Brian from Idaho Falls, ID

Vic, I am a believer in in playing the odds. I don’t think the Packers can beat the 49ers twice in one season. If the Packers lose the opener, I think it gives us a better chance to win in the postseason. In addition, the 49ers will be more complacent and the Packers will be determined to win.

At least you had the courage to use your real name, I hope.

Joe from Clio, MI

Andrew Datko was supposed to have first-round talent. What happened to him and is his story common?

A player crosses a very deep divide when he moves from college football to the NFL, and it’s common for a lot of players who were stars in college to find that their talents do not translate on the NFL level. It doesn’t mean the guy’s a bad player; it just means that for one reason or another his talent didn’t fit the pro game. Start counting up the first-round picks that failed in their pro bids. A lot of fans don’t appreciate the jump a player has to make from college to the NFL. It’s not over for Datko. He’ll land somewhere and he’ll continue to pursue a career in the NFL. It’s all about finding a place where you fit, whether it be position, place or scheme.

Keith from Taylors, SC

Vic, the Pirates will finally finish with a winning record. How does it feel?

Roberto Clemente wore No. 21. Their string of losing seasons officially ended last night at 20. Coincidence?

Mark from Bluemont, VA

LeRoy Butler, call him a spy, a run stopper, a blitzer, but he dominated in the Favre years in run support. Would something similar be an answer to the read option and who would be the best fit in that role?

Find another LeRoy Butler and you could put him in any role you want. You stop the read option with LeRoy Butlers, not plays.

Mark from La Crosse, WI

In all my years, I’ve never seen Packers fans as neurotic as they have displayed through your column over the past few weeks. Why all the fretting? We still have Rodgers, a stable of thoroughbreds at wide out, a talented group of field-stretching tight ends, and a young bull at running back. The offensive line will be improved, and the defense has vengeance on its mind. This team is ready, Vic. Can you feel it?

This game is freakin’ people out. I think this game has created more anxiety in Packers fans than any game I’ve covered in the three years I’ve been here. Yeah, I can feel a focus for this game among Packers players. This team is ready. It has been ultra-prepared schematically by the defensive staff, and the schedule maker took care of the emotional preparation by merely making this the season opener.

Alan from Shelton, WA

Vic, with all of the high hopes going into the new season, it’s hard for me to believe no one is looking at the inadequacies along the offensive line. We want a running game. Who’s going to open up the running lanes? We want to keep Aaron Rodgers upright and healthy through 16 games. Who’s going to provide that protection against the edge speed rushers? Your thoughts?

Help is not on the way.

Seth from Fairfield, IA

Vic, what are your thoughts on the new lawsuit filed by four ex-NFL players? Are they entitled or just upset they missed out on the $765 million settlement already made between the league and the players?

They want to cut their own deal. I didn’t understand when the settlement was announced why anybody thought this was the end of it.

Brian from Crofton, MD

What do you think of Ray Lewis’ comments that he felt the Super Bowl power outage was on purpose, so the Ravens didn’t run away with the game? Bush league comment from a Hall of Famer, in my book.

That is a very grave and, in my opinion, reckless accusation, without proof of what he’s claiming to have happened. He’s challenging the league’s integrity. He’s accusing the league of cheating. If he goes any farther with this, I would hope the league would respond with incontrovertible evidence that would refute Lewis’ charge. He’s always been celebrated for being a man of many words. He might’ve gone too far.


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