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Preseason can confirm what we see in practice

Here come the contact drills


Preston from Sheboygan, WI

Vic, are you a fan of watching preseason games?

I watch preseason games to confirm or refute what I've seen in training camp practices. Jayrone Elliott is a perfect example. He looked good early in training camp last summer, and then he confirmed that opinion by lighting it up in the games. Otherwise, the games are meaningless. I don't watch them for their outcome. For me, the preseason is all about talent evaluation. I'm a fan of that.

Tony from Burbank, CA

Vic, are you excited to see practice with the pads on? What will you be watching for with them on?

Yeah, I like the first day of full-contact drills. I especially like half-lines, blitz pickup and one-on-one pass-rush drills. In full-pads practices, I'll be watching for those players that emerge and those that fade. OTAs mean nothing now. It's all about this.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, do you think the NFL will ever have a farm league like MLB does?

That'll depend on college football. Will it contract? Will it soften or deemphasize? If it does, the NFL could find itself needing to develop talent that has always been developed for the NFL by college football. I'm not sold on the future of college football beyond the big five conferences, and there are rumblings that defections by Texas and Oklahoma could turn the big five into the big four. If the end game of major college football is a 64-school league, will it be able to produce enough talent to stock a pro game that is growing?

Stephen from Cameron Park, CA

Vic, when do you think the Seahawks will have to lose some key players to the cap?

There's a difference between core players and key players. You must keep your core players, but you must be willing to lose key players every year or you're headed for a cut and gut. The Seahawks are good cap managers. They'll figure it out.

Darren from Mackinaw, IL

As fans who aren't able to watch practices, what is the most valuable thing we can likely gather by reading articles as to how things are developing for the team?

Develop a feel for the progress of this team. The daily information is there. For example, the secondary turned in a strong performance in yesterday's practice. Keep that in your memory bank as you acquire more information in the days leading up to Family Night.

Josh from Morganton, NC

If I was the commissioner I would implement a rule to where if you cheated and you appeal it and are still found guilty, it doubles your suspension. Then players who really cheated would be less likely to try and get off free.

The commissioner doesn't have the power to make those kinds of rules; nobody does. That kind of rule requires an agreement between the owners and the players, and the players aren't likely to agree to that rule, which means you would be an unsuccessful commissioner because you'd stand in the way of a collective bargaining agreement and there would be no football. Running this league is a difficult task. Policing it has become the commissioner's most difficult task.

Dan from New York, NY

Where has Clay Matthews been playing mostly so far, at outside or inside linebacker?

Mike Spofford's story about yesterday's practice reports Matthews having spent most of his time at inside linebacker next to Sam Barrington through the first two days of training camp.

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

Vic, where is the line between confidence and arrogance? Do you detect any in this team?

Excuse is the line between confidence and arrogance, and Mike McCarthy won't allow any excuses.

Nic from Summit Lake, WI

Vic, you've mentioned several times you thought Julius Peppers had played most of his career out of position at defensive end, but isn't a defensive end more valuable than an outside linebacker?

The outside linebackers are usually the stars of a 3-4 defense. A right defensive end in a 4-3 is a premier pass rusher and so is an outside linebacker in a 3-4. In my opinion, an outside linebacker in a 3-4 is a more valuable player than the right defensive end in a 4-3 because the linebacker is asked to do more and cover more ground.

Adrian from Claremont, NC

As someone who lives far away and can't make it to see practices, is there a chance of getting a video report of highlights, say a daily overview from Larry McCarren on the site?

Something like this?

Ben from Cedar Grove, WI

Steve from Mt. Clare's question was so boring I didn't finish it. Maybe you're lazy but you're not stupid. Are you gifted or just lucky?

I'm just lucky. If the timing hadn't been right, I'd still be covering high school football. I get questions from aspiring young journalists who want to know how they can get to where I am. I tell them to do what I did: Cover high school football and get lucky.

Joe from Austin, TX

How crucial is it to find your niche professionally? All else being equal, how content would you be with your life if you didn't end up in sports journalism?

My high school coach wanted me to pursue a career in coaching. He worked it out with a college coach for me to learn under him. I elected to take another path. I often wonder how the coach thing would've turned out.

Louis from Coral Springs, FL

Vic, how about a player of the day every day during training camp?

It's in the stories; just read them. LaDarius Gunter was the player of the day on Thursday and Morgan Burnett was the player of the day yesterday.

Rob from Webb City, MO

Vic, did the Seahawks get it right giving Russell Wilson Aaron Rodgers type money?

What could they do, not sign him? Success comes at a price.

Jason from Austin, TX

Vic, are two-a-days a thing of the past? Why?

Two-a-days? I think we're headed for the day when five-a-week are a thing of the past. It's all about player safety. How safe is too safe? That's the question the guardians of the game must be vigilant in answering.

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