2012

Gary from Puyallup, WA

I just checked on Amazon.com and the 1959 movie “-30-” is available on DVD. They have seven copies available. Christmas is approaching; maybe you drop a hint with your wife?

Just seeing it in print takes me back to a day that ended for me a long time ago. They were good days. They were days of honest and responsible newspaper reporting. You had one shot to get it right. If you made a mistake, it was in print to haunt you forever. Times have changed.

Roger from Indianapolis, IN

The running game against Arizona was much improved, only one sack allowed by the offensive line, one penalty for five yards, but Rodgers is under 50 percent and threw for only 218 yards. A win, yes, but it seems like it was a fairly silent 31 points, given all the other favorable factors. Your thoughts?

It wasn’t a silent 31 points. It was a different kind of 31 points. It was a big-play kind of 31 points. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t on his game. He volunteered that opinion following the game. It was so refreshing to hear a professional athlete practice introspection. It was so refreshing to have someone look me in the eye and tell me the truth, instead of all that mumbo jumbo about just wanting to contribute. For me, Rodgers’ postgame press conference on Sunday was a happy event. It told me he cared enough about the fans’ investment in the game and the media’s ability to convey his words, that he would dare express what he was thinking and feeling. It’s proof the system works.

Peter from Guettenbach, Austria

The regular season is halfway through. What are your thoughts on the rookies’ development?

They’re ahead of schedule. As I’ve said before, when I wrote that editorial prior to the start of the season, that asked fans to be patient with the progress of the defense because it was going to depend on the progress of several rookies, I didn’t expect the defense to be this good this early in the season. Anybody that thinks Dom Capers has lost anything off his fastball doesn’t have a clue what this game is about.

Gary from Davenport, IA

Vic, Jay Cutler commented on the number of Bears fans at Tennessee and said, “We have the best fans in the world.” Comments like that make me chuckle.

I’ve never covered a team whose owner, coach or players didn’t say they had the best fans in the world. Like the Joe Namath finger that signifies “We’re No. 1,” and which everybody seems to thrust into the air following the most minor of accomplishments, the “We have the best fans in the world” mantra is horribly overused and meaningless, except as it pertains to Packers fans, of course. I think everybody knows Packers fans truly are the best fans in the world. All other fans are merely attempting to imitate the greatness of Packers fans. That’s what Bears fans were doing in Nashville and Steelers fans were doing in New York on Sunday. They’re wannabes.

Davy from Chetek, WI

I wonder why people weren't calling for James Jones to be traded at the deadline like they were during training camp. I mean, he only has eight touchdowns, and the Packers’ problem with drops has to be his fault, even if he hasn't actually been credited with a single one.

I hate sarcasm.

Brandon from Yucca Valley, CA

After that win yesterday, I think the whole world knows who Randall Cobb is. He is by far the most versatile player on the team. But after that hit he received, it scared me to still have him on special teams, even though he is a great return man. I remember they took Nelson off punt return after he became more of a weapon on offense. It would devastate me if we would lose Cobb to a punt or kick return. Your thoughts?

It would be just as devastating to the Packers’ return game if they lost Cobb to injury while playing offense. My thoughts are that Cobb has become the Packers’ most explosive offensive weapon. To limit his usage would be to limit the Packers’ production. Football careers tend to be short. Get all you can out of a guy for as long as you can, then go find another one. I had a coach who liked to say, “What are you saving it for, the prom?” Frankly, I think there are more ways the Packers can and will use Cobb.

Chris from Voorhout, Netherlands

I'm already looking ahead to the next matchup vs. Detroit. Is it fair to say that with two divisional losses already it’s a must-win game for the Lions, and will that alter the approach of both teams to the match?

No time off for the bye? You want to dive right in on the next one? OK, let’s do it. Forget about what it means to the Lions. Let’s talk about what it means to the Packers. Is it a must-win to make it into the playoffs? No. Is it a must-win to win the division title? Possibly.

Josh from La Crosse, WI

I get that players want to play and battle through injuries, but after what happened to Greg Jennings, why did the coaching staff let Jordy suit up?

