David from Evanston, IL
With your comment on the amount of flags thrown on “Family Night,” I can’t help but think of the big, physical receivers in our division. I now fear Marshall, Jeffery and Megatron in a way I haven’t before. How do we contain these strong, physical players without being able to rough it up a bit?
Aaron Rodgers is the answer. You outscore the other team because you have the best quarterback in the game. I’m not dismissing defense, just acknowledging how difficult it is to play it in today’s game. This league is about offense. It’s about the quarterback.
William from Sterling, VA
For a road game, does the equipment, uniforms, etc. go with the team, earlier, later? Does someone stay with it the night before a game? What happens after the game?
Everything and everybody flies together on the team charter. When the plane lands at its destination, the equipment is trucked to the home team’s stadium, where the equipment is unloaded and taken to the Packers’ locker room. The home team will provide extra attendants to assist the Packers’ equipment staff, if necessary, but nobody needs to stay with the equipment overnight. It’s safe. After the game, everybody moves quickly to pack up everything and put it back onto the truck for the trip to the airport. The buses and the equipment truck travel together within a police escort to the airport. As the traveling party boards the plane, the equipment is loaded onto the plane. It never ceases to amaze me how quick the turnaround is.
Chris from Ely, England
Vic, what are your thoughts on the tackling tape the league has released from the Seahawks? As a rugby player and a fan of professional rugby, I can say from experience there does seem to be less of the knee and high-impact neck injuries, although concussion is still a big issue. Do you think teams will adopt a form-tackling model in an attempt to reduce injuries while retaining physicality?
The game is changing in ways I couldn’t have conceived. I acknowledge it has to change. What concerns me is this change is not seamless. It’s radical and it’s immediate, and that’s not how evolution works. I would rather the pace of this change be less dramatic. I mean no disrespect to rugby, but if I wanted to see rugby, I’d watch rugby. I need the big bang. I feel guilty saying that, but I won’t lie about it. I continue my attempts to change my culture. Can we please slow down a little so I can catch up?
Peter from Camp Atterbury, IN
Vic, with the offensive line clicking, Lacy pounding, A-Rod A-Rodding and the rules favoring passing more, how are we not at the beginning of a “look out” era?
If what I’m seeing in this training camp is indicative of what’s ahead this season, and if this offense can stay healthy, then I think this season is going to become the second half of last season that never happened, which was a result of Aaron Rodgers’ injury. I don’t see a weakness in this offense. All I see is quality and depth. I felt that way when last season ended and I’m absolutely sure of it now.
Steve from Springfield, IL
I am under the impression Bart Starr called his own game. How does that compare with Aaron Rodgers and today’s game?
The playbook is much larger today and it involves adjustments and built-ins that were at least two decades away from creation when Starr was the Packers’ quarterback. I have no doubt he would agree. The genius of the 1960s Packers was its execution of its bread-and-butter plays. Today’s offenses function on a much broader scope. This is much more of a scheme game than it was in Starr’s day, and the quarterback must command all of the adjustments within the offense, but one thing hasn’t changed: It’s the players who have to make those schemes work.
Eli from Boston, MA
Could more pass interference penalties be bad for teams with great quarterbacks? Offense will be easy for everyone and the gap between good and bad quarterbacks will shrink.
The league wants every team to have a great quarterback. When that day arrives, and I think it might, the NFL will stop changing the rules. It will have achieved perfection, or so it thinks.
Alex from Acworth, GA
Vic, do you have a particular artist you enjoy to listen to? I peg you as a Sinatra kind of guy.
I include Sinatra among my CDs. I love the duets CD. I love all of the Italian masters: Sinatra, Bennett, Martin. I think you’d be amazed by my CDs collection. It includes a wide variety of artists. I have Nat King Cole, George Benson, Simon and Garfunkle and Darius Rucker. I play Ben E. King and Sam Cooke when I’m in my happiest moods. I love my Drifters, Four Tops and Temptations CDs, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young are my favorite artists in the narcotics music genre. I’m big on seasonal music, too. I’ve got a Dean Martin Christmas CD that I begin playing the day after Thanksgiving and continue playing through the holiday season, and I have a Bing Crosby St. Patrick’s Day CD that’s a once-a-year event. The range is broad and appears to lack consistency, but all of my favorite artists have one thing in common: I can understand the words. I have to know what they’re saying or I don’t want it.
