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Winning is not an all-the-time thing

Top players might have fallen to where the Packers are picking


Tom from West Bend, WI

BAP, I get it. So, your turn to pick comes up and there are four players on your board with the same grade. You cannot find a suitable partner to trade down. All four players are at different positions. Now what?

You pick the one at your position of need. That's what you want; you want need and value to meet. This is not a difficult philosophy to understand. Need is important, but value is more important.

Morgan from Saint Croix Falls, WI

Vic, how crazy is it at Lambeau with the draft a day away? Is there any last-minute scouting to find a gem in the later rounds, or possibly some people that skyrocket up boards in the last few days?

Quietly and methodically the scouts continue to look at tape. The cross-checkers are hard at work. They're looking for as much information as they can find to help them assist Ted Thompson in making the decision to pick one player over another. It's easy to tell everyone who you love, but tomorrow it's all about who you pick.

Michael from Princeton, NJ

How do you feel about the two-toned helmets of your previous employer? At times like these, boy am I glad I root for a franchise that will never change its iconic getup.

Uniforms are all about creating an identity. They are a franchise's trademark, and the Packers uniform is symbolic of all that is good about the game, from Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr to Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers. The Jaguars are trying to establish an identity. They're looking for something that will create a buzz. They're looking for something that says, "This is us." The Bucs found it when they switched from bright orange to pewter, but it's important to remember that something else changed when the Bucs changed colors. All of a sudden, they began to win. Ultimately, that's how a franchise establishes an identity, by winning. If the Jaguars win games in their new uniforms, their helmets will become a thing of beauty. If they lose, there will probably be more change because no franchise wants losing to say, "This is us." Just win, baby. Winning not only cures all, winning decides all.

Robert from Madison, WI

Vic, how do you feel about mock drafts? Fun debate material? Waste of time?

All they do is identify need. They've never been more useless and it's because of the dramatic increase in draft-day trading, as teams have become especially sensitive to fitting themselves to the pick. Every team wants need and value to meet.

Leaker from Sheboygan, WI

Do the current Packers remind you of any team back in the 1970s?

They remind me of the Air Coryell Chargers of the late '70s.

Ben from Columbus, OH

So John Elway had a passer rating above 80.0 only once in his first 10 seasons. I try not to delve too much into stats, but there is no way that would be accepted nowadays. Your thoughts.

It was a different game. There's no way the quarterbacks of today would've produced then the same passer ratings they're producing now.

Ben from Madison, WI

Can value be based on need?

Never. Needs must be respected. You have to make every effort to address need, but never at the sacrifice of value.

Randy from Medicine Hat, AB

Much as I hate to admit it, I was knocked cold playing soccer when I was in high school.

This is why I ask readers not to include their last name when submitting a question.

William from Ottawa, Ontario

I was wondering what your thoughts are on the emphasis put on the NFL draft's Wonderlic Test. Any direct correlation between the test and on-field success?

Once again, an NFL draft prospect has had to endure embarrassment for a Wonderlic score that leaked out. I'm talking about Tavon Austin and I am outraged that this continues to happen and that young men such as Austin have to defend their intelligence in light of a low Wonderlic result. I don't know if there's any correlation between playing well and testing well; frankly, I doubt there is. The issue with me is that if the NFL can't guarantee these kids the security of their test scores, then the kids should decline to take the test.

Ryan from Fredericton, NB

Some mocks have Star Lotulelei falling out of the first round. I think he can be a difference maker. What is your read on him?

At the combine, John Dorsey asked me who Lotulelei reminds me of. The question caught me off guard and I didn't have an answer ready, but I've thought about it since then and I have an answer now. Lotulelei reminds me of a first-round pick named Gabe Rivera. He would've been a great player, but he was paralyzed for life halfway through his rookie season when he wrecked his car. Lotulelei has that same kind of natural size and strength Rivera had. He has the same body type. I think he can be a great player, but health concerns are dropping his stock. Some team is going to get real, real lucky.

Alex from Lincoln, NE

What do you think about signing either Bradshaw or Benson at a bargain, then drafting Lattimore in a mid to late round?

The draft is separate from anything else you do. It should never be married with free agency. Draft for value and for your team's future. If the docs think Marcus Lattimore can make it all the way back, then pick him. I love the kid.

