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Neck injury ended Tim Lewis' career


Alex from Allentown, PA

If the BAP at the 28th pick is a wideout, what do the Packers do?

Pass on him, pick a player of lesser value who addresses a need and leave the higher-rated player for the competition to draft?

Belto from Canton, NC

Vic, after you gushing about Ingram, again, I went back and watched some more highlights. I saw a LB that was on his team's hands team, I saw a 265-pound man rolling hips in coverage and picking off passes, and I saw a fake punt in which he was the ball carrier. Now I see what you saw.

A lot of people see his lack of height, which could cause him to fall to some lucky team.

Chris from Wausau, WI

When I watch Ingram, I don't see anything special except his footwork. He changes directions really well and doesn't waste time/energy with unnecessary steps. His opposite? In my opinion, it's Bruce Irvin. Irvin is fast, and while his cone time is great, too, he will probably need to develop better footwork. So he needs some fine-tuning on and, hopefully, not off the field, but it's hard to ignore that speed, or do you think he is too small? Risky pick, but could be great if he can be molded and polished, I think. What do you think of Irvin, Vic?

I think you have to have a specific role in mind for him, or you'll be disappointed with the results. I can think of a specific role for him: Rush the quarterback.

Josh from Caledonia, WI

What do you think of the concept of trading current-year picks for higher future-year picks?

I like it; I've always liked it. I think it's especially effective in a weak draft because you might be trading into a strong draft, which means you'd be adding value. It's all about value, right? I also think it's effective for teams with loaded rosters. Why draft another player that will struggle to make your team? Real estate is about location, location and location. The draft, in my opinion, is about value, value and value.

Lane from Longwood, FL

Vic, thanks to ESPN, we now know when and how many times Bobby Petrino called and texted his mistress. Is this really any of our business? At some point, the TMZ generation took over and we now delve into the personal lives of athletes. I don't really care about any of that and I wish we could go back to the days of reading about sports and not hear gossip and tabloid exploits of our coaches and athletes. What's your take on this evolution of the sports media?

I think it's a good thing Paul Hornung didn't have a cell phone.

Mike from Brunswick, GA

In the "NFL Films" documentary of the 1971 Redskins, George Allen gave away TVs, radios and the like for rewarding players. In one particular postgame meeting, however, he had a problem with Biggs, the Redskins DE, stepping on an opponent's hand after a play and wouldn't give him a TV. The problem he said he had was that Biggs didn't break the guy's hand when he did it. I think Gregg Williams simply forgot what decade he was coaching in.

Those were different times. Back then, those kinds of stories had a certain charm to them. They were regarded as comical examples of big, tough football players doing what big, tough football players do. Walter Cronkite narrated a CBS documentary entitled, "The Violent World of Sam Huff." In the documentary, Huff said: "We try to hurt everybody. We hit each other as hard as we can. This is a man's game." NFL Films wired for sound a linebacker named Bill Saul; it's a legendary "Lost Treasure." In the film, Saul is heard to target a player on the opposing team. When he finally gets his man, Saul exults in the player's injury. That was then. That's the culture the commissioner is attempting to change.

Greg from Bellevue, WA

Loved the tribute to Coach Lombardi in the column. Is there a coach today that defines the game in its current form?

I think Bill Belichick does.

Ben from De Pere, WI

If you had to pick any of Ted's drafts, what would you say is his best to date?

It's the 2005 draft for one reason: Aaron Rodgers. You can't win if you don't have "The Man" and Rodgers is "The Man." It's a pick that defines Ted Thompson's career. Forever, he will be known as the guy that drafted Aaron Rodgers.

Michael from Orlando, FL

Is Trent Richardson worth a top-five pick?

Is any back in today's game worth a top-five pick? That's the question a lot of draftniks are asking. I believe strongly in selecting the highest-rated player, but I also believe there has to be a system for weighting certain positions. For example, passer, pass blocker, pass rusher and pass defender are the premium positions in today's game, and I think they have to be weighted as such. It all boils down to a team's process for stacking its board. The process is at the test.

Brian from Philo, IL

Vic, what are your thoughts on Whitney Mercilus? Do you think he's a guy that can come into the league and make an immediate impact?

He certainly passes the eye test, but because he only has one season of high-end production behind him, he carries a "one-year wonder" stigma. That wouldn't back me off picking him, provided I thought he was worthy of the pick. Picking pass rushers is like playing pin the tail on the donkey. It's hit and miss, mostly miss, but you can't hit if you don't play.

James from Wausau, WI

I would really like your opinion on the "Madden Curse." Recent years dictate it as a feasible answer to the way a player plays the year after they grace the cover. Would you agree? Do you believe in the curse? Be as brutal as you can to this question.

Clearly, we have enough evidence now to know that the "Madden Curse" is a real phenomenon and should be avoided at all cost. That's why it's important not to be too successful, because if you're too successful you might end up on whatever it is you're on when you get the "Madden Curse." This is critical thinking that must be considered by contemporary coaches.

Daniel from Orlando, FL

For the purpose of moving up in the draft, how much does a team look at the needs of the teams picking just before them to determine whether to move up or not?

That's why teams conduct mock drafts prior to the draft. They want to know what each team's potential targets are.

Kent from Aurora, WI

It sure is a shame, the Collins injury. I remember the Packers losing another CB, Tim Lewis, a good while back. How good could he have been?

He was on his way to becoming an outstanding player for the Packers when a neck injury ended his career. Six years ago, when Lewis was an assistant coach for Tom Coughlin in New York, Coach Coughlin had Tim advise me on a neck procedure he had recently undergone. His advice helped me avoid having a second fusion operation. I can remember thinking back then what a shame it was that a neck injury abruptly ended Lewis' career. He had prototype size, speed and athletic ability.

Hawken from Clemson, SC

I'm curious as to how you would define a true fan. Some say stay in your seat until the clock runs out, no matter the score or record. Others say to be a good fan you have to show management your disapproval by hitting them where it hurts by not buying tickets, apparel, etc. What fan approach do you prefer?

Unconditional love is the only kind of love of worth. True fans love their team win or lose and never waver in their support. That loyalty allows the team to operate with a sharp focus on doing what it takes to win, not on what it takes to sell tickets. I think I'm describing Packers fans.

Richard from Lake Havasu City, AZ

Did you have any contact with the late Bud Carson? He was a genius in his own right. What is your opinion of Bud Carson?

He's the first defensive coordinator I covered. He is the father of cover two; he is its creator. When I think of Bud, I envision the light from a projector cutting through the smoky darkness of his dorm room. Bud always left his door open and seldom did I walk past his room that it wasn't dark and the projector wasn't running.

A.J. from Richland Center, WI

Vic, is there a player that could sneak into the middle of the first round that could blow up everyone's mock drafts?

When the second tweener is picked, the run is on and that could blow up a lot of mock drafts.

James from Slinger, WI

How is the stadium construction coming along?

Now that the weather is warming up, I've been going out into the bowl to sit in the sun and watch the guys on the high iron. Let me tell you, the iron is getting real high. They've just started building the steel frame for the scoreboard in the south end zone, and it's a way up there. The work is beginning to present a form and I think it looks great.

Tom from Bloomington, MN

You stated it and I've seen it, that a team would rather have a draft pick than trade it for a proven player. Mike Wallace is a good example. Why is that the case?

It's the way it's been in all of the years I've covered football. Picks, not players. I think it has to do with the maneuverability draft picks offer. As long as you have that pick, you have the potential to trade up or down, target a player and go get him, or get out of the spot and add extra picks. Plus, there's often a stigma attached to a player another team is willing to trade: So what's wrong with him that they don't want him?

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