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Now is the time to turn potential into production

Posted Sep 9, 2017

The Packers infused speed and size into their defense this offseason

Noah from Wausau, WI

So you mean we actually have to play the season? We don't just pick a team and watch them go 19-0?

Things are said and words are written, but the only thing that matters is what happens between the white paint for those three hours on game day. Good morning.

Marty from Grafton, WI

Finally, this Mummers farce is over. On the morrow we can all say the baloney stops now! (except we won’t say baloney)

Thank you, Marty. You just made my Saturday.

Ron from Waukesha, WI

It was nice to see the almighty Patriots lose Thursday night. But they still should do fine as they still play six games against Larry, Curly and Moe in their division. I thought speed was the deciding factor in Kansas City's win. Do you think the Packers got fast enough this offseason?

Speed was the difference in Kansas City’s win. You can tell that was the driving force behind the way John Dorsey built that team with the likes of Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and those inside linebackers. I think the speed and size the Packers infused into their roster this offseason will show on the field. After months of scheming and strategizing, now is the time to turn potential into production.

Tristan from Durham, NC

What I took out of last night’s game is that the Patriots were using “Green Bay” as a signal to switch to the hard count.

I watched most of the game and never noticed. If that’s true, that’s a great catch and very interesting. Bill Belichick has been effusive in his praise of Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers over the years, and Rodgers is a master of the hard count. It makes sense.

Rich from Manitou Springs, CO

What advantage, if any, does Wilson have over Rodgers with all the extra playing time he had in the preseason? We know that the first two regular-season games are an extension of the preseason. With Rodgers not taking too many snaps, I would have to give an advantage to Wilson in that regards.

I don’t see it that way. Yes, Rodgers’ preseason workload has steadily declined over the years, but the two quarterbacks are at different points in their careers. Rodgers took hundreds of snaps with the starting offense in training camp. That’s what matters most.

Bill from Fort Worth, TX

I believe the Inbox and Vic have brought me a greater degree of maturity as a fan. I feel healthy in hoping Eddie Lacy gets a big round of applause when introduced. After that, I'd love to see a very rough day for him on the field.

You can tell a measure of a man by what his peers say about him. Lacy is still beloved in the Packers’ locker room. For whatever the outside perception is, don’t forget how many times he carried the team on his back, particularly when Rodgers was out in 2013. Those players haven’t forgotten that.

Alan from Milford, CT

Seeing Matt Patricia's defensive scheme Week 1, I have my doubts about NE making LII. The soap opera talking heads seem to think otherwise. What separates the Pack from the Pats?

I’m careful to judge a team based on one performance. I’ll remind you everyone was writing off the Patriots a few years after they got off to a slow start. They’ll be fine. Nobody wins the Super Bowl in Week 1.

Chip from El Dorado, KS

I have concerns about our offensive line, both its experience as well as its depth. How do you feel about it?

I see no reason to be concerned with its experience. The Packers have All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, arguably the league’s best right tackle in Bryan Bulaga, a six-time Pro Bowl guard in Jahri Evans, and two established starters in Corey Linsley and Lane Taylor rounding out the line.

Al from Wollongong, Australia

Do Ty's teammates think the whole jersey number fiasco is as novel as the fans do? What's the chat in the locker room?

I bet it hasn’t come up once in the locker room since the start of training camp.

Craig from Buffalo, NY

I was embarrassed for the Patriots to see how empty the stadium was in the second half of the fourth quarter. Your team is the defending Super Bowl champions, you have Tom Brady under center and you're going to walk out because you're losing?

Well, Friday was a work day.

Ryan from Santee, CA

Who are your X factors on both sides of the ball? Mine is Jake Ryan for his run defense, and I have to say Bennett for the unknown in our offense. Just a thought.

Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews.

Mike from McFarland, WI

Do you think Rodgers will tell his teammates, "For the love of God, whoever catches No. 300, DON'T THROW IT IN THE STANDS!"

Ha. I don’t think that’ll be an issue. What an accomplishment, though. It’s mind-boggling he’s going to cross 300 touchdowns and still be more than 25 picks way from 100 interceptions. That’s insane.

Bret from Mililani, HI

This Sunday, pick-six Clinton-Dix.

A touchdown is the only thing missing from his resume, statistically. I have a feeling it’s going to happen at some point this year.

Jim from Northfield, MN

Chris Odom is a rookie who has automatically earned a spot on the 53. Will he be of any use to us other than maybe special teams, considering rather standard practice with our rookies?

While Odom is a rookie, his experience as a hybrid elephant rusher should help him in the transition to Dom Capers’ defense. He has an intriguing build for special teams (6-4, 262), but the Packers like his potential as a pass rusher. He wouldn’t be in Green Bay if they didn’t. Plus, he has three good veterans to learn from.

Darren from Kingston, Canada

Who was released when Quinton Dial was signed?

The Packers waived Christian Ringo. He was claimed on waivers by Cincinnati. Ringo is a great dude. I wish him nothing but the best in chasing his NFL dream.

Ross from Newmarket, Ontario

I know you guys won't address the idea of players informing on their previous teams. I still hate seeing a Packers cut end up with a team they will soon be playing, though. Mostly because I imagine that player (such as Ringo with the Bengals) will have something extra to prove in that game.

