Lior from Turners Falls, MA

You mentioned a team’s run defense can be fixed on the practice field. What was the Packers’ run defense missing against Seattle, and how do position coaches go about correcting those things in preparation for the following week’s game, as well as throughout the season as a whole?

I’m not a coach, but I’ve listened to enough coaches talk about how to play fundamentally sound run defense to know that improving the run defense usually begins with better pad level. I checked it out a little bit last night and I saw guys standing up at the snap of the ball, instead of staying low, digging in, getting under their blockers’ pads and refusing to be moved. In a two-gapping scheme, just hold the point of attack. That’s all. Stopping the run is a mindset. In a two-gapping scheme it’s a refusal to be moved. With that complete, the linebackers then have to run to the ball, sink their hips and strike the rising blow. That’s run defense, as told to me by a lot of coaches who were and are very good at teaching it.

Jason from Seattle, WA

It seemed like Rodgers wasn’t being Rodgers yesterday. I saw a lot of tough throws I thought he could make: a couple of slants, that two-point conversion throw, a sideline throw, that bomb. Am I crazy? Is he just rusty?

He was playing with half a field. That was problem No. 1. No. 2, it appeared to me his receivers were coming open late, and that’s not what you want in a rhythm passing attack. The Seahawks secondary disrupted the timing in the Packers’ passing attack. That’s what I saw, but the possibility exists I’m wrong.

Mike from Scott AFB, IL

Okay, first I get that you work for the Packers and you won’t be honest with questions.

That’s how you start your question? Why would I bother answering the question, Mike, if you won’t trust my answer to be honest. I don’t deserve that disrespect.

Danny from Ashland, WI

Vic, agree or disagree, our play calling is very predictable?

Danny, you’ll never fully enjoy or appreciate the game of football, its demands and its charm if you believe it’s a play-calling game. You want to beat your opponent with strategy, and that might work in a game or two, but what about all of the other games? The other guys are trying to call good plays, too. Good football is a blend of sound strategy and victorious performance. I’m not an expert on strategy, but I’ve watched enough football to know it was the Seahawks that are to be credited with a victorious performance.

Mattias from Madison, WI

Vic, I wanted to let you know I won’t be reading your “Ask Vic” articles until the mass hysteria over this loss has died down. I feel the Packers will crush some team in December the way the Seahawks dismantled our team in September. I am saving my overreaction for that game. I won’t waste my enjoyment of football on negative emotions. See you late next week.

That makes total sense. I congratulate you for being a discriminating reader. If it’s not fun, you’re done. I get it.

Brad from Tinley Park, IL

Will the defense ever get better?

It will get better as soon as its run defense improves. Last season is proof of that. Coming off that win at midseason in Minnesota, the Packers were one of the top run defenses in the league, and everything about their arrow on defense was pointing up. Then, the run defense went into decline and so did the defense as a whole. It starts up front.

Al from Groveport, OH

I am so tired of the coach/player speak after horrible losses. Why can’t they just own up and say the truth, we are cotton soft and cannot beat the big boys?

Any player that would say that should be cut and any coach speaking those words would likely be fired. What you’re suggesting isn’t an admission, it’s surrender.

Mark from Liberty, MO

Vic, what do you consider was the turning point in the game? I thought it was the interception off Jordy Nelson’s fingers following a great stop by our defense on the previous Seattle possession.

In my opinion, the safety was the turning point. The Seahawks followed it with a 53-yard touchdown drive. That Seahawks defense isn’t going to lose a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter.

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