Tim from Thousand Oaks, CA

Vic, I have noticed the position of left tackle gets paid more than the position of right tackle because the left tackle blocks the quarterback’s blindside. Does that change with a left-handed quarterback?

It can but it usually doesn’t because the right defensive end is usually a team’s premier pass rusher. I covered a left-handed quarterback – Mark Brunell – and the opponent’s premier pass rusher usually didn’t move to left defensive end for that game. In other words, it’s not so much about the blind side as it is about the premier pass rusher. You want your best pass blocker blocking him.

Jeffrey from Saint John, IN

Vic, so how are you doing before the craziness begins?

I’m ready for it. The good thing is it burns out quickly. Late next week, we’ll start talking about the bargains among the leftovers. That’s where you can get something done in free agency without damaging your cap.

Isaac from Carrboro, NC

I ate lunch in a sports bar yesterday and caught a couple of minutes of an ESPN program covering free agency. I’d never actually watched one of these before, and I don’t think I fully understood just how lame, misleading and trashy they were. Vic, does the press ever have the responsibility to stop giving the public what it wants and instead give it what it needs?

Yes, when it involves national security and other matters of importance, the media absolutely has a responsibility to provide, not promote. Free agency is not one of those matters of importance. Reporting on free agency is True Confessions journalism. It’s all rumor and innuendo, being advanced by agents trying to use rumor and innuendo to impact their client favorably.

James from Slinger, WI

Do you see anyone potentially being this year’s Letroy Guion for us in free agency?

We’ll begin to identify those free agents late next week. They are the ones I like because my personnel philosophy is to build through the draft and patch in free agency. I’m looking for the one-year patch. The Patriots have done the best job of finding those players.

Cody from Rice Lake, WI

With the re-signing of Cobb, what does this mean for the rest of the receiving corps?

In my mind, it means there’s not much in the way of need at wide receiver. That appears to be a very stable position.

Jesse from Wilmington, NC

Do you think there’s a middle linebacker in the draft that plays like Luke Kuechly? Do you think a player like him would fit our system?

Kuechly would fit into any system. He’s a rare player and there doesn’t appear to be an inside linebacker in this draft class that compares to him.

John from Camarillo, CA

Why not go after Patrick Willis? No way is he past his prime, right? New team, new circumstances, possible ring might be enough to entice him to play a few more years. Your thoughts?

You’re trying to recapture the past. Have you seen an MRI? Have you gotten an opinion from a doctor on Willis’ physical state? Have you watched tape from games in his prime vs. tape from games late in his career, to determine the level at which he’s playing now compared to then? The thing that drives me nuts about fans and free agency is fans wanna sign names. Hey, this is a young man’s game. You don’t get better by getting older.

James from Delafield, WI

With the little experience at ILB, in your opinion does Ted Thompson almost have to pick up a (budget) veteran in free agency, and why get rid of Hawk without insurance at arguably the most important position in a 3-4 defense? Thanks, Vic, I don’t care what they say about you, keep being yourself.

You make decisions and you move on. In this case, the Packers are challenging themselves to upgrade at inside linebacker. It wouldn’t hurt to find a patch at inside linebacker in free agency. I’d be all for it.

Luke from San Diego, CA

Vic, my brother is a Raiders fan and I keep hearing him complain about Florida having no income tax affecting the free agents’ choices. What’s your opinion on this?

There’s no question about it; the teams in states that don’t have an income tax have a huge advantage in free agency. Or, is that a huge disadvantage? Know what I mean?

Paul from De Pere, WI

We were a draft-and-develop team you agreed to work for, or the other way around?

When I accepted my position with the Packers, I didn’t know what their personnel philosophy was. Immediately, I went to a general manager friend and asked him about the Packers. He assured me they were a draft-and-develop, BAP team. I felt relieved. My belief in draft-and-develop and BAP is ironclad. I would never lie about it. Doing this kind of column is much more enjoyable when your beliefs align with those of the team you’re covering.

Rodelio from Angeles City, Philippines

Vic, for a 3-4 defense you mentioned you like a thumper and a chase guy for the ILBs. For a 4-3 defense, does the MLB have to be both for the defense to succeed?

It sure helps if he can be both because then he can stay on the field for all three downs. Two-down thumpers devalued the middle linebacker position. You need a guy that can bang with the guards and run and drop into coverage with the tight ends and backs. That’s Kuechly.

Sara from Jacksonville, FL

With pro days being five weeks long, is there an advantage of having your pro day being close after the combine? Or does it benefit the player to have his pro day at the end of March/early April?

First of all, if I ran well at the combine, I’m not running at my pro day; I’ll stand on my combine time. If I didn’t run well at the combine, then I’d rather my pro day be as close to the draft as possible. Pro-day 40 times tend to be faster than combine 40 times, and putting a fast 40 time out there right before the draft tends to have more kick than a fast 40 time from early in the pro days schedule. It creates more buzz when it counts the most.

Matt from Roanoke, VA

What DB currently on the roster do you feel has the greatest chance to step into Tramon Williams’ position and make a difference in 2015?

If the Packers were to lose Williams and Davon House in free agency, I would expect Casey Hayward to be a replacement candidate, but I would also expect the Packers to have to draft for a cornerback. I hope the Packers can re-sign at least one of their two free-agent cornerbacks. Losing both guys would be a setback.

James from Whitewater, WI

Vic, my question is about Julius Peppers. What is the GM’s deadline to restructure his deal, if need be?

If the Packers wanted to re-structure Peppers to create more cap room, they could do it at any time, but you’re pushing money out.

Stephen from Colliers, WV

Vic, I know I prayed hard to sign our guys and equally not to sign someone else’s problems. Championship caliber teams develop from the heart, not the ego. Do you agree?

I agree, but I would also add that championship caliber teams develop from a well-managed salary cap.

Conard from Morgantown, WV

Whenever you say yes to something, you say no to something else. With the cap preventing a team from keeping all the players it would like to keep, choices have to be made. Maybe the most valuable person in a football organization is not a franchise quarterback or a great coach, but a discerning GM that sets limits and will say no when those limits are reached.

It all begins in this organization with Ted Thompson. Before Aaron Rodgers was “The Man,” Thompson was “The Man”.


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