Dustin from Jacksonville, FL

Will you please tell us about the player you feel overcame the greatest challenges to make it in into the NFL?

Two immediately come to mind: Jim Plunkett and Rocky Bleier. Plunkett was born to a blind mother and his father was afflicted with progressive blindness. Bleier was wounded in Vietnam and walked with the aid of a cane when he returned to the Steelers.

Matt from Minocqua, WI

Vic, what gives a player the label of being injury prone? Is it just a bad luck of genetics? Not a willingness or grit to play through pain? Simply bad luck? Define injury prone, please.

Curtis Martin and Fred Taylor are two great running backs that were tagged as being injury prone. Martin couldn’t stay on the field in college, but he became one of the most durable running backs in NFL history. Taylor was dubbed “Fragile Fred” early in his career, and then became a fixture in the lineup after dedicating himself to a healthier lifestyle. Nobody knows why certain players are unable to avoid injuries. Playing through pain is a big part of disguising injuries. You’re not hurt if you’re playing, right? Wrong.

Randy from Des Moines, IA

Can a team sign another team’s practice squad player onto their own practice squad?

No, he must be signed to the team’s active roster.

Jim from Manteca, CA

There have been players who were not good practice players, were undersized, didn’t grade athletically, etc., but they just always came out and beat you in the game. Chris Borland, Rocky Bleier come to mind. Who do you remember as your best gamer?

A quarterback named Mike Kruczek comes to mind. He didn’t have great measurables and wasn’t especially impressive in practice, but when he was handed the ball as a rookie in 1976, he won six in a row. Of course, three of those were shutouts, so that helped.

Vincent from Seattle, WA

Vic, at OTAs did it look like Rodgers’ calf injury was 100 percent healed?

I saw no indication of lingering effects.

Rob from Webb City, MO

Vic, what is your favorite golf course you have had the opportunity to play?

Oakmont. It’ll host next year’s U.S. Open.

Kyle from Oakdale, MN

Vic, you have described the intangible needs of quarterbacks as being courageous and wide receivers as being fearless. What intangibles do you look for in other positions on the field?

Offensive linemen need a strong work ethic and a high tolerance for pain, and linebackers need to be instinctive.

Lukas from Greven, Germany

With a left-handed quarterback, is the right tackle the most important position on the offensive line?

Only if the defense’s premier pass rusher is on that side of the field. Usually, he isn’t.

Sean from San Diego, CA

Have you always been a sportswriter, Vic? What did you write before sports?

Love letters.

Jack from Downs, IL

Do you have a special feeling about the 2015 Green Bay Packers? For example, I might say, “I have a feeling this team could win it all.”

I have that same feeling and it is, indeed, special.

Dietrich from Sprockhoevel, Germany

Vic, the past two years the team seemed to be plagued by foot and ankle injuries. Is the coaching staff addressing those issues this year and, if so, how?

The Packers are coming off one of the healthiest seasons in recent history. Whatever they did last season, they should do it again.

Mark from Naperville, IL

Have teams ever considered using elevation training masks during the week leading up to a game in Denver to get them acclimated to the altitude?

I hope not.

Mike from Bella Vista, AR

How do you think the timing of the bye week will affect the 2015 Packers?

You want your bye to come when your team has some injuries it needs to heal, and there’s no predicting when that’ll happen. Otherwise, Week 7 is a pretty good spot in the schedule to take a week off.

Andrew from Fullerton, CA

I love “Ask Vic,” but I don’t like your answer to the question about training camp now versus Lombardi’s time. We know Lombardi was tough, but we also know they had to be tough since players were coming in out of shape from offseason jobs, whereas today’s players come into camp in shape. Is there anything else you could tell the younger generation about camps then versus now?

They were in full pads twice a day, every day, they began shortly after the Fourth of July, they lasted nine weeks and the Oklahoma drill wasn’t just a tone-setter, it was a practice staple. You couldn’t run that kind of regimen today and begin the season with a healthy roster.

Jim from Lake Worth, FL

You’re from Sewickley Estates?

Wrong river, and I can assure you I am not from Sewickley Estates.

Ken from Wolcott, CT

Vic, everyone talks about how great the 1985 Bears were. Yes, they were a good team, but why the one Super Bowl? Wouldn’t you think they would have won a few more?

They didn’t have “The Man.”

Larry from Chippewa Falls, WI

Green Bay is like the tropics compared to Superior. If you pumped gas there, your tombstone could read, “He died with the nozzle in his hands.”

I don’t think I want that on my tombstone.

Jeff from Frederic, WI

Vic, I agree with you that coaches look fine in team apparel, however, Bill Belichick’s chopped off sweatshirt sleeves should be banned. How about a dress code for coaches?

Just what we need, another rule.

 

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