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Winners make plays that win games

Tommy from Seward, AK

Is there any way that a top pick may decide to go through the supplemental draft instead of the regular one, in order to get picked by a certain team? If Andrew Luck decided to declare, wouldn't he still get number one overall money from the Panthers, as they would surely put in a bid for him?

Bernie Kosar did it and it can probably be done again, but Kosar had a unique circumstance that involved him having graduated in two years and an NFL draft-eligibility rule that allowed for players that had graduated. Kosar hadn't graduated as of the regular spring draft, but he had graduated as of the supplemental draft. That was the loophole. Pete Rozelle addressed the matter prior to the regular spring draft and allowed Kosar eligibility for the regular draft, but Kosar declined and then sought eligibility for the supplemental draft. Clearly, he and the Browns were working the system. The rules have since been massaged and I would think it would be more difficult to beat the system now. First of all, a player has to present a reason for eligibility for the supplemental draft. I don't think Kosar could do today what he did then because there was no special reason for him to have missed the regular draft; the supplemental draft is for players who, because of a change in circumstances, missed the regular draft but have since, for example, become ineligible to play college football. Terrelle Pryor is the best example. Since the regular draft, negative circumstances at Ohio State put what was left of his college career in doubt. He decided not to submit to an NCAA investigation, which might've cost him all of his remaining eligibility. Immediately, he became a likely candidate for the supplemental draft. Is that working the system? I don't think so. Now, if Luck all of a sudden started doing a lot of bad stuff and got suspended, then I might be inclined to think he was working the system, but I don't think he's going to do that.

Zach from Woodstock, IL

As a commenter noted in a previous "Ask Vic," Aaron Rodgers made a possible game-saving tackle on Brian Urlacher in the NFC Championship. Now, if you ever look up a quarterback's stats, you are not going to be looking for the number of tackles he has. Even though that one tackle for Rodgers seems meaningless in the stat column, it certainly made a huge impact on the game.

That's what winners do. They make plays that win games.

Dan from Sugar Land, TX

As far as the front office and executive committee goes, are the Packers structured like most teams? I think the average Packers fan knows the Packers are owned by the fans, but can you speak to how the Packers front office operates differently from other teams, and the pros/cons of that system?

Other than for being publicly owned and having a board of directors, there is veritably no major operational difference between the Packers and any other franchise in the league. They all have a person at the top, an owner, president, CEO, etc. They all have a CFO, business manager or controller. They all have a personnel department, which includes a GM or director of player personnel, a college scouting director, pro personnel director, area scouts, etc. They all have a marketing department, PR department. They all have a training staff, equipment staff, etc. They follow the same travel schedules, fly on the same types of planes and, in some cases, on the same planes. They stay in the same hotels. The day of the game, the buses from the hotel to the stadium leave at the same intervals. After the game, they rush to the airport, the buses go through the same cargo gates to get to the planes, where everybody boards and the equipment guys load the gear as quickly as they can. A lot of the people that work for the Packers have worked for another team or teams. Obviously, the coaches have all worked somewhere else. The trainer, Pepper Burruss, worked for the Jets. The equipment man, Red Batty, worked for the Oilers. If you've worked for other teams, you can walk into any building in the league and, after you find the coffee machine, you're ready to start working.

Andrew from Eleva, WI

Right now, who is the best quarterback to have played in Green Bay? Don't give a story or the reason why you picked who you picked; just name him.

Bart Starr.

Rob from Oshkosh, WI

In regards to winning the Super Bowl and not winning the division, I was not that upset. Aside from being everyone's Super Bowl, not winning the division means an easier schedule, right?

Not really. All of the teams in the NFC North play the same opponents, except for two. For example, the Bears play the number one teams from the NFC East and West, whereas the Packers play the number two teams from the NFC East and West. That means the Bears play the Eagles and Seahawks, while the Packers play the Giants and Rams. Do you think that's a major difference? I don't.

Earl from Minocqua, WI

The NFC North is getting better as a whole. Is it possible that a division winner and two wild-card teams could come from the NFC North?

Yes, it's possible the NFC North could put three teams in the playoffs next season, but I think you could make an even stronger case for the NFC South doing that. The South is loaded for the future. If Cam Newton is the real deal, that division will be the strongest in the league.

Brian from Albertville, AL

May we please have a column without the words "stats" or "statistics?"

No, we must have those words. Statistics are very important. They allow us to argue about things that don't matter. Most of all, they allow fans that have pictures of certain players on their bedroom walls to tell us lies about those players. Here's a true statement: Aaron Rodgers is the Super Bowl MVP. I like that stat.

Jerry from Orlando, FL

We hear a lot about the importance of team chemistry and the ability of coaches to motivate their players. Do teams carry sports psychologists on their staffs to address this important aspect of the game?

Yes, some teams use sports psychologists.

Andrew from Columbia, MO

On nfl.com's top 100, there were 16 receivers placed ahead of Greg Jennings. While I don't think he was No. 1, I think 17th is a little low. Where do you think he ranks among active wide receivers? I would love to see your all-time wide receiver list.

Jennings ranked 18th in the league in receptions last season. Gee, I guess stats really do matter. Here's a stat I like: Jennings averaged 16.6 yards per catch, which was second only to Mike Wallace's ridiculous 21.0 yards per catch, among the top 50 receivers in the league. Receptions are overrated. The first thing I do when I rate wide receivers is weed out the catch-and-fall-down guys. They're nothing more than check-down receivers. In my opinion, great receivers have to be feared. Jennings is a guy defenses fear. Yes, I would agree that he belongs higher in the wide receiver rankings than 17th.

Alan from Jackpot, NV

Matt Flynn looked incredible for the first 59 minutes of the Patriots game last season. Can we really keep a guy like that? Seems to me other teams that are hurting for a quarterback would love to snatch him up. Is there a possibility that since the league can't talk to the players, we are keeping a guy we should have already lost?

He's under contract. Why would the Packers wanna trade him? They need a quality backup quarterback. One game can make or break a team's season. This isn't a team in rebuilding. This is a team built and ready to go. You're way out ahead of this story.

Scott from Las Vegas, NV

Vic, the cap minimum has threatened to put a lot of teams in the red. You know this because you are taking owners' word for it? Salaries are out of control? I would agree with you and so do players about rookies, but not the average player. The game is growing and growing. The value of franchises keeps going up.

Franchise value isn't the same as cash flow. Yes, franchise values are increasing, but a lot of teams at the bottom of the revenue rankings are struggling with cash flow. All you have to do is the math. We know what the TV money is. We can figure the ticket revenue without much trouble. Those are the two main sources of revenue; for most teams, they represent all but a fraction of those teams' total revenue. The high-revenue teams are harder to figure because they have a lot more and much more significant revenue streams. The concern isn't for them. The concern is for the low-revenue teams. If their cash flow won't allow them to spend to the cap minimum without going into the red, then parity will be in jeopardy.

Aaron from Denver, CO

Speaking of stats that aren't tracked, how about missed tackles?

That's not a stat the league wants to put out there, but coaches keep track of the players that miss tackles. Some stats do, in fact, count, and missed tackles is one of them.

Steve from Fredonia, WI

How will the Packers compete against the Lions' defensive line?

The Lions spent first-round picks the last two years on defensive linemen. The Packers spent first-round picks the last two years on offensive linemen.

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