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It's about where the arrow is pointing in January


Bill from De Pere, WI

Name one big change you see occurring in football.

I see the day when it'll be common for teams to have a passing quarterback and a running quarterback. The running quarterback will also play wide receiver, which means the offense can go no-huddle and alternate between the passing quarterback and the running quarterback without having to substitute. Kordell Stewart and Tim Tebow are trailblazers for this approach and I think we're going to see more of these types of players because the college ranks are full of them, and good coaches and personnel departments will always make the most of what's available to them.

Gary from Puyallup, WA

Well, that's a -30- for the political robo phone calls, at least for a while. What a relief! In Green Bay, do you vote by mail or do you get to perform that civic ritual in person?

My wife and I put on our winter coats, walked down the block and voted. It was a wonderfully wholesome process in a wonderfully small-town kind of way. As I watched the election results come in, I thought about what a great process it is and how lucky we are to live in a country that celebrates its citizens' right to vote.

Charlie from Misawa AFB,Japan

One of the things against Bulaga coming out in the draft was that his arms were short. Why do tackles need extremely long arms? Doesn't that just make it easier for a quick linebacker to get inside position on them?

The idea is that long arms help a blocker keep defenders from getting to the blocker's body. The rap on Titans left tackle Michael Roos coming out of college is that he has short arms, and he's been in the league now for eight years and is an All-Pro. One of the knocks on Dan Marino coming out of college is that he has small hands, but I've never seen him soap-dish a ball, even in the cold. Measurables are important, but I don't think they should override performance.

Paul from Farnborough, UK

In relation to Crosby's current kicking woes, surely all the guy has to do all day is practice his technique and keep himself fit. With this being the case, what else can he do when he's still struggling?

It's about seeing the path to the ball, which is the route the kicker takes to and through the ball. When a kicker's hot, he literally sees that path extending between the uprights. When a kicker locks into that path, he has achieved balance, timing and rhythm.

Tom from Bloomington, MN

Of all the jobs you've worked, which one defines you?

In my newspaper days, I loved to go out on Friday nights and cover high school football games. I knew the coaches and the other writers and the games were a social event for me. Plus, it was a real big deal back there and it was a way of identifying young talent, players such as Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Russ Grimm, Bill Fralic and a whole lot more. I can remember a coach calling me on a Friday morning and asking me where I was going that night. He suggested I come to his game because the team they were playing had a good little option quarterback. So I went to the game and the coach was right. Gus Frerotte was the quarterback. He was a tiny kid who ran all over the field. The next time I saw him was as the quarterback of the Redskins. He had grown a lot and his running days were over. I've always enjoyed being able to say, "I saw him play when he …" Anyhow, covering high school football on a tight-deadline Friday night was sports journalism in its purest sense. I kept my own play-by-play and stats. The pace was frantic. When the game was over, I went to the locker rooms and talked to the coaches, then raced to the car and back to the newspaper to bat the story out as quickly as possible. Something inside me needed to spend Friday nights in the fall doing that. Those Friday nights, in rickety, half-lit high school stadiums where games were played on lumpy fields and players hung their clothes on the same nails that future Hall of Famers had hung their clothes, are how I view myself as a reporter. I never get too far from those days. I am a product of all of that and the memory of it is a constant reminder of how great I'm not.

Chan from Fort Pierce, FL

We're halfway through the season. Which teams have surprised you the most this year, besides the Packers, as far as winning, playing well and losing?

In the AFC, I expected the Bills and Jets to do better and the Colts and Dolphins not to do as well. In the NFC, I expected more from the Lions and Panthers, and I think the Lions will still deliver on my expectation for them.

Michael from Morris, IL

Vic, in your point, counterpoint articles with Mike, why do you always seem to be on the side that you'd realistically not choose yourself?

I enjoy taking the view that's counter to my beliefs because it's a way of opening my mind to another point of view. As I wrote the opinion for expanding the playoff field, I came to realize that it's only going to be a matter of time before it happens. Why? Because it's a means for adding value to the league's TV contract, and adding two teams in each conference won't add a week to the postseason; just take away the top two seeds' byes. Friday night football, anyone?

Jamie from Liberty, KY

Who do you think would win, the 2011 Packers or the 2012 Packers?

At this point in their seasons, I think the 2011 Packers would beat the 2012 Packers, but the only point in the season that matters is the postseason, and I have a feeling this year's team is going to be better prepared for a playoff run than last year's was. I didn't get the feeling that the Packers' arrow was pointing up when the playoffs began last year. I have a strong feeling the arrow will be pointing in a decidedly upward direction when this season's playoffs begin. First, the Packers have to get there, and that won't be easy against a rugged finishing schedule.

J.T. from Madison, WI

This is pure imaginationland, but if the Packers could have any wide receiver they wanted from any other team in the league to help solve their injury woes at the position, who would you pick and why?

There are tons of receivers in the league that would fit beautifully in this offense, but as I watched Sunday's game against the Cardinals, I couldn't help but wonder what Larry Fitzgerald would look like in green and gold. Do you think Fitzgerald and Aaron Rodgers might develop some chemistry between them?

Spencer from Akron, OH

Do you find it true that some players are just more likely to get injured?

I find it true that a quarterback that sees the rush and covers up in the face of it, instead of keeping his eyes downfield and risking getting hit while in a vulnerable position, is less likely to get injured, and I'd rather have the guy that keeps his eyes downfield because football must be played with daring for it to be played successfully. Football is not meant to be played with caution.

Carl from Lino Lakes, MN

Vic, do you have any hero that is not football related?

There are tons of people I admire, and most of them are not associated with football. I admire people for their strength. The ability to overcome hardship is a most admirable trait, and we don't have to look far to find examples of it; it's all around us. My father was the son of immigrants. When he was four, the Great Depression began. When he was 18, he was in the Philippines in World War II. He returned home never having known anything in his life but poverty and war, but he had something called the G.I. Bill and he decided to use it. He became the first person in his family to set foot on a college campus. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, one of America's greatest social programs, and thanks to my father's will to succeed, the course of our family was changed forever. Football is a great forum for expressing strength, but it's not war or poverty.

L.J. from Chicago, IL

In reference to yesterday's question about not scoring while down on the 1-yard line, I understand not wanting to run up the score on an opponent when the outcome is already decided, but isn't point differential one of the tiebreakers? I say go get it when you can get it.

How do you feel about having a healthy quarterback?

Rick from Cameron, WI

Sorry to hear about your injury, Vic. Are you facing any time on injured reserve?

We'll know more next week. It could be a game-time decision.

Peter from Seattle, WA

The biggest game in the NFL next week is arguably the Texans at Bears. They are considered two of the top teams in the league. What insights can you draw about the Packers given that the only team either the Bears or the Texans have lost to is the Packers? What does that say about us?

Yes, the Texans-Bears game is probably the most attractive game on the schedule this week. I'm really looking forward to it, not because of insights I might draw about the Packers, but because of insights I might draw about the Bears. The Bears have a two-game lead in the NFC North, and that makes them the team to beat, but the Week 2 game I covered didn't provide me with a lot of information on who the Bears are. I think Sunday's game will. I think we're going to come away from this weekend's games, Detroit at Minnesota and Houston at Chicago, having a good idea of what the Packers will have to do to win the NFC North.

Matthew from Maffra, Australia

The only logical explanation for the defense's improved play this year is that we have better players. Do you think this logic will quiet the Capers haters?

Congratulations! You get it. Dom Capers didn't automatically get smarter. He got young speed. That's what was lacking in last year's defense.

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