Corey from Tulsa, OK
Vic, could you please explain the 1982 season to us? From what I understand, a kicker won the league MVP and there were only nine games that season?
It was a strike year. The strike was settled late in the season, so the NFL squeezed the dates and manipulated the scheduling and expanded the playoffs in an attempt to salvage the season. The next time there was a strike, in 1987, the owners were prepared to play on with replacement players. Players broke ranks quickly and began crossing picket lines. On the heels of that strike, it looked like the owners were in control of the game, but their victory only inflamed tensions. The players turned to the courts and that’s why we have unrestricted free agency now. War is always bad.
Maximillian from Sydney, Australia
Vic, do you expect opposing teams to pay special attention to Eddie Lacy this season?
That’s the idea. Coach McCarthy’s big-letters promise to improve the running game has added a weapon to the Packers’ offense, and it’s the best possible weapon for protecting a star quarterback and opening the field for him. Lacy is the best thing that’s happened to the Packers offense since Aaron Rodgers became the team’s quarterback.
Brett from Green Bay, WI
Vic, why don't we see more combined practices?
Travel is the issue. Coaches don’t like the time that’s wasted on it. It’s time that could be spent teaching. In my opinion, it’s time well spent.
Michael from Sandy Hook, VA
Your answer on Paul Brown piqued my interest. Which coaching tree is the most impressive in your opinion and why?
Brown’s is the best: Ewbank, Shula, Noll, Walsh, etc.
Daniel from Potosi, WI
What is the greatest NFL dynasty? To me, I feel like it comes down to the Packers of the ’60s and the Steelers of the ’70s. Who wins?
Cliff Christl did a wonderful story on NFL dynasties and it’ll appear on packers.com this afternoon. Wait for it. I think you’ll love the read.
Greg from Danbury, CT
So what's bothering me? For starters, you’re less worried about the Seahawks at Lambeau and more worried about the Bears at Soldier Field.
I’m not worried about either game, because I don’t worry about games. In my opinion, the Bears game is the more important of the two, because it’s a division game. Of course, the week of any game, that game is the single-most important game the Packers will play that season.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Vic, the draft-and-develop system in Green Bay has the young players buying in and they seem to be performing at a higher level than players for another club. Help us understand what makes it so effective.
It begins with drafting good players. Before it can be about intangibles, such as team spirit and chemistry, etc., it has to be about talent. This organization finds it. If you’re going to rely on draft picks, you better not miss on them. The Packers don’t miss often.
Jim from Green Bay, WI
Can you give us more insight on the Paul Brown and Bill Walsh relationship?
Walsh was Brown’s offensive coordinator with the Bengals. When Brown retired, he made a choice between Walsh and Tiger Johnson to coach the Bengals. Brown picked the wrong guy. If he had picked Walsh, the ’80s 49ers as we know them would’ve never existed. That’s how delicate the balance of power is in the NFL.
Dave from Eau Claire, WI
With the advent of the free agency era, do you think it’s possible to see a dynasty like the ’60s Packers, ’70s Steelers or ’80s Niners again?
I think it’s possible for a dynasty to emerge, but not similar to the Packers, Steelers and 49ers. Prior to the free agency/salary cap era, football was a game of addition. Teams just kept adding to their rosters; age and injury were the only threats of subtraction. Today’s game is a game of replacement. The Patriots are the model for today’s game.
Mark from Ann Arbor, MI
After winning the women’s World Cup semifinal and being asked about the new alignment she used for that game, the coach for the United States said, “It’s not about the system, it’s about the players on the field.” Even soccer people know it’s players, not plays.
If you don’t understand and embrace that philosophy, you know nothing about the human confrontation that is at the heart of athletics. You have to beat the man across from you. Scheme is an aid, but it must be executed.
Doug from Littleton, CO
Vic, with all the attention of the NFL looking to coming back to Los Angeles, which organization makes the most sense? I think Oakland makes sense.
If it turns out to be the Raiders, the irony is they’ll likely have to pay a franchise fee to move, which would mean Al Davis’ victory over the league in court will have been meaningless. Ultimately, the league will have won; the Raiders will have to pay to move.
Ken from Camp Lake, WI
Vic, your insight and levity have me back every day. I have to tell you your reference to the cottonwoods as being June’s snow is pure wistfulness.
I got one of those things stuck in my throat the other day. It blew right into my mouth. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Dan from Port Hueneme, CA
Vic, Brett Favre says he could still play at 45. Brings to mind George Blanda, who I believe played until he was 46. What do you remember about him?
Yeah, but by and large he was a kicker at that point in his career. I also remember he comes from a town near where I began my career.
Douglas from Louisville, KY
Yesterday was the first time I was annoyed my question wasn’t picked. Usually I don’t mind, but yesterday’s questions I felt were boring.
Your question was terrible.
Matt from Winfield, IL
How much longer do you think we have of the McCarthy era?
Mike McCarthy is going to coach this team for a long, long time.
Ted from Oshkosh, WI
Do you believe there was ever a point in time when the best college team was better than the worst NFL team?
If there was, it would’ve been in 1976. Pitt was the national champion and its star player was Tony Dorsett. The Bucs were an expansion franchise that year, didn’t win a game and was, by far, the worst pro football team I’ve ever seen. The Bucs were so bad I witnessed Chuck Noll do something the week of a game against them I never thought I’d see him do: He looked ahead.
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