Kurtis from Front Royal, VA
“Everybody knows who the best players are and where they fit in the order,” and “We don’t know where these guys fit until they’ve been drafted.” You said both of these statements in Wednesday’s “Ask Vic.” Seems to me you may be conflicted, or does everybody represent NFL executives and we represent the common fan?
The teams (everybody) know who the best players are and where they fit in the order, but they don’t tell us what they know until they draft those players. That’s when we (media, fans) find out where they fit. The draft is the ultimate value board.
John from Neptune Beach, FL
Had to look up “Mean Joe” Greene? Now I really feel old.
Yeah, but even though he never heard of “Mean Joe,” I have no doubt he’s sure today’s players are bigger, stronger, faster.
Chris from Petaluma, CA
I was blown away with Donald Sterling’s comments. In such a high position, one must always act as if the microphone is on.
Even when you’re with your girlfriend, or maybe even your estranged wife.
Mitchell from Saint Johns, MI
So, Rodgers or Bradshaw?
Each could play in the other’s era, but I think Aaron Rodgers would’ve been better in Terry Bradshaw’s era than Bradshaw would be in Rodgers’ era because Brad wasn’t a check-it-down, risk-aversion passer. So, score one for Rodgers. I think Rodgers would be a beautiful play-caller, if given complete control of the play-calling duties, but he doesn’t have complete control and Bradshaw did, and Bradshaw didn’t have a communicator in his helmet and he called all of Super Bowl XIV from the line of scrimmage, so score one for Bradshaw. Both are equally fearless, talented and tough. Here’s the difference: Bradshaw’s got four titles. Four up, four down. He beat Roger Staubach twice. That can’t be ignored. Rodgers is the best pure passer of the football I have ever covered, but I will not betray the reverence I reserve for titles. Bradshaw.
Ethan from La Crosse, WI
Vic, yesterday you said: “I don’t know what the Packers will target. Nobody except the Packers knows what or who the Packers will target.” This is what I mean about the draftniks. There’s no point in listening to them. It doesn’t excite me, they don’t draw me in and I’m annoyed fans give them so much attention. Listening to who draftniks think each team will draft is like listening to expert picks before every Sunday game. They might get one or two right, but hanging on their every word is just asking for a letdown. Can’t we just wait and get excited when the draft actually starts?
You’re taking it too seriously and it’s going to rob you of your fun. Relax and enjoy it. You don’t have to make the pick. All you have to do is watch.
Mike from West Bend, WI
You have no problem being sarcastic about fans that have drafting a safety on the brain, but you don’t have one critical thought about the GM who still can’t find Nick Collins’ replacement. I don’t mean negative, I mean critical. This constant whiffing on a safety has no doubt hurt the team. And the blanket “I love everything TT does” mantra isn’t balanced, either. Yes, we all know he has a plan, all teams do but how many years and mistakes at that position will you tolerate before pointing out an obvious problem? While Woodson was having a solid year in Oakland, the Packers went younger and faster and more upside with a guy who was clearly overmatched. At what point do the recurring failures at a position get pointed out as a problem?
Yes, something must be done about this. Failure is intolerable, even when it results in success.
Tanner from Marietta, OH
Vic, I just read an article suggesting the Packers would give the Lions a “whole bunch of draft picks” in order to obtain Suh. This is absolutely ridiculous. Does anyone even pay attention to how teams do business? Ted Thompson would have to be running a pretty high fever to even consider this.
Yeah, but you read it.
Uriah from Marysville, OH
Vic, why do you think the Jags will be the surprise team of the year?
They had a lot of cap room and they used it with a minimum of exposure to acquire a lot of players that represent upgrades at each of their positions. We saw what Toby Gerhart could do in last year’s game against the Vikings at Lambeau Field. I think Ziggy Hood was miscast in Pittsburgh; his talents will be a much better fit in the Jaguars’ 4-3. The Jaguars are beautifully positioned high in the order and with a lot of picks. I also think they have an underrated quarterback. If they hit on their picks, look out.
Mark from Verona, WI
Vic, I am updating my wardrobe, adding khakis. What shoe style goes well with khakis?
Any shoes work. I’m wearing loafers with my khakis today. I also wear wingtips with them, canvas boat shoes and, of course, the wear-every-day-for-six-months, Herman Munster, Wisconsin winter shoes. Khakis are perfect for cutting grass or blowing snow, and they look great with a blue blazer and a cocktail glass.
Jeff from Minocqua, WI
Vic, here’s another name: free safety Lonnie Ballentine of Memphis. What’s the scoop?
Jeff, we’re in the backstretch. It’s too late for this. As Lee said to Jeb Stuart, “There is no time.”
Jessica from Brooklyn, NY
Vic, wouldn’t it be a freedom of speech issue to ban players from using profanity? Do you think a rule of this nature will be passed soon? The NFL officials are becoming too police-like for my taste.
