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Packers' identity? Resolve and belief Editor Vic Ketchman conducted his weekly Friday chat


Hi, everybody, and welcome to the chat. It's a sunny day in Green Bay, and I'm not talking about the weather. Let's go!

Comment From Mark

Was that the spark?

I say yes.

Comment From Scott LC

Vic, your best friend came through in a big way last night. Do you see this as the beginning of a storybook ending?

That might be going too far. Cinderella won't carry this team to the Super Bowl.

Comment From Mark

How do you interpret the handling of Lacy?

Coach McCarthy said Lacy didn't have a great week.

Comment From Scott LC

Vic, how's your inbox?

It's happy. I like it that way. The haters were making it difficult for the believers to enjoy "Ask Vic." That bothered me. The haters weren't here today.

Comment From MrRoboto

How was the flight home?

Short and subdued.

Comment From Dave Garnett

You said it was #2 in your list of best finishes, would the Immaculate Reception be your #1?

The question was about my time covering the Packers. No. 1 is last year's NFC title game.

Comment From Brian

I'm glad Coach McCarthy had that 61yd TD play drawn up in the playbook before the game.

Players, not plays.

Comment From Mike

In terms of "happy" endings, what would make you rank last nights game above the division title clinching game in Chicago?

*The angst that was gripping this team needed to be extinguished. Last night's rally and Hail Mary touchdown did that. If you wanna know how bad it had gotten, go back and read last night's "Ask Vic Halftime." Then read this morning's "Ask Vic." That the difference on play can make.      *

Comment From Zach

Vic, you know this question is coming, so I'll go ahead and ask it. What did you think of the facemask penalty that set up the hail mary?

I reviewed it this morning. The right call was made.

Comment From Guest

Wow - last night over the Randal Cobb Week 17 catch in '13? Recency factor?

No, it's just that there was a really bad feeling among fans about this team. It was tough to take. I hated seeing fans suffer as they had through November. All of that has been changed. I needed it to change. It was killing December for all of us.

Comment From Guest

Are you doing this chat & Coach McCarthy's press conference at the same time?

Mike Spofford is doing Coach McCarthy's press conference. You'll be able to read the story a little later today

Comment From Kristin

What were you thinking at halftime?

Would the Packers show grit and determination in the second half and make a game of it, or was this going to get worse. I felt the season slipping away. It bothered me greatly.

Comment From Andrew

I know you are not a big review guy, but would you be in favor of penalty review on plays like the face mask from last night?

Either review everything or review nothing. I don't like selective justice. I vote for reviewing nothing.

Comment From JSC

In this morning's "Ask Vic" you wrote, "this team found its identity." Is it Grit or our defense, because both have been keeping us in these football games?

I truly believe that will be the game that determines how history will record this team. I didn't lie to you when I said back in September that teams are defined in December. I tell you what I believe.

Comment From Kyle

Why didn't the Lions play to win? What did they have to lose by passing the ball at the end? They had already completed a 3rd & 12 prior to that.

Up by two scores, run your four-minute offense. Up by one score, keep your foot on the gas. That's my opinion.

Comment From California Mark

Even coach McCarthy was celebrating in the end zone. I don't think I have ever seen a celebration with all the coaches in the end zone before.

Life had gotten very tough for those men. They were being blamed for everything from play-calling to coin-toss decisions. It got to the point last week that I was having difficulty finding a question that wasn't a rant.

Comment From salvador

what's the team's identity?

Resolve and belief.

Comment From Kirill

would you say if we don't make the Super Bowl this year McCarthy and his entire staff will be on the hot seat?

*We're not going to do that today. No, sir, I will not play that hate game today and ruin everybody's fun. That was the best one-game coaching job I have ever covered.   *

Comment From Max

I'm new to the game. What made the coaching so good?

The leadership, beginning with a very bold decision the coach had to make on Eddie Lacy's playing time. Coach McCarthy demanded more from his players, and they gave it to him. That's great coaching.

Comment From Adam

Hot seat for McCarthy. Those are the type of 'fans' that I really dislike. How do they make it through life or do they only treat football that way, since it really doesn't affect their lives.

I'm tired of it, too.

Comment From Mike

What's your favorite fruit to eat on gameday?

I didn't have any fruit last night. I ate a very strange meal for dinner. It looked like something you would expect to be shoved under a door.

