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The ex-jockos are poisoning your mind

I like teams that play above the X's and O's


Anthony from Janesville, WI

Have you seen any of these sports networks lately talking about the Giants and Ben McAdoo? ESPN, NFL Network, FOX, all of them think he was an offensive coordinator in Green Bay and Tom Clements was our QB coach. They have it backwards, don't they?

Yes, they do. They have a lot backwards, except when it comes to driving ratings. They get that part right. They know what the viewer wants and they give it to him and her. They know the viewer wants scheme. They know the viewer has Madden mania and they give the viewer an endless stream of ex-jockos who think they're experts on scheme, but clearly some of them aren't experts because they contradict each other. One guy praises the quarterback for having the patience to let his receiver come open, and the next guy rips the quarterback for not getting rid of the ball quickly when another receiver in the route tree came open right away. I especially enjoy it when they show the back of a quarterback's head and then tell you where he's looking. They're ruining your enjoyment of the game. Please, don't let them do it to you. There are two guys I'll watch: Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski. Jaws gets a little too deep for my taste, but he usually hits the mark. Gruden is my favorite. He goes right to the heart of the analysis. If the ex-jockos know so much, shouldn't they know McAdoo wasn't the Packers' offensive coordinator?

Andy from Tokyo, Japan

Are the offensive struggles due to the loss of our offensive coordinator?

Which network and ex-jocko poisoned your mind?

Shannon from Rockford, IL

The Packers' stated reason for the no-huddle offense was to increase the number of plays in a game. I've noticed the norm so far is they snap the ball with only a couple of seconds left on the play clock. Is this how this type of offense is supposed to be run or is it supposed to be much faster?

Yes, the Packers wanted to up their play count, but that's not the only reason you use the no-huddle. The other big reason – I think it's the main reason – is that you get the personnel you want on the field and lock your opponent in whatever personnel it puts out on the field. You can stand there and let the play clock tick down, which all goes to time of possession, and there's nothing your opponent can do but stand there and watch. If it tries to substitute, you snap the ball. If you like scheme, the no-huddle is for you because you can literally make decisions for your opponents. You know in advance what your opponent's personnel is. You know how he'll respond to what you put out on the field. You can game plan in May. The no-huddle is a way of making sure the offense dictates to the defense, instead of the other way around. I'm not big on this kind of stuff, but I know everybody else is, and I know the comments section at the bottom of this column will now light up with hundreds of mind-numbing comments. If that's what entertains you, then go for it. Scheme doesn't entertain me. I like teams that play above the X's and O's. That's what I respect.

Eric from Ft. Worth, TX

Sorry the rivalry has not lived up to the hype for you. I'm not sure about this, but I do believe Coach Ditka somehow had "Go Bears" painted on a billboard or something overlooking Lambeau.

Yes! That's what I need. I need antagonism. I need irritability. I need not nice. I need Ditka!

Mark from Bushland, TX

You may now get your wish for a change to the overtime rules, now that Peyton Manning has complained.

I didn't want the overtime rules to change in the first place. Score first, you win. If it was good enough for Johnny Unitas, it was good enough for me.

Ryan from San Antonio, TX

Vic, given your feelings about the uselessness of the preseason, how about we make it the primary tiebreaker? I bet teams would take it more seriously then.

Sure they would, but that's over the top. Maybe some bold and forward-thinking coach will decide he's tired of wasting preparation time on fear of injury, and he'll play his starters in the preseason and go on to win the Super Bowl. I promise, in a copycat league, that'll start a trend. What good is healthy if you're not ready? We're not good but we're healthy? That's like the old we're not big but we're slow.

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