Scott from Orwell, OH
You have been on the job now for a couple of months. One thing I have always liked about Packers fans is that they know the game and understand the game; true fans. Have you found that to be true since your time in Green Bay and how is it different from other places you have been?
Vic: Packers fans know the game. I’ve worked in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, too, and I think most would agree that they play pretty good football in those places. I’ve been blessed with knowledgeable fans everywhere I’ve been.
Dana from Washougal, WA
What is the responsibility of each umpire in the game and what do they each look for on any given play?
Vic: There’s only one umpire in an officiating crew and his main responsibility is to look for infractions at the line of scrimmage. He’s looking for holding, hands to the face, chop blocks, etc., and from his vantage spot he gets a pretty good look at whether or not the quarterback is inside or outside the tackle box.
Terry from Eau Claire, WI
Will Brett Favre go into the Hall of Fame as a Packers player?
Vic: There’s no such thing as going into the Hall of Fame as a Packer or a Bear or a Viking, etc. You go into the Hall of Fame as an individual and your entire career is represented. For example, Jim Taylor’s Hall of Fame bio includes one year with the New Orleans Saints and Vince Lombardi’s includes one year as coach of the Washington Redskins.
Tom from Williamsport, PA
I was surprised, not shocked, to see that Sebastian Janikowski was the 17th selection in the 2000 draft. I did a bit of research and saw only three kickers have been selected in the first round. In your opinion, were any of them worth it?
Vic: In my opinion, drafting kickers in the first round is nutsville. Most of the top kickers weren’t even drafted. They’ve usually been recycled and their careers didn’t blossom until after they were cut. Two of the best kickers I’ve ever covered, Gary Anderson and Mike Hollis, were cut in their first tries. The bottom line is that a lot of teams have found a lot of dependable, long-term kickers on the street. I’m OK with drafting a kicker in the later rounds because the need for a strong-legged guy in the kickoff game has been distinct in recent years and there are only so many of those guys to go around, but with the free-kick line being moved to the 35, I can’t help but think that might cause fewer kickers to be drafted now.
Tim from St. Petersburg, FL
With the multiple receiver sets and split out tight ends being the norm, is it still critical to have a true No. 1 receiver?
Vic: It’s important to have a true “X” receiver. “X” is the nomenclature for split end. He’s the wide receiver that lines up on the line of scrimmage, which means that he’s most vulnerable to being jammed. You need an “X” that’s big enough to get off the jam and fast enough to get down the sideline and stretch the field vertically. Jordy Nelson, for example, has true “X” ability. The value of a true “X” is that he’s the guy who has the raw physical ability that scares defensive coordinators and often causes them to dedicate their number one corner to covering him, which means that even if the “X” doesn’t catch a pass in the game, he’s taken the best defender out of the action and he’s opened the field for all of the other receivers. If you’re playing against Darrelle Revis, for example, that’s a good thing. “Y” is the tight end and “Z” is the flanker, who plays off the line of scrimmage and often is sent into motion to help him get off the jam because he’s often a smaller guy. Greg Jennings is often used in the “Z” role. The average fan equates number one receiver with the guy that catches the most passes, but the true definition of a number one receiver is a guy big enough and fast enough to play the “X” position, and every team needs that guy.
Ryan from Irvine, CA
If this ruling on no lockout holds up, what will this mean moving forward? Is the only resolution in collective bargaining? Is this a step forward or backward?
Vic: I can’t answer your first and last questions without guessing, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that a lasting resolution will require a negotiated agreement and, in my opinion, collective bargaining is the best method for achieving that agreement because it begins with a level playing field.
Nolan from Augusta, GA
Could you post a link to that picture of Joe Greene carrying Lynn Swann? I can't find it anywhere.
Vic: I saw in the comments section of yesterday’s column that one of the readers found the picture. Maybe he could post a link to it. Imagine one player carrying another player from the field in today’s game. No chance. That truly was a different game, a different time.
Jorge from Santa Barbara, CA
Just want to say that I'm 18 and I'm offended that you think the new Cowboy Stadium is for new-school fans like me.
Vic: Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you're new-school.
Terry from Colorado Springs, CO
How many players in league history have won the Heisman, a national championship and a Super Bowl?
Vic: I can think of one right off the top of my head: Tony Dorsett. He did all three within a year of each other.
Dan from Charlotte, NC
Do GMs draft very much for business reasons? We have talked a lot about drafting for need vs. BAP, but what about other factors? For example, if the owner thought that a certain player would be more likely to sell tickets than another one, even though the other one is a better player, does that factor into the draft decision? After all, the bottom line is this is a business and an owner may feel a certain player would be more profitable than his actual football value would indicate.
Vic: It happens and that’s why teams such as the Packers have a tremendous advantage over those teams that have empty seats. Teams such as the Packers that have waiting lists for tickets never have to make a football decision based on anything other than football. When you start drafting players because they’ll sell tickets, the future of the franchise is in jeopardy. Plus, there are very few examples of players selling tickets for much more than a few games. If that guy doesn’t win, they won’t come.
Jamel from Springfield, MA
Gave up “Ask Vic” for Lent. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back. Miss anything good while I was gone?
Vic: Let’s see, free agency? No. Draft? No. Hey, read the old columns before Thursday and you’ll be ready to go. It’s draft time, baby. It’s time to live again.
Art from Marshfield, WI
I don't understand any of this lockout business. Seems that the judge always sides with the players. Now they order the teams to unlock the doors. What sense is it to do any of this?
Vic: I don’t either, Art, and that’s why I’m going to talk to Packers President Mark Murphy this afternoon and ask him what all of this means. Hopefully, I’ll be able to convey his message to you in a story that’ll appear on packers.com later today.