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No such thing as a penciled-in win

Tim Masthay will show his mettle


Reid from Bangkok, Thailand

Why do so many locker room reporters chew gum?

I chew gum because I don't wanna be known as "Old Hot Dog Breath."

Michael from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I noticed in the list of the 19 free agent signings there were one safety and three cornerbacks, all being 5-10 or 5-11. Why so short?

That's not short for a cornerback. Darrelle Revis is 5-11. A six-foot cornerback is considered to be big. It's tough to find guys who can run backwards as fast as receivers can run forward, so to speak, and tall tends not to be as nimble as short, yet, you need tall or jump high to be able to match up against tall along the boundary. That's why the position is at such a premium. Mel Blount is the exception. At nearly 6-4, he moved with the grace and suddenness of a smaller man. To put Blount's size in perspective, Deion Sanders is 6-1.

Jennifer from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, nothing bothers me more than when a facemask is grabbed and a ref doesn't see it or the penalty is not called. Is there any way a sensor could be in the helmet to register when a mask is grabbed? A light on the helmet would go on and it would be on only when players are on the field.

It has been my experience that grabbing the facemask is the one call officials don't miss, or at the least very rarely miss. I would be absolutely opposed to any device that would increase the number of penalties called in a game. We already have too many. In fact, if I was named commissioner today, the first thing I would do is call Dean Blandino and tell him I want fewer penalties.

Andrew from Omaha, NE

No. 72, Josh James, Coeur d'Alene, ID. Once again, you and your column have conveyed a peculiar sense of foresight. I will never forget about this town I first heard of on April 1, 2016. I'm rooting for this guy to make the team.

I was surprised nobody got the hint.

Greg from Las Vegas, NV

Vic, I live in Las Vegas. What are your thoughts about having the Raiders relocate here?

I would foresee challenges.

Ryan from Atlanta, GA

Would you rather be a late seventh-round draft pick or an undrafted free agent?

I'd like to carry through life the distinction of having been an NFL draft pick, but if I make the team and I have a long and successful career, I'd rather have been an undrafted player. I always root for the story.

Dan from Madison, AL

Vic, do you find references to the "Patriot Way" or "Steelers Football" to be snobbish?

No, I don't, nor do I find "Packers Offense" to be snobbish. All three refer to a particular style: the Patriots for patching holes on an annual basis, the Steelers for a strong running game and defense, and the Packers for an up-tempo offense. I don't like the idea of suggesting the players the Packers pick are of a higher order than the players other teams pick. I find that to be snobbish. I'm not big on class distinction.

Dave from Hartford, WI

How many different positions do you expect Jason Spriggs will be able to learn/play?

If a guy can play left tackle, and Spriggs can, he can play all of the line positions that don't require him to shove a ball between his legs. If he can also shove a ball between his legs, he can play center, too. Football is a left tackle game. That's why the franchise tag for all offensive linemen is effectively the cost of a left tackle.

Curt from Portland, OR

Vic, on reflection, I have to agree Ted Thompson is seeking a specific kind of player lately. They tend to be more intelligent or demonstrate skills for being good teammates. Not sure I agree that's the best way to go, but Ted has spoken frankly about it and it does distinguish the Packers from many other (not all) teams that don't place as much emphasis on that. Nothing snobby about that; it's a philosophy, that's all.

We have a pool and a pond; the pond would be good for you? Baloney! All teams are looking for intelligent young men who demonstrate skills for being good teammates. This "it means more to us" attitude bothers me. I don't like it. I see all of us as members of the fraternity of football, regardless of IQ or social standing. "If all men count with you, but none too much."

Nathan from Baltimore, MD

Tim Masthay is a pro. How do you think he'll react to the Packers bringing in competition for him again?

As Mason Crosby did in 2013. This is Tim's time. I have no doubt he will show his mettle.

Matt from Round Rock, TX

Vic, in baseball, which doesn't have a meaningful cap, the small-market, consistent winner is an aberration. What would make football different, if the salary cap was eliminated?

There's a much greater supply of football talent in America than there is baseball talent. Football is a game of replacement; baseball is a game of maintenance. A football team can rebuild much more quickly than a baseball team can. One draft class will do it, if the football team has "The Man." A baseball team has to begin by rebuilding its farm system. Having said all of that, please understand I don't advocate elimination of the draft or the salary cap. I was just asked what I thought would happen if they didn't exist. In my opinion, football's greatest gift is the seemingly endless supply of talent available to it. Should the concussion thing shrink the game, the endless supply of available talent will also shrink, and football would begin to experience the same problems baseball does.

Rob from Brookfield, WI

Personally, I'm getting a little frustrated with everyone trying to play head coach and set the depth chart before the Packers have even had a practice. It's a game of replacement. If a rookie comes in and proves to be better than a veteran, I'm all for it. Every team is trying to get better and win, and has to be willing to do whatever is necessary. Great column, Vic. Keep it up!

Game of replacement? Check the Packers' starting lineup for Super Bowl XLV.

Tom from Bismarck, ND

Vic, I once glued all five of my offensive linemen together for my electric football game. Didn't let my brother see it until the first play. Didn't work. All five vibrated in a circle. Moral of the story: One good back that can run straight will make any line look a lot better.

You always impressed me, Tom, as an electric football kind of guy.

Ed from St. Paul, MN

I've been watching highlights of Trevor Davis at Cal. We know he runs well, but he also has good size and he seems to have very good hands. How does a guy with those attributes get picked so late in the draft?

There are a lot of guys 6-1, 190, who can run fast, jump high and catch.

Jeff from Eveleth, MN

Vic, we have noseeums in Minnesota, too. They leave a worse welt than mosquitoes or deer flies. I feel your pain.

Those are called youfeelums.

Dan from Wheat Ridge, CO

What are some of your all-time memorable trade-up disasters?

The Jaguars traded up for Derrick Harvey. The Ravens used the Jaguars pick to draft Joe Flacco. You wanna trade-down disaster? The Steelers traded down and drafted Eric Green. The Cowboys used the Steelers pick to draft Emmitt Smith. What's the moral of those stories?

Toby from La Crosse, WI

Scheme players, not weather temperatures?

There's a point to all of this weather discussion: When we looked at the Packers' 2016 opponents, we all penciled in a win over the Jaguars, right? There is no such thing in the NFL as a penciled-in win.

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