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Competition at WR is a good thing

Great teams take what they want


Dennis from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Vic, you wrote, "I'd like to see the Packers add to their wide receiver corps." The Packers already have Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Montgomery, Janis and Abbrederis. Surely they wouldn't keep seven receivers, so who do you think they would (or should) cut to add another? Keep up the good words, Vic!

This isn't the time of the year for cutting the roster. This is the time for adding to the roster. Competition is king.

David from Washington, DC

Vic, great job lately, as usual. Just a reminder, it's NDSU Bison (pronounced Bi-Zun). The Joe Haeg Prospect Primer was great, but Spofford kept saying it wrong. If you could tell him for me, that would be appreciated.

Mike, it's Bi-Zun, as in Ri-Zun.

Tom from Lansdale, PA

Vic, have you seen Temple's ILB Tyler Matakevich? I love this guy. He's a projected third or fourth-round draft pick. Tremendous work ethic, terrific first-step quickness and anticipation to read and react with little wasted movement. He takes smart angles with strong hands to make finger-tip tackles and take on blocks. He made some very impressive interceptions. Down side not as big as you'd like. Any thoughts on him?

He's been described as "not big, not fast and not strong." That's a bad combination. So how has he been so productive? Matakevich is the kind of player that can make your draft, or make you look foolish.

Ron from Eau Claire, WI

Vic, so a team spends every last dime of its cap and then injuries devastate a position to where they must go get help. Can they? Do the injured players' salaries get removed from the cap?

Removed from the cap? Are there fans that believe that's what happens? The team should've kept some emergency room on its cap. Because it didn't, it may have to restructure somebody to make room to sign a player. What that means is the team will be stealing from future caps to sign a stop-gap guy who's unlikely to be on the team when those future caps bear "his" hit. As far as I'm concerned, that's the equivalent of dead money.

Mike from Toronto, Ontario

Karlos Dansby?

OK, I'll give it a try.

Oh Dansby boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling

From glen to glen, and down the mountain side

The summer's gone, and all the roses falling

It's you, it's you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow

Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow

It's I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow

Oh Dansby boy, oh Dansby boy, I love you so.

Dave from Green Bay, WI

Vic, I was listening to a TV reporter talk about some NFL players. Everyone was great. What's happened to journalism these days? A player can have a great play, a great series, a great game or a great year, but to be a great player, by definition, shouldn't they already be in the Hall of Fame?

The cynical sportswriter is an endangered species. There are only a few of them still walking the press boxes of American sports stadiums. Who will save them from extinction before all that remains is an army of yesterday's players applauding today's players?

Tim from Marshall, MI

What is the drawback of expanding the practice squad number? I don't see the problem with it.

The drawback would be adding more players that can be used as active reserves, which should not be the intent of the practice squad. The practice squad should be about developing talent, not creating a reservoir of stop-gap talent. I'm all for adding players to the practice squad, but I think that would require some kind of regulation for their use.

Steven from Merced, CA

Vic, what are the chances we sign Jared Cook and do you think it'd be a good pick up?

I don't know what the chances are the Packers will sign Cook, but from the moment he was released by the Rams, he interested me. At the right price, I would favor his acquisition.

Dave from Franklin, WI

Vic, love the column and your knowledge, so maybe you could answer this noodle scratcher. Why do so many people assume a team that's signed a free agent is automatically better?

I don't know. Signing Leon Searcy immediately made the Jaguars better, but it caused the Jaguars to pass on Jonathan Ogden in the draft. Did that make the Jaguars better?

Jeff of St. Michael, MN

Do you think Mike McCarthy would try Lambeau's Notre Dame Box formation with Ty and Randall?

I doubt it. I think Cliff Christl loves the Notre Dame Box as much as he loves his motorcycle.

Max from Sydney, Australia

Vic, it appears we may be drafting a TE in the upcoming draft. Thoughts about LaQuan McGowan putting on a Packers uniform next season?

I have another name for a 400-pound tight end: tackle or guard.

John from Whitewater, WI

Why do you think the Packers went with Starks rather than Forte? From what has been reported, it does not appear Forte would have cost them much more than Starks. I just see a bigger upside in Forte. What am I missing?

I know it's the unthinkable, but maybe Matt Forte didn't want to play for the Packers. The Packers were looking for a complementary back. James Starks has been comfortable in that role for a long time. He's made a career out of being a complementary back. Forte has never been anything but a feature back. I think we have to accept the possibility that not every player wants to play for the Packers.

Gary from Kingsburg, CA

For the last several years, I have thought to myself if we could just stay healthy, we will go all the way, but another year passes and we don't get past the first or second round of the playoffs. Playoffs are great, but this is a game about winning Super Bowls. Is staying healthy enough anymore with the parity the league created, or are there many factors beyond that? Vic, what is your opinion?

First of all, I applaud your resilience. Not winning the Super Bowl every year is a great challenge for all of us. Here's what has to happen: Stay healthy at the key positions, get hot late and get the breaks. Things just have a way of falling into place for the teams that win Super Bowls. Look at the 2010 team. It got a big break when the Saints lost in Seattle and the Packers didn't have to go to New Orleans. Denver got a big break on the Steelers fumble. I thought the Packers had some of that going with their Hail Mary plays, but they weren't enough. Hang in there. Maybe this will be the year.

Joe from Saint Paul, MN

If you want a great example of how replay can go too far, look no further than the end of March Madness games. The desire to get every call right to the tenth of a second completely destroys game flow and makes the last minute of game time take 20 minutes. If we can't accept an element of human error in football, this is where we will end up.

If Americans were as diligent in reviewing their spending as they are at reviewing sports plays, maybe we wouldn't have nearly a trillion dollars in credit card debt.

Rick from Knoxville, TN

I saw this quote in another column, and it made a bunch of concepts click for me: "Building a team in any sport is generally about creating surplus value. If teams generally spend X dollars per win and you can spend less than that per win, you will be in good shape." The article went on to discuss how you can truly put a value on wins by comparing your payroll to the number of wins you have, and trying to increase the number of wins per dollar spent. Is this good info, or a bad way to look at it?

It makes sense, but only if you have "The Man." Everybody wants to be like the Patriots, right?

Dave from Green Bay, WI

Vic, the Packers' sweep of the '60s; can you think of other similar iconic plays in football the defense knew was coming but simply couldn't stop consistently?

The Cowboys' lead draw with Emmitt Smith, the 49ers' sprint right option, the Steelers' inside trap, the Redskins' counter trey. Great teams are identifiable with a trademark play. Great teams are predictable. You know what they're going to do, but they do it anyhow. Great teams take what they want. They impose their will.

Jay from El Paso, TX

In the ultimate team sport, is it fair to compare players by their Super Bowl wins?

If the Super Bowl is the goal, is it fair to dismiss Super Bowl wins and penalize those that achieved their goal?

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