Danny from San Francisco, CA

Vic, what determines whether a player who was cut after an injury gets an injury settlement?

When a player with an injury is waived by the team, he is officially “waived injured,” which alerts any team interested in claiming that player that doing so will require that team to accept the injury liability that comes with the player. If the player clears waivers, he then returns to the team that waived him and the team must decide whether to carry him on their roster, place him on injured reserve or settle with him. If the injury is minor, the team would likely place him on injured reserve until he is healthy, at which time they may waive him without liability.

Kyle from Dyersville, IA

Vic, I know you don’t appreciate it when fans claim today’s players are bigger, faster and stronger, so I was wondering who you consider to be the fastest football player you covered. I’m talking football speed when the pads are on and people are hitting.

The fastest player I’ve ever covered is a guy named Dwight Stone. He was a smallish running back converted to wide receiver. Early in his career, we referred to him as “Hands of Stone,” but the longer he played, the softer his hands got. Stoney played in the league 14 years, solely because he could run like nobody I’ve ever seen. He was so fast that you could literally see defensive backfields back up when he came onto the field. His feet got moving so fast once after catching a deep ball, that he lost control of them and they ran out of bounds. He had the worst hands on the fastest feet I’ve ever seen, but he developed into a legitimate wide receiver who caught 41 passes in one season. He was so fast that in the last five years of his career he caught only two passes and was used exclusively as a field stretcher. That’s how important speed is in today’s game.

Nicholas from Berlin, CT

Vic, I’ve been hearing a lot about this WR the Packers picked up in the seventh round, Charles Johnson. From what I hear, he has the speed, size and all the tools to be a top WR. I’m just wondering how did he fall all the way to the seventh?

Why did Tom Brady fall all the way to the sixth round? Hey, sometimes the scouts blow it. This might be one of those times. Nobody had an official 40 time on Johnson at Grand Valley State. He had an incident at Eastern Kentucky that caused him to be suspended and to transfer. Johnson told me he thinks that might’ve hurt him. It really hurt him that he was a combine bubble guy who didn’t make the cut. Lots of teams were interested in him, but this was also a draft that had a lot of draft-worthy receivers in it. I talked to Tony Pauline about this. I asked him what kind of information he had on Johnson and Tony said he had nothing. Tony said he thinks all of that conspired to drop Johnson to the seventh round. He might just be one of those players that fell through the cracks. We’ll see.

Erick from Cooper Landing, AK

An NFL analyst predicted the Packers pass protection is not going to get better because they didn’t draft the offensive line early on. Why do these guys think they know everything? What about the stars you get out of the late rounds?

What they’re saying is that the preponderance of starting left tackles in the league are high picks. That’s the way it’s been for a long time, therefore, since the Packers didn’t pick a left tackle in the first round, they’re not going to improve. That’s their thinking. What they’re failing to take into consideration is that the Packers drafted tackles in the first round in consecutive years. How do we know a healthy Bryan Bulaga isn’t the answer? How do we know Derek Sherrod won’t make a full recovery? We just have to wait on this. The Packers’ offensive line is a work in progress.

Scott from Pierre, SD

Do you see a point when individual teams have their own TV station covering everything about the team 24 hours a day?

No, I don’t, but I didn’t see the day when the NFL would have its own network covering nothing but football 24 hours a day.

Marty from San Francisco, CA

Vic, here’s a question you may have fun with. We have a pretty good idea how an improved running game will help the offense, but how can it help a defense?

By converting those third-and-one plays and keeping the defense off the field. Those plays are huge. Not converting them put a tremendous stress on the defense last year. In my mind, converting those third-and-one plays with the run is a top priority this year.

Kent from Eagle Grove, IA

Lebron said the other night after the loss to the Bulls, “It had nothing to do with X’s and O’s, it had everything to do with determination and execution.” Is the value of execution the same in all sports or do plays have a bigger effect in some sports?

