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Things aren't gonna change for a long time


Colin from Cary, IL

It's probably safe to say the Saints are the team we least want to meet in the playoffs. As a Packers fan, should I hope we don't have to face them until the title game?

A dome team in Green Bay in January? I think it's even safer to say Green Bay is the place at which the Saints least want to play in the postseason.

Kevin from Jacksonville, FL

I can't believe how ignorant I was when Coach McCarthy was hired. I was upset we didn't get a big-name coordinator or ex-head coach to lead us into the future. Has there been another coach in the NFL to be so successful without having previous head coaching experience?

Lombardi didn't have previous head coaching experience and he won five league titles. Noll didn't have previous head coaching experience and he won four Super Bowls. There are oodles of great coaches that weren't big names when they got their first head job. When a team is looking for a head coach, its fans invariably clamor for recognizable names out of the recycle bin. The good franchises identify emerging talent. It promotes freshness and especially continuity, because if you hit on a young guy, he's gonna have a long run as your head coach and that means things aren't gonna change for a long time. That's what the Packers have going for them with Mike McCarthy. Things aren't gonna change for a long time and that's a formula for sustainability.

Peter from Toledo, OH

I read a lot about how deep we are due to our draft-and-develop philosophy, and how brilliant Thompson is. My question is, don't other organizations have this?

Every team doesn't have Ted Thompson. He's the guy that makes this work. It wasn't working in Seattle until he arrived. Then he came to Green Bay and rebuilt an aging roster that was in decline. He has a special eye for talent and he marches to his own drummer, which means he's going to do it his way and he's willing to accept the blame for failure. Thompson is not a media sensation, but you don't have to interview him a lot to understand that he's a man that believes in accountability. He doesn't make excuses. He makes picks and stands by them. I think his track record speaks for itself.

Matt from Fairbanks, AK

I believe one of the most important aspects of (Rodgers') skill set is his split-second decision-making, along with his selflessness. He always puts the entire team in a position to win. Not only is that an extremely rare and invaluable quality in football, but also in life in general.

I think the thing that makes Aaron Rodgers special is his ability to see the field. He has a great arm, but a lot of bad quarterbacks have had great arms. I have never covered a quarterback that sees the field as Rodgers does. I'm intrigued by something Mike McCarthy said this week: "Whoever wins gets the ball." In other words, the guy that gets open will get the ball. Hey, that sounds nice, but I've covered a lot of good quarterbacks that didn't see open receivers because they couldn't get past their second or third options. Rodgers routinely gets through all of his options. Yeah, he does it by buying time with his legs, but watch his head turn side to side during a pass play. He has the ability to turn his head and immediately find the receiver to that side of the field, instead of having to look for him and focus on him. I'll bet that if Rodgers underwent some kind of eye test that would indicate the ability to focus quickly on a target, he would score extraordinarily high.

Dustin from Jacksonville, FL

Looks like you've really hit on something with "Tuesdays with McCarthy." Glad to see I'm not the only one addicted.

He really works at it. He wants it to be good. Coach McCarthy sees that column as a chance to communicate with the fans and he clearly values the opportunity.

Joe from Piscataway, NJ

The days of defenses winning championships may be over, but the Packers lead the league in interceptions forced, so doesn't that prove that you need a clutch defense to still win?

You need your defense to make plays. You can't win if your defense is a total sieve. Be that as it may, I don't think anybody is going to accuse the Packers, Saints or Patriots of winning with their defenses.

Andrew from Columbia, MO

You keep mentioning how special this season is for Rodgers, and how we should all treasure watching it unfold. As remarkable as he has been so far, I still hold to the "Just win, baby" philosophy. If Rodgers and the Packers don't take home another Lombardi trophy, this season will always have that blemish. Few people mention 2007 Brady without mentioning that Super Bowl loss. Thoughts?

I call winning an "investment." The more a team wins, the greater its investment is in the season. In football, however, you can't move your investment onto the sideline. You gotta let it ride, and it's that anxiety, that gamble we can't avoid, that intoxicates us.

Nate from Amherst, WI

You mentioned the days of running and stopping the run and defense wins championships are over. Do you suppose it's not necessarily over, but rather in the trough of its cycle? Five years from now, the Super Bowl champs could be a pounding team with a great defense?

When I'm crying the hardest, I dream of what you're saying.

