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Aaron Rodgers preparing, just in case he's cleared

The worst play call I’ve ever seen won the Super Bowl


Fabrizio from Fossano, Italia

Ciao, Vic. I think it's wrong to bench team's best players just because the record is bad. That's why I like divisional matches to be scheduled late in the season, just to avoid forfeits. What's your take about this?

I think we've got a couple of different things going on here, but I want to address your point on late-season divisional games, especially as they pertain to divisional races in December. It's another reason for not diminishing the importance of division titles. These races are critical to the flavor of December football. I see the day coming when college football goes to a wide-reaching playoff system, and they will become major competition for the NFL in December. The worst possible thing the NFL could do is relinquish some of that December intensity to college football. December is the best month of the NFL season, and that's why I favor expanding the playoffs and pushing the majority of division games to late in the season. December is the celebration of the season. The more teams at the party, the better.

Steven from Independence, MO

Vic, do you ever wish stats would just vanish? I find myself reading that in a given game Lacy only averaged 3.3 yards per carry, and I think he must have had a bad game, but the yards per carry may not do him justice. What if on every play he broke tackles?

Everybody needs to seek whatever joy and entertainment they can find in football. That's why the game is played. If you're a stats person, go for it. I am not a stats person. I study them and use them as indicators that will send me in a specific direction of analysis but, in the final analysis, I trust my eyes and my instincts. That's what gives me a feel for the game and it's that feel for the game that increases my enjoyment. Here's what I know about Eddie Lacy: I wouldn't want to try to tackle him, and that's what I respect the most in a running back. I like a pads-down pounder. Lacy is exactly what I wanted the Packers to draft.

Justin from Tucson, AZ

I don't think people were supposed to find out Rodgers took first-team reps yesterday. They are obviously pushing this scan back as far as possible to allow for as much healing as possible, right?

Of course they are. You can only submit a guy to so many scans. The hope is the scan will clear him medically but, as Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday, that doesn't immediately satisfy the other question, "Will he play in the game?" Medically cleared and playing in the game are separate issues. You can't play in the game without being medically cleared, but you also have to be prepared from a football standpoint to be able to play in the game when you are medically cleared. It sounds to me as though the Packers are trying to take some steps toward Aaron Rodgers being ready to play should he be medically cleared.


Will from West Allis, WI

Vic, I know this is a football forum, but I have to ask how you feel about Major League Baseball passing a rule banning home plate collisions.

It should've been done a long time ago. A promising career was ruined for no reason when Pete Rose crashed into Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star Game. I don't like home plate collisions, bean balls or going out of the base path to high-spike a fielder trying to turn a double play. My thoughts on that kind of stuff are that if you wanna hit somebody, play football. Show me how tough you are on the football field.

Michael from Argyle, TX

What would be the ideal weather conditions for you to watch a game? I am living in the Dallas area and will be at the pep rally. I refuse to go to the game because I have been to Lambeau in the cold and the snow and loved every minute of it.

This past Sunday provided ideal conditions for me. I sat in a warm press box and watched two rugged teams and thousands of courageous fans deal with extreme weather conditions. I'm a weather wimp, but that doesn't mean I lack appreciation for the toughness required to play and watch cold-weather football. It's art.

Jeppe from Esbjerg, Denmark

Are the Redskins giving up on their season and just playing for a better pick in the draft?

Whatever it is they're doing, I don't like it. The paying customer deserves better. A stigma can result from what they're doing. This is dangerous stuff.

Ben from New Orleans, LA

I think we should have more games in the snow. I watched the Eagles-Lions game and didn't see one injury.

There's a message in that: A slower game is a safer game. I think it's a message the league should study. Hey, this is the player-safety era.

Cullen from Sandy, UT

Vic, I agree with most of your ideas about football, or can at least see the reasoning behind your thoughts. I very much disagree with your take on the Eddie Lacy end-of-the-half run. A reader said nobody would be talking about that play if Lacy didn't get hurt. I cringed the moment he got the ball. There is no need to run that play. "When you win, you're right." Those are your words. Tell me, Vic, how did this play help the Packers win?