Eric from Raleigh, NC

I've been reading up on the flying wedge lately. I know it was extremely effective, but was outlawed for safety purposes. Is it the play itself that was banned, or the formation? Could the Packers find a loophole to bring the flying wedge back?

Nineteen players died in the 1905 college football season. Most of those deaths were blamed on the flying wedge. I don't think Commissioner Goodell would allow any form of the flying wedge to return to today's game.

Tou from Eau Claire, WI

I have always liked James Jones for his combination of good size, good speed and great strength. I really enjoyed reading about how he helped pick up a young Jeremy Ross![](/team/roster/jeremy-ross/344d536e-c31b-4b13-856b-f0762576964d/ "Jeremy Ross") when the undrafted WR was feeling down. Do you have a good James Jones story?

In 2007, the Jaguars had a rookie receiver named John Broussard, who was Jones' teammate at San Jose State. Broussard could really run and he was lighting up the Jags' training camp. I kept asking how did this kid get hidden at San Jose State? The Jaguars played a preseason game in Green Bay that summer. I saw Jones play in that game and I immediately understood how Broussard got hidden at San Jose State. James Jones is an outstanding wide receiver. He's been underrated for a long time.

Clint from San Jose, CA

Who would you want as your QB if they were both in their prime, Favre or Rodgers?

I loved watching Brett Favre play. He was truly a natural passer of the football and he had great football instincts. I can say the same of Aaron Rodgers. Frankly, they're similar players. They're both gunslinger-type quarterbacks. The difference is that Rodgers has mastered the efficiency aspect of the game that is so critical in today's game. Favre never got that part, and that's why I'd take Rodgers over Favre.

Arlo from Boise, ID

Do you see a player who was a certain top 10 pick by most mock drafts falling down to the Packers? If so, who?

Lotulelei could be that guy. Jarvis Jones and Damontre Moore seem to have fallen hard, and so has Manti Te'o.

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

To me, picking players in the draft is a lot like a grown-up form of backyard football. Two captains take turns picking players and they pick the best available player in the bunch.

The difference is they're picking for teams that don't have rosters. Now give them full rosters and pick again. Will you pick for need or value? If you pick for need, you'll be leaving value for your opponent to pick.

Marilyn from Brooten, MN

Any thoughts on why Charles Woodson hasn't found a new home?

It's a young man's game.

Dustin from Albuquerque, NM

Hey, Vic, do you think Dom Capers will have an answer for Colin Kaepernick in this year's opener?

Ask me next week. Players, not plays.

Scott from Washington, DC

"I'd like to remind my fellow Packers fans that from the ninth game in 2009 until the 16th game of 2011, the Packers went 36-9." I'd like to remind everyone that it's Super Bowls the average fan remembers, not year-to-year records. Fans don't care about how well we fought in a losing effort, how far we went in the playoffs or what rank our offense was that year, fans care about that final W. "Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all-the-time thing."

That sounds nice, but in what season was winning an all-the-time thing for Vince Lombardi's teams? You want the truth? OK, here's the truth. Those teams that won five NFL titles played in a league that was watered down by the emergence of the AFL. The NFL of the 1960s was a league full of cash-strapped franchises that had no chance of competing for a title. They were just trying to stay alive in the NFL-AFL wars that were skyrocketing salaries and making it impossible for cash-strapped teams such as the Steelers to even be competitive. In 1966, the Steelers selected a running back named Dick Leftridge in the first round. It was such a reach pick that it was a terrible embarrassment for the franchise. They picked him because he agreed to sign a contract far beneath what a first-round pick would earn. The Packers of the 1960s played in a 14-team NFL that included two expansion franchises (Dallas and Minnesota) and a third (Atlanta) on the way. Of the 15 teams in the league in 1966, more than half of them were not competitive and, frankly, weren't even attempting to be competitive. They were just trying to outlast the AFL. With all due respect to those wonderful Packers teams of the 1960s, they would not have won nearly as many titles if they had played in today's 32-team, ultra-competitive NFL. In this NFL, a Super Bowl title is a sometime thing; it's a very special thing. In this NFL, the record the Packers have achieved since 2009 is extraordinary.

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