Jordan from Walpole, MA
Vic, what are your thoughts about the Packers opening the game vs. the Seahawks with an onside kick? The Packers did it vs. the Patriots in 2010. It’s risky but if it worked it could give us a huge boost.
If it doesn’t work, the game begins with the Seahawks on your side of the 50 and their fans going crazy. The mushroom cloud that would begin forming to the east would be the result of a nuclear explosion in my inbox back at Lambeau Field. Kick it and play defense. I wanna see this team play defense. I’ve been waiting six months to see what Coach Capers is going to do with Julius Peppers.
Markus from Joliet, IL
During the Raiders game, I noticed the end zone lettering as well as the centerfield G only had the outer line painted, but no fill colors. Is the grounds crew saving money on preseason games, or is the organization signaling preseason games are not regular-season games and not worth the additional expense?
I doubt it has anything to do with expense. Hey, it’s the preseason. Everybody saves their best for the regular season. I never use my best adjectives and adverbs in the preseason.
Nick from State College, PA
You mentioned players don’t get a game check for the preseason. That doesn’t seem fair to me. Their bodies still get a pounding. My question is what kind of compensation do they get during the preseason?
Game checks don’t begin until the regular season begins. During the preseason, veterans receive a weekly stipend of $1,700, and rookies receive $925.
Tom from Tuscaloosa, AL
Vic, based on Friday’s game, what positions, if any, do you think need improvement?
Bending was apparently a bad position on Friday. Weak positions on the team? Honestly, I don’t see any. That doesn’t mean weak positions won’t surface, it just means that at this point in time I believe the Packers have adequately addressed all of the positions. Last year at this time, backup quarterback was a problem. That became obvious when the team blew it up after the final preseason game. I don’t think we’re going to see anything like that this year. This is a well-rounded and deep roster. Your question, however, will ultimately be answered by performance.
Jane from Phoenix, OR
Other than the fact the preseason is too long, what did you learn from the Raiders game?
I learned those uniforms don’t mean anything to me anymore. Those games I covered in the ’70s left a mark on me that lasted a long time. For a very long time, the mere sight of those Raiders uniforms brought back old feelings, unsettling and disturbing memories. That didn’t happen on Friday. The Raiders were just another team.
Paul from Anchorage, AK
Vic, how long do you think it’ll take for the NFL in its entirety to balance the current penalties being called all the time?
I think the season will begin with a continued flurry of flags, and complaints will intensify. I think this is going to become a showdown between the league and its players and teams. Who’s going to back down first? Will the teams play as the league wishes? Or will the league throttle back on the flags? It won’t go past midseason.
Matt from Millington, TN
Vic, do you think the Packers stand a chance of winning against the Seahawks?
I think the Packers match up well against the Seahawks. I think the 2012 game is proof of that. This will be a classic matchup of great offense vs. great defense, and it’s my opinion that Aaron Rodgers always tilts the field in the Packers’ favor.
Will from Wilmette, IL
Vic, to follow up on the question of illegal formation at tight end, why does it happen? Is there miscommunication or did someone forget their assignment?
Sometimes it’s a visual mistake. A tight end or wide receiver just gets too close to the line of scrimmage. That’s the one that really bothers me.
Dan from Chicago, IL
Who do you think will have a big year at tight end for the Packers?
Richard Rodgers, Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick (once he returns from injury) are all positioned to have a big season in an offense that favors the tight end. I think it was easy to see in the preseason the workload Mike McCarthy has planned for that position. Rodgers is the guy that’s interesting me right now. He’s been the starter at the position in the preseason and appears poised to be the starter in Seattle. Think back to when he was drafted and the firestorm of fan criticism that Ted Thompson reached to make that pick. If you were one of those firestormers, do you feel a little foolish now?
Jake from Chinatown, CA
Are you ready for your Sunday friend to return?
