Margo from Bloomington, IL

Vic, it seems the “Prospect Primers” are a popular feature, but I could sure do without the interview portion of them. Every single one features the same mind-numbing comments: “I’ll do whatever it takes. I can play any position. I’ve got the skills to play at the next level. Playing for (fill in the blank) would be a dream come true.” Blah, blah, blah. The clips of their play and Spofford’s overview do the job just fine without all the cliché comments. Thanks!

It’s good you’re not a sportswriter because that’s the material with which we have to work these days. It’s pabulum. The players believe they’ve executed their responsibility to the media, but without having said anything that’ll cause controversy. The truth is it’s a waste of time for everyone. Maybe the blame belongs to the media for failing to protect players from their innocent mistakes. I’ve always felt a need to protect players from those mistakes. It’s how you build a relationship with a player so that one day, when he has something meaningful to say, he might select you to be the messenger.

Ted from Wilmington, OH

Is it possible the message we are being sent is Thompson and McCarthy feel good about Barrington and Ryan starting together on opening day? My money is on Green Bay going defensive line in the first round, and picking up a linebacker from a deep class in the second or third round.

Maybe you’re right, but I think the message is the team wants to upgrade its talent at inside linebacker. After releasing three starters in two years, and wanting to move the team’s best inside linebacker back to the outside, I don’t know how the message could be anything else. Two inside linebackers aren’t enough.

Mutt from Blaine, MN

Vic, I don’t think Cam Newton needed to be available or cordial to the media after the Super Bowl, but I sure did gain a lot of respect for Jordan Spieth for his honesty and willingness to answer questions about the disaster that was No. 12 on Sunday. What did you think of his question and answer session?

He gets it. He understands what can be gained by cooperating with the media.

Max from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, if you were a defensive coach, would you implement a 3-4 defense or 4-3? Why?

I prefer the 3-4 to the 4-3 because the 3-4 offers a deeper and more affordable pool of pass rushers.

Jeff from New Ulm, MN

I bit, Vic. Tom Brady at No. 199 in the 2000 NFL draft. Hindsight is 20-20, right? In today’s terms, what made him fall so far?

It’s a crystal ball business. The Brady crystal ball must’ve been broken.

Marc from Hartford, VT

Vic, I’m going to put it right on the line. There’s been a lot of complaints already. Fooling around on the course, bad language, smoking grass, poor caddying. If you guys want to get fired, if you want to be replaced by golf carts, just keep it up.

Gunga galunga.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, can you share some examples of players who were picked 27th in the first round and went on to become outstanding professional players?

Dan Marino, DeAndre Hopkins, Roddy White and Larry Johnson.

Chase from Morton, IL

Vic, I’m always wary about drafting linemen, defense or offense, in the first round. It seems like for every Bryan Bulaga there is a Derek Sherrod. Obviously, it’s that way with every position, but do you think it’s harder to become a stout lineman and pick up that position in the NFL than it is other positions?

Left tackle might have the highest success percentage of any position in football. If you want to draft safely and for impact, left tackle is the position to draft. If you can play left tackle, you can play right tackle and either guard position.

Fletcher from DeForest, WI

Sit down, laddie, and I’ll spin you a yarn. A tale of a company of hardy souls seeking a prize. Yet, they toe a line, a line with gaps that can’t be hid. What say you, Cap’n Vic? Who will fill those gaps in the line? What say you, good sir?

It’s supposed to warm up this weekend. Hang in there. You can make it.

Justin from Rochester, MN

Vic, I’m not the type of reader who feels the need to always agree with your answers to enjoy your writing. In the case of yesterday’s column, I feel the need to call you out on your weak answer regarding the worst needs-based pick. If Tom Brady had been the first QB off the board in the 2000 draft, you’d have a point about 198 need-based selections before him, but as the seventh QB selected that year, it was clearly a case of mis-evaluation rather than poor adherence to BAP.

Now I can go on with the rest of my life.

Tom from Omaha, NE

I have a picture of my oldest son, who was 12 at the time, standing in front of Tom Brady’s locker in the Michigan locker room. I had no idea who Tom Brady was, but my 12-year-old sure did. So how did he know more than all those other teams that picked someone else before Brady got picked?

I’ll never understand it. How could he fall that far? I remember watching the Michigan-Alabama 2000 Orange Bowl game. It was a great game that featured Shaun Alexander. I remember how well Brady played in that game and I remember thinking, “What’s wrong with this guy?”

Jake from Aurora, IL

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” – Vince Lombardi. Do you think first-round picks lose their mindset and feel they don’t have to work as hard because of where they were drafted? Do you think this makes lower picks/free agents more valuable because they are still striving to get to the top of the mountain?

It can and does happen.

Mike from Hugo, MN

“How about a teenager behind the wheel of a car? Is that safe?” This response is disappointing. It’s a tough issue for those of us who love football, but we need to tackle it head on. I don’t have to tell you a car is basically a necessity in our society and I’m sorry, but football is not. Yet, you make this comparison. Trying to spin the issue with statements like this only increases public distrust and shows a lack of understanding and objectivity by the current stewards of the game.

Is this “Ultra-Serious Literal Day” in Minnesota? By the way, how about John Kasich’s proposal for the day after the Super Bowl becoming a national holiday? What’s that say about football as a necessity in our lives?

Lyle from St. Louis, MO

Monday’s column picture really shows how padding has diminished in size. In the ’70s, we had girdles with hip pads and were encased in armor. When did this change?

I first noticed the change in the ’90s when Tony Boselli began wearing his wife’s powder puffs on his shoulders, but the rules changes of 1978 made it inevitable it would happen. The ’78 changes made football a hands and feet game, as opposed to the hips and shoulders game of the run-the-ball era. The important thing to note is helmets have increased in size dramatically as all of the other pads have either gone away or decreased dramatically in size.

Joe from Gainesville, FL

I recognize Ted Thompson was principally a backup LB on Bum Phillips’ Luv Ya’ Blue teams, but are there times you hear the swishing of the pom-poms after something Ted says?

I’ll hear that song and that swish for as long as I live. That was the football I loved and I’m fortunate to have experienced it, for it is gone forever.