Eric from Mequon, WI
I hope this isn’t a stupid question but can a player on the practice squad who feels he’s close to being called up by his current team turn down offers from other teams?
A practice squad player can do as he pleases because he’s a free agent free to sign with any team in the league that offers him a contract. That being said, practice squad players need to be discriminating in their choices. If they’re on the practice squad of the team that originally signed them, then it’s likely that team saw something in the player it likes and has likely designated the player for development. He might have a future with that team. A team offering the practice-squad player a contract, however, might only want him as a stop-gap guy. They might only want to empty his head and then cut him when they’re done with him. If I was a player on the Packers’ practice squad, I’d want to stay right where I am because this team has a reputation for developing them for future use.
Kaleb from Boulder, CO
Vic, Jordy Nelson admittedly plays better against physical defensive backs that like to be in his hip pocket. He’ll get that. I think Jordy may be a fun player to keep an eye on Thursday.
I completely agree.
Mark from Short Hills, NJ
Vic, what is your over/under on how many flags are thrown on Thursday night? Is the preseason experiment over?
I don’t think the experiment is over. I think illegal contact, defensive holding and hands to the face are going to be called as aggressively as they were in the preseason, or Dean Blandino told a fib a few weeks ago. I’ve known Dean for several years and he is an honorable man.
Barry from Hayward, WI
If there is one aspect of Thursday’s game that concerns me it’s nose tackle with Raji out for the season. Please reassure me they are going to be able to keep Marshawn Lynch bottled up.
That’s the plan, and I guarantee Dom Capers has made it the No. 1 objective of his defense. The Packers must stop the run because the run is the trigger mechanism for everything else the Seahawks do on offense. The Seahawks are a run-the-ball, play-action offense. If they force you to overplay the run, they’ll hit you deep with the pass.
Justin from Athens, GA
Do you ever watch college games?
I’m a college football junkie. I watch so much college football on Saturdays that by the time I’m ready to turn off the late game and go to bed, I’m disgusted with myself for again having wasted another Saturday of my life. Last Saturday, I started with UCLA-UVA and finished with Wisconsin-LSU. In between, I saw some West Virginia-Alabama, Northern Iowa-Iowa, a lot of Clemson-Georgia, Florida State-Oklahoma State and Georgia Southern-N.C. State, a little Indiana State-Indiana and Western Michigan-Purdue and Northwestern and whatever team it was playing. If there’s one thing people don’t know about me it’s that I’m a college football nut. They don’t know that about me because I go into hiding on Saturday in front of my TV. I’ve always loved college football’s travelogue quality. I like traveling around the country from game to game, seeing places with strange names. In recent years, I’ve been down on college football because I think the product has really declined. Last Saturday, I liked what I saw.
Bill from Detroit, MI
How do you think the Packers will go after Richard Sherman?
I’d go after him short. I’d go after any cornerback in this point-of-emphasis year with short passes. Make them play tight. I think it’ll draw flags, which will back them off.
Michael from Anchorage, AK
As you have said before, a huge factor in the first few games of the season is conditioning. No one has played a full game yet. Will the team that loses its gas first likely be the loser on Thursday?
I think that would absolutely be true, if one of the two teams does, indeed, lose its gas. Here’s how I view early-season games, as far as conditioning is concerned: The team that cramps last wins. Get ready for them: Here come the cramps. That’s the result of not having played a full game.
Joe from Clio, MI
The no-huddle offense will run more plays in a shorter time span and will, at times, score very quickly or go out very quickly. The defense will most certainly be on the field more and will have to play more defensive snaps. Do you see this as an issue for a Green Bay defense that has struggled for three years now?
It would be an issue for the “Steel Curtain” if it was married to an up-tempo offense that wasn’t moving the ball. If you’re going to use the no-huddle for the purpose of upping the tempo and increasing the snaps in a game, you better score points because that’s not a ball-control, time-of-possession offense.
Tim from Clear Lake, WI
Vic, is it going to take scheme to beat the Seahawks or are the Packers going to be able to force their will on these guys? I had to start the conversation of scheme.
How’d that Omaha scheme work for the Broncos?
Eric from Sycamore, IL
Vic, who said gamesmanship isn’t around anymore? The Chicago Bears’ Week 1 opponent picked up and soon released Jordan Palmer. I think I have an idea why.
Vulcan mind meld?
Derek from South Point, OH
You speak often about fan attitude and behavior, such as watching games, emotional response, video game/fantasy, winsomeness, etc. What would be your “Ten Commandments of Fan Behavior and Attitude?”
1. Thou shall not whine or cry.
2. Thou shall not yell or scream for no reason.
3. Thou shall not disturb others.
4. Thou shall understand that Vic will be on limited sleep on Friday morning and won’t be in the mood to play Dr. Phil.
5. Thou shall smile and enjoy the game regardless of the outcome, because watching football is always better than working in a sintering plant.
