Mathew from Melbourne, Australia

Bold prediction: Following his commitment to special teams, Coach McCarthy will be the first to fake the extra point.

The new extra-point rule is all about eliminate faking the extra point, right? That’s the one strategy that seems to have been lost as a result of the new extra-point rules.

Stephen from Boise, ID

In terms of your greatest trio conversation, would Montana, Rice and Craig factor in, even though Craig isn’t a Hall of Famer?

They certainly have the titles and the body of work. They might get my vote.

Tim from Normal, IL

Vic, Tony Dorsett had as many carries or more each year as Eddie Lacy, and Dorsett was 195 pounds with his pads on. Why so much concern about Lacy burning out too quick in his career with what seems to be a light load by old standards?

You’re using an exception to the rule to make a point. Dorsett was a special player; he did what others couldn’t do. Earl Campbell burned out from too many carries. Larry Johnson burned out early from too many carries. So did Willie Parker. There are lots of examples of backs that aged quickly due to overuse. Dorsett is one of the most underrated running backs in NFL history, and it’s largely because he played on a team that was defined by the pass. Joe Greene told me Dorsett packed a wallop you would expect from a power back.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, why are there more OTA practices than minicamp practices?

Oh, man, Brett, you are so far off your game I’m beginning to worry about you. Justin from Titonka, IA, is blowing you away.

Hunter from Cedar Park, TX

I haven’t heard much about Jake Ryan throughout the latest camps. How does he look so far in your eyes?

You can’t judge players at hitting positions during spring practices. Spring practices are for quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs. Ryan is an inside linebacker. He’s a thumper. My eyes will judge him in half-line drills in training camp.

Gregg from Monument, CO

I just finished Jerry Kramer’s book “Instant Replay” for the third time. Never seem to tire of it. What’s your favorite book by former players or coaches?

I like “Instant Replay,” too. I also like “Even Big Guys Cry” by Alex Karras.

Chuck from Lowell, IN

We know the best and most productive players and teams to have won Super Bowls. How about the worst and/or least effective? QB with lowest stats? Worst defense? Worst offense?

I don’t have that list in front of me, but Peyton Manning had a 70.5 passer rating for the postseason when the Colts won the Super Bowl in the 2006 season. He threw more than twice as many interceptions as touchdown passes. That might be an anomaly we never see happen again. This is a quarterback game and your quarterback almost has to play well to win it all.

Justin from Knoxville, TN

You mentioned Earnest Byner in your list of great Browns running backs. It’s unfortunate someone so talented is only remembered nowadays for “The Fumble.”

Byner was a coach for the Jaguars a few years ago, and I did a story with him on the pains he suffered as a result of that one play in his long and distinguished career. I wish I could find that story. It was one of the most impressive interviews I’ve ever conducted. He is a gentleman and a man of esteem.

Louis from Hillsborough, NJ

How critical is it for the Packers to win the Seattle game in Week 2? Is it to have the NFC Championship Game in Green Bay?

It would certainly give the Packers a tiebreaker advantage, but I don’t think we need to look for reasons to beat the Seahawks. The Packers would’ve won homefield advantage for the playoffs by winning in Buffalo in Week 15 last season.

Thad from Chesterfield, VA

Which players are in a prove-it year this season?

In a high-profile way, Nick Perry is in one of those years because he’s a former first-round pick and he’s in a contract year, but any player who represents a cap savings released is in a prove-it year. That’s the way I’ve always looked at it.

Grant from Spokane, WA

Vic, what team do you think is the biggest underdog the Packers have to play this year outside of the NFC North?

I guess it would be the Raiders, but don’t go to sleep on them. They’ve got a quarterback on the rise and a new coach with a reputation for strong running games, defense and toughness.

Roger from Indianapolis, IN

You noted the “Packer Sweep” is extinct because the players (linemen) changed. What elements and types of players are essential for a good screen pass team?

Good screen games aren’t as much the result of what the offense does, as it is the result of what the defense does. You screen against defenses that get up the field. In other words, you screen against attack defenses, not read-and-react defenses.

Jake from Fort Lauderdale, FL

Which team that did not make the playoffs last year do you think will this season?

The Bills jump out at me.

Rob from Webb City, MO

Vic, I’m glad the coaching staff seems committed to getting off to a fast start this year. Looking at the back end of the schedule, I say a fast start would seem crucial, wouldn’t you?

It keeps you from putting yourself in a hole, but if I have to pick between starting fast or finishing fast, I’ll pick finishing fast. If the Packers had won in Week 15 last season, I believe they would’ve gone to the Super Bowl. That’s how big that late-season game was. If the Packers had won that game, nobody would be talking about that 1-2 start.

Tom from Blacksburg, VA

Even as an old Packers fan, I might have to disagree on the best QB franchises. Maybe Unitas/Jones/Manning from the Colts or Brodie/Montana/Young from the 49ers. What do you say?

I like Starr/Favre/Rodgers better than those two. Bert Jones’ career was short and John Brodie failed to win a title in a long career. There’s no soft spot in Starr/Favre/Rodgers.

 

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