The regular writer of "Ask Vic," packers.com Editor Vic Ketchman, is on vacation. Staff Writer Mike Spofford is temporarily filling in to answer your "Ask Vic" questions. Vic will resume writing his daily column on Monday, July 9.
Logan from De Pere, WI
Could everybody please calm down? I am 15! I can take a bit of sarcasm! Anyway, Mike, I am not a defensive lineman so don't worry. I am just a small cross-country runner.
Nothing "small" about being a cross-country runner if you're out training in this heat wave. I'm going to try to brave the heat and walk the new Packers Heritage Trail today for a story I told Vic I'd do while he was gone. I'm going to load up my cargo shorts with as many bottles of water that will fit, and I'll just be strolling.
Steve from Ramsgate, England
Hi Mike. How is the stadium expansion going? Does it make Lambeau look even more intimidating? I hope it will trap the noise in and create havoc for opposing offenses.
Every time I walk into the stadium bowl and look toward the south end zone, I'm blown away by the size and scope of the addition. When there was first talk of a "wall of sound," I didn't quite get it in regards to an outdoor stadium. I get it now. That sound isn't going anywhere. The new video boards are no less impressive, too. You can see both of them, especially the one towering above the south end zone, from a long ways away, including from the highway I take across the river to come to work every day. I just hope once the season starts that drivers don't start causing a bunch of accidents because they're trying to watch the game on the big screens. I say that only half tongue-in-cheek.
Rob from Tampa, FL
Just to piggyback on the Barry Sanders '97 discussion and how it compares to other backs' great seasons, in the first two games of 1997 Sanders had only mustered 53 yards. That means he had a 2,000-yard season (exactly) in only 14 games. To me that is the clincher.
I had forgotten that about Sanders' 1997 season, but as soon as I read your note it rang a bell. Yeah, that's probably the clincher.
Mark from Reno, NV
Mike, I sent this question to Vic but never saw anything on it. I thought it was solid so I thought I would try again. How does Belichick win NFL "Coach of the Year" the same year Green Bay won the Super Bowl, but last year Harbaugh wins that award the same year Coach McCarthy takes the Packers to a 15-1 regular season? Regardless of how poorly our defense played last year, a 15-1 record following a Super Bowl win and he gets snubbed both years? I don't get it. I know Harbaugh took the same roster from the previous year to the NFC Championship game, but the postseason is not considered for the COY award. I am not understanding something.
Don't lose any sleep over this. The postseason doesn't count in COY voting (that's a debate for another day), and it wasn't considered for Harbaugh. Voters thought that McCarthy leading a Super Bowl champion to 15-1 was not as impressive as Harbaugh taking a 6-10 team to 13-3 and a division title as a first-year head coach who had no offseason with his players to implement his systems because of the lockout. With all due respect to Coach McCarthy – who I believe performed a coaching job for the ages in 2010 when the regular season and postseason are looked at in total – had I been forced to cast a single unbiased vote in 2011, mine would have gone to Harbaugh, too.
Shilo from Fallbrook, CA
Hey Mike, I have a spot for Favre in your Mount Rushmore analogy. I still remember Mount Crazy Horse from my trip to South Dakota in 1988. It was bigger than Rushmore, and it stood on its own. I think it fits what you were looking for with Favre, and I sincerely mean only the most complimentary interpretation of Mount Crazy Horse in regards to Favre.
I'll buy that. I don't know if I'd consider Favre "bigger" than those on Mount Rushmore, but you grasp the concept I was driving at. Back in those first couple of years, Mike Holmgren probably called him something like "Crazy Horse" a few times.
Mike from Littleton, CO
How much better would a practice squad player like Tori Gurley or one of the others have to be in order to replace a proven vet like Donald Driver?
We'll find out, won't we? But I honestly don't think Driver is competing for his roster spot this summer. That's just my opinion. If you look at GM Ted Thompson's history with proven veterans like Driver, he has often released them in the offseason if they're not in the team's plans so they have time to latch onto another team if there's interest out there. He does that rather than wait until the end of training camp, when it's harder for a long-time veteran to find a job with another team. So, reworking Driver's contract and having him finish OTAs and minicamp here after his dancing triumph tells me that, barring injury, Driver will be on the 53-man roster. Again, that's just my opinion.
