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What will the feeling be at kickoff? Read Vic's chat transcript Editor Vic Ketchman conducted the first of his weekly Friday chats


Hi, everybody. This is our first chat of the season. It'll replace "Ask Vic Extra" every Friday at 1 p.m. CT. I'm looking forward to your questions on the first day of what promises to be an exciting weekend: home opener, Seahawks, Sunday Night Football. Let's do it!

Comment From Brad

Is Pennel still the guy at DT to watch after his disappointing game last week?

Don't quit on him. Don't quit on big guys. I like him.

Comment From Kevin

Do you think we'll see Clay Matthews mostly on the inside for this game to try to stop Lynch and Graham?

Yeah, the Packers need him inside, especially with Barrington gone.

Comment From BrettGB

What should we look for on Sunday night?

Look for the team that's winning the battle of the hitting. That's the team that'll win. I thought the Packers won that battle for all but the final 3:52 last January.

Comment From Alex

What is your routine on Sundays? What time do you get up? Go to the stadium? Etc.

For a Sunday night game, I'll get to my office at Lambeau Field early in the afternoon and watch the other games. I like avoiding traffic. Of course, I have to stay late after the game to write. It's a full day.

Comment From Guest

ViC, in your opinion who is most underrated player on the team?

Josh Sitton gets my vote. I saw him pass-block with one hand against a Steelers rusher. I think Sitton was showing off. He impressed me.

Comment From Chris

Who do you think Green Bay will miss more this week, Barrington or Bulaga?

I think stopping the run is a valid concern. Nate Palmer is facing one of the biggest challenges any inside linebacker in the league can face.

Comment From Kent Dorfman

How did Raji play against the Bears?

Better later in the game. Remember, he's coming off a year lost to injury. He needs time to reacclimate.

Comment From Eric


I think they'll defer. Please, no all caps.

Comment From Matt

With different schemes and different players being the motto this week, how well does that work with a fast paced no huddle offense?

I think you read Coach McCarthy wrong. He didn't mean more volume. He meant different players and different schemes, and then pick and stick. You can't win by doing so many things your players don't know what they're doing. There's a sign in Coach McCarthy's meeting room: Less volume, more creativity.

Comment From Brad

How big of an impact will it be that Aaron Rodgers will be more mobile this time around against the Seahawks?

It should be significant. I remember seeing his ankle give out on him while making a screen-pass throw on one leg in last January's title game.

Comment From Patrick

In your Ask Vic edition from earlier today, you said Jake Ryan didn't stand out. Can you elaborate? Like, is he "not standing out" in a pleasant way where as a rookie, he's not making splash plays, but he's not making mistakes either? (Kind of sounds like Clinton-Dix early last year).

I didn't see him making splash plays. I don't look at the tape from each practice. I saw a guy who was out there every day, doing his job and learning his craft. Now we'll find out what he learned.

Comment From josh

Vic, What secondary player will need to have the most impact on the game. Morgan Burnett against the run or micah Hyde vs Jimmy Gharam

Burnett has to be a big player in this game. The Packers will likely need the eighth defender against the run. If they don't stop the run, it'll be tough to stop anything.

Comment From Cousin Eddie

Will Barclay look significantly better at Right Tackle than what we saw at Left Tackle during pre-season? And does he look like he has that knee "under him" again? Or is he recovering still?

If he needs help, the Packers will chip with the tight end and fullback.

Comment From Nathan

With the Seahawks losing last week, does that increase their sense of urgency coming into this game?

Absolutely it does. 0-2 against NFC teams would be a real bad start.

Comment From Alex

With Sherman moving to the slot as well as the outside, who do you think he will line up against on Sunday? Cobb, Adams or Jones? Does that play to our advantage if he moves with one or the other?

I think he's going to get a taste of everyone, and everyone's going to get a taste of him. He's one heckuva football player. I wouldn't challenge him unnecessarily.

