Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Which special teams unit will see the biggest change?
Kickoff return has the greatest room for improvement and I think Ty Montgomery gives the Packers explosiveness in the return game they didn’t possess last season. Kickoff return could be a game-changer.
Jay from Arlington Heights, IL
Is it possible for someone like Nick Perry to, in a sense, win the ILB job by playing so well outside the team is better with both he and Clay on the field?
Maybe Perry should play some end. That’s what he played in college. It made him a first-round pick, right?
Andy from Eau Claire, WI
Which one of the Packers 2015 draft picks has been most impressive so far in training camp?
I would say Montgomery has a narrow lead over Damarious Randall.
Ross from Hudson, WI
What specific plays would an offense use to attack a 3-4 defense weak at the middle linebacker position, and how would that defense compensate?
First of all, a middle linebacker plays in a 4-3, inside linebackers play in a 3-4. I’d run some inside traps and try to get my star running back isolated on the middle linebacker. If I was the defensive coordinator, I’d keep my tackles at home to avoid having my middle linebacker isolated on the offense’s star running back. I believe in scheming personnel, not schemes.
Jesse from Papillion, NE
Do you feel with Favre being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next year there will be a very good chance of the Packers playing in that game?
Mark from Stewartville, MN
Vic, years ago, when NFL teams had two-a-day practices in training camp, Coach Lombardi used repetition to drill his offensive system, and more specifically the power sweep, into his players’ heads. Would he have been able to adjust to today’s much-tighter training camp schedule?
Absolutely. He would have identified the challenge and tailored the schedule accordingly. The same coach who featured the Packers sweep would be teaching the check-down pass. Great coaches adapt to the circumstances, but they never compromise their fundamental philosophy and belief. Lombardi was about blocking and tackling. There’s still room in today’s game for blocking and tackling. The great coaches find a way to teach it, even in today’s tight training camp schedule.
Gary from Marshalltown, IA
Do NFL teams send scouts to other teams’ training camps? Or is that illegal?
If a team’s training camp is open to the public free of charge, it is against league rule for teams to scout it. If a team charges admission, it’s permissible for opponents to scout practices.
Shane from River Falls, WI
As McCarthy decides on which quarterbacks to keep, I wonder what Vic would do. Do you keep Hundley based on potential, even if Blanchard is the better QB right now?
Vic would find a way to keep the players he believes have a future in the game. There are 61 ways to do it, not including the inevitable injured reserve assignments. It’s draft and develop, not draft and quit. A good general manager knows how to massage the roster, including the practice squad. He knows who has value to other teams, and who he can sneak through waivers. A good GM massages the roster in such a way he creates what I call a waiver roster, which is to say players he didn’t keep but other teams don’t want, so they’re out there for you to bring back in a pinch. You tell those guys to stay in shape and remember what they learned while they were here.
TGHN from Bettendorf, IA
Scott Tolzien looked really sharp in Saturday’s practice. The buzz, jokingly, in the crowd was to start Tolzien this year. Has he really taken a step or do we need to wait until the preseason games to start to find out?
Tolzien has the distinct look of a No. 2 quarterback. As far as I’m concerned, it’s his job. All he needs to do is prove it in the preseason.
Nick from Bismarck, ND
I am a little perplexed on why the Packers have not addressed their inside linebacker need. Every year it’s the same story. Ty Montgomery will be a great player, but wouldn’t an inside linebacker that could thump be a bit better?
You don’t want a great player? You can’t draft everybody, Nick.
Jon from Bath, England
Which of the preseason games are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to going back to Pittsburgh – I haven’t been there since 2007 – but I’m most looking forward to the opener in New England. I’m looking forward to seeing what the mood is there as we go through this “Deflategate” thing. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the Packers’ rookie corners play in that game; I expect them to get a lot of playing time. I guess I’m just looking forward to sitting in a press box, and I always like eating those giant pretzels they have in the Gillette Stadium press box.
Kendall from South Hill, VA
Who’s the worst person you ever felt for after a loss?
I could certainly say Brandon Bostick and I think most Packers fans would agree with me, but I have to go with Steve Bartman. If God knew what would happen to Bartman when God created him, shouldn’t He have rained that game out. It’s the most awful thing I have ever seen in sports.
Kim from Minneapolis, MN
What did you think of the video the Cowboys released of Dez Bryant fighting with Tyler Patmon? Love the column!
It’s all about the visits.
Michael from Pine, CO
Is Christian Ringo popping out at all?
He’s got short-area quickness. That’s an especially good thing in a two-gapping scheme.
Wayne from Bellevue, NE
It was mentioned McCarthy likes to start practice with team tackling, ball security and team takeaway drills. If you were a coach, what drills would you start practice with?
I never thought about this, but you make a great point. It’s said you get what you emphasize. Well, tackling, not fumbling and causing turnovers are three fundamentals at the root of a team’s success. I can’t think of three things more worthy of emphasizing.
Kyle from South Bend, IN
Do you feel fortunate to be covering a Hall of Fame quarterback on what probably will be the last stop of your career?
Of course I do. I began with Bradshaw and I’ll end with Rodgers. I don’t deserve to be this fortunate.
Mario from El Centro, CA
What did Coach Tom Coughlin see in Jimmy Smith the Dallas Cowboys did not? I always liked Jimmy Smith’s fighting spirit. I love your writing and your column.
The Cowboys saw the same thing Coach Coughlin saw; talent worthy of the 36th pick of the draft. The difference is Coughlin was the coach of an expansion team; he saw need. The Cowboys had Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper, and Jimmy broke a leg and then lost time to an appendectomy. Opportunity is often the difference between success and failure.
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