Matt from Fort Collins, CO
Can you please clarify what it is that still makes Clay Matthews an elite player? I loved him in 2009-2012, but I feel like since the first few years of his career it’s been nothing but injuries and double and triple teams.
The threat of sack is what makes Matthews an elite player. He remains one of the most feared pass rushers in football, and the sack is probably the defensive play offenses fear the most. As Shakespeare wrote: “A sack, a sack! My kingdom for a sack!”
In his 12th season with the Packers, QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 4,428 yards (fourth in NFL) and 40 TDs (first) for a 104.2 QB rating (fourth). Photos by Evan Siegle and Matt Becker, packers.com.
Matthew from Greenwood, IN
Vic, how come the picture of Aaron Rodgers at his locker after the Detroit game didn’t make the photos of the year? That picture said it all.
It’s all about the eye of the beholder, right? One of the most famous football photos ever is that of Y.A. Tittle kneeling dazed in the end zone, his head cracked like an egg, but the photo wasn’t eligible to be considered for the Pulitzer Prize because it wasn’t published in the photographer’s newspaper. The editor selected an action picture. When is art also news? That’s the issue.
Eric from Mequon, WI
Why did we lose the World League/NFL Europe? Do you ever see it coming back? Seems it was a great developmental league that had value beyond summer football.
It served its purpose. It introduced American pro football to Europe and identified the potential hotbeds. The liability risk associated with football makes it a difficult business to justify.
Mike from Pekin, IL
Just curious, what’s your take on Joe Mixon being drafted? With the league trying to protect an image and Ray Rice being suspended for virtually the same offense, it appears the league has a double standard. It’s OK as long as it happens before you’re in the league.
Rice isn’t 6-1, 227; he doesn’t have Mixon’s measurables or star potential. Talent has earned a lot of men second chances.
Cheryl from Marathon, WI
Is it possible the Packers ever end up on NFL “Hard Knocks?” I think with such a wide fan base and continued success, the ratings would be through the roof.
They would, but the Packers don’t need the exposure or the potential for controversy and distraction that accompany the show. “Hard Knocks” subjects have traditionally been teams seeking exposure. The Bucs are a good subject.
T.J. from Tampa, FL
What are your three favorite uniform sets in the league?
Packers’ green-jersey uniform, Steelers’ black and the Rams’ white jersey and yellow pants with the old royal blue color. I’m also fond of the Giants’ blue-jersey and Jets’ all-white look.
Tim from Normal, IL
Vic, let’s say I played college football and a year or two in the NFL, but now it’s over and time to find a job. How will my experiences in football help me in the job market?
Football opens doors. America has a special place in its heart for this game and the men who play it.
Mike from McFarland, WI
Vic, what do you remember of Watergate?
I remember Nixon firing Archibald Cox and thinking, “Uh-oh,” but mostly I remember the sound of the bells on the AP machine the night Nixon resigned. In the old newspaper news rooms, the AP wire machine included bells that alerted editors to important breaking news stories. The more important the story, the more bells that rang. The moment Nixon said he was resigning, the bells began ringing. They rang longer than for any news story I can remember coming over the wire during my time in the bells era of the newspaper business.
Pierre from Ames, IA
I am excited about our cornerbacks and the impact they will have against offenses. In your opinion, how can Josh Jones be used to make the biggest impact?
His abilities to both support against the run and defend against the pass will allow Dom Capers new ways to disguise run fits and coverages.
Rob from Chadron, NE
Who has a leg up on playing time, Elliott or Fackrell?
The Packers need both. I get the strong sense the team believes Jayrone Elliott and Kyler Fackrell can fill the void.
John from Austin, TX
Wrestling is an obvious choice for another sport that is a good fit for football linemen. Seems coach Trgovac likes wrestlers. Recalling Curley Culp and Jim Nance as champion college wrestlers. Any others?
Carlton Haselrig is a six-time NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion. He didn’t play college football but three years after he was drafted, he was in the Pro Bowl. He’s the most naturally powerful run-blocker I’ve ever covered. If I was a scout, I’d look hard at the heavyweight wrestling ranks.
