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Packers defense must deny Russell Wilson plays in space

Game faces were on in press conferences


Nathan from Denver, CO

How does it feel to be covering a conference championship again?

In many ways, conference title games are more thrilling than Super Bowls because the Super Bowl is the carrot all teams chase, and it's the reward for winning your conference title game. This will be the 11th time I've covered a conference title game in which the team I was covering played in the game. Think about that for a moment. This is my 43rd season and one of the teams I covered made a habit of playing in conference title games in the '70s, yet, I've only covered 10 of them in which the team I covered played in the game. Treasure the moment. They don't come along that often.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, what did you take away from yesterday's press conferences?

Everybody was trying to avoid saying the wrong thing.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

Vic, if the decision were left up to you, what choice would you make if you win the toss on Sunday? Do you defer or do you take the ball?

I'm a defense guy. I believe defense sets the tone, and I like to challenge my defense to do just that. I would defer and expect my defense to force a punt that would give my offense the ball in green-light field position, just as the Packers defense did last Sunday against Dallas.

Cody from Elgin, IA

Vic, I heard you ask Aaron if the calf injury has made him a better passer. He didn't think so, I guess.

I don't think he liked the question.

Brian from Redondo Beach, CA

I look at the Seahawks schedule and I laugh. The Seahawks had one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. They didn't play anyone really good. They weren't challenged during the season. It was a joke. The Packers, on the other hand, were and that is why the Packers will steamroll the Seahawks. What do you think about that?

I think you forgot that the Seahawks played the Packers.

Adam from Oshkosh, WI

Did you predict the Niners promoting their defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to head coach or what, Vic? You mention hiring position coaches in "Ask Vic Extra" and, low and behold, ESPN announces the promotion eight hours later.

I get these headaches.

Patrick from Chicago, IL

I was watching Aaron Rodgers' press conference and I heard your familiar voice ask him a question. Anything stand out about his conference to you? He sounds ready.

His game face was on. I thought his walk to the podium was the most dramatic moment of his press conference.

Sean-Luc from Oceanside, CA

Vic, how did you feel the Packers defense did against the Cowboys and how do you think it will translate to the Seahawks game this week?

I was OK with how the defense played, but I think it can play better. The need to stop the run will be the same, but Russell Wilson offers a very different challenge than Tony Romo did. This is the game for which the Packers drafted players such as Datone Jones and Nick Perry, and signed Julius Peppers. The Packers defense desperately needed to become more athletic, and it has. Wilson makes plays in space. Jones, Perry, Peppers and Clay Matthews must deny Wilson opportunities to make plays in space.

J.D. from Evansville, IN

Vic, if the Packers had drafted a loud and vocal, all-pro corner out of the fifth round in 2011, who likes to talk and isn't afraid to speak his mind and be a voice on important issues, is the leader of his unit, an off-the-field role model for his team, community and youth, came from the most dangerous environments imaginable in America, yet, graduated from Stanford with honors, is working on his masters degree, despite having no need for money or further education, and has never had his name mentioned anywhere in the same sentence as in trouble, would Packers fans loathe him?

They'd love him.

Jake from Phoenix, AZ

Vic, how do you get wide receivers open against big, physical defensive backs? Do you stack receivers? Run crossing routes?

You win the one-on-ones. We were just there with this issue a few weeks ago in Buffalo. There's no secret to this. Against press coverage that wants to be physical with you, you have to get off the jam by being more physical and get open by running faster and creating separation. The Packers receivers face that challenge this Sunday.

Kevin from Westport, WA

Vic, I have been reading your column for a long time now and I would greatly like to meet you so I can shake your hand. Is there a place that you will be guaranteed this weekend where fans can meet you?

Spencer from Denver, CO

Vic, can you give us any insight into what goes on in a coaching interview? They have the most public resume I can think of, but what else is an organization looking to learn?

The team wants to know everything about the coach from what kind of offense he'll run to his position on players signing autographs in training camp. Coaching isn't all about play-calling. It's about making decisions that'll impact every division in the franchise, from football to marketing.

Kenny from Yelm, WA

I came on the Packers site and was commenting just as everyone else does, and I was blocked by the admin. This is really annoying and unprofessional, to say the least. I said nothing too offensive and was arguing a point. I will not be back on here unless this is taken care of and I will make sure everyone knows what's up on ESPN, and any other site referring to this Seattle vs. Packers game.


Maximillian from Sydney, Australia

Vic, I'm curious why McCarthy didn't go for the two-point conversion when Davante Adams scored that touchdown against the Cowboys. I thought it was a bit strange, as if we missed a field goal would still put us in front. Your thoughts?

The third quarter is too early to risk getting into what I call the two-point death spiral. I was glad to see Coach McCarthy elected to kick the point. It has been my experience that going for two has largely been a regret. I think it's best used to tie a game to send it into overtime. In nearly every other case, it requires clairvoyance.

Rich from Pueblo, CO

What does the offense need to do better than in Week 1, to gain an advantage and win?

The Packers need to run the ball. This will be an old-school football game. You throw to score, but you run to win.

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