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Here's a little play-calling test you can take

When will it be time to “look out”?


Charles from Pensacola, FL

Why are the Packers so predictable in their play calling?

I've got a fun exercise for you and any fans that would like to give it a try. As you watch the game this Sunday, give yourself a little play-calling test. Before the ball is snapped, mark down on a piece of paper whether you think it's going to be a run or a pass. Put that answer in one column, and then next to that column, mark down whether you believe it'll be a middle run, right run or left run, or short pass (10 yards), intermediate pass (10-20 yards) or deep pass (more than 20 yards) – that's in-the-air distance, not including yards after the catch. Do it for a quarter, half or as long as you'd like. Let me know how you grade out.

Dennis from Plymouth, MN

Vic, I think it's fitting for the Packers in their home opener to have a 100-yard rusher.

That would definitely strike up the band.

Rich from Twin Lake, MI

Vic, why don't the Packers let Eddie Lacey run the pitch out like a lot of college teams do? When they ran it once, he went down to the 5-yard line. He is big and fast and it allows him to break tackles.

I love that play. Line him up deep, pitch it to the right, let him face up on the blocking, see daylight and then charge at it like a runaway train. That's beautiful football, unless you're a cornerback and you have to hold your ground against that train. That play is my idea of downhill running.

Peter from Mobara, Chiba

With over 40 seconds remaining in the first and third quarters, the 49ers committed two pre-snap penalties, one a false start, the other a delay of game. The clock then continued to run, resulting in no plays being run and over 40 seconds of football time gone. I don't get this. Couldn't a team run out a clock with penalties at the end of the game? Can you clarify this?

First of all, I'm not Mike Pereira. I don't watch every play to judge the officiating, so my attempt to answer your question is based on what I suspect happened. The play-by-play says both penalties were false starts. The one at the end of the first quarter occurred with 19 seconds left on the game clock; the one at the end of the third quarter occurred with 12 seconds left on the game clock. After the penalties were assessed, the game clock was restarted and the quarters were allowed to expire. I suspect that was allowed to happen because there was more time left on the play clock than what was left on the game clock. That's my guess. I can tell you the rules change for the final two minutes of the first half and for the last five minutes of the second half. In those cases, the game clock does not start until the snap, and the play clock remains at 10 seconds. Inside the final minute of each half, a team may not commit a penalty to conserve time, and a false start would be considered an attempt to conserve time, so a 10-second run-off would be imposed.


LB Clay Matthews

Nathanael from Nekoosa, WI

Do you think Matthews should be suspended for his hit on Kaepernick?

Are you serious? Is someone in the sane world actually advancing that notion?

Luis from San Angelo, TX

I just saw Clay Matthews' new commercial on TV, and the commercial immediately after had Jim Harbaugh in it. I hope this turns into a really good rivalry.

Nothing sells like controversy. I'm lovin' this stuff. It's good for "Ask Vic," and what's good for "Ask Vic" is good for Vic. Nick from Manitowoc, WI

Why do many people think one late hit makes someone a dirty player?

Because they're soft and they want football to be played that way, but it can't be played that way. It can't be played with caution. It's got to be played all out all of the time, and that's where the line between clean and dirty can get blurred.

Ken from Honolulu, HI

I have been watching the NFL since 1963. I love your stories about the old-time players, but John Henry Johnson and the triangular marker, isn't that like the story of Jim Thorpe catching his own punt?

Coach, I saw it happen. I did a search for it and I found this from a newspaper story on Johnson being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: "Another Ram linebacker, Bill Jobko, took exception to the hit and rushed Johnson, who picked up the sideline marker and hit Jobko on the side of the head." Johnson recalled that the fight started when he was tackled by Jobko and driven 10 or 15 yards out of bounds. In both versions, Jobko came out the loser. "I told the guy he was lucky I didn't have my pistol; I might have shot him for what he was doing," Johnson said. Rooney again laughed when the incident was recalled. "I can see it while I'm talking to you. It was wonderful. I was a John Henry Johnson rooter. He was a free spirit. He fit right in with me."

Brandon from Manhattan, KS

In Aaron's interview he answered what he thinks about Coach Harbaugh's comments about Clay Matthews. He said "coaches coach and players play." I remember reading that in one of your articles. Perhaps he is a fan of your work?

Writers write and fans pay.


Mike Pereira

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, from what I've read, you're not a big fan of Mike Pereira's commentary about the officiating. Are Pereira's segments popular, and what is TV's rationale for putting Pereira on the air?

I didn't say I wasn't a fan of Pereira's commentary. I was suggesting the officials aren't fans of it. Pereira's commentary is good for the viewers. It's good TV and that's all TV cares about.

Zach from Azusa, CA

Vic, in regards to 9/11, what do remember from that day?

I was doing a video interview with Wayne Weaver, who was the Jaguars' owner. There was a TV monitor near us and as I was facing Weaver and asking him a question, I saw his face twist as he looked away from me. I stopped and turned to see what had caught Wayne's attention, and that's when I saw smoke belching from one of the towers. We sat and watched with horror reports of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Mark from Yucaipa, CA

Vic, I totally agree with you about the refs. I hate all the explanations and second guessing. Make the call and move on. Do you really think Fred Swearingen was in the dugout for 10 minutes thinking about the call, or was he trying to get a police escort and finally gave up and signaled touchdown?

He was in the dugout because there was a phone in there he used to call Art McNally, who was in the press box. McNally was the league's director of officiating. McNally, of course, had seen replay of the play on TV. That's where it gets a little blurry. Was the "Immaculate Reception" the first time in history replay was used to make a call?

Brady from Duluth, MN

I respect RG3. I respect Andrew Luck. I respect Russell Wilson and even Terrelle Pryor, at this point. But I cannot get over my lack of respect for Kaepernick. The other young, new-age quarterbacks seem to have humility, yet, all I see from Kaepernick is arrogance.

I don't see it. I think he's a fine football player and I see nothing in his demeanor that irritates me. If he was playing for the Packers, you'd love him.

Chris from Chippewa Falls, WI

Vic, it seems like Harbaugh is never smiling. Does he kind of remind you of Bill Cowher?

He reminds me of Tom Coughlin. He has that same dogged determination and intensity.

John from Somis, CA

Vic, you keep saying "look out." Just what are we looking out for?

The day when the Packers have a running game their opponents have to concentrate their efforts to stop. When that happens, look out.

Dave from Rhinelander, WI

The answer shouldn't be Randall Cobb, but who other than Jeremy Ross do we have? At least he didn't fumble this time, but he's definitely got to learn when to kneel down.

In other words, you want another Randall Cobb to do kick returns, so the real Randall Cobb doesn't get hurt. It'll be OK for the extra Randall Cobb to get hurt, right? Wait a minute, I'll go out back and take a look at the Randall Cobb tree.

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