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Suspense beginning to build for draft

Don’t ignore quarterback position too long


Bruce from Virginia Beach, VA

The Packers seem to have kept most of their essential players, leaving only inside linebacker and cornerback as real needs. I would think this means they can draft without desperation. This seems to be a formula for success.

Drafting with desperation is a killer. Teams that do that tend to pick the same guy several times so they make sure they've addressed their need, which results in wasted picks. Or maybe they try to catch lightning in a bottle by drafting a guy with great measurables but who wasn't real productive in college due to injury or academic issues, etc. If you know anything about Ted Thompson, you know he's not the desperate type. Nothing is going to cause him to panic. The Packers have a draft plan. They didn't allow the losses to occur at the two positions you've named without knowing how they were going to address them.

Jimmy from Jacksonville, FL

Say the top two quarterbacks go one, two in the draft. If you're the Jags GM, who would you select at No. 3?


Leonard Williams; I think he's the best player in the draft.**

Chris from Anchorage, AK

What is your opinion of second chances when it comes to talented athletes who have made significant mistakes, broken the law?

I believe in second chances. I also believe football is a tough game played by tough guys, and sometimes tough guys run with a tough crowd. I'm more tolerant of off-the-field issues than most fans are. I don't know how you can expect a player to express aggressiveness on the field without having some of that in his natural personality. For me, the issue boils down to severity and remorse. Can the transgressions be forgiven and is the player remorseful? If I believe the answers to be yes, then I'm going to give him a second chance.

Cam from Fort Atkinson, WI

Which pro sport do you think has the most difficulty identifying incoming talent?

I think baseball is the most difficult sport to scout. How do you know if a prospect can hit a curve ball if you haven't seen him hit one? The pitchers in high school can't make the ball spin as the guys in the big leagues do. How many great prospects' careers fizzled because they couldn't hit a curve ball? Even at the college level, where the pitchers can throw a curve, most prospects can sit on the fastball and let the curve go by.

Adam from Carbondale, IL

Vic, who do you see being higher on the depth chart, Raji or Guion?

First of all, depth charts mean nothing, especially in the offseason. I could make a case for B.J. Raji being No. 1 based on his career esteem, and I could make a case for Letroy Guion being No. 1 based on having held the job all last season. I'd probably leave it the way it was when last season ended.

Sean from Boulder, CO

Anyone who thinks the Patriots won because of deflated footballs needs to watch a little more football. But, anyway, in your years, what is the furthest bending of the rules a team has done with a Super Bowl victory as the result?

If those balls were in any way deflated with the intent of achieving a competitive advantage, then I guess I need to watch a little more football. The football is the centerpiece of the game. It must never be compromised. I take this issue very seriously and I will not be satisfied by this investigation unless it provides a clear answer to what happened.

George from New Paltz, NY

Vic, how come all teams don't hit on first-rounders? How is it a sixth-rounder can become a starter and a first-rounder doesn't pan out?

It's a crystal ball business. It's not the scout's job to determine what a player has done; it's the scout's job to predict what he will do, and that's a difficult task because you don't know what a player's ceiling is. The first-rounder might be as good as he's going to get. The sixth-rounder might have a higher level in him. You can't know for sure until you get them in an NFL environment.

Guy from Barron, WI

"Bradshaw beat Tarkenton and Staubach." I think the Steelers might have had something to do with that.

Had Tarkenton quarterbacked the Steelers and Bradshaw had quarterbacked the Vikings in Super Bowl IX, Tarkenton would've won. Reverse the quarterbacks for Super Bowls X and XIII? I don't know. Bradshaw made the big plays in those games. He's a very underrated and misunderstood quarterback. What most fans don't appreciate about Bradshaw is he was the first quarterback to take advantage of the rules changes of 1978. Steel Curtain? Not in XIII and XIV. It was all Bradshaw.

Marshall from Ashburn, VA

As a devout Packers fan and an alum of the University of Kentucky, I appreciate your observations of Calipari. As I tell people, Cal is not the only coach that recruits one-and-done players, he has just been the most successful in preparing them for the NBA.

Syracuse won a title with Carmelo Anthony. Nobody loves to see a team stay together and develop cohesiveness more than I do, but raw talent is undeniable. There is no substitute for it.

Jimmy from New Richmond, WI

What is your favorite part about the draft?

It's the build up. I love the suspense, which begins about now and leads right up to each team's first pick.

Eric from Okinawa City, Japan

Vic, do you see us looking for a quarterback in the 3-5 rounds of the draft, or do the coaches feel Tolzien is the answer?

I think Mike McCarthy has a lot of belief in Scott Tolzien's ability, but I also believe Coach McCarthy would love to get his hands on another developmental project. Quarterback is the most important position in sports and you don't want to ignore it in the draft for too many years. Yeah, I think the Packers would love to have one they like fall to them.

Andrew from Fort Collins, CO

The Packers have a strong roster, with only a few positional needs. Those last few positions can easily be addressed in the draft. If we signed free agents like many fans want, wouldn't that make it more likely we would have to cut up-and-coming young players in favor of overpaid veterans?

I guess so, but I don't think that's the issue. When you consider signing a free agent, you have to ask yourself two questions: 1) Do I already have that guy on my roster? 2) Can I draft that guy? If the answer to one or both of those questions is yes, then why waste the money on a free agent?

Elliot from Eagan, MN

Vic, who would you put on your Mt. Rushmore of NFL broadcasters? I would probably put Howard Cosell, Al Michaels and John Madden as a team (that counts as one), John Facenda and Pat Summerall.

You want four heads, right? Cosell, Summerall, Madden and Curt Gowdy.

Tony from Burbank, CA

Vic, what is a pre-draft visit? What happens during the visit and how many players visit each team?

It's a chance to get players you've targeted onto your turf and see how they react. There's no set number. You give them a tour of your facilities, talk to them and watch them interact with the other prospects on the visit. It's a chance to observe them. It's also a chance for the prospect to send a message. I remember Darrelle Revis visiting the Jaguars. They loved him and wanted to draft him, and Revis let it be known he wanted to play there. The Jaguars came real close to a draft-day trade that would've brought Revis to Jacksonville.

Noah from Omaha, NE

If you could go back in all of football history and change the outcome of one single play, which would it be?

I don't want to change it, but I'd love to know how pro football would be different had Bart Starr not scored. How would the Packers be different?

Don from Stevens Point, WI

Vic, since you are an employee of the Packers organization, what (if any) guidelines or restrictions are placed upon what or how you can portray the organization and its employees? How does this compare in regard to your last two positions?

There's no written rule, but I operate in my position the same as I did in Jacksonville when Wayne Weaver asked me to do the team's website. He said we won't tell you what to write, just don't embarrass the franchise. I think that's fair.

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