It’s the same in all sports, even in baseball. You can set a guy up with a beautiful fastball in, curveball away pitching pattern, but it doesn’t mean anything if he puts the meat of the bat on your best pitch. Look, the coaches know it’s about the players and the players know it’s about the players, so why do so many fans think it’s about the plays? That question intrigues me.

Marco from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, in your opinion, do you think the Packers will ever modernize their uniforms? I think the uniforms are so outdated. It would bring a little more excitement to the beginning of the season.

Marco, the day the Packers change their uniform design is the day the metal seats in Lambeau Field turn to rust, the clock in the tower on Lombardi Ave. turns 15 minutes late, the grass in Lambeau Field turns brown, and Vince Lombardi’s statue walks up to Mark Murphy’s office and says, “What the hell’s going on up here?”

Ted from Deforest, WI

I think guys like Kaepernick are definitely the wave of the future. All you have to do is find a guy that is built like an ox, runs like a gazelle and throws like a baseball pitcher. Then put him behind a line that knocks defenses on their butts, and give them a defense that gets the ball back for them. It’s that easy.

That’s a tough strategy to beat.

Brad from Indianapolis, IN

Peyton didn’t propose wearing No. 19, he wanted to wear black high-top shoes in honor of Unitas. The league said no. He never proposed using his number.

I think you’re right. The sublime just became the ridiculous.

Dale from Kettering, OH

When a GM is picking, what positions are more art than science?

I think picking quarterbacks is an art. I think you have to look at a guy and envision him in your huddle. I think you have to have a feel for him that allows you to see him playing in an offense designed for him. A lot of coaches have talked about looking into a quarterback’s eyes and seeing victory. I won’t go that far, but I think you have to be able to look at him and see how he fits on your team. I don’t think there could be a more perfect fit for the Packers than Aaron Rodgers.

Paul from De Pere, WI

Vic, which position group will make the biggest leap from last season to the upcoming season?

If it’s not running back, then Houston, we have a problem.

Rocky from Portage, WI

Vic, you never really answered Paul. Who do you think the X and Z receivers will be?

I answered him. I said James Jones and Jordy Nelson are both No. 1 receiver types, which means they’re both big enough, strong enough and fast enough to play the X, and if you can play the X, you can play the Z. Right now, I see one of those two as the X and the other as the Z. In conventional terms, the Y is the tight end, but the Y can also be the slot receiver, which is Randall Cobb. This team’s receiver situation is tightly defined. It has players that fit into specific roles and it has a deep crop of receiver talent competing to push for playing time.

Aaron from Jacksonville, FL

A lot of us here are wondering what you think of Jordan Rodgers, one of our undrafted players.

He played at Vanderbilt against the SEC, which made it awfully tough for me to get a bead on him. Here’s what I know about him: He’s got great bloodlines. Seriously, when you sign Jordan Rodgers, you’re also signing Aaron Rodgers because you’re hoping he’s got some of his older brother in him. If he does, the Jaguars might’ve found their guy.

Eric from Neenah, WI

Vic, are we going to have an “Ask Vic” golf outing again this year or was it a one-time event?

We’re going to do a Lambeau lunch and tour event this year; details are forthcoming. We’re not doing the golf because I had shoulder surgery and can’t golf, and if I can’t golf, then nobody can golf.

Ryan from Platteville, WI

What’s the best draft class the Packers have had under Ted Thompson, in your opinion?

The answer has to be 2005, solely because the selection of Aaron Rodgers provided the foundation of the run the Packers are currently on. Go back through history and you’ll see several examples of the same: Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Phil Simms, Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady. When you get “The Man” early in the process, the run lasts longest. The 2009 draft, with the selection of Clay Matthews, put the defense over the top. The 2010 draft is a real GM’s kind of draft. It hasn’t produced star players, but everyone’s a player and that’s the kind of draft personnel guys respect, especially when you’re picking near the bottom of the order.

Andy from Milwaukee, WI

If throwback jerseys had numbers of the greats from the past, who would wear the running back numbers?

I’d love to see Eddie Lacy wearing No. 31 and Johnathan Franklin wearing No. 5, just for one game. What would be so wrong with that? I think that would be really cool.


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