The coach knew he was about to go into the locker room and deliver a message of aggressiveness. He knew he was about to send that message to everyone, including his coaches. He wanted his team to take a more aggressive posture in every way, including scheme. I think we know that from the "tendency football" remark he made in this week's "Tuesdays with McCarthy" column. So how would that message have resonated after having taken a knee a minute earlier? And if you don't favor taking a knee, then to what player would you have assigned the risk of injury? See the big picture. That's where the great coaches live.

Leonardo from Las Vegas, NV

Vic, in your professional view, is there such a thing as off the record?

There is no such thing as off the record. That doesn't mean a reporter has to use everything he hears, it just means that his subjects need to know the notebook is always open.

Corey from La Jolla, CA

Vic, I went back and read your first article of "Ask Vic" for the Packers because I was curious about what you had to say back then, and it was pretty interesting what you had to say in your first column for the Packers almost three years ago. You pointed out that Cobb would be one of the good receivers in the late first round of the draft. You also said that having a dependable backup quarterback like Matt Flynn is important for a playoff contender like the Packers. You also told a story of when you and some friends were playing a pickup game of football and one of them broke his collarbone. Cobb, Flynn and the collarbone. Who knew so much of what you talked about in your first "Ask Vic" column for the Packers would be so relevant three seasons later? Well, I better get back to studying for finals.

I get these thumps in my head, and then I see things for a second and two. I got one of them last night, and then I saw myself in the press box at Soldier Field, and my friend Mel Tucker was angry at me. I don't know what it means.

Tyler from Pierre, SD

Lacy is a beast. He trails only Lynch, Peterson and McCoy with 48 (broken) tackles. He and Aaron are going to be really special together.

The Packers went into last spring's draft with a few things to fix. One of them was the team's running game. It's fixed.


John Madden

Brian from Fanwood, NJ

John Madden called RG3's benching "baloney." While they have no playoff implications, Madden goes on to say "draft order, that's one small thing, but you still owe it to the people that are playing, that are still in the playoff picture."

You owe it to everybody, and mostly you owe it to yourself. When you play to lose, you're a loser.

Justin from Los Angeles, CA

I agree that it's players, not plays, but there have to have been a few times that you thought a play call was terrible. What's the worst play call you've ever seen?

It was in Super Bowl X. The Steelers faced fourth-and-four at the Cowboys 39-yard line, leading 21-17. Chuck Noll called a middle run, which gained a yard and promptly turned the ball over to Roger Staubach with 1:22 to play. Why not try a pass or punt? Well, Terry Bradshaw had been knocked out of the game and punter Bobby Walden had already fumbled a snap from center and nearly had two punts blocked. Noll decided to just give the ball to the Cowboys and turn the game over to his defense. It is, by far, the worst play call I have ever seen, but you can do that when your defense is the "Steel Curtain." Staubach was intercepted and Noll is in the Hall of Fame. Players, not plays.

Adam from Hillsboro, KS

I like our coach. He has an edge to him. I would hate to have been the guy whose phone went off during his press conference on Wednesday. He is here to work.

He is here to win and he is completely committed to it.

Karen from Madison, WI

You said you enjoy hearing fans' stories. I was raised to be a Packers fan. I think it is in my blood. My grandpa went to the games when they just played on an open field. He would stand on the sideline to watch and they would pass a hat around to help support the team. My husband's family used to own the farm land Lambeau Field is now built on. I am a stockholder and will always be a fan. I want to thank you for helping me to put the Packers in perspective and learning to enjoy the game more. I would have a hard time dealing with a loss but after reading your columns I have learned to handle it better and appreciate the team for whatever they are going through. Thanks so much.

I feel a deep sense of pride.

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