Jeff from Des Moines, IA
Vic, is Tony Pauline a real person or your nom de plume? It seems like his feedback on players comes pretty quick.
Tony’s real. I text him a name and he texts back his opinion, and Tony doesn’t mince words. When he likes a guy, he gushes. When he doesn’t like a guy, he’s harsh. I soften his commentary because I don’t think it’s fair to be harsh to a player chasing his dream. Use that as code for he hates him.
Jason from Menomonee Falls, WI
It’s a pretty amazing time to be a mediocre QB. How would GM Vic rationalize spending that much on Sam Bradford?
Take a walk out back to the veteran pocket-passer tree. You see anything you like lying on the ground? Do you see anything hanging on the tree that looks ripe enough to eat? The pickings are slim at quarterback. Mike McCarthy has talked about college football doing a better job of preparing quarterbacks to play in the NFL, but I don’t see it. I see a position that’s stressed for ready-to-play talent. Bradford knows how to play the position. He has the tools and the training. The Eagles signed him to a two-year deal, which indicates to me they think they can get more out of him, but they don’t want to commit beyond the immediate future. Imagine what it’s like for the teams that don’t have an Aaron Rodgers.
Luke from La Crosse, WI
Vic, a photo was released of a trim Eddie Lacy with Tony Horton of P90X. I think he’s well on his way for meeting his offseason goals.
Lacy is a good guy. He’s a fun and loving man, and I hope Coach McCarthy’s words will inspire Lacy to a commitment that’ll put his career over the top. At his Hall of Fame induction last summer, Jerome Bettis spoke of getting those words from his former coach, Lou Holtz. Lacy isn’t the only guy to put on a few pounds. Just remember, the next time Lacy flattens a defensive back, he didn’t do that by being small. Power backs have to walk a tightrope when it comes to playing weight. They have to be big enough to be powerful, but light enough to not lose their speed.
Chaston from Rexburg, ID
I am doing a research report in my advanced neuroscience class on the risk of long-term effects from brain injury. I learned about a treatment called HBOT (hyper-baric oxygen treatment), which is one of the few treatments to show symptoms appreciably. Do you know of any teams using this treatment currently?
The Jaguars were using it 20 years ago. One of the players – it might’ve been Mark Brunell – spent so much time in the chamber they teased him about having it air-conditioned.
Max from Hoffman Estates, IL
Why do you think the team seems prepared to let Casey Hayward walk? I was impressed with Randall and Rollins this past season, but it seems like capable starting-caliber corners are already at a premium in this league. Am I missing something in his on or off-field record?
I think Casey Hayward is a quality player at a premium position, and I think the Packers share that opinion. What you might be missing is this: You can’t sign everybody. In the salary cap era, you must be prepared to allow players to leave. Coach Noll called it a graduating class, and he didn’t like it, which he said is one of the reasons he retired. There is no stockpiling in the salary cap era. The Packers would seem to have a stable of young cornerbacks.
Jake from La Crosse, WI
I’d like to know more about the compensatory pick system and how it’s decided. Davon House and Tramon Williams played a ton of snaps in Jacksonville and Cleveland respectively. Let’s make sure we root for Hayward to do well elsewhere.
I love the comp picks system. I think it’s so favorable to building a roster and managing the salary cap that it’ll become increasingly popular with teams, especially next year when teams will be able to trade those picks. What happens if it becomes so popular it threatens free agency? The players won’t like that and they’d likely try to change the comp picks system in the next CBA. I can see that happening. Why? Because picks are more valuable than players. That’s long been the perception in the NFL. Davon House is the perfect example of how the comp picks system can work. House was a fourth-round pick. Now, the Packers are likely to get a fourth-round pick for losing him in free agency. So the Packers got the use of the player for four years, let him leave in free agency and are likely to get back a fourth-round pick to use on another player. This isn’t happening by accident. What’s not to like?
Jenny from Kenosha, WI
Vic, it seems more logical and cost effective to have free agency after the draft. Do you see a time when the NFL changes the timing?
The players don’t want a more cost-effective approach. The players want spending. They are unlikely to agree to moving free agency back.
Craig from Brookfield, WI
Which second or third-year player on the Packers roster does Prophet Vic see having a big year in 2016-17?
My guess is that if this question was put to a fan poll, Jeff Janis would get 99 percent of the vote. I say Janis.
Conor from Milwaukee, WI
Does the new Titletown District bring Lambeau Field anywhere closer to hosting a Super Bowl? I get the logistical constraints on hosting an event like that, but the thought of the sound of an opening Super Bowl kickoff echoing through Lambeau gives me chills.
I don’t see Green Bay hosting a Super Bowl, but I see Titletown District making Lambeau Field an even greater destination for Packers fans. The Packers are more than a football team; they’re a place. Every dollar that’s been invested in Lambeau Field and its adjacent real estate has been returned to the team and the area several times over.
Damone from San Jose, CA
Vic, do you see the Packers trading up in the first? Or is the draft deep enough to sit where the Packers are?
I haven’t seen a mock draft that hasn’t assigned the Packers a worthy player. Why trade up when you can get a good player where you are?
Josh from Los Banos, CA
Vic, has your inbox exploded with sign Roddy White comments yet?
Yep. There’s no place like home.
Greg from Ann Arbor, MI
Vic, what happens to prospects like Louisiana Tech RB Kenneth Dixon, who had a great college career and flashed during Senior Bowl practices, but who disappointed during the NFL Combine? NFL scouts have to value real game footage and full-contact practices over a bunch of non-contact drills, right?
Yes, they do. When a guy performs better in games than he does in gym class, he’s letting you know he’s a football player, not a gymnast. Personnel directors are looking for football players.
Emmett from Monahans, TX
You have a DL and LB graded the same. Who does GM Vic choose? Need or big guy?
In a tie, I pick for need.
Sherman from Blue Lake, CA
I assume Ted Thompson works with a team of scouts to determine his draft board. In the end, how much influence do you think his staff has on this process?
Nobody knows what the Packers’ process is. That’s proprietary information and teams don’t share that information with the outside world. Knowing the respect Thompson has for his scouts, however, I have no doubt they have a strong influence on how draft prospects are graded and ranked.
Brad from Parker, CO
Can the team keep applying the franchise tag year after year on one-year terms to keep the player?
You’re describing the career of Walter Jones. He was tagged three consecutive years, totaling $20 million in salary. Then he signed a long-term deal for $20 million. He took the risk of signing the tender and playing through the tag, and he profited. It is, however, a risk most players don’t want to take, and it’s a risk most teams don’t want to take, either. The risk of injury is very real. Both sides lose when injury occurs during a franchise-tag year.
Tim from Greensboro, NC
If Cousins signs the franchise offer and is then injured, does he still get $20 million?
Franchise tag money is guaranteed the moment the player signs the tender.
Nick from Somerset, NJ
How would having game film on the sidelines help the game of football?
I don’t think it would. I’m strongly opposed to the invasion of technology in the game. Imagine Vince Lombardi saying to Bart Starr, “Then look at the game tape and let’s get the hell out of here.”
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