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You want big? This one is big


Jimmy from Plover, WI

A more balanced attack will definitely help our offense. Our running game may have looked bad Sunday, but we were playing a very good run defense and it was Benson's first game as a Packer. Give him more time and I think other teams' formula for success against us loses its power once Benson hits his stride. Thoughts?

A running game would fix everything on offense. It would create the balance between run and pass that would allow Aaron Rodgers to sell play action and get one of the safeties to peek or bite. It might even drag defenses out of two deep. It would create the balance between run and pass that would force linemen and linebackers to respect the prospect of run long enough to give Rodgers an extra second of pass protection, maybe more. It would give the Packers the ability to pound out the third-and-ones, instead of having to pass for the first down. The Packers will never be a run-it-down-your throat team under Mike McCarthy, but it needs to develop a running game that will qualify as the second dimension it currently lacks.

Matt from Eau Claire, WI

What does the Packers and Bears rivalry mean to you?

It means history and I respect history. Long before I came here, I knew the history behind this game and any time I looked at the scoreboard and I saw that the Packers and Bears were playing against each other, I knew it was a big day in the NFC Central.

Anthony from Killeen, TX

Vic, is zone blocking that prominent in the NFL? I just cannot figure out why the Packers continue to use it.

Every team incorporates zone blocking into its scheme. Some use it more, some use it less. Every team uses the stretch play, and that's a zone-blocking scheme. Lombardi used a form of the zone-blocking scheme in his take-them-where-they-want-to-go, run-to-daylight philosophy. I think it's become a leaguewide trait of fans to the blame the scheme after a loss. It's the Madden effect. It's not the scheme, it's the execution of the scheme.

Mitch from Madison, WI

Would it be a terrible idea to move Charles Woodson to outside linebacker?


Brian from Santa Cruz, CA

Just fyi, Vic, all's quiet on the western front about the Packers-49ers officiating. Not even a peep anywhere about Cobb's return. In fact, I didn't even get "the refs gave you a free one and you guys still got whooped" talk. Winning cures all, huh?

When you win, everything is right with the world. Chuck Noll used to say: "When you lose, everything you say and do is wrong." Just win, baby.

David from Atlanta, GA

Vic, seriously, you didn't mention the goaltending rule because you knew someone would mention it the next day? You always take the chance to be an expert when you know the answer. Again, please admit once in a while that you do not know everything. That was a ridiculous answer and I'm sure I will get a ridiculous response. I'm disappointed in you.

I do not know everything.

Dan from Vancouver, BC

Is it safe to assume we're going to see a lot of cover two from the Bears? Would that suggest we might see some extra passes underneath to Cobb?

Yes, it's safe to assume we're going to see a lot of cover two tonight, and that would suggest we'll see a lot of passes underneath the coverage, and it's safe to assume Randall Cobb would be a likely target of those passes. The intent of cover two is to deny the pass over the top of the defense. It invites the run and a short-yardage passing attack that requires precision and patience. Precision not only means the quarterback has to be accurate and the receivers have to be sure-handed, it means penalties must be kept to a minimum because penalties are drive-killers when you have to go long distances in small chunks.

Tazz from Jonestown, MS

Vic, if the Packers have all of that cap space, why not go out and sign a veteran defensive lineman that's good at getting after the QB and stuffing the run? Not only does it help our defense, but it also gives the younger guys a teacher, so to speak. What's your take on this?

OK, I'll go out back to the veteran-defensive-lineman-rush-the-passer-stuff-the-run tree and pick one.

Bram from Colorado Springs, CO

What were your thoughts on the third-and-one Rodgers threw deep for Nelson? I was upset we didn't go for a higher percentage play to keep the ball, than to give it right back to an offense we couldn't stop.

I think somebody saw something they liked, but didn't get the same look. Usually, a run is a higher percentage play, but not last Sunday.

Nathan from La Crosse, WI

One thing I noticed was the 49ers seemed to use six or even seven offensive linemen on running plays quite often and from anywhere on the field. Is this a concept the Packers could employ to improve their run game and possibly their play action?

That was the one-wide formation I wrote about this week. One wide? Who uses one wide? That's Arnie Herber stuff, which further proves it's not the scheme, it's the execution of the scheme. At times, the 49ers were calling plays out of Bill Walsh's playbook. On other occasions, they were playing Neanderball. One thing remained the same: their execution.

Michael from Springfield, MA

I appreciate the work you do, Vic, and I love the humor and insight (despite the spoken opposition you get on occasion). I was wondering what remaining game would be the most challenging for the Packers the rest of the regular season.

You don't have to look past tonight. This is big, Michael. The Packers are facing a serious challenge tonight. This is another home game against another NFC opponent and, in this case, it's an NFC North opponent. I think everyone knows the importance of these two games as they pertain to the tiebreakers. The air is thick with importance.

Brian from Durand, IL

Where is this week's "Tuesdays with McCarthy"?

It was a victim of the short week. It'll return next Tuesday.

George from Jacksonville, FL

Vic, watching the early Monday night game, I thought to myself, man, Vic was right five years ago about Flacco. And yesterday, right on cue, the Irish join the ACC. You're amazing.

How about Vince Young and how about Urban Meyer going to Ohio State, too? I guess I do know everything. I'll tell you one more thing I know: The Packers need a win tonight. Those of you coming to the game, come ready to "play." Those of you watching from home, please join me for our live in-game chat.

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