Justin from Grand Rapids, MI
Randall Cobb no doubt has the makings to be a big threat in Green Bay for many years. Do you see him developing into more of a Jennings 2.0 or Driver 2.0?
I agree Cobb could really be something special, but I want to see the full description of Cobb 1.0 first. We haven't yet.
Chris from Wausau, WI
Mike, you mentioned players being "exposed to waivers" in one of your responses concerning keeping 11 WR/TE. What does that mean really? I'm a bit confused about the difference between a player being cut vs. waived and how waivers work.
The only difference is how many years of service the released player has accrued. Any player with less than four years of service is subject to the waiver wire when released, and during the season, teams have 24 hours to make a claim on an available player (the time period is longer in the offseason). Waiver claims, which require the new team to assume the terms of the player's current contract, are awarded based on the standings from the previous season, so the team with the worst record the prior year gets priority on waiver claims. About a month into the season, I believe, the waiver priority order is re-set to reflect the current year's standings. If no one makes a claim, the player's contract is terminated and he is a free agent. Any player who has accrued four years of service or more – the amount needed to qualify for unrestricted free agency – is not subject to waivers and can sign with any team upon being released. The only exception is if this player is released during the season and after the trading deadline. Then he, too, is subject to waivers for 24 hours. I know that's a lot to digest, but I hope it helps.
Shane from Brodhead, WI
Now will the Packers celebrate the 100th twice? When the team was formed and when it joined the NFL because they are two years apart?
Back in 1993 and 1994, the Packers had patches on their jerseys in back-to-back years, but they weren't celebrating on their own twice. In '93, the patch was to commemorate the team's 75th season, after its founding in 1919. In '94, it was for the league as it commemorated its 75th season (which was the Packers' 74th in the league, having joined in 1921). So there may be back-to-back "celebrations" along those same lines, if you will, but I don't think the Packers would celebrate two of their own centennials, necessarily.
William from Eau Claire, WI
Hey Mike, I'm vacationing in Virginia over the holiday and I'm planning on swinging by the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the drive back. Any suggestions on things we absolutely should not miss?
I must confess I've never been to Canton, Ohio, but I certainly plan to at some point. I've been to Cooperstown, N.Y., and I loved every minute of it. Enjoy your trip through history and drop me a line on what I shouldn't miss when I'm fortunate enough to get there.
Also from Frederico, CO
You are doing a very commendable job in Vic's absence, thanks. When you think of Packers who are leaders by virtue of their character and example, who comes to your mind? With the talent level so close among NFL teams, I can't help but think that what makes the difference is locker room chemistry formed by players.
Chemistry does help, but I've always said nothing breeds chemistry like winning. No one is going to be lauding a harmonious locker room on a 1-7 team. As for the Packers' current locker room, no doubt the biggest leaders that jump out are guys like Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson and Donald Driver. It's also common for a leader to emerge within every position group, because those guys spend so much time together in the film room with their position coaches. I'm curious to see who steps forward at a couple of positions this season. The safeties don't have Nick Collins anymore, and over the last few years the offensive line has seen Mark Tauscher, Chad Clifton and Scott Wells depart. That will be worth watching in training camp.
Dale from Sheboygan, WI
I've recently finished reading the players and plays "Video Ask Vic" and it got me to thinking. Instead of putting the plays in the hall of fame why don't you put them up on this website? I'm sure lots of Packers fans would get a kick out of it.
I wrote a story about a year ago on thetop five plays in Lambeau Field's history, as voted on by fans on nfl.com. So we'll let a little more time pass to see if there are more to consider, but your idea would be worthwhile, for sure.
Earl from Winnipeg, Manitoba
Mike, with so little time left, are you planning on putting an asterisk next to anything? I bet Vic would secretly be very proud and you'd get that raise.
From the sounds of it, I should have spent the last two weeks putting asterisks next to my attempts at sarcasm.