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Personality of team set in practice

Casey Hayward key figure in Packers defense


Matthew from Iron Mountain, MI

What did you think of the first padded practice?

It was long. It's obvious this team is in shape. It had a lot of bounce to its step through the first three days of practice. The half-line drill was just OK. It lacked verve. That'll change. Somebody will announce himself as the bully of that drill. It always happens.

Oscar from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, in your estimation, how important is it to have been a player, in order to be a football coach?

I think it's important to have played the game at a college or professional level to be able to relate to your players. I don't know how you can appreciate the human confrontation each player faces without having faced it yourself.

Joel from Omaha, NE

Does Ty Montgomery remind you of Randall Cobb?

In terms of role, yes, but not in physical terms. Montgomery is more thickly built. I'd like to compare Montgomery to Hines Ward.

Brady from Superior, WI

Who stood out the most in the first day of pads?

Montgomery was the star.

Art from Edwardsville, IL

As fans, should we root for the offense or defense when it comes to practice periods that pit the two sides against each other? If one side dominates, what does that say about the other side?

Don't root; just watch. The coaches don't root. The personnel people don't root. Stop being a fan long enough to know what's happening in training camp. It'll open a whole new world for you. You'll see what's happening instead of seeing what you want to see happen. It'll help you be a fan later, plus, it'll help you understand the personnel decisions that have to be made.

Scott from Delafield, WI

Vic, once you are fully retired, will you embrace any particular team and become a fan in the sense the rest of us are?

I'm not like you. I ask you to be respectful of that. I see the game differently because I've had to see it differently. When the day comes I'm no longer covering a team, I'll get the TV thing that allows you to see all of the games so I can watch the Packers, Jaguars and Steelers games. Those are the teams for which I have the greatest interest, for the obvious reason. In terms you might understand, I am a fan of those three teams. I know their history and I covered big chunks of each. You can't do that without investing your heart, but it's in a way foreign to you.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Vic, I have great respect for Coach McCarthy. Do you see a change in him this year following a difficult end to last season?

I see no change. He still has the same damn-the-torpedoes personality that makes him the aggressive coach he is. Great coaches have stable personalities, at least as they relate to football. They are predictable. Vince Lombardi might've been moody off the field, but he wasn't moody on it. Coach McCarthy never accepts mediocrity in practice. He demands that his team's practices are fast-paced and all out. In my mind, that's where Coach McCarthy establishes the personality of his team, in practice, and that's where his personality is most evident.

Lukas from Greven, VA

Vic, what's the difference in the skillset of an offensive tackle compared to that of a guard?

A tackle has to be able to play in space. A guard has a player to each side of him. Generally speaking, a tackle needs to be more athletic because he'll be facing the defense's most athletic pass rushers in space.

Cody from Billings, MT

Vic, I just took a look at the preview for the preseason and I was unaware of how many linebackers we had in camp. Who do you see as a sleeper to make the final cut?

The Packers have a large group of young linebackers who have an opportunity to do something big in this training camp. One of those linebackers is Joe Thomas, who was a sleeper in last year's camp and was closing on a roster spot until he injured his knee. I'll be watching him.

Sal from Chandler, AZ

Why did Coach Coughlin fine Ben Coleman for talking to you?

It was out of media time, plus, he didn't want players walking around with smiles on their faces.

Alexander from Racine, WI

Anymore Joe Greeneisms?

I have a very cavalier attitude toward Cleveland.

Barry from Hayward, WI

Vic, what was the most intensive player-on-player rivalry you have ever witnessed?

George Atkinson and Lynn Swann, and Tony Boselli and Bruce Smith come to mind. I think Aaron Rodgers and Ndamukong Suh were on the verge of something good.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Do you approach "Ask Vic Saturday" any differently than regular "Ask Vic"?

Yeah, I like to loosen up with the Saturday column. During the season, I like to use it to preview the Saturday college games.

Dan from Chicago, IL

Vic, another news source has mentioned Andy Mulumba's name several times. How does he look?

He was active in the Saturday half-line drills. I saw his number flash several times. Now I want to hear that number, if you know what I mean.

Gary from Grayslake, IL

I live in Bears country but have been a diehard Packers fan for over 20 years. Life is good! The talk down here is for the Bears this is a new era, given the coaching changes and some new additions to the line. I say same old, same old. What do you say?

I say it's a new era. You can't talk your way into winning, Gary. Be ready for them. They're gonna be ready for the Packers.

Cam from Fort Atkinson, WI

In "Murphy Takes Five," it seemed like Mark was really following all of the articles posted on Do you think he reads them all year long, or does he just check in?

He reads them; I'm certain of it. I also have no doubt Mark reads this column. He wants to know what the fans are thinking. At last week's "Ask Vic Day," Mark arrived early and stayed through the whole event. He answered every question he was asked and invited more. When a team has that kind of involved leadership, it shines through to the fan base.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Which player coming off injury is the most crucial to the success of the Packers?

Casey Hayward would certainly be a top candidate. He's the heir apparent at the cornerback spot opposite Sam Shields. It's a premier position. The Packers need Hayward to be full go and stay that way.

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