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Captains picks announce arrival of playoffs

Loss in Buffalo should result in greater resolve


Mike from Rockford, MI

How does your office at Lambeau compare to your offices in Jacksonville and Pittsburgh? How special is it getting to work at Lambeau Field?

Rank the offices? Well, of course, my office at Lambeau Field is the best. I didn't have an office at Three Rivers Stadium because I worked for a newspaper back then, so I just worked in the media room. My office in Jacksonville was in the locker rooms hallway just outside the tunnel to the field. On those wonderfully humid days in Jacksonville, my office would fill with the scent of field turf. It always reminded me that I work for a football team. At Lambeau Field, my office is on the third floor, but there's a nearby door through which I can quickly access the Lambeau seating area. It's where we shoot a lot of our stand-up videos. On nice days, I like to take a coffee out there, sit and relax.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Playoff captains? Is that presumptive, chortling or purely motivational?

It's a way of announcing the playoffs have arrived.

Timmy from Chicago, IL

Can't you make the argument that Rodgers is a new-age quarterback ahead of his time? Of course, he is a passer first, but he can run as well as anyone.

No, there's a big difference between Aaron Rodgers and a new-age quarterback. Rodgers runs to buy time and avoid a sack. New-age quarterbacks run by design.

Steven from Edmonds, WA

I saw Drew Brees speak of handling success. Could the loss to Buffalo be somewhat attributed to the team believing their press clippings prior to the game?

No, you're looking for an excuse. It hurts to know you've been outplayed, but that's exactly what happened and accepting that fact should result in greater resolve to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Les from Las Vegas, NV

So the Buccaneers have nothing to lose; that can be dangerous. What should we look for from them?

Look for a team of young players trying to put their best efforts on tape so their coach might evaluate them in the offseason and include them in the team's future. Job insecurity is a great motivator.

Ross from Ankeny, IA

Vic, I recently read Coach McCarthy had the players vote for the playoff captains. Last time I checked, the playoffs haven't even started. Reminds me of the night before Super Bowl XLV, when coach had the players fitted for their championship rings. That's a bold message. I love it.

Coach McCarthy is very creative with these little diversionary tactics. It's not just about motivation, it's also about clearing the air and focusing a team on the task at hand. This team needed to move away from that loss in Buffalo as quickly as possible.

Cody from Rice Lake, WI

What happened to R-E-L-A-X? All of a sudden, we are stressing out about where and who we have to play in the playoffs. I would take Rodgers and the Packers over any team anywhere.

I think we've moved out of the R-E-L-A-X stage of the season. It served the Packers well, but now it's time to move into the P-L-A-Y-O-F-F-S time of the season.

Rich from Pompano Beach, FL

I have no idea why everyone thinks Arizona can't beat Seattle on Sunday. I have no idea why people assume Seattle will be the No. 1 seed. You know what happens when you assume, yes?

Yeah, but count me among those that thinks Arizona won't beat Seattle.

Randy from Billings, MT

Vic, I really like this team and think they have quality players, but when are they going to quit saying everything is in front of us? Please, they are all beginning to sound like an echo.

That's the coach's message. Again, it's his way of focusing his team on what's in front of them, not behind them.

Richard from Farmington Hills, MI

I agree Buffalo has a fine defense and I've read all the comments about how we lost the one-on-ones, should have run more, etc., but even with all of that, we probably win the game if we don't drop the ball, literally. After averaging one drop a game all season, the team dropped seven or eight. Can anyone remember the last time Jordy dropped a home run ball?

You're making an excuse for losing. The Bills dropped passes, too. They had a huge drop in the middle of the field on a critical third down. The receiver was going to run with that ball had he caught it. If you're going to use drops as an excuse for one team, you have to use drops as an excuse for the other team, too.

Scott from Martinez, GA

So, if it hadn't happened already, it most certainly just did on Wednesday. Coach McCarthy handed the team over to the players.

In a way, he did. He increased their accountability. He gave them ownership.

Randy from Des Moines, IA

Are the Bills just a Russell Wilson away from being as good as Seattle?


Andy from Maqokita, IA

Vic, I was looking at the finalists for the Hall of Fame, and I noticed kicker Morten Andersen made the list. Now, I don't want to know if you think he should make the list, as I already know your thoughts on specialists making it to the Hall, but do you think he will get voted in as the best kicker?

No, I don't, however, he's in my Hall of Fame for having provided me with one of the great moments and great runs in my sports writing career. Andersen missed a chip-shot field goal attempt in the final seconds of a Falcons-Jaguars game on the final day of the 1996 season. The miss sent the second-year Jaguars to the playoffs, where they scored the greatest upset in playoff history, in Denver, and nearly went to the Super Bowl. The play will forever be known in Jaguars lore as "Morten's Miss."

Paul from De Pere, WI

Vic, what have you learned about the Packers this week?

I didn't need to learn it, so I guess you could say I re-learned it: Nobody is above losing.

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