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Is this the best Packers team?

Second and third contracts good gauges of draft and develop


Noor from Jakarta, Indonesia

Vic, I think the following quote sums up BAP vs. need drafts: "It's a challenge when you draft lower," Tobin (Bengals personnel director) said. "But honestly, it widens the pool of guys you can choose. When you are in the top 10, there is a very small group of players who are acceptable and sometimes they don't match up to what you need. When you are down at the bottom, the field gets bigger. There are a lot of choices."

It's also easier to work trades and move a few spots to fit yourself to the pick. The picks at the top have a distinctly high value that must be protected, and there are only a few players that fit into those spots. Of course, you could make the point teams at the top of the draft are there because they have a lot of needs and most of the players at the top address a need, but drafting for need at the top is especially problematic due to the cost of that pick. Whether you're high or low, you have to make it work. The Packers are the best bottom drafters in the league.

Alex from Mililani, HI

Is this the best Packers team you've seen?


Again, it's too early to make that kind of determination. It's about December and beyond. That's when the real teams come out to play. The Packers team at the end of last season is the best one I've covered.**

Brad from Tinley Park, IL

Vic, so happy to hear you like the Drifters. Please keep answering non-football-related questions. I have a tough one for you: Drifters or Temptations?

Sam Cooke.

Heather from Bear Creek, NC

My 12-year-old daughter just asked her dad if he would ever play soccer. He emphatically told her no. Of course, she had to ask why. His response: "Ask Vic."


Dave from Sparta, WI

The new Titletown is great, but what happens when they aren't a perennial playoff contender? We haven't seen this since the early '90s, but it will happen.

This fan base will not dessert the Packers. There are few teams in the league that have the luxury of being able to make plans without worrying about losing.

Tristan from Waukesha, WI

Do you think the AFC or NFC currently has more quality teams?

I think the AFC has a small talent edge right now.

Bill from Dresser, WI

I don't agree with your answer to the question about adding another bye week to the schedule. I think the players need it and the fans can deal with it. It requires some imagination and should involve reducing preseason play. I would rather deal with an extra bye week than a preseason game which means little. Possibly have the first preseason game against an opponent but at reduced cost to the fans so new players could be tested.

Another bye week would almost certainly result in having to play on Labor Day weekend, and the fans won't like that. The NFL tried it. The complaints were many.

Nathan from Portland, OR

How was the championship team decided before the Super Bowl?

The NFL championship game was the big game. As the AFL grew in popularity and esteem, a game pitting the two leagues' champions needed to be played to decide the best team in professional football. The Super Bowl became that game, and that game became the single-most important event in professional sports. For all the disdain the NFL had for the AFL, the fact of the matter is the AFL is the best thing that ever happened to professional football.

Paul from Hayama, Japan

"The kind of rivalry you're describing is about emotions. That stuff is for the fans and media." Then what happened to make it so emotional between the Steelers and Raiders in the '70s?

Violence made it personal. The violence that defined that rivalry is unique and so is that rivalry, because once those players were gone, so was the rivalry. I've never known another rivalry like that. Rivalries are usually the result of geography or history. This one was the result of the players.

Dan from Naperville, IL

You need a week-long break from writing? Ha! It's your job. Just do it and earn that large (mostly overpaid) paycheck.

I have done it, all week, twice a day, and once on Saturday.

Nathan from San Diego, CA

For anyone ignoring the Vikings, if the playoffs were to begin today, they would be the No. 6 seed.

I don't put too much stock into that kind of stuff, but it's interesting.

Steve from Cork, Ireland

I'm interested to know which other NFL teams effectively use a draft-and-develop approach?

All teams use a draft-and-develop approach, but their approach is ultimately defined by their patience with it because that defines their commitment to it. If a team is apt to replace what it perceives as mistakes by signing free agents, it's not totally committed to the draft-and-develop process. The commitment must be unwavering. As I've said and written, a patch here and there is OK, but they must be kept to a minimum for a team to truly say its draft-and-develop system is working.

Jack from Merrillan, WI

Any thoughts on John Clayton's article about the best gauge of team success is the higher amount of original draft picks being signed to second and third contracts?

I completely agree. It means you deem the players you've drafted to be successful picks, and you've protected your cap well enough to be able to retain those players, and good picks naturally do that. One confirms the other.

Dave from Madison, WI

Who makes the decisions on adopting rule changes? Is it a handful of people or a larger group? I'm guessing they make decisions based on what's good for the game. Who decides that? And do you see a time in the near future where there is some changes restricting the use of pick plays?

The competition committee, a small but esteemed body of men to which Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy belongs, makes recommendations to the owners on potential rules changes. The owners then vote on those rules-change proposals. I would favor revisiting the rules governing pick plays. Their intent is to create interference that favors the completion of a pass, and I find that to be a distinct violation of the spirit of the rules governing pass interference. HAVE A QUESTION FOR VIC?

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