Michael from Leuven, Belgium
Vic, what are the traits of a special teams unit that frightens the other team?
Aggressiveness is the trait. Opponents fear attacking coverage teams, explosive return men and a coach who’ll onside kick and fake punt and use other such surprise tactics at any time in the game. I think we’re going to see those kinds of special teams this season.
Timmy from Chicago, IL
What percentage of your time covering NFL games has been spent covering legitimate contenders?
Most of my career has been spent covering contenders. I went through two dry spells, one covering the Steelers in the ’80s and one covering the Jaguars in the years before I came here.
Gayle from Dallas, TX
I can remember when Brett Favre told the press he wasn’t interested in mentoring anyone, he was there to play, period. Yet, I hear many of these rookies today saying “I really hope to learn from these more experienced players.” Was Favre an exception, or will these rookies generally find themselves disappointed when nobody takes them under their wing?
I think this mentoring stuff is overrated. I also think older players try to use it as a way of lengthening their career. One of my favorite players is Torry Holt. He was a no-nonsense guy and when he was signed as an old, stop-gap player in Jacksonville, he was asked if he would mentor the young players. He said, “Yeah, I’ll mentor them all the way to the bench.” It’s all in what you want. I want players competing against each other, not coaching each other.
Patrick from Tampa, FL
Did any of the rookies pop out at you on day one?
Ty Montgomery caught everyone’s eye. Just as Tony Pauline said, Montgomery looks the part. He’s got the upper body of a running back and the legs of a wide receiver. He’s quick and darting and he has a straight-line burst in the open field. Yesterday’s practice was all about movement, and nobody moved better than Montgomery. Tony predicted it.
Janet from Red Bank, NJ
I enjoyed the rookie interviews, but expect the swarms of reporters could be overwhelming for some of the rookies. Do the Packers give rookies guidance on how to speak to the media?
All teams do.
Brandon from Des Moines, IA
Mike McCarthy told the rookies, “It’s time to throw the 40 times out the window.” I know speed matters, so what is he really saying?
He’s saying gym class is over; it’s time to play football.
Mike from Cullowhee, NC
What can you glean from a few days in shorts and helmets?
You can see how the players move. Can the cornerbacks turn their hips? Can the wide receivers separate? Do the running backs have burst and lean? Can the offensive linemen slide and shuffle?
Justin from Titonka, IA
Vic, I agree with you that the Patriots should be punished, but the results from the investigation were a joke. When the best answer they find is Brady probably knew about the deflated balls, you know the investigation was professionally done.
What did you expect, a picture of Tom Brady sticking a needle in a ball? I think the report’s findings are eye-popping.
Del from Sterling, IL
What would be the most effective way for fans to express their outrage to the league?
Use forums such as this to express yourself. The word will get out. Fan and media opinion is going to have a powerful influence on what the punishment is.
Matt from Madison, WI
Vic, this isn’t about Brady; it’s about the rate of fumbles the Patriots have avoided. That is why you will never convince me the coach is not involved. It’s the coach that set the above-the-law conniving that goes on every year. I also think the league loves controversy, which is why I think it will either be a ton of games for Brady, or it will be zero. Does the NFL take all summer on this one or make it quick?
I have a feeling this is going to be the No. 1 topic of the dead zone period. I think this is going to carry us through July. Why? Because I think there’s more work to do to get to the bottom of this.
Ryan from Menomonie, WI
Can you give any insight into why the Wells report seems to be more polarizing than other investigations? It seems like there are a whole lot of Patriots fans who believe this is a complete witch hunt and conspiracy, but it seems pretty clear cut to most others.
We’ve developed a nasty culture in American society that believes it’s OK to cheat. It’s really very sad. I’m OK with a little gamesmanship – that’s why I always found amusement in the headsets going out in games played at Gillette Stadium – but the ball is sacrosanct. Messing with “The Duke” isn’t gamesmanship, it’s sacrilege.
Scott from Wasilla, AK
Dante Fowler is out for the season. Do the Jaguars ever catch a break?
I bleed for that franchise. In the beginning, all the breaks went its way. Mike Hollis bounced a kick off an upright and over the crossbar to beat the Bills in the 1996 playoffs, after Morten Andersen fell down on a chip shot that would’ve kept the Jaguars out of the playoffs. Then, on Jan. 23, 2000, in the AFC title game, Reggie Barlow fumbled a punt and the Jaguars have been cursed ever since. All you can do is keep playing. I hope the Jags’ luck changes soon.
Gary from Columbus, OH
Does Rollins having No. 24 mean Jarrett Bush will definitely not be re-signed?
Mike McCarthy was asked that question on Friday and he said if the Packers re-signed Bush, Rollins would be given another number.
Brandon from Morris, IL
Do you think Quinten Rollins looks a bit like Darrelle Revis in that No. 24?
I thought the same thing. I even think he talks like Revis and has Revis’ calm demeanor. Wouldn’t that be nice? The next Revis?
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