Jeff from Farmington, NM
Vic, have you seen any teams use the Packers sweep for one play to surprise a team? What would be a good defensive alignment to run it against in the present?
I haven’t seen it used in recent times, and it’s not a good surprise play because the Packers sweep requires hours and hours of practice a week to perfect it. It has to be a staple of your offense and your practice regimen for it to be successful. We’re perseverating on this play. It’s real simple: It doesn’t fit today’s game or the players that would have to execute it. Today’s guards are too big to play low enough, small enough and nimbly enough to pull as Kramer and Thurston did.
Joseph from El Paso, TX
Vic, first off, you’re incredibly funny; I love your sarcasm. What do you think about the NFL not releasing the schedule to anybody or any team? Those teams would only know who they’re playing that weekend when they travel to that city, so teams can’t game plan for anything that seems like it would add to the struggle of the game?
Logistically, it can’t work for a lot of reasons, but it’s a fun idea to chew on.
Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL
Have you noticed a significant difference between how players used to speak to the media and how they do today? How would you describe it?
Today’s players are guarded, for the obvious reason. The players I first covered were welcoming. They had greater trust for the media, and they knew the media was a window to a greater presence in the game, and that opened the door to off-the-field income.
Garrick from Keller, TX
Is there a position you try to draft every year regardless of immediate need?
Wide receivers, defensive backs and linebackers re-stock your special teams. Teams that play a 3-4 defense have to draft a steady supply of linebackers, for the obvious reason. Those three positions address something else very important: speed. You don’t have to draft a particular position every year, but you must draft speed. If you’re not getting faster, you’re getting slower because everybody else is getting faster.
Mark from Medford, MA
The real answer to every question about the Green Bay Packers is stay calm and trust Ted. So what’s the point of your column?
There is no point to it. It’s a column about nothing. That’s the point.
Bob from Oosterhout, The Netherlands
Would you pick Todd Gurley if he is available at 30?
If he was at the top of my board, I absolutely would pick him. Star-quality depth at running back is a luxury few teams enjoy. You’ll love it late in the season.
Rylan from River Falls, WI
Do you think Maxx Williams will be available at No. 30? If so, would Ted Thompson take him?
I think he’ll be available, but I don’t know what Thompson’s opinion of Williams is.
Roger from Auburn, CA
Vic, do you think it’s likely the Packers trade out of the first round since there is no sure-fire inside linebacker in the draft?
I don’t know that’s true, but I believe there will be very talented cornerbacks and defensive linemen available to the Packers at pick No. 30, and unless I’ve targeted a guy I believe I can get later, I wouldn’t pursue a trade back. I think the Packers can address need and pick from the top of their board.
Jerry from Kent, WA
Vic, when and why was the read-and-react defense replaced by gap-control?
I remember teams making that switch in the early ’80s. I suspect it was the result of the rules changes of 1978, one of which allowed offensive linemen to use their hands to block. The read-and-react technique requires defenders to engage, defeat and shed the block. How can you get off the block if you’re being held?
Steve from Lubbock, TX
In Friday’s column you alluded to how things would be different today if Bradshaw’s quote about his arm troubles made it into social media. I don’t do social media for a variety of reasons, but I’m curious whether you think social media is more help or hindrance to sports in general, particularly the reporting thereof?
The old NFL PR mantra, from the days when baseball was king and football was the college game, was “write anything you want, just spell the name right.” It still works, except in social media they don’t even spell the name right. As much as teams, coaches and players complain about the media, the media still drives the popularity of the game and makes everybody rich.
Clay from Des Moines, IA
Vic, what does Tony think about LB Jake Ryan?
Tony’s watching TV; wait, I’ll ask him. Hey, Tony, wadda ya think of Jake Ryan? He says he loves him; could be a steal in the late rounds.
Jake from Boston, MA
Vic, why didn’t the defensive tackles penetrate into the backfield to cut Kramer so that Thurston would trip and there would be no alley? Nobody had drawn up that play yet? Players, not plays, right?
Because they had to stay home and guard against the trap. Teams that pull also trap.
Jim from Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Vic, I just read Dallas had the chance to draft Joe Montana in the 1979 draft but already had Roger Staubach and Danny White on the roster, so they passed on Joe and drafted tight end Doug Cosbie. So, in the BAP philosophy, they should have drafted Montana. Hindsight is always perfect vision, but can you imagine those three quarterbacks on one team?
Staubach retired after the ’79 season. White didn’t achieve star status. Who doesn’t need Joe Montana? When you draft for need, you leave the better player for your competition to draft. If the Cowboys had drafted Montana, “The Catch” would’ve never happened and the Cowboys might have another Super Bowl title.
Joe from Kandahar, Afghanistan
I read Mike Daniels’ comments about the anger of the loss in the championship game never going away. I like to hear that. I think anger is going to be felt by every returning player this season, and I hope it infects the new guys. I think this season will be one that every player is going to set out to prove they are the toughest team in the game. I think they will carry that attitude to a 19-0 season. I think McCarthy recognizes even he contributed to the loss and is committed to fixing it. I see a team rising from the ashes of that loss, and predict the next five seasons will produce at least two Super Bowl victories. Those men are out to prove something to the NFL, the other teams, themselves, and especially to the Packer nation. Look out NFL, the Pack is on the attack!
My upper lip is quivering.
Barry from Dublin, Ireland
Vic, you mentioned Joe Namath’s throwing motion and I had to look it up, but was very impressed; great looking throw with serious zip. Who are your top five quarterbacks based purely on throwing motion aesthetics?
Namath, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas, Joe Gilliam and Bert Jones.
Wallace from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, you might want to add to the list of features for Jacksonville the following: long, hot, steamy summers, big poisonous snakes, lots of big alligators, mosquitoes and gnats nine months out of 12! But I love it here. Beats shoveling snow!
You forgot skinks in the garage, tree frogs in the living room, trying to find an air-conditioning repairman in July, noisy ceiling fans, meat tenderizer for when you put your hand into a nest of red ants, mandatory hurricane evacuations, termite bonds, red tide and armadillo holes. I agree; it beats shoveling snow.
John from Roma, Lazio
Why is our email address required to ask a question?
I sell them to funeral parlors.
James from Whitewater, WI
Vic, I love the tall guys, so Jesse James is someone I’ve got my eye on. What do you and Tony think of him? It seems like he’d be a fourth- or fifth-rounder. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets taken earlier.
Tony went upstairs to brush his teeth, but I love James. I think he was hidden last season in a Penn State offense that couldn’t pass block long enough for the quarterback to throw the ball.
Pablo from Oak Creek, WI
Vic, I love your stories. Is there a memoir about Vic Ketchman in our future?
I wanna write romance novels when I retire.
Curt from Locust Grove, GA
Would any team hire Mel Kiper as a scout?
He would never take that kind of pay cut.
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