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Replacement players hold key to Packers' fate

An Irish blessing for Guam and Notre Dame


Craig from McKinney, TX

Vic, you made the comment that players are just getting too big and too strong and, as a result we are seeing more injuries than ever. Do you ever see a time in the NFL where they might institute a weight limit for a particular position, much like there are limits in professional boxing?

It won't happen and it's not necessary because the size of the game can be manipulated by reshaping the game. There are a lot of ways to do it, beginning with changing the size and shape of the field, decreasing the number of players required at the line of scrimmage, increasing the number of eligible receivers, allowing motion to be forward at the snap of the ball, allowing multiple players to be in motion at the snap of the ball, limiting defensive players in how they may be positioned, etc. In my opinion, changing the game is a lot easier to do than changing the culture. By changing the game, you force the culture to change. That's the only way I see it happening.

Thomas from Milwaukee, WI

Can you share your views on how the tight end position has changed through history? Who was the defining player?

Mike Ditka defined the tight end as an inline blocker and deep-seam receiver. Some would say he invented that role. Kellen Winslow Sr., thanks to Don Coryell's vision, invented the tight end as a wide receiver.

Kylon from Talofofo, Guam

Vic, there's a typhoon coming to Guam. Could you give us all an Irish blessing?

May your winds blow calm and your seas stay steady, and may Notre Dame beat USC this weekend by cheating them as Notre Dame did to Stanford and Pitt last year, and as USC did to the Irish in 1964, robbing them of the national title and causing Ara Parseghian to run up the score two years later, 51-0.

Jeff from Winneconne, WI

Do you think we are missing the boat when it comes to not caring about preseason games? I think we need to start watching preseason games a little more closely. Right now, the guys that were trying to make the team in August are starting. With all the injuries the last few years, the need for quality replacements gets stronger. What are your thoughts?

It's a game of replacement. I've been saying it for the past several years and nobody wants to believe it. We spend all offseason obsessing about the starting lineup, and then by midseason the starting lineups are full of players who weren't even in the conversation. Look, this is football. You WILL get hurt.

Troy from Denver, CO

Vic, how can Jim Irsay keep pointing to his Super Bowl ring without acknowledging that without the guy he's knocking, he wouldn't be wearing that Super Bowl ring? Bill Polian also can't be happy with Irsay's comments.

He shouldn't have said what he did, mostly because Lucas Oil Stadium is the "House that Peyton Manning Built," but did Irsay lie? The truth is the pure defense.

Lonny from Aberdeen, SD

Vic, was the original Cleveland Browns mascot an elf? What is that?

Yeah, when I was a kid, it was an elf. I don't know what the impetus was, but what's a Brown? Is it a stain? A smear? Their rival, the Steelers, were also mascot challenged. It was a guy wearing a hard hat and kicking a football off a steel beam. They were both silly looking. Pete Rozelle changed all of that. He brought uniformity and branding to the NFL, and he ordered all teams to create a logo they would wear on their helmets. Some guy from the Iron and Steel Institute gave the Steelers the logo they wear, but only enough of them for one side of their helmet, and the Browns hung on until all of the other teams had logos, so their logo became a helmet with no logo. If ever there were two franchises that deserved each other, it's the Browns and the Steelers. Their rivalry has always had a primitive beauty to it.

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