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Forget about that hangover; Seahawks will be on fire

Posted Apr 25, 2014

Here's an idea for dealing with the Florida heat


Mike from Kamloops, BC

I just read an interesting mock draft that had Mosley falling to the Packers at 21 and Borland falling all the way down to the bottom of round three. Would you ever consider drafting both Mosley at 21 and Borland if he falls into your lap in even round two?

I’ll take them both right now and move on to the third round.

Brad from Delray Beach, FL

Vic, I’m in a crew of 10 guys that pick one Packers away game a season to meet at. This will be our seventh season. We always wear Packers gear and have, except for good-natured ribbing, never felt disdain from opponents’ fans. It could be strength in numbers, but a win on the road always shuts people up.

I think fans of the home team take it easy on traveling Packers fans. I really mean that. I think it’s because Packers fans have a reputation for being respectful and friendly. I would submit that Packers fans’ reputation for winsomeness precedes them.

Pat from Altoona, WI

Vic, I would like to know which quarterback, in your opinion, may be on the draft board that McCarthy would love to work with?

I think he’d like to have an athletic type, a guy that can run and throw and offers some playbook creativity. Coach McCarthy has never expressed that desire to me, it’s just a feeling I have. The game is going to continue to evolve to favor mobile quarterbacks.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

Vic, when are you going to start writing your column in Latin?

Ego eram an ara puer.

Andreas from Oslo, Norway

Just watched the prospect preview on Tajh Boyd. Would love to see Mike McCarthy take him and utilize him in some way. Do you believe his draft stock is hurting because of Tim Tebow’s failure in the NFL?

That’s not it. Boyd is a guy I really liked going into last season, and then he laid an egg, especially in the prime-time game against Florida State. The Senior Bowl was an opportunity for Boyd to recover some of his allure, but he didn’t. He was wild at the Senior Bowl, too. Boyd is one of those athletic quarterbacks that intrigue me. If you can settle this guy down, he’s got the talent to play in this league. He’s got a strong arm and he runs well, but something has caused him to lose his accuracy. Is it a mechanics problem? Did he lose his confidence? He’s a guy whose name I’d circle on my draft board. In the late rounds, I’d take a shot at him.

Jake from Harrisburg, SD

Vic, gotta tell you, I love your column and the realness it provides. It’s refreshing to read during the offseason. I saw the first prediction list Wednesday night and after skimming through it I counted the total win-loss record of every team. It had the entire league cumulated to 35 wins above .500, which clearly is impossible and irresponsible to print.

This is an insightful and beautifully composed observation. It says something very important. It says the offseason is all about hope. It also says the days of patience are over. Everybody wants to win and they want to win now.

Jim from Fairview Heights, IL

Great call on the Seahawks game! This might be the best time to play them. They may be suffering from a Super Bowl hangover. Any thoughts?

Forget about that hangover stuff. The kickoff opener will be a Super Bowl championship celebration and the Packers have been invited to the party. The Seahawks and their fans will be on fire for this one, and so will the Packers. This is the best time to play the Seahawks because the Packers are going to find out in the first game of the season what they have under the hood. It’s not a game that can hurt the Packers. It’s a game that’s going to challenge and test the Packers. I see that as a good thing.

Kyle from Salt Lake City, UT

Instant replay is ruining every sport. Basketball officials consistently review shots to ensure it was a three-point shot. Did refs used to make calls with more confidence? Were they just better? I’m so tired of reviews.

Replay review is the worst thing that’s ever happened to sports because the moment it was taken out of the box, there was no chance of putting it back in. It was destined to be overused, and it’s only going to get worse. I don’t like the idea of cherry-picking the plays that are subject to replay review. I think it’s unfair and it upsets the balance of mistakes. We’ve made getting the call right too important and, in the process, we’re attempting to turn sport into science. That’s the one that bothers me the most. These are games. Their outcomes are not important. What’s important is our reaction to those outcomes, and the more replay review is applied to these outcomes, the more egregiously we react to them.

Chris from El Dorado Hills, CA

Vic, what is Tony’s evaluation of Ryan Shazier and where does he see him fitting?

I’ve already provided Tony Pauline’s evaluation of Shazier, so I’ll give you mine. Shazier reminds me of Zach Brown, who was a second-round pick of the Titans in 2012. Brown is a smallish but fast linebacker, as Shazier is. Brown had a nice start to his career, but then fell off a little last season and was benched. I really liked Brown at the 2012 Senior Bowl. He was fast and forceful. He packed a punch in blitz pickup drills. Shazier is the same kind of player, but when you’re talking about small/fast linebackers, you have to have a plan for keeping the blockers off them because the guards and fullbacks will wear them out. The Packers two-gap. They use their defensive linemen to eat blocks. It would allow Shazier to run to the ball, which is his strong suit. Shazier also reminds me of a guy I covered, Mike Peterson, a very underrated player.

John from Iola, WI

So do you think the Packers will go to the Super Bowl this season?

I think they have real hope of going to the Super Bowl, and that’s all you should want at this point in the year. You can’t go to the Super Bowl in April, but it’s important to know your team has a legitimate chance to win it all. There aren’t a lot of teams whose fans can feel that way. They can delude themselves into believing it, but deep down inside they know it’s just a dream. For the Packers, it’s real.

