Skip to main content
Powered by

Packers' pass rushers allow for scheme

J.J. Watt helps end Thursday night blues


Jeremy from Grande Prairie, Alberta

Watt's stat line from last night: seven combined tackles (three for a loss), four QB hits, three tipped passes, two sacks, one fumble recovery, one TD. He now has as many touchdowns on the season as Trent Richardson and LeSean McCoy combined (and only four less than the entire Raiders team). He even has more total net yards than Wes Welker. If he keeps this up, is he going to become the first defensive MVP since Lawrence Taylor?

I'd be inclined to say no because he's not Peyton Manning.

Mike from Cullowhee, NC

With the potential of Datone Jones not playing, I feel this could be a good week to keep an eye open for how Capers may bring Peppers, Neal and Perry to the line with the their hand down more than previously this season. Thoughts on how Jones' injury affects the rotation?

You could be right, but I think you might be mixing apples and oranges a little bit. Jones is an every-down two-gapping defensive end; the other guys are hybrids and specialty players. What interests me about your question is that it appears to me Coach Capers finally has enough pass rushers to reach deep into his playbook for the really good stuff.

Don from Weaverville, CA

Given the current emphasis on unleashing the passing game, isn't limiting the passing game now more important than stopping the run?

This is definitely a pass the ball, stop the pass league, but defense still begins with stopping the run. If you can't do that, you can't focus on stopping the pass. If you can't stop the run, the offense is dictating to you. Every defensive coordinator wants to make the opponent's offense one-dimensional so he can dictate to it.

Richard from Erie, PA

Vic, Pierre-Paul is set to become a free agent this coming offseason. As someone who thinks you could never have enough pass rushers, I'd love to see the Packers make an attempt at signing him. Thoughts?

First, you wait for the tags to be used. If he's still a free agent, you ask yourself: Can I find a younger, more affordable model in the draft?

Matt from Dixon, IL

Vic, I don't know about you, but every game I am excited to watch Clinton-Dix play football. I feel most fans have been quiet about his play so far. What is your analysis of the first-rounder after Week 5?

He's playing well. Quiet about his play? Everybody loves Ha Ha. Maybe teams should pick who the fans want to pick.

Deni from Helmond, Netherlands

Vic, I almost changed the channel when the Colts were up by 24, but finally we had a close game on TNF. I was really impressed by Andrew Luck. Do you see him as being in the same category as Rodgers, Manning, Brady and Brees?

Yes, he's in the group of elite quarterbacks.

Sunil from Hyderabad, India

Vic, I'm probably the first Indian Packers fan who follows your articles very religiously. Please pardon my football knowledge. We lost to two good teams this season. Most of the fans were concerned like I was. I have no doubt about us winning the division. Can you share your thoughts on the Packers winning games against teams like the Seahawks or San Francisco, who have good defense and mobile quarterbacks?

As I wrote, the opener in Seattle revealed the gap that exists between the Packers and the Super Bowl champions. The Packers, I believe, are in the process of closing that gap. They have between now and January to do it.

Michael from Box Elder, SD

Vic, I'm trying to enjoy the game, and reading your articles has helped me with that, but these flags are out of control and making it hard for me.

Vic to league: Please read my inbox.

Jeff from Minocqua, WI

Vic, watching the game last night, Houston's third touchdown was Foster running behind four clip blocks. When did clips become legal?

In the clip zone, they've always been legal, but it became an issue when Alex Gibbs pioneered zone-blocking and the stretch play that got defenders running laterally so the trail blocker could cut his man and provide a cutback lane for the running back. It's been a controversial but very effective scheme. Nearly every team is using it or a form of it. Some would say the league needs to take a closer look at the clip zone, but that would only result in more penalties. I think it's up to defensive coaches to find a remedy.

Andrew from Jacksonville, FL

Vic, is Arian Foster a system running back? In other words, would he be ineffective on other NFL teams?

He's a zone-blocking, cutback runner. It fits his talents perfectly. Would he fit as well in a drive-blocking scheme? I doubt it.

Lucas from Culver City, CA

Vic, the Colts just executed the best onside kick I've ever seen. What is the best onside kick you have ever witnessed?

It was the first time I saw the kicker dribble the ball and then fall on it. Seattle did it and it was a long time ago. None of us in the press box were sure what had just happened. We thought the ball blew off the tee and the kicker somehow bumped the ball after it fell from the tee. When the official signaled it was Seattle's ball, there was a collective "Huh?" in the press box. I don't know who invented that play, but it was sheer genius.

Steven from Racine, WI

Do you ever call in sick?

Only for cancer and heart attacks.

Matt from Marquette, MI

Vic, I know the no-huddle keeps the defense from substituting. When teams have an absolute stud on defense, do teams that normally go no-huddle huddle in hopes he leaves for a play? Then they can keep him on the sideline.

If you're playing against the Texans and J.J. Watt gets something in his eye and goes to the sideline for a play, that's when you go no-huddle. I have a feeling, though, the Texans would find a way to rush him back onto the field.

Brian from Fond du Lac, WI

Vic, I like the intro to "Final Thoughts." It's a real piece of work and worthy of a national, nay, an international audience's time. I smile every time I see it. I particularly like the part where you have the Steelers book and Mike has the Packers book. The truth is stranger than fiction.

Yinze are so easy. It's like taking candy from a baby.

Brad from Vancouver, BC

Vic, I think it would be fun, just for the rest of the season, for the Raiders to put a Madden champion in as interim coach. What's the worst that could happen?

I would love to see that happen.

Michael from Wauwatosa, WI

Vic, what makes playing in Florida in the early part of the season any harder than in Louisiana, Texas or southern California?

It's usually not hot in San Diego, as it was for the Seattle game. The Saints play in a fixed dome and the Cowboys and Texans play in retractable-dome stadiums that are often closed. Playing in Florida early in the season often forces teams to play in a mixed bag of weather conditions that could include thunderstorms and weather delays.

Josh from Brookfield, WI

Another Thursday night clunker, 24-0 in the first and I turned it off. Not a good product. Why did the union agree to Thursday night games if the players hate it so much?


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.