I don’t think it’s a freedom of speech issue; nobody’s going to be taken to court for saying a naughty word. It’s an image issue, and that kind of bothers me because I’m getting really tired of this obsession with image, which I regard as an attempt to deceive. I’d rather we all expose our real selves to each other. I can live with the flaws. I like to see other people’s flaws. It makes me feel better about myself.
Leonardo from Las Vegas, NV
You’ve been high on C.J. Mosley throughout most of the offseason, but Tony Pauline said there are medical red flags on him. Does that concern you enough to take some of his appeal away, even if he’s available at 21? Would Louis Nix or someone else move up ahead of Mosley in your eyes one week before the draft?
I like Nix but I like Mosley more. In my opinion, Mosley is the latest victim of the prejudice that exists against Alabama players. Eddie Lacy was last year’s victim and we saw how that turned out. There’s a feeling in the scouting and draftnik community that Alabama players take too much pounding. There’s a fear that they’re older than their years. I say baloney to that.
Henry from Charleston, SC
Vic, I have been a follower of yours for at least eight years. My question is through all the years, even after we won the Super Bowl, the Packers still don’t get much media coverage. Why is that?
That’s by design. Remember the Brett Favre saga in 2008? The Packers got plenty of media coverage then, didn’t they? That’s not what the Packers want. They prefer to go about their business in a calm and orderly way, and without distraction. Media coverage can become a distraction, even when it’s all about praise. The Packers want Mike McCarthy, not the media, to set the tone for his team.
Richard from Eleva, WI
Vic, why does everyone think the Packers need a safety so bad?
It’s because none of their safeties intercepted a pass last season.
Paul from De Pere, WI
So the draft is not about truth, it’s about perception because perception is reality. So regardless of the absolute value of any player, teams will select them where they are rated. That is how we end up with undrafted free agents like Sam Shields, and first-round busts.
It’s not a science. Accept it for what it is and stop trying to make it perfect. It already is perfect because this is the ultimate game. This is the last game. There is no replay review. In the draft, the mistakes aren’t fixed. You live with them. I wish football was as pure as the draft.
Timmy from Chicago, IL
I remember a time when Terry Bradshaw would interview NFL players before kickoff. One time, Favre was on the show and was given a chance to ask Bradshaw the questions. He said, “Four Super Bowls or four wives?” Bradshaw responded, “If I didn't have the rings, what would I have given the women?” We all had a good laugh.
Why did we stop having fun?
Zach from Golden, CO
Vic, you have been covering the draft for a long time, and have even shared some snippets about how it operated prior to the ESPNization of the process. Given this, do you have a favorite draft story, be it from last year or 30 years ago? Do you like the draft experience now compared to yesteryear?
I still love it, even though it’s a lot more antiseptic now than it was when I started covering it. Back then, we all crowded into a small, smoke-filled room and sat around a table waiting for the PR guy to come into the room and write another name on the big piece of paper on the easel. We entertained ourselves by having time and player pools. Why we ever let the coaches into those pools, I’ll never know. I complained about it every year. They control the time of the pick, I said. I never won a pool, but I’ve got lots of memories, and one day I’ll put on my khakis, push back in a chair and recall every one of them. I remember the PR guy making a speaker-phone call to a late-round pick’s home. His mother answered and the PR guy, his first name is Joe and his last name begins with the letter G, introduced himself and said he was calling from the Pittsburgh Steelers. “Joe Greene! Ohhh! It’s Joe Greene!” The woman kept screaming the words, and then there was screaming in the background and it went on and on. You don’t forget stuff like that. Those days are over. They belong to ESPN and NFL Network now. I’m just thankful for the time they belonged to me.
Max from Menomonie, WI
Does it make any sense to move Clay to the left side of the line against more inexperienced quarterbacks? That way, when he gets past the line the quarterback will panic more and make mistakes.
Two years ago, everybody wanted to move Clay Matthews to the right side. Falls down a well, eyes go cross. Gets kicked by a mule, they go back. I don’t know.
Jason from Toronto, ON
Which tight end would you take if both Jace Amaro and Austin Seferian-Jenkins were available in the second round?
I know Seferian-Jenkins is a major talent, but there are concerns, which Tony Pauline detailed in this column recently. It’s all about how much you love him. Do you love him enough to accept the risks that go with the pick? I’m a risk taker. I believe in people. I believe in second chances.
Mike from Toluca Lake, CA
Vic, I love that Tony also scouted pancakes for you at the Senior Bowl.
Scouting food is a big part of scouting players. A lot of scouts I know are big on providing reports on barbecue, especially the guys scouting the South. Tony’s a New York guy. He knows pancakes. Me? I’m all about shrimp. You wanna know where to get the best shrimp, you ask me.
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