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Ask Vic

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Brett Favre will be welcomed back with thunderous roar

Posted Aug 4, 2014

Major emphasis demands that you win with the quarterback

Steve from Tomahawk, WI

I noticed Cobb holding for Crosby. I think if Cobb were the holder, it would at the very least cause the defense to have to consider the fake. Might he be the holder this season?

Put it on tape one time and it becomes something for which every team you play must prepare.

Gary from Topeka, KS

If a player is known not to like the media, do you avoid him for a player who will provide a more colorful story, or get what you can out of him because that’s your job?

It’s not a reporter’s job to badger players. A reporter’s job is to gather information to use in his story. He talks to the players that will assist in providing that information. It’s all for the readers and the fans.

Brandon from Falcon Heights, MN

Thanks for the column and keeping football alive for me in these trying summer months. I’m curious about what you think is driving the new pass interference penalties this year. I’m a little biased because I love watching great defensive battles in all team sports, but I don’t get the sense there’s a huge section of the actual or potential NFL fan base that is demanding more points. Am I out of touch or is the rules committee?

It’s real simple. Defense doesn’t win championships (notice the plural) any longer because the NFL won’t allow it. Seattle won one championship with defense and the league quickly stepped in and made it more difficult to play defense. The new culture is all about offense. It’s about yards and points, not big hits and physical battles. What we saw happen last year was, in my opinion, a fluke. I tip my hat to the Seahawks for being able to not only defeat the teams they played, but also for defeating a league that is bent on not allowing teams to win the way the Seahawks did.

Mike from Lansing, IL

At what point do we start assigning an asterisk to offensive records that will be broken or have been broken? These tweaks to the rules every offseason are erasing our history books. I really cannot understand this affinity for more scoring.

1) The fans want offense; they always have. 2) It assists in the attempt to make the game safer to play. Forget about records. They’re meaningless. The record book is increasingly becoming little more than an account of what’s happened in the NFL in the last 10 years. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are blessed to have played in the major emphasis era. It’s officially happened twice during their careers. I don’t know how you compare them to the great quarterbacks of yesteryear, but it’s not according to statistics; I am absolutely sure of that.

Andrew from Sioux Falls, SD

Vic, with Jared Abbrederis’ injury and most likely being placed on IR, I was wondering if there’s a limit to how many players can be on IR.

As it pertains to the regular season, a team may carry up to 90 players on its full roster. No more than 53 may be on the active roster and no more than eight may be on the practice squad. That leaves room for 29 players on injured reserve or other such reserve categories. After that, you have to release or settle with somebody before you can add a guy.

Eric from Lansing, MI

I never miss a day of your column, but just had to read all of last week’s at once because of an Internet-free lakeside vacation. Why were you so happy last week? There was hardly a snarl or a threat all week long. When you get busier, do you get nicer? I hope not, because I love the edgy Vic.

Football’s here. I feel at home again. I feel as though I’m doing what I should be doing. You’re not the first person who’s told me I’m different during the season.

Matthew from Tamuning, Guam

I’d love to hear about your average day and to learn how the editor of packers.com compiles everything. From when you finish your bowl of oatmeal until you go home, can you tell us about your day?

I arrived at 6 a.m. today and immediately began working on “Ask Vic.” I had already done some prep work on it. I expected to finish “Ask Vic” at 9 a.m., at which time I planned to have my bowl of oatmeal. After that, I go to work on the schedule for the week, followed by a production meeting at 10 a.m. At 1:30, I’ll be at the Brett Favre press conference to do the look in type story we do for those kinds of live events. Mike will also be on hand and he’ll do a story. Following the announcement, I’ll edit Mike’s story. At 5:30 today, I’ll be at practice. An hour or so into practice, I’ll do a training camp look in story. After practice, Mike will do a story and I’ll edit it. After that, we’ll do “Top 3 at TC.” During the available time in the gaps in that schedule, I’ll work on tomorrow’s “Ask Vic.” The day should end at about nine o’clock tonight, at which time I’ll go home, brush my teeth and go to bed.

Philip from Oklahoma City, OK

I remember a story you once told about how coaches initially laughed when the first team hired a special teams coordinator, instead of just delegating special teams duties to other position coaches. I read a story on Peter King’s MMQB website about Tampa Bay hiring a nickel cornerbacks position coach, the first team to do so in the NFL, basically stating the nickel CB will probably play more reps than some starters during a game. They have their own separate meetings and meeting room, conduct separate drills during practice away from other CBs, and are taught the philosophy of playing the nickel CB spot. With the evolution of the NFL going to more of a passing game, can you see a time when a nickel CB position coach becomes a permanent fixture on every team’s coaching staff?

