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Six thousand yards passing is predictable


Casey from Lynchburg, VA

Vic, I followed your advice and watched an "NFL Films" piece on Otto Graham. What an outstanding player from a different era. He won an NFL championship with the Browns and also an NBA championship with the Rochester Royals.

Yeah, but he looked weird. He didn't wear those little arm bands that make your muscles bulge, and his shirts were loose-fitting and his pants were baggy. I mean, how could a guy that looked that frumpy actually have been athletic?

Alex from Columbia, MD

I love my job of computer programming. I don't call and hang up on girls. Also, I'm very active, 26 years old, playing soccer and beach volleyball five times a week. But number one, I'm a Packers fan. Oh, and I hate Madden. Is there hope that Rodgers won't bankrupt a team's talent pool like Brees just did? You can't afford the most expensive player and still have quality at every other position like we have for the most part right now.

You can't afford not to have a great quarterback.

Dirk from Munich, Germany

Vic, what happens with guaranteed money if the player who's just signed that big, new contract suffers a career-ending injury before all the money is paid out? Does the team have to pay the rest, or is it just guaranteed as long as the player can still play?

Guaranteed usually means the money must be paid, as long as the player doesn't retire. There are usually protections against misbehavior, too. I see where some of the high picks in this year's draft class have received guaranteed contracts, and I think that's a red flag. I'm shocked the NFL is going down that path. I never thought I'd see the day.

Bill from Indianapolis, IN

Do you think Peyton Manning can make a comeback from his neck injury?

I'll let you know the first time I see him try to hit the "Honey Hole." That's the throw that defines a quarterback. If he can't make that throw, all he'll see is "Cover Two." Did Manning's neck injury cost him arm strength? That's the only question that needs to be answered. We know he can think his way down the field, and mobility was never a factor in his game. Arm strength is the only issue.

Danny from Mishicot, WI

What's your opinion of players lying about having a concussion so they aren't made to leave the game?

I'm not offended by courage.

John from West Chester, OH

Vic, we've talked about how the outside linebacker is the heart of a 3-4 defense. What two outside linebackers would you select to start your all-time 3-4 defense?

Lawrence Taylor and Junior Seau.

Chris from West Bend, WI

When you and Mike decide on point/counterpoint topics, are they based on topics where you both have differing opinions? Or do you guys come up with a topic and then discuss which side you should each represent respectively.

We pick a topic, usually something current, that we believe will stimulate reader commentary, and then I take the side everyone will hate.

T. from West Bend, WI

All right, let's try again, sir. Other than the Bills, who you mentioned and I agree with, can you give us a surprise team to look out for next year and your reason why?

If there's more than one, then it's not a surprise team, right? Let me put it this way: The Bills are my No. 1 candidate to be a surprise team. I'd like to say the Panthers are my No. 2 candidate to be a surprise team, but Cam Newton has gotten so much attention that I'm not sure Carolina qualifies as a surprise. The same goes for the Redskins with RG3. It's difficult to find candidates to be a surprise team. I'll go with the Rams as my No. 2 candidate. Jeff Fisher will coach them up.

Brett from Brisbane, Australia

I would like to know if you think it`s time to stop using Roman numerals for the Super Bowl?

Yeah, I do. The numerals are now meaningless; they've reached too high. It would mean much more to the average fan if the Super Bowl was identified by the year it was played. For example: Super Bowl, 2012. I wouldn't change the ones that have already been played, but I think it's time to change the branding going forward because the use of Roman numerals just isn't part of our culture.

Michael from De Forest, WI

You answered a question regarding passing stats and that you feel they will continue to climb. I agree. However, you didn't say if you felt 6,000 yards was attainable. I personally would say no because that would be 375 yards per game.

I not only think it's attainable, I think it's predictable. We saw a preview of it in the final game of the 2011 regular season, when the Packers and Lions combined for a thousand yards passing. Not every team and every division will play that style of football, but the Packers and Lions are clearly taking the NFC North in that direction, and I think there's an attitude in the league right now that you win with offense and offense begins with the quarterback and the passing game. Aaron Rodgers threw for 4,643 yards last season. Had he played in the finale against the Lions, he would've blown past the 5,000-yard mark. If the Packers play in more shootout type games, as the Lions game was, I think Rodgers would be a strong candidate to crack the 6,000-yard mark. He clearly can play that kind of game.

Ryan from Webster, TX

I'd like to start by saying I appreciate your uphill battle in protecting the game's past. How in the world can anybody not respect what the forefathers of this game have done? This game of ours has gone through so much. Can't we all just take a moment and show some respect?

That's what we're going to do tomorrow, when Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren are inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame, and that's why I made respect for the history of the game a central issue in this week's "Ask Vic," so we might give it some thought as we head into Wolf's and Holmgren's inductions. Think about what those two men accomplished and did for your lives. They ushered in a new era of Packers football. They returned the franchise to winning. They gave you Brett Favre and Reggie White. They gave you a Super Bowl win. They gave you happiness and, as far as I know, happiness is the same in any era; it's wonderful. So I ask you to appreciate what Wolf and Holmgren did in the past, and how it continues to impact your life today, and apply that same rationale to Lombardi and Lambeau and Hutson and to every great coach, owner and player that contributed in making this game what it is today.

Danny from Jacksonville, AR

Vic, I just wanted to let you know that I'm 24 and I've been reading your column since it first came out. I play Madden and fantasy football and when I started reading your column I had absolutely no respect for the old football generation, thinking they were slow and couldn't compete today. In the last year and a half, your column has changed that. I now have great respect for that generation. Thanks.

Your willingness to open your mind has opened a door to a deeper enjoyment of the game. Congratulations.

Andrew from Jacksonville, FL

Have you ever read "The Ones Who Hit the Hardest"? It's a fascinating read about the 1970's football style you often refer to. There are some crazy stories, as well. Ernie Holmes had quite a year in 1973.

Imagine standing in the pocket while being rushed by a guy who tried to shoot down a helicopter and shaved an arrow into the hair on the top of his head because it would point the way to the quarterback.

Terry from Woodbridge, VA

What is the status of Hargrove and Neal while on suspension? Do they count against the 53-man roster?


Curtis from Wausau, WI

Vic, do you remember any great and/or cheesy commercials that NFL players starred in? I seem to recall Joe Namath had some interesting ones.

His panty hose commercial was both funny and disturbing.

Kris from Suring, WI

I loved your response to my question about player ratings on Madden. I knew you wouldn't understand all the blah, blah, blah about ratings, because that's all it really is, blah, blah, blah. Geeks that call girls just to hang up on them is pretty clever and, yes, I can take a joke.

In honor of you, I'm going to name my next child Kris.

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