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Ask Vic

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Seahawks taught us a lesson about defense

Posted May 21, 2014

Which division has the best overall talent?

Dale from Kettering, OH

So, what does Tony think next year’s draft will be strong in?

Inside linebackers.

Jeremy from Wausau, WI

Vic, do you believe the Packers could legitimately have a top five defense this year?

That’s not my expectation. I think top 10 is more reasonable.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, if the cold you experienced at the gas station had arrived in Green Bay a couple of days earlier, in time for the Packers-49ers game, do you think the NFL might have postponed the game?

I don’t. The teams know how to deal with the cold so that it’s not dangerous for the players to perform in it, and Packers fans know how to protect themselves from it. Postponing a game due to cold weather would set a dangerous precedent.

Steve from Warwick, UK

Vic, I, too, was buying gas that day. I was on my way back to O’Hare following the playoff loss. I’ve always struggled to articulate it, so I hope you don’t mind me quoting you in the future. I was so disoriented that I stupidly placed the car key in my mouth as I adjusted my gloves. It nearly stuck in a split second. My dad rescued me by finding my hat and ushering me into the store for respite. I wonder how the game would’ve played out if it was the day after. It seemed to me that’s when the cold struck hardest.

My eyeballs felt like ice cubes. My teeth felt as though they were fused to my upper lip. I was moments from death when a higher power guided my hand to the door handle.

Phil from Chicago, IL

Vic, you said you know where you’ll be next winter. Are you planning on leaving us alone in the cold?

Yes, I am. I’m saving my vacation time and I’m going to write “Ask Vic” next winter where you can buy gas without calling 911.

Scott from Appleton, WI

I love Eddie Lacy. If you could relate him to any great running back in history, who would it be and why?

He’s not Jerome Bettis. He has Bettis’ feet and power, but Lacy has more wiggle than Bettis. Lacy reminds me of two Bengals backs: Ickey Woods and Boobie Clark. He has a similar frame and running style.

Adam from Racine, WI

I’m thinking a good position name for these new-age tight ends would be in-line receiver. Any thoughts?

Most of the time they’re not in-line. How about calling them “Not Tight Ends” (NTE)?

Dan from Fitchburg, WI

I really hope the signing of Colt works out, not so much for the Packers sake, but for Colt to get his life back in order and get one last shot to fulfill his dreams. I don’t know much about him, but when I heard about his childhood, I just felt this kid needs to be somewhere like Green Bay.

In my continuing quest to be all things to all people, I offer this multiple choice answer. Pick the one you like:

A.) Darn it, I left my violin at home.

B.) Wisconsinites are fiercely proud of our tight ends.

C.) You are winsome, definitely winsome.

D.) Even in Green Bay, you can find trouble.

Frank from Naples, FL

Vic, would Vince Lombardi’s famous Packers sweep work in today’s game? I don’t see why not.

It wouldn’t work. Three-technique defensive tackles and gap-control schemes would cut the guards and disrupt the play before they could get out in front of the ball.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, there’s a lot of wisdom in your statement that “hope is only dangerous when we allow it to become expectation.” I’m celebrating my 24th wedding anniversary. How can I explain to my wife that just because I’m always hoping for something, it doesn’t mean that I always expect to get it?

She knows.

Phil from Lutsen, MN

I read an interview with Herb Adderley this weekend and was shocked that he held Tom Landry in such low regard. In doing further research, I now know Landry was not respectful of all of his players in the locker room and in team meetings. Did you ever have a chance to interview Tom Landry, and what do you know about Chuck Knoll’s feelings for his rival?

I never detected any kind of special feeling either way. The reason I chose to answer your question is because you misspelled Coach Noll’s name. I think I see Chuck’s name misspelled more often than I see it spelled correctly. Coach McCarthy and I were discussing this recently. How is it that the winningest coach in Super Bowl history is so unknown that he can’t even get his name spelled right? We agreed the answer lies in the fact that Noll wasn’t self-promotional. It won’t get your name spelled right, but it sure does command a lot of respect.

