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Don't douse the fire; blitz, baby

All postseason wins are impressive


Joel from De Pere, WI

I can't stand your column and never read it, in no small measure because of your grammatical carelessness, pointless digressions, and obvious (but paradoxical) allegiance both to Packers management and the Steelers. I would never entertain for a moment the thought of writing in with a comment or question, and, even if I did, I certainly wouldn't try to raise my game or pander to your sensibilities just to win the "Cenex Question of the Day." What say you?

You have no shot.

Douglas from Binghamton, NY

Vic, James Jones is second in the league with five touchdown receptions. You quoted Thomas Wolfe's "You can't go home again" with respect to Greg Jennings. Got another quote for us?

I thought Oakland was Jones' home. "There is no there there."

Justin from Madison, WI

What's your favorite color?

Blue is my favorite color. I'm a slave for blue, any blue from Michigan dark blue to UCLA baby blue. Green is blue's closest relative, therefore, green is my second-favorite color.

Steve from Schofield, WI

Vic, I have been hearing a lot of people say the Packers' 5-0 record doesn't really count since every team they've played is under .500. With another 2-3 team coming in this Sunday, how would you respond to people who say the wins aren't impressive enough?

A team should feel absolutely no need to impress anyone until the postseason. That's when all wins are impressive. You do whatever it takes to get into the postseason, and then your season is finally and forever defined by what you do in those few games. If you want my opinion of this team as it is now, I'll tell you I'm absolutely sure this is a championship-caliber football team, but that opinion won't mean much if it isn't supported by performance in the postseason. We'll see. I can wait. I love the drum roll.

Lynn from Kingsport, TN

Vic, as I watched the San Diego/Pittsburgh game Monday night, one aspect of Rivers is he seems to be very effective when blitzed. Do you agree? If yes, do you believe Capers will alter his game plan for more seven- and eight-man coverages and fewer blitzes?

Philip Rivers is a veteran quarterback who knows his way around a football field and put on a sensational game-management performance on the Chargers' would-be, game-winning touchdown drive. It was artistic listening to him calling out the adjustments and protections. Be that as it may, the Packers' pass rush is on fire, and I don't think Coach Capers wants to throw water on that fire. Coach Capers has a bag full of blitzes, and he used some this past Sunday I had never previously seen or had seen and forgot them. I expect to see more this Sunday. Welcome to Blitz Bay.

Josh from Fargo, ND

Vic, why did the Steelers run the wildcat on the last play? "It's our got to have it play. We put the ball in the best player's hands. It's players, not plays." – Steelers offensive coordinator.

I've never had a coach tell me otherwise. If one ever did, I would never quote another thing he said.

Amanda from Carrollton, GA

I've been to many Falcons games at the Georgia Dome, and it baffles me every time I go that the fans don't know how to show up on time. At Lambeau, there's not an empty seat at kickoff. Does that say something about the support of the fans?

Gameday is a special event for Packers fans, many of whom come to Green Bay from distant points in the upper Midwest. There are only 10 such dates a year and a lot of the fans that come to Lambeau planned their trip months in advance. They're going to make sure they soak up every second of their adventure. I've learned this from my time here. Gameday begins here on Friday and plays through Monday. The bars and restaurants are packed during that time. My favorite parking spot is not available. It's not that way in other places. It wasn't that way for me as a kid. We went to the game on Sunday morning, and then we came home when the game was over. I'm sure it's that way for the vast majority of Falcons fans. Have you ever experienced Atlanta traffic? Also, you're talking about a market that has a lot of sports entertainment dates, from the Braves to Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Bulldogs are right down the road in Athens. We don't have that kind of centralized saturation here. The Packers are a regional franchise and that's what makes it college-like and special.

Brady from Brookings, SD

Do you think the struggles of the offense to complete passes deep downfield has been due to the defensive fronts they've faced, coverage, lack of Jordy or all of the above? I feel as though that's the one part of the offense that's been missing.

In my opinion, it's 2012 all over again and through the first five games of the season, Jordy Nelson's longest catch was 28 yards. Remember '12 and the weekly cover two issue? In the last two weeks, the 49ers and Rams played a lot of it, and future opponents will do the same until the Packers begin beating teams with the run. The Packers need to get one of those safeties down in the box. Here's the good news: You're the "Cenex Question of the Day" winner. Check your email. We'll be getting in touch with you.

Randy from Portage, WI

On your wisdom from your dad, buy and don't sell, could it be he got that from Proverbs 23, "Buy the truth and do not sell it"? If so, then I think I know why I keep coming back to read you every day.

I doubt that's where he got it, and I doubt he was attaching any life message to it; I'm the one doing that. What does it mean to me? It's simple: When you buy, you invest. When you sell, you cash out or quit. I want to always be invested. "Never celebrate; only win."

Ahmad from Woodbury, MN

Vic, what's worse, watching soccer or pumping gas in sub-zero temperatures? It sure felt like winter is right around the corner this morning.

Let's see, if I watch soccer, I'll get sick to my stomach, but if I pump gas in 50-below-zero wind chill, I could die. I'll risk the wind chill.

Neil from Kaukauna, WI

On Monday I heard someone ask coach what the tape told him. Stats are for losers.

I asked the question and it's a question I've been asking for a long time. Who better to analyze what happened than the head coach, who had just spent most of the day looking at the tape? I thought Mike McCarthy provided an enlightening response.

Jacob from Kewaskum, WI

Vic, do you play fantasy football? What do you think of it? Do you think it adds to the game or detracts from it?

I think it can add to a fan's appreciation of the game, but in many cases fantasy players are turning players into numbers, and that dehumanizes a game that's all about inner struggle. Where does it show in the stats that a player fought through pain to continue playing? If you miss that victory, you missed the essence of the confrontation.

Michael from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Vic, you have your choice to sit in any seat to watch the Packers at Lambeau Field. Where do you sit?

In my press box seat. I love looking down on everything. The vista is fantastic. I can see out over the top of Lambeau Field to the river. I can see distant clouds. I can see happy people. The press box is a peaceful place.

Greg from Conway, AR

Vic, if Nick Perry is going to miss extended time, will this be the big opportunity for Jayrone Elliott?


Steven from North Charleston, SC

Did you have the opportunity to meet Steve Spurrier?

I never interviewed him in person. I did a conference call with him when he was the coach of the Redskins. He was entertaining but not accommodating. The interview reminded me of my days covering college football; it was schmaltzy. Coach Spurrier is a fantastic football coach. He taught the SEC how to throw the football. I think age and frustration got to him. It happens to all of them. Age got to Paterno and Bowden. Recruiting gets tougher when coaches get old. Coach Spurrier will be missed.

Andy from Fort Collins, CO

What about Steinbeck? How would he tell the story of the NFL?

By the evening of Dec. 23, 1972, it was all over. Football was the new national pastime.

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