Darren from Brisbane, Australia
Please tell me a story about how you interviewed someone who made it clear initially they didn't want to be interviewed. What magic did you use to get them to open up?
There's no magic. You develop a relationship with a player by earning his trust. You go to him after games and ask him for his thoughts and opinions on what happened. By doing that, you show him you value his opinion. You quote him accurately, responsibly, respectfully. As time passes, he looks forward to conversations with you. You provide him an opportunity to communicate with the fans in a way he appreciates, and he provides you with information that makes your stories good reading. It's easy stuff. It's what I did with Fred Taylor, who was a somewhat reluctant interview when I met him. I saw in him a player who had something to say, and he decided I was someone he could trust with his message.
Jared from Ucon, ID
Vic, which position is the easiest to scout? If you were to pick a first rounder by position that would be most likely to succeed, which position would it be?
I think cornerback might be that position. A prospect at that position needs speed and the ability to flip his hips, and both traits are easily scouted. Plus, cornerback is the one position that can be evaluated in non-padded exposures. If a guy can cover in underwear practices, he can usually cover when the pads are on.
Dallas from St. Ignace, Canada
How many QBs do you expect to be taken before the Packers pick at 14? Excluding the QB position, is this the equivalent of Green Bay having a top 10 pick?
Four? I think your assessment of the Packers' position in this draft is accurate.
Jesus from El Paso, TX
Regarding free agency, what's the best answer to the question why didn't the other team pay him?
In most cases, the answer is the player wasn't perceived to be worth his asking price. Maybe the team had a younger, more affordable replacement in mind, or was positioned to acquire a more affordable replacement. Money is almost always the issue. One man's junk is another man's treasure when one team has a plan and the other team is out of plans.
Barry from Hayward, WI
Are cornerbacks going to be the Achilles heel for the Packers again this year?
Kevin King will answer that question. He has to become the Packers' lead cover man for the position not to be problematic.
Don from Weaverville, CA
I watched women's golf and NCAA basketball last weekend and found both compelling. Do you watch any women's athletic events?
I'm embarrassed to say I don't.
Richard from Clearwater, MN
What piques your interest more, pre-draft speculation on where players will be picked and by what teams, or post-draft projections of the players chosen and how they will fit on their new teams?
I don't see a difference between the two.
David from Madison, WI
It certainly depends on the individual, but what are some of the main differences between developing an NFL quarterback and developing a college pro-style quarterback?
When in doubt, the college quarterback should run. When in doubt, the pro quarterback should throw the ball away.
Ben from Chicago, IL
Vic, do you still think about football every day?
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
Where was your current column picture taken?
It was shot in Edisto Beach State Park, which is famous for its feature attraction, Spanish Mount. Unfortunately, it appears rising waters are beginning to claim the mount.
Simon from Norwalk, CT
What’s going on with the Rams?
They've decided their time is now. This bears watching.
Matthew from Shawnee (wherever that is)
As the best offensive weapon in the league, do you think Bell is worth his asking price?
I'm not a fan of his running style. I would've let him walk.
Jake from Knoxville, TN
Football keeps getting more tilted toward the offense, and home run totals are consistently setting records in Major League Baseball. Does it say anything about our times? Is it just inflation?
We need constant entertainment. Field position football is a thing of the past. Bunting and hitting behind the runner have been replaced by big ball. Four corners basketball would be considered an outrage. I'm glad I grew up when I did. I learned to love sports, not require sports.
Pete from Rescue, CA
Who was the best offensive lineman you ever saw in the run-the-ball era? Who was the best in the dancing bear era?
Mike Webster is the best run-blocking lineman I've ever seen, and the first four years of his career were spent in the can't-use-your-hands-to-block era. Anthony Munoz is the best pass-blocker I've ever seen. He was a post-1978 era player, but he would've been dominant in any era.
Matt from Christchurch, NZ
What is your take on the career of Larry Fitzgerald?
Fitzgerald is the most stylish pass-catcher I've ever seen. It's an embarrassment to the Heisman Trophy voters they selected Jason White over Fitzgerald.
Bill from Staten Island, NY
Your pick to win the Masters this year?
Brett from Lakewood, CO
This question is coming from a guy who watched a little, but not a lot, of Mitch Trubisky last year. He didn't look all that impressive to me. What are you seeing?
He can make all of the throws. He feels comfortable in the pocket and keeps his eyes downfield. He's competitive and possesses stature. Trubisky impressed me with his toughness and resilience. I thought his development last year was even and steady. I didn't see any red flags.
Sam from Sussex, WI
How was the family/personal life side of being a sports writer?
I missed a lot of weddings and family outings in the fall. The bad thing about being a sportswriter is everybody else's leisure time is your work time. When the game ends and everybody celebrates or goes to bed, you go to work.
Fred from New York
Vic, I know you're not much of a uniform geek, but with the Jaguars poised to unveil new uniforms, which of the (too many) Jags' uniform designs over the years are your favorites and what advice would you have given Tom Coughlin and Shad Khan if they asked you to weigh in on the new design?
Go back to the original uniforms and incorporate as much of that look as possible.
Chris from Bozeman, MT
What are the chances Gutekunst picks Josh Rosen? Some mocks have him around at 14.
I don't get the sense the Packers are in the market for a quarterback. My position remains the same: If a quarterback the Packers love is available to them and he's at the top of their board, pick him.
Derek from La Crosse, WI
I got to be in Jacksonville last week for the first time; there is so much I want to ask you. I met some folks who loved their Jags like I love my Packers; we instantly had so much to share. We got on the topic of greatest player from their area. They were all well versed in the rich player history of the area, and they all without hesitation said Bob Hayes. So I looked him up, learned about him and smiled. Any stories of him? And where is your favorite BBQ on the First Coast?
Bob Hayes changed the game. He made football a speed game. I think it's good he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, though it was after he had passed; I don't think you can tell the story of the NFL without mentioning Bob Hayes. I think he would've been inducted into the Hall of Fame while he was still alive if he hadn't put his hands in his pants during the Ice Bowl. Bono's is my favorite Jacksonville BBQ place.
Gregory from Milwaukee, WI
I want my locker room fun to be in when they win and angry with each other when they lose. Most importantly, together against all others. Seems harder and harder to find these days.
What you're describing never existed. It's the myth fans love to embrace. Every man in that locker room is an independent contractor.
Pat from Seneca, SC
What was the biggest draft-day surprise in your reporting career?
Matt Jones. It was an insane pick. Aaron Rodgers was selected three picks later.