Phil from Las Vegas, NV
Vic, what does a quality control coach do?
Among other things, he works on special assignments. The Packers will scout and break down their 2016 opponents during the offseason. A quality control coach might be assigned the job of researching opponents’ second-and-short tendencies.
Ryan from Madison, WI
Max McGee’s one-handed catch was ranked No. 8 on the NFL’s top 10 one-handed catches of all time. He was the only one in the top 10 not wearing super sticky gloves. Does he deserve to be higher on the list?
Yes, but not only because he wasn’t wearing gloves, but also because the catch was made over the middle long before today’s defenseless receiver rule. It wasn’t a clean catch. McGee had to maintain his concentration on the ball. There was absolutely no flinch. Lombardi said football is first and foremost a running game. I say it’s first and foremost a game of courage.
Jim from Des Peres, MO
So now Mike McCarthy is really pleased to bring coaches in from the outside to bring new perspectives. Really? I thought the idea was to bring young coaches along and up through the ranks so everyone is on the same page in the organization. What gives?
He did that with Luke Getsy and David Raih. Maybe Coach McCarthy wanted to do both.
Jon from London, Ontario
My question is about restructuring contracts to free up cap space. If a team is under the cap at the end of the season, can they restructure the deal to move guaranteed money into the current year? Pay the player after the season, but before the start of the next league year?
Yeah, they can move money into the current year to eat up cap space, and teams did that during the days when cap space didn’t carry over to the next season, but now it does so it’s not necessary to eat up unused cap space.
Kyle from Toronto, Ontario
Vic, I noticed in your all-time hybrid team you opted for a 4-3 defense. Is that defensive coordinator Vic’s preferred scheme or have you simply covered more great defensive linemen?
Joe Greene was my No. 1 defensive lineman, but Joe wasn’t a nose tackle. His selection determined it would be a 4-3.
Vincent from Monterey, CA
If Reggie Ragland somehow drops to the Packers at 27, does GM Vic pick him? Would GM Vic use one of those compensatory picks to trade up to the middle of the first round for him?
I would suspect Ragland would be at the top of my board should he fall to where the Packers are picking. I think he would be an easy pick at that spot. He’s kind of this year’s C.J. Mosley, who I hoped would fall to the Packers but didn’t. Comp picks won’t be permitted to be traded until the 2017 draft.
Lucas from Hales Corners, WI
Would you say being the general manager of an NFL team is more an art or more a science? I understand if you want to say it’s both, but I’m really curious which you’d classify if you could only pick one.
I think you have to be guided by science – you have to have a process – but when it comes time to make the pick, you have to have a feel for it. Good scouts aren’t necessarily good pickers, but good pickers are almost always good scouts.
Weston from Lake Geneva, WI
Why do you feel more teams don’t use the transition tag, especially with big-name free agents?
Two reasons: 1) The results haven’t been favorable. 2) If you match, you’re allowing the competition to negotiate a contract and cap structure by which you must abide. The Jaguars brought in Alonzo Spellman and Quentin Coryatt in 1996. They wined them and dined them and then signed them to big offer sheets. The Bears and Colts matched, so the Jaguars negotiated the Bears’ and Colts’ contracts, and the Jaguars got stuck with a dinner check that left them with egg on their face. It was all drama.
Paul from Austin, TX
Soldier Field, 1976. The College All-Stars faced off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that turned out to be more of a contest against the heavens. Vic, finish the game story.
In the third quarter, the teams, fans and media all left, and they never returned.
Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA
I was surprised by your all-time hybrid team being setup as a 4-3 defense. What would Vic’s 3-4 hybrid team defense look like?
Joel Steed would be the nose tackle. Now what do I do with Joe Greene?
Jeff from Minneapolis, MN
I’m reading a series of articles about suggested personnel moves for every team. The author keeps suggesting that releasing players after June 1 would give teams more cap savings than if the player was released before June 1. Can you explain the difference that date makes and which monies become available to the team after June 1?
It’s the June 1 rule and it goes directly to the cap man I quoted yesterday: “What’s in the year stays in the year; everything else goes into the next year.” If the player is released prior to June 1, all of his bonus amortization accelerates into the current year. If you have the cap space to eat the dead money, go ahead and do it, but now you’re robbing Paul to pay Peter. That’s one of the examples I would use to explain why cap space isn’t an accurate indicator of a team’s cap health, or even of a team’s commitment to spending to the cap. Money can be moved in several ways. Cap space can be a shell game.
Ben from Radford, VA
Vic, could you please explain the benefit of having so much cap room year after year?
It’s all part of a long-term plan. Don’t think in terms of year to year, think in terms of all years. The money will be used.
Matt from Arlington, VA
What are your thoughts on Carl Nassib and Christian Hackenberg in the draft?
I suspect Hackenberg will be drafted by Houston, where he’ll reunite with Bill O’Brien. I love Nassib. He’s a 6-7, 273-pound walk-on who’s just learning to play the game. He’s got good bloodlines. He’s got the wingspan of a pass rusher and the toughness of a run stuffer. The combine is going to determine where he goes in the draft. He’s viewed as a second or third-round pick, but he could do a Dontari Poe with a big combine.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
How do you think Donald Trump would fare being an owner of an NFL team?
He doesn’t have a leaguethink personality. I don’t think he would do well.
James from Dallas, TX
Who are the kicker and punter for your all-time hybrid team?
Bryan Barker is my punter. Kicker is a tie between Gary Anderson and Mason Crosby. If there was a kicker hall of fame, Anderson would be in it and Crosby would be on his way.
Mike from Cocoa Beach, FL
What are the chances of the Packers/Jaguars game moving to London?
I doubt Shad Khan is going to give up a guaranteed sellout to move the game to London. Packers fans will turn EverBank Field green.
Patrick from New Smyrna, FL
I think the only player on your hybrid team I didn’t understand was Daniels over Stroud. Even Henderson was a better player than Daniels in his prime.
John Henderson had a Joe Greene type of year in 2007. Marcus Stroud had off-the-chart talent. On the down side, Henderson’s prime was short-lived, as was Ernie Holmes’, and Stroud didn’t have Mike Daniels’ motor. I’m a big Daniels guy. I think he’s going to prove you wrong.
Andrew from Hermiston, OR
Vic, thank you once again for answering a question I’ve asked every day for about a week, by answering someone else’s same question. Did you not see my question or were you waiting for someone else to ask it so you could answer in spite of me? I told my friends this would happen.
You were right.
Adam from Atlanta, GA
You said: “First, you must be under the cap; you can’t trade a player to get there.” I always thought (as an extremely simple example) if I am $5 million over the cap, I could trade my $10 million player for a $3 million player and I’m $2 million under the cap. I know it must not be that simple, but I don’t understand why?
It’s because at the precise second the league calendar year begins, all teams must be in cap compliance. If you’re over the cap at the witching hour, you’re probably going to lose a draft pick or two, and be fined. So, get under the cap before the witching hour, and then go ahead and make your trade.
Patrick from Chicago, IL
Vic, tell us the top golf course you’ve played in your life, and the top course you wish you could play.
Oakmont is the most renowned course I’ve played; it’ll host the U.S. Open this summer. I’m going to play a top course today, Cherokee Plantation. My driving range owner/PGA Tour caddy friend is taking me there. After the round, I figure we’ll hit Po Pig’s. Thursday is livers and gizzards day. I think you lose one day of life for every liver or gizzard you eat, but it’s worth it.
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