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Sam Barrington is challenging himself

Let’s throw around some draft names


Owen from Portland, OR

Talk is cheap, but I love Barrington taking ownership of the Packers defense. He is embracing high expectations and giving himself something to live up to. Hopefully, his play can match the talk. In your opinion, has Barrington proven himself as a starting-caliber linebacker, or is the jury still out?

The jury is out on every player all the time. This is at all times a prove-it business. If it's been detected in practice that you might've lost a step, you're immediately on your way out. Last season, Sam Barrington proved what was already suspected, that he has the talent to be a starting-caliber linebacker. This year, he'll have a chance to become that player. That's where his career is. He appears to be challenging himself to become that player.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Vic, with millions of people on the planet to choose from, there are only a dozen or so people who can truly be called "The Man" for their team. What makes finding "The Man" so difficult?

It's the rare combination of physical talent, courage and intelligence. Imagine standing in a fixed position and ignoring the grunts and groans of big men coming toward you with the purpose of hitting you as hard as they can. When does courage give way to intelligence and you sneak a look at the rush? The men who play quarterback are, in my opinion, the most special athletes in all of sports.

Paul from Madison, WI

Vic, I am an avid ProFootballTalk reader and they just did a mock draft with the Packers taking a wide receiver. Do you see any chance of this happening?


I won't discount the possibility of a wide receiver being at the top of the Packers' board when it's their turn to pick, but the Packers have shown a reluctance to draft wide receivers in the first round when they have need at the position, so it's difficult to imagine them drafting one in the first round in a year in which they don't appear to have need at the position.** Eric from Louisville, KY

Vic, Jordan Spieth showed on Sunday he's no Greg Norman at crunch time.

It was an amazing wire-to-wire performance. Is Spieth the new Tiger? Here's another question I found myself asking yesterday: Why am I enjoying this Masters so much? I decided it was because they weren't playing the crying song.

T.J. from Chicago, IL

Vic, do you believe Eric Kendricks is worth the Packers' first-round pick?

I believe he's a worthy candidate for it.

Trent from Arpin, WI

Don't teams negotiate their own preseason schedules outside of the league?

It's not that way anymore. I believe that changed with realignment in 2002. As I recall, the league agreed to do the preseason scheduling to appease a few teams that didn't like where they were placed in realignment. The league promised it would provide those teams with attractive preseason schedules. The Jaguars were one of those teams.

Ernie from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I may not always agree with you, but read your article each day and love it. When is the offseason for Vic? Seems it's slow in Packer land right now, but you seem very busy with the draft coming up. What is the slowest time of year for you?

The period between the end of OTAs and the start of training camp is the slowest time of the year for everybody in the league.

Derek from Fife Lake, MI

What do you think of Denzel Perryman?

He reminds me of Dexter Coakley.

Dominick from Berwyn, IL

Vic, how does Byron Jones in the first round and Denzel Perryman in the second sound?

Sounds like a winning combination.

Dennis from Ferguson, IL

Has Ted Thompson ever shared a list of players he coveted that were picked one pick ahead?

I doubt it. Thompson is the most secretive drafter I have ever covered.

Jake from Palm Springs, CA

Vic, you are hilarious. Thank you for keeping the dead season entertaining.

What did I do? Rob from Fremont, CA

My dad was an AFL man. He loved two players in particular, The Mad Bomber (Daryl Lamonica) and Bambi (Lance Alworth). I'd love to hear how they would translate to today's game.

They could play and star in any era. Lamonica had a world-class arm and Alworth had world-class speed.

Andrew from Fullerton, CA

Vic, you've mentioned how technology has changed your job over four-plus decades, but how have the demands of the job changed? Is it still as fun as when you started?

It's fun but in a different way. Early in my career, getting to know the players made the job fun. We "camped out" in their dormitory rooms to kill time between practices. We learned things about them that deepened our stories. Those days are gone. These days, the fans make it fun for me. That's what the Internet has allowed. This kind of column didn't exist early in my career because we didn't have a means for communicating with fans as readily as we do today. I'm not sure I enjoy football as much as I did in the beginning, but I enjoy writing about football a lot more now. It's because of this column.

Noah from Waukesha, WI

How do you keep your sanity?

My inbox entertains me and grounds me. Today I'm getting a kick out of the people in my inbox that are upset with me for my remarks about Augusta National being too soft. It brings a smile to my face that people would come to the defense of a club that wouldn't let them in the front door.

Jeremy from Alexandria, VA

Vic, in light of Polamalu's retirement, what is the best hair in the history of the NFL?

I loved John Riggins' Mohawk. I also loved Ernie Holmes' arrow cut.

Hunter from Stevens Point, WI

If the Packers could have any linebacker in the entire history of the NFL play for them, who would you pick? For me, it would have to either be Ray Nitschke or Jack Lambert.

For a 3-4, Ray Lewis and LeVon Kirkland are the first names that come to mind.

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