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Which players stepped up last night?

Last night's game was about evaluating talent


Trev from Omaha, NE

The practice squad is likely to be increased in the near future. How about a rule in which you can place players your team has drafted on the practice squad without other teams being able to sign them?

I like that idea. How about increasing the size of the practice squad to 10 players, of which any five players may be protected, but they must be paid at the minimum-wage level. Development of talent is going to become more important in this league for at least two reasons: The emphasis on player safety and the contraction of college football are demanding it, and so would an increase in the number of games in an NFL season, should that happen in the future.

Azad from Milwaukee, WI

I'm fascinated by the Bills. I half believe Rex Ryan only signed that guy who hit Geno Smith for his notoriety. With his whole build-a-bully thing, and him hiring every player he can get his hands on who has been kicked off a team for bad conduct, I can't wait to see what's going to happen.

You've already seen what happens: The Bills just experienced one of the greatest offseasons for selling tickets in their history. Rex Ryan has made the Bills a hot ticket. Fans don't pay to see nice.

Wade from Maple Grove, MN

What position do you foresee changing the most in the next decade?

I see the fullback position changing from that of a blocker to that of a Paul Hornung type of player who can run and pass. Maybe they'll call that player a passing back. It would be perfect for all of the college spread quarterbacks that don't throw well enough to be pocket passers and aren't big enough to be feature backs. Forget about formations; they're meaningless. It's all about function. That's where the creativity is. Invent roles to utilize the talent that's available, and I think spread-formation college quarterbacks represent the largest collection of untapped talent available to the NFL.

Jordan from Norfolk, VA

So how does Vic handle someone invading his personal space and poking him in the face?

I'm in my 44th year of being a sportswriter, and no one has ever invaded my personal space or poked me in the face, so I think I have a good chance of completing my career without someone invading my personal space or poking me in the face, therefore, I won't prepare for it. Prepare for peace. It's a more likely option.

Dan from Ludington, MI

Vic, you said you didn't want the Hall of Fame to turn into the Hall of Quarterbacks, and I agree. With that being said, if every QB were to retire today, who do you think should be enshrined?

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger are in, and Eli Manning and Joe Flacco are candidates.

Tony from Hamilton, Ontario

Vic, was the first football game played on the exact grounds of Heinz Field? If so, what was there before?

The parking lot for Three Rivers Stadium.

Chadd from Antigo, WI

I don't want to jump the gun after just one exhibition game, but if Rollins continues to grow, Randall is able to contribute to any extent, plus Hyde is still available, I think our perceived weakness in the secondary could actually turn into the strength of this defense.

Safety was already a position of strength. Cornerback was depleted by the loss of Tramon Williams and Davon House. Based on what I saw of Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter last night, and what I've seen of Damarious Randall in training camp, I believe cornerback is on its way to becoming a position of intense strength. I don't want to get a speeding ticket on Rollins, but I can't imagine a rookie playing better in his preseason debut than Rollins did.

Justin from Gilbert, AZ

Ty Montgomery made a clutch catch on third down for Tolzien, and had a great attempt on third down for Hundley. What were your thoughts on his return game?

He didn't have a chance to return a kickoff, and that's what I want to see him do. That's where the void was last season, and I expect Montgomery to fill that void this year.

Tony from West Des Moines, IA

The first preseason game made me fearful for our red zone offense once again. What do the Packers need to do to overcome its 2014 slump?

Forget about that kind of stuff in the preseason. The preseason is about one thing: the evaluation of talent. You don't evaluate talent by out-scheming your opponent. You evaluate talent by putting it in challenging one-on-one situations.

Adam from San Jose, CA

Which players were you most impressed with?

I've already mentioned Rollins and Gunter. I thought Mike Pennel was the Packers' most productive and active defensive lineman. Jayrone Elliott has the kind of length you want in a 3-4 rush backer. He was everywhere. He didn't always make the play, but he often impacted it. Those guys jumped out at me.

Larry from Chippewa Falls, WI

I thought Tolzien looked sharp and comfortable. I think we have a very capable backup if something should happen to Rodgers.

The Packers had a decision to make at backup quarterback when last season ended. They went with Scott Tolzien. I think they made the right call.

Eric from Fennimore, WI

I know it's just preseason, but this new extra point rule may put quite a unique spin on scoring this season.

When the score was 9-8, I tried to remember the last time I covered a game with that score; I couldn't. This could get wild.

Daniel from Puyallup, WA

Vic, I asked about Quinten Rollins before the draft, no answer. I asked about Rollins after the draft, no answer. Because we have the same sense of humor, please amuse me with a sarcastic response about Rollins' performance last night?

You're chortling.

Steve from Preston, UK

Now it seems "Ask Vic Halftime" doesn't appear on the mobile site, either! Amongst all the stories, galleries and videos, I want my dose of "News now!" and "Ask Vic Halftime." Is that too much to ask?

Nope. We've got work to do.

Richie from Truckee, CA

So the headset went out? Do you think Rodgers knows the story behind that?

I giggled when he said that.

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