Scott from Lincoln City, OR
Vic, were you aware there’s a racehorse named Ask Vic?
Let me know when it wins something.
Troy from Madison, WI
Drafting a quality defensive lineman would absolutely help relieve our inside linebackers. How about drafting at least three out of this deep defensive line draft? Better chance of finding that quality guy, right?
I call that drafting the same guy, and I don’t like it unless in each case the player is at the top of your board when it’s your turn to pick. Draft picks are too valuable to waste on insurance picks. I’ve seen it done when a team thinks it’s one player away. That’s when it tends to really be problematic. The Jaguars thought they were one player away in 2008. They needed a pass rusher; I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that. They traded up in the first round and drafted Derrick Harvey, and then traded up in the second round and drafted Quentin Groves. They were both busts. The trade that produced the Harvey pick produced Joe Flacco for the Ravens. If ever there was an example of how need picking can backfire, that’s it.
Jon from Cedar Rapids, IA
Vic, I know the words to the Karlos Dansby song. It goes to the tune of take me out to the ballgame.
I saw “Oh Dansby Boy” in the comments section yesterday and I laughed about it all day. The pipes, the pipes are really calling, Dansby boy. I love this column’s comments section. It’s OK to have fun. This is football. It’s a game. It’s meant to be enjoyed.
Jeremy from Appleton, WI
Vic, the catch rule mentality of “if dad says no, they run to mom” is because of our thirst for the science of wanting to know the truth on all things. It is the difference of why in the past they just played football and now we have to know the science of a catch. Am I right?
No, it’s the science of we can’t accept no for an answer. It’s the science of entitlement. It’s the science of taking ourselves too seriously. It’s the science of not appreciating that life is good. Life is good and life for Packers fans is great. It’s a shame so many fans are missing the joy of the great run of success this team is on.
Christian from Toluca, Mexico
Were Reggie White or Charles Woodson value free agents? It seems they were a big piece to an already good team that put us over the top to get us the ring.
White was a break-the-bank signing. Woodson came later in the free agency period; he was a value signing.
Trevor from Wausau, WI
I’m sure many in your inbox are mad the Patriots traded for Martellus Bennett and the Packers didn’t, but is there any way the Bears would give Green Bay a fair deal in that trade?
It came as no surprise to me Bennett was traded to an AFC team. Think of how the wolves would’ve howled had the Bears traded Bennett to the Packers and Bennett then did the chip-on-the-shoulder routine in beating the Bears for the next several years.
Jeff from Miami, FL
Does the role of Datone Jones in the defensive scheme change the Packers’ needs for an outside linebacker vs. a defensive lineman?
I don’t think it does right now, but that was an interesting late-season experiment and I’m looking forward to seeing if it’ll continue.
Jerry from Lancaster, CA
You said the most surprising early retirement you have seen is Mike Reid or Barry Sanders. What about Jim Brown?
That’s a good one, but it’s different in that Brown’s retirement was provoked. He was filming the “Dirty Dozen” when production ran over into training camp. Art Modell called out Brown by threatening to fine him $1,500 for each week of training camp he missed. It was a big mistake. You don’t call out Jim Brown. Plus, Brown had already said 1966 would be his final season, so I don’t think Brown’s retirement had the surprise element Reid’s and Sanders’ did.
Ross from Stephenson, MI
Do you have a problem with Ragland’s strength, just 13 reps at 225 for a linebacker playing at around 260 pounds? Or do you turn on the tape and try to discern if he crushes people?
Just think how much better he’ll be after you get him into your weight room. You don’t draft a guy for what he is, you draft him for what you believe he can become. He must grow as a player. The jump from college football to the NFL is too great for a player to stay the way he is.
Brian from Schertz, TX
Vic, a few weeks ago, you answered a question about the best kicker you ever covered. You answered Anderson and Crosby. When you get questions like that, do you feel obligated to put a Packer in the answer to appease your readers? It would not bother me at all if the best or greatest you have covered is a Steeler or Jaguar.
Ask me who the best left tackle is I’ve covered.
Joe from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, how was your time covering the Steelers draft in the ’70s? Mainly, they were a pretty dominant team and drafted near the bottom, similar to the Packers now.
The team was built on high picks: Greene, Bradshaw, Blount, Ham and Harris arrived before winning did. The ’74 draft – Swann, Lambert, Stallworth and Webster – put the Steelers over the top. During their Super Bowl run, when they picked last four times, their drafts were not productive. They had trouble identifying picks that were good enough to make their roster – their No. 1 pick in ’75 was left unprotected in the expansion draft and become one of Seattle’s all-time interceptions leaders – and they began trying to catch lightning in a bottle. It didn’t work. Drafting near the bottom is a difficult cross to bear. The inverse-order draft might be the greatest invention in professional sports history.
Corey from Eatonville, WA
The Packers let free agents walk. The Patriots trade those players the year before free agency, if they know they can’t pay them, and recoup the draft pick during said trade. Do you like the Packers’ or Patriots’ method better?
One way allows you to have the services of that player in a contract year, which means he’ll be motivated. The other way allows you to recoup the value of that player by acquiring a draft pick to use on a player for your future. Can you win without the guy you’re trading? If you can’t, I wouldn’t trade him.
Lee from Marshfield, WI
Vic, what has been your favorite Packers game so far since being in Green Bay?
Does favorite mean victory? If it does, I love the first one I covered, the 2011 opener against New Orleans. I love the 2013 finale in Chicago. I love the big rally in Dallas that year. The win in New York in ’11 is a favorite. How about at Detroit this past season? Most memorable matters more to me. Right now, the last one, in Arizona, is that game.
Jason from Fort Collins, CO
Vic, you mentioned the Darrelle Revis tree as well as your high respect of him in another past article. What’s up? Any story to share on the high praise?
He’s the best cover corner I’ve ever seen, but there’s more. It’s his pro-perfect attitude. It’s as though he was born to play pro football. He’s always in control, and he’ll play anywhere for anybody; just show him the money. He comes and he goes, but his performance doesn’t waver. He amazes me. He intrigues me. He is one cool dude.
Julian from Las Cruces, NM
When did professional football become more popular than college football?
It was at some point in the ’70s; that’s when pro football became the pulse of American sports. I don’t think it became really distinct until recently, when the explosion of bowl games began to reveal how disinterested American sports fans are in college football. Conference free agency and the movement across geographic lines have hurt college football immensely. It’s lost its regionalism. The lack of a strong and central ruling body is, in my opinion, the reason for all of this.
Kyle from Spooner, WI
So it’s best available player, and need settles the ties. Does scheme, then, influence need or vice versa?
Talent trumps scheme. They’ll find a way to fit talent into the scheme, or adjust the scheme to accommodate talent.
Ron from Dumfries, VA
Vic, if a free agent is interested in playing for a certain team, is there some unwritten rule that he can’t have his agent call them?
No, that’s what you want. When the agent calls you, you got him. When you call the agent, he’s got you.
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