Adam from Tampa Bay, FL
Is it unrealistic to hope Kevin King becomes our No. 1 corner this season?
Ceilings are as bad as expectations.
Mike from McFarland, WI
Vic, if the editor gods had forbidden you from writing for the sports page, what other section would you have written for?
I would’ve enjoyed covering politics, and never more than right now. This is the most outrageous era of politics in my lifetime. This Russia hacking thing would push Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the table to page two. I wake up every morning excited for the most recent middle-of-the-night tweet. This week, we get Comey. He’s baaack!
Justin from Los Angeles, CA
Aaron Rodgers seems to have a prodigious memory, in addition to that chip on his shoulder about his draft day. Do you think he could rattle off all 23 teams that passed on him?
No, but I’m sure he’ll always remember one team that passed on him. When I was a kid, smack dab in the height of the baby boom, coaches in my Little League held a draft of players graduating from the midget ranks to the Little League ranks. I’m serious! Well, my neighbor was one of the coaches and he passed on me, and I’ll never forget it.
Mike from Rib Lake, WI
Vic, I just want to share with you some nuggets. I always appreciated the outside football gems you would share from time to time. I used OK as a response to a comment directed towards me rather than retaliate with an ego-driven response. It felt so good. I experienced my first hot air balloon ride on May 12. It was a beautiful experience. Our balloon was called winsome.
When you stop being new, you start getting old.
Chris from Eau Claire, WI
Is the 90-man roster lasting through the preseason supposed to allow coaches to use preseason Week 4 as a bye week? Work all your players for three weeks and then reward the stars that are guaranteed to stay with a week off and still have enough extra bodies to do it?
I see it as another player-safety move. It’s a means for limiting reps.
Jason from Lake Geneva, WI
When was the last time the Packers didn’t have a top notch, feared wide receiver? Seems to me there’s been a household name on the roster for decades.
When was the last time the Packers didn’t have a top notch, feared quarterback?
Matt from Hartford, WI
Whenever I get upset at the Packers for a blown call, or pick, I think to my favorite non-biblical quote: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt. Do you have a favorite quote?
Just win, baby.
Shawn from Fort Collins, CO
I feel it’s difficult to measure success on the defensive line because it’s not a flashy position. With that being said, what kind of stats does Kenny Clark have to achieve in order to have a successful sophomore season? He might not make the tackle but he eats up the double team so the linebacker makes the play.
You’ve answered your own question. Often, Clark’s job is to hold the point of attack, but there’s no stat for that. In a gap-control, 4-3 system, defensive line is a flashy position. It’s about penetrating and disrupting the play, and effectiveness can be judged by tackles for loss. In a two-gap, 3-4 system, playing defensive line, especially nose tackle, is all about the tape, not the stats. Joel Steed is probably the best nose tackle I’ve covered and his career stats would give you reason to believe he was a benchwarmer.
Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL
I noticed on Saturday that Mike feels the Bucs are a sleeper contender this year. I agree and I’m thankful we are playing them on the frozen tundra in December. The coldest Jameis has ever been is when he walks through the freezer aisle at Publix. Any thoughts?
I agree. The meat section at the Bi-Lo in Edisto is painful. I literally breathe a sigh of relief when I turn the corner into aisle two and the canned goods. I’ll never forget the look on Fred Taylor’s face when the Jaguars de-planed in Appleton in 2004. He told me later how much he hated playing in cold weather. Be that as it may, Fred had a big night in a Jaguars win in that 2004 game. The moral of the story is: The weather can favor the home team, but it can’t win for you. That’s the lesson I learned in that game. I didn’t think the Jaguars had any chance of winning that game.
Corey from Tulsa, OK
How does one go about even getting mentioned or recognized for the Packers Fan Hall of Fame? Living in another state, I assume, would be next to impossible.
You can nominate yourself.
Jim from Westboro, WI
Dickey probably threw a better ball than Rodgers. The guy couldn’t move and didn’t have the supporting cast of our greatest, so we’ll never know how good he could have been. People have a tendency to look at the quarterback as the one who wins or loses games and give him way too much credit. A great offense has 11 players doing their jobs well on every snap.
I’ve never seen a quarterback who throws or threw a better ball than Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron from Phoenix, AZ
The only good football movie is The Waterboy? Have you not heard of Remember the Titans, The Replacements, Friday Night Lights, Invincible, Rudy, for crying out loud?
Football movies stink. It’s just not a good sport for making movies. Its drama is too real, too genuine. It can’t be re-created.
Jace from Eagle, ID
What’s the biggest adjustment for kickers and punters from college to the NFL? Although the hash marks are an adjustment for kickers, the biggest adjustment has to be the 33-yard extra point in the NFL.
For kickers, the biggest adjustment is the pressure. They’re kicking for the money. They’re kicking for everybody’s money.
Ben from De Pere, WI
Our defense appears to have an insane amount of potential, but how do the coaches convert that potential into on-field production? What is the magic glue they use to put all the pieces together?
There’s no magic glue. The coaches teach technique and they fit their players’ ability to execute that technique into a sensible scheme. Early last season, I think we saw the Packers defense win with scheme, but as injuries mounted and the ranks thinned, scheme declined in depth and success. At some point in every season, the coaches have to turn the team over to the team. A team wins with talent and execution, not glue.
Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI
Sacks or picks? Where do you see us finishing best next season and what names give you the most hope?
If you’re asking me to pick between rush or cover, I’ll pick rush. I don’t think you can win without it. The names that give me hope are Matthews, Perry, Fackrell, Elliott, Biegel and Daniels.
Tyler from De Pere, WI
Can you think of any examples in which a team patched at a position and that pushed out a young prospect that later excelled with another team?
Johnny Unitas comes to mind.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, Vince Lombardi said, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” Do you have a favorite Lombardi quote?
A lot of the quotes attributed to Lombardi don’t resonate with me, but I can think of one that does: “Run it and let’s get the hell out of here.” That’s my kind of coachspeak: direct and forceful. It seized the moment. When you factor in the drama and the impact that one play would have on professional football, I think they might be the most powerful words ever spoken on a football field. The fact the play was a running play really hits home with me. Thank God he didn’t say “Pass it and let’s get the hell out of here.” That wouldn’t work for me.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
Vic, in your time around the NFL, who are the best undrafted free agents you’ve seen?
Donnie Shell is the best undrafted player I’ve covered. Willie Wood is a legendary UDFA. So are Tony Romo, James Harrison and several others, including Kurt Warner.
Don from Cedar Rapids, IA
Vic, always take care of your covfefe and your covfefe will take care of you.
Just covfefe, baby. Most would think that’s a typo, but the people who read this column know what I mean.
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