Nick from Toronto, Ontario
Vic, I'm confused. First you say the loss of Cullen Jenkins wasn't that much of a big deal, and now you're writing that the Packers need a pass-rushing defensive end. Which one is it?
I think we all know the Packers need a better pass rush, although you don't expect to get it from defensive ends in a 3-4, you expect to get it from linebackers. In my opinion, the impact of the loss of one player has been grossly exaggerated, especially as it pertains to the loss of a defensive end in a 3-4. Unless he's a Reggie White type of player cast in a premier role, the loss of one guy normally doesn't drop a defense from No. 5 overall, No. 5 in pass defense and No. 3 in sacks per pass play to No. 32 in each category. Anybody who thinks the loss of one guy caused all of that is whistling past the graveyard. Clearly, there are multiple issues confronting the Packers on defense in this offseason.
Jacob from Minneapolis, MN
Since when has football become a one-man sport? No one player can win a championship in any team sport, no matter how skilled the player is. Even the best quarterbacks need help. Your thoughts.
Give me a great quarterback – give me Aaron Rodgers – and the rest will fall into place. Without that great quarterback, you're going to hit a wall. Just look at the quarterbacks that have won the last several Super Bowls: Eli Manning (2), Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger (2), Peyton Manning, Tom Brady (3). The Brad Johnson/Trent Dilfer days are gone.
Rick from Chatham, Ontario
How much do the coaches get involved with the draft? Are position coaches such as Mike Trgovac asked to assess talent and do the head coach and coordinators contribute to strategies?
Some teams involve the coaches in the scouting process to a greater degree than other teams. At the least, the personnel department is going to hand tape of a player to an assistant coach at the player's discipline and ask the coach to take a look at the tape and give his opinion on the player. Under Paul Brown, the assistant coaches were the primary scouts for the Bengals. It's all in what you believe philosophically. I think it's safe to say Ted Thompson utilizes all of the assets available to him, but he'll readily tell you that the final decision is his. I like that, not because it's a way of flexing his muscles, but because it's a way of saying he's accountable.
Luke from Muskego, WI
This Namath stuff is driving me crazy. If he didn't play for a New York team he wouldn't be in the Hall. Take five same-era quarterbacks: Daryle Lamonica, Ken Stabler, Jim Hart, Archie Manning and Namath. Of these, Namath is the only Hall of Famer. Of these five, Namath ranks fourth in winning percentage and touchdown/interception ratio, last in completion percentage and last in passer rating. He played the same game as these other four. He won a Super Bowl, but Stabler did, as well.
I love you stat guys. Seriously, I don't know what I'd do in this column without you. You're so easy to incite. OK, here's the bottom line on the five quarterbacks you mentioned: In the most important game of his life, the "Immaculate Reception," Lamonica had to be benched in the fourth quarter, replaced by Stabler. Neither Hart nor Manning won anything and, frankly, Hart played on some pretty good Cardinals teams that just weren't able to win in the postseason. Stabler has long been a Hall of Fame contender. I would favor his selection. Namath is in the Hall of Fame based mostly on his impact to the game and for the fame associated with his victory in Super Bowl III.
Curious from Unkown, MN
Who would I need to talk to in order to make a romantic gesture on the scoreboard? Or is something along those lines not possible?
You've got a whole offseason to think about this. Take your time.
Scott from Greensburg, IN
I also saw the HBO documentary on Namath. I was especially intrigued when the guy said one of the biggest tragedies in sports history was America not getting to see a healthy Joe Namath for a long period of time. Do you think there are any icons today that tacklers would pull up on the way the documentary showed hard-hitting defenders almost gently laying Joe Willie on the ground?
Namath might be the only player in history to whom that respect by his fellow players was afforded. He was the meal ticket. He was the guy that merged the two leagues and initiated the sky-rocketing popularity of the game and its players' salaries.
Andrew from West Allis, WI
Joe Theismann said early in the season that Aaron Rodgers was the best pure passer he's ever seen. Who is the best pure passer for you of all time?