Mitch from Backus, MN

What player or coach is or was the most entertaining, thoughtful or profound interview you’ve talked to and why?

It’s Joe Greene. He had a special feel for the game and a tremendous gift for and willingness to express it. I think Joe is a guy who needed the media as much as the media needed him. He needed to achieve perspective almost daily, and I think it helped him achieve perspective to offer his views to the media. He had a way about him that made football easy and fun to write. I’ll never forget the night the Steelers died. It was in the Astrodome in a loss to the Oilers in 1980. It pretty much eliminated the Steelers from playoff contention, which ended their run of consecutive playoff seasons and Super Bowl titles. Joe said, “They put the second number on the tombstone. Now we can rest.” How do you not like writing something like that?

Jed from Bristol, England

Word is spreading about the playoffs expanding to 14 teams. What’s your take on that? I reckon it’s not a good idea; top tier teams won’t have to put in as much effort.

I don’t get that part. Expanding the playoffs to 14 teams is a lock and I’m all for it. I say expand it to 16 teams and nobody gets a bye. Hey, it’s winter, the football is fantastic and I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than watch a playoff game. The more, the better. Please, get rid of the preseason games. They’re not good. The playoffs are great.

Evan from Stevens Point, WI

Every day, while reading your article, my girlfriend asks why I even like this “stupid column.” I think she’s jealous of you, Vic. She just doesn’t get it.

Dump her.

Tom from Gurnee, IL

Vic, which guy are you, the sarcastic guy with an edge who writes this column, or the respectful, thoughtful guy who interviews Packers greats? I like the fact that you are both. If you wrote this column the way you interview the players, I wouldn’t come back every day. And if you interview the players the way you write this column, I wouldn’t look forward to the interviews.

I don’t know how to answer your question except to say this: I enjoy expressing my opinions to the readers of this column. It helps me achieve perspective. I guess there’s some Joe Greene in me.

Mark from Stemach, WA

Vic, who is the person who makes the NFL schedule each season? Please provide us insight.

His name is Howard Katz and he is the NFL’s head of broadcasting. His main task is to create a 256-game regular season schedule that will reward the fans, challenge the league’s 32 teams fairly and, most of all, please the league’s TV partners (CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and NFL Network). Katz is one of the most powerful men in sports. Once upon a time, a man named Val Pinchbeck was the league’s schedule maker. He was a friend, he was fun and he was fantastic at his job. I used to say to him, let me do the schedule and tell me who you want in the playoffs and I’ll get them in. It was my way of expressing the importance of his position.

Matthew from Maffra, Australia

How easy is it to trade up or down in the draft? You seem to be saying just move to where the player fits a lot, but is it really that easy?

It’s a lot easier than it once was. There were 24 trades in the first 62 picks last year. Why? Because every team wants to fit itself to its pick. It’s important in the salary cap era to do that so you don’t overpay for a guy. Teams are trying to help each other move to where their pick fits because if you want to get help, you need to give help. They want to develop trade relations.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

Vic, what is everyone saying about Craig Loston? He looks like an aggressive and physical player.

He was the one safety at the Senior Bowl that impressed me. Tony questions his speed. He doubts that Loston can get to the sideline.

Aaron from Acireale, Sicily

Vic, Dave from Ft. Rucker, AL, said he checks the forum 3-4 times daily. Do you think he is better suited to check it 4-3 times a day?

I think he has the ability to be a 3-4 or 4-3 checker.

Rick from St. Paul, MN

How do you feel about the NFL’s decision to extend the flex games from Week 5 until Week 17? Doesn’t this make it difficult for people to make travel arrangements?

What Lola wants, Lola gets, and I don’t like it. I worry about estranging the ticket-buying fan. He and she remain the heart and soul of the stadium environment, and without that environment, Lola’s out of business.

Josh from Milwaukee, WI

The Falcons would be crazy to trade up to No. 1. It would cost them nearly every draft selection this year. Even if they knew he was the next Reggie White, that’s too much.

I disagree. I think they could move up affordably, as long as the Falcons are willing to give up next year’s one. Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith are good evaluators of talent. Smitty is a defensive guy and if he likes Clowney that much to move up to No. 1 for him, then he’s got a plan for using him. I can see the Falcons and Texans doing this deal. I think Clowney needs to have his hand on the ground. He fits in Atlanta. The Texans need extra picks to address multiple needs, plus, they need to move to where the quarterback they want fits. If Clowney is the guy most people think he is, he could change the Falcons. One playmaker can do that.

Brian from Kansas City, MO

Vic, I read your opinion on the schedule and your take on the Miami game was interesting. For that week of practice, would it be moved inside with the heat cranked up to 85-90?

You can’t create Florida heat in Green Bay. You prepare your team mentally, you pump them full of fluids, and I would make this recommendation of something the Colts created for playing in the Jacksonville heat: Construct a hand-held awning to shield your players from the sun while they’re on the bench. League rules forbid a fixed awning, but you can hold one over your players. The Florida sun cuts like a knife. Get out of it.


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Vic Ketchman

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