Kyle from Sheboygan, WI

Vic, with Aaron Ripkowski and Jeff Janis being potentially more involved in offense, who do you think could step up to fill the void in special teams? They were like human missiles against returners, and I hope the Pack can keep up that kind of hustle in that seemingly overlooked phase of the game.

Even if they are more involved on offense, I don’t see Rip’s or Janis’ special-teams duties diminishing much, if at all. They are core special-teamers in my view and will remain so. Now, if a game evolves a certain way and their reps have to be adjusted here and there, that could happen, but I don’t see a wholesale move off of special teams for either of them.

Kevin from Greenacres, WA

Mike, I was really starting to warm up to you, but then we learn you don't drink coffee. How can a man get the complexities of football right if he can't get the simplicity of coffee right?

“Beverage moron, football savant” on my tombstone? I could live with that.

Jake from Madison, WI

Guys, how does football being a job for a writer/reporter affect how you watch a game or view the game? Do you ever wish for a time when you could sit on your couch and play armchair QB/coach/GM? Or do you just not think in those terms anymore?

I enjoy the opportunities to watch baseball or college football and not have to work for several hours afterward. But the writer switch is never turned off mentally. Whether I’m keeping my scorecard at Miller Park or lounging at the road hotel watching a college showdown, I’m always thinking about how I would frame the story if I were writing, and who I’d want to talk to afterward to get their insights. It’s just how my brain works.

Sam from Sioux Falls, SD

Since it's Favre Week, what's your guys' favorite Favre moment? Mine is Favre winning the Super Bowl on my 5th birthday and Favre on MNF against the Raiders.

If I draw only from games I actually covered, I would go with the snow-globe playoff game against Seattle in his final season in Green Bay. His scrambling, underhanded pass to Donald Lee in the first half, and throwing snowballs at his teammates in the second half, were both vintage Favre.

Cody from Carlisle, PA

Hey guys, I was listening to your Unscripted podcast. At the end you talked about the next Packers in. You mention Woodson, then said after that was Rodgers. What about Donald Driver? Or do you think he will just be a Packers Hall of Famer?

I love Driver and miss him around here, but I don’t see Canton in his future. His 743 catches for 10,137 yards and 61 TDs are nothing to sneeze at, but they rank 40th, 44th and 73rd all-time, respectively, and there are arguments being made to keep many above him on those lists out of the Hall because of the explosion of passing statistics. I think the first criteria is being a dominant player in your era, and Driver ranked in the top 10 in the league in each category only two or three seasons each. He was a great player and has a secure place in Packers history, but that’ll have to be enough.

Rod from Ephrata, PA

I'm betting Mike never told that World Cup soccer story when Vic was in hearing distance.

I tried. He covered his ears and started bellowing funny noises to get me to stop.

Adrian from Berwickshire, UK

Hi, Mike. As Clay Matthews moves back outside, who will take on his role as signal-caller? Will this responsibility be too much to ask of younger players like Martinez and Ryan?

Others have asked this, and it’s a good question. The Packers are still figuring that out. We learned from assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley on Tuesday that the helmet speaker has not been used yet in training camp.

Ron from Cherry Valley, IL

I hate when a team commits a penalty deep in their own territory and they are only penalized half the distance to the goal. I think they should be penalized half the distance to the goal, and the first-down markers should be moved the balance of the distance not lost moving the ball back. Comments?

Interesting thought. I wouldn’t mind seeing the next set of rule changes, whenever they come along, start to favor the defense on occasion.

Travis from Fort Walton Beach, FL

Insiders, if James Jones is signed by the Chargers, will the Packers still be eligible for a comp pick next year?

No. It’s a roughly 60-day window from the start of free agency during which signings count in the compensatory pick formula. Around mid-May, that window closes.

Nathan from San Diego, CA

Have the questions always been this crazy and Vic was just a wizard of an editor or is something else going on? Speaking of which, how excited are you for the preseason to begin?

I acknowledge I went a bit off the rails with some of my postings last time, but I thought it was worth giving y’all a taste of some things in the Inbox that don’t normally see the light of day. It doesn’t take a wizard to keep that stuff out. As for the preseason, I’m excited for it to end.

Michael from Olympia, WA

To Mike, I've always enjoyed your "fill in" spots for Ask Vic. Your reply, "Depth only seems superfluous on a healthy team," is as close to the Vic literary prose that drew me to his writing as anything I've seen here in this new iteration of the column. Steinbeck was his, who's yours?

I’m flattered, but I don’t think I have a meaningful answer to your question. I really enjoyed studying Jonathan Swift as an English major in college. I learned a lot about the mechanics of writing from my father, a PhD in English who wrote his dissertation on Stephen Crane. In current times, I love reading Michael Lewis. Whether any influences exist there, I don’t know. I guess I just try to say things the best way I can, when I have ample time, which isn’t often in this business.

Tom from Madison, WI

Who is better, Randall or Rollins? It seems like they're the exact same player when reporters talk about them.

Funny you should say that. On Tuesday, I asked cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. what’s different about those two, because we talk about them together so much. He said Randall is the talker, while Rollins is the quiet one, which I knew, but he also called Rollins a “vision player” while Randall is a “feel player.” I thought that was interesting.

Tyler from Myrtle Beach, SC

The preseason is filled with so much hope and excitement that we always seem to crown our team before the first regular-season game. Give me a couple red flags with this team or areas of serious concern.

I haven’t crowned anyone, but OK, I’ll play along. Two of the potential top four receivers, plus the starting center, haven’t taken a snap in camp yet, the defensive line may be counting on two rookies among its top four players for the first month of the regular season, and if the veteran punter loses his job, the kicker will have a new holder for the first time in seven years. Does that help? There’s still time to sort everything out, but it’s a long journey. Buckle up.

Matt from Winfield, WI

What are you most keen to watch in the game on Sunday?

The three rookie draft picks on defense – Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry and Blake Martinez.

Terry from Jasper, IN

Mike/Wes, I have not read or heard much about Randall Cobb since camp started. What are your thoughts on his performance so far?

I see a focused veteran player who’s getting his work done like a pro.

Frank from Milton, WI

I'm in desperate need of the HOF induction schedule for Saturday night. Do we know in what order the inductees will be presented? I'll be at a wedding reception and need to know if I should sneak out shortly after 7 p.m. or if I have time to get in a couple obligatory dances with my wife without missing Brett.

Favre is going last, so go ahead and dance your obligatory tail off.

Tony from Burbank, CA

Mike, the interactive article you put together on Favre is amazing. Thank you and your team for all the hard work put into the piece. What are you most looking forward to in Canton?

Thanks for checking it out. It was fun to work on, and all the visuals really jazz up the prose, which was the easy part. I’m looking forward to actually seeing the Hall of Fame for the first time, more than anything. Never been there, but by the time you read this, I’ll already be on my way.


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