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Three questions to answer early in the season

Two sounds that define their time


Gary from Grass Valley, CA

Why are sports reporters and some fans still using 1,000 yards rushing as a measuring stick for success of a running back? It used to be important in the days when teams played 12 games a season. It meant a player averaged around 85 yards a game. Today, 1,000 yards means a player averages 63 yards a game! In today's 16-game schedule, a player would have to have gained approximately 1,350 yards to be equal to the 1,000-yard player with the old 12-game schedule. Today's 1,000-yard rushers are equal to the old timers that rushed for 756 yards.

There's some truth to all of that, but today's backs are paired with complementary backs and third-down specialists, the running game isn't the featured attraction it was years ago, and today's backs are also one part pass-catcher. In today's game of specialization, I think a thousand yards rushing in a season is still a worthy stat, especially if it's married with a sizable pass-receiving contribution.

Matthew from Mount Pleasant, WI

Vic, what are your favorite sounds of the game?

Training camp is still defined, in my world, by the sudden and sharp thwack of pads meeting. When I hear it, my head turns to see who made that sound. I remember who did it. The season is defined by the roar of the crowd.

Andy from Davenport, IA

A question about whether or not Packers fans are spoiled and you answered it well. I believe part of our expectation comes from Vince Lombardi and his comments like, "Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser," and "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." What do you think?

In the Lombardi era, pro football was ramping up. We needed a man to take us higher. He did. Now we need someone to calm us down.

Mike from Fond du Lac, WI

Vic, I trust you are well. What do I have to do to get my wife to understand how important you are for Packernation?

Say it with flowers. Whatever you want, make the request with flowers. Did something wrong? Send flowers. Give the local flower shop your credit card information and instructions to send flowers every year on her birthday and Valentine's Day; you'll never regret it. Flowers are more powerful than the "Packer Sweep."

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, why is the best writing in a newspaper so often about sports?

Sports has always enjoyed greater license.

Gareth from Sydney, Australia

If Joey Bosa doesn't get a deal signed, can he be picked up by another team?

The Chargers would retain his rights until next year's draft.

Don from Albuquerque, NM

I long for a signature play again like the old sweep, that is detailed and practiced to perfection and works in the red zone. More than Aaron's hard count, what could it be?

I think today's penetrate-and-disrupt defenses play right into the hands of an old-fashioned inside trap. It's what the Manning-era Colts did in the tight red zone. They ran two plays. They ran trap, and they ran trap pass.

Phil from Ashland, WI

Air, gas, spark. That's an offseason theme I can take to the bank.

Run, pass, catch.

Bob from Bradenton, FL

You have spoken about backs initiating contact. The Packer I remember most vividly was Jim Taylor. He never stepped aside for anybody. Any thoughts?

He ran behind his pads and he had a great line in front of him, but I never held that against Jim Taylor. He was my ideal of the perfect running back: tough, durable, pounding and consistent. I don't need the whipped cream. Just give me the cake.

Packers WR Jeff Janis celebrates his birthday on June 24. See photos and facts from his career. Photos by Jim Biever and Matt Becker of, and Shawn Hubbard.

Thomas from Green Bay, WI

Who is your most anticipated person on the roster as of right now, to have a huge impact on the Packers season in a couple of months?

Jeff Janis is the guy. How do you erase the memory of what he did in that final game? He was sensational.

Ryan from Noblesville, IN

I have nothing against the Cowboys or Emmitt Smith and think he is a fine individual, but I think everyone would agree that if Barry Sanders had the offensive line Emmitt had, we wouldn't be having this conversation/argument.

If Sanders hadn't retired we might not be having this conversation/argument. Hey, he retired. He quit. He stopped. Emmitt Smith didn't. He kept playing. He kept pounding.

Jim from Charleston, SC

Do you like boiled peanuts?

I love them. Our store sells the green kind for boiling. I always take one out of the bin and nibble on it as I shop. Is that a bad thing? Should I not have done that?

Check out these photos of the team taking its annual headshots at Lambeau Field. Photos by Ryan Hartwig,

Richard from Las Vegas, NV

What three questions about this year's team are you looking to have answers to after the first four regular-season games?

1) Is Eddie Lacy back in the groove? 2) Is the receiving corps continuing the gains it made late last season? 3) Is the defense showing signs of being what I think it can be?

Bryan from Nashville, TN

Your last words to the 911 operator were hilarious. Thanks for the laugh. My question is: Has your inbox changed at all since your helicopter ride?

It got real soft when everybody thought I was dying. It's getting mean again now, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

Luke from Marshfield

Vic, what is the advantage or reason for having a 53-man roster but only being able to utilize 46 from week to week? I'm having trouble making sense of this.

It's a compromise. The owners gave the players the 53 they wanted, but held the line on a reduced number of active players to avoid more substitutions and players running onto and off the field. Specialization has long been a concern of owners. There's a loss of identity that goes with it.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

Vic, we're deep into the slowest part of the football year. What's your take on Brexit?

It's short-term pain for long-term gain, right? What if it's short-term pain for even more pain?

Christopher from Deer Park, NY

Winning is never enough, Vic, and that's why perspective is so important.

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