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Would Packers have won throwing the ball away?

It's not about the track, it's about the destination



Phil from Cincinnati, OH

Free agency, the salary cap, draft, etc., has led to parity in the NFL and most teams have a good chance of winning. This is exciting competition, but has it not led to a kind of mediocrity? Will fans see great and dominating teams in the NFL again?

Yes to the first question and no to the second. No team in the salary cap era can ever be as talented as the Packers teams of the 1960s. It's impossible for that to happen for this simple reason: It's Taylor or Hornung, not both; Gregg or Kramer, not both; Nitschke or Robinson, not both; Adderley or Wood, not both. You see what I mean? We are in an era that produces what Chuck Noll referred to as yearly "graduation classes." Every season produces subtraction. Lombardi didn't have to deal with subtraction until age made it inevitable.

Drew from Leavenworth, WA

The Seahawks finally realized Percy Harvin was not worth what they were paying him for the numbers he was providing. Do you think the Packers would be able to utilize the talents of a player like Harvin?

The Packers are in the process of developing a weapon they drafted. That's the way you do it.

Michael from Tallahassee, FL

"Do we still have an audience that wants that kind of writing?" Yes, Vic. We need more Frank Defords and fewer Keith Olbermanns.

I miss Jim Murray and Dan Jenkins. We don't have them today. It's not always about the event. Sometimes it's about the story. Great writers can cover something bad and make it good. You are what you write, not what you cover. Watergate may have changed us forever. We only see the dark side.

David from Philadelphia, PA

Vic, you're commissioned by the NFL to create a football camp for defensive players to be effective at stopping the "New Age" quarterbacks. Please describe what you would focus on.

Tackling in open space.

Kurtis from Yucaipa, CA

Vic, just wondering about your thoughts on Aaron not throwing the ball away most of the time.

I get the logic of throwing the ball away. The quarterback avoids getting hit and the team avoids a potential loss of yardage. So how many times did Aaron Rodgers make big plays last Sunday that wouldn't have happened if he had thrown the ball away? Would the Packers have won? I'm against programming out a quarterback's instincts. His instincts are his greatest resource. Rodgers has to be allowed to be Rodgers or he becomes someone else. I want Rodgers, not someone else.

Georgecat from Superior, WI

Since you took over as writer, this website has become a joke: no Packers injury updates, no serious answers whatsoever, just smug replies to people who want answers to their questions. What kind of cap-savings deal did the Packers sign you to?

It's a good one: no signing bonus and lots of NLTBEs.

Steve from Evanston, IL

I was recalling the Dallas Cowboys drafting Bob Hayes. I was surprised and thought this is never going to work. What was your reaction to this choice?

I was a kid who devoured the sports pages every day. I can remember just having seen Bob Hayes on a track and field show – probably "Wide World of Sports" – and when the Cowboys picked Hayes I immediately recalled seeing him on TV, running for Florida A&M. I started to get the sense the Cowboys knew what they were doing. I was right. Hayes was from Jacksonville and he sat in the press box for Jaguars games. I remember standing next to Hayes in the press box men's room and thinking, "I'm (standing) next to the fastest man in the world."

Bob from Oosterhout, The Netherlands

I assume you prefer future draft picks over players, but is there any player in the NFL right now you would trade future draft picks for? If a team trades for a player, do they take over the contract the player had with his former team? Is there any dead money on the salary cap of that former team?

I'd trade for a lot of the quarterbacks in the league if the deal made sense for me. Trading for a player means inheriting his contract, but often a new contract is done when the trade is made. The trading team has to eat the player's remaining amortization.

Mike from McFarland, WI

Why is the mobile QB new? Seems like that would have always been an advantage. What changed to create it?

The spread formation changed the quarterback from an improvisational runner to an intended runner. That's the difference in defining the mobile quarterback.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

Based on how Dom Capers has used Julius Peppers thus far this season, could this be the key for the Packers to defeat the read option?

Peppers gives the Packers another top athlete to track down the Cam Newtons, Colin Kaepernicks and Russell Wilsons of the NFL. Let's not forget Coach Capers' bold contribution to this defense's scheme.

Matthew from Thornton, CO

Vic, you said, "We're on a journey and we're not even halfway to our destination. When we reach December, we'll see the station in the distance." I agree, December is more important, but it's nice to know if the track we're on is headed toward the right station (Super Bowl) or off track and headed toward a first-round playoff loss. Can our performance in the next two games tell us which track we're on, or is it too early?

The Packers were on a good-looking track in 2011. Was it headed toward the right station?

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, does being on deadline give you an adrenaline rush? If so, is a rush like that addicting, exhausting or both?

Deadline writing gives me a good kind of anxiety. When it peaks, I brush it aside and start working. It's addicting, exhausting and rewarding. I won't miss the anxiety, but I will miss the feeling of satisfaction.

Ryan from Tucson, AZ

Vic, I do understand the greatness of Bill Belichick, but does Spygate and not winning a Super Bowl since Spygate play a role in his greatness? I feel it diminishes it some.

Spygate taints Belichick's resume. In the process of electing him to the Hall of Fame, Spygate must be discussed. It could cost him a first-ballot selection, but probably not.

Ian from Mad City, WI

You are an employee of the Packers, so I don't believe a word you say. You are not a Packers fan, so I don't agree with anything you say. But I read you every day, even though you never write anything I like. So, please tell me, how will "cover two" affect the zone blocking of the Packers this weekend? Please answer in a nice, respectful manner.

I'll let James Harrison do it: "Let's be plain and honest. Let's cut out all the (baloney). It's about you dominating your man, period. That's all there is to it."

Adam from Wausau, WI

Should I feel less accomplished if my question gets answered on "Ask Vic Saturday"?

This is becoming my favorite "Ask Vic" of the week. It's the last one before game day, and I sense a calm in my inbox. The questions tend to be more measured and philosophical. I wake up early on Saturday and talk to you, which gives me a head start on a long day of watching college football. Enjoy the day and tomorrow's game. See you at halftime.

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