Comment From Dougtheslug

t being in the press box for the end of games? This can't be the first spectacular ending you missed.

I do whatever I have to do to do my job.'s game plan for covering games demands that I move to the postgame media interview room when the third quarter ends. I hate packing up and running downstairs between quarters, but it's what I have to do to max the coverage. I was in the interview room in Miami last year. ?Do you remember my story about a clock inside the interview room that wasn't in sync with the TV feed?

Comment From Canadian Mark

I really thought Coach Capers kept the mood, morale and focus of the D up through the first half, despite the scoreboard status. Then I thought what they were able to achieve in the second half was nothing short of a tremendous effort. To me, that describes your theme of best one-game coaching jobs ever. Coach Capers is my pick for motivational genius!

The defense allowed six points in the last three quarters. After that rough start? What a great job by Coach Capers and his defense.

Comment From Bramm

Might Crockett have saved the season?

That's going too far. He did his job.

Comment From Steve

If the Packers get to the Super Bowl- is this the game changing play we will refer back to as turning point in their story?

I say yes. I think last night's play is a game-changer, but I'm not thinking in terms of the Super Bowl. I'm thinking in terms of making it into the playoffs. Had the Packers lost last night, making the playoffs would've become much more difficult. You have to make the playoffs before you can go to the Super Bowl. I think everybody knows how I am about this. The Super Bowl isn't the goal until you make it into the playoffs. The playoffs are the goal for now. That's my opinion.

Comment From Mark

Vic, can you see into the future? Many of the readers believe you can.

I absolutely can't see into the future, but if you've lived long enough you can use history as a guide. What the Packers went through in November wasn't new to me. I write what I write because I've lived it and written about it. If I see into the future, it's because I look at the past.

Comment From Bill

That "handoff to Starks/fumble/recover in endzone for TD" playcall was sure gutsy!

I was sitting next to Mark Murphy, as I usually do. Mark is on the competition committee and after the Starks fumble play I said to Mark that I believe in those situations the ball should be come back to where it was fumbled, as it does late in games.

Comment From Adam

How about Jake Ryan??

Ten tackles, a tackle for loss and one fumble recovery. Is he a tackle machine? That's all you need at inside linebacker. I really wanna see Clay Matthews move back outside. I fear playing inside is wearing him down.

Comment From Dave

What do you believe is the cause for our receivers not being able to get separation. These are not elite secondaries we are playing.

Not today. We did that for a month.

Comment From Guest

Wasn't that an excellent job that Sam Shields did covering Megatron last night?

Three catches for 44 yards out of eight targets? It sure was.

Comment From Ryan

Why do analysts emphasize scheme so much compared to execution?

Because they know the Madden crowd eats it up.

Comment From Josh S.

Did you get much sleep last night?

An hour and a half. I'll sleep well tonight

Comment From Tanner

What is your biggest take away from the game last night? Locker room issues with Lacy or just the element of surprise by bringing in a new back?

My take, figuratively speaking, is the coach said this is what we're going to do and this is how we're going to do it, and the players said "We're with you, coach." When that happens, a team has one heartbeat.

Comment From Nate

What kind of back is Crockett? He looked like an eel.

He reminds me of one of my all-time favorite running backs, a tough, pads-down runner named Frank Pollard.

Comment From Bill

Where was that "heartbeat" in the first half? What got it beating as one in the second half?

It doesn't work that way, Bill. You just working at it until it happens. You have to trust it'll happen. If you put a time limit to it, you'll make changes that'll set you back.

Comment From Ryan

Was that the trick play you were talking about yesterday?

yep, that's it.

Comment From Leonard

Caldwell said he was expecting a lateral play. How anyone in his staff reminded him Rodger's range? Everybody knows he can throw 70 yards.

That kind of surprised me, too.

Comment From Guest

Will Ryan's role expand from here?

I think we've witnessed the launch of a promising career. I love that. It's a young man's game.

Comment From Robert

How big is the Seahawk/Viking game this weekend for the Packers playoff chances?

It's not as big as you might think, and it's because the Packers can go into the last game of the year trailing the Vikings by a game and win the division title by beating the Vikings. A part of me would rather see the Vikings beat the Seahawks. The Seahawks scare me.

I want to retract that last statement. I like the drama. I like the action. What could be better than a Packers-Seahawks rematch?

That's it, folks. See you next Friday. Have a great weekend. I will.

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