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170619-insider-inbox-950
opinion

The player is free but the team isn't

Another reason I favor Packers/Vikings rivalry

June 19, 2017

J.D. from Palm Bay, FL

Jairus Byrd is once again a free agent. Isn’t it funny how “Byrd, Byrd, Byrd” is no longer the word?

He’s free, but the cap he left behind isn’t.

George from Hutchinson, MN

Vic, do you know how many concave dimples are on the average golf ball? I tried counting them once, but it made me dizzy going around in circles. Maybe I should do it just sitting down next time.

It varies. Dimples make the ball fly. Dimple design and count are according to the ball flight the manufacturer is seeking. In my opinion, golf equipment needs to be standardized. Technology is outpacing the game. The ball is flying too high and too far. A course such as Erin Hills should not be brought to its knees as it was on Saturday.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

You say memories make us rich and we should remember the bad ones as well as the good ones. Does this mean every memory is worth remembering? Filtering out the fat?

You have no choice. If you can’t remember it, it wasn’t meaningful.

Greg from Danbury, CT

Vic, what’s a great Father’s Day like? I hope yours was great.

It’s a peaceful day watching the U.S. Open, and the kids call and they’re happy and healthy. Yesterday was a great Father’s Day.

Matt from Lansing, MI

Vic, what did you think of the Open coverage on FOX? I enjoyed Joe Buck, but found Azinger downright painful to listen to.

It bothered me that not much was said about the course being overwhelmed by the players, especially on Saturday. I felt that was the story. Late in the Saturday telecast, Joe Buck read a statement by one of the players saying there was no fear on any shot. I get the sense Paul Azinger is trying to please everyone but the viewers. I miss Johnny Miller. I especially missed him on Saturday, as Justin Thomas tied Miller’s 44-year-old record. Miller could’ve added so much to the account.

Luker from San Antonio, TX

I got bucked off a horse and broke a rib three days ago. Lying in a bed brings unbearable pain. How the heck did Jordy Nelson play an NFL game after breaking ribs?

He’s tough. Broken ribs don’t hurt until they’re your broken ribs.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Top two teams shouldn’t get a bye. Injuries are a major disadvantage and playing one less postseason game is an inordinate advantage.

I agree. Increase the playoff field to 16 and get rid of the byes.

Nick from Smyrna, TN

The build-through-free-agency crowd is always saying the Packers are only a player away from a Super Bowl title. Other than the QB position, can a team really be one player away, considering how many moving parts there are in every play of every game?

You’re never one player away, but you can be one play away. We sure know that, don’t we?

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

How do you think Erin Hills stood up to the challenge of the U.S. Open?

I love the course. It’s visually stunning. It just needs to get meaner.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Vic, do you ever plan on attending a live game with the teams you once covered, most specifically Green Bay?

I have no plans for covering another football game, but I’m close enough to Jacksonville that I could slide down there and do it. Or I could just stay at home, watch football on TV and take a nap between games. By my count, I’ve covered nearly 700 games in my career, which includes nearly 100,000 plays. I don’t miss the press box elevator.

David from Hilliard, OH

I keep reading about how complex and difficult Dom Capers’ defense is to learn and execute. What makes it so difficult? How does it compare to other teams’ defenses in regards to difficulty?

All defenses are complex. It’s because they involve schemes designed to disguise the coverage, and run fits that depend on every man maintaining gap he’s been assigned. The coverage schemes and run fits will vary according to formations, and awareness must be quick and instinctive. The days of beat your man up front and keep everything in front of you in the back are over.

Bruce from Yelm, WA

I know you must get a lot of negative anti-Packers questions/comments from opposing teams’ fans who troll the Packers website. If so, what teams’ fans show up the most to spew their hateful (jealous) rhetoric?

Actually, I haven’t gotten a lot of anti-Packers mail, but what I’ve gotten has mostly come from Vikings fans. I can’t remember getting an angry email from a Bears fan. That’s another reason I believe Packers/Vikings is a better rivalry.

Don from Stevens Point, WI

I see the third Friday in June is “National Flip Flop Day.” Do anything special?

No, I wasn’t aware of the celebration. The flip-flop that was saved from my helicopter ride last June has been retired. The bottoms wore out and one of the straps broke loose. Fortunately, I had a pair of new ones at the ready. Recently, I was reminded of how much I wear them. I had to wear a pair of dress shoes to an event last week. It was the first time I wore a pair of socks that went above my ankles since I left Green Bay. I was miserable all night. I think I’ve developed an unnatural dent between my big toe and second toe.

