Uriah from Williston, OH

Vic, do you consider Green Bay’s poor performance against the Saints to be a result of our lack of Shields and Burnett, just bad playing, or the Saints’ desperation?

We’re perseverating on the Saints game. The Packers lost to a really, really good team in a really, really tough place to play. That’s all it was. Truth be known, when you look at your schedule and see a game in New Orleans on it, your first thought isn’t, “Oh, we’ll win that one.” It’s just one game. I wouldn’t look for any deep answers from it. Move on to the Bears.

Todd from Chapel Hill, NC

Vic, interesting stats: 30th in third-down defense, yet, eighth in red-zone defense. Is this our identity?

No, that’s just playing with numbers. The Packers’ identity on defense is for being good in pass defense and needing to improve against the run. The goal is to fix the run defense.

Richard from Erie, PA

Vic, as little success as the Raiders are having this year, I think they finally found “The Man” in Derrick Carr. Thoughts?

I really liked him at the Senior Bowl. He went there to make a statement and he made it. I remember his agent orchestrating a post-practice, red-zone passing exhibition, and Carr was sensational in it. He proved he could make all of the throws. The knock on him was that he was a shotgun-only quarterback, but I saw a guy with the athletic ability to be more than that.

Dan from New Albany, OH

Vic, I don’t always agree with what you write, but when we disagree I go over the facts again to see if I need to change my thinking, or if I’m more firm in my belief. Has a fan’s comment or question ever caused you to change your mind?

It often has.

Jon from Warsaw, Poland

Halas started retrieving balls from the stands. This is the guy who threw nickels around like they were manhole covers.

I know the league is trying to keep fans from fighting over footballs, but I still think there’s a carryover from the days when owners such as Halas and Art Rooney, and I’ll bet Curly Lambeau was in that club, too, didn’t want to give away what they considered to be team property. The old guys were frugal. Profits were slim back then.

Blake from Astoria, NY

I read your column daily and there is one common theme among many of your readers and it beckons the question: What is it like having so many people try to prove you wrong or tell you your opinions are wrong? It must take a lot of mental fortitude. Kudos to you.

It’s a common theme. A question will begin with you said, followed by a quote of whatever it is I wrote. Then comes the punch line, which explains why I’m wrong. Hey, I’m OK with it. The column is for debate and exploring the facts to find the truth. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong.

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