I’m looking forward to getting into a Sunday habit. This Saturday night, Saturday afternoon, Friday night, Thursday night stuff is for the birds. While I’m on the subject of scheduling, I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you about packers.com’s plans for “Ask Vic.” Thursday night, about an hour after the conclusion of the preseason finale against Kansas City, packers.com will launch “Ask Vic Live Postgame.” It’ll be a 30-minute chat and we’ll do it after every home game this season. Watch for details. Beginning on Labor Day, “Ask Vic Extra” will return and on Saturday, Sept. 6, packers.com will launch “Ask Vic Saturday.” “Extra” and “Saturday” will continue through the season.
Kyle from Pittsburgh, PA
Letroy Guion is 27 and he’s 6-4, 315. Why was he released by Minnesota, and could this be the opportunity he needs to take the next step as the prime of his career begins?
It’s the opportunity of his football career. I watched him a few years ago and I was really impressed by his play. I thought he played as well as Kevin Williams did but wasn’t getting the credit for it, which often happens to a player when he plays next to a star. The Vikings hired Mike Zimmer in the offseason and coaching changes often result in broader changes. I considered Guion to be one of the bargains in free agency last March, and I had no idea the Packers were interested in him. You won’t find a better-looking defensive tackle body, and I think nose tackle is made for him. He’s going to be asked to stick his feet in the ground and refuse to be moved. Just do that! I think he will.
Tou from Eau Claire, WI
If Nick Perry feels more comfortable on the right side, then I say we put him there. Clay Matthews would excel on the left side. His motor makes him great against the run.
Just wait another week. We’ll begin getting answers in Seattle. I think we’re going to see Perry used in new ways.
John from Tinton Falls, NJ
Vic, any concerns that while my beloved Green Bay Packers have forced and recovered a few fumbles, there have been no picks this preseason?
Nothing about the preseason concerns me, but I sure would like to see a safety make an interception.
Charlie from Waukesha, WI
My oldest son is going into sixth grade and signed up for tackle football. He is so proud when he comes home from practice. He tells me about the Oklahoma drills, his first-ever tackles in a scrimmage and his jobs for playing on both lines. I can tell he loves the camaraderie with his teammates. He is taking great pride in his progress and thinks little of the bumps and bruises he is getting. I am writing because I thought you may be interested to know the game appears to be in good hands.
The game still works at levels of physical stress the human body can endure. It remains a wonderful exercise for a boy needing to experience and measure himself according to physical contact with his peers. The question the NFL has to answer is this: How can it lessen the stress being applied to its players’ bodies, without lessening the appeal of the game to its fans?
Mike from Green Bay, WI
Why is it most college football offensive linemen wear knee braces as an injury prevention measure while those same linemen do not wear them when they make the NFL?
Most linemen consider knee braces to be an encumbrance to performance. They can wear them in college and still perform successfully, but the NFL is a very distinct cut above college football. Very few men can succeed at the NFL level without being the best they can be. Do you want to win or do you want to avoid injury?
Cody from Thornton, CO
Vic, love your writing and the format. I am just wondering what is the typical cause of a torn bicep muscle?
Connective tissue weakens and tears. It wears out from use. That’s why football is a young man’s game.
Joe from Clio, MI
In high school, 31 years ago, after the first practice with contact, nobody could walk the next day. After just a couple of more days of practice, everyone’s body adjusted to the hitting and we were fine. The human body is tougher than we give it credit. Do you remember how you felt after your first contact practice of the season?
No matter how much I trained in the summer, lifted weights, did sprints, the obstacle course, ran steps, the hill, etc., the first day of training camp left me feeling as though I couldn’t get out of bed the next day. The shoes were always the big thing. I’d run in them every day during the summer. I’d have them broken in as though they were a pair of slippers, but by the second day of training camp, I’d have a couple of silver-dollars blisters on my heels. That’s when the real pain began. For the next month, life was a daily regimen of bloody socks and Tuff Skin. Then, one day, all of the aches and pains were gone, and then the season ended. Yeah, the body adjusts, but it’s a very harsh adjustment because football is a physically demanding sport. It’s for big, strong, tough guys and it was important in my young life to find out where I fit. It was humbling, and it helped me achieve personal perspective. It helped me find out what I wasn’t, which helped me find out what I was.
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