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Expect Bears defense to be improved

Congratulations to the U.S. women's soccer team


Mike from Webster, NY

Vic, in my years of watching the Packers, I have never seen them so geared up and ready for a deep run. All of their soft spots are filled and even the defense looks ready. What would you say our chances of a letdown year are?

What gives you any reason to believe there'll be a letdown? Don't let your optimism scare you into fear of disappointment. That's the danger of expectations. It's better to have none than to live in fear of them. There won't be a letdown. This team is ready to go. The season will be decided as nearly all seasons are decided: By injuries or the lack of them, and by a few key plays at crunch time in the big games.

Chad from Germantown Hills, IL

Vic, if tax didn't count toward the salary cap, then teams could offer a player more so the amount of real money they get is the same.

You're still confusing real money with Monopoly money. There's an endless supply of one and a limited supply of the other. Why would any team want to pay more real money?

Jordan from Ames, IA

Vic, how do you feel that there are a multitude of people that have envy toward you, simply because you have a terrific job?

Come and get it.

Rick from Appleton, WI

Vic, electric shaver or blade?

I alternate use of both. Anybody who takes Plavix understands.

Scott from Crystal Lake, IL

"I don't make an outline. It just comes out." Spoken like a true writer, Vic. Who is your favorite author when you are reading things non-football related?

It's Steinbeck. I wish he could've lived and written forever.

Scott from Davenport, IA

Vic, you've made several comments expressing concern about Matthews' taking more shots while lined up at inside linebacker. It seemed when he was playing on the line he was double-teamed just about every play. Could you explain why you are more concerned about the blocking he faces when lined up on the inside?

On the outside, he has space to one side of him and he can use it to defeat blocks. On the inside, the blockers are coming at him from all directions and you can't avoid them, only defeat them.

Caleb from Eau Claire, WI

Vic, what changes can we expect to see in a John Fox-coached Bears team, and how long do you think it will take for him to place his stamp on the roster?

Coach Fox is a defensive coach. I expect defense to become the Bears' calling card.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

I'm wondering if there could be an "Ask Vic" notification option through the Packers app that would alert you when "Ask Vic" has been posted each day.

What's an app?

Dustin from Portland, OR

Vic, what was your most memorable non-football event in a football stadium?

College graduation. I'll never forget what our valedictorian said: "We are the last class to have witnessed what happened on this campus three years ago. Never forget."

Braeden from Mitchell, MB

In the history of the NFL, which team has had the best jersey improvement?

The Eagles wore a ghastly jersey in the '70s. It had more stripes on it than the jacket I wore to the prom. Anything would've been an improvement. In the '60s, the Steelers wore a hideous jersey with gold on the shoulders that formed a triangle. It was so bad the team's owner poked fun at it.

David from Ringgold, GA

You sure do get a lot of unnecessary criticism. I thoroughly enjoy your column each day and love your dry sense of humor. Hopefully, my wife and I will get to meet you when we attend a home game soon.

You'll be greatly disappointed.

Matt from Marinette, WI

Vic, I am kind of surprised you like warm-weather Super Bowls because of your old-school attitude. I would like to see a Super Bowl game in the snow. Do you like warm-weather Super Bowls more because of increased performance, or is it just your loathing of the cold?

It's my loathing of the cold. I'm not here for the weather; I'm here for the football.

Adam from Wausau, WI

Was your father a fan of football?

Yes, he was, but only if the Steelers were winning after three quarters. If they were losing, I knew what was coming: "Come on, let's beat the traffic." I rarely saw a game end. He didn't like it that I watched so much football on TV. He'd walk into the living room, see me watching football, and then point to the TV and say, "Is that making you any money?" I'd say no, dad, and then he'd say, "I was just wondering, because you sure watch a lot of it." One of the last times I visited him before he died, he was watching football on TV. I said to him, "Is that making you any money?" He just smiled.

John from Conway, AR

Good morning, Vic. How are you? Were you in Jacksonville for the Chris Hanson "keep chopping wood" injury?

I sure was. I was in my office, which was in the hallway that leads to the locker rooms. All of a sudden, the Jaguars' trainer, Mike Ryan, came running up the hallway. He stopped at my door and breathlessly asked me if I had seen Coach Del Rio. I knew right away something bad had happened. When I went into the locker room for media session, the tree stump and ax were gone and a towel lay on the floor near splintered pieces of wood. It didn't take long to figure out what had happened.

Eddie from Jollyville, TX

How did you celebrate the U.S. women's soccer team victory?

I turned the TV on? Hey, I'm just kidding. Congratulations to the U.S. women's soccer team and its fans on a great victory. I'm thinking about putting one of those soccer ball stickers on the back window of my car.

Mike from South Bend, IN

Do you see Richard Rodgers as a long-term solution to the Packers questionable tight end situation?

Yes, I do, but that's not new. I believed he was the future at the position prior to this weekend's events, and I've expressed that many times.

Steve from San Diego, CA

Like a great chip shot played with a straight-faced club, what has happened to the downfield lateral?

It's the gloves; the ball sticks to them.

Eric from Madison, WI

Vic, what was the immediate effect of the "Stunt 4-3" Joe Greene introduced to the Steelers?

It made a dominant player even more dominant. Plays, not players, right? So then what happened to the "Stunt 4-3" when Joe got old and couldn't get off blocks anymore? The Steelers switched to the 3-4. Players, not plays.

Kenton from Rochester, MN

Vic, I had always thought the field at Lambeau was all natural turf, so I was surprised when reading "Murphy Takes Five" that Lambeau Field is some unique combination of artificial and natural turf called Grassmaster XL. I couldn't find anything on the Internet about this type of turf and was wondering if you could enlighten us. How long have the Packers been using this and what are its particular advantages over natural and pure artificial turf?

They've been using it since I've been here, and the advantage of mixing natural turf with artificial turf is it makes the surface more durable. We live in a place with a very short growing season. The turf needs help.

Vern from Sherwood, OR

Vic, please tell me the joy you feel as you walk through the doors of Lambeau Field daily. Man, I would love to walk through those doors just once in my lifetime. I'd probably cry the first few minutes.

I love the fans. I love their innocence. You're the reason this works. Without the fans, there is none of this. Packers fans are special.

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