He was healthy and able to play. When players are healthy and able to play, they play. That’s what they get paid to do. I think the combination of fantasy football and the commissioner’s obsession for addressing player safety, a mania for injuries has been created. I think we need to rediscover a fundamental fact of this game: It’s football. You WILL get hurt.

Dee from Hayward, WI

What happens during the bye week? What happens with players and do coaches take a break?

Corrections will be made today and then the players will blow out of here like the start of the Indy 500. Everybody needs a break; this is theirs. Coaches will linger longer. They’ll do reviews and analyses, and then they’ll blow out of here, too, to visit family and give attention to those things in their lives that have been neglected.

Claus from Brondby, Denmark

Vic, there were several controversial calls in last night’s game in New York, including two bogus pass interference calls and a couple of hitting too hards. I get sad watching that and I feel I am not alone. How can we change this?

It can’t be changed, only tolerated. I was watching the Steelers-Giants game as I was doing my stories yesterday. I saw the head-to-head call in the end zone that gave the Giants a touchdown, and I saw the replay that showed the defender never even got close to the receiver’s head. I saw the PI gifts, and what saddened me the most is that it’s gotten to the point that this stuff doesn’t even resonate with me anymore. I’ve come to expect it. If you want to talk about getting sad, then let’s talk about the Packers’ first touchdown on Sunday, the quick-slant pass to Randall Cobb. I saw at least one Cardinals defender ole the play. I got the feeling he was too afraid of a fine to do the only thing he could do to prevent the touchdown, which is to say strike Cobb violently and force him to drop the ball. Something inside me died on that play.

Boon from Stockton, CA

In all your years of covering football, who had the best coach/quarterback relationship?

I’ve covered three prominent coach-QB relationships: Noll-Bradshaw, Coughlin-Brunell and McCarthy-Rodgers. If by best you mean most productive, then I think Noll-Bradshaw has to get the nod for having won four Super Bowl titles in six years. If you’re talking about the most communicative and supportive relationship of the three, then McCarthy-Rodgers gets the nod. The other two had their moments of stress. I don’t get any sense of that with McCarthy-Rodgers.

John from Grayslake, IL

Coaches talk about doing self-scouting during their bye weeks. What exactly do they look at when they do self-scouting?

They study the performances of their players and themselves over the first nine games of the season, and they decide to what degree their players have reached their targets.

Joe from Framlingham, UK

Vic, obviously this was an extremely encouraging win in all phases of the game, not to mention the perfect time to have a bye week. The Packers and Bears are both rolling. The Vikings are having a surprising season and the Lions are getting on track. Will the Packers catch the Bears? Will Minnesota and Detroit make strong pushes? The real NFL season is about to begin.

I heard a little bell ring on Sunday. In Detroit, it’ll be a siren. Will the Packers catch the Bears? The answer to that question, in my opinion, will come over the next two weeks. The Bears host Houston and then travel to San Francisco for a Monday night game. Should the Packers win in Detroit, it’s conceivable that we’ll all sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with the Packers tied for the division lead. I also expect the Vikings and Lions to make strong pushes.

Tony from Truckee, CA

Sorry, but I am greedy. Just win is OK for Vic but, as a football fan, I like to see consistency in an offense. We are too far into the season to blame it on execution. Losing our offensive coordinator is definitely showing up in our game.

I’m so glad I’m not like you. I like the drama. I like the unpredictability. I like crunch time and guys that get it done when it counts. I like teams that veer off course and still hit the target. Last year’s team turned in the most consistent performance I have ever covered. What good was it? This year’s team has been up and down, and that’s good because it lets me know they have a higher gear left in them, and the best time to hit that higher gear is in December. That’s what wins championships, and that’s what matters.

Nick from Menomonie, WI

What is your opinion on the Redskins’ throwbacks?

Dull. I can’t believe they haven’t used their old feather and quill helmet of the 1960s. It might be the coolest helmet I have ever seen.

Alex from Omaha, NE

Please explain to me why Jarret Bush's punt recovery wasn't a touchdown.

You can’t advance a muff.

Andy from High Wycombe, UK

Vic, it looked like the running game made good yardage this week. What made the difference?

Different opponent, different day. Humans are naturally unpredictable.

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