Chaston from Blackfoot, ID
Whenever I see draft profiles for offensive tackles, they almost always project them as guard or center, but never the other way. Is this because tackles are the best players on the offensive line and can fit anywhere?
In most cases, that’s true. Generally speaking, tackles can move inside, but guards and centers usually can’t move outside. It’s because the premium is on a player’s ability to pass block with space to his outside. In John Hannah’s day, the premium was on run blocking. That’s why a player of his ability played guard and was selected No. 4 overall. Times have changed.
Beau from Lancaster, PA
Vic, did you catch the buzzer-beater last night? In the midst of the streamers, confetti and jubilation, the officials were blowing their whistles because they had to check the replay to make sure it left the player’s hand in time. There was no epic call from Jim Nantz and Bill Raftery because they knew they had to wait for it to be confirmed. It’s a shame their one shining moment had to wait for replay to confirm it.
Nothing shines until replay says it shines. Replay makes the epic call, and we wait for it dutifully. We should be embarrassed for what we’ve allowed to happen.
Kenn from Upper Marlboro, MD
Vic, you said on Monday there is little teams are unprepared for in the draft. Do you have any notable exceptions which come to mind?
Bill Belichick wasn’t prepared for the Jets to pick Kyle Brady. I guess that’s why Coach Noll was fond of saying, “Never fall in love with a guy.”
Gunnar from Green Bay, WI
Vic, a while ago you said part of the reason the Packers chose Damarious Randall is because the Ravens also were ready to draft him. How does a team know when another team is looking at or ready to select a player?
I never said or wrote the Packers picked Randall because the Ravens wanted to pick him. I’ve written the Ravens said they were interested in Randall. How does a team know what other teams are interested in a player? Ask him where he’s visited and what other teams have expressed interest in him.
Clay from Des Moines, IA
I feel as if the tip about googling a prospect along with Tony’s name has opened a whole new world of following the Packers. Thanks, Vic!
Use all of the media available to you. Read, read, read. “Ask Vic” is a good starting place and that’s why I’m up at 5:30 ET every morning. I want this column to be available to you as early as possible so you can get a head start on your day’s reading. Tony isn’t always complimentary of a prospect, and that’s as it should be, but I’m not comfortable with trashing a young man in this column. I’ll raise questions about his game, but that’s as far as I’ll go.
Tim from Reno, NV
I wonder what it was like in the Packers’ draft room when Rodgers fell to the 24th overall pick. In all their preparation meetings, did someone ask, “Say Rodgers falls to pick 24. Do we want him?” Was their question met with derisive laughter, men thinking there’s no way Rodgers falls that far? It’s mind-numbing to consider how many different scenarios they must go through, many of which will quickly become irrelevant. They must spend a lot more time thinking about it than I do.
Obviously, they were prepared, and that’s reason enough to trust the Packers know what they’re doing. Trust me on this: The Packers know more than we do.
John from Sidney, MT
Vic, it’s Masters week. Tell us the story again about how you composed that drippy music they play.
Yeah, the crying weekend is upon us. Forgive me if I mute the TV when the music plays. We didn’t have a lot azaleas in Natrona, and mint juleps weren’t the drink of choice. I’m going to celebrate this Masters by beginning a sidelight career. I’m going to become a caddy this week. Yep, I’ve always wanted to do it, and I’m at the age if there’s something you wanna do, this is a good time to do it, so I’m gonna rake traps, read greens, hang a damp towel over my shoulder and tell stories to golfers that want to hear them. I think I’ve lost my mind, but it feels great.
Tom from Omaha, NE
Vic, what is a weakside linebacker?
In a 4-3, the weakside linebacker is opposite the strong side of the offensive formation. In a 3-4, you might say there are two weakside linebackers. There’s the weakside outside linebacker, and there’s the weakside inside linebacker, who plays opposite the true middle linebacker in a 3-4. I refer to the true middle linebacker in a 3-4 as the thumper and the weakside inside linebacker as the chaser, but those are just my quirky ways for remembering players at those positions I’ve covered. I’ve known 3-4 teams to call their inside guys Mike (middle linebacker) and Mo (weakside linebacker). Teams that play a 4-3 refer to the weakside linebacker as Wil. Don’t get caught up in names. Think function. In my mind, the weakside inside guy in a 3-4 has traditionally been allowed more freedom to chase the ball; the true middle linebacker is responsible for digging in his heels and holding the point of attack.
Luke from La Crosse, WI
In the Deflategate and Spygate (can we stop putting gate after everything?) world we now live in, care to speculate on what would happen if the 1975 AFC title game’s frozen sidelines debacle were to happen?
It would be called sidelinegate or tarpgate, and Dirt DiNardo would be the main character in the drama. He was a personality to the extreme. He would’ve reveled in the attention and he would’ve entertained us as today’s funless are afraid to do.
Aaron from Winter Garden, FL
Is Reggie Ragland a thumper or a chaser?
He’s both. He can thump and chase. He’ll be used in both roles by whatever team drafts him.
Brendyn from De Pere, WI
Vic, what are your thoughts on Jarran Reed from Alabama?
He’s a classic two-gapper and his arrow is pointing up. He was a JUCO transfer to Alabama, so he only has two seasons of SEC competition under his belt. He’ll take his game higher in the NFL. He’s said to fit where the Packers are picking.
Chris from Summerville, SC
Ted Thompson said after the draft last year he was looking to draft good, solid football players. If you aren’t looking to draft good, solid football players, what type of players are you looking to draft?
You’re trying to catch lightning in a bottle. You’re picking a player who’s flashed but hasn’t played to that level consistently. You’re picking the flash with the idea you can teach him to play that way all of the time. It’s worth the gamble late in the draft, but not early. Early picks are too valuable to waste on whims.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
Based on Noah Spence’s past, is it worth the risk for the Packers to use their No. 1 pick on him if he’s still available?
He’ll be gone before the Packers pick. Pass rushers are always worth the risk.
Bill from Mequon, WI
I think auto racing has made the most significant improvements in safety of any sport. The NFL should consider the helmet sensors race drivers wear that indicate the severity of an impact, and also some of their helmet features. Your thoughts?
I don’t like auto racing, so I have no thoughts on it, but I respect your love of helmet sensors.
Jonathan from Yorba Linda, CA
Best quarterback to play the game and never win a Super Bowl?
Dan Marino. Best quarterback not to play in a Super Bowl in the Super Bowl era? That’s a tough question to answer. How about Philip Rivers?
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Is Aaron Rodgers the type to leave on top or hang on until there is nothing left?
He’ll leave on top. He’s too proud and too real to taint his accomplishments by hanging on. One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen in sports is Johnny Unitas playing for the Chargers. I covered his final game. I wish I hadn’t seen it.
Martin from Holzgerlingen, Germany
Vic, do players and coaches read your column and, if yes, have any of them ever approached you because they didn’t like an answer you gave?
Sure. I had a coach come to me about an answer to a question regarding the strong side of the offensive formation. He gave me a lesson on how it’s not all about the tight end anymore. He explained how bunch formations are determining the strong side of the formation. We all live in the fraternity of football. Sharing information is one of the functions of that fraternity.