Daniel from Los Angeles, CA
Vic, can you explain to me how a team would trade up to get a higher pick in the draft/round?
You work the phones; you’re always working the phones. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a team that wants to come down. That’s the best arrangement because both teams are motivated to make the deal, and the team coming down may be willing to do the deal without holding you up. I think the Packers found such a trade partner in the Patriots when they did the trade that brought them Clay Matthews. Why is it nobody mentions that move when explaining why the Packers should be more like the Patriots?
John from Sun Prairie, WI
Vic, can you explain the “not likely to be earned” incentives put into contracts?
They are levels of performance that weren’t reached in the previous season, therefore, they’re not likely to be earned and won’t be charged to the cap until they are reached.
Eric from St. Louis, MO
We have six picks in the top 137. With one need addressed in free agency, what are the chances the rest of the current needs can be addressed with those picks?
I see the Packers as having two immediate needs remaining: the need for an inside linebacker and the need for a defensive lineman. I think this draft is deep enough at each position to expect the Packers to be able to address each position early in the draft, and maybe more than once each. It’s all about where players fall in the order, and there are several defensive linemen ranked in the early rounds. All other needs don’t appear to be immediate, although injuries can change that perception very quickly. It’s a good year for offensive tackles, so I would expect it to be a position the team might address, and I’d like to see the Packers add to their stable of young wide receivers. Most of all, pick the best available player. If the Packers do that, and they will, they’ll have done it the right way. This draft’s strength is built for the Packers’ needs.
James from Milwaukee, WI
If the Rams let him go, how good could Jared Cook be?
When you sign a player who’s been released, you’re counting on a mistake: cap mistake, misevaluation, misuse, etc. You have to see something you like and have a plan for playing to it. We’ll find out next fall what the Packers see in Cook.
Dan from Rice Lake, WI
Always enjoy your April Fools’ Day turnabout, but this year, please print only comical, tongue-in-cheek responses to your questions. Let’s use just this one day to take ourselves a bit less seriously and have some fun. After all, football is a game.
I’m not doing the ask-the-fans thing this year. That won’t be the surprise. It was awful last year. The responses were drier than Donald Trump’s hair. They made Ted Thompson’s combine press conference look like a tirade. I’m planning another surprise for Friday.
Garrett from New Berlin, WI
Whoever picked the picture of Jared Cook catching a pass over Danny Trevathan is genius. Applause for Team Vic!
Interns do the darndest things.
Vishnu from San Luis Obispo, CA
Vic, what does Tony think of Andrew Billings out of Baylor?
Tony thinks Billings is one of the five-best two-gapping defensive tackles in the draft. Here’s Tony’s top five: 1. A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama; 2. Billings; 3. Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech; 4. Hassan Ridgway, Texas; 5. Lawrence Stample, Florida State.
Courtney from Butte, MT
Lots of two-TE formations coming, like under Holmgren?
Scheme schemes? I believe Coach McCarthy to be a scheme personnel guy. You put your best players on the field; your scheme is determined by who your best players are. We won’t know who those players are until at least training camp has passed. There are plays in the playbook for all possible combinations.
Chase from Jeffersonville, IN
Vic, what do you expect from the Jaguars this year?
I expect them to be playoff contenders. Blake Bortles will be in year three, and he made major strides last season. In a few weeks, the current regime will assemble its fourth draft class. They’ve also spent big in free agency. It’s time to make the move up. I hope it happens for them. Those fans deserve it.
Ben from Hilo, HI
Owen from Tampa gave you well-deserved kudos for predicting Cook was a good fit for the Packers. Cap Casualty? Check. Position of need? Check. Right price? Check. Which is more enjoyable: Covering a team whose offseason moves are boring but prudent, or covering one that spends wildly and gets the fan base excited?
Give me boring and prudent. I covered wild and exciting in 2008, which turned out to be one of the most disappointing and embarrassing seasons of my career. I didn’t believe in anything the Jaguars did in that offseason, but I climbed on board because I didn’t want to rain on everyone’s parade. So, when the Jaguars spent big on over-the-hill talent in free agency, I considered the possibility he still had something left in the tank. And when they drafted the same guy twice, I decided he was that one player they needed to win it all. The season turned into a disaster, and I apologized to my readers for betraying my beliefs and good sense, and their trust in me.
James from Madison, WI
Vic, when is it acceptable to use “that” in a sentence, if ever?
I call it the Judge Potter Stewart rule: You’ll know it when you see it.
John from Salinas, CA
Vic, will the 2016 Packers be better than last year?
Let’s talk about this after the draft. Yeah, I know, the draft is supposed to be about the long-term future, but the Packers have gotten so much immediate lift from recent drafts, I think it’s a reasonable expectation for this draft to do the same. One free-agent acquisition didn’t put this team over the top, if that’s what you’re asking.
Bob from Wuhan, China
Do you expect the Packers to take a quarterback in the draft?
It wouldn’t surprise me if the Packers drafted a quarterback. The Packers have the picks to make a luxury pick.
Adam from Toronto, Ontario
Vic, we often discuss on this page the four premier positions in football: quarterback, left tackle, pass rusher and cover corner. In your opinion, which is more important, cover corner or left tackle?
Left tackle. You have to be good at that position. If you have to give your LT help, you make it easier for defenses to scheme their coverage, and you often add another defender to the rush scheme. If you’re not solid at LT and you don’t give him help, “The Man” goes down, and “The Man” must not go down and “The Man” must not go down hard.
Matt from Denver, CO
Vic, I can’t quite grasp this cut block, chop block rules change. First of all, what is the difference between a cut block and a chop block? Have both been banned, or only the chop?
A chop block is a high-low block executed by two blockers. It’s illegal at all times. A cut block is a below-the-waist block by one blocker. The new rule says you can cut a guy if it’s done with the flow of the play, which I interpret to mean it’s illegal to cut a guy if the runner is cutting the ball back behind the cut block; at least that’s the way I’m reading this. If I’ve got that right, then this rule is targeting zone-blocking teams that are backside cutters. There’s a lot of ambiguity with this rule as it pertains to cut blocks. I hope we don’t find ourselves asking: What’s a block?
Adam from James Island County Park Campground, SC
Vic, we are visiting Edisto Beach tomorrow. Where should we go? Where can I meet you?
It’s a small beach island. If you see an aimless-looking man on a bicycle, and he’s wearing a faded-green Packers hat, that’s me. Everybody else will be wearing orange.
Matt from Waunakee, WI
Vic, looking back, how would you rate the Rams’ free-agent signing of Jared Cook.
I can’t help but wonder how much higher he could’ve reached had Aaron Rodgers been his quarterback.
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