Chris from Hagerstown, MD
With your previous articles talking about the unfairness of domes, it got me thinking. Why would teams such as Atlanta have a dome when their weather is fairly mild? I personally hate domes and would like to know whom to blame.
Blame it on Lew Alcindor and Elvin Hayes.
Chris from Fort Worth, TX
Why does running a 4.5 40 instead of a 4.4 40 cause a player's draft stock to fall at all? It's a tenth of a second.
It’s because “Fast Is Faster.” Can someone please explain that one to me? I wanna know how much the guy that came up with that one makes.
James from Nolalu, Ontario
Please play Ted Thompson and give us your draft? My draft would be CB Stephon Gilmore, OLB Shea McClellin, FS Markelle Martin, SS Brandon Taylor, DE Derek Wolfe, NT Josh Chapman, DE Tyrone Crawford, FS Aaron Henry, QB Darren Thomas, ILB Tyler Nielsen, WR Chris Rainey and DE Ellison Henigan.
James, if you honestly know who all of those players are, then you’re missing out on life. I randomly selected the sixth round of the 2007 draft, looked at all of the players picked in that round, and the only names that jump out at me are Desmond Bishop and Mason Crosby, who were drafted back to back by the Packers. I love the draft, too, but I think you might be obsessing about it. Let’s try to get a bead on the first-round pick; that’s tough enough.
Tyler from Pensacola, FL
Vic, all we hear about from the combine is about 40 times, shuttle times and bench press reps and how those drills equate to supposed NFL success. How in the world does the broad jump relate to the NFL and how the game is played?
The broad jump is supposed to indicate explosion. LeSean McCoy turned in a poor broad jump and it’s probably what caused him to fall to the bottom of the second round. Yeah, he lacks explosion. When McCoy sticks his foot in the ground, he might be the most explosive runner in the league. Those gym-class drills can be foolers.
Tommy from Milwaukee, WI
I like how you brought up Laverne Smith. What about Marcus Dupree from Oklahoma?
Three or four years ago, during training camp, I sat down at a lunch table with a scout friend of mine. He then introduced me to his guest, a scout in training. “Vic, meet Marcus Dupree,” the scout said. I reached out my hand and said, “Are you THE Marcus Dupree?” He smiled and nodded his head. The young scout didn’t know what I meant, so he asked for an explanation. I told the scout he was in the company of a man who is one of the enduring legends of college football, a man who nearly caused half of college football to be put on probation. Dupree broke into a huge grin and mischievously nodded his head. I instantly liked him.
Markus from Vienna, Austria
Just read the point, counterpoint. What's wrong with our bobsled team? They won Olympic gold in 1992.
They look like the Denver Broncos.
Aaron from Washington, DC
Vic, according to nfl.com, the 1976 Raiders were voted the greatest NFL team of all-time. I think you can agree it's unfair to compare teams across different eras, therefore, making it difficult to pick one team as the greatest. That set aside, what are your memories of that team?
When I found out about the ’76 Raiders being selected by fans as the all-time greatest team, I broke out into a laugh. This is true irony. At a time when the commissioner and the whole league is in a desperate push to rid the league of dirty play and promote player safety, the fans select as the greatest team of all-time a team that might be the dirtiest team of all-time. I’m all for player safety but, as I’ve said, the popularity of this league isn’t built on nice.
Lewk from Davenport, IA
How important is a 3-4 outside linebacker's pass coverage ability?
Ask the Cardinals how important that 102-yard interception return for a touchdown was in Super Bowl XLIII. The strong side linebacker and the true middle linebacker of the two inside linebackers in a 3-4 are involved quite a bit in pass defense. If the outside linebackers are designated right and left, then they both have to have coverage ability. You want guys that can rush and cover; that way you can disguise your blitz and coverage schemes.
Kevie from North Pirt, FL
What about Melvin Ingram at outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews? He has a great motor and I think he would fit in good. Trade up, Packers.
Once you get past Ingram’s lack of ideal height, what you see is an outstanding football player and athlete that possesses a competitive spirit, instinct and toughness. How many teams will obsess on the height thing? That’s the question.
Dan from Schofield, WI
With the Packers picking up Dan Muir and Anthony Hargrove, how big of a difference do you think these picks will make to the defensive line next year?
I don’t see those signings as difference-makers. I see them as value signings to add depth and competition on the defensive line, in a year when the defensive line talent in the draft is thought to be on the thin side.
Logan from De Pere, WI
If Nick Collins is forced to retire, how do you think it will impact Ted Thompson's decisions on draft day?
Will he completely abandon his BAP philosophy and go hard for need? No. All GMs want to address their needs, but true BAP GMs won’t address need at the expense of value. The safety class is said to be weak. There’s one guy, Mark Barron of Alabama, who might slip lower than he should, the result of recent hernia surgery. It’s possible Barron could fall to the Packers, and it’s possible need and value might meet, but Thompson’s track record as a drafter tells us that need and value must meet for him to make that pick, or he’s going to stick with value.
Tony from Dousman, WI
What do you think of Courtney Upshaw and Zach Brown? Which do you think would fit better in the Packers defense?
