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It's supposed to be hot in Pittsburgh

Good test in Week 2 of the preseason


Jay from Arlington Heights, IL

Herm Edwards said a key to a quarterback's success is the plays that are called for him. Seeing he is a former coach, does this opinion surprise you?

Strategy is part of the game, but once the ball is snapped, the success of the play depends on the skill of the players attempting to execute it. X's and O's don't move; only players move. I wonder who the dummy was that called the "Miracle in the Meadowlands" play. Did Herm happen to mention that?

Graham from Green Bay, WI

I know it's just preseason, but I'm excited for the game against the Steelers. Two of the top three offenses from last season against each other? I think we're going to see a lot of points in the first quarter. This could be the closest thing we see to an NFL game before Week 1, and I can't wait.

Easy, now, easy. We still have three weeks left before we get to Preseason II.

Jason from Pine Island, MN

With the new PAT rule, would Coach Vic go for the 2-point conversion more often, or would the decision be strictly situational, late in the game as most coaches do now?

Coach Vic thinks kicks will be missed. A couple of misses and Coach Vic would start going for two. Coach Vic believes it would be regrettable to treat the new PAT rules as no big deal.

Grant from Wauwatosa, WI

"His children will decide what's important to them." Yep, I told my parents at a young age this is stupid, in regards to the participation ribbon. I still feel that way.

For those of us who are above such mundane tributes, it's meaningless. For those of us who lack the skill to reach higher, the respect of those of greater skill might allow for something meaningful and memorable. It's their connection to you. None of us are above compassion.

Caleb from Eau Claire, WI

Vic, how does the depth along the offensive line look this year, as compared to the last couple of seasons?

The depth is deep.

John from Ashburn, VA

How do you feel about hazing, like making rookies pay for absurdly expensive dinners?

I am opposed to hazing in any and all forms.

Dan from Rice Lake, WI

In that I was born in 1958, my memory fails me. Why was the 1958 NFL title game a launch point for the league?

Because somebody pulled the plug and everybody panicked.

Nic from State College, PA

Do yinz have any extra tickets to the Steelers game? I've never been to a Packers game. Love the column!

Sorry, no. Hauscome don't yinz go dahn to Jine Igl, buy some arn and hot dogs and have a good time watching da game on TV? By da way, wahever happened to Cahr pahr?

Jimm from Huntsville, AL

Vic, when a team invests in a special teams player like we did with Sean Richardson, does that guarantee him a roster spot?

It all depends on how the contract is structured. If it has significant guaranteed money in it, that roster decision has likely already been made.

Pete from Holly Springs, NC

Vic, I was a little worried with the football season starting that the "Deflategate" controversy would die down and people would not have anything football-related to discuss. How long do you think James Harrison's parenting tips will keep us entertained during these otherwise quiet parts of the season?

I can squeeze another day out of it.

David from Washington, DC

Were you really too hard on your sons in baseball?

I came back from Jacksonville after year one. One of my sons was playing in a kids baseball game that night and I was really looking forward to seeing him play. What I saw was horrific. The effort was terrible. He and his teammates, most of whom I had coached, were playing as though the idea was to see who didn't care the most. I sat and watched. I said nothing but I burned inside. I kept my cool through the obligatory post-defeat ice cream cone, but when the taillights of my car were at a safe distance, I exploded: "How do you like soccer?"

Matthew from Shawnee, KS

I was surprised to see the first team offense for the whole first quarter last week. An effort to combat September just being an extension of the preseason?

You mean, trying to get off to a fast start? Yeah, I wondered about that, too. If it means the starters are going to play through the first half on Sunday, they better be ready for it because it's supposed to be hot in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Caleb from Valdosta, GA

The training camp and preseason excitement has not made an impact on my thoughts this year. Now more than ever, I have come to an understanding it all comes down to January.

Get there any way you can. Run, walk, crawl, fly; just get there. When you arrive, make sure you're at your best. In my opinion, that's the season in a nutshell. What's happening now is all with January in mind.

Bill from Sheboygan, WI

Why is it important for the quarterback to identify the middle linebacker before the ball is snapped?

It was once said of a quarterback he should look through the middle linebacker to the strong safety and he would know where everybody on the field is. Strategy is more sophisticated these days, but those are still the two most important players on the defense when it comes to identifying the front and the coverage. As it pertains to a 3-4 defense, identifying the "Mike" means identifying the true middle linebacker.

Jameson from Oklahoma

Earlier in the offseason you expressed your concern for the depth, or lack thereof, on the defensive front. Have those concerns been alleviated in any way?

Mike Pennel helped alleviate some of those concerns last week. Who will do it this week?

Paul from De Pere, WI

Vic, is picking the final roster art or science?

It's feel for what you need now vs. what you'll need in the future.

John from North Lake, WI

What would GM Vic look for in a third back who would complement Lacy and Starks?

GM Vic would look for upside, a player in whom development might be rewarded. He would also be a player who offers special teams potential.

Ben from Berkeley, CA

Where is the line drawn to stop teams from stashing young players on IR?

The league employs a medical examiner.

Wes from Valparaiso, IN

Vic, historically, the starters play their most extended minutes during the third preseason game. The Steelers are playing their third game, the Packers their second. What is your opinion of the Packers' preseason schedule setting up this way?

This is a tremendous advantage for the Steelers. The Packers have been wronged by the schedule-maker.

Lane from Ocoee, FL

In 40-plus years of covering various NFL teams, you've been on hundreds of flights. What's the most dangerous travel experience you've ever encountered?

It was either Denver in 1974, or Tampa in 1995. The pilot got a light that said the gear wasn't down and locked, so we circled the airport in Denver so the tower could look at the gear, as firetrucks moved into position on the runway. The gear was down and locked. In Tampa, we blew an engine in takeoff and had to return.

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