Don’t presume to tell me what I will or won’t do. I’ll surprise you. I just think it’s overblown. It’s the NFL. There are thousands of people whose jobs solely revolve around the business of football. Those players may have an idea about what their former team is thinking, but they’re not on the practice field or in the game-planning meetings.

Sam from Milwaukee, WI

Since we're entertaining ridiculous ideas such as trading Rodgers for draft picks, here's one. With all the focus on bye weeks, how crazy would it be to have a full NFC bye week and a full AFC bye week in the middle of the season? This would potentially offset terrible bye weeks such as the Miami-Tampa fiasco this year. I know this is an absurd idea; give me some inside thoughts on it.

It’s not absurd, but TV contracts throw a wrench into your suggestion. FOX and CBS split the league. Going one full week without football during the regular season probably wouldn’t fly.

Collin from Blair, NE

You've said before that the press box is muted in celebrations because everyone up there has a job to do and knows the rest do as well. What does your game-time role look like? How does is change as the game progresses (pregame, first quarter, second quarter, etc.)? Finally, how long after a game do you get to "clock out”?

I tweet, take notes and occasionally host the halftime show. Spoff has the more important job. He handles our quarterly story updates and the halftime chat. I’m usually writing for a good 2½ hours after the game ends before calling it a night.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

Wow, that 2017 season trailer was good. I might watch that before every game this year.

So good. Michael Atkinson, Mike Vandersnick, Tyler Gajewski, Adam Hoebelheinrich and Nicole DeGrandpre do amazing work. It reminded me of the UFC 214 trailer featuring Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. It’s the kind of video you just want to watch over and over again.

Chris from Jackson, WI

I own an Eddie Lacy jersey as well, but I won't be wearing mine anymore either, not because I'm bitter, but because it doesn't make sense to wear the jersey of a player who now plays for another team. Retired legends or players who have had a lasting impact on the organization are still worth wearing. Lacy doesn't fit that description.

I still wear a Russell Branyan jersey to Brewers games, though I suppose he fits into the “legend” category you outlined. I have no issue with Packers fans wearing Lacy jerseys. Just probably not this particular Sunday.

Anthony from Milwaukee, WI

We hear every offseason about cuts, trades, and draft picks being “business decisions.” We see former stars end up on other teams, and it's hard not to still root for them. Is there any risk of fans catching on that this is a business and not a game, and thus stop being loyal to a team? I imagine fan loyalty would be a big concern to the owners as loyal fans spend more money on NFL products than casual observers.

There may be a few outliers, but I think most true fans stay loyal to their team. It is a business, but it’s still the ultimate team game. As playmakers emerge, fans develop new favorites like Aaron Ripkowski succeeding John Kuhn.

Eric from Tenvik, Norway

A lot of people question why Ty Montgomery can still wear No. 88, a WR number. Julio Jones wears No. 11. What's the explanation for that? Can you explain the position numbers?

Receivers are allowed to wear jersey numbers between 10 and 19.

Brian from Yakima, WA

All offseason talking heads predicted 16-0 for the Patriots and how they were favored in all games this season. It reminds me of Vic saying, "They still need to play the games.” Now of course they are 0-1, and I'm knocked out of my survivor league on opening night. Wish I would have gone with Pittsburgh. Do you think with the parity in the league that any result should truly surprise us?

The Press-Gazette made me make NFL picks my first two seasons on the beat. I was terrible at it. The parity created by dividing the best football players in the world over 32 teams is responsible for the “Any given Sunday” mantra. It’s unpredictable by nature.

Alan from Albuquerque, NM

Is the Packers’ cap still healthy?

Yes.

Freddie from West Valley City, UT

Do you remember when Ralphie pummeled Scott Farkus? 

How could I forget? The original Tyson-Douglas fight.

Mike from Somerset, WI

The promptness of the Insider Inbox is very much Vic-like. Can we continue to expect a consistent 9 a.m. Insider Inbox for 2017?

The credit belongs to our digital production intern Kim Ippolito getting it online early. She’s the real MVP.

Sam from Preston, Lancashire, UK

I'm a relative rookie fan from the UK. The community spirit, history and togetherness made Green Bay choose me, not I choosing the Packers. Are those principles unique to the club and its fans? If so, I can't wait to be a part of it.

I don’t know if it’s a principle, but you should probably read up on Jeff Janis.

Chris from Vienna, VA

Spoff, you and Iron Mountain Jake have weird families. Nobody in my family would take a flight that would cause them to miss all or part of a Packer game. Moreover, anyone who knows me well enough to ask me to pick them up at an airport knows that if the Pack is playing, I won't fetch them until after the game ends.

This was an easy problem to solve for me. My dad is one of the few people in my close circle of family and friends who flies. Not my mom. Not my wife (anymore). One of my best friends won’t go near an airplane. Regardless, my dad knows not to bother me on game day.

Neil from South Rangel, WI

Fellas, I love Vic. I miss Vic. But you guys are doing great. It seems to me that a lot questions or comments are really requests for some "Vicisms." Are you excited for this season if for no other reason to get out of the Man's shadow, or will his spirit always be a part of this forum? You guys have really started owning this. Go Pack Go!

It’s in the bricks. McCarthy likes to use that quote from equipment manager Red Batty when talking about the culture and history of the Packers and Lambeau Field. I feel the same applies to Vic and this column.

Dan from Houston, TX

Are you ready?

And now it begins. See ya Sunday.

 


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