Phil from Los Angeles, CA
The best sports movie quote of all time is: “This guy’s the out you’ve been waiting your whole life for.”
“They come and they go, Hobbs. They come and they go.”
Jerry from Wilmington, NC
Vic, do you have any stories about the “Nigerian Nightmare?”
Heading into his draft, I hadn’t heard Christian Okoye’s name until Chuck Noll mentioned him in a pre-draft press conference. I remember Chuck’s eyes lighting up when he talked about him. That told me all I needed to know. He was a power back.
Jerry from Wausau, WI
Vic, are you planning to go to the Carolina game this season and, if you do, is there a seat for you in the press box or do you sit with the mere mortals in the regular seats?
I have no plans to attend the game in Charlotte. It’s a long drive from where I live, and I like the comforts of home and my flip-flops. If I were to attend the game, however, I would request a press credential. I’m just not a stand-and-howl kind of guy. I like to watch.
Jack from Rhinelander, WI
I absolutely love the DB group this year! Size, speed, swagger and competition! These guys all have talent and they will bring out the best in each other!
You got a lot of exclamation points going on there, coach. I’ll tell you something else about that group of defensive backs: There are a lot of high picks in there. It’s time to reap the rewards of the Packers’ investment.
Dean from Leavenworth, IN
Vic, I’m really excited about this Packers draft. When I look at the tape and the measurables of this group, it’s hard to contain my excitement. From 1-10, they look to have high ceilings and great futures. Did you see this draft as being as strong as others have written?
I right away went to Tony Pauline for guidance; I take my lead from him. Tony loves the Packers’ draft. He wrote: “The Packers draft was terrific. They filled needs with value picks in the second round, drafting Kevin King and Josh Jones. Third-round choice Montravius Adams comes with home-run potential, and they selected a bunch of underrated players on the final day. Grade: A ”
Mike from Saint George, UT
Hi, Vic! I started reading your column when you joined the Packers organization but rarely submitted questions. I just wanted to write to let you know you have had a profound effect on how I watch football and the lessons you taught me have significantly improved my appreciation of the personal battles involved in all aspects of football and my overall enjoyment of the game. I am eternally grateful to you for that. It would be a great honor if you would answer a question for me: How are you?
I’m well; thank you for asking. I am in the reflection stage of life and I’m enjoying it immensely. A former colleague called me a few days ago. He’s with the Bucs now. It warmed my heart to hear from him. These are the events that are most meaningful to me now. I believe Bob McGinn will come to share that opinion. I congratulate Bob on his retirement and his great career as an ink-stained wretch.
After converting from WR midseason, RB Ty Montgomery led the Packers in rushing, taking 77 carries for 457 yards (5.9 avg) and three TDs. He added 44 catches for 348 yards. Photos by Evan Siegle and Matt Becker, packers.com.
Andy from Stevens Point, WI
Why are so many people worried where Ty is going to play? All that matters is he is going to be on the field a lot. Whether he is lined up as a receiver or taking hand-offs, that will be dictated by what Rodgers reads pre-snap. You put your best players on the field to make plays.
Ty Montgomery is the lead in Mike McCarthy’s pencil. There’s no need to worry.
Brad from Greenwich, CT
Not a question but a comment. You have the distinction of being the biggest homer media person associated with this team on any forum. Given your employer, I guess it’s part of the job description. We all need to make a living but your credibility is low. Packers are primarily a well-run organization but far from perfect and have made a lot of mistakes. Do yourself and all of us a favor and try to be objective.
Aaron from Fort Wayne, IN
Insiders, I recently read a re-draft of 2013 and, in no surprise, Bakhtiari went No. 4 overall. Because of this I went out and read nfl.com’s original analysis of him and it seemed he fell all the way to the fourth round due to his size/arm-length issues. The weakness portion even went on to say a move to guard was most likely for him. This really shows how much of a crystal ball business the draft really is. He goes from a suspect tackle, projected as a guard, to one of the top young left tackles in the league. That being said, I can’t help but hope Ted Thompson found another gem like Bakhtiari in any of the rounds this year.
Dan Marino had small hands. He probably still does.