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Most Improved Player through four games? Read Vic's chat Editor Vic Ketchman conducted his weekly Friday chat


Hi, everybody. Let's go.

Comment From Jake

Will a fast start by the Packers make the Rams one dimensional on Sunday?

Jeff Fisher won't play that way. A Jeff Fisher team always tries to run the ball, unless it's the fourth quarter.

Comment From PetersDad

Vic, who wins your award for "Most Improved Player" after the first four games?

You're making me think. Richard Rodgers might be that guy. Jayrone Elliott and Nick Perry are strong candidates.

Comment From BrettGB

Do you think Bulaga will play?


Comment From Matt

Been looking forward to this all day, Vic. Got a question unrelated to the Packers. What are your thoughts on the Rams or Raiders possibly moving back to LA?

I hate to see any town lose its team, but it's going to happen. This one is really tough to call.

Comment From Jeff

Vic, looks like a great day for a football game Sunday. What is YOUR ideal weather for a football game?

A little overcast and in the 50s.

Comment From Jason

How will the packers contain Aaron Donald?

You have to defeat his quickness. It begins with that. He must be kept from penetrating the gap into the backfield.

Comment From PackMan

What's the scouting report on Gurley?

Big, powerful downhill runner.

Comment From Lonny

You compared Aaron Donald to Jevon Kearse. I think Robert Quinn might be a more apt comparison.

I didn't compare Donald to Kearse. I said Donald is the Rams' defensive cornerstone, as Kearse was the Titans'.

Comment From Pete Puma

Will containing Donald be largely Corey Linsley's responsibility?

I think it falls hardest on Linsley. Donald will get into that A gap and hug the center.

Comment From Bill

I was looking at the team's stats, and except for FG %, the Packers lead their opponents in every other category. I can't remember this team being so balanced on both sides of the ball.

I agree.

Comment From Guest

You've discussed the SL front, how is their secondary?

Jenkins is an impact player.

Comment From Justin

Aside from Tavon Austin, what are the Rams passing threats?

Jeff Fisher loves to use the tight end.

Comment From PackMan

What's the No. 1 trait you, as a coach, want to see in all your players?

You want speed. There's just no substitute for it. If your guys are faster than their guys, you're going to win.

Comment From David

How meaningful is TOP in the upcoming game?

It's critical to a Fisher team. Always has been.

Comment From Mike

What's your favorite kind of cheese? You strike me as a pepper jack kind of guy.

I can't tell one from the other.

Comment From Matt

Seems like you've got a lot of insight on what kind of coach Fisher is. Is that because of your time in Jacksonville, seeing his Titans twice a year?

Yes. I've always liked the way he plays. Win up front, push the issue, be patient.

Comment From KC Packer fan

Who of our veteran players do you see as future HOF candidates (besides Aaron)?

Matthews and Peppers. Am I missing someone? I hate when I do that.

Comment From Dan - Montana

What other teams are impressive in the NFC after 4 games?

Packers, Falcons, Panthers and Cardinals

Comment From Doug

Any word on your property in S.C.?

It's safe. Others nearby were not as fortunate.

Comment From Lambeau Leaper

Outside of your coverage of the Packers this weekend, are there any other games you have your eyes on?

I watch anything they put in front of me. Sometimes I get upset with myself. It'll be 10 o'clock and I spent the whole day watching football.

Comment From Bill

Is this the week Janis gets in the mix at WR?

I think his impact is going to come on kick block.

Comment From Nate

Did you ever consider growing a beard?

I did last winter. I kind of liked it, but it's not me.

Comment From Salvador

Do you think we'll see some surprise play on ST by the Packers?

I get the feeling something is going to happen on special teams this week.

Comment From Guest

Do you store your game archives on tapes or CDs?

I store all of the stories I write or edit in an "old" file. I can go all the way back to the first one that appeared on when I got here in Feb. of 2011.

