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Packers won four of five key matchups

Mike McCarthy gives us an example of less volume, more creativity


John from Kenosha, WI

Vic, you said a while ago you expected new wrinkles to happen because of all the injuries. Does moving Nelson to the slot count? He seemed comfortable in that position.

It sure does count. A sign on the wall of Mike McCarthy's coaching office says: "Less volume, more creativity." Using Jordy Nelson as a slot receiver is an example of creativity without expanding the playbook.

Erik from Lynchburg, VA

You said the Packers use the practice squad the way you believe the practice squad should be used, to develop young talent, instead of using it as an auxiliary roster. Can you explain how exactly they do this, and what it looks like to use it as an auxiliary roster?

A lot of teams use the practice squad as reserve for injuries. They get a couple of injuries at wide receiver so they sign somebody to the practice squad with no intention of keeping that player on their practice squad when the injured wide receivers are healthy again. At that point, they'll have an injury somewhere else and they'll cut the wide receiver they signed and sign a player at the new position of injury. When you do it that way, you're not developing talent, you're using the practice squad as a safety net. The Packers don't sign players to their practice squad unless they believe they are worthy of development. Yeah, even the Packers have to shape their rosters with injuries in mind, but how many times do you see the Packers react to an injury at a position by signing a guy to the practice squad that doesn't play that position? I see it happen it often. They'll put somebody on injured reserve, promote somebody from the practice squad and then sign somebody to the practice squad regardless of the position he plays. This team is committed to a philosophy and it seldom strays from that philosophy. Oh, it'll happen; there are always exceptions. Jeff Saturday was an exception. Evan Dietrich-Smith's development wasn't complete when Scott Wells left in free agency, so the Packers needed to use pro personnel for a temporary patch, but that's the exception, not the rule. Once Dietrich-Smith was ready, you saw what happened.

Tom from New York, NY

Tackles are the biggest and most athletic guys on the offensive line. With the abundance we have, and potentially will have as more guys get healthy, why not have a startling line of tackles?

The Packers pretty much do. They have a line of former left tackles. Baseball teams are a whole bunch of shortstops playing other positions. Mike Schmidt, for example, was a shortstop in college.

Andrew from Hickory, NC

How did the Packers do in regards to your five key matchups?

The Packers won four of the five. The defense held Adrian Peterson to 60 yards, David Bakhtiari shut out Jared Allen, Aaron Rodgers torched the Vikings secondary and Packers fans were more enthusiastic and supportive than Vikings fans were. The loss was the Packers kick coverage vs. Cordarrelle Patterson.

Jacob from Madison, WI

Vic, would you please explain to me what pass interference is because I am now officially lost. When I played we were coached to touch the hips of the receiver to feel where he is going. The call against Williams demonstrates to me that the league has abandoned defense all together.

Pass interference is what would appear to be a foul in a basketball game. I'm actually being serious, except I don't think Tramon Williams would've been called for a foul had it been a basketball game.

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