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What young receiver will jump up?

Fate makes the difficult decisions


Michael from Waukesha, WI

In yesterday’s chat, Mike Spofford said, "A kicker is never considered a position of need until you need one. Or something like that." He's showing flashes of Vic! Are you rubbing off on him?

I tried, but he's too winsome.

John from Janesville, WI

The NFL is making the color rush uniforms for Thursday Night Football mandatory this season. Mark Murphy recently said traditionalists won't like them. If I had to guess, the Packers will have mono-green or mono-yellow uniforms for their color rush game. In 1950, the Packers did wear a mono-green uniform, and then in 1952 wore an all-yellow set. So either way, I think the traditionalists will enjoy a little blast from the past. Even though I'm a bit of a uniform snob, since this is for one game and it's mandatory, I think I'll be OK with whatever the Packers throw at me. Have you seen their new uniforms yet? Do you have any thoughts on this?

I have not seen the uniforms they'll wear in their color rush game, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the Packers have chosen. Nobody is a bigger uniform snob than I am. I love simple, traditional uniform designs that allow me to connect the teams of today to the teams of the past. Be that as it may, I'm a fan of the color-rush concept because it gives us uniform snobs a chance to go nuts. Why hold back? Let it rip. I love the Broncos' vertical-striped socks and the Steelers' bumble-bee shirts. I'm champing at the bit to see what the Packers wear on Thursday night.

Joey from Chicago, IL

Vic, I'm not trying to take anything away from Myles Jack, but how much of Jack's success can be attributed to Kenny Clark's dominance up front?

How much of Ray Lewis' success can be attributed to Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams occupying blockers so Lewis could run to the ball? How much of Jack Lambert's success can be attributed to Joe Greene and Ernie Holmes holding the point of attack? I could go on and on. That's the way defense is played and the tacklers have always been more celebrated than the block eaters.

Riley from Dunseith, ND

Vic, who do you think has the most to prove in training camp?

It's wide open for the young receivers to jump up and lead the next generation of Packers wide receivers. Who will it be? Davante Adams, Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis, Ty Montgomery, etc.? Training camp will be a proving ground for at least one of those guys, maybe more.

Jared Abbrederis caught 15 balls for 180 yards in his 2015 campaign. Photos by Shawn Hubbard, Ryan Hartwig, Jim Biever, Matt Becker,

Ramiro from Mira Loma, CA

Vic, Barrington, Jake Ryan, Blake Martinez and Beniquez Brown inside. Clay, Peppers, Perry, Elliott and Fackrell outside. Do we have the necessary linebackers now?

Don't do that. Don't cut the roster in May. You're ending someone's dream before it even begins. Would you have cut Jayrone Elliott in May of 2014? His rise was one of the major stories of that year's training camp. I understand the fans' mania for depth charts, but we have to know by now how quickly everything can change with one injury. Jordy Nelson's injury last year and Bryan Bulaga's injury in '13 should've taught us that lesson. Enjoy the journey by taking it one step at a time. The next step is getting to know what the new players can do. Someone will emerge this weekend as a player to watch. Let's begin with that.

The Packers wasted no time on Saturday addressing inside linebacker, drafting Stanford's Blake Martinez with the first of two fourth-round compensatory draft picks, No. 131 overall. Photos by AP and

Mark from Grayslake, IL

Spriggs was definitely drafted for the future. With Tretter, Sitton, Lang and Bak going into their final year, who goes and stays next season?

Wow! You're really turning the clock forward. Why stop at 2017. Let's go to 2018. Let's make all decisions now for the next two years. Mark, was David Bakhtiari drafted for the future in 2013? If he was, his future began with the first game of his pro career, when he became the Packers' starting left tackle. Injuries are the biggest part of football. Nothing shuffles the deck as injuries do. Fate makes decisions for us. Fate negotiates contracts. Fate cuts the roster. When all is said and done, it's amazing how many difficult decisions teams don't have to make.

Mike from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, Jerry Jones let another news outlet into the draft to publish a story on how badly they wanted Paxton Lynch. My question is what impact will this have on their relationship with Dak Prescott, the guy they settled for?

I don't think it'll have much impact. Jones gets it. He sees the big picture. He does things that may not always be in the best interests of his football team, but nobody sells the brand better than the Cowboys' owner. Ultimately, the brand wins.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Throwback football is on its way. The Titans GM recently was interviewed and noted the way to handle small, fast defenses is to outsize them and pound the ball. It may be a copycat league, but it also is a league of trends and it may be trending back.

Football never gets too far away from the running game, does it? Be that as it may, I don't think we're heading back to the style of the '70s. Today's NFL is a passing league and the owners will make sure it stays that way. What the Titans GM is saying is size defeats speed. It's an axiom with which I grew up covering the NFL. Everybody wants speed, but at the point of attack, size wins.

Bill from Madison, WI

In yesterday's column, you mentioned NFL defensive coordinators are afraid of the big play and passing attacks. During the season you frequently mentioned defenses were scared of getting the ball run down their throat. Which one is it?

NFL defensive coordinators know they can stop the run by loading the box. They don't want to do that, but if they have to take the run away, they can do it. They fear the big play more because you don't get a second chance against the big play.

Kyle from Cambridge, MN

Vic, you say you draft the player not the region. Could the region have anything to do with the scout in charge of that region? Is he better at selling his opinion?

Absolutely. The super scouts possess esteem that causes their teams to turn to them more often. I covered one in Pittsburgh. His name is Bill Nunn and his word was sacrosanct. When Bill talked, Chuck Noll listened. Bill gave the Steelers a ton of HBCU players, such as Mel Blount, John Stallworth, Donnie Shell, Ernie Holmes, L.C. Greenwood, Dwight White, Joe Gilliam and many more. It appears Sam Seale is that kind of scout for the Packers. You want that kind of guy because it doesn't matter where you find football players, as long as you find football players.

Eric from Mequon, WI

Preparing for a cold-weather game seems easy, but how do teams prepare for hot Florida games or high-altitude games in Denver?

You can't create those circumstances. The heat in Jacksonville will be stifling. You prepare for it by tailoring your game plan to the conditions. The Packers will need a full rotation of defensive linemen in Jacksonville. Forget the depth chart for that game because you'll lean on your whole roster that day. I see fans talking about it being hot in Green Bay during training camp and I chuckle to myself. Allow me to put this into perspective: For the next five months, maybe six, it won't get as cold in Jacksonville as the hottest day in Green Bay. Forget about the temperature. It's all about the sun and the humidity. Mike McCarthy knows what to do. He'll be up-tempo in training camp. Running at full throttle is a great conditioner. Along with the game plan, it's all a cold-weather coach can do to prepare for a hot-weather game.

Travis from Chicago, IL

In terms of pulling in undrafted free agents, does it help that in recent history Green Bay has consistently put undrafted free agents on the 53-man roster?

It sure does. Agents guide their clients to teams that provide an equal opportunity to undrafted players, as the Packers do. A part of me believes the Packers might even favor undrafted players.

Lorenzo from Genova, Italy

Will the wide receivers competition for a roster spot be the highlight of this summer?


Sean-Luc from Oceanside, CA

What type of player carries more impact, a potential playmaker like Myles Jack, or a guy that holds the line like Kenny Clark? I can't help but feel the Packers missed a huge opportunity by passing on Jack.

Microfracture is a scary word in the football world. Former Jaguars trainer Mike Ryan does a blog that explains football injuries in terms that can be understood by fans and media. Mike recently did a blog post on the microfracture procedure. If you read it, I think you'll gain a better understanding of why Jack fell as far as he did.

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