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Some quarterbacks could call their own plays

More runners than passers in today’s game


Chris from Greeley, CO

Two weeks in a row I suggested the drafts of Xavier Rhodes and/or Eric Reid, which you chose to ignore, meanwhile, suggesting offensive players. Looks like Bucky Brooks agrees with me on his latest mock draft. You, however, are an idiot.


Mark from Valparaiso, IN

Aaron is getting sacked way too much. I feel a quality running back is the cleanest solution. We need a guy to break a few to slow up the pass rush.

That would help.

Scott from Madison, WI

I read the column almost every day (and love it), but according to some readers you give condescending answers that inflame people, but are never willing to say anything that isn't politically correct. Am I missing something?

No, I think you've got it.

Billy from Brookfield, WI

"The NFL is mandating that all teams place cameras in the home locker room for the 2013 season." What is your take, Vic?

The intent is to give the fans in the stadium a view the fan watching the game on TV won't get. It's a way of adding value to a game ticket. I like the idea, but I suspect the TV networks won't warm to the idea of being denied access to that video. I don't know how you show something to 70,000 people and hide it from the rest of the world. I'm intrigued.

Mike from St. Louis, MO

Vic, the 2018 season will be the NFL's 100th season. Do you think it's safe to say the league will have some major festivities planned? I would like to see a massive, 10-hour, Ken Burns-style documentary miniseries, with all the great stories and archival footage from the earliest days. What would you like to see?

If I make it that far, I will have covered nearly half of the NFL's 100 seasons. I've got my own miniseries and it's shown inside my head all the time. Memories are wonderful. I pray I'll have them forever.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, you mentioned that Terry Bradshaw called his own plays. If Aaron Rodgers called his own plays, would there be a huge difference in the Packers' offensive strategy?

They'd be running the same plays from the same playbook, but different men call them in different orders. I think something was lost when quarterbacks had plays called for them from the bench. What was lost was how a quarterback would set one play up with another one. The quarterback might hear a defender say something and use that against the defense. There's a sense of the flow of the game and for the human confrontation that can't be felt on the sideline. There's a feel for the huddle that can't be felt on the sideline. The quarterback has his finger on the pulse of his team and the game. I understand that he has a lot on his plate and calling the plays might be too much for one man to manage, and I understand that the quarterback does a lot of play-changing at the line of scrimmage, but Aaron Rodgers is one of those quarterbacks that has an aptitude and a feel for the game that would've made him a natural for the era when quarterbacks did it all. Don Shula found out quickly who called Unitas' plays, and we know who called the "Ice Bowl" play. That's the game I love.

Mitch from Austin, TX

Vic, just saw an article that said the Packers have the least amount of dead money on their cap in the NFL. Guess we did win the offseason?

Dead money means you are playing with less than a full cap. When you have the least amount of dead money in the league, you are, in effect, playing with a larger cap than your competition. I understand that cash over cap nullifies that advantage, but not over the long haul. Cap room wasted is cap room irretrievably lost. That's a fundamental of cap management. Too many teams and too many fans try to excuse cap waste as aggressiveness. It's waste; that's all.

Collin from Kirkwood, MO

Vic, big fan of your work, however, I do not agree that Tom Brady and the Patriots raised the bar for everyone. They admittedly cheated throughout a run of championships. That is not a bar that any team should be measured by.

Spygate will, no doubt, taint how history will record the Patriots. I think it will especially hurt them down the road, when people who bit their tongue while they were still in the game, start to talk.

Richard from New Glarus, WI

Vic, one thing that I think turns Packers fans off about you is that you talk like you're a tough guy. Got a bit of a Napoleon complex, do you?

It's a tough game for tough guys.

Mike from Mankato, MN

Why is it a number of former backup QBs to Favre went on to have fairly successful careers? Brunell, Hasselbeck and Brooks, to name a few; there was Warner, too. Is this careful scouting, coaching, or just luck?

Somebody had an eye for quarterbacks.

