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One-tenth of a second slow is not good enough

Posted Jun 13, 2017

Linebackers either wilt or shine when the pads go on


Jay from Woodstock, GA

Re: Football’s popularity, Vic’s rough-and-tumble  explanation carries some weight, but the reason I don’t follow baseball or basketball as closely is simply their seasons are too long. Who cares if the Brewers lose a game in May, they’ve got 150-plus games to make it up! Baseball doesn’t get exciting until well after the All-Star break, and that’s just in time for NFL training camps. NBA doesn’t start its 82-game marathon until October-November, just when NFL is hitting its stride. Don’t you think the NFL, with only 16 games, keeps our interest because the outcome of nearly every game could influence the team’s playoff chances?

Absolutely. When I first got this job, a co-worker/supervisor of mine had come to the Packers from baseball, which is an industry I’d love to get inside someday, too. I asked him the biggest difference between working in one sport vs. the other, and he said in football it’s like having a Super Bowl every week.

Jay from Land O’Lakes, FL

Guys, I just saw a question published comparing Montgomery and Rip to Hornung and Taylor. Please thank Vic for publishing that gem because I am no longer disappointed when my questions don't get published. In fact, if my questions do get published I better re-examine my thinking.

I’m going to hold you to that. Vic actually went pretty easy on that reader, I thought. He’s getting soft. Maybe that’s how he’s being new.

Art from Brigantine, NJ

What's your take so far? Will the Packers keep three QBs on the opening-day roster?

That’s my expectation at this point.

Mike from McFarland, WI

Vic is really enjoying only one day a week Inbox, isn't he? "I'll declare Brady better than Rodgers and leave Wes and Mike to deal with it for the week." Laughing all the way to the beach.

Did you see that picture of his hand with the five rings on it? There’s really no need to show another Brady highlight. All he needs now is that picture.

Derrick from Randolph, NJ

Hello Insiders, Vic wrote "I think today’s players ill-advisedly view the media as the enemy" and I understand where he is coming from because he's an honest journalist. I understand why current athletes may be skeptical of current media members and it has to do with the current nature of the business. I can't count the number of times I've read articles on different platforms about interviews of players that were so misconstrued from the actual interview all for the sake of clicks. That's why I love the packers.com website and how full locker interviews are posted because then I can hear the words from the player’s own mouth. It makes me as a consumer skeptical of certain sports journalists, so I definitely get it from the players’ point of view. Their life and every sentence/post/interview is watched under a magnifying glass and dissected more thoroughly than a high school biology frog.

Vic also worked in an era when it was devastating to a reporter to be wrong. When’s the last time you were steered wrong by a breaking story or a tweet, and as the media consumer you remembered where it came from and used it in your judgment about which news sources to consult next time? Reputations are not on the line as they used to be, because the industry is as much about entertainment as it is reporting, which goes along with what you were saying as well. I try to avoid giving anyone a bum steer as best I can, and if I can still find a way to be entertaining, all the better.

Collin from Kenosha, WI

Can you find the Ha Ha Clinton-Dix hit on Marty B. for us?

Ask and ye shall receive.

Noel from Edmonton, Canada

Top of the muffin to you, Insiders! When the Pack drafted Damarious Randall he was a safety, correct? We switched him to CB. Now that we drafted King, and Davon House is back, do you guys think we should consider moving him back to safety? Especially since Micah Hyde is gone now? Keep up the great work, boys!

Seinfeld never gets old. I believe Randall will, and should, be given every opportunity to prove he’s an NFL corner, and I believe he’s going to succeed.

Scott from Cary, IL

I was watching "A Football Life" on Troy Aikman. What I found interesting was Troy’s focus to win and the transition of coaching styles. Jimmy Johnson was the bad cop and Troy got to play good cop, but when Barry Switzer came in that changed. Barry wanted to be friends. He wouldn't hold people accountable or expect players to do the little things that were needed to make champions. How is that relationship between MM and AR?

They don’t go into too much detail in that regard, but pieces of the game plan are a collaborative effort with the understanding at all times who’s boss. McCarthy also has said, though, that he’s very reluctant to call plays his quarterback isn’t comfortable with, and I think he’s always let Rodgers be a team leader in his own way. It’s a good balance between two men who are as competitive as it gets.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi guys, I wanted to comment about Vic's statement that long-snapping is a skill. I will not mention player names, but in a recent season a long-snapper got injured, so another one was brought in. I met the new player's sister and I asked how practice was going for him. She said he told her that he thought the first practice went well, but a coach came up to talk to him afterwards and said, "You're putting the ball here (motioning with his hands), but it needs to be here." The difference between where he was snapping it and where it needed to be was one inch.

And if it’s one-tenth of a second slow getting to the holder’s or punter’s hands, it’s not good enough.

Paul from Oshkosh, WI

I went to Penn State. Before games against Notre Dame, they would sell T-shirts that said "Rudy was offsides."