Dan Marino. He looked like he was born in the pass pocket. It looked like the pocket was his home and he belonged there. He threw the best deep ball of any quarterback I've ever seen.
Brad from Huntsville, TX
Why do some first-round picks turn out to be busts or not impact players? Do they not have the skill set to succeed? Is it their attitude, their coaches or outside influences?
It's because everybody can't win. Somebody has to lose.
Randy from Medicine Hat, Alberta
How would you rate Phil Simms as a crunch-time quarterback?
He had his moments, but those Giants teams weren't beat-you-at-crunch-time teams. They got up on you early and poured it on. Simms was a power quarterback for a power team. He was a perfect fit.
Thomas from Pensacola, FL
With the miss on Rodgers, do you find yourself looking back at his college film to find indications of greatness?
I find myself reminding myself that you don't draft a player's school or his conference or his coach. All of that has to be stripped away and the player has to be judged solely on his own merits. Rodgers got lumped in with the Jeff Tedford quarterbacks that failed in the NFL, and that's one of the main reasons he was available to the Packers with the 24th overall pick. It was a mistake to do that.
Eddy from Rio Rancho, NM
With the new CBA, are players allowed to work with position coaches during the offseason?
Until stage one of the offseason has expired, coaches can neither watch tape with a player nor coach him on the field. In fact, the team isn't even permitted to provide a football to a player during that period. Stage one expires after the first two weeks of the offseason conditioning program are complete. At that point, coaches can become involved with players on an incremental basis; it ramps up as on-the-field work begins and proceeds.
John from Green Bay, WI
Hey, Vic, adding a foam wind screen head to your mic or holding the mic lower and talking over the mic will help soften your p's on your video.
I like my p's. In fact, I've had several people stop me on the street and tell me, "You've got great p's."
Richard from Lake Havasu City, AZ
We know Ted Thompson likes to go best player available, but with free agency, is that philosophy somewhat outdated and the Packers need to go best player available according to need?
Free agency has always been about need. It's a great forum for patching holes in your roster, and that's why I wish the draft came first and free agency second, as was the case this past year. I think teams were able to use the draft and free agency much more effectively and efficiently in conjunction with each other this past year, because the order was draft first, free agency second. When the order is the other way, teams have no choice but to address needs in free agency they might be able to address in the draft and still pick the best available player. Worst of all, having addressed that need in free agency can turn a team away from a player in the draft that addresses that same need. The best example I can give of that is Leon Searcy and Jonathan Ogden.
Cole from Iron Mountain, MI
The Packers have the greatest quarterback trio of all time: Starr, Favre, Rodgers. Can you think of any other team that has had a trio of quarterbacks of that caliber?
Unitas, Jones, Manning is pretty good. So is Brodie, Montana, Young. Starr tilts the field with his five titles. It reminds me of the question, what's the greatest home run hitting brothers combination of all time? Right away, everybody goes to the DiMaggios, but the answer is the Aarons, Hank and Tommy. Tommy only hit 13 of them, but when your brother hit 755, you don't have to hit a lot of them.
Cesar from Santa Fe Spring, CA
Can you give us a list of Packers backup quarterbacks that went on to be starters on other teams?
Two names immediately come to mind: Mark Brunell and Kurt Warner.
Brent from Cedar Grove, WI
This upcoming season, Nike will make the NFL uniforms. I want to know if the Packers will be changing uniforms anytime soon? Who decides what uniforms are worn?
Kalen from Manteno, IL
Vic, for every example you give of a team that lets the team score at the end of regulation and does not win the game, I can give you 100 where a team plays defense until the end of the game, keeping the other team out of the end zone, but lets the clock run down and the kicker splits the uprights and wins the game for the offense with no time left.
I want you to think about these words: The Patriots allowed the Giants to score the winning points in the Super Bowl. Just think on that for a while. Those words offend me much more than Rob Gronkowski's postgame dancing.