Jesse from La Crosse, WI

Vic, I actually find the Seattle matchup very interesting, given how recent the heartbreaking loss was. I think it will resemble a heavyweight title fight; pure rage and carnage on both sides. Do you agree?

No. It’ll resemble two teams trying to find their regular-season legs and identity.

Scott from Wausau, WI

Vic, multiple mock drafts have the Packers selecting Eric Kendricks, LB from UCLA. How does his skill set fit the Packers and what can he do for us?

His skill set fits any team. He’s an attacking, sideline-to-sideline defender that piles up tackle numbers and always seems to be around the ball. He’s the kind of linebacker, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong drafting.

Dan from Rothschild, WI

Vic, I know you’re not big on stats, but I would like your opinion on what you think is the most useless/misleading stat. I feel it is passing yards. The QB throws a 1-yard pass, the receiver runs 90 yards for a TD and they call that a 91-yard completion. Does that make sense to you?

It makes sense to me if the quarterback saw a weakness in the defense and exploited it with a 1-yard pass. Yeah, I think the quarterback should get credit for the full 91 yards. Every stat has to be backed by impact on the game for it to be important. What’s the impact of a Hail Mary interception? It weighs heavily against a quarterback’s passer rating.

Darrell from Goldsboro, NC

Vic, what did the Steelers do to get the toughest schedule? Shouldn’t that belong to the Seahawks or Patriots? I don’t get it.

The schedule is according to a division vs. division rotation formula. This is the AFC North’s year to play the NFC West. Enough said.

Brian from Manassas, VA

I understand the drills at the combine don’t tell all or even most of the story, but when someone sets a world record – a cornerback from UConn, I believe, in the long jump – does that make GMs look again? I mean, world records don’t happen every day and they want to see that drill or they wouldn’t have it.

They’re scouting for football players, not track stars. LeSean McCoy turned in a terrible broad jump at his pro day. Broad jump is considered to be a valuable measuring stick for running backs, since it’s considered to indicate leg explosion. I know a team that really liked McCoy going into his pro day, but formed a lower opinion of him due to his poor broad jump. I wonder what they thought of that broad jump when he won the rushing title.

Jack from Madison, WI

When you are the Packers and have a great roster, why not trade up a few times to add higher-caliber players, since we already have depth?

Because you’re not drafting for one year, you’re drafting for your long-term future. That great roster was built through the draft. You’re not going to maintain that great roster by giving away picks.

Kerel from Vancouver, BC

Who is the best No. 2 QB to ever play the sport, or are there too many?

That’s a cool question. Zeke Bratkowski was pretty good. Gary Cuozzo was hailed as the second-best quarterback in the game when he backed up Johnny Unitas. Then Cuozzo got traded and the truth was revealed. I would say Steve Young is the best backup quarterback to ever play the game.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

Please give me your opinion of lacrosse. It’s a young man’s game, rapidly spreading, and is a sport of struggle.

It looks weird, but Jim Brown is the greatest lacrosse player in the history of the world, so it must be a good sport.

Josh from New Richmond, WI

The schedule-maker definitely created good theater when he matched up the Titans and Bucs in Week 1. Possible Winston vs. Mariota?

Absolutely. What else could it be?

Josh from Pullman, WA

Vic, I remember you mentioning that going to a game and sitting on the opposite side of the TV cameras is cool, because then you can re-watch the game at home and it’s totally different. Which side does TV set up on at Lambeau?

I can’t possibly have said that because it’s genius. TV shoots from the press box side – on the good side – at Lambeau Field.

Jeremy from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think McCarthy may play the starters more in the preseason to better prepare for the high-stakes opener against the Bears?

I think the days for thinking that way are over. That may be Bill Belichick’s greatest impact on the game. He taught everyone to not play your starters in the preseason. I think he singlehandedly ruined the preseason.

Tim from Marshall, MI

I get tired of everyone trying to understand how each pick is decided and if it was correct. I’m starting to think that when draft day rolls around, it turns into a crap shoot real quick. Am I wrong?

Every team has a plan and contingency plans, but you better be able to think on your feet, too. Every scout in every draft room in the league is on the phone talking to scout friends on other teams, exploring trade possibilities. You can’t script all of that. You have to know what you want to accomplish in the draft and then be able to move quickly when an opportunity arises to move to where one of your targeted players fits.

Gladdys from Rolling Meadows, IL

Vic, were you wearing a big smile as you wrote Wednesday’s story about Ted Thompson’s BAP draft philosophy?

The smile I wear is for covering a team whose draft philosophy is something I’ve embraced for a very long time. I was covering the Steelers in 1990 when they didn’t draft Emmitt Smith because they had drafted Tim Worley the previous year. They traded the pick to Dallas. Who doesn’t need Emmitt Smith? I was covering the Jaguars when they didn’t draft Jonathan Ogden because they had drafted Tony Boselli the previous year and signed Leon Searcy in free agency. Who doesn’t need Jonathan Ogden? Recently in this column, we discussed the Cowboys not picking Joe Montana because they had Roger Staubach and Danny White. Who doesn’t need Joe Montana? You’ll never regret picking a good football player. Why pick the player of lesser talent and leave the better player for your competition to pick?

Jared from Manassas, VA

Do you anticipate the Packers having three quarterbacks on the roster again this season?

It might depend on if and where the Packers pick a quarterback in the draft. If Marcus Mariota fell to the Packers at No. 30, I would suspect the Packers would have to keep him on the 53-man roster. Somebody would probably claim him if the Packers released him and tried to get him on the practice squad.

Patrick from Minneapolis, MN

When did the schedule release become such a big deal? I’m sure I’m not the only one with this question.

It became a big deal when the NFL found another way to capitalize on a nation’s mania for entertainment. I think that started happening about 10-15 years ago.

Ted from Pittsford, NY

In Ted Thompson’s press conference on Wednesday, he said something along the lines of “we are still working on our relationships with a couple of other teams in preparation for the draft.” Does this mean a possible trade in picks? If not, what does Ted mean?

It means every team in the league is trying to stay true to their value line, and they need each other to make trades that’ll allow them to move to where they can address need without surrendering value. GMs are confronted with two critical challenges in today’s game: 1) Fix it now. 2) Don’t overpay. To address both of those challenges, you have to draft players that address weak spots in your roster, and you have to pick those players where you judge them to fit in the order. Watch how many trades will be made next week. The number increases every year.


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