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Pass rushers make our heart beat faster

"Ask Vic" in Green Bay approaching 50,000 customers served


Courtney from Butte, MT

But that assumes Emmitt was on Pittsburgh's list and at the same position as Dallas. Clearly, no two boards are alike. I think that is a quote from you.

They loved him and he fit where they were picking. It was a decision they wouldn't have made when they picked nine Hall of Famers between 1969-74, and it was a decision they stopped making shortly after it backfired on them. The moral of the story is: Don't let one mistake cause you to make another. Just pick the best guy. You won't regret it.

Mike from Davenport, IA

Iowa went undefeated in the regular season and was even ranked third near the end of the season, yet, the draft was almost devoid of Hawkeyes. Was it a lack of professional talent?

Rankings? Didn't we talk about this last fall? Rankings are fiction.

Tal from Ascot, UK

I don't understand, why don't defensive coordinators just put their best pass rusher against the right tackle?

Because they'd run at him. We've been over this before. Football has become a game of specialization and rushing the passer is one of those specialized acts. The majority of premier pass rushers are quick-twitch, light-in-the-pants defenders that regard stopping the run as something akin to washing windows. In other words, they don't wash windows. You put those twiggies up against snowplow right tackles such as Bryan Bulaga and you won't have to worry about protecting your quarterback's blindside because there won't be a need to pass the ball. Now, if you've got Reggie White on your team … how many teams have a Reggie White?

Chris from Chippewa Falls, WI

Love reading "Ask Vic" every day. Any chance you could answer even more questions since your duties are a little less at now?

Probably not, Chris. I don't want to get up any earlier than 5:30.

Chris from Summerville, SC

What does Joe Whitt Jr. do that makes him such a great coach?

He does the same three things every coach does: demand, support, teach. Joe shares a deep bond with his players. He loves them and they love him. He is ultra-demanding but willing to work with them and spend whatever time it takes to teach the technique they must master. His love is unconditional; his evaluation of their performance is not. His players get it.

Sean from Haltom City, TX

As a father of two, I've always wondered about the bubble players making ends meet. When they sign their contracts after the draft, do they get paid immediately or do they only get paid if they make the team later in the year?

This CBA has resulted in draft picks signing contracts soon after being picked. That wasn't the case with previous CBAs. Almost none of the picks would sign contracts until the week before training camp began, and the first-round pick would often sign the day camp began. The undrafted guys already had their signing bonuses, though small, but the draft picks were living off team stipends, which is exactly what the teams wanted. As a personnel director once said to me: "It's tough to get into trouble when you don't have any money to go out on the town." I can remember rookies hanging out at the team facility just so they could get three meals a day for free. They were living in the team hotel, riding the team bus to the facility and eating the team food. Talk about a captive audience? In the process, they were lifting weights and getting ready for the start of training camp, instead of being back home spending their signing bonus money. Frankly, I liked the old way better. I thought it gave the rookies a head start on their pro careers and helped them compete for playing time earlier.

Tom from Brandon, FL

I enjoy your column. The noseeum biting you actually spits saliva, which acts as an anti-coagulant into the hole. This is the source of the reaction to the bite. Bug spit. Yum. Avon Skin So Soft is an effective repellent for noseeums and nose tackles.

I just put a dryer sheet under my hat. Tom, if I pulled out a tube of Avon Skin So Soft in my foursome, they'd make me hit from the ladies' tee.

Ian from Chicago, IL

How are locker rooms organized? Do the guys pick who they're next to? The coaches? Is it pretty much the same for every team or different?

It's been different with every team I've covered. In Jacksonville there was a defensive backs corner of the locker room. Mark Brunell dressed closest to the entrance to the shower, which might've been a result of being the quarterback; that position offers a quick path away from the media. The Steelers just seemed to patch guys in as other guys got cut. It appeared to be by number at one point; attrition changed that. I don't know what the Packers' formula for assigning positions is, but I have no doubt there's a plan to it. The bottom line is this: Veteran players don't like changing their position, so as players come and go, the original strategy gets lost in the shuffle.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Vic, I hear what you are saying about the need to expand internationally, since youth participation in the U.S. is declining, however, won't those same conditions, i.e., concussions and safety, stand in the way of their participation? Besides, they also have soccer.

It's time football does to soccer in Europe what soccer is trying to do to football in America.

Dillon from Minneapolis, MN

Vic, over the weekend I asked my sister, who is seven months pregnant, and her husband if they would allow their son to play football when he gets older, and they were shocked I even had to ask, and responded with, "You seriously think we would let him play football?" I'm scared for the future, Vic.

When I was a kid playing Little League baseball, the team in the field would chant, "He can't hit, he can't hit, swing batter," and then everybody would laugh when the kid swung and missed. Today, they'd stop the game and tell the kids in the field to stop saying that. Hey, we love our children.

Jason from Menomonee Falls, WI

Who gets relegated to the side locker room? Is there a certain amount of comfort that goes along with a spot in the locker room?

The undrafted players and practice squad players dress in the wings – I think they're kind of cozy – and moving from there to a spot in the main locker room usually means you've arrived. Comfort? There is no such thing in the NFL as comfort. Coach Noll said you never arrive.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

What will a fullback like Ripkowski do that shows a jump?

Block. Let's begin with that. In time, I'd like to see him catch a little and be used creatively as a short-yardage runner. Those little surprises grew John Kuhn's legend, but that's not how a fullback makes the team. He makes the team by blocking. Remember that block Kuhn put on Julius Peppers? Kuhn was in the game on that play for a reason.

Travis from Danbury, WI

What does the NFL look like when it has no more room for growth in the world? Teams on each continent?

It'll look like McDonald's, but instead of selling Big Macs where they eat with chopsticks, kids will be catching footballs where they hit soccer balls with their heads.

Hill from Reseda, CA

Vic, you said Proposition 48 was an injustice to football but, in a way, isn't it another way of the NFL saying education matters?

Prop 48 isn't an NFL rule, it's an NCAA rule. I get what the NCAA was trying to do. It was trying to clean up major college football but, in the process, it targeted HBCU schools and their football programs were decimated by the rule. This goes deeper than grades and SAT scores. The HBCU schools have long been about socio-economic issues. There should've been some kind of an exemption for them from this rule.

Dave from East Burke, VT

Which draft pick are you most excited about?

Kyler Fackrell. Pass rushers make our heart beat faster.

Tom from Bismarck, ND

Vic, a draft guru friend of mine once stated, "When in doubt, go with the lower Wonderlic score." I've always lived by those words. By the way, he and I both like your column.

Hollywood Henderson said Terry Bradshaw couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the C and the A. What does it say when you lose to someone like that?

Larry from Macomb, IL

My favorite Sam Cooke song is "Bring It On Home to Me." Do you have a favorite one?

That's mine, too.

Doug from Littleton, CO

Has Johnny Manziel played his last down in the NFL? I can't see any team taking the risk.

I think it's time for the media to stop giving us daily updates on the life and times of Johnny Manziel. There's no story there anymore. People have stopped reading.

Randy from Portage, WI

Gotta say one other thing about media and shouting. In the last few years, I'm convinced America has become a land where everyone talks (or shouts) and nobody is listening.

I listen. I listen every Monday-Saturday, and even on Sundays during the season. This column has listened to maybe a million questions over the years. One day, I'm going to try to calculate how many questions this column has answered. In Green Bay alone, it's approaching 50,000.

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