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Best of Packers-Bears since 1960s?


Shannon from North Little Rock, AR

Do you see "New Age" quarterbacks doing it for 10 years or more? I don't.

I don't either. The more a quarterback gets hit, the more he gets hurt. There are those few quarterbacks, the Michael Vicks and Kordell Stewarts, that have enough running back in them to absorb punishment, but everybody gets old and loses a step and experiences a decline in durability, and when that day comes for a "New Age" quarterback, he better prepared to become an "Old Age" quarterback. I think we began to see that last season with Vick. He rushed for 676 yards last season; he rushed for 1,039 in his final year in Atlanta. He became more of a pocket quarterback last season and I think his rushing numbers will continue to decline and his pocket skills will continue to improve. Eventually, all quarterbacks become "Old Age." The benefit of a quarterback having "New Age" skills is that it buys him time to mature as a passer.

Benjamin from Saint Marys, GA

Fixing the Packers pass-defense will be less about the secondary and more about generating more pressure on the quarterback; Cam Newton had all day long to throw the ball last Sunday and that is not the secondary's fault. Thoughts?

All day to throw? He was sacked four times and he ran 10 times; I don't know how many of those were scrambles, but there were more than a few. I disagee. I thought the pass-coverage was a problem, especially early in the game. I also believe it'll get fixed because the Packers have a lot of talent in the defensive backfield. Let's not forget that Tramon Williams didn't play in that game.

John from Janesville, WI

These fake injuries that are happening in the NFL can cause a real issue in the right setting. In a Week 2 Monday night game with the Rams/Giants, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal; however, what if the Packers and Jets are in the Super Bowl, the Packers are down by five with a minute to go, no timeouts either side, and the ball is on the Jets' 40-yard line and all of a sudden Revis goes down with a fake injury in order to stop Rodgers and the Packers' momentum? On a world stage like that, it would be hard to ignore. The NFL needs to put a stop to this right now before it causes chaos.

Oh, in that case I would be against faking. Hey, everybody, let's take a deep breath on this issue, OK? This isn't something new. I can remember teams doing it years ago when Sam Wyche was running the muddle huddle with the Bengals. They would all just stand there at the line of scrimmage, staring at the defense as the play clock ticked off, almost laughing at the defense. I can remember a team – I wanna say Seattle but I'm not sure about that – going into a mass-fake routine after every play. The crowd booed and Wyche fumed, but what can the league do? How do you look into a guy's head and know whether he's hurt or not? It's part of the intrigue of the game. It's gamesmanship. It will resolve itself.

Noor from Jakarta, Indonesia

Do the Packers receive any compensation for losing Chastin West to the Jaguars? How does signing players from another team's practice squad work?

Practice-squad players are free agents. They are free to sign with any team at any time. When a player is on your practice squad, he is not on your team and you do not own any rights to him. The best way to view practice squads is as one big, leaguewide pool of reserve talent, from which any team at any time may draw, provided that player is signed to the team's active roster.

Benjamin from Saint Marys, GA

When was the last time the Packers and Bears rivalry was this good? They have basically split the series over the last 15-16 meetings.

I don't know that I'm qualified to answer this question, but my instinctive answer would be the 1960s, when the Bears won an NFL title in 1963 and the Packers won five in the decade. That's the last time I think it can be said both teams were elite at the same time.

Nick from Conneaut, OH

Vic, DeAngelo Hall recently said he is gonna go after Tony Romo and his ribs. I know this happens all the time; if someone is hurt you go after it, but I was curious if it was considered acceptable?

I don't like it and I don't think players, coaches or the league view it as acceptable. I think we all know it's a tough game for tough guys but we don't need the tough talk. Does it offend me? No. Does it offend a lot of people that haven't been hardened by years of exposure to the game, people that view the game with a fresh innocence? Sure, it does, and those fans, a lot of them kids, shouldn't have their enjoyment of the game lessened or tainted by this kind of senseless dialogue.

