Zach from Plymouth, WI
In response to Kevin from Lenexa, KS: Pitt is a program a little better than Kansas but has produced a lot more great NFL players, including Dan Marino, Darrelle Revis, Larry Fitzgerald, Tony Dorsett, Mike Ditka, Chris Doleman, Curtis Martin, Russ Grimm, Ruben Brown and Joe Schmidt.
There are eight Pitt players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Marino, Dorsett, Ditka, Doleman, Martin, Grimm, Schmidt and Rickey Jackson. Revis, Fitzgerald and Brown are serious contenders, and LeSean McCoy and Aaron Donald offer potential, too. Jimbo Covert gets mentioned often, but I don’t think he played long enough. There’s a kid at Pitt right now who’s as smooth as Fitzgerald was coming out of Pitt. Remember the name Tyler Boyd.
Morgan from Fort Collins, CO
It seems B.J. Raji is playing superbly thus far. How does Guion’s return factor into the team? Is he versatile enough to play elsewhere on the line or does he become next guy up?
Raji is playing the best football I’ve seen him play since I got here. He’s dominating. Letroy Guion can play outside. That’s one of the great things about a two-gapping 3-4 system: If you can hold the point, you can play any of the three down-linemen positions. Guion’s return will make the Packers stronger and deeper.
Mark from Roanoke, IL
Even on a large screen TV it’s difficult to read defenses. What are some simple keys to observe to understand what a defense is doing?
Reading coverages is too difficult for most fans, including me, to identify as the play is unfolding. Cover two becomes cover one at the snap of the ball if one of the safeties comes forward to cover the slot receiver, and usually the safety will disguise that move by delaying it as much as possible. If you really want to get a feel for what’s happening, watch the linemen. Do they get on the head of the blocker and try to hold the ground, or do they get into the gap and attempt to penetrate and disrupt. It’s the difference between reading or attacking, and that’ll give you an overall feel for the game plan.
Matt from Jersey City, NJ
Somewhere in San Francisco, the Niners are working on the read-option. I’m confident going into this week, but this could very well be our toughest test, yet, in defending the run. No doubt McCarthy will be prepared, though.
You’re a man of measured thought.
Eduardo from Los Angeles, CA
Do you think Davante Adams has been a disappointment so far? I know it’s still early in the season.
Please give Matt a call.
Keith from San Antonio, TX
This year a player gave up around $11 million to play for the NBA Spurs. He did this to play with Hall of Fame players and have a shot at a championship. Of course, he is motivated, just not by money. You just don’t hear about this happening in football.
Let me know how that works for him.
Josh from De Pere, WI
I’m hearing a lot about the short plays the Packers run with a receiver running behind basically two blocking receivers. It could be called for PI more often. What are your thoughts on this type of play?
Everybody’s doing it and I’m not crazy about it. It’s becoming impossible to play defense in this league.
Ben from Chicago, IL
Vic, what are the pros and cons of not extending the contract of a good player before his fourth year?
If you’re talking about how it applies to restricted free agency, you’re using the tender to take full advantage of the salary cap system. That’s the positive. The negative is you’re risking the possibility the player will have a big season and it’ll cost you more to sign him to a long-term contract. I prefer to take that risk because I’d rather pay big for a star player than overpay for an average player.
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