J.J. McCormick from Tegucigalpa, Honduras

For me, the stretch run is when you prove to other teams what you’ve got for the playoffs. Your thoughts?

I totally agree. The teams that get hot late in the season are the teams that have the best chance of getting to the Super Bowl. Last year’s Packers are a perfect example. Coaches have to be conscious of peaking their teams for the playoffs. Good postseason coaches have a feel for the demands of the postseason and they begin molding their teams in the style of football they’ll need to play to win in January. What the Packers have done to this point in the season is to have put themselves in the best position for January, but January is a whole different season. It’s win or done and you’ve got to be ready to play under that kind of pressure.

Jerry from Orlando, FL

During the Lions game, the Packers offense was penalized for “covering the tight end.” I never heard of such a thing. Please explain.

A wide receiver lined up on the line of scrimmage outside the tight end; that’s what’s meant by “covering” the tight end. Because a player was lined up to his outside and on the line of scrimmage, the tight end was not the “end” of the formation, therefore, he was made ineligible to receive a pass. He was, in effect, a tackle. The wide receiver to the tight end’s outside needed to be off the line of scrimmage for the tight end to be an end, meaning an eligible receiver.

Jon from South Saint Paul, MN

There has been a lot of talk about deferring, and you said it's a matter of preference and consistency. I agree, and I personally like the idea of receiving in the second half better than the first, but my question is why would a coach defer rather than just electing to kick? Is there some advantage in the rules with deferring?

My guess is that you play video football; I was informed a few years ago that at least one video game dumbs-down the coin toss elections by giving the ball in the second half to the player that didn’t get it to start the game. That’s not how it works in real football. In a real coin toss situation, the team that wins the coin toss must exercise its right to first option or defer that option to the start of the second half. By electing to kick, it has exercised its option and the team that lost the coin toss will get first pick to start the second half, and if it elects to receive, then the team that won the coin toss will kick off to start both halves of the game. Instead of going into a long explanation of the coin-toss rules, do a search for “We’ll kick to the clock.” That’ll explain it, and you’ll have some fun reading about the old AFL.

Terry from Junction City, WI

I am critical of your attitude about football fraternization that you expressed. I find it short-sighted, out of touch with the reality of professional sports, and a terrible message to send to young athletes. That being said, consider the outcome of Suh's attitude on the field. In light of the Suh man-crush you expressed, are you re-thinking your attitude on the matter?

Not at all. Football is an edge sport and I like to watch players play the game with an edge for each other. I also expect those players to play the game within the rules and with a discipline befitting a professional football player. Suh didn’t do that and I don’t condone what he did. I like his edge, but he needs to learn how to discipline it. I think controlled intensity is a wonderful message to send to young athletes. It teaches young people how to perform under pressure, when their emotions are at a peak. Maybe more importantly, it teaches them how to behave among adversaries. Terry, it’s a tough world out there. Our young people need to learn how to compete. As an aside to this answer, it would appear that Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca have kept their edge for each other.

Logan from Bloomington, IN

I saw a question a few weeks ago about someone not shaving because the Packers keep winning. I'm in the same situation here, and I've never let my beard grow out this long. It's very irritating, it looks awful and this girl I'm seeing lets me know she hates it, so that's no good. The plan is to forget about all beard critics and keep it going until we win the Super Bowl, but what do you think?

What’s the girl look like?

Tom from South Beloit, IL

I think the Suh incident was unfortunate, but don't you think it showed a lot of class and intelligence for the Packers not to retaliate?

Obviously, the Packers learned how to perform when their emotions are at a peak. Obviously, they learned how to behave among adversaries. As a result, they realized a huge victory in what was a monumental defeat for Suh. His emotions and his adversaries got the better of him. The Packers’ discipline put a smile on my face. That’s what I call being a pro. All of that pushing and stomping was WWF stuff. The Packers’ reaction speaks volumes for their focus, and nobody was prouder of their discipline than their coach, Mike McCarthy. Players’ behavior always reflects on their coach.

David from Racine, WI

I've heard some fans say that Atlanta or San Francisco would have the advantage in Lambeau because, as they put it, “The Packers are a dome team,” going on to explain that Green Bay's passing offense would suffer in the cold while the tough rushing offenses of the Falcons and 49ers would thrive in the wintery weather. I think that's preposterous. What's your take?

The Packers a dome team? Yeah, that’s preposterous. The Packers will do just fine in the cold weather. Having said that, I wouldn’t be offended if the Packers leaned a little harder on their running game.

Pacman from Marissa, IL

When Is Chad Clifton going to get back?

A couple of weeks ago, it sounded as though Clifton was getting close to being able to play, but Mike McCarthy dashed those thoughts on Friday when he said Clifton isn’t as close to returning to action as was thought. I’m not sure what that means but, clearly, we’re running out of weeks.

Josh from Harrisburg, PA

Vic, the most efficient and effective way for Suh to mature would be to get him a nice pair of khakis.

Yeah, he could use a little push-back, if you know what I mean. A nice pair of khakis, white golf shirt, blue sweater, pair of loafers, in the company of friends in a darkly lit room that serves beverages. Yeah, that might be all he needs. Every once in a while, we all need to push back a little bit.

Josh from Beloit, WI

Please stop the smart alec comments towards fans. It’s unprofessional and not suiting to this organization. Not to mention, this is your first year here; you haven't earned that privilege; you never will, it's uncalled for. Please stop representing the Packers in that snide, arrogant fashion. Have some class.

Do you have a pair of khakis?

Ray from Waukesha, WI

Are the Packers coaches real active during halftime? Both offense and defense play differently and better in the second half.

All coaches are active in making halftime adjustments. I detected some very distinct adjustments by the Packers offense for the second half of the game in Detroit. Instead of attacking downfield, as the Packers did in the first half, they went to a more lateral approach in the second half. Aaron Rodgers threw a lot of quick passes to the wide receivers in the flats. I’m assuming the attempt was twofold: 1.) Stretch the Lions sideways. 2.) Draw the cornerbacks toward the line of scrimmage. I think it’s safe to say the strategy worked because the passing lanes began to open.

Christian from West Lafayette, IN

I noticed in your blog that you said Scott Wells and Jermichael Finley will enter unrestricted free agency after this year. Do you really think the Packers will let them go?

I said Wells and Finley are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. Before that occurs, the Packers might reach new contracts with those players, or maybe the Packers will use one of the tags to help protect their rights to those players. February is the month for tagging. I assure you, the Packers have a plan.

Jim from Voelz, MO

What a boffo line from you in the game blog: “Brandon Saine and a day of rain.” Only those of us who remember the Boston Braves’ move to Milwaukee in 1954 will get the allusion. Thanks. I'm impressed.

Yeah, I threw that out there just for baseball fans, but you’re the only person that’s commented on it. “Spahn and Sain and a day of rain,” or “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.” I’ve seen it used both ways. I guess we’re dating ourselves.

Cindy from Sun Prairie, WI

Do you think when the Packers clinch homefield advantage you'll see any change in starters? I do not think Coach Mike cares about going undefeated. I think the focus is more going to the playoffs healthy.

I disagree. I think Coach McCarthy cares very much about going undefeated.

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