Henrik from Uppsala, Sweden
Vic, I’m seeing lots of comments on social media about Beyonce’s performance being racist and having an anti-police message. I don’t understand this and did not notice it in any way. What are your thoughts on this?
The moment the first half ended, I went outside to clean the charcoal grill. I saw none of the halftime show, which I avoid each year as though it was a stomach virus. I have no doubt the show was not something I would enjoy or even understand. When I returned to my chair, halftime was over, the game was about to resume and I had a clean grill.
Joe from Pontiac, IL
What moves do the Packers need to make to improve our run game for next season? I know having Jordy back will help, but how much?
Balance is always the key, but the Packers also need an in-shape and re-committed Eddie Lacy. When he is on his game and resolute, he’s as good as they come. I see this as a crossroads season for Lacy. If he makes the right turn, he’s all the running back the Packers need.
Mike from Milwaukee, WI
I can’t help but feel the Broncos’ win doesn’t validate any style of personnel management over another. In the last few years, the Broncos and Packers are neck and neck in Super Bowl wins. Get back to me in the next few seasons to see where each team winds up. Looking at the talented players expected to leave Denver in free agency and the soon-to-be lack of “The Man,” I think fans of free-agent frenzy may want to cling tightly to memories of this win; it won’t be pretty going forward.
If winning validates, does losing invalidate? A lot of teams that spend in free agency don’t win the Super Bowl; the same can be said of a lot of draft-and-develop teams. Only one team can win. In my opinion, using the Super Bowl champion as the example of how to do it is to embrace the exception to the rule.
Ron from Ellensburg, WA
With so many first-round picks, how is it our defense isn’t the focal point of the team? Shouldn’t the area where we draft the most be the best?
I think defense was the strength of the Packers in 2015.
Joey from Marinete, WI
Vic, can Packers fans ever be happy? We had a rough season, but does that really mean we need to spend cap money on free agents? We’ve contended almost every season under Thompson, and we’ve won it all. Why do the fans think there’s something to be fixed?
First of all, 10-6 and coming within an overtime of the NFC title game is not a rough season. The first thing Packers fans need to do, in my opinion, is adjust their expectations. If the last seven years isn’t viewed as winning, then the expectations are the problem. Philosophically, nothing needs to be fixed.
Jesse from Ham Lake, MN
Vic, you have been talking a lot about blending free agency with draft-and-develop. I don’t believe Thompson has achieved this. He is too stubborn with his picks. There are a plethora of ILBs set to hit the market. I believe this is the position most desperately needed for plug and play. If we don’t buy one, I’m going to freak.
Keep your eye on those linebackers scheduled to become free agents. Watch for how many of them make it to free agency. I think you might be surprised by how that stockpile begins to dwindle.
Danny from Bakersfield, CA
Vic, now that Brett Favre is going into the Hall of Fame, what do you think the chances are of the Packers playing in this year’s Hall of Fame Game?
After seeing the throng of Steelers fans Jerome Bettis attracted to Canton last summer, I think it’s a lock the Packers will open their preseason in Canton this summer. Favre is going to turn Canton green, in more ways than one.
Brian from Maple Grove, MN
Vic, I’ve now seen two Broncos QBs win the Super Bowl with similarly dismal stats. Peyton completed 13 passes for 141 yards, no TDs and one interception; same for Elway in XXXII. Do you really need “The Man” or just a dominating defense to win the big one?
You’re swimming upstream if you try to win it all the way the Broncos did. The two wins to which you referred are two decades apart. How many Super Bowls in that period were won by teams that didn’t have “The Man”?
Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL
Is there a difference between players’ personalities over the years in which you have had first-hand experiences with?
The players of today are worldlier. The players of today have a greater understanding of their worth. The old guys lived in fear of being cut.
Andrew from Walla Walla, WA
Vic, I’m with you on the Packers philosophy, to a point. I wouldn’t mind a bold move every few years, though. I would like to see a bold move this offseason, like trading a second and maybe fifth-rounder for Josh Gordon, who would be a cheap rental for a year on the cap. He’s got one year left on his rookie contract and would have Jordy and Aaron to help keep him in line. What would you think about this move? Would it be worth the price if it came with a Super Bowl?
No trade comes with a Super Bowl guarantee. I think what you’re suggesting is less likely to happen than me trading my two best khakis for those pants Rickie Fowler was wearing in the Waste Management Open on Sunday. What was that all about?
Tom from Appleton, WI
Vic, thanks for answering my questions yesterday. I wrote the questions, having read you for years, as equal parts ribbing and self-questioning. I have actually agreed in large measure with your comments about the Broncos in recent years and am somewhat fearful this will fuel fandimonium for free agents. At times, I also thought the Packers could do a better job of plugging in free agency. Where does a more nuanced conversation start on this topic?
Zaedon from Graytown, OH
Cam Newton’s press conference smacked of disappointment and hurt. I found it truly refreshing Cam didn’t hide his emotions with canned answers. Throughout the game, I could feel Cam’s emotion. Why are so many people up in arms a football player showed real emotion during and after the biggest game of his life? The Broncos won the Super Bowl in spite of Manning’s interception, fumble and all-around poor performance. Why does Peyton get a free pass for being the anchor that almost sunk his team?
I like the open mind with which you’re viewing Newton’s behavior. Manning has always been a gracious and dignified interview, and that’s why he’s getting a pass, along with having been one of the great quarterbacks in football history. Newton is an immense talent and he’s headed for a lot of great seasons. I think he can curry the favor of the media and fans – not to mention a greater endorsement presence – with a more welcoming interview personality.
David from Sunnyvale, CA
I continuously wondered why the Packers missed Jordy Nelson more than the Panthers seemed to miss Kelvin Benjamin. It seems to me that, for each team, the loss was most noticeable when they played the Broncos.
In my opinion, the pass Jerricho Cotchery dropped at the 3-yard line was the play of the game. Newton dropped the ball right into Cotchery’s hands. If the Panthers score a touchdown there, it’s game on. The Broncos wouldn’t have been able to play around their passing game. The Panthers really missed Benjamin on that play. The difference between winning and losing is so slim.
John from Farmington, MN
Vic, wasn’t Denver a Pittsburgh fumble away from being out of the playoffs and not getting their investment out of their free agents and Manning? Change one play and everyone would be calling Denver’s spending a waste, with the team heading into a complete offseason rebuild. I’d consider their win the exception, not the rule.
I completely agree. The Steelers moved the ball for a lot of yards in that game, and they did it with two backup running backs and without Antonio Brown. No fumble, no title, and the Broncos are facing a cut and gut. The difference is so, so slim.