Chad from River Forest, IL

There's no way Robert Brooks, who was my favorite Packer growing up, has more "Lambeau Leaps" than Donald Driver, who is my favorite current Packer. Brooks had 35 total touchdowns during his time in Green Bay, while Driver has 56 (so far). I'd wager at least 75 percent of Driver's TDs were followed by "Lambeau Leaps," giving him a definitive edge.

I can't believe somebody hasn't been responsible for counting "Lambeau Leaps." This is an outrage.

Audrey from Bellevue, NE

Do the players receive any money from the league for winning the Super Bowl?

Each Packers player received $83,000 for the team having won last season's Super Bowl.

Brad from Huntsville, TX

In 2008, the Packers' first pick was Jordy Nelson in the second round. What did they do with the first-round pick that year?

The Packers traded their pick at No. 30 for the Jets' pick at No. 36 – other picks were involved, too – and then selected Nelson at 36. Why not pick Nelson at 30? Because he didn't fit there. Nelson certainly would've been a good pick at 30, but Thompson knew he could get him lower so why not trade back, recoup the value of the pick at 30 and get your guy where he fits? That's how closely Ted Thompson adheres to his value line and my respect for that kind of BAP drafting is immense. That's what the great drafting teams do. The draft isn't about need, it's about value. That doesn't mean you can't target a guy that addresses a need, as the Packers did with Nelson, it just means you have to avoid reaching for that guy; you have to get him where he fits or you have squandered a portion of your draft's value.

Marcus from Roxbury, WI

There's been a lot of great athletes in the history of the NFL. Who do you consider the most athletic player in football history? My vote goes to Bo Jackson.

Jim Thorpe.

Jesus from El Paso, TX

I remember reading somewhere that Coach Capers has a strong stop-the-run-first mentality. Does this still hold true?

Yeah, but I think it's been softened by the changing face of the game. The Packers have predominantly played two down linemen this season, and that would indicate a greater emphasis on stopping the pass. That's the way it is in today's game. This is a pass-the-ball, stop-the-pass league.

Mark from Chili, WI

What's with Bradshaw always going against the Packers when the FOX guys make their predictions? I love it that he's always wrong.

Yeah, but eventually he might be right, and they won't talk about all of the times he was wrong, they'll say, "Well, you called that one, Terry." He was always dumb like a fox; still is.

Erik from El Paso, TX

"Big Ben" likes Andy Dalton to be the rookie of the year. Who do you think should be rookie of the year?

Dalton and Cam Newton are neck and neck; too early to call. On defense, I'll go with Von Miller.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

I saw your response to the Michigan fan, and the reference to Urban Meyer. It seems like a good fit. Do you agree?

Oh, yeah, it's a good fit, especially with the situation at Penn State being iffy. Meyer is in position to clean out two talent-rich states, and he has the contacts to reach down into Florida and haul in some of the riches there. Plus, he's got a young quarterback who's perfect for his system. I shudder to think what Meyer would've accomplished with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback.

Paul from Spencerville, IN

As the season winds down I can't help but think of what might have been. What if the Packers players had scheduled players-only practices during the lockout? What if the Packers would have resigned Cullen Jenkins? What if the Packers would have passed the ball late in games and abandoned the run? Just think, the Packers could be undefeated right now and headed into a big game against the Giants.

You're absolutely right. What if they had put Nick Collins on IR sooner? You forgot about that one.

Jim from Toledo, OH

I am honored to be the first inductee into the Packers' wing of the "Ask Vic Hall Of Fame." Do I get a prize?

You're the prize, Jim.

Pedro from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Who would you pick for offensive and defensive players of the year?

If you mean leaguewide, then I would pick Rodgers and Revis.

Blaine from Sun Prairie, WI

You know, some of the responses you have given did get me a little upset from time to time, but I went out and bought a pair of khakis and now everything is better. Where did you come up with the khakis idea?

It comes from years of experience. I don't know why they even make pants other than khakis. Khakis go with everything. If you wear nothing but khakis, the people at work don't know if you have a whole closet full of khakis or you wear the same pair every day. I've done considerable scientific testing and I have concluded that a pair of khakis feel better than a pair made of the same material but in a different color. I've also detected that khakis don't need ironing as much as pants of other colors do, and my wife is in a better mood when I'm wearing khakis. I've even detected that I get better interviews from players when I'm wearing khakis.

Matt from Apex, NC

On "First Take," Skip Bayless had the audacity to say he would take Tim Tebow over Aaron Rodgers under two minutes.

I think this is starting to become fun. I really mean that. I hope the Broncos make it into the playoffs.

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