Thomas from Park Falls, WI

Vic, to what do you credit Seattle’s defensive success? I look at their front seven and I’m not blown away. Is it their coaching, scheme or top-notch secondary?

When you can win on the back end, you can do things up front and not worry about giving up big plays. The Seahawks might have taught us something: Defense has become a back end game.

Trevor from Peoria, IL

How many times can a college player enter the NFL draft? Is it a one-and-done thing? Can they enter every year of college?

Every person in the world is in the draft once and only once in their life. I was in the 1973 draft. I was not selected.

Jaye from Virginia Beach, VA

Do you think the NFL will ever go to a draft lottery system like the NBA has?

Why would they ever change the current system? It’s a ratings bonanza. NFL Network is still evaluating draft classes. The NFL draft is the gift that keeps on giving. Fans can’t get enough of it. Four days? They should extend it to four weeks.

Josh from Pullman, WA

Seems like a lot of the draft picks grew up Packers fans. Can I read more into that?

Tom Coughlin once said to me he would agonize about what he would say to a young player when it was time to cut him. He’d counsel and encourage the young man, pour his heart out to him, and then a few days later he’d see the kid had signed with another team and he was telling the media he always wanted to play there. In other words, don’t get too schmaltzy about this stuff. The charm of professional football always has been and always will be its cold, cold heart. It’s what makes this game what it is.

Mychal from Woodbridge, VA

If you made a team for each division consisting of the best players, who do you think would be the best team and why?

I think the NFC West has the best players right now, but the West doesn’t have what I consider to be an elite quarterback. That’s my opinion and I know it’s not a popular one. I have tremendous respect for Russell Wilson as a crunch-time player. He gets it done at crunch time, but his stats say he’s more of a game manager than a carry-the-team quarterback. I think the same is true of Colin Kaepernick. Combined, they only attempted 50 more passes than Peyton Manning did last season. Seattle had the league’s No. 1 defense and San Francisco was No. 5. It makes me wonder what would happen if those teams experienced some decline on defense. Could their quarterbacks pick up the slack?

Eric from Mequon, WI

With the rookie salaries set prior to the draft, why are they not signed immediately? Many of the first-rounders aren’t signed yet. What’s the holdup?

What’s the rush? I just don’t get this mania for signing everybody. If I’m the owner of a team, how does it benefit me to hurry up and give my money away, instead of investing it for a few more months? Please, give me one good thing about rushing to get everybody signed. Where are they going to go, the Arena League?

Ryan from Wauwatosa, WI

Vic, you keep saying the Lions are the biggest threat to the Packers this year in the division. Expound, please.

They have a quarterback who was a No. 1 overall pick, and they have a wide receiver, defensive tackle and running back that were each drafted No. 2 overall. The Lions have talent. Jim Caldwell’s job is to translate that talent into wins. I was impressed by him during the breakfast interview I did with him at the owners meetings.

Lance from Chicago, IL

Vic, a couple of months ago, you responded to a question asking about a specific article on the draft with, “Yeah, but you read it.” This response got me wondering. What is the intent of today’s sports media? To write stories that are worth reading or write stories just to get as many readers as possible?

It’s both. Your job is to identify the ones that are only trying to get as many readers as possible and avoid those publications and sites. The one that got you is notorious for not being worth reading, and I’ll bet you knew that. So why did you go there? Don’t blame it on the credible media.

Jeff from Brentwood, CA

When is the NFL going to drop the Roman numerals? We are way too far in Super Bowl years to be coming up with Roman numerals the average person doesn’t understand.

I agree.

Tom from Green Bay, WI

Will Green Bay ever host a Super Bowl? Is there simply not enough hotel space in and around Green Bay?

Green Bay will never host a Super Bowl. There aren’t enough hotel rooms, and the bodies would start piling up at the gas stations and present a terrible health hazard. We are what we are and there’s no need to be anything more.


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Vic Ketchman

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