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USC's Su'a Cravens run-and-hit LB

Things were coming together in the playoffs


Dale from Sheboygan, WI

When do free agent signings stop counting against compensatory picks?

After May 10.

Nick from Seattle, WA

Vic, what are your thoughts on the new player ejection rule proposal?

I see it as an overreaction to the Steelers-Bengals playoff game. I like a clean game, but I don't like it too clean, if you know what I mean. I am attracted to football by its confrontation. I like knowing the two teams don't like each other and are playing on the edge. Player safety is one thing; I'm all for it. I don't favor turning everyone into proverbial choir boys.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

What is the singular drive for a man to play football?

It's the need for human confrontation, and to defeat it.

C-Lee from Simsbury, CT

Why no Twitter for you, Vic?

It's not how I wish to express myself. It's hit-and-run journalism. I want to express myself fully. The reader deserves as much.

Mike from Seattle, WA

What is the difference between director of player personnel and director of pro personnel?

One is the director of all players that come through the system, including the draft and free agency. The other is the director of players who've already entered professional football, which would mean players in the CFL, the arena leagues, other teams in the NFL, or even an Australian Rules football punter. All of us are naturally eligible for the draft once in our lives. Once that year has passed, we belong to the director of pro personnel.

Brian from Maple Grove, MN

Vic, I'm really frustrated with the Packers ignoring the glaring need for a proven ILB for two years. They may pick one in the draft but what that will not provide is a proven player who has demonstrated success against NFL-caliber players. My guess is Matthews will once again be required to anchor the ILB position because of lack of a free agent acquisition.

I studied the 2015 crop of free agent inside linebackers and I found it to be very weak. Rey Maualuga jumped out at me, but he re-signed with the Bengals and I have a feeling that was pre-ordained. There's a belief among those who support free agency that merely signing a free agent makes a team better. I can't find that guy.

Doug from Watertown, WI

With the draft coming up and everyone looking for "The Man," why wouldn't a team like Cleveland offer the Packers a second-rounder for Hundley? He's had a year in the NFL and had a productive preseason, compared to taking a chance on an unknown first-rounder.

Brett Hundley has never played a down of professional football. Packers fans' enthusiasm for everything green creates expectations that drive disappointment. Please, give this young man a chance to learn his craft.

Brent from Columbus AFB, MS

Vic, an ILB with coverage ability is arguably our biggest offseason need. I'm intrigued by USC LB Su'a Cravens in that role. What can you or Tony Pauline tell us about him?

At 6-1, 226, I think Cravens is perfect for the chase inside linebacker position in a 3-4. He's a true run-and-hit defender. He possesses amazing instincts. He covers like a safety and he hits like a thumper linebacker. He's a natural for special teams. You never regret drafting a good football player, and Cravens is a very good football player.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

Who is the most poetic player ever to write about? Obviously, Favre is the most interesting, but which quarterback (or player) was provoking?

I've covered two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Terry Bradshaw is in the Hall of Fame, and Aaron Rodgers has a bust waiting for him. Both men possess flavorful styles, though different. Bradshaw liked to entertain the media, but he had an edgy side he would flash from time to time. Rodgers has a sharper edge, and I like that, but I also like his glib sense of humor. They are each what we call "good copy." I am fortunate to have those two men write my stories for me for a large chunk of my career.

Charlie from Morgan Hill, CA

Vic, I believe the current Packers team trademark and predictability is the back-shoulder pass. I think having Jordy back will allow them to take what they want, not what the defense gives them. Is there anyone else on this roster that can become as adept at it as Nelson, or do they need to draft that capability? That play can't be defended if executed properly.

I agree. The Packers lost their trademark play last season when Jordy Nelson was injured. Imagine the '60s Packers playing without the Packer sweep. That's what it was like for last year's offense having to play without its back-shoulder pass. Davante Adams and Jeff Janis have the length to make that play. Adams made a back-shoulder catch in the Washington game. I got the sense things were beginning to come together for the Packers in the playoffs.

Duane from Newnan, GA

Vic, what dollar range cap space should a team keep in case of emergencies?

Five percent of the cap would seem reasonable.

Vincent from Seattle, WA

Who do you want to win the Masters?

I don't have any favorites, but I think Jason Day is the best player in the world. It wouldn't surprise me should Day, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson top the leader board on the back nine.

Nick from Water Mill, NY

"If Americans were as diligent in reviewing their spending as they are at reviewing sports plays, maybe we wouldn't have nearly a trillion dollars in credit card debt." Bingo! The real reason many go hog wild with the sign everyone in free agency mania is they view their earnings the same way. Squander it without thought to the future.

It's not a good plan.

Wes from South St. Paul, MN

Vic, one more try and then I'll stop trying to get a question answered. Does the money spent on practice squad players count toward the cap?


Eric from Lansing, MI

How does your "Ask Vic" blog get over 1,500 comments in the dead of the NFL year? What's going on here?

People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world. We're children, needing other children, and yet letting a grown-up pride hide all the need inside, acting more like children than children.

Trevor from Chico, CA

What do you think of Kamalei Correa? Where does he fit in the draft?

He's a quick-twitch tweener who appears headed for a 3-4 team as a rush backer. He reminds me of Dee Ford from Auburn. Ford's first step made him a star at the Senior Bowl. Correa has that kind of first step. The premium on pass rushers will likely make Correa a first-round pick.

Andrew from Sacramento, CA

Which team do you think has been the best in drafting recently, in terms of getting the most out of its rookies and its one-year and two-year players?

Given where they've been picking in the draft, nobody has done it better than the Packers.

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