Comment From Joe

What do you prefer in a fullback - bruising lead blocking or the innate ability to reach the endzone on goal-to-go downs when a lead blocker would clog things up? How do you feel about Ripowski so far?

I want my fullback to block. I have a guy who runs with the ball.

Comment From Jason

Did you enjoy your time here in San Jose and what restaurant did you check out and how was that?

I went to Original Joe's. I enjoyed it.

Comment From Jesse

Do the football seasons go by for you as fast as they used to?

No, they're going by slower, and it's because I write so much more nowadays. We did have this kind of room in the newspaper business. When the day ends, I'm exhausted.

Comment From PackMan

How much does the media interact with players these days? Do you still have relationships with players, as you used to in your years with the Steelers?

No, it's not the same, and I'm sad for that. I miss the close relationships I had with the players back in the day.

Comment From Guest

What are your top 5 stadiums to cover in

I like all of the new stadiums. I like the one I was in this past Sunday. The press box elevator was right across the hall from the door to the visiting team's locker room. The ones in Tennessee and Pittsburgh are like that; easy access. That's what it's all about for the media.

Comment From John

Do you feel that you are treated any differently from the rest of the writers in press conferences because you are an "official team media guy"? Do you get a better seat?

No to both.

Comment From Doug

How many journalism awards have you won over the years?

I have a half dozen or so Pa. APME writing awards. The newspaper for which I worked required all of its reporters to submit entries to the annual state writing contest. I won a couple of writing contests for the professional football writers of America. I stopped with that stuff when I went to Jacksonville.

Comment From JD

You say you miss the old interaction with the players. How is it you have been able to form that relationship with players like Fred Taylor?

It's a special relationship. It wasn't about football.

Comment From Justin

Should I go to class or keep on trying to get my questions answered?

Go to class.

Comment From JaS

Why do you think the XFL failed? Timing, gimmick, poor quality of product? Could there ever be a successful alternate league that would compete with the NFL?

It was a bad idea. It had no chance.

Comment From Bill from Lenexa

What do you think of Arrowhead as compared to other NFL stadiums?

It was the king of the new stadiums when it opened. The renovation has returned it to glory.

Comment From PackMan

The Colts made it an old man's game last night. Hasselbeck, Vinateri, Gore, Johnson, and Adams (all somewhere north of 32) were the top contributers in last nights game. Thoughts?

I guess that means it's an old man's game. Is that what you want me to say? If I did, would you believe me? It means they won one game.

Comment From #36 Leaper

Have you seen anything to look forward to with the new Vikings stadium when it's complete?

I look forward to seeing it. I love the one they're playing in now.

Comment From Colton

What is your opinion of Mariota and Winston a month into the season?

It's about what I expected. Mariota is a little farther along; Winston is all about upside.

Comment From Randy

What's wrong with the Dolphins, and how would Coach Vic fix it

The first thing you have to do is examine what their cap will allow. They could be trapped by their spending.

Comment From Mike

Which do you prefer, a live chat or normal Ask Vic?

I probably prefer a regular "Ask Vic" because I can do it at my pace. I move extra quick in the chat, for the obvious reason that we're on a time limit.

Comment From Venkatesh

Now that the pirates are out...Who are you supporting in the MLB postseason....??

I don't have a rooting interest.

Comment From Josh

Vic, what position did you play in high school?

Wing back.

Comment From Ben

How do you beat the Packers?

Stop the run with six, rush four and drop seven. How many teams can do that?

Comment From Paul

Are you thinking 6 and 0 going into Denver?

That's my hope. It would make it a showdown type of game. I love big games.

Comment From Rusty

Speaking of Wing back, do you think the wing T with proper personnel would still be a solid offense in today's game? Todd Gurley would have thrived.

The Chiefs were the last to use it, in Marv Levy's first year as coach, 1977, I believe. It's too compressed for today's game.

Comment From JB

So was it more big games than you expected since arriving here?

Yes. It's been wonderful.

Comment From Patrick

Golf season is coming to a close, how'd you shoot this year?

