Alec from Hazleton, PA
Along with being a Packers fan, I’m a big Penn State fan and was wondering if you think TE Jesse James would be a good fit with the Packers. I’ve seen the kid play; he’s got talent.
He’s got measurables that will likely cause him to be overdrafted. I watched him and I agree with you. He played in a program that was depleted by recruiting restrictions, and I think that kept his production down. At the next level, he could achieve what his measurables suggest he can achieve. Yes, I think he would be a good fit for the Packers, which is to say a team that features the tight end position.
Pat from Edinburg, VA
This will not be a fan favorite position. Bryan Bulaga should not be signed to a long-term deal. Franchise him and keep the line stable and develop his replacement. Unfortunately, Bryan gets hurt too easily. Look at his track record. It’s business, not personal. Use the money to get three new big guys and smile at what you found. Or, does Vic think Bulaga is worth the risk?
Vic thinks the Packers should try to re-sign Bulaga. Vic also thinks you don’t understand the franchise tag, especially as it pertains to offensive linemen. All offensive linemen are effectively paid as left tackles if they’re franchised. That’s a huge hit and it must all go on this year’s cap. Signing Bulaga to a long-term contract would allow for much more cap flexibility. Bulaga is coming off the best year of his career. He was dominant. Why give up on him now?
Graham from Chicago, IL
Vic, I want an ILB that can make a Ha Ha Clinton-Dix level impact in year one just as much as the next guy, but it doesn’t seem like any is worthy of our first-round pick. Carl Davis, however, intrigues me at the 30th pick. Do you foresee him making the jump that Aaron Donald made last year?
Davis is on the move up following his Senior Bowl performance. He’s an example of one of the few players on whom Tony Pauline and I disagree. Tony likes him but often refers to inconsistency in Davis’ game. Tony says Davis has a tendency to disappear. My point of view is that in Iowa’s system defensive linemen are two-gappers, and two-gappers often disappear because they’re eating double-teams and holding the point of attack so the linebackers can make plays. That’s why Iowa defensive linemen tend to be underrated. I like Davis a lot.
Ben from Cypress TX
Did the formality of McCarthy giving up the play calling, even if it was solely his decision, have anything to do with appeasing the fans following some criticism of his play calling?
You’ve got to be kidding.
Ross from Stephenson, MI
I don’t mean to be picky, but Carl Davis is 6-5, not short.
That’s not being picky, that’s being observant. I can’t imagine how I made that mistake, especially since I was the guy who directly asked Davis at what height he was measured at the combine. So what did I do? I went back to my laptop and confused him with another defensive lineman I had on my mind. Maybe sports writing is a young man’s game, too. Covering the combine is like covering a wrestling tournament with four bouts going on at the same time. The names and numbers come at you in swarms. As you’re moving to Podium C for an interview with one player, the PA woman is announcing that another player is available at Table 1 and a head coach is available at Podium A. It’s a circus; it’s one of the most difficult events of the year to cover. Friday was a whirlwind day, especially considering we were all waiting for Jameis Winston and didn’t know if we’d get him or not. I give Winston credit. He stood in front of everybody and bared his soul.
Steve from Eau Claire, WI
Vic, please describe the absolute essentials it takes to be a successful coach in today’s NFL.
If you’re talking about a head coach, the essentials are no different than they were 40 years ago, it’s just the demands are greater. A successful coach has to be a CEO. He has to be able to lead an entire program. He has to be a detailed person. He has to see the big picture. Assistant coaches coach; head coaches lead.
Jacques from Horicon, WI
Dorial Green-Beckham is there at 30; do the Packers draft him? Is the talent too high to pass up at 30?
I sat in on Green-Beckham’s media interview. His voice was quivering. He was very nervous and I liked it because it suggested to me he’s ashamed of his past. That’s the first step toward being responsible. I like second chances, but teams must be vigilant about bringing the right kind of people into their communities. In this case, I’m not worried about risking a draft pick, I’m more worried about the societal issue. I would have to twist and turn on this a long time before I could make a decision. I’m sorry, I can’t give you a yes or no right now. I don’t know him well enough.
Tim from Woodinville, WA
Ted Thompson: “We make football decisions, we don’t really make economic decisions.” If we lose Bulaga, is that not an economic decision?
Any decision that impacts your salary cap is a football decision. I think Thompson was referring to decisions that impact the franchise’s bottom line.
Cris from Sachse, TX
Vic, what’s the difference between a MLB in a 4-3 vs. an ILB in a 3-4?
Joe from St. Louis, MO
Vic, you were a Unitas fan, but you worked for AFC teams for most of your career. How did you feel after Super Bowl III? Shocked? Excited?
Stunned. Disillusioned. The NFL was beaten. The AFL was king. My young life was turned upside down.
Gary from Marshalltown, IA
“Each team’s cap is the league’s total football revenue divided by 32.” That’s fine as long as total revenue keeps going up, but if it starts going down, a bad cap position becomes even worse. Does that mean there’s an incentive to not expand the number of teams because the cap would go down because you have to divide by 34 or 36 teams?
New teams would create new revenue. Watch what happens when a team or two moves into a new stadium in Los Angeles. A market that size and a new stadium will explode the cap higher. Don’t worry about revenue going down.
Simon from Mountain View, CA
Three teams in LA?
Los Angeles is Roger Goodell’s No. 1 issue. This has to get fixed in the right way.
Christina from Missoula, MT
I agree 100 percent with Peter King. The only thing Coach McCarthy does better than call plays is lead a football team. Better that he should lead the entire team all the time. Do you agree with that?
I do, and I think Peter made a great point in the video I did with him: Offense hasn’t been a problem. Defense and special teams have been the problem, and nobody can address a problem better than the head coach because he’s the guy every player fears.
Michael from Buckeye, AZ
Vic, have you heard anything on Jesse James? He seems to have a checkered past with bank/train robberies, but he tested well for a 6-7 man.
Yeah, but he’s got to take off the holster.
Roland from Glen Cove, NY
Vic, Denzel Perryman seems to be a hard-nosed guy with good tackling technique. How do you feel about him at the bottom of the first round?
I think we’re beginning to identify who the prospects are for the Packers.
Jake from Saint Paul, MN
We are sitting at our pick in the first round and Benardrick McKinney and Maxx Williams are available. Who do you choose?
There are two more.
Wallace from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, I just can’t get away from reading your column! We miss you in Jax. I chuckled when I read the questions related to fans thinking their team is a player away. Can’t say that about Jags fans lately. The roster has been so bad that most think the Jags are 10-15 players away from having a playoff-caliber team. Your adage, “You are what you draft,” certainly rings true today for Jags fans, but it’s a painful truth.
It all started with thinking they were one player away in 2008, when they drafted the same player in the first and second rounds.
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