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Find "The Man" or build a bully

Build through the draft, patch in free agency


Harlow from St. Petersburg, FL

As Evan Dietrich-Smith was a starting center with the Packers, why only a sixth-round compensatory pick?

I guess the contract he signed was judged to have been worthy of a sixth-round pick.

Johan from Oslo, Norway

Vic, aren't one-year deals a great way for teams to get value in free agency? The Patriots will receive a draft pick for leasing Revis for one year. Wouldn't it be nice if the dirty little secret of winning in free agency is that it's all about the draft?

I love one-year patches. They allow a team to use free agency to address immediate need without compromising the future with a bad contract. Build through the draft, patch in free agency; that's long been my belief.

Terry from New Auburn, WI

Vic, can you imagine a time when fans will be allowed to use an interactive device to influence a game? Maybe one fan challenge per half, or whether to go for two?

We already have that game; it's called Madden. The problem is too many fans don't know where Madden ends and real football begins.

Ryan from Beverly Hills, CA

Man, you make me laugh almost every "Ask Vic" article. Thank you for your work. You keep me well-informed and entertained.

You live in Beverly Hills and you go to "Ask Vic" for entertainment?

Pack from Boise, ID

I saw the highlights of Lorenzo Mauldin. What a beast! I then saw his life story. This guy needs to be a Packer. He is the fire this defense needs. Would the Packers trade up to get this young man? They should.

He's largely considered to be a round three, round four guy; you shouldn't have to trade up for him.

Ty from Whitefish, MT

Awesome story by Cliff about Johnny Blood. Recall hearing any good stories about him?

I sat next to him at dinner one night in San Diego. He was a little grumpy. I liked it.

Isaac from Carrboro, NC

Rex says he wants to "build a bully" on the model of San Francisco and Seattle. Do you see a trend? Is it any easier to put together a world-class defense and punishing running game than it is to find "The Man"?

If you don't have "The Man," you better build a bully. Maybe Coach Ryan was telling us he doesn't have "The Man".

Todd from Knoxville, TN

Are there any sports that don't have some sort of replay?

I was going to say golf, but golf has used TV replay as much as a day later to detect a violation.

Jasper from Wolcott, CT

Vic, you constantly say we are forcing the game to change with all these rules changes, however, you are OK with getting rid of the extra point. Ever since I can remember, there has been an extra point. Wouldn't that be forcing the game to change?

I think the extra-point play has remained status quo long enough that changing it can be considered evolving, not forced. When the two-point play was added, excitement was added to the game. In recent years, we've taken some excitement out of special teams play by reducing the number of kickoffs returned. I'd favor a rule change that would add excitement to the PAT play. What I wouldn't favor is changing it this year and then changing it again next year. That's what I'm against, constant change.

Jake from Fargo, ND

What's your honest opinion of Jay Cutler? Personally, I'm shocked he has been able to maintain a starting job for multiple teams.

I think he's a very talented quarterback who will benefit from the challenge he's facing to keep his job. I think Coach Fox knows what he's doing.

Brandon from Morris, IL

Vic, what is your favorite kind of question to answer?

I like questions that are short and to the point, questions that are written with a care for grammar, and I like questions that make me think.

Brett from Lakewood, CO

Vic, love reading your column. Since you have been talking a lot about salary cap and contracts, before the salary cap era, what happened to a player whose contract ended?

He likely ended up re-signing with his team because free agents weren't unrestricted. If you signed a free agent, you owed major compensation and it effectively killed free agency.

Phil from Omaha, NE

When you were in college, was there a great player on campus who you thought would be a great pro and turned out to be a bust?

No, but there was a great player on campus who I thought would be a great pro and he was, Jack Lambert.

Tony from Burbank, CA

Vic, I think the solution to the inside linebacker position already exists and won't impact the cap. The solution is Clay Matthews. We all like him on the outside, but I think he will be used more inside this season, allowing Ted to focus on other areas in the draft.

You might be right, but have you forgotten the late stages of the NFC title game? I don't like the idea of my best defensive player unable to play at crunch time because he's worn out. Matthews has the talent to play anywhere, but having to bang with the big boys inside and then move outside on third down to play in space can take its toll. Rush backer is a premier position and Matthews is a premier player. The Packers will fix the need inside. Be patient.

Noah from Omaha, NE

First off, love the daily column you write here; I look forward to reading it daily. What are the most memorable moments in Packers history, good and then bad?

The Ice Bowl and the "Fail Mary".

Noah from Brisbane, Australia

Vic, what do the Packers do that makes them so successful?

The Packers' commitment is unwavering; they draft and they develop. In other words, the thing my inbox dislikes about the Packers at this time of the year, is the very thing that makes this team what it is.

Nathan from Denver, CO

With all the big signings getting leaked to media insiders ahead of time, how did the Packers manage to keep the Peppers signing under wraps last year?

I guess they didn't get the memo.

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