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Ask Vic

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My top 10 quarterbacks for '14; you might be surprised

Posted May 27, 2014

Why are fans so stodgy about expanding playoffs?

Paul from Farnborough, UK

Vic, with the rules changes of 1978, did it immediately turn the stats on both sides of the ball?

The impact was pretty sudden. The MVPs of the six Super Bowls previous to the rules changes were won by two running backs, two wide receivers, a safety, a defensive end and a defensive tackle. The next four were won by quarterbacks. The rules changes of ’78 gave birth to the West Coast offense. All of a sudden, 10-7 games were replaced by 48-41 scores. A Joe Montana vs. Dan Fouts matchup looked more like an AFL game than what we had come to expect in the NFL prior to ’78. The personality of the game can be dramatically altered by a few rules changes, and for that reason the competition committee is a powerful and accountable group of men.

Mark from Iowa City, IA

Vic, our running game seems to have potential to be as threatening as our passing game with Lacy, Starks, Franklin and Harris as options in the backfield. If that happens and our defense improves, watch out.

The Packers were on the verge of watch out, or look out, at midseason last year. The defense was playing its best football of the season and its arrow was pointing decidedly up. The running game and passing game were a perfect complement to each other, and the Packers offense could pretty much do as it pleased. Then Aaron Rodgers got hurt. As you would expect, there was some pull back on offense, but the defense really fell hard, and that’s when it became apparent the Packers had been playing defense with their offense, and that has to change for this team to be a true championship contender. The defense must become the equal of the offense.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Vic, what’s the plan for this summer’s “Ask Vic” event?

The plan is for dinner and a movie on the North Balcony at Lambeau Field during the week of the shareholders meeting. We’re in the process of finding out if the plan is doable and, if it is, deciding on a date.

Paul from Neenah, WI

As far as goose down jackets, even geese have the good sense to go south for the winter.

I guess they forgot to buy a goose down jacket.

Jake from Franklin, WI

Vic, what do you think of installing cameras on players’ helmets so we can see their view? Imagine the view you could get from Aaron Rodgers’ viewpoint on the fourth-and-eight throw. It gives me chills.

I like it but it would further enrich the viewing experience of fans watching the game on TV, which won’t help a lot of teams that need to sell tickets sell tickets. We’re approaching a crisis point with TV technology’s impact on the game. The ticket-buying fan is critical to the success of the game. He and she provide the atmosphere that makes the game an event. Without them, it’s a scrimmage.

James from Groesbeck, TX

Possibly the best Lombardi quote I’ve read is: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” What’s the best quote, by any coach, you’ve heard/read?

“It has to come from within."

Rolf from Aalborg, Denmark

Vic, what would you prefer, an undersized player with great instincts and football intelligence, or a very athletic but raw talent?

The athletic player offers a lot of upside. He’s why coaches are important. The other player is what’s known as “just a guy.” The athletic player can become a rare find. The “guy” is a dime a dozen.

Joe from Green Bay, WI

Can you name who you think are going to be the top 10 QBs in order this season?

I’m sure I can’t, but I’ll try anyhow because I know a lot of fans love this kind of insanity at this time of the year: Rodgers, Stafford, Brady, Brees, Rivers, Roethlisberger, Newton, Foles, Luck and Ryan.

Nick from Los Angeles, CA

The problem I have with expanding the playoffs is that it will ruin the last few weeks of the regular season.

I don’t agree. By expanding the playoffs, more games late in the season will have playoff implications. I think everything gets better. I’m a little surprised fans have taken such a stodgy approach to the idea of expanding the playoffs. What’s not to like? It’s more good football. When did fans start caring about the integrity of the game? I get a lot of emails from fans that want to legalize PEDs.

Jimmy from Mondovi, WI

Of the newest draft picks, which has the best chance of becoming the return man for punts and kicks and why?

I’ll be surprised if Jared Abbrederis isn’t returning punts next season. He’s very natural in fielding punts. Kickoffs? I don’t know.

Norbert from Bensheim, Germany

Vic, I like the voting function we have in the comments section of “Ask Vic” and the other articles posted on packers.com. I’d like to encourage employing the same voting system after each of your answers. I know you’re not one to shy away from critique. What better way to publicly dissect and measure the majority’s reaction to your segment?

I like it. I’ll ask if it can be done.

Stevan from Lubbock, TX

Regarding your statement, “Don’t even mess with the intangibles if the measurables aren’t there,” what say you regarding one Wes Welker? He barely received a college scholarship offer due to his lack of measurables. Exception to the rule, I suppose.

Yes, he’s an exception to the rule, but I think we must also consider that he’s caught passes for Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and it wasn’t until he was traded from Miami to New England that his career blossomed. Gee, do you think it might’ve been Brady and Manning?

Justin from Delavan, WI

Vic, I disagree with you. I agree with Capers that safety is the most important position in the 3-4. We won the Super Bowl with Woodson and Collins. We have won zero so far without them.

Clay Matthews was the runner up defensive player of the year that season.

Rob from Wetherby, UK

Vic, you’ve mentioned teams generally no longer pick BAP or for need, and that it is blurred so that everyone now wants value and trades to where that value fits. Ted has done a lot of trading in previous drafts, and this time around did little (or none, I’m not quite sure), so does this fit with his “I really did” line?

I think he tried to move but couldn’t, and then he played it by the book. I don’t have any information to confirm that opinion; I just think he decided to be a little more conservative this year. One of the reasons I feel that way is because he picked three wide receivers from a draft class that was deepest at wide receiver, plus, I tend to believe people.

Adam from Wausau, WI

If you were a young school boy, would you be pursuing a career in journalism in this day and age?

I didn’t have a lot of options. I was born at the height of the baby boom and the competition for everything was fierce. We waited in line to get tickets to the Saturday matinee, and I can remember getting turned away just a few kids shy of the ticket booth. Getting into college was a white knuckler. It was a proud moment when you got a letter of acceptance, and when you had a draft lottery number of 15, it was also a happy moment for your parents. So it wasn’t as though I was deciding between being a doctor or a sports writer. I got lucky. That’s all it is. I picked a major that has given me 42 years of wage earning and memories. It appears I’ll be able to ride this train all the way into the station without having had to walk any of the distance along the way. Would I do it again, knowing what I know now? No, because the newspaper industry has suffered a terrible decline. A lot of my sports writing friends have had to take early buyouts. Again, I got lucky. I joined the dot.com craze just as it was beginning.

Tom from Melbourne, FL

“We feared our fathers.” So true.

The coaches back then preyed on that fact. They all tried to be your “father,” but none of them succeeded as completely as Lombardi did. He made his players compete for his approval and fear his disappointment.

Dusty from Rice Lake, WI

Vic, here in Rice Lake, the school system changed the seventh and eighth grade tackle football program to flag football programs, and I see other schools following suit. This is going to be an interesting thing to watch in the coming years.

Here’s what I see happening: I see a decline in high school football nationally. Only the wealthiest school districts will be able to field teams. The small schools will stop fielding teams and the kids in those districts will be assigned eligibility to play at a neighboring school that has continued to field a team. As a result, we’ll have fewer schools playing football, but a better quality in the games being played. I hurt for the kids that’ll get lost in the shuffle. I can’t imagine not having the memories and life experiences I acquired from playing high school football.

 

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