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Turn the page hard and completely

Everything must be new



Phil from Las Vegas, NV

Vic, we lost a great ambassador to sports. Rest in peace, Ernie Banks. Let's play two.

His is one of the great sports names of my childhood.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, who's the player to watch in the Senior Bowl today?

Garrett Grayson of Colorado State; can he continue his climb? Quarterbacks can come out of nowhere in the postseason all-star games, combine and personal workouts.

Tom from Aberdeen, SD

Do you think Packers fans take losses more seriously because we have a literal sense of ownership of the team, or do all fan bases take a loss this hard?

The Packers fan base is doing a better job of dealing with the loss in Seattle than I expected.

Scott from Wausau, WI

Vic, if Tom Brady is found to have ordered the balls deflated, do you see him sitting out the Super Bowl? Will the NFL sacrifice the competitive balance of the Super Bowl to save the integrity of the game? I say they won't, and that makes me worry about the future. This violation is bigger than Bountygate, in my opinion.

I don't think anything is going to happen that quickly, but I agree that Deflategate has the potential to become a bigger media event than anything I've seen in a long time. What's the truth and how far can it be traced back? Those are the questions that need to be answered.

Ed from Tampa, FL

Is there anything to the statistical outlier that the Patriots have almost 45 percent fewer fumbles than the league average over the last five years?

Better grip on the ball?

Paul from Queretaro, Mexico

I hope that before you retire you get the chance to cover a Super Bowl win. It's not in our hands, but I think it would be the very best way to call it a career.

I haven't covered a team that's won a Super Bowl since 1979. I thought I had one in 1999 and I was sure I had one this season.

Ryan from Columbus, IN

Vic, you mentioned relaxing on the plane when you can to reflect on the game that just concluded. Was the plane dead silent on the way home after the NFC Championship game? Did you hear discussions of disappointment and anger from the players/coaches?

It was dark and quiet. Nowadays, everybody sits wearing earphones and watching something. I'm different. I don't have that kind of equipment nor do I chose to fill my life with movies and music. I like quiet. I like having time to think, read. I spent much of the flight thinking about other flights after other games. I remembered a flight back from Houston on New Year's Eve, and the pilot coming onto the PA at midnight and saying, "Happy New Year," and I remember looking out the window and thinking to myself, "What am I doing with my life?" In the old days, before everyone put on their earphones and tuned out everybody else, the team plane was a flying social club. Players broke down the seats to accommodate a card game known as Boo-Ray. I can remember doing interviews on the plane. Those days are long gone. The team plane is now a place of retreat.

Isaiah from Cedar Falls, IA

David Johnson of UNI was voted running back of the week by the pro scouts. Tony Pauline wasn't impressed. Who do I believe?

Listen to everyone, believe no one.

Rachna from Pottstown, PA

Vic, do you think the Packers can overcome the Seattle loss?

It's a fair question because that kind of loss can carry with it a hangover. You get rid of the hangover by turning the page hard and completely. Don't focus on getting back to the NFC title game and avenging that loss. Focus on a new season and a new team that carries with it no carryover from what happened the previous season. Everything must be new.

Tim from Greensboro, NC

Vic, by your logic, is Aaron Rodgers still clutch because he drove the team to a tie at the end of game? What about the fact his play in all but two playoff seasons has been consistently below his norm for the regular season? Aren't clutch players supposed to raise their game?

Are we forgetting who the opponent was? That was the Super Bowl champions and the No. 1 defense in the league, and the Packers played them off their feet for the first 56 minutes and eight seconds of the game.

Kevin from Plainview, TX

You wrote Friday about Jacksonville "in some ways" never recovering from its loss in the 1999 AFC title game. How do the Packers make sure that doesn't happen to them?

I think the Jaguars made the mistake of trying to recreate the 1999 season in 2000. They kept the same cast of players by converting salary to signing bonus and pushing money out. They targeted need in the draft and overdrafted for those few positions. In other words, they became obsessed with winning the 1999 AFC title game in 2000, and you can't do that; you can't win last year's game this year. What happened in Seattle must be left in Seattle. The Packers will stay true to their philosophy of drafting the best available player, they won't mortgage their salary cap future, and they will boldly welcome a new season with change because Coach McCarthy knows that's what has to happen for a team to grow from one season to the next.

Bret from Mililani, HI

What are the chances the Packers get Carl Davis? Reading about him has me excited for the draft.

We've got a long way to go before we can get a read on where players are going to fit in the draft order. From talking to Tony Pauline, Davis would seem to be a perfect fit for a 3-4 team, but if he works out at the combine as he practiced at the Senior Bowl, Davis will likely move up the order and out of the Packers' reach.

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