I had a scout describe Upshaw to me as a forward-only player. The scout said that if you’re looking for someone to play sic ’em football, Upshaw’s your guy. There are scouts, however, that have speed concerns about Upshaw as an outside linebacker prospect, and consider him to be more of a hand-on-the-ground end in a 4-3. Brown is pure speed. I watched him in blitz pickup drills at the Senior Bowl and he was a blur coming around the edge. At 6-2, 230, he doesn’t have the kind of size you want as a rush-backer in a 3-4; Brown’s size is thought to favor weak side linebacker in a 4-3, but he’s got the speed you want coming off the edge in a 3-4.
Spencer from Lakewood, CA
Vic, I think you can use Aaron Rodgers as the perfect example of BAP. I don't think the Packers had an immediate need for a quarterback, especially in the first round of the 2005 draft, but Rodgers fell to them and he was the BAP when they were on the clock. Had they passed on A-Rod and gone for someone they needed, we may have had to wait another 10 years before bringing the Lombardi Trophy back home.
Drafting a quarterback in the first round and not making him your starter until year four of his career is uncommon. What we’re talking about is one of the most astute draft picks in NFL history, and I don’t think Ted Thompson gets nearly enough credit for the vision he displayed in making that pick. It’s almost as though he was clairvoyant.
Trevor from San Antonio, TX
With Nike coming out with the new uniforms and to no one's surprise the Packers not changing their uniform design at all, it begs the question of what other team uniform changes in league history have been real improvements, besides the Tampa Bay Buccaneers changing from their Creamsicle uniforms?
I hated the Bengals yipes stripes when they came out with them, but they’ve grown on me and they’ve become a recognizable brand, so I guess that makes that uniform change successful. The best thing the Jets ever did was change back to their old uniform design, the one that won a Super Bowl and was one of the most popular and identifiable uniforms in the league. The Patriots have enjoyed a lot of success in their new togs, but I like the old ones better. The one uniform change that continues to puzzle me is the Rams’ move from what I thought was one of the most colorful and identifiable uniforms in the league, to something that is drab by comparison. I’m not a fashion guy so, obviously, I’m missing something.
Alex from Shawnee, KS
Will Matt Flynn leaving hurt the Packers at all this season?
Losing good players always hurts a team because it weakens its roster, and that’s why draft-and-develop is so important. This is not a game of maintenance; it’s a game of replacement. That’s why you have to have “jars on the shelf” ready to go. Graham Harrell is one of those “jars.” Now, it’s time to find out about him. Good personnel managers challenge themselves to draft new talent; good coaches challenge themselves to develop new talent.
Patrick from Mesa, AZ
Vic, thanks for the insight the other day on why every other media outlet seems to break the story first on player signings in Green Bay. And here I thought the reason was because you're old and don't have any more lead in your pencil. Well, on second thought, that probably is true.
I love humor.
Matt from Spotswood, NJ
I saw that RG3's agent declined Irsay's invitation for a private workout. Why would this decision be made?
What’s Griffin’s gain in working out for the Colts? He’s either going to be the first or second pick of the draft. There won’t be much of a compensation difference. Hey, being that the Redskins are holding the second pick, the guy they pick might get more than the first pick. The agent did the right thing. You wanna see my guy work out? Put on tapes of last year’s games. You get to the point that enough is enough. While we’re on the subject, I think what Morris Claiborne has had to endure because somebody leaked his Wonderlic score, a score he trusted to be kept in confidence, is disgraceful.
Jon from Brodhead, WI
What are your thoughts on Chandler Harnish from Northern Illinois? Would he be a good backup for Aaron Rodgers?
Tony Pauline loves him. He thinks Harnish has legitimate developmental skills.
Tyler from Calhoun, GA
The players in the NFL are getting bigger, faster and stronger all the time. Do you think there is the potential for the game to become too physical?
That’s no longer a concern; it won’t be allowed. My concern isn’t for bigger, faster, stronger, it’s for tougher. Can we honestly say players are getting tougher? I think the toughness of players is a quality every bit as important to the game’s success as the size, speed and strength of the players.
Scott from Palos Park, IL
I know the West Coast offense has changed over the years but do you believe a running back like Roger Craig would still be as good today or has the game passed that type of back by, to some extent?
Craig was a great draw runner and today’s game favors draw runners. He’d probably be even better today than he was then.
Daniel from Copenhagen, Denmark
I've run for Parliament in Denmark and several offices in my party, and when you do that you have to answer the same questions over and over again. That's just part of the game. Embrace, learn to love it, add a twist to each and every answer and make it fun for yourself, and know in the end it's better with the same questions all the time than no questions at all. I have a completely different question for you. What do you think of Christian Ponder?
Like those Vikings, huh? Makes sense. Yeah, I think he’s a top talent. I loved him in 2009 at Florida State and didn’t understand why everyone got down on him in ’10 when he was playing with an arm injury. I see a guy who has a good arm, mobility and pocket presence, and he knows where to go with the ball. By the way, Ponder is a shining example all those need pickers out there can use. By all accounts, it appeared the Vikings were going to draft Blaine Gabbert. When the Jags traded up ahead of the Vikings for Gabbert, the Vikes turned to the next quarterback on their board. Ponder was considered to be a reach pick, but I will also tell you that I’m not sure Ponder was a reach. I think his arm injury in ’10 dropped his draft stock lower than it should’ve been.
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