Cesar from Long Beach, CA

Vic, you’ve made me a believer in players, not plays; makes perfect sense. I am having a hard time figuring out how we can have drafted so much talent at cornerback but have had such a hard time dominating at pass defense. I am wondering, is Dom Capers’ defense particularly difficult for cornerbacks to master?

The other teams have drafted a lot of talent at wide receiver. Players, not plays.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Vic, it was so hot here last week. I thought I was going to die pumping gas. I felt my fingertips melt to the gas tank lid as I opened it. I had to cling to the hose just to feel the cool gasoline rush through. Summer is brutal this year.

I remember how hot it got in Green Bay in the summer; both weeks.

Jeff from Mesa, AZ

Is there a defined difference between the two inside linebacker positions? If so, are Ryan, Martinez and Thomas interchangeable within these roles?

In a 3-4, I ideally think of one of the inside guys as a thumper and the other as a chaser. In other words, one of the two guys needs to be able to take on and defeat blocks in stopping the inside run; the other one needs the speed to chase the ball to the outside, rush the passer or drop into coverage. The Packers’ inside guys tend to be chase types. I’d like to see one of those guys become a thumper.

Tyler from Crane Lake, MN

I’ve always enjoyed Bill Parcells’ line, “Don’t tell me about the labor. Show me the baby.”

“If I'm going to be asked to cook the meal, I'd like to be able to pick the groceries.”

Greg from Waterford, MI

If the offense was a four-piece band, what instruments would you have in it?

Bass drum, tuba, flute and cymbals.

Giuseppe from Parma, Italy

Vic, as football continues to evolve, particularly on defense with two down linemen, is it possible offense may return to the past? That is, might some team take a page from Woody Hayes and use the “three yards and a cloud of dust” approach?

I like the way you think; I’ve thought the same. If I was a head coach or an offensive coordinator and my opponent went light in the pants up front, it would be time to begin the pounding. In my opinion, any offense that can’t run the ball against a two-down-linemen look lacks balance and is vulnerable to being schemed. Mike McCarthy knows how important the running game is. Despite last year’s rash of injuries at running back, he never gave up on finding a way to run the ball. Every offense needs a bass drum and a tuba.


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The player is free but the team isn't

Another reason I favor Packers/Vikings rivalry

170619-insider-inbox-950
opinion
June 19, 2017

J.D. from Palm Bay, FL

Jairus Byrd is once again a free agent. Isn’t it funny how “Byrd, Byrd, Byrd” is no longer the word?

He’s free, but the cap he left behind isn’t.

George from Hutchinson, MN

Vic, do you know how many concave dimples are on the average golf ball? I tried counting them once, but it made me dizzy going around in circles. Maybe I should do it just sitting down next time.

It varies. Dimples make the ball fly. Dimple design and count are according to the ball flight the manufacturer is seeking. In my opinion, golf equipment needs to be standardized. Technology is outpacing the game. The ball is flying too high and too far. A course such as Erin Hills should not be brought to its knees as it was on Saturday.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

You say memories make us rich and we should remember the bad ones as well as the good ones. Does this mean every memory is worth remembering? Filtering out the fat?

You have no choice. If you can’t remember it, it wasn’t meaningful.

Greg from Danbury, CT

Vic, what’s a great Father’s Day like? I hope yours was great.

It’s a peaceful day watching the U.S. Open, and the kids call and they’re happy and healthy. Yesterday was a great Father’s Day.

Matt from Lansing, MI

Vic, what did you think of the Open coverage on FOX? I enjoyed Joe Buck, but found Azinger downright painful to listen to.

It bothered me that not much was said about the course being overwhelmed by the players, especially on Saturday. I felt that was the story. Late in the Saturday telecast, Joe Buck read a statement by one of the players saying there was no fear on any shot. I get the sense Paul Azinger is trying to please everyone but the viewers. I miss Johnny Miller. I especially missed him on Saturday, as Justin Thomas tied Miller’s 44-year-old record. Miller could’ve added so much to the account.

Luker from San Antonio, TX

I got bucked off a horse and broke a rib three days ago. Lying in a bed brings unbearable pain. How the heck did Jordy Nelson play an NFL game after breaking ribs?

He’s tough. Broken ribs don’t hurt until they’re your broken ribs.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Top two teams shouldn’t get a bye. Injuries are a major disadvantage and playing one less postseason game is an inordinate advantage.

I agree. Increase the playoff field to 16 and get rid of the byes.