Comment From Josh S.

What mood do you perceive in Green Bay as a whole leading up to this game?

Focused, but you have to be careful not to cross the thin line between focused and tight.

Comment From BT

Vic, I think the way you felt when your high school team lost that game is the way some packer fans feel when they lose a big game.

I doubt it. I was 12 years old.

Comment From Shane

Bulaga's injury a big problem? Yes or No? Why or why not?

My concern is how bad is it? Is this a one or two-week injury, or is this something long-term. He doesn't deserve this. He's worked too hard and he plays too well to lose another season to injury. The Packers need him because every team needs its best players, and he's one of them.

Comment From #36 Leaper

Fans and players approach this game from different directions. If the fans get more into the game, noise can go up and benefit the players at key moments. It could prove to be a healthy way for fans to get rid of the past and players to address the present. What are your thoughts?

I agree, but you don't want to get so emotional about a game that you become frustrated if success isn't immediate.

Comment From Pete

I recall at probably 3:53 left in the game last year, Marshawn Lynch was dancing on the sidelines. It was eery. We all remember what happens next. Is it better to be focused, or loose and confident?

Who says he wasn't focused? Worried isn't focused, it's scared.

Comment From RiRi

All the talk has been about Kam Chancellor not playing, but I understand the Seahawks have issues on their O-line. How can the Packers exploit them?

The Seahawks played against one of the great, young defensive linemen and lines in the game last Sunday. One game is not a trend.

Comment From Chris

Using this reasoning this game has a potential four game swing. We win we are plus 2 on Seattle with tie break advantage, we lose we are tied without tie break advantage. Thoughts? Just win baby

That's just too far out. The most powerful team I ever covered is the 1976 Steelers. They started 1-4. It made no sense, but it happened. It also made the math real simple: They had to win the rest of their games to make it into the playoffs. They did. They shut out five opponents and allowed just 29 points over the last nine games. Don't start assigning wins and losses. Good teams go into slumps, too.

Comment From Carl

Vic, come home ... I have covered Ohio high school football for 36 years for newspapers and am still at it tonight! The game is pure and fun at this level!

Too much passing for me. I watched a high school game on TV a couple of weeks ago. It was pitch and catch. It was almost as though the players were told not to block and tackle. I miss the dominant running back from my youth. He was the main man in every hometown. I still remember the names.

Comment From Ken

I would like to join in on the chat, and ask VIC columns, but my questions and comments never get posted, what am I doing wrong?

This is by far your best question; that's the problem.

Comment From Kevin

Do you think Rex Ryan has a team once again that can compete with, and beat, the Patriots?

I think the Bills are going to make a statement this Sunday: We;'re the team to beat in the AFC East.

Comment From Tyler

If Lacy rushes for more yards then Lynch, do the Packers win?


Comment From Andrew

Pass or run? Which will be more effective against the Seahawks?

I think the Packers are going to do both.

Comment From peter

Vic, what's the team doing to stop the run this Sunday?

There's no special formula. If they're two-gapping, hold the point up front and fill with their linebackers. If they're in gap control, everybody needs to win their gap.

Comment From Alison

I have three young sons, and I love football. But I don't know if I love the idea of them playing football. Any advice?

Will you allow them to drive the car? The time they spend playing football is time they won't spend driving the car.

Comment From Robert

What were your first impressions of the West Coast Offense? Could you tell it would lead to widespread dink and dunk football?

I saw it for the first time covering a 1981 49ers-Steelers game. I knew it right away. I hated it.

Comment From George

What drew you to the Packers job?

Big games and advancement in my career. This is my profession. It's my passion and pursuit. I didn't come here to cheer. I came here to write for you and advance my career. Big games allow a writer to do that.

Comment From Josh

Vic, What will play a bigger role in this game, the turnover battle or special teams?

Those are the kinds of questions I can't answer.