Walt from Toms River, NJ

Correct me if I'm wrong, but last year we platooned the defensive linemen so we always had fresh legs in the game. With Neal out and Jenkins gone, aren't they going to burn out B.J. Raji? He is in on almost 90 percent of the plays.

I think you've raised a valid question, but it's not nearly as critical an issue as it would be if the Packers were a Florida team. You can't play with five defensive linemen in Florida. The heat would just eat them up. The temperature at kickoff for the Packers' first two games has been 68 and 64 degrees. More importantly, it was cloudy for the game in Carolina. At the end of the game, equipment manager Red Batty said to me, "I'll tell you what the difference was today," and then he pointed to the cloudy skies. I don't see a true heat game on the Packers' schedule this season. Be that as it may, I agree with you that playing with five linemen is a little on the thin side.

Grant from Darlington, WI

What do you mean by defensive backs being able to flip their hips? I have never heard that term before.

If a defensive back is running with a receiver down the right sideline so that his left hip is his trail hip, and the receiver makes a quick move to the inside, the defensive back needs to be able to flip his hips so that very quickly his right hip becomes his trail hip.

David from Wichita, KS

How do this year's rash of NFL injuries compare to last season? Any sign the lockout is a factor?

I see a lot of injuries. I see a lot of star players already gone for the season. Lockout? I don't know. I thought a softer practice regimen was going to help players stay healthy.

Joe from Charlotte, NC

In the first two games this year, I noticed that Aaron Rodgers in the shotgun is doing a hard jerk of his leg more than in the past, as part of his hard count. At what point does this become a penalty for trying to draw the defense offside?

It's a judgment call. When the referee views the move as excessive and simulating a play, he'll flag it. Generally, they let the leg move go. It's awfully difficult for road teams to communicate above the noise of a crowd that is doing its best to obstruct communication. The head will get a quarterback flagged before the leg does. The referee has his eyes on the head-bob.

Dan from Bethesda, MD

There are some mammoth football stadiums. Do you think some stadiums have gotten too big for people in the cheapest seats to enjoy the game?

For some reason, bigger is better in football; that's certainly not true in baseball. Baseball parks are about charm; football stadiums are about scope. It's almost as though the bigger the football stadium, the greater its charm. Games at Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State and Tennessee offer powerful visuals, with their 100,000-plus attendances. I don't know where the line in the sand is, as far as stadium size, but I don't think we've crossed it, yet.

Chad from Iowa City, IA

With Collins being out for the season, do you see us trying to acquire someone else, or do you think they have enough depth?

It wouldn't surprise me if the Packers sign a defensive back, but I see a young safety such as M.D. Jennings and I think to myself, "OK, kid, show me what you can do." Why have him on the roster if you're not comfortable with playing him? I see no panic from Ted Thompson. That tells me something.

Kris from Las Vegas, NV

Getting to Jay Cutler is the key to winning against the Bears, right?

Absolutely. You can make that statement about getting to the quarterback in any game, but I think it really fits this week, for the obvious reason. Cutler is going to be under intense scrutiny this week. This is the game that … well, you know what it is. Today is the day I present my "10 things the Packers have to do to beat the Bears" column. I'll give you a preview on one of the 10 things: Take the game to Cutler.

Jim from Edgewater, FL

The offense is allowed to have only five "skill" players on the field, aside from the quarterback. Do you see that changing at any point?

No, I don't. You're talking about changing one of the major tenets of the game. You're talking about creating a new game.

Robert from Harvel, IL

Why couldn't there be a new innovation on the defensive side of the ball in this era? The "46 Defense" and the "Zone Blitz" are famous, but do you think defensive coordinators will create any other innovations on the defensive side of the ball to counter modern-day passing attacks?

We're being exposed to one right now; two defensive linemen. It's unfathomable that the Packers have been able to stop the run with two defensive linemen. Even crazier, they've still allowed 851 yards passing with all of those pass-defenders on the field. This is a game with which nobody would've been familiar 10 years ago.

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