Raymend from University Place, WA

Vic, with all the talk about best backup QB, why is Frank Reich’s name not mentioned? What are your thoughts on where he fits in that category?

His name wasn’t mentioned because I don’t have a ready list of the greatest backup quarterbacks of all time. Yeah, Reich’s got the big playoff comeback against the Oilers to his credit. I think he fits on the list, but not at the top.

Joe from Winnebago, MN

Could you count Rodgers as a backup? He was on the bench for three years.

He threw one touchdown pass in three years. Terry Bradshaw was a backup to Joe Gilliam once, but I wouldn’t consider Bradshaw a backup quarterback, nor would I consider Aaron Rodgers a backup. The guys I considered are guys that did something memorable as a true backup. Earl Morrall was a true backup to Unitas and Griese and won an MVP in one role and helped lead the Dolphins to an undefeated season in the other role. George Blanda was a true backup to Daryl Lamonica and had a memorable, late-game comebacks run one year. Steve Young had his moments as a backup to none other than Joe Montana.

Greg from St. Helens, OR

Vic, there is no need to wait 10, 20 or 30 years from now to look back and fondly remember this era as the good old days. We are in the middle of a very special era of the Packers. Enjoy it now while it’s in front of us. I’m not going to wait until I’m old and grey and tell the grandkids how great these Packers were. I’m enjoying them now. Thank you very much.

You’re welcome.

Larry from Stanley, WI

Soccer would be the toughest sport to call, in my opinion. You have to be able to stay awake to call it.

We got it (snore) …. they got it (snore) … now we got it again (snore).

Jonny from La Crosse, WI

Was Troy Aikman actually a good quarterback? Or did he just have a good team?

How many titles do you think the Cowboys would’ve won with Steve Walsh at quarterback? Aikman was one of the most accurate passers the game has ever seen. What is with this disrespect for players of the past, if they aren’t former Packers, of course? We had a lively discussion in the comments section yesterday about Johnny Unitas being a game manager.

Charlie from Jacksonville, FL

The Jaguars played the Packers in the last home game in the 2008 season, against Aaron Rodgers at the end of his first playing season. How do you remember thinking of him then, when the Packers weren’t that good and Rodgers hadn’t become Rodgers yet?

I saw everything in him then I see today. His talent leaped out at me. I was stunned by his mobility and command of the offense. I wrote it then and I’ve re-told the story several times since.

Dan from Oxnard, CA

Vic, is there a player from the early days of the NFL you wish you could have met and interviewed?

Chuck Bednarik and Art Donovan immediately come to mind. I interviewed Otto Graham several years ago. I loved every minute of it and he told me a story about wanting to “kill” Paul Brown that I’ll never forget. I’ve always wanted to interview Jim Brown.

Caleb from Eau Claire, WI

Vic, the Vikings put a scare in me last year at TCF. Will their improvement this year depend more on Adrian Peterson’s return or Bridgewater’s second year growth?

It’s all about the quarterback. I don’t know what Bridgewater’s ceiling is, but if he makes a big jump up this season, look out. I saw good things in the Vikings last season.

Rafael from Benton, AR

Green Bay will sweep the NFC West.

I like that kind of bold prediction. Here’s mine: If the Packers sweep the NFC West, they will be the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

Andrew from Fort Collins, CO

I get that upside relates to potential, but how does Vic define upside? How does Vic know upside when he sees it?

If a guy has more talent than his production would indicate, he’s either an under-achiever or he’s got upside. Which is it? That’s where it gets tough for Vic.

Steve from Bullhead City, AZ

Vic, Mariota or Winston? As important as raw talent is, even more important is the coaching and the system. Walsh/Montana, Holmgren/Favre, Noll/Bradshaw, Belichick/Brady. There are some organizations that know how to best utilize and develop talent at quarterback, and there are other teams where careers go to die.

Holmgren/Dilfer/Hasselbeck, Noll/Malone/Brister, Belichick/Testaverde/Bledsoe. You see any titles there? The group you mentioned won 13. What changed in my group?

Nathan from Neenah, WI

Count me in as someone who really likes Mel Kiper. Without Mel, there would be no Mayock.

Oh, you da man, baby, you da man. You are getting gas.

James from Chicago, IL

I get crooked looks from people any time I suggest veteran leadership is a wasted roster spot if it doesn’t translate into tackles and touchdowns.

Stick out your tongue at them. Here’s what Chuck Noll said about veteran leadership when Bradshaw threw a hissy fit in 1983, when Bradshaw was out of action with an arm injury and Chuck wouldn’t take Bradshaw on road trips. Bradshaw wanted to mentor Cliff Stoudt. Chuck said, “If you can’t play for us, you can’t help us.”

Chance from Ames, IA

People thought you were being serious about Mariota? When did we stop having fun?

I think it was in the mid-’90s. That’s when TV got angry.

Chris from Kaukauna, WI

Vic, I don’t think I like your response when asked about stats. I don’t think they tell a different story. Case in point, look at the stats from Rodgers’ 2011 season. They show one of the greatest seasons ever in the history of professional sports. The numbers tell that tale. It is a tale that is much harder to tell just looking at plays.

I witnessed every play of that season, and my eyes didn’t need stats to tell them what they saw. I also covered Lynn Swann and Kyle Brady, and the stats say Brady caught more passes than Swann, but that’s not how I would measure the two players. Trust your eyes. Only use stats to support what your eyes saw.


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