Del from Sterling, IL
Vic, does any of this really matter?
It depends on your perspective.
Jalonie from West Hills, CA
Vic, I think the Packers are currently the best team in the NFC. I know that’s saying a lot, but I want to hear your opinion.
I think the focus going into this season should be on being the best team in the NFC North.
Mark from St. Pete Beach, FL
Vic, I hate to spoil the fantasy that popped up in yesterday’s column, but Lombardi did call the plays. He had two excellent left tackles named Norm Masters and Bob Skoronski, who shuttled in the plays to Bart Starr. I think Masters retired after ’64, and I don’t recall who took his place, but the fact is Lombardi called the plays.
Thank you for the information, but none of that has any impact on my opinion regarding play-calling. The head coach is the ultimate play-caller. He owns it because he’s the head coach and he owns everything. In today’s game, every call goes through the head coach’s headset. If he doesn’t like the call, he can order another one. Every play in the game plan was approved by him when the game plan was created. In my opinion, we put way too much emphasis on who’s calling the plays. The head coach calls the plays. It’s his team, it’s his playbook and he is ultimately responsible for both.
Kurt from Dubuque, IA
Vic, I do miss the more colorful athletic characters of my childhood. I wish guys could say what they felt and crack a joke during an interview. Do you think the main player in this is our society of someone always finding a way of being offended?
Sure it is. We’ve found a way to use our greatest right against those who practice it. I’m talking about the right to free speech. Blame it on the media, its readers, viewers and listeners for reveling in it, or both. The bottom line is there is often a penalty for saying the wrong thing and, in my opinion, it’s a penalty against our right to free speech.
Tim from Normal, IL
Vic, what pre-1978 quarterback would thrive in today’s game, and which quarterback today would thrive in the pre-1978 era?
Aaron Rodgers would’ve been as good in the seven-step and nine-step drop era, relatively speaking, as he is today. The stats wouldn’t be the same but his standing among the other quarterbacks would be. He has the arm strength and accuracy to have been successful in the drive-the-ball era. The tight-window throw he made in Super Bowl XLV is a classic pre-’78 pass. Ken Anderson played in the pre- and post-’78 eras and was successful in each. Anderson is Rodgers and Rodgers is Anderson. They have the same strong, accurate arms, the same mobility and the same ability to dink the ball down the field if you take deep drops against them.
Don from Brunswick, GA
Best regards, Vic, your column is a daily highlight. Jerry Kramer said he advised Coach Lombardi in a team meeting that Jethro Pugh played high and could be wedged. Lombardi allegedly said, “OK, put the wedge in.” I think you’re right, Bart followed the script. However, Bart was known for throwing in third-and-short situations. I don’t believe Lombardi scripted those calls.
Starr had freedom to change plays according to the defensive alignment. The head coach granted that freedom. If Lombardi didn’t approve of the plays that were being called, he would’ve revoked the privilege.
Donn from Algoma, WI
No color rush questions, Mr. Vic. Just wondered why no comments regarding my Cubs this year. Pittsburgh really has to be scratching their heads. Is it the year of the Cubs?
Never. The goat always wins.
Jeff from Waukesha, WI
Vic, being about the same age as yourself, I really enjoy when you reference the old days with the Steelers (never tire of any Lambert stories you share), as I remember them well. We’re making the Jacksonville game our Packers road trip this year. What’s your estimate of Packers vs Jaguars fans in the stands that day?
I’m going to guess 75-25 Jaguars fans, but that guess could change as we near the game.
Adam from Dallas, TX
Vic, can Brett Hundley be the guy after Rodgers leaves, or am I asking too much from him?
Aaron Rodgers has several years of Rodgers-like football left in him. I think your expectation for Hundley is unrealistic at this point in time. My expectation for Hundley is to take the step from a No. 3 quarterback to a No. 2 quarterback.
Todd from Milwaukee, WI
I’m so confused. Now you say, “Coaches have never been more important.” What happened to players, not plays?
Leadership has never been more important. I’ve tried, but you don’t get it. I’m afraid you never will.
Joe from Helps, MI
When asked about the most balanced teams, historically speaking, you listed only pre-cap teams and did not include the 1996 Packers. I truly believe that team was the most balanced team I’ve seen in my lifetime, as it had a powerful offense, dominating defense and probably the best special teams units ever. That team was able to dominate in all three phases unlike any other team I’ve seen. Is there a reason you neglected to mention that team in your answer?
Yes, there is a reason. The reason is I don’t think it is the equal of the four candidates I mentioned. By the way, the salary cap/free agency era began in ’93.
Jim from McLean, VA
Why are readers so upset that you have an opinion? I thought that was the point.
They want me to tell them what they think, instead of what I think.
Tom from Westfield, MA
“If you put your run-stuffers in the game, they throw at them. If you go nickel and put your pass-defenders in the game, they run at them.” So put your run-stuffers in the game and tell them to play the pass, or put the pass players in and tell them to play the run. Knowing what they will do is half the battle.
Predictability is not half the battle. Execution is the whole battle. Everybody knew the Packers were going to run the sweep. Maybe you should give Todd a call. Maybe the two of you could play Madden with Bryce Petty.
Bob from Colby, KS
Not only are players more wary of what they say, but so are commentators. Some are getting fired for their comments.
Why has our skin gotten so thin? Is it from all that water we’re drinking?
Al from Wausau, WI
On the subject of dominant teams, the ’62 Packers definitely belong.
It’s the next team on my list. I’ll tell you this: If the Packers had won all of those titles in the post-merger era, they would be my only candidate, and the ’62 team was their best. Done! Crown ’em.
Sam from Mooresville, IN
Vic, I am so sick of the color-rush questions. No one is changing their opinions here and the questions are just clogging up the column. Please stop answering them.
I asked the Society of Professional Journalists for its opinion on this subject. The Society said when the color rush questions dip beneath 25 percent of my inbox, I should stop answering them. The choice is yours, folks. You control the media.
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