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Welcome back to football; it begins today

Are you a proud Wisconsinite?


Stephen from Appleton, WI

In matters of taste, there can be no disputes. So you don't like soccer. I loved playing it through the college level; don't like watching it. It is not the worst sport ever. Men's synchronized swimming, aka water ballet, that lasted an entire three Olympics from 1984 to 1992, is much worse as a sport.

You're entitled to your opinion. Aaron from West Allis, WI

Vic, my mouth is still numb from the filling I had. Get a filling or spend that time watching soccer?

I'd rather have every tooth in my mouth drilled, filled and pulled than watch a soccer game.

Ryan from Boulder, CO

Vic, now that we're three years removed from the 2011 draft, how would you evaluate/grade that draft class?

It was dealt a harsh blow when Derek Sherrod and D.J. Smith sustained serious injuries, but any class that produces a star player the quality of Randall Cobb, especially when it's picking in the No. 32 hole, can't be judged to be a bust. Cobb is in the fourth year of a career that could make him one of the greatest players in franchise history. If that happens, and I think it will, how could you look back on the Packers' 2011 draft class with disappointment?

Mark from Mississauga, Ontario

My pick for the star of the Underwear League is Scott Tolzien.


I like it. I considered Tolzien for Underwear League MVP. He's got natural tools and he got playing time last season that could launch him to a higher level.**

Brian from Rockaway, NJ

Underwear League MVP: Brandon Bostick.

Good one. Ask Spofford what I said about Bostick in Bostick's rookie training camp. "That guy passes the eye test, Mikey." Bostick's got a chance to be more than a guy this year. He's got a chance to be an important guy.

Bob from Oosterhout, The Netherlands

Why is it such a big deal when a rookie signs with the team that drafted him?

Because it's soccer season?

Juan from New York, New York

Vic, did you know there's a 2015 mock draft already up on ESPN?

Who do they have the Packers drafting, an inside linebacker? Bart from Batavia, IL

Vic, are you going to ask the Pope for forgiveness? After all, he is merciful and you are just another victim of conditioning by American commercial television. That's why you hate soccer.

When are we going to get an American Pope? I want a Pope that understands the importance of pad level. I want a Pope that knows that when you're not blocked, take one step across the line of scrimmage and turn to the inside. It's a trap play, Pope, a trap play. So what do we get? More singing. I hate that ole song. It's ridiculous.

Ransome from Palmer, AK

So with the draft over, what's the next step for this championship team to get by all the obstacles in its way, namely the 49ers or the Seahawks?

The next step begins today, as rookies begin the process of learning how to play professional football. Then come the OTAs, when the playbook is installed and players are familiarized with it and each other. The offseason conditioning program began recently and will continue through the spring. All of this is a warmup for the main offseason event, training camp and the preseason. It goes by faster than the calendar would have you believe. It seems like just yesterday that I was flying to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. Last season is gone. We are in full-throttle forward motion now, and that's one of the problems Super Bowl winners face. It's difficult moving forward when you've achieved something so wonderful that you don't want to leave it behind.

Anthony from Baraboo, WI

Vic, there will always be perceived weak spots on any roster. I like to look at the bigger picture. The Packers have star players, players any other team in the league would trade for, at nearly every position. That means we have hope. That hope excites me to the core. Is there anything else we can ask for at this time of year?

Hope is king in the spring.

Mitch from Minneapolis, MN

Mel Kiper has turned the draft into a sensation for fans and the media, but has his revolution of the draft created a much higher stressful environment for team personnel?

If he has, it's their fault. Kiper and all of the other draftniks exist because of the stealth GMs have introduced to the draft process. Kiper talks because the GMs won't, and the fans listen because they would otherwise have nothing to hear. Who the hell's Mel Kiper? Mel Kiper is a guy one of Bill Tobin's peers, Ernie Accorsi, encouraged to become a draft analyst because there was a market for that kind of information. Hey, Bill, you created him.

Bill from Green Bay, WI

So it's official; Abbrederis has a contract and is signed. That is absolutely awesome. Just think how he must feel. Being able to play the game you love for your home team for college and the NFL. It is absolutely the best thing I could ever dream of. I would give my blood, sweat and tears for it. I would think he'd feel the same way but we will find out this season.

Feeling and doing are very different things. He feels it, but he knows he needs to separate himself from the feeling and concentrate on the doing. I think that was his message in the video I did with him on Thursday.

Joe from West Bend, WI

I did a little web research on "Underwear League." Its genesis goes all the way back to 1995 when Michael Irvin called the Cowboys minicamps the "Underwear Olympics" because there were no pads and no hitting. For at least the past five years, that term has been used for the combine, which looks much more like a track event with tank tops and shorts than football. Irvin's "Underwear Olympics" for the minicamp morphed into "Underwear League" for OTAs, for which players wear shorts, no pads, possibly a helmet, and all contact including one-on-one drills is banned. Now you can't say you don't know anymore.

I think I invented the term "Underwear League." I'm absolutely sure I invented the term "Dead Zone," and I know people who can confirm it.

Kevin from Saint Clair, MI

Vic, since Sunday, you seem to be a bit perplexed as to the hoopla around the Packers drafting Abbrederis. Allow me to inform you of something. Wisconsinites are fiercely proud of our own. While we still support our fellow Wisconsinites wherever they play in college or the NFL, deep down we wish they would be playing for the Badgers or Packers. Furthermore, the Packers are the last town team still playing, so any Packer not fortunate enough to be born in Wisconsin becomes an adopted son, truly making them our players on our team. Besides that, Abbrederis embodies the Wisconsin ethos of hard work and perseverance will get you to wherever you want to be in life.

… His truth goes marching on.

Jeff from Fremont, IA

In your opinion, who are the top five quarterbacks in the NFL right now?

Rodgers, Brady, P. Manning, Brees and Roethlisberger.

Pat from Altoona, WI

Vic, is there a position on the field that's near and dear to your heart, perhaps a position you played when you were a youngster?

Wingback in the Wing T. They've outlawed the old post and turn, but you can still run the inside counters. It's the most beautiful position in the most beautiful offense ever created.

Jason from Salt Lake City, UT

What is your honest opinion about Jared Abbrederis becoming a hometown hero?

I hope it happens. I think it's the missing piece of the puzzle for Packers fans. They desperately need for one of their own to be a Packers star. I would love to cover it.

Davif from Milwaukee, WI

You were quite punchy yesterday. I love it but I think the lack of nice weather is getting to you. The days when you can wear shorts, fire up the grill and kick back with a margarita can't come soon enough for you. Am I right?

As a Wisconsinite, I am fiercely proud of our terrible weather.

Sal from Mullica Hill, NJ

Vic, last year, when Coach McCarthy made his big-letters statement about the run game, it was followed by some specific new practice drills throughout training camp. I am excited to see what new wrinkles the coaching staff has in training camp to improve the defense.

The same half-line drills that worked for the running game can work for the run defense. It's not the drill, it's the players in the drill.

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