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Like Belichick, Shanahan setting dangerous precedent

Football is a noble game played by noble men


Brian from Fond du Lac, WI

Vic, everyone from sports analysts to John Madden are calling the benching of RG3 for health preservation reasons everything from unprecedented to flat out baloney. Given how much teams are forced to invest in "The Man" these days, do you think more teams will do this once they know they are out of playoff contention?

Bill Belichick initiated a terrible trend some years ago when he benched all of his starters for the final preseason game of the year. I remember thinking to myself that all of the coaches will do it now, and they pretty much do. It also initiated, in my opinion, the need to reduce the number of preseason games, because the product has become so bad. This could initiate the same kind of a trend, and that would disastrous because these aren't preseason games. I can't imagine the league is happy about what the Redskins are doing.

Greg from Brooklyn, WI

Sunday is a chance for the defense to build on their progress against the Falcons. It's not all on Flynn, it's a chance for the whole team to grind together, I believe.

You're right. This team can't make it into the postseason or win in the postseason without its defense playing at a higher level than it did in November. It took a big step forward last Sunday and it needs to continue in that direction.

Jiri from Brno, Czech Republic

You are right, Vic. I am scared of losing. I rather switched to different game last Sunday, just so I don't have to see the Packers lose again. Now I regret it. I don't wanna be it that way. Please, tell me what to do to fully enjoy Packers games again.

Imagine you're a sportswriter assigned to cover the game and you have to do quarterly reports. Imagine your living room is the press box and the TV is the field. Get your laptop and start writing. I'll be doing the same thing in Dallas. What I think you're going to find is that you'll follow the game more intently, you'll pay more attention to detail, and having a job to do won't allow you to waste time yelling at the TV. Oh, by the way, there is no cheering in the living room, but you're allowed to get a hot dog in the kitchen at halftime.

Jack from Greenwood Village, CO

Vic, the story in D.C., is it big or is the media making it big?

It's big because it goes to the integrity of the game. I wonder if Mike Shanahan fully considered the fallout from what he's doing. He's tanking and it's a bad thing. He's the coach of a franchise that is embroiled in a naming controversy, and this is going to further tarnish the image of that franchise. I think he's an outstanding coach and I wish he would reconsider his decision.

Adam from Superior, WI

Phil Simms says you don't need the pass to set up the run, but you need the run to set up the pass. What do you think?

I suspect he's speaking philosophically. In the run game, you pretty much have a blocker for every defender. In the pass game, however, you don't have a receiver for every defender. If you're going to succeed in the pass game, you've got to get some of those defenders out of the secondary, and a successful run game does that.

Mike from Altona, Manitoba

Banning them or telling them not to read "Ask Vic" is just becoming one of them. Vic, please stop answering questions from grumpy people, or just pull the plug on "Ask
Vic." It's unbecoming.

You're banned.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, I usually give you the benefit of the doubt, but I just can't buy into the "deliver a message of aggressiveness" answer for running Lacy on that final play before halftime. Wouldn't a deep pass to Jordy or Jones have better delivered a message of aggressiveness?

Oh, OK. So you've decided to assign the risk of injury to one of them, instead of to Lacy, right? It's OK if they get hurt?

Lynn from Tucson, AZ

Vic, you are Bob McNair. Who is your new coach for this talented, underachieving team?

Bill O'Brien. I like what Chip Kelly has brought to the NFL. O'Brien has an NFL pedigree and a college-like flair. He would interest me greatly.

Mike from Pickerington, OH

Vic, I'm going to guess that you know Bob Ryan. What are your thoughts on the article that he wrote last month where he states that football as America's current sport of choice reflects poorly on us as a people?

Bob Ryan is a great sports writer, but he's also a former basketball beat writer who votes for the baseball hall of fame. Maybe he's right, but I'd rather hear it come from someone who has spent his life covering football. I think American football is the most wonderful game ever invented. I think it has taught me more about life than my parents could've ever taught me. It defines who I am and where I'm from. Most of the mile-markers in my life are football events, and though I suspect that reflects poorly on me as a person, I'm not ashamed to say it because I have always considered football to be a noble game played by noble men. I wanted to be one of them.

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