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Everything changes when it's full contact

September is for feeling good; December is for the playoffs


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Richard from Erie, PA

Vic, how do you see Eddie Lacy improving his game from last season?

There's always room for improvement, and for a young running back that room for improvement is usually in blitz pick up. When he can recognize a blitz and slide across the formation to make a block, as John Kuhn did in the game against the Bears, he'll become a more complete player. It's not something fans consider in Pro Bowl voting, but coaches and quarterbacks love it, and it's rewarded with playing time.

Chris from Prosser, WA

Vic, I saw that you answered a question about a "Fire Vic" Facebook page. I was curious if you have a Facebook page or a Twitter that fans can follow?

No, this is it. I write for packers.com, not Facebook or Twitter.

Matt from Bremerton, WA

I think I prefer a respectful rivalry over a spiteful one. I don't want anger to interfere with the things I enjoy.

That's the perspective of a well-adjusted person. Me, not so much. I like to know what I'm covering is the real thing. I don't want to see anyone get hurt, but how can it be a rivalry if everyone is behaved?

Mark from San Marcos, CA

I, too, was disappointed with Americans cheering against Kaymer. He was playing ethereal golf. We don't often get to watch that. How did you like the U.S. Open? Did you feel the natural areas were challenging enough? The pin placement on the greens seemed to be the real challenge.

Martin Kaymer ran away with the tournament, but I enjoyed watching him play and the Erik Compton story was magnificent. What that man had overcome to do what he did this past weekend is amazing. I love the course and its conditions. What I didn't especially like was NBC's pandering to Rickie Fowler. They referred to him almost proprietarily as Rickie. They treated him as though he was a favored son. Martin Kaymer was Kaymer but Rickie Fowler was Rickie.

Paul from College Station, TX

Vic, could you tell us a story of how Chuck Noll shaped the life of a young man?

He shaped it by example. He shaped it by allowing me to cover his team and grow in my craft by absorbing his wisdom. In coaching others, he was coaching me because I was watching and learning. Chuck believed motivation has to come from within, and he sold me on it. When you believe it has to come from within, you become accountable for your preparation and your performance.

Lane from Ocoee, FL

Vic, not to take anything away from Kaymer, because he played great and deserved the U.S. Open, but what happened to the rest of the field? The final round was a snoozefest. Golf misses not only Tiger but a good rivalry that can draw more attention to the sport.

Golf misses Tiger terribly, and Tiger misses Tiger terribly, too. Is Kaymer the new Tiger? If he is, where's the next Tiger on the American golf landscape? I don't see one. The Ryder Cup could get ugly this September.

Kurt from Dubuque, IA

If we lose to the Seahawks again, do they start becoming our primary nemesis?

I don't think the Packers lost to the Seahawks the first time, and I think the Packers know that and I think the Seahawks know that, too. Again, I think the Packers match up well against the champs.

Ryan from Kenosha, WI

Vic, I can see why you can't judge a player's blocking ability in spring, but why can't you judge their catching ability?

Because there's no threat of being hit. Everything changes when it's full contact. That's what I mean when I refer to the human confrontation. You saw the game tape of that hit the safety put on the receiver in last week's game, and you know you're going to get hit like that when you cross the middle on Sunday. So, go ahead, catch the ball without thinking about that safety. Can you?

Johnny from Sheboygan, WI

I realize you hate Peyton because he destroyed your Jaguars year in and year out, but the Broncos aren't missing the playoffs. Get over the Manning hate already.

I think you're taking great offense.

Chris from Sioux Falls, SD

Seriously, what would Earl Weaver have done today in MLB? No getting kicked out of 91 games. No yelling and screaming and kicking dirt on the umpires. No being spotted by an umpire peeking out of the dugout after he had been kicked out of the game and then getting kicked out a second time. How boring! The ridiculous fun and drama are removed. I don't get it.

No Weaver. No Leo Durocher. No Billy Martin, Fred Hutchinson or Lou Piniella. Is baseball sure it doesn't want those guys?

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

How would the dynamic of preseason games change if there are only two? Typically, the third game of the preseason is the one the starters see the most action. It'd be interesting to see how coaches change their strategy.

The starters don't play much or at all in the fourth preseason game, they usually play just a series or a quarter of the first preseason game, so aren't they in effect playing just two preseason games right now? The product is bad and fans are being charged for it. Reduce the preseason by two games and make up the lost money with something more meaningful. Strategy? Play the starters for the first half of the first game and the second half of the second game and let's get on with the season. That's my suggestion.

Dom from Gridley, CA

As we get closer to the season, my confidence in this team goes up, as it seems to be doing for the players themselves. Does a confident team mean a successful one?

Not necessarily. Winning means a successful team. Without winning, confidence is just a way of feeling good about being bad. We concern ourselves too much with intangibles. Just win, baby.

Tyson from Madison, WI

Vic, I apologize in advance for the criticism and blunt candidness. I don't mean any personal offense, but I'm trying to provide honest feedback. I come to the Packers website looking for good content on the Packers, and while the press conferences and locker videos are excellent, the content you generate just seems lackluster. It almost seems like you only answer easy questions and appear to be a journalistic yes man of sorts, focused on presenting content that only makes the Packers front office look good. Thus, my question: Why is your content weaker than all of the other content generated by Wisconsin sports news outlets? I'd expect the official Packers reporter to live, eat and breathe the Packers and have above average access, but instead I've found the best stories and most insightful questions are generated from outside the Packers organization.

Come on, Tyson, tell it like it really is. You absolutely do mean to personally offend me and that's why you sent me this email. You want to embarrass me and offend me and I'll assist you in your pursuit by publishing your comments for all to see. It's OK. I don't take great offense. I have no answer for your question other than I do the best I can. Obviously, that's not good enough for you. I'll get over it.

John from Waterloo, IA

Do you think the first game of the season vs. Seattle will determine how well the Packers will do the rest of the season?

No, I don't. I covered a team that lost its first two games of the season by a combined score of 92-10, and it came a play away from the AFC title game. September is for feeling good; December is for the playoffs.

Tim from Waterloo, Ontario

I was thrilled to read your notions of what football meant to you in high school. It is not often put so succinctly. I had no notion of why I wanted to play in grade nine, and was struck at my first practice by how tough it was and wanted to quit. Ironically, it was my mom who wouldn't let me. I have thanked her ever since.

You betcha. She helped shape your life.

Joe from Rock Island, IL

Do you have anything to say about Marcus Dupree?

I've told this story before but I'll tell it again because it's one of my favorite stories. I sat down at a table in the Jaguars cafeteria; next to me was a scout friend and across the table from him was a formidable looking man whose face looked familiar. "Vic, meet Marcus Dupree," the young scout said. I looked across the table, our eyes met and right away Dupree knew no introduction was necessary. Our smiles gave us each away. "Are you THE Marcus Dupree?" I asked. His eyes twinkled as he gave a subtle nod. Now our smiles were wide and the young scout was puzzled. "Chris," I said, "the man across the table from you nearly put half of college football on probation." Now we were laughing. There are men who are born to be legends. Dupree is one of them. He was Bo Jackson before Bo Jackson was Bo Jackson. Dupree is one of the best that never was and I was star struck to have been in his presence.

John from Olympia, WA

I'm interested in your knowledge of Al Davis' comment that Terry Bradshaw asked Al to trade for him. Al says he then contacted Chuck Noll and convinced him to start Bradshaw if he wanted to win. It sounds like typical Raiders arrogance to me.

Al was divisive. I would've been disappointed in him if he hadn't been. Just win, baby.

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