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Length of Bill Belichick's dominance must be acknowledged


Chris from Lubbock, TX

The Bears? Nice try, Vic. If you wanted to get a rise out of the fans because of a silly question, you should have said the 49ers. I can't wait until we finally beat them. Too bad we have to wait for a potential playoff game for that to happen.

The 49ers.

Prashanth from Bangalore, India

The Bears. It is midnight in India and I just woke my wife up because I am laughing so loud.

They're laughing in Bangalore!

Chuck from Tucson, AZ

Vic, do you find Aaron Rodgers to be a hard interview?

Not at all. I find Rodgers to be a challenging but rewarding interview. I love to read between his lines. There's a lot there to translate and he puts it there on purpose. His postgame press conferences have become my favorite media event of the week. His press conferences remind me of Chuck Noll's press conferences. Rodgers has Noll-like glibness. He has that same edge when you ask something he doesn't want to answer. That's what I want. I want to see that I've struck a nerve. No response necessary. That's when a non-answer is better than an answer. The last thing I want to hear is "I just want to contribute." That's playerspeak. I want a real person with real thoughts in front of me, and Rodgers is both.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

"I don't know if we can ever get past this question." Perhaps you're failing to answer the question satisfactorily, Vic. Coach McCarthy is an employee of the Green Bay Packers. He's not a fan. Fans are not paid by the Packers. McCarthy says he doesn't really have time to enjoy the games; he's working. And, yet, he often wears a Packers cap at the press conferences. Aaron Rodgers is also a Packers employee, not a fan. He, too, wears the Packers cap. You, Vic, likewise work for and are paid by the Green Bay Packers. I don't see you wearing Packers insignias or emblems. Explain why not and maybe that will enlighten your readers.

It's how I was taught. Reporters didn't wear team apparel because reporters were supposed to be neutral. That's beginning to change with the emergence of team websites. If it should be a requirement of my job that I wear Packers apparel, then I'll wear Packers apparel. For all of my years in the newspaper business, it was a requirement of my job that I not wear team apparel, so I didn't wear team apparel. The label would change nothing about my work. The label is all about your perception of me.

Tim from Denver, CO

There's a very interesting dynamic in Sunday's game. Richard Rodgers' father will be coaching for the opposing team. I understand both men are professionals and, much like yourself, they have a job to do, but this one has to be hard for the father to try and beat his son.

It's not. You say you understand but you really don't, but don't feel bad, most fans don't understand. If you're going to work in this profession, you must be able to separate yourself from your emotions. Rodgers' father will do everything in his power to defeat his son, and Rodgers will do everything in his power to defeat his father, and at the end of the day they will delight in each other's attempts. That's professionalism.

Dan from Minneapolis, MN

Vic, do you have any information on what it's like to be a new owner of an NFL franchise? How difficult is it for a new owner to enter the league and be successful?

You hire a president and a general manager, and then you go play golf. They'll do the rest.

Scott from Raleigh, NC

Proof that there's a stat for everything: They tracked how many times every head coach was shown on TV. McCarthy was shown the least, Jim Harbaugh was shown the most. I think it's the khakis.

No, it's the drama. Coach Harbaugh offers a lot of drama along the sideline as he's coaching; Mike McCarthy dislikes drama. The TV camera is looking for visuals. It's looking for facial expressions and body language that tell a story. Be that as it may, khakis make the man.

Joe from Maidstone, UK

On the NFL website, I'm seeing one-of-a-kind algorithms to determine the best matchups, power rankings every week, in which a strong team can plummet 15 places because of an unexpected loss, and stories heralding the 3-2 Browns as the beginning of a new world-beating dynasty. Why aren't there more writers like you? It's hard to find real opinion on football in the UK.

I'm from the dinosaur age. I'm from when writers were more concerned about pentameter than "Cover Two." I'm from the age when a writer was judged by how he framed a story. I find football to be a very romantic sport. It offers subject matter about which a writer may wax poetic. I'm not saying I've achieved any of that; I'm just saying I've aspired to it and still do aspire to it. Do we still have an audience that wants that kind of writing? I don't know.

Clark from Kansas City, KS

I know your stance on modern vs. current offensive stats, but how much importance do you put on the all-time TD record in your evaluation of Brett Favre and Peyton Manning?

I attach no importance to it. Favre was an unpredictable gunslinger. Manning remains a technician. I enjoy the Favre personality more.

Chip from Seattle, WA

Do you put Belichick in the top five coaches of all time, along with Lombardi, Shula, Noll and Walsh?

I don't have a top five, but all of those names would certainly be at the top of my rankings. Bill Belichick is the best coach of his era. That's how you judge players and coaches. The eras deserve equal respect. There was no one better than Lombardi in the '60s. There was no one better than Noll in the '70s. There was no one better than Walsh in the '80s; he invented the '80s. And there's been no one better than Belichick over the past 13 years. The length of Belichick's dominance must be acknowledged.

Chris from Rochester, MN

Vic, do you have any information in regard to the injuries of Sam Shields and Tramon Williams and the likelihood either will play on Sunday?

Mike McCarthy has mentioned on two occasions that Williams is ahead of Shields in each player's recovery from injury. I get the sense Williams might be able to play on Sunday.

John from Bozeman, MT

What is the key to successfully defend Cam Newton?

I think the key to defending against any of these "New Age" guys is to make them be a passer. When they're in the pocket, you can play defense according to the script. It's when they get out of the pocket and start running around that assignment football becomes difficult to execute.

Dustin from Greensboro, NC

Vic, let's pretend the NFL wanted to add six expansion teams next season, and you got to pick the cities. You get a cut of the revenues. Where are you adding teams?

I don't think there are six viable candidates to receive expansion franchises. You start with Los Angeles. San Antonio can house a team without eating into the Dallas and Houston markets. Hartford? Maybe, but Bob Kraft wouldn't like it. Orlando has the demographics, but it's too close to Tampa to not hurt the Bucs. London isn't ready. Toronto would kill the Bills. I just don't think expansion is any kind of a possibility and won't be for a long time.

Rob from Cambridge, UK

When the Packers win on Sunday, do you think the run or passing game will have a big night?

I think the Packers are going to run the ball on Sunday.

Keith from Greendale, WI

Vic, while you've been pestered about your NFL team allegiance, what I think might be more interesting is who you cheer for when the Brewers face the Pirates?

The Pirates.

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