6. Thou shall not covet the guy-in-the-next-seat’s brat.
7. Thou shall not covet his wife, either, even if it’s a bad game.
8. Thou shall not act belligerently toward fans of the other team, especially if they are bigger, younger, meaner, tougher and drunker.
9. If watching the game on TV, thou shall not bear false witnesses by moving from chair to chair according to how moving from chair to chair corresponds with Packers touchdowns.
10. Thou shall be winsome.
Ron from Roscoe, IL
I’ve known coaches that encourage overly aggressive behavior in their players. Their idea was it isn’t illegal if you aren’t caught. I never supported that philosophy but it made for some teams that intimidated their opponents. Do you think it’s the result of the coaching staff or the selection of certain types of players that give a team like the Seahawks their reputation for toughness?
I don’t like what you’re suggesting. I don’t see anything about the Seahawks that’s dirty or flagrant. They play the game the right way and I think it’s unfair the league has targeted them with these point-of-emphasis changes. Beyond that, I believe it’s important to find players that fit the style of football you want to play. Pete Carroll said that in his conference call on Sunday and I agree with him. We’ve been through this before. I think you grade prospects according to the skills required to play the style of football you employ. If you’re going to ask your offensive line to zone block, you don’t draft roadgraders. If you want to play sick-em football, and the Seahawks do, then you draft sick-em football players. I like those kinds of players. I would favor drafting them.
Chris from Coquitlam, BC
Are we still going to see your prediction in Wednesday’s “Ask Vic” as promised?
I promised to make my “prediction” on Friday. I’m not permitted to make predictions of games because it could be used as bulletin-board material by opponents. I will, however, announce my prediction for this game on Friday, if you’d like. You’ll have to trust my integrity, of course, but I’m a trustworthy person.
Will from Edinburgh, UK
Vic, I am confident in the knowledge the Packers are ready for the season. I am not saying they are gonna win the season opener, and if they lose it won’t trouble me too much, mainly because I know this Packers team is poised for a great season and they can peak in the playoffs. So I’m ready to sit back and enjoy the regular season.
You have my permission.
Colin from Lansdale, PA
I have a hunch Jeff Janis will be returning punts Thursday night. Remember when the Packers played the Saints a few years ago? Randall Cobb had a tremendous kickoff return. I think Janis might do something similar in the punt return game. Look out.
Your hunch appears to be wrong. Shawn Slocum said on Monday Randall Cobb and Micah Hyde will do the punt-returning.
Brett from Green Bay, WI
Vic, do you think the Raiders did the right thing starting Derek Carr over Matt Schaub?
I’m not big on sitting young quarterbacks on the bench, especially if he’s a franchise guy. If you believe he has a chance to succeed, play him. Carr’s “The Man.” The sooner he plays, the sooner he’ll play well. Aaron Rodgers was a different situation. He had Brett Favre in front of him. Carr doesn’t have Favre in front of him. Yes, I believe the Raiders are doing the right thing. You did it, again, Brett.
Jacob from St. Joseph, MI
I know you hate the spy, but with regards to Russell Wilson and his mobility, how do you balance a more aggressive pass rush with the need to contain him?
Stay in your lanes. The Packers did that in the 2012 game. You sacrifice some aggressiveness in exchange for discipline, but I would rather force Wilson to be a pocket passer than have him running around and forcing my back-end guys to decide whether to come up or stay back. I don’t think rushing the passer is a critical issue in this game for the Packers. I think this game is more about cover than rush.
Andrew from West Allis, WI
Richard Rodgers: I supported the pick; why am I getting giddy to see him in action?
The top 10 reasons you are getting giddy to see Richard Rodgers in action:
10. Your life is otherwise void of excitement.
9. You like the name Richard Rodgers.
8. Your wife/girlfriend ran off with your best friend and you miss him and you need something to make you feel good.
7. You’re one of those fans that are obsessed with throwing more to the tight end, even though every wide receiver on the team can run faster, jump higher, catch better and do more with the ball after he catches it.
6. He’s on your fantasy team.
5. He scored a touchdown for you in Madden.
4. Rodgers reminds you of Marv Fleming.
3. You like the way Rodgers blocks.
2. You didn’t know who Rodgers was when the Packers drafted him but you supported the pick because everybody else criticized it and you wanted to tell everybody I told you so.
And the No. 1 reason you are getting giddy to see Richard Rodgers in action is because you love cheese curds and your mother said she’s going to make cheese curds for you to watch the game on Thursday night.
Andrew, I wanted to give you a Cenex gas card but you don’t have a gas station near you so I’m going to give the gas card to Tim from Clear Lake, WI. Tim, thank Andrew for giving you gas.
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