Did the Notre Dame fans tell the Penn State fans, “It’s offside”? Sorry, couldn’t resist, and I don’t even like Notre Dame. When I was a kid, before the Badgers were revived in the Alvarez era, I watched rival Iowa get to the coveted Rose Bowl twice in the ’80s, in part due to Wisconsin upsetting Ohio State both years. Someone had T-shirts printed with both UW-OSU scores, an outline of the Hawkeye state, and an acronym for Iowa: Iowa Owes Wisconsin A lot. It wasn’t perfect, but it got the message across.

Tim from Grand Rapids, WI

What do you guys think of the kid from Grand Valley State University? I think we absolutely robbed everyone! I watched this kid play at a high level as a two-time state champion and for two teams that came a play or two short of winning a Division 2 championship. The kid is very intelligent and had a nose for the ball. What do you think?

Talley has a big jump to make, but it’s been done before. It doesn’t matter how he looks now, though. Linebackers either wilt or shine when the pads go on, and young ones like Talley absolutely must stand out on special teams in the preseason games. That’s the first avenue to more reps in practice.

Jeffrey from De Pere, WI

Morning Insiders, non-football question. U.S. Open, who do you like? Any chance to sneak off to attend a round?

It’s pretty cool for the tournament considered the toughest test in golf to be coming to Wisconsin for the first time ever. Nothing would make a better story than Steve Stricker winning his first career major this week, especially after he just earned his spot in a qualifier last week. I have yet to see tickets magically appear on my desk, but I will continue to close my eyes at random times during the day and open them with hope.

Bruce from New Canaan, CT

C'mon Vic, didn't Michael Bradley's goal Sunday night versus Mexico get you fired up?

Vic didn’t see this question in time. So I’ll answer it in my best Vic voice. Not a chance, Charlie.

Rob from Waukesha, WI

With the arrival of two top tight ends, two wide receiver draft picks and our returning stable of great wide receivers, I'm anticipating a record-setting passing offense. The problem I see is there's only one ball. How does McCarthy distribute that ball? Does he rotate players throughout the game or stick with the guys with a "hot hand"?

You game plan for the matchups you think are best any given week, and you rely on your quarterback to throw it to the open guy. McCarthy and Rodgers are very good at those respective jobs.

Mark from Cape Coral, FL

Multiple choice question. Fans keep asking why Montgomery's number hasn't changed because: A. They read your column once every three months; 2. Repeating this question is a Spoff conspiracy to make Wes quit; 3. If the question is asked often enough Montgomery will actually change his number; or D. The same question is asked by the same person using an alias and laughing every time you post it.

B. Definitely B.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

Thankfully, I have not heard any serious discussion for a while of the league extending the regular season. Can we finally put this crazy notion to bed?

It’s in hibernation until the next time the players’ union asks for something at the negotiating table the owners really aren’t interested in giving them. Then we’ll probably hear about it again.

Adrian from Berwickshire, UK

Hi, Insiders. Remember the barbershop scenes in “Coming to America”? If you were rewriting them so the old men were arguing over four quarterbacks rather than heavyweight fighters, which four players would you choose?

I would just have them argue over the pronunciation of Joe Theismann’s name.

Tim from Collegeville, PA

Every summer we all like to speculate which UDFA makes the Packers’ roster. I know it's very early but if you had to pick a veteran(s) for a surprise cut, who might that be? Last year it was Sitton.

I get this question often, and with all due respect, there is absolutely zero upside for me to answer it. First of all, if I could predict it now, it wouldn’t be a surprise cut. Second, to wildly speculate in that way is disrespectful to an established player and his career, in my view. And third, if I were to stick my neck out there and be wrong, why would that player ever talk to me again?

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Gentlemen, for a little change of pace, who do you like in the College World Series? I’m going for the upset with the deep pitching of Cal-State Fullerton.

I have no idea, but getting to Omaha for that tournament is on my bucket list.

Dominick from Berwyn, IL

Did you read anything into Aaron Rodgers' statement that the Packers are 20 million under the cap "as usual"?

Not really, except his obvious awareness that at least some of that extra cap room is for him this time around.

Joe from Rhinelander, WI

Spoff, who are the top three high school football teams you covered in your Daily Herald days in central Wisconsin?

D.C. Everest was always the best of the big schools, but one year Wausau West was Everest’s equal, and that made for an epic showdown. Amongst the smaller schools, Edgar was consistently a top program, though my stint came between state titles for them. For one given year, the ’97 championship team at Wittenberg-Birnamwood (my wife’s alma mater, coincidentally) might have been the most dominant I ever saw. They had three 1,000-yard rushers and a few two-way big guys who just owned the trenches. I miss fall Friday nights the most from my formative days, in case you couldn’t tell.

Mike from Hugo, MN

Just randomly found out that back in the day my grandmother knew the (Mike) Webster family. My great grandfather owned the post office/grocery/train depot in Harshaw, Wis., where Mike Webster grew up. Wikipedia says he was from Tomahawk, Wis., but they got it wrong.

I believe he was born in Tomahawk and went to high school in Rhinelander. I see that Harshaw is near both towns, and I’ve now learned something new. Thanks.

Jack from Chicago, IL

Can we please ban questions about Spriggs playing guard? On another note, do the Packers still see Mike Daniels as a DE or do you think he'll make the transition to ILB?

Nicely done.


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