Jordan from Windsor, CO
Why so many non-football questions?
Because it’s not football season. How many times can we discuss the merits of a 3-4 defense vs. a 4-3? There’s another and more important reason for a lack of football questions: The Packers don’t have a lot of issues. The No. 1 question in yesterday’s media interviews was about who would return kickoffs. If that’s your team’s No. 1 issue, you’ve got a good team.
Matthew from Pasadena, CA
You keep ignoring me, but I don’t take great offense. Can you tell us about Khyri Thornton? I have not seen any mention of him lately. How is he looking?
A defensive tackle in the Underwear League? This question needs to be revisited in training camp. What I can tell you at this point is that Thornton has the body type I like in defensive tackles. I like the shorter, wider types. Warren Sapp popularized that body type and I think Aaron Donald struck a definitive blow for short defensive tackles by being drafted as high as he was. I’ve been listening to coaches talk for years about pad level. So why would you want a tall defensive tackle? As good as Marcus Stroud and John Henderson were, they always struggled with pad level. Why wouldn’t you want a guy who’s naturally low? In my mind, the perfect defensive tackle is short, wide, quick and powerful. That’s a perfect description of Mike Daniels. At 6-3, Thornton isn’t short, but he’s wide and quick and appears to play low.
Peter from Fayetteville, NC
Vic, I have had a long debate with a co-worker regarding Aaron Rodgers, and I was hoping you could shed some light on the topic for me. I made the statement that with Rodgers the Jaguars would be a playoff contender. My co-worker says it’s a ridiculous statement because the Jaguars need more help than just one player.
Rodgers would make any team a playoff contender, including the ’62 Mets.
Jim from Fairview Heights, IL
I’ve heard the phrase, “You can’t make the club in the tub.” I’m wondering if you think Coach McCarthy kind of, sort of said the same thing to Nick Perry on Tuesday?
The coach answered the question directly. When a coach does that, he usually wants to make sure his message is clear. Coach Noll had an interesting way of answering questions about lingering injuries. “Coach, what about Swann’s hamstring? When will he return?” a reporter would ask. “Nobody knows,” Noll would say with a hint of bewilderment in his voice. Those two words possessed miraculous healing powers.
Justin from Rochester, MN
Vic, you explained recently the difference in skill set needed for a kickoff returner vs. a punt returner. Is there any difference in ideal body size/shape/composition between the two roles?
Punt returners slither; kickoff returners slam. It’s not always that way, but that’s the rule of thumb. You want a kickoff returner that can deliver and take a blow, and that usually means a guy with some thickness to him.
Tim from Normal, IL
Vic, I turn 50 on Wednesday. It’s the new 30, right?
I began my 50’s with cancer and ended them with a heart attack, but I wouldn’t worry about that.
Ryan from Jackson, TN
Vic, do you ever watch NFL Network? I think they truly have some extremely enjoyable shows. “A Football Life” has proven to be interesting. However, the daily and morning shows that are intended for real football discussion are awful. They are much more concerned with what Johnny Football did last weekend than they are with men playing football.
It’s the same for NFL Network as it is for “Ask Vic.” There’s only so much you can say about cover two. “A Football Life” is one of the best things on TV. I love it. What I don’t love is the hours upon hours of mind-numbing analysis. I channel surf. If NFL Network is doing a studio show, I keep going. If it’s old film, I stop.
David from Los Angeles, CA
Since Johnny Miller mentioned Kaymer didn’t have any John Deeres in his U.S. victories, what point do you think he was making?
I didn’t hear that remark, but if that’s what he said, then he was likely making the point that Martin Kaymer’s resume doesn’t include weak-field U.S. wins. That’s why I love Miller’s commentary. He blurts out whatever’s on his mind. He reminds me of someone else. The first two rounds of the John Deere Classic are televised by the Golf Channel. Suggesting the John Deere Classic is a second-rate event could certainly ruffle some feathers within the PGA.
Donald from Lexington, KY
Vic, I have to admit, I’m mildly surprised at your stance concerning the preseason. For me, the preseason is not about the starters. The preseason for me is a chance to watch the dreamers, guys that probably won’t make the roster and most likely will never be major contributors but are trying to overcome great odds to pursue a dream. I love cheering for those guys and I enjoy that they get to be showcased in a way that lets me hear more of their stories than I ever would otherwise.