I only played one round of golf, in Edisto Beach, SC, the first week of June. That's going to change.

Comment From #36 Leaper

Did you interview John Madden?

Many times. I'll never forget the sadness in his voice following the 1975 AFC title game. That was the greatest team-on-team confrontation I've ever covered. The field was littered with greatness.

Comment From Paul

Did Rodgers dodge your question about going home to play in Cali or is he sincerely a Wisconsinite now? I thought he headed west as soon as he could in winter..but then who wouldn't if one could.

He was sending you a message. Did you get it?

Comment From Chase

Since you been in journalism, what's been your favorite era?

The '70s game was bigger than life. It consumed me. Maybe it was because I was knew and impressionable.

Comment From PackMan

Biggest game you've covered since you've come here? (my bet is the Packers didn't win it)

Seattle last January, for sure.

Comment From #36 Leaper

Are there people in Pittsburgh that you try to catch up with when you're there?

I stay close to all of them. I love the people there. It's my hometown and that'll never change.

Comment From JD

Knew. Really?

Here's a question for you. Does it matter? I mean, my fingers are flying off my hands trying to get as much info as I can into this chat. Why does the reader want to catch me in a mistake?

Comment From John

Do you prefer reading fiction or non-fiction?

I like both. I'm reading a history book right now, and I have a fiction book on deck.

Comment From J-rod

Are there any players you feel are being misused or under utilized at this point in the season?

Nope. Mike McCarthy is a master at getting the most our his roster.

Comment From Billy

What type of phone do you use? Is it company-issue?

Yes. That phone controls my life. It literally calls me to meetings.

Comment From JD

You've covered some pretty legendary coaches in Noll and Coughlin. Where do you think McCarthy should rank?

How about Cowher? I don't know how to rank these guys, that's how good they are. All I can tell you is this: Coach Noll is No. 1.

Comment From Joe

Players are consistent in praising the Packers' facilities and the way they treat their players. Can you compare that side of the NFL to 40 years ago? What was something considered to be professional treatment that today's players wouldn't imagine was so?

Everything is better. A lot of teams played in baseball parks. All of the teams in the AFC Central did.

Comment From KC Packer fan

When you're in KC, do you have a favorite restaurant?

I used to go to a place called Jasper's.

Comment From Benjamin

Vic....if it wasn't sports writing putting bread on the table, what would it be?

I've thought about that. I don't think I'm capable of doing anything else.

Comment From Gregg

I attended University of Illinois while Zook was the head coach. He was a good recruiter, and in my humble opinion a so-so coach which led to a lot of .500 seasons. Do you think he is a good fit for ST? Seems to be doing a great job so far...

So so coach? He won a Big 10 title at Illinois. How many times has that happened since Butkus played there?

Comment From Charlie

Assuming you've played your fair share of Myrtle Beach courses, do you have a favorite? I'm a Grand Dunes Resorts guy.

I love Grande Dunes. I was given a framed picture of the par three on the back that sits on the intracoastal waterway. Is it 14?

Comment From tghn

Ever gotten on a player or coaches' bad side, to the point they wouldn't answer your questions?

A high school basketball coach threw me out of his locker room once. I was glad he did it.

Comment From Kenny

So...why did you get thrown out?

I wrote an editorial that was critical of the fact the team practiced at a site that would host the playoff game I was covering. I was critical because a player's father was the AD of the college that was hosting the game. I thought it was unfair and unethical. It was.

Comment From PackMan

What has been the change in the improved run defense this year, as opposed to the start of last year?

More good players. Raji is back. That's real big. Matthews is starting on the inside, which has made room on the outside for good players. It's always about players.

Comment From Andrew

Who is the fastest player you have ever covered?

Dwight Stone. He was so fast he once lost control of his feet and they ran out of bounds. That's the truth.

Comment From Raff

Vic, Can you give us an idea of how many hours you put in on an average work week?


All good things must come to an end. See you next Friday. Thanks, everybody.

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