"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Ed from Midland, MI
I think the Packers need better big guys, as they've lost the last two NFC championship games by getting their butts pushed around up front. Who do you and Tony like toward the end of the first round?
Big guys at the bottom of the first round? Tony favors defensive ends Jaelin Phillips of Miami and Carlos Basham of Wake Forest, center Creed Humphrey of Oklahoma, guard Wyatt Davis of Ohio State and tackle Alex Leatherwood of Alabama. I'll add Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore as a fit for the Packers. He was sensational in the playoffs and, as a redshirt sophomore, he is a truly ascending player. The player who excites me most late in the first round is Penn State edge rusher Jayson Oweh. He had a killer pro day recently, running a 4.36 40. He has freakish athletic ability on a 6-6 frame and the premium on pass rushers will probably cause him to begin zooming up the board. He could be the Steelers' guy at 24.
Micah from San Diego, CA
Vic, are you familiar with early 20th century pitcher Rube Waddell? "He would often leave in the middle of a game to go fishing. He was easily distracted by opposing fans who held up puppies, which caused him to run over and play with them.”
He was also known to have a fascination for fire trucks and run off the field and chase after them when he heard their sirens blaring. Baseball was full of goofballs back then. Babe Ruth was one of them.
Jamie from Yucca Valley, CA
It doesn’t bother me. Rodgers wants a longer career and an even greater legacy than he has. Jeopardy would be better than joining the jockocracy, or worse, the Vikings. Most importantly, he loves hosting Jeopardy and football can’t guarantee one dirty or even fair hit won’t change his life forever. He’s given a lot to football and this fan base. I support his effort to be the next host.
I do, too, but only on a full-time basis, otherwise it would be like chasing fire trucks.
Mark from Bristol, UK
Your best guess, if you will, please. If/when the Packers select there are two players of equal rating, one on offense and one on defense, who do you think they pick? I have no clue which side of the ball they feel the need to improve most.
If it's a choice between two players of equal evaluation, you select the player of the more premium position or of greatest need. I still think the Packers' needs are greatest on defense, but it's not as distinct as it has been in past years. Linsley is gone and Bakhtiari's coming off an ACL; the Packers have need on their offensive line.
Michael from Pennsylvania
I agree with you about wide receivers. I fully expect the Packers to extend Davante Adams for over $20 million a year, but I wouldn't. There are just too many really good receivers available in every draft. What would you do?
It depends on what I've decided about Rodgers' future. If I'm moving on at quarterback after next season, I'm not re-signing Adams.
Mark from Madison, WI
If/when is it appropriate to incorporate yinz into the conversation?
I go Pittsburghese with family and friends when I'm trying to make a point without offending anyone. "Hey, yinz people need to shut up so I can watch da game n'at, jano." I can also speak Billy Conn: "Wahs da use of being Ahrsh if you can't be stupid?"
Jeff from Miami, FL
What can you share about Jim Plunkett? Heisman Trophy, first pick of the NFL draft, discarded by two teams, then won two Super Bowls. Maybe Trubisky, Darnold or Haskins will win a Super Bowl. You just never know.
Plunkett threw a great deep ball, and that made him a perfect fit for a team that wanted to go deep. There's a lot of recycled quarterback talent out there right now. Odds are at least one of them will hit. It's about fit.
Scott from Lincoln City, OR
Vic, do you have a gut feeling as to whether or not the Packers will ultimately extend Rodgers? If it still feels like a beautiful mystery, what will be the tell-tale sign it's going to happen?
A new contract for Davante Adams?
Tom from Bismarck, ND
I think all of the believers in our front office should consider this: Take the single-best defensive player drafted by Green Bay at every single defensive position since 1962 and start them as your defense. Remember, you're using 58 years of defensive picks, using only the very best of them to start on defense. They still aren't as good of a defense as multiple Steelers defenses, multiple Ravens defenses. They're laughingly behind the great Bears, Giants, Buccaneers and Patriots defenses. Fifty-eight years of your top defensive players at every position and they don't compare with many teams' one-year starters. Many of your readers are critical of second-guessing the Packers front office. Well, how exactly are we supposed to evaluate the team's choices if we don't look back at them? I'll let 58 years speak for me.
As my high school coach would say, "It's time for a little Viet Cong training."
Bruce from Washburn (wherever that is)
Eighty-four mph in a 45 zone. Is this speeding, too fast for conditions or failure to keep a vehicle under control? Evidently not. In this case, it would appear that privilege trumped race.
When are we going to turn off the fawning love for this man and demand he grow up?
Jesse from Belleville, WI
Can "access journalism" not be avoided when one works for the franchise?
Ted Thompson wanted to know, "Are we Packers or are we media?" The inference in that question is we'd be favored if we played according to football's rules. I didn't like that approach. I asked to be treated as media, and Ted didn't like that approach. I didn't want to be favored in covering the team because I worked for the team, but I didn't think it was fair to be denied information for the same reason. It was embarrassing to me we couldn't reveal signings until days after the whole world knew about them, because the player had yet to arrive, pass his physical and officially sign his contract. I would say, "Let us announce the two parties have agreed to a contract, pending a physical examination." The news was already out there! There was no avoiding or denying it. I never felt I enjoyed what you describe as an "access journalism" advantage. It was more of a disadvantage. I would tell the readers not to come to packers.com for information about signings. It embarrassed me to do that, but I wasn't going to mislead our readers for the sake of a click. The simple answer to your question is team sites can be media sites. Just treat them as media. When Wayne Weaver came to me in Jacksonville and asked me to do jaguars.com, which at that time was a start up, I asked him what his expectations for me would be. He told me I'd have the freedom to write and report, "just don't embarrass the franchise." Those words guided me for the next 16 years. It can be done.
Ray from Raleigh, NC
So, is Edelman a Hall of Fame receiver? Admittedly, he played in an era in which passing has been greatly preferred, but his stats are comparable to (actually better than) those of Lynn Swann. Like Swann, he also had a highlight-for-the-ages catch in a Super Bowl win. He was a Super Bowl MVP and seemed to play his best in big games. Can the story of the NFL be told without that catch? He was not too bad for a short college quarterback.
So, you're going to play the Swann receptions card, huh? Haven't we discussed enough this stats thing as it pertains to comparing the generations? Why did you fail to mention Swann has a 16.3 yards per reception average? How about 19.7 in his best year? That's the stat from his generation that resonates. I would not favor Julian Edelman for the Hall of Fame, even though he's a Kent State alum. He wasn't a special player. He was a Tom Brady creation. If Edelman gets in, it would open the door for at least another dozen wide receivers, probably more.