It’ll probably happen. I remember when teams began hiring multiple linebackers coaches. One guy would coach the middle and weak side linebackers (the thumpers), and another guy would coach the strong side linebacker (the coverage guy). I can remember Lucious Selmon having just one player to coach. Get ready for a premier pass rusher coach.

Eric from Denver, CO

Vic, I have always loved your take on things; your viewpoints, your regard for the players, the Green Bay Packers and indeed, the NFL as a whole. Most of all, I love your objectivity to it all and your demand for journalistic integrity. However, if you were ever to be subjective about a specific matter, I urge you to do everything in your power to compel fans to greet Brett Favre with the respect, appreciation and utter cheer he no doubt deserves.

That doesn’t require being subjective; it only requires having a conscience. There’s no doubt in my mind that when the time comes, you will see every member of the media that covers the Packers urge fans to welcome Favre back to Lambeau Field with a greeting befitting his position and place in this franchise’s history. There is also no doubt in my mind that when the day arrives and Favre walks back out onto that field, the roar from the stands will be heard all across Wisconsin.

Josh from Boulder, CO

Vic, have you ever seen this type of training camp with no live tackling? It seems a big risk with Seattle looming in Week 1. Who does this affect more, the player tackling or the player being tackled?

Good question; chicken or the egg, huh? They’ll both get some knocks in the preseason. That’s one of the goals of the preseason: Get everybody a chance to knock and get knocked, but only as many times as necessary. You don’t want one more knock than necessary to prepare to begin the regular season.

Marc from Roxbury, WI

Will the NFC North supplant the NFC West as the best division in football this season?

Maybe it will, but I don’t see the NFC West weakening, I see it getting stronger. Arizona and St. Louis are on the way up.

Ryan from Toledo, OH

Vic, I don’t understand how teams that have been consistently bad teams for years just stay bad. With their records, they are always drafting near the top so, over the years, shouldn’t they be getting enough young talent to be more competitive?

Miss on the quarterback; that’s all it takes.

Buck from Green Bay, WI

In regards to Rice’s and Big Ben’s suspensions … it appears Rice will not be convicted either, if he completes a program and stays out of trouble. The suspensions are for getting into trouble, not for their perceived crimes. Roethlisberger was accused multiple times. He was suspended for not staying out of trouble. If Rice gets the charges dropped, does he still deserve to be suspended? I would say yes.

There’s one big difference between the two situations that you’ve failed to mention. It’s the tape of Rice dragging a woman. That’s the issue here. If that tape didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. A lot of fans and media consider that tape to be a conviction of sorts.

Zak from Salt Lake City, UT

Vic, I was just watching a video of the Packers Super Bowl run in the 2010 season. I couldn’t help but notice how good Tramon Williams looked. Do you think he can regain that level of play again this season?

He regained that level of performance in the second half of last season and he’s playing at that level in training camp this year. He’s having a great camp.

Marcus from Pleasant View, UT

Do the Giants and the Bills get a leg up on player evaluation since they get an extra preseason game?

They probably do. The question is does it give them a competitive advantage? I doubt it.

Tim from Jupiter, FL

Is there a straight on kicker anywhere in pro or college football today? If not, will we ever see one again? I miss them.

I don’t know of one. I asked Chester Marcol about straight on kickers when I interviewed Marcol for “Alumni Spotlight.”

David from Evanston, IL

I’m almost embarrassed to admit I grew up as a fan in the Madden generation, but since I started reading your column, my approach to the game has dramatically changed. I am no longer afraid to let players leave, I prioritize development above all else, and I target players in the draft and trade to where they make sense. I’ve never had more fun. Thank you for enlightening me.

If you play along with the league during the whole-year cycle, it’s great fun. Go to the Senior Bowl with me and start the evaluation process. Go to the combine and begin honing in on the draft targets. Shift gears to free agency and pick up a patch, and then back to the draft and the prospects’ pro days. Then comes the draft, followed by OTAs and training camp and a chance to see the fruits of your labor. Now pick your team and get ready for the start of the season, but don’t stop there. Know the rules regarding personnel moves, and follow along with Ted Thompson and the reasons for doing what he does. By season’s end, you’ll have to begin making salary cap decisions for next year. Do you know the cap rules well enough to make those decisions and understand why the Packers will do what they’ll do? The NFL has created an all-year game. For me, the season never ends and it can be that way for every fan.

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