Nick from State College, PA

I might be misunderstanding the cap, but it seems to me after your Rodgers to the Bears post that the salary cap discourages teams from trading players, as it creates dead space on their caps. Is that right?

That's correct. I think we're making progress in understanding how teams are hamstrung by the salary cap. The fans see opportunity. GMs see cap space.

Russell from Shorewood, WI

What are your thoughts on Datone Jones at 26?

He's one of the many prospects that appears to fit at the bottom of the first round. Tony Pauline was the first draftnik I heard tout Jones as a prospect to play 3-4 end. When Tony said that to me at the Senior Bowl, I wrinkled my nose because Jones had a long and lean look to me. Now, everybody is touting Jones as a 3-4 end. Once again, I have learned that when Tony talks, I should listen.

James from Ilkley, UK

So why do you think NFL teams are now more committed to trying to make option football work?

It's because the supply of running quarterbacks is greater than the supply of drop-back types. If teams don't find ways to adapt, then only the teams with the best drop-back quarterbacks will be Super Bowl contenders, and that group would continue to dwindle. The quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl were terrible; there's really no way to soften that evaluation. The best quarterback at the Senior Bowl might've been Denard Robinson, and he was playing wide receiver. Here's the question: Will the read-option succeed over the long haul? If the answer to that question is no, then the drop-back quarterback's value will increase even more. The read-option saga is going to be a major story in the NFL's future. A lot is at stake.

Paul from Bristol, England

Which QBs do you think are the best (post-snap) readers of the field?

Aaron Rodgers is the best I've ever covered. Terry Bradshaw improved greatly in the second half of his career, but there were throws (check-downs and outlets) Brad didn't want to make, so he didn't even look that way. He might've been the best deep-ball passer of all time and his eyes were always downfield looking for the home run ball. Rodgers truly surveys the field. It's amazing how many times his head moves right and left as he stands in the pocket.

Pete from Snohomish, WA

You know who we need? John Riggins. Just watched a documentary on him. Besides his off-the-field issues, the guy was a beast. Do you remember watching him play?

What I remember are the few times I interviewed him. Riggo was a joy. He was a free spirit who'd talk on anything from chop blocks to metaphysics. I'll never forget his Mohawk; it was the best Mohawk of all time. If I miss anything about the old guys, it's their personality. They were rough-and-tumble guys that spoke as they played. I never heard them say, "I just want to contribute." I get sad when I hear a player say that. I refuse to use it in a story. Of course you want to contribute. Do you think we think they brought you here to not contribute? The players of today are afraid to talk, and I guess I understand why, but the old guys weren't afraid to talk and we had media back then that printed what they said. They just didn't care what the fallout of what they said was. They were too tough to care about words. Riggo was never afraid of words. I loved watching the Vinny Cerrato videos he did in recent years. As a player, had Riggo not botched the early years of his career, there's no telling what he might've accomplished. He was special, a rare blend of power and speed.

Bryce from Milwaukee, WI

I understand every team has their own scouts. I also understand there are two main scouting organizations in the league. How does one differ from the other?

They are Blesto and National, and most teams belong to one or the other. Blesto was the first-ever scouting combine; Bears, Lions, Eagles, Steelers Talent Organization. It increased its membership through the years, but National's emergence cut into Blesto's membership and National's membership is now much bigger. Both organizations do roughly the same thing; they provide information on draft prospects to their member teams. There are no critical differences.

Jason from Toronto, ON

Vic, I'm puzzled why you continue to refer to yourself as media. That's like saying Jay Carney is media. Of course he was at one time, but now he's the spokesperson for the White House. You are supposed to be the mouthpiece of the Packers and not an independent reporter. In the same way Ted Thompson is allowed to openly cheer for the Packers, you should be allowed to do so as well. But, of course, you may have to leave the press box in order to do it.

I think way too much time is spent analyzing who I am and what my role is for this website. I'm a reporter; that's all. That's all I've been for 42 years and I aspire to be nothing more.

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