Skip to main content
Powered by

Never say kick


Kraemer from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think other teams are going to attempt to capitalize on Suh's short fuse in order to draw potential flags from the refs? It seems like it could be easy to do with this guy.

Of course they are. He's going to hear more taunts than he's ever heard. I couldn't print half of the stuff Jerry Kramer told me Alex Karras said to him when those two were combatants. It's a wild world in the trenches. It has been my experience through my career that offensive linemen tend to have a glib personality. Defensive linemen trash-talk, offensive linemen use more subtle tactics to needle the competition. Suh's gonna get scratched and leg-whipped and rolled up and collapse-blocked and anything else that can be used on him from the little bag of tricks offensive linemen carry with them.

Brandon from Tucson, AZ

The trade deadline is long gone but somehow the Chiefs were able to get Kyle Orton from the Broncos. Could you explain how that works?

They got him off waivers. Had Orton been cut prior to the trade deadline, he would've been an unrestricted free agent free to sign with any team in the league, and my guess is that had that coincided with Jay Cutler getting hurt in Chicago, Orton would've probably signed with the Bears. Because Orton was cut after the trade deadline, he was subject to the waiver wire. It's a way of guarding the integrity of the season by making sure a star-quality player isn't cut late in the season and free to sign with a team destined for the postseason. I can vaguely remember some late-season shenanigans when the Colts were decimated at quarterback and Tom Matte had to play the position against the Packers in the infamous Don Chandler game. I don't know if that was the impetus to this rule, but football has learned through the years how to protect itself from loophole moves.

Vince from Jacksonville, FL

Don't know if you remember but while you were with the Jaguars in an "Ask Vic" column you said Urban Meyer would take some time off, wait until Jim Tressel retired, and take the job he really wanted. I don't know how you called it but you were right.

Follow the breadcrumbs.

Pete from Crystal Lake, IL

Aaron Rodgers' quote after the game, "I still don't think there's a specific recipe to beat us," made me cringe a little bit. There's always a recipe to beat anyone. Is this just a sign of the players embracing their success, or is it a sign that perhaps success is starting to inflate their ego slightly?

It's the truth. Rodgers knows that every defensive coordinator the Packers will face is trying to find a tape that shows how to stop the Packers' offense. I thought the Bucs put a little bit of it on tape and I think the Lions put a little bit of it on tape, too, from the first half of last Thursday's game. I also think you can find bits and pieces of success in last season's Super Bowl, but putting it all together and making it fit into your personnel is something nobody has done to date. The Packers have had an answer to every scheme they've encountered.

Daniel from Jacksonville, FL

With the Packers playing on Thursday, did you take this Sunday off from football, or did you take the opportunity to watch any games you'd normally miss?

The Bills-Jets game was on my TV. I watched it and enjoyed it. The analyst ragged on Mark Sanchez for three-and-a-half quarters. He threw behind the receiver, he's late with the throw, he's not seeing the field, the analyst said, and I couldn't disagree with him. At one point, the play-by-play guy asked, "Has he regressed?" Then crunch-time arrived and Sanchez took the Jets right down the field to victory. It's a quality you can't coach into a player; he either has it or he doesn't and Sanchez has it. I would agree that he's not a very good quarterback, but he came out early and if and when he learns to play the position, look out, because he's got the important quality a lot of quarterbacks that know how to play the position will never have. Nothing beats a quarterback that gets it done at crunch time.

Shawn from Mohican Reservation, WI

Brian Robison, the Packers stomper from the Vikings who clearly intentionally stomped T.J. Lang in the groin a few weeks ago, only received a fine and no suspension. Does Suh deserve more or less?

It was announced this morning that Ndamukong Suh has been suspended for two games. Everyone seemed to be concerned for the harshness of the punishment Suh would receive; I think the greater concern should be for the danger signs Suh is exhibiting. This is a very intense game and it can push people to the limits of their balance.

Owen from Rockford, IL

I know some people think you are arrogant, but I think you may have already received total consciousness. They just don't get it, yet. One of your most recent responses was regarding the rules about spiking the ball. At the end of the Bears game, Haney did exactly what Item 4 prohibits.

Things come to me. I can't explain it. I get these headaches, and then something pops into my head and the headache goes away. Last week, when I answered that question about why quarterbacks aren't called for grounding when they spike the ball, I thought to myself, "I wish somebody would give my readers an example of how not to do it." Wham! Poor Hanie.

Chadd from Antigo, WI

If a player reports as eligible, and remains in the game for a play or two after, does he have to report again for each play?


Cesar from Santa Ana, CA

What's with all of these comments about having to be a classy editor? Who ever said the Packers, Packers fans, Packers front office, Packers everything have to be classy? Lighten up, people.

Let's just have fun, OK? Classy lives on the border of vanity. It's classy until we call ourselves classy, then it's hubris. There's no more respected franchise in all of sports than the Packers. We don't have to say it. Let the rest of the sports world say it for us.

John from North Chicago, IL

I realize it didn't matter much in this past game because it's in a dome, but the Packers won the toss and deferred their choice to the second half. So who chooses which goal they defend, would it be the Lions?

If you're talking about the second-half elections, yeah, the Lions picked the goal to defend after the Packers elected to receive. If you're talking about the elections to start the game, after the Packers deferred their choice to start the second half, had the Lions elected to defend a goal, then the Packers would've been able to choose between kicking or receiving. They, no doubt, would've elected to receive, which means they would've gotten the ball to start both halves. There are four things you can say when you win the coin toss: Kick, receive, defend or defer. The word kick is the one that'll get you in trouble. Never say kick, say defend, because that way you'll at least get the wind direction you want.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

How much does Coach McCarthy get involved in the defense?

Head coaches oversee their whole team, but Mike McCarthy's plate is fullest with "food" for the offense. That's why it's critical that McCarthy have the equivalent of a "head coach for defense" in Dom Capers. I envision Capers meeting with McCarthy on game-plan Tuesdays, explaining what the game plan is and what the rationale is for it, and I imagine the meeting ending and each going back to work on their specialty.

Raymond from Marquette, MI

Going back to a question a day or so ago about coaches and players fraternizing before, during and after games: I read one time that the only coach George Halas would shake hands with after games was Vince Lombardi. Ever heard that story before?

From the historical accounts I've read, you're right about Halas. Mike Spofford and I did a point, counterpoint back on Oct. 18, on the subject of coaches shaking hands after games. Back in the day, most coaches wouldn't do it. The league discouraged coaches and players from fraternizing in public view. They wanted to project a combative image. That changed with Paul Tagliabue. He wanted a kinder, gentler image for the league. Jim Finks, with whom Tagliabue was in competition for the commissioner's job, was old-school and didn't like the fraternizing thing. Had he become commissioner, he was committed to reversing the trend of coaches shaking hands after the game, which was being advanced by a few young coaches, one of whom ("Handshake Sam" Wyche) was nicknamed for his obsession with the postgame handshake. Hey, some people like the handshake ceremony, some people don't. I've come to accept a respectful handshake or sportsmanlike gesture after the game, as long as it's not too mushy, but I don't like any glad-handing or fraternizing during the game. That's where I draw the line.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.