Federico from Montevideo, Uruguay
Vic, I’m very aware about the salary cap even when I’m not an expert in that matter, but I don’t see fans celebrating at the end of the season a healthy salary cap; they love to celebrate championships. We seem to be in the era of celebrating healthy salary caps instead of championships. How we can change that?
In a subtle way, you’re advocating trashing the future for winning a championship now. How has that worked for the Broncos? I was covering the Jaguars when they embraced the same “future is now” approach, and they plunged themselves into the worst salary cap mess in history and devastated the franchise and still didn’t win a championship. I celebrate a healthy salary cap because I believe the formula for winning championships is making sure you’re a playoff contender every year.
Jon from Bath, England
I seem to recall you were big on Jason Pierre-Paul a season or two ago. Now he’s a free agent. Would you take a punt on him?
I’d do my homework on him. He’s had health issues. Where is he with those issues? Has he recovered from them? Does he still have game or have his health issues taken his game from him? What will he cost? Do I believe he would be worth his cost and can I fit him into my salary cap without damaging it? Those are the questions I would have to answer favorably, and my guess is after I answered them all, I’d try to find the next Pierre-Paul in the draft. It’s a young man’s game.
Jordan from Riverside, CA
Fourteen of the past 15 Super Bowl winners did not have any player that would be considered a top-tier wide receiver (the 2006 Colts being the lone exception). Explain to me again, Vic, why people are so fascinated with taking receivers in the first round of the draft?
It’s wide receiver fever and it’s a terrible disease. Ask Matt Millen about it. We see touchdowns, and they make our heart beat faster. We say to ourselves, “Oh, I’ll find that big guy in the later rounds,” but we don’t, and then we regret what we’ve done because the competition, the teams that are beating us, are beating us with the big guys we didn’t draft and with the wide receivers they found later in the draft. You gotta get the big guys early.
Lance from Chicago, IL
Vic, who was your inspiration as a journalist, and who did you learn the most from along the way?
My first sports editor was big on not using the word “that”. I’d hand him my copy, he’d read it and then hand it back and say, “OK, now take out the thats.” What I’d find out is that in most cases “that” wasn’t necessary. For example, take out the “that” in “What I’d find out is that in most cases.” In the old newspaper days, space was at a premium.
Matthew from Brooklyn, NY
Realistically, who do you think the Packers should draft?
The combine is going to begin ordering guys. What I’m seeing right now where the Packers are picking in the first round are some cornerbacks. I’m not seeing linebackers, but that could change next week. Hold on another week, please.
Rusty from Fond du Lac, WI
Besides the Packers’ own free agents, who do you think the fans are going to want to sign the most this year?
Ndamukong Suh is leading the way right now. Yeah, sure.
Shawn from Colby, WI
You have the No. 1 pick in the draft and you are intent on staying true to BAP. You have heard the trade offers for the pick, but they aren’t good enough. Who are you taking and why?
I don’t know who that player is but he would have to be someone I believe is worthy of the pick and, as I’ve said, I wouldn’t dismiss any player according to the position he plays, and that includes quarterback.
Jim from Arlington, VA
Vic, a friend and I discussed picking according to need or value in the draft. My friend argued that teams are not able to assign different values to similar players. In other words, he claims the best teams can do is to group players in similar categories, which in turn implies that you should pick the player from the group that fits your need best. How well can teams differentiate the value of two similar players?
I’ll agree with your friend to a degree. For example, if the next four players on your board are graded 6.54, 6.55, 6.56 and 6.57, I’ll lump them in a 6.5 group and pick one according to need. I don’t think you should get ridiculous about adhering to BAP, but you have to know where the cliff is and make sure you never go over it.
Phil from Ashland, WI
Vic, you know what record transcends the ages? Favre’s consecutive games started, and a quarterback at that, the most vulnerable position, game in and game out.
I completely agree, especially as you go back to the era when quarterbacks weren’t protected as they are today.
Mike from Eau Claire, WI
With the Packers having an already established team, do you think Ted Thompson’s draft approach changes to find players who could make an immediate impact but may have a lower ceiling vs. a player that may have a higher ceiling but will take a few years to develop?
What’s wrong with his old way? Eddie Lacy didn’t provide immediate impact? David Bakhtiari? Corey Linsley? Why does everyone want to change what’s working?
Davy from Franklin, TN
Vic, I am too young to have seen the old guys play, but those who say they can’t compare to today’s athletes should ask themselves if Josh Sitton could kick three 30-yard field goals after playing the entire game run-blocking?
You da man, Davy. Bobby Layne was a kicker. Lou Groza was a defensive lineman. Why don’t we celebrate what the old guys did, instead of living in contempt of it?
John from Kaukauna, WI
Since you’re in Edisto, what’s your favorite Low Country joint?
It’s a tie between Whaley’s shrimp shack and Po Pigs Bo-B-Q.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
Don’t you think the Packers have to keep at least one of Williams or House?
Yeah, I’d hate to see a position as important as cornerback get decimated.
Josh from Agawam, MA
Would you have made the trade for Favre in 1992?
Probably not. I doubt I would’ve been capable of the vision Ron Wolf demonstrated.
Andy from Tokyo, Japan
Sometimes someone will ask a question and you will provide an answer that sets off waves of other questions and answers. I think those questions should be inducted into a sort of “Ask Vic” Hall of Fame for being so impactful.
That’s why I say the readers write this column.
Hokuala from Waianae, HI
Vic, I truly believe that Mike McCarthy is one of the best coaches in the NFL today. So, if he says that he’s going to give up play-calling duties, I think he’s earned our trust.
First of all, take out the thats. As far as this play-calling rumor, let’s remember it’ll still be Mike McCarthy’s plays being called, and they’ll be called by someone schooled by Coach McCarthy and in whom Coach McCarthy trusts to call what he wants called, and if Coach McCarthy doesn’t like what’s being called, he’ll change it. So, who’s calling the plays?
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