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Can you avoid risk and still be ready to play?

Aaron Rodgers one of the great picks in draft history


Michael from Redding, CA

Vic, seeing what the Titans received for the top pick in this draft made me wonder if top franchises would benefit by tanking every 5-10 years to load up on draft picks to restock their rosters. Imagine what the Packers would look like with the Titans' haul of draft picks.

A lot of great teams were built on defeat.

Chris from Upland, CA

Vic, if the combine is seen as the player's job interview, then what would their college football years be considered?

Their resume.

Andy from Brookfield, WI

Vic, how do you think the playing time for starters will change in the preseason with Jordy Nelson's injury occurring last year?

Preseason playing time for starters, in my opinion, will continue to decline. So how do you prepare your starters to play four quarters of football on a hot day in Week 1? Fans want it both ways. They want the players to avoid the risk of injury in the preseason, but be ready to play when the regular season begins. I don't think you can accomplish both. I think it's one or the other. I'm not sure where I stand on this issue.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Vic, now they're ranking GMs from worst to first. Why is our culture so obsessed with ranking things? How and when did this trend start?

We are a very competitive culture. We turn everything from football to fund-raising into a contest. Ranking coaches, GMs, owners, etc., usually is consistent with the standings. The ones at the top are with teams at the top of the standings. Victory and defeat rank us all. Coach Noll was fond of saying, "What you're really asking me is why didn't you win?" Just win, baby. It's all that matters. It's what we value.

Adam from Racine, WI

Vic, I've seen you reference both free agency and the 1978 rules changes as the biggest changes in football. Which one do you think had a bigger impact on the game, and why?

The '78 rules changes changed how the game is played. Unrestricted free agency changed how the game is managed. If I had to pick between the two – again, our obsession with rankings – I'd pick unrestricted free agency, a product of the salary cap era, as having the greatest impact on the game since the creation of the inverse-order draft. Why? Because it made the players managers of the game.

Tom from Bismarck, ND

Vic, what constitutes being called a draft expert or, worse yet, a draft guru? It appears to me these guys are just higher profile rumor mongers. They sell you their wares and you print them as fact. I suspect there hasn't been one down of high school or college, let alone pro football, ever played by these guys. They're writers, you know, Walter Mitty types. Don't tell me, you were a fighter pilot. Maybe a surgeon? Let me guess, Thurber was your favorite writer.


Charlie from Racine, WI

Regarding the CFL field, why not just take the extra space from the middle and add it to the end zones?

Shorten the field to 80 yards and increase the end zones to 20 yards each. Point totals would explode! This is the kind of nonsensical genius I've come to expect in "Ask Vic."

Pablo from Mexico City, Mexico

Vic, if the draft is really so deep in big guys, why waste a pick on a tight end or any not-so-deep position? Let's just draft nine big guys and get out of here.

You'd never regret it.

Mark from Regina, Saskatchewan

How does a serious injury affect BAP? Jaylon Smith, for example.

Is he still Jaylon Smith? That's the question a team needs to answer to be able to draft Smith high in the order. In other words, will he make a full recovery from the injury? The answer to that question, or the lack of an answer to that question, will determine how far Smith's injury will cause him to fall.

Bob from Davenport, IA

Drew Ott, a defensive lineman from Iowa, just lost out on a medical hardship extra year and has entered the draft. Perhaps a sleeper pick that some might have missed?

He's a high-motor guy, which you would expect from someone who eats egg shells.

Marcus from Boone, NC

Vic, the only NFL game I've attended was the first meeting between the Jaguars and Panthers, back in 1996. I was 11 at the time, and a native Floridian. My parents and I sat on the east side of the stadium, and I got sick and nearly fainted from the heat. We missed the whole second half, and I've felt terrible about it ever since. Too bad we didn't have your advice back then.

It's all part of the experience.

Tal from Ascot, UK

What do you think is Ted Thompson's favorite draft class?

The one that produced Aaron Rodgers? Nick Collins was also in that draft class, and he made a play in Super Bowl XLV that will live forever in the hearts of Packers fans, but the 2005 draft class will always be defined by Rodgers. He's one of the great picks in draft history. He set the table for everything that's happened since. It might be fun for the comments section to revisit their feelings for this pick when it was made.

Anthony from Green Bay, WI

Vic, your column is becoming close to unreadable. Somewhere in the mix of all your one-word answers and patronizing fans is an educated opinion, which I visited the site to read. You repeat the same stuff and respond to the same dumb fan questions. I counted six one-word answers in yesterday's column. If you're just a bitter old man at this point, give it up and let someone else take this dream job.


Matt from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, will you please suggest to Coach McCarthy the notion of dressing like Vince Lombardi during the Packers' throwback game?

I think he'd have to ask permission from the league to dress that way. I remember Jack Del Rio doing it, and permission was granted for a special-occasion coat and tie. Maybe the league can make that happen for throwback games. I think it would be cool. It's all about wearing licensed gear. If Lombardi was coaching today, he'd be wearing the same stuff all the other coaches are wearing. I would've enjoyed the exchange between Lombardi and his equipment manager when Lombardi was handed the shirt with the yellow stripe down the back.

Bill from Ringle, WI

Vic, do you think the Packers can get an impact linebacker and defensive lineman if they stay where they are in this draft?

Yes, I do, and I don't think they'll have to reach to do it. I think this draft is tailor-made for the Packers' needs.

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