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Inbox explodes! Rams did it

It's a young man’s game, but …


Mike from Stephenson, MI

How about Laurinaitis? Any buzz on him, even though he just got cut yesterday?

My inbox is suffering from the worst case of Laurinaitis in the history of the world.

Courtney from Butte, MT

If you have the No. 1 offense with the No. 1 run game, odds are you have a top 10 defense because you kept the ball out of the opposing teams' hands, as long as you didn't turn the ball over. Are there exceptions?

To answer your question, I would have to look at one more stat: time of possession. Time is yards and points. The longer your defense is on the field, the more yards and points it'll likely surrender. I would expect the offense you described to be high in the league in TOP.

Erich from Forreston, IL

How long has the long-snapping position been just for snapping only? Who was the best long-snapper you have seen?

I wasn't exposed to long-snapper specialists until late in Mike Webster's career. The position first rose to prominence with me with the arrival of a player named Kendall Gammon. I think he eventually played for every team in the league. I came to refer to him as Paladin; "Have Snap, Will Travel." I think Gammon's motto was, "Just snap, baby." He has to be in the long-snapper Hall of Fame. Dave Widell is another one I covered. His ability to play center left him late in his career, but he could still throw that ball back between his legs. I also remember Dan Turk, a Wisconsin guy and possibly the most handsome player in the history of football. I was with Brett Goode in Jacksonville briefly. This question has sharpened my awareness and appreciation of long-snappers.

Andy from Eau Claire, WI

What do you think about the Packers going after Josh Gordon and James Laurinaitis this offseason?

Laurinaitis would probably make a little more sense than Gordon, but before I could answer your question with sincerity, I would have to know all of the information we can't know as fans and media. What are the medicals on these guys? How about off-the-field stuff, which is an issue with Gordon? It's about a lot more than knowing a player's name.

Justin from St. Louis, MO

Cuts are everywhere and plenty of new players to sign with no fear of losing draft picks. Who would GM Vic sign from the cut list?

I don't know, but GM Vic would instruct his pro personnel director to research every guy on the market and with this directive: Find me the ones that fit. What does it mean to fit? It means the player has to have gas left in the tank, loves the game and is committed to it, is coachable and works well with his teammates, and is affordable. Those guys are tough to find. Why? Because if you weren't cutting them, you'd be signing them.

Emmett from Monahans, TX

How many cut Rams does your inbox say the Packers should sign?

All of them. Today's inbox is the worst inbox in the history of the world. There are very few questions that don't ask about the players the Rams cut. If you want to see your name in "Ask Vic," this would've been a good day to ask about world peace or if my hair color is real. I probably would've answered both: Yes, I'm for world peace and, no, this isn't my natural hair color; I have it highlighted.

Noah from Omro, WI

Assuming Eddie Lacy gets in shape and returns to the feature back he has been, who do you like in the draft this year as a scatback-type change of pace? Someone who can be a checkdown mismatch for Rodgers and the lightning to Lacy's thunder.

Tony Pauline likes Kenyan Drake of Alabama, because of his pass-catching ability, but Drake isn't of scatback size. He's a big guy. It's difficult to find in this draft the kind of guy you want.

Douglas from Binghamton, NY

Vic, I'm a huge Packers and Syracuse football fan. Is it just as much players over plays in college? I'm hoping the answer is no because the Cuse just hired a big scheme guy and they simply can't recruit equivalent players. Thanks, I love this feature!

You can pencil-whip an opponent a little more in college football than you can in the NFL, because of the mismatch between offense and defense and the limitations in preparation, but it still begins with the mismatch.

Jason from Klamath Falls, OR

Vic, I don't know about you, but I'm not worried about the 2016 Packers. I know the offense struggled in the second half of last season, but with Jordy and Montgomery coming back from IR and Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy putting the team together, I'll just sit back and watch them work. I trust Thompson to make the right moves and McCarthy to get his players, new and old, ready.

There's no doubt in my mind, the Packers will be playoff contenders in 2016. That's all we should reasonably expect at this point in time.

Mark from New London, WI

Vic, I don't even know who you are anymore! All that warm weather has caused you to lose your edge. After the description of the golf course, I'm worried you're going to start telling us about long walks on the beach. What does it take to ban someone anymore?

You're banned.

Larry from Green Valley, AZ

So what do you have to say about the Pennel suspension?

It's an example of why you pick the best available player: All of a sudden, you have need where you didn't expect to have need.

Derek from Menasha, WI

Would it be a good idea to take a look at James Laurinaitis at middle linebacker for the Packers?

Yes, it would be a good idea to take a look at him. Why was he released? That's the question that has to be answered. Did the Rams make a mistake, or will the team that signs Laurinaitis be making a mistake? It has to be one or the other. Do you want to play that game?

Linda from Elwood, IL

Would it be difficult for a defensive player to switch between a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense if he switches teams?

Tackles in a 4-3 can generally play end in a 3-4. The linebackers in each scheme are interchangeable. There's one position in the 4-3 scheme that is special and defines the scheme. Can a 4-3 right defensive end stand up and play right outside linebacker? They are the blindside pass rushers in each scheme.

Jordan from Nevada, IA

Which of the three Rams released players do you find the most attractive to the Packers?

I've always been intrigued by Jared Cook. He's a big guy who can run.

Ryan from St. Louis, MO

I know this is a young man's game, but if you can get Forte cheap, wouldn't he be a good backup for Lacy, given his agility and pass-catching abilities?

Yes, he would, but if I answer every question the same way about every free agent with some tread left on his tires, and I could do that, I'd end up with a roster best equipped to play an old-timers game. All of these late-career free agents are quality players. We know that because they've enjoyed long careers in the NFL, and I have no problem with a patch here and a patch there, but you can't sign everybody. Every time you sign an older player, you make a younger player available to the competition.

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