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Who will be this year's Jayrone Elliott?

Youth will always be favored


Luke from Eagle, CO

If you could put together a "super coach," which personality traits would you choose from the coaches you covered?

I would want my coach to inherit Chuck Noll's ability to evaluate and utilize talent, Bill Cowher's ability to motivate his players, Tom Coughlin's precision pass offense, Jack Del Rio's ability to stop the run and Mike McCarthy's boldness.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

Has the NFLPA with the new CBA made it more difficult for its members to make the cut by decreasing the number of training camp practices?

Immediately it was thought fewer opportunities to show what a player can do would result in fewer undrafted players making it onto rosters, but I don't think that's been the case. In some ways, I think teams have favored undrafted players even more because they haven't gotten enough looks to make a definitive evaluation and they're afraid to cut somebody who might have what it takes to play in the league. Young talent has always been favored and that hasn't changed.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

How often should we expect to see Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins on the field in the first preseason game?

I would expect them to be headliners in that game. They're the Packers' top two draft picks and they play a position where depth is needed. The more they play, they sooner they'll be ready to play.

Brian from Appleton, WI

Vic, with an intact line coming back for another season, in what ways do you see Eddie Lacy and the running game benefitting?

More carries, more yards, more time of possession; the running game has gone from being largely absent in the Packers offense to having become a weapon the equal of the Packers' passing game.

Matthew from Shawnee, KS

Competition for roster spots was the top vote in the fan poll. What would you say is your favorite part of camp? Is it still the same as when you began your career?

It's not the same because training camp just isn't as rigorous as it was in the days of Oklahoma drills, two-a-days and unlimited roster sizes. Training camp was an endurance test back then; the competition for roster spots was as intense as the competition between teams during the regular season. It just can't be that way anymore in the player safety era. The CBA all but forbids it; so does the salary cap and logic. One thing hasn't changed: the energy of youth. It's the young players trying to establish their careers that give a camp its energy. Jayrone Elliott did that for last year's camp. Who will do it this year?

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, when do you plan to start "Top Three at TC?" I really enjoy those reports.

"Training Camp Review" has replaced "Top Three at TC."

Jack from Mexico City, Mexico

I believe one of our greatest depth concerns is the offensive line. While the five starters are great, I see very little in the backups. Do you have any insight or information on how Josh Walker or any of the young, undrafted tackles are doing? Thanks, I enjoy your column very much.

Jack, I couldn't disagree more with your evaluation of the Packers' offensive line. This is the most talented and deepest offensive line I've covered in the salary cap era, and I covered a good one in Jacksonville when Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy were the tackles. Be that as it may, "jars on the shelf" are always welcome at the big-guy positions, and I'd like to think an undrafted lineman or two could find a way to stick with the Packers and benefit from a year of development.

L.J. from Chicago, IL

Vic, I like how you nonchalantly stated in "News now!" that Hundley got the biggest cheer for a TD pass to Jeff Janis. You know darn well the cheers were for Janis.

You know, you're probably right. I saw Janis bend over to tie his shoes and the crowd cheered.

Terry from Manistee, MI

What players seem to be bringing the energy that usually results in a scuffle? Anyone standing out at you with that edge?

Not yet. I'm counting on Sam Barrington to be that guy.

John from Madison, AL

Vic, I realize the importance of having "The Man" at quarterback in order to win the Super Bowl, but is it too old-fashioned to believe defense still wins championships?

It did two years ago, but I wouldn't count on that happening often. Offense has always been the expensive side of the ball, because that's where the quarterback plays. Russell Wilson allowed the Seahawks to spend on defense.

Robbie from Fargo, ND

Vic, how would you assess Datone Jones' progress and future potential?

He's out there every day working on his craft. That's the good news. He has the talent to be a force at his position.

Scott from Appleton, WI

Vic, I'm extremely disappointed I couldn't make it to "Ask Vic Day." Could you give me a recap?

We had a delicious dinner, I talked a lot, and then we all sat down and admired the splendor of Lambeau Field as the sun set on a cloudless day. My lasting memory of this year's "Ask Vic Day" was the picture I have in my mind of Lambeau Field at dusk, as seen from the highest point in Brown County. It was magnificent.

Rick from Winchester, VA

Best player-on-player match up? There are many, but we can't forget Brett Favre and Warren Sapp.

Yeah, but I didn't witness it, and the question was the best I had witnessed. I never covered a game in which Favre and Sapp each played.

Cindy from Los Angeles, CA

Vic, it's clear from your columns you value the integrity of the game very highly, as well as the physical aggression needed to play it. How do you view a player like Suh, who seems to take the aggression to another level, where he seems to be intentionally causing injury?

Well, it's an emotional game and these things can happen. I'm a forgiving man.

Vincent from Monterey, CA

Vic, I think some people are forgetting Vic Fangio is the defensive coordinator for the Bears now. He gave the Packers offense fits while he was with the Niners. I know you say players, not plays, but you'd have to expect him to put those players in position to make the plays. Thoughts?

I've long considered Fangio and Dom Capers to be the same man. You're right, Fangio will have his players in position to make plays.

Ted from Carney, MI

I plan to take a day off to make the two-hour drive south to watch a Packers practice. Any tips? What should I pay particular attention to?

Pay attention to everything. Pay attention to the fans sitting around you. Listen to what they say. Feel their passion and know yours is shared. Pay attention to the kids with their bikes, and the mothers that brought their children to practice so they might acquire a life-long memory. Pay attention to the sun as it bounces off the Packers' helmets. Pay attention to the body language of an undrafted dreamer, after he's been whipped in a one-on-one drill. Pay attention to yourself and what you feel as all of this unfolds in front of you. Soak it all in so you can remember it fondly on a cold and dreary day in February, when the season is over and you don't want to let go.

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