Jake from Franklin, WI
Vic, I was just a kid when Favre left and, as a huge Packers fan, it hurt. Now, I can’t wait for his jersey retiring. I’ve come to balance. I hope they pick a Packers-Bears game.
They won’t be retiring his No. 4 then; that’ll happen next July at the Hall of Fame banquet. The game ceremony will be about his return to the field and the unveiling of his name to live in immortality on the north façade of Lambeau Field. What game? Well, Mark Murphy recently remarked that it would likely be for a game against a division opponent, and I think we can rule out the Vikings game, which leaves games against the Lions and Bears. I think it’ll be the Bears game and I also think it’ll likely be a nationally televised game. Think about it: Packers-Bears, Brett Favre returns to Lambeau Field, Bart Starr, Aaron Rodgers. The networks will fight over that one. The NFL is all about creating good theater, and that’s great theater. I don’t think Packers-Lions would have the same punch. I think it’ll be Packers-Bears and I’ll be very disappointed in the Bears if they don’t come bearing gifts.
Nick from Plainwell, MI
I keep hearing Sean Richardson’s name come up. How is his camp going thus far? Do you think he could fight for some playing time this year?
If I had to pick an MVP of training camp to date, he’d be it.
Alan from Patch Grove, WI
During OTAs, you had mentioned Khyri Thornton might start to shine when the pads were put on. Has he shined?
He did last night. He made at least one big bang in half-lines. He has compact quickness. He reminds me of Aaron Donald.
Juan from Astoria, NY
Vic, is it gonna happen? Is it really gonna happen? Will we get the picture with all three of them standing at the 50 at Lambeau?
It’s going to happen and I suspect it’ll become the most re-printed photograph in Packers history. Why wait? Let’s do it now.
Chris from Mancos, CO
Vic, with the refs’ new calls this year, will we see a different Seattle team?
I hope the Seahawks aren’t forced to change their style of play. I don’t think it would be fair. I didn’t think it was fair that Mel Blount was targeted by the rules committee. If flags fly in the season opener, the word “conspiracy” will be the buzz word in the media.
David from Ferndale, MD
Vic, as I read your description of your typical day, I was struck by the fact you’ve been doing this for over 40 years, and if those are the types of hours you put in now that you are at the top, they must have been even longer when you were working your way to it. As a young man who recently became a father and who struggles with the work/life balance, I was wondering if you’ve found the rewards of your career and the life it was able to provide for your family make up for the things you undoubtedly had to miss by being away from them for so long and so often?
I’ll defer to Lou Holtz, who tells a great story pertaining to your question. He said his children were complaining about all of the time he spent at work, so one day he took his family for a ride to find a new house. He took them to the poor side of town to look at homes for sale. That ended the complaints.
Paul from Beaver Dam, WI
Vic, what can we expect from Saturday’s preseason game? What are you going to be watching for?
I’d like to see the first-team offense move the ball and the first-team defense get a stop or two, and then both units repair to the safety of the bench, as the twos and threes take over and compete for roster spots. I’m going to be watching for arrows. Every player has an arrow and it’s in the preseason games, beginning on Saturday, those arrows begin pointing in distinct directions.
Sam from Pittsville, WI
Vic, I see you tell people to keep a level head and think about football not as seriously, but having been a huge fan of the Packers my whole life, I still find it hard to forgive Brett. It wasn’t personal until he went to the Vikings to stick it to the Packers. So I wouldn’t boo him, rather I wouldn’t go to the ceremony at all until he actually apologizes to the fans personally.
Didn’t he do that yesterday? “That’s what I am, a Packer. I will always be remembered as that, and that’s the way I want to be remembered.” That’s not good enough?
Andrew from Fort Collins, CO
I think the NFL is making a mistake by trying to cater to casual fans. These rules changes that favor the offense are changing the game for the worse. Do you see any danger in these rules changes working against them and losing the real fans? I am a Packers fan through and through, but I must say I love the way the Seahawks play defense and it’s going to be a real shame when teams can’t play that way.
As long as the league doesn’t cross that imaginary line in the sand, it won’t lose the real fans, but where’s the line? That’s the issue. The league must identify where that line is. I’m not sure it has, yet, and that’s why I would prefer a little slower pace of change.
William from Woodbury, NJ
The picture with Bart, Brett and Aaron … you remembered. Thanks, Vic.
Bringing those three men together for a moment frozen in time will represent the most significant and lasting memory of my time in Green Bay. I can always point to that picture and say I was there when three generations of Packers history were united. It’s a picture I must have. It’s a picture we all must have.
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