Comment From Steve

I can't seem to get any questions answered and I think I see a pattern of systematic bias. I think you selectively choose questions that provide opportunities for you to entertain and inform the readers. Admit it.

Of course I do.

Comment From Alex

Eddie Lacy looks like a younger version of Lynch, agree or disagree?

Lacy reminds me more of Ickey Woods.

Comment From #36 Leaper

Did you ever consider calling games on the radio at any point in your career?

I was the play-by-play for the Jacksonville Tomcats. I loved it. They had a kick-return guy named Shorty. He'd catch the kick and I'd say, "Here comes Shorty." Football has given me so much enjoyment. It's been my best friend.

Comment From Alex

What are you looking forward to seeing from this team over the season?

Big games, exciting football, and then a postseason run. I saw it last year. I want to see it every year.

Comment From Josh S.

It's 7 P.M. Sunday night. Kickoff is moments away, and the crowd is bursting with anticipation. What are you feeling at that point, Vic?

I have a smile on my face. I'm looking around and enjoying the view from high atop Lambeau Field. I feel joy. What else should I feel?

Comment From Brian

Vic, I`m going to high school game tonight where both teams will probably throw 40-50 times each. How did this happen and what do you think will be ramifications down the road?

It's the player safety movement. Take out the banging. Mom doesn't like it, and she has a soccer ball sticker on the back window of her car.

Comment From Guest

How many responses did you get picking the hiring of Vince Lombardi as the smartest move in Packers history?

I was stunned at how many people didn't mention it. That's why I mentioned it. I wanted to see if football fans still disregard the past. They do. Football is a present-tense sport, I'm sorry to say.

Comment From Bruce

Vic, who do head coaches go to for advice and or to confide in? Its such a small community and everyone else that is your peer is trying to knock the snot out of you.

Vince Lombardi went to the veteran players on the Giants when he was the offensive coordinator. He asked them what he was doing wrong.

Comment From Dave

Shouldn't a claim be made for the greatest decision ever made by the Packers be their decision to be a stock owned team versus one owned by an owner that would move it to a larger city?

I guess you could, but why would you choose a stock sale over Lombardi?

Comment From Del

Close games prepare a team for the postseason. Is there any merit to that?

They fire the steel, as Chuck Noll was fond of saying.

Comment From Salvador

Vic, I have always wondered if you have noticed some kind of change in the questions you get after the years you been here?

Yes, I have. There are questions from those I've infected, and questions from those that continue to resist the infection.

Comment From Christopher

The 1976 Steelers went 10-4 and made it to the AFC Championship game, losing mostly because they had lost Franco Harris to injury late in the season. Playing Bradshaw, Harris, Mean Joe Greene, Swann, Lambert and others in the 1976 pre-season would have had no impact on that year's AFC Championship game. Also, the Raiders beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship game on their way to an overall 16-1 record and the Super Bowl victory — no team was likely to beat the Raiders that year. I'd like you to explain how the 1976 Steelers would have faired any different, let alone better, had they played their future Hall of Famers in those exhibition games. Specifically, how the Championship game loss was directly attributable to the pre-season playing time of the starting line-up.

They lost Franco and Rocky in the playoff win in Baltimore. That was the day the plane crashed into the upper deck. More than the plane crashed that day.

Comment From Dave

Because with no stock sale the Packers wouldn't have been in Green Bay for Lombardi.

OK, I surrender. Make the stock sale the most important thing in franchise history.

Comment From Josh S.

What's the most rewarding part about your job?

Josh, payday has helped pay a lot of college tuition.

Comment From Packerpappy

Will you be going to see "Concussion"?

I don't go to the theater, but I'll certainly watch it when it comes to my TV set. I read the book. I covered Mike, of course. I have great interest in the subject. I'm not in denial. I'm happy the league is addressing the issue.

That's it, folks. Thanks for giving me an hour of your time. This is going to be a great weekend. Take that attitude to the game with you, wherever you watch it.


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