Will from Sacramento, CA

Vic, I get the concept of BAP. Heck, I agree with it totally to build a team. We are one or two defensive players away from a championship and have been for several years. Get a great inside linebacker now! Please!

Thinking you’re one player away is a formula for failure. I covered the Jaguars when they thought they were one player away, both in 1999 and in 2008. They ended up drafting the same player several times, trying to make sure they got that one player they needed at the one position they needed to address. The only thing it accomplished was to waste picks, and draft picks are too precious to waste. The Packers defense hadn’t allowed the Seahawks to score a point going into the final minutes of that game. One linebacker is going to change the final 3:52? The Packers are almost certain to address their need at linebacker in this draft, but just as quickly as they fix linebacker, another need may arise at another position, and that’s why you can’t just focus on one position. Focus on getting good football players, because you never know where you’re going to need them.

William from Jacksonville, FL

Would Rodgers be as good a QB today if he had been rushed into starting as a rookie?

Yes.

Brett from Ionia, MI

Why is the Seattle game the best game of the season?

It’s the game with the best hype, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be the best game. I’m a late-season guy – everybody that reads this column knows that – and I see some real flavorful late-season games. The Dallas game looks delicious. How about Chicago on Thanksgiving night, and the festivities that are expected to accompany it? At Minnesota in midseason has my attention; I think something might be redeveloping in the Packers-Vikings rivalry. This fan base has Seattle on the brain, for the obvious reason, but I see other games I like more.

Andy from Maquoketa, IA

Who is the better at evaluating talent, Mayock or Kiper?

I think Mike Mayock is outstanding. He’s so good it hurts. I think he needs to lighten up a little bit. I like Mel Kiper more because Kiper adds entertainment value, and I need the show when it comes to draft talk because draft talk is all baloney. That’s what makes it fun. I was watching Kiper on a show last night, and he had me laughing. He picked a tackle for the Jets in round one, and then Bill Polian ripped Kiper for the pick. Kiper’s reaction was hilarious. His Mel vs. the GM routine is age-old, but I love it. Bill Tobin picked Trev Alberts. Kiper said he should’ve picked Trent Dilfer. They were both wrong, but nobody remembers that; they just remember the show Kiper and Tobin put on. It was sensational. Who the hell is Mel Kiper? How about where the hell is Bill Tobin?

Gavin from Sheboygan, WI

Players not plays, right? A paraphrased story about Zack Hodges’ one season of football at Tri-Cities; the coach took the blame for a 7-6 loss. Zack followed him to the office and said, “I don’t mean to tell you how to do your job, but don’t you ever take the blame for a loss again. You weren’t out there hitting anyone. You weren’t out there missing tackles. Don’t ever do that again.” It is best when the players understand it as much as the blog writer.

If you read Cliff Christl’s wonderful piece on the 1960 title game, did you find the irony in Lombardi’s lament for going for it twice on fourth-and-1? He blamed himself for the loss because of those two decisions. So, Mike McCarthy takes the sure points in Seattle and the Packers lose, and the fans complain he didn’t go for it, and Lombardi went for it twice and regretted it. What sense do we make of those two extremes? Neither strategy worked. Maybe it’s not the strategy that’s important, but the execution of it that is. Just win, baby.

Michael from San Antonio, TX

Vic, you just opened the floodgates with that Mariota dropping to No. 30 line.

Anybody that didn’t find the sarcasm in that remark needs to read “Ask Mr. Literal.”

Hugh from Sioux Falls, SD

When assigning value to a player, does a player from a cold-weather program receive any extra credit, at least from cold-weather teams such as ours?

No. Starr was from Alabama. Bradshaw was from Louisiana Tech. Add up the titles they won.

Ferd from Woodbury, MN

That was a cool question. George Blanda? Earl Morrall? Best ever? Brady? Favre?

I thought about Brady, but he took the starting job in the third game of the 2001 season, so he wasn’t a true No. 2. The same with Favre. Blanda might be a better pick than Steve Young. Morrall was the first guy I considered, but I picked Young over Morrall because for all Morrall did in reserve of Unitas and Griese, he bombed in the big games; he was benched in both Super Bowl III and the 1972 AFC title game.

Jesus from El Paso, TX

Why do people like stats so much?

They like lies. It’s a way of telling a different story.

Phil from Marietta, GA

Sixty-one TDs and 10 picks over two years are certainly impressive. Why isn’t Bryce Petty as highly rated a QB as Winston and Mariota?

You don’t draft stats, you draft talent, and Winston and Mariota are judged to have more raw talent. Will it turn out that Winston and Mariota are better quarterbacks? Maybe not, but more times than not, the guy with more raw talent has a more productive career than the guy with not as much raw talent.

Justin from Rochester, MN

I watched some of the NHL playoffs last night. As someone who primarily sticks to football, it struck me how fast the play-by-play announcers needed to speak to keep up with the action. They almost sound like auctioneers. What sport, in your opinion, is the toughest one to call?

Hockey is largely considered to be the toughest play-by-play call in sports. I remember legendary Pirates broadcaster Bob Prince doing a hockey game. His exasperation resulted in this description: “We got it, now they got it, now we got it again.” Prince was hysterical. Doc Emrick might be the best play-by-play man in all of sports, and I absolutely loved listening to Gary Thorne do hockey, especially with Bill Clement.

Jon from Warsaw, WI

Vic, what will you be doing on the draft days? Where will you be doing it?

I’ll be at Lambeau Field waiting on the Packers’ picks and the interview sessions that’ll follow.

Jeff from Farmington, NM

Vic, how much do you think upside should be considered in arranging someone’s draft board with BAP?

Upside is everything. If you don’t think a player has upside, he shouldn’t even be on your board because you can’t play in this league if you can’t take your game to a higher level. The jump from college football to the NFL is enormous.

Mike from Mount Prospect, IL

How many years before you can clearly assess a team’s draft class?

Ted Thompson said it’s three years; I agree.

Brian from Springfield, OR

Do you ever read Steinbeck? You should.

By 10:45 it was all over.

Rob from Aiken, SC

Best backup ever? Kurt Warner, while actually a backup, won the Super Bowl and MVP. Tom Brady and Doug Williams also won Super Bowls as backups. Plunkett won two Super Bowls while starting both seasons as a backup. Hostetler, with an asterisk, because Norwood gave it to him, won a Super Bowl as a backup.

Warner had the starting job going into the season; Trent Green was lost in the preseason. Brady and Williams just don’t fit the profile for me; neither does Jim Plunkett, who had been a long-time starter in New England. Hostetler replaced Simms late in the season and did a nice job, but O.J. Anderson was the star of that show.

Keith from Portland, OR

You, sir, are hilarious. Confront the asinine with the asinine. You have accomplished it a few times, press box here we go Steelers and all, but Mariota practice squad? So funny; made my day.

I’m glad somebody got it. My inbox tends to be very literal.


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