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My thoughts on the 2015 schedule

Opener against Chicago is good theater


Carl from Lexington, SC

Before the draft, you evaluate players and set your draft board. Now you get to pick No. 30 and you feel the player you really want will be available 10 or 15 picks later. There is a willing trade partner available that will bring more draft picks. To pull the trigger and make the deal, you would need to know a lot about the tendencies, needs and philosophies of the teams making all the picks in between. Do teams spend a lot of time and research preparing for this scenario?

A veteran GM instinctively knows all of that. A veteran GM has a feel for managing the draft. It's not a science. It's a crystal ball business.

Luke from Winchester, CA

Do you think Aaron Rodgers will play into his 40s like Favre, Manning and probably Brady?

You can't know the answer to that question until you know how a player feels when he reaches his mid-30s. One pass caused Terry Bradshaw an arm injury that ended his career. Rodgers has the look of a guy who knows how to stay young, but I still don't see him sticking around until there's nothing left in his arm. I see Rodgers as somebody who'll have a career outside football beckoning him when the hurts begin to pile up late in his career. Rodgers has the look of a guy who'll go out on top.

Yancey from Richlands, VA

An important division game in Week 1. I don't think they heard you.


They didn't hear me at all. I don't like that game. It's a premier matchup and that's too early in the season to play it. Oh, I know what the schedule-maker was thinking. He's creating good theater. The Bears will claw their way into the game with new energy and enthusiasm under a new coach. The schedule-maker is thinking an upset in that game could launch one of the league's premier franchises into better times. I just think it's too early to play a game of that importance.**

Jon from Bath, England

So, Vic, which game are you most looking forward to?

It's the Seattle game, for the obvious reasons it's the Seahawks and it's the Packers' home opener. Again, it's good theater, but what's wrong with giving teams a chance to hit their stride before creating good theater?

Thomas from Vienna, WI

Vic, what do you think about the schedule?

Make the first four games the last four games, and make the last four games the first four games and I like it better. I don't like opening the season with a division game.

David from Honolulu, HI

It just dawned on me; we were one of four teams left standing last season. How awesome is that?

You're going to have a little trouble selling the appreciation theme in this column.

Marcus from Pleasant View, UT

I would have liked the Seattle game to be farther down the calendar, but it looks like an exciting stretch in November with four straight division games.

I'm OK with the four straight division games, especially since they'll be played in November. Everybody should be playing their best football by then. I also think it helps a coach sell the importance of division games when they're grouped like that.

Chenc from Green Bay, WI

Vic, you were right. Not only one but two teams are moving to LA. Where is the NFL going next?

The experiment in London is likely to be expanded.

Tony from Burbank, CA

Vic, Mike McCarthy has to love the 2015 schedule. Consistency? You got it. Bye week? Week 7. Two Thursday night games back to back followed by 10 days off, and no early-season warm-climate games. What's not to like?

Those are positive thoughts and they make sense.

Jameson from Del City, WI

The Packers' schedule is brutal, especially at the beginning. What can they do to ensure they're playing great ball through the preseason and into game one?

That was every coach's thought when he first saw his schedule yesterday. His eyes immediately went to his team's opener. Last year, Coach McCarthy was jubilant about his team's training camp and preseason. I think he said they hit all of their targets, which was a way of pronouncing the team ready to start the season. It didn't turn out very well, did it? Every coach is trying to reach a balance between preparedness and health, but the health of a team coming out of training camp is most important, and that's causing coaches to back off the training camp demands. There's the problem in trying to prepare a team. I don't think you can fully prepare yourself to play football by trying to stay healthy. It's a problem for every team. It is what it is.

Eric from Amherst Junction, WI

Vic, do you think a point guard in the NBA would translate to a good corner in the NFL? They flip their hips twice as fast as a corner. Or is tight end the only basketball position that translates to our game?

Football is about a lot more than flipping your hips. Here's the first question you ask a guy: Do you like hitting people? The answer to that question might be why he's playing basketball.

J.T. from Palm Bay, FL

Vic, I sure wish the Packers didn't play the Bears in Week 1. Those games just feel like they should be played in frigid temperatures. Are there any matchups you like to see at a certain time of the year?

I like the Arizona game. I think it's helpful for a cold-weather team to get into some warm weather late in the season. It's rejuvenating. It's good for sportswriters, too.

Rey from Milwaukee, WI

Yesterday you mentioned that "not all memories are kind, but it's important we remember the bad times, too." Could you please expound?

How can you know joy if you haven't known sadness?

Scott from Fitchburg, WI

Vic, is there ever a right time to trade up for a punter?

If he's Ray Guy, yeah, but you'd have to tie me up and gag me for it to happen.

Ryan from Platteville, WI

Apparently the schedule-maker thinks the race for the division will be between the Packers and Vikings, too.

I, too, found that interesting.

Adam from Hillsboro, KS

What is the toughest stretch in the Packers' schedule?

I think the at Minnesota, Chicago, at Detroit, Dallas stretch of schedule will define the Packers' season.

Adam from Hudson, WI

Vic, I'm probably getting way ahead of myself already, but I'm pumped for Week 17 against the Vikings. I'm hoping for an epic battle to decide the NFC North.

You don't have to wait that long. Get pumped for the opener. That one already has my full attention.

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