I agree with you, except that when one of those desperate dreamers, an undrafted free agent, performs especially well and the team has decided they want to put him on the practice squad for long-term development, they stop playing him in the preseason games because they don’t want to give other teams tape to evaluate. The preseason has to be shortened.
Josh from Austin, MN
What NFL coaches can be linked to the Chuck Noll tree?
Coaching trees can get a little wild and require pruning. Evaluating them is all about how far you’ll allow the branches to grow. Tony Dungy and John Fox are the most prominent direct descendants of the Noll tree, but you could also include Nick Saban, Chuck Pagano, Jimbo Fisher, Mark Dantonio, Andy Reid, John Harbaugh, Ron Rivera, Lovie Smith, Jim Caldwell, Mike Tomlin and Mike Smith as members of the Noll tree. I think it’s more noteworthy that Coach Noll was the last living and prominent direct descendant of the Sid Gillman tree, which has produced some of the most impressive fruit in coaching.
Bob from Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA
Vic, why not Aaron Rodgers for Underwear League MVP?
Because you don’t name Willie Mays MVP of spring training.
Kevin from Minneapolis, MN
Mike Daniels is talking tough and mean. This sounds good to me. How difficult is it to turn tough talk into tough play on the field? Is physically dominating your opponent, but not trash talking on the field, a part of being tough, or is getting inside the other team’s head a legitimate tough-guy technique? When, if ever, does being a tough guy cross the line?
A player’s performance answers that question. When you talk tough, you deepen your investment. Daniels sounds as though he wants to take his game to a higher level. He sounds as though he’d like to become known as one of the Packers’ core players. I like that.
Kerel from Vancouver, BC
About a week ago you mentioned the Vikings should get on with it and start Teddy Bridgewater if he is to be the QB of the future, that it would only benefit him in the long run. Would Aaron Rodgers have been the QB he is today if he hadn’t had the opportunity to study under Brett Favre?
Jon from Anaheim, CA
I hope this day is far, far away, but I want to tell you I’m going to miss you tremendously when you’re gone. You have taught me to appreciate not just the game of football without getting angry or emotional, but all sports that I hold near and dear. More than that, I find myself amazed at the emotions you can elicit in a paragraph of two or three sentences. Sincerely, your answer about your winter rabbit and having such respect for that tough little creature brought a tear to my eye. I share your sentiment and appreciation for nature.
I love all of God’s creatures, even the ones I hate.
Patrick from Madison, WI
I’m a regular follower of your blog, but I’ve never seen you in person or on TV, and I’m kind of hesitant to, I think. Are you just as cheeky in those situations? I don’t get greatly offended when I read your sarcastic responses to questions online, but I might get a little red in the face if it would happen in person. Should I come to “Ask Vic Day?”
You’re not ready for it. “Ask Vic Day” is a tough day for tough fans.
Allyn from Milwaukee, WI
Just wanted to say I love your column. My question is with all of the star holdouts that seem to happen every year with the player demanding to be paid, do they realize they make more money in one year than most of the public does in their lifetime?
You’d have to believe they know that, but we assign greatly different values to a dollar. This is from a long time ago, but I remember being involved in a boo-ray game on the plane with Terry Bradshaw, another reporter and a few other players. In deciding on the dollar amount, Bradshaw made the comment, “After all, what do those guys (the reporters) make a year, $35,000?” We just looked at each other. Neither one of us was making anywhere near $35,000 a year. Money is the disconnect between fans and players, but football remains the bond. Everybody wants to win and we all value victory the same.
Deepak from Chicago, IL
Vic, why specifically do you think the Packers match up well against the Seahawks?
The Packers have the offensive firepower to go toe-to-toe with the Seahawks defense. As prolific as the Broncos were on offense last season, they were more of a finesse offense than a power offense, and you don’t beat the Seahawks with finesse. You beat the Seahawks with power and balance, and the Packers are a power-and-balance offense. They can run it and they can throw it, and they can beat you deep with the pass. The Broncos couldn’t beat the Seahawks deep and the Seahawks knew it, and that’s why the Seahawks came up to the line of scrimmage and dared the Broncos to beat them deep. That’s why the Seahawks attacked defensively. I don’t think they can do that against the Packers.
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