Nick from Smyrna, TN

The build-through-free-agency crowd is always saying the Packers are only a player away from a Super Bowl title. Other than the QB position, can a team really be one player away, considering how many moving parts there are in every play of every game?

You’re never one player away, but you can be one play away. We sure know that, don’t we?

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

How do you think Erin Hills stood up to the challenge of the U.S. Open?

I love the course. It’s visually stunning. It just needs to get meaner.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Vic, do you ever plan on attending a live game with the teams you once covered, most specifically Green Bay?

I have no plans for covering another football game, but I’m close enough to Jacksonville that I could slide down there and do it. Or I could just stay at home, watch football on TV and take a nap between games. By my count, I’ve covered nearly 700 games in my career, which includes nearly 100,000 plays. I don’t miss the press box elevator.

David from Hilliard, OH

I keep reading about how complex and difficult Dom Capers’ defense is to learn and execute. What makes it so difficult? How does it compare to other teams’ defenses in regards to difficulty?

All defenses are complex. It’s because they involve schemes designed to disguise the coverage, and run fits that depend on every man maintaining gap he’s been assigned. The coverage schemes and run fits will vary according to formations, and awareness must be quick and instinctive. The days of beat your man up front and keep everything in front of you in the back are over.

Bruce from Yelm, WA

I know you must get a lot of negative anti-Packers questions/comments from opposing teams’ fans who troll the Packers website. If so, what teams’ fans show up the most to spew their hateful (jealous) rhetoric?

Actually, I haven’t gotten a lot of anti-Packers mail, but what I’ve gotten has mostly come from Vikings fans. I can’t remember getting an angry email from a Bears fan. That’s another reason I believe Packers/Vikings is a better rivalry.

Don from Stevens Point, WI

I see the third Friday in June is “National Flip Flop Day.” Do anything special?

No, I wasn’t aware of the celebration. The flip-flop that was saved from my helicopter ride last June has been retired. The bottoms wore out and one of the straps broke loose. Fortunately, I had a pair of new ones at the ready. Recently, I was reminded of how much I wear them. I had to wear a pair of dress shoes to an event last week. It was the first time I wore a pair of socks that went above my ankles since I left Green Bay. I was miserable all night. I think I’ve developed an unnatural dent between my big toe and second toe.

Cesar from Long Beach, CA

Vic, you’ve made me a believer in players, not plays; makes perfect sense. I am having a hard time figuring out how we can have drafted so much talent at cornerback but have had such a hard time dominating at pass defense. I am wondering, is Dom Capers’ defense particularly difficult for cornerbacks to master?

The other teams have drafted a lot of talent at wide receiver. Players, not plays.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Vic, it was so hot here last week. I thought I was going to die pumping gas. I felt my fingertips melt to the gas tank lid as I opened it. I had to cling to the hose just to feel the cool gasoline rush through. Summer is brutal this year.

I remember how hot it got in Green Bay in the summer; both weeks.

Jeff from Mesa, AZ

Is there a defined difference between the two inside linebacker positions? If so, are Ryan, Martinez and Thomas interchangeable within these roles?

In a 3-4, I ideally think of one of the inside guys as a thumper and the other as a chaser. In other words, one of the two guys needs to be able to take on and defeat blocks in stopping the inside run; the other one needs the speed to chase the ball to the outside, rush the passer or drop into coverage. The Packers’ inside guys tend to be chase types. I’d like to see one of those guys become a thumper.

Tyler from Crane Lake, MN

I’ve always enjoyed Bill Parcells’ line, “Don’t tell me about the labor. Show me the baby.”

“If I'm going to be asked to cook the meal, I'd like to be able to pick the groceries.”

Greg from Waterford, MI

If the offense was a four-piece band, what instruments would you have in it?

Bass drum, tuba, flute and cymbals.

Giuseppe from Parma, Italy

Vic, as football continues to evolve, particularly on defense with two down linemen, is it possible offense may return to the past? That is, might some team take a page from Woody Hayes and use the “three yards and a cloud of dust” approach?

I like the way you think; I’ve thought the same. If I was a head coach or an offensive coordinator and my opponent went light in the pants up front, it would be time to begin the pounding. In my opinion, any offense that can’t run the ball against a two-down-linemen look lacks balance and is vulnerable to being schemed. Mike McCarthy knows how important the running game is. Despite last year’s rash of injuries at running back, he never gave up on finding a way to run the ball. Every offense needs a bass drum and a tuba.


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