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Who's the Packers' defensive MVP of the offseason?


Mike from Somerset, WI

Vic, what does full participation in the offseason program say about the Packers? I don't ever remember an offseason when all Packers didn't participate.

It says the coach, the franchise and the team's pursuit of a championship have the players' complete respect and dedication. Everybody's bought into the program.

Jim from McLean, VA

Which great running back, more than any, owes his success to his offensive line?

The Redskins' offensive line of Hogs fame is the best run-blocking line I've ever seen, and John Riggins benefitted from it, but that doesn't mean Riggins wasn't a great running back. He's one of the best combinations of size and speed the game has ever known.

Walter from Long Beach, CA

What ever happened to rub some dirt on it and get back out there? Is it the money? You do great work. Thank you.

You bet it's the money, especially since the salary cap was born. These teams have major financial investments in these players. Those investments must be protected.

Brian from Mather, CA

Vic, we fans who post in the comments section here have been warned that "silly sign-offs" won't be tolerated. How is that defined and just how will it be mitigated (will warnings be issued)?

I have no idea what a silly sign-off is, but here's your warning: If it's bad, you're gone, and I know what bad is without having to define it. The comments section at the bottom of this column is a source of great pride for me and I'm thankful to have readers of such high quality. I don't think there's a message board or comments section like it anywhere else in the cyber world. I will not permit someone to poison this comments section with cutesy innuendo.

Rob from Webb City, MO

Vic, after watching all the interviews posted after practice on Thursday, I am under the impression Mike McCarthy and company really have this team ready to come back in six weeks and work really hard to get ready for the season. Did you come away with a similar feeling?

Yes, I did, and I'll tell you how Coach McCarthy and the Packers do it: draft and develop. When you stay young, you stay aggressive. The Packers' roster is full of young lions wanting to roar. They keep the old guys on their toes.

Fearn from Rolling Meadows, IL

Tiger's fall from greatness has been a process in the making since his last major win (2008 U.S. Open). Have you ever witnessed or heard of anything comparable to this situation with any other athlete?

Steve Blass went from 1972 National League Cy Young Award runner-up to not being able to throw a strike the following season.

Darren from Washington, DC

The NFL is entering the "Dead Zone" time of year, yet, we still yearn/search for new content. What do you believe has been some of the major changes over the years that have contributed to the NFL now being a year-round affliction for fans?

It's the draft. When I began covering the NFL, the draft was conducted one week after the Super Bowl. When the draft was over, football was over until July; there was nothing left to do because there was no minicamp back then. Moving the draft into the spring is one of the best decisions in NFL history. It was, of course, a product of the genius of Pete Rozelle.

Marc from Cumming, GA

Vic, I was banned for boycotting you for 72 hours and supporting Brett. When will I be unbanned? I have a brilliant question.

I've decided to extend your ban indefinitely.

Nate from Pueblo, CO

Do scouts ever go back and re-evaluate the players that were picked to see what they might have missed?

A college scouting director friend of mine showed up at a preseason game I was covering. I said, "What are you doing here?" He said he came to see what he missed in a particular first-round draft pick, but I'm sure he was just being sarcastic.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, you say you came to Green Bay because you wanted to cover big games. You came to Green Bay because you imagined those games taking place at Green Bay. Can you write for us a summary of that game you imagined?

I'm worried about you. I want you to see a doctor.

Randy from Portage, WI

The church I served (in Pittsburgh) would have a meal with hot dogs and sauerkraut every New Year's eve. How familiar is it to you?

It's an ethnic food tradition to celebrate the arrival of the new year. I'm not sure what the significance of sauerkraut is, but I have a feeling I don't want to know.

John from Allentown, PA

What is the advantage for the NFL in not having a minor league system? If you say college football is the NFL's minor league, why doesn't that hold true for MLB or the NHL?

The advantage is the NFL doesn't have to accept the financial liability that would go with having a minor league system. Yes, college football is a free minor league system for the NFL, and largely for the NBA, too. Why? Because college football and college basketball develop enough talent to supply the NFL and NBA with ready-to-play players; college baseball and college hockey don't produce enough ready talent to supply MLB or the NHL.

Matthew from Saint Paul, MN

Has team success in football always been so predicated upon having "The Man"? When did "The Man" become exclusively a quarterback?

The invention of the T formation is the answer. It defined the importance of the quarterback. As for the term "The Man," I think Bubby Brister invented it in 1989. He said, "Write it down, I'm 'The Man'," and I've been referring to the quarterback as "The Man" ever since.

Nathan from Salt Lake City, UT

Who is the Packers' defensive MVP this offseason?

Mike Daniels has been a ball of energy in every spring practice I've witnessed this year.

Dean from Orlando, FL

My guess is the next 4-6 weeks is the true opportunity for all teams' coaches to get vacation. Is this the true dead period in your calendar as well?

Not really. When I lived in Florida, I would go to the mountains when OTAs ended. It was a chance to relax in the cool mountain air. Now that I'm in Green Bay, I just stay here and relax in the cool air and save my vacation time to go south in the winter, instead of nearly dying pumping gas in Green Bay. I'll be doing the column through the "Dead Zone".

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