Ed from Henryville, IN
I don’t know if I’ve offended you or something, but I write you a couple of times a week but never seem to get my questions answered. Another try. You say we need more depth at receiver, but if everything goes right this season we will have Jordy, Cobby, Janis, Ty, Abby, possibly Adams and J.J. We had our four top receivers go down this season. I think that was a fluke. With that receiving corps healthy, this could be an unstoppable offense. You really think receiver is a position we need to draft higher for? I think ILB would be more important. If you feel I’m wrong, can you please explain what’s wrong with my logic?
First of all, I’m at 4,354 unread e-mails as I answer your question. A lot of questions don’t get answered and it bothers me, too. As for your question, I feel it would be a mistake to ignore what was a need at wide receiver this past season, based on one game and two desperation passes. I don’t believe in ignoring any position, even ones of strength. Why? Because I don’t believe strength of position can be predicted – wasn’t WR a position of strength heading into last year’s draft? – and I don’t like leaving a better player for the competition to draft, simply because I don’t “need” him. Who doesn’t need the best player?
Matt from Ironwood, MI
Todd McShay came out with a mock draft and guess who he had the Packers selecting in the first round? Hunter Henry. Let the mania begin?
From now on, he will be known as Ha Ha Hunter Henry.
Koigi from Lynchburg, VA
Vic, I am excited to hear this class is strong at the tackle position. I think we found out we need some jars on the shelf.
Tackle is a position that must never be ignored. If there’s a good one available, pick him. You’ll never regret having “too many” tackles.
Dave from East Burke, VT
How soon might we get a handle on whether Jordy will be able to return to his glory and recover from his wound?
All indications are he’s ahead of schedule for his type of knee injury. We might get our first proof of that in OTAs. If he’s held back to provide more recovery time, then we’ll have to wait for training camp.
Bobby from Normal, IL
I’ve been a Packers fan since birth. Brett Favre turned me into a diehard Packers fan. You and your column have turned me into an avid football fan. I’m reading about the great players (mostly Packers) from before my time. I’m enjoying all the footage of Super Bowl I and especially the interviews of the players who played. What have you most enjoyed about this celebration?
I’m enjoying the fans’ new-found appreciation for that era of pro football. It’s wonderful! Those were great players playing great games. It was a cleaner, simpler game. It demanded only that fans understand the essence of the game, blocking and tackling, and not all of this “Cover Two” overkill.
Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL
Is there one reason or many why the NFL changes over time?
The evolution of the game can result from something as delicate as changing the shape of the ball, or from something as dramatic as the rules changes of 1978. When the NFL went from a fat ball to a streamlined ball, the modern-era passing game was born. When the NFL eliminated the head slap in 1977 and allowed offensive linemen to hold beginning in ’78, the combined impact of those rules changes, along with the chuck rule, began to light up scoreboards. In contrast, the NFL moved the hash marks toward the center of the field in ’72, in an attempt to stimulate the passing game, and it resulted in an explosion of thousand-yard rushers and an even lower-scoring game. Football is an ever-changing game, sometimes in unintended ways.
Steve from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, Rodgers is the best example of both BAP and draft-and-develop.
When a system produces a player like that, why would you ever want to do it another way?
Chuck from Madison, WI
Steven from Beulaville, NC
Vic, I think our WR group is in great shape, especially after what Jeff and Jared showed in the last game. What about adding a couple of receiving tight ends? Maybe Hunter in the first round and maybe Vannett in the middle rounds. Don’t get me wrong, I like Richard Rodgers, but we might be able to run some two-TE sets to add a wrinkle.
Did something happen overnight? My inbox has gone tight end crazy. Seriously, though, the tight end position is one of the best examples of football’s evolution. Nowadays, it’s becoming a premium position. When I began covering the NFL, Coach Noll once remarked to me in the lunch room that every wide receiver he had could run faster, jump higher, catch better and do more with the ball after the catch than the best tight end in the league, so why throw the ball to the tight end?
Kent from Lewiston, ID
Vic, we love your column out here in the Northwest! Great job! Tell us what your Super Bowl 50 day plan is and please give us your pick to win the game and final score. You explain to us all the time about the mystique of football and the love of the game America has with it. Cinderella ending for Peyton: Broncos 29, Panthers 27.
It wouldn’t shock me should the Broncos win, but I would expect a lower final score to favor the Broncos. I’ll spend the day doing stuff around the house, to avoid the hype on TV, and then I’ll sit down precisely at kickoff and watch the game in relative silence. I’ll be sitting in my personal “press box.” I say, Panthers 24, Broncos 20.
Justin from Athens, GA
Cliff Christl doesn’t consider the Patriots a dynasty?
I do, but it’s a two-man dynasty, and that’s perfect for the era these Patriots represent. The quarterback is the constant. Everything else in the salary cap era changes.
Jerry from Wilmington, NC
Vic, Carolina wins if...
They get a two-score lead early in the game.
Grant from St. Louis, MO
Vic, I can’t believe we’re already talking about the draft. Seems like it wasn’t long ago at all we were all crying to draft an inside linebacker last year. What’s going to be the position everyone obsesses over this year, tight end?
If the season had ended with the loss to Minnesota, it would be wide receiver, but that’s fixed now, so tight end is the one.
Grant from Hoopeston, IL
Vic, I once heard Max McGee telling stories about his career. On the Super Bowl I catches, he said he was so hung over the first pass looked like three balls coming at him, so he decided to try catching the middle one. Are there any good storytellers in today’s football?
Today’s players don’t dare tell stories like that. Imagine the headline in PFT: “Drunken receiver sees three balls; commissioner will investigate.” The fans wouldn’t be entertained by the story, they’d be outraged. They’d demand the player be fined for his behavior. We all need to lighten up. Stories are fun. We need another Max McGee.
Joe from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, given the right personnel, do you like a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense better?
I’m a 3-4 guy all the way. It allows a team to draft from a larger pool and it addresses the need for pass defense.
Mike from Las Vegas, NV
Vic, what are your thoughts on an NFL team in Las Vegas? I would be concerned about the competition for the entertainment dollar. The gambling industry might be too much of an entertainment entity for even the NFL to defeat.