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Julius Peppers likely the story of the day

Posted May 29, 2014

More rankings: The top 10 running backs for 2014


Noah from Omro, WI

Now that you’re in the ranking business, can we get a top 10 running backs for 2014?

LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Le’Veon Bell, Alfred Morris, C.J. Spiller, Terrance West.

Michael from Racine, WI

Vic, do you see the Packers holding onto six receivers if Jeff Janis works out?

Six is a lot of wide receivers on the active roster, unless two or three of them are special teams stars. If you like a wide receiver and want to retain him for developmental purposes, you can usually use the practice squad to do that. Today is the first day media is permitted to watch OTAs. I’ve only had one exposure to Janis. It was in rookie camp and two undrafted quarterbacks were throwing the ball. Let’s not rush this. Let’s get a look at Janis with Aaron Rodgers or Matt Flynn or Scott Tolzien throwing the ball, and with Sam Shields or Tramon Williams, etc., in coverage. If Janis can beat that coverage and catch the ball, the Packers will find a way to keep him. Don’t worry about the depth chart in the spring.

Nathan from Lacey, WA

On ESPN, John Clayton answered a fan question about what free-agent signing would have the most impact this coming year and he answered Julius Peppers. Would you agree?

I won’t argue with the prediction; it’s sensible. Again, today is the first day the media will get a look at how Peppers might be used by Dom Capers. I think that’s likely the story of the day today. As I’ve written, I suspect Coach Capers will use Peppers much as Coach Capers used Tony Brackens in 1999. I think Peppers will be used in a multitude of ways. I think he’ll line up as a down end and rush, as a down end and drop into coverage, as an outside linebacker and maybe even as an inside linebacker in a stunt or twist type of rush scheme. I suspect Peppers will be featured, much as Brackens was. If that expectation is accurate, Peppers could very well make John’s prediction come true.

Eric from Mequon, WI

Vic, any chance the NFL will experiment with the no-announcers game again. To me the announcers are the absolute worst part of the game experience.

It was awful and it will never happen again. The silence was punctuated by the sound of America turning the channel. Football fans love to hate. They need to be angry at Troy Aikman and Cris Collinsworth. That’s one of the reasons “Ask Vic” is popular. I’m someone who’s easy to hate.

Vic from Ketchman, Stupid

Just look at my name. Why are you stupid?

Very creative.

Ann from Chamberlain, SD

How good do you think the Packers can be this year?

I think the offense has a chance to be unstoppable. The defense will answer your question.

Clay from Franklin, VA

Vic, I find that I agree with you more often than not (yes, even on the Manning thing), which makes me appreciate your honesty even more in the cases that we do not agree. What component of the modern game do you wrestle with?

I wrestle with line play. It bothers me that at the snap of the ball everybody stands straight up and begins hand fighting. I miss the days of lines coming off the ball low, hard and together. I miss seeing the line of scrimmage being moved.

Rob from Washington, DC

Vic, that video, “Lambeau Field at rest,” almost brought tears to my eyes. I’m not kidding. That was perfect, calm and reverent bliss. Thank you.

Never send to know for whom the sprinklers sprinkle. They sprinkle for thee.

Alan from Hernando, MS

I am a diehard fan of the Packers, but I am really worried about their first game. In your opinion, do you think the Packers can match up with Seattle? I mean, they made mincemeat of Denver.

You beat tough, physical defenses such as the Seahawks’ by running the ball. That’s the one that gets to them. It eats at their very core. The idea of being pushed around is too much for them to digest. They lose sense of themselves. Their testosterone level dips and they become mortal. In my opinion, the Packers have the running game to beat the Seahawks, and we all know what Aaron Rodgers can do when given the time to do it. I think the Packers match up very well against the Seahawks.

Jacques from Horicon, WI

They are finding that soccer causes just as much if not more brain damage long term than football. Each head bump is the equivalent to a 30 mph car crash.

The idea of hitting the ball with your head just never sat right with me. The perfect soccer player would have no arms and a gigantic head. That’s just too weird for me.

Michael from Stillwater, MN

Vic, if I hear or see one more thing about Johnny Manziel, I just might snap. I feel the sports media has gone way overboard with this guy. Let’s dial it back a bit. What say you?

The media bought all those Johnny Manziel jerseys?

Steph from Appleton, WI

Hey, Vic, any reports from OTAs?

We’ll have reports later today, beginning in the early afternoon. You haven’t missed anything. Today is the first day the media is permitted to observe OTAs. I’m excited, too.

Steve from Roselle, IL

Haven’t heard much hype surrounding Randall Cobb this offseason. What can we expect from him this year?

This is year four in Cobb’s career, which means he’s entering the prime years of his career. I think he can become one of the premier offensive players in the league. My expectations – I hate that word but I can’t think of another one to use – are without ceiling.

Christina from Missoula, MT

I’m not understanding the uproar concerning the possible playoff expansion. If a team makes it into the playoffs at 8-8 and goes on to win the Super Bowl, are they not deserving of the championship? Are they less of a team because of their regular season record? By that reasoning, there shouldn’t be any playoffs at all. The team with the best record is the champion. End of season. Do you agree?

Christina, I want you to leave “Ask Vic” and never return. You are far too intelligent to expose yourself to the insanity that lives within this forum. It could be harmful.

Dan from New Albany, OH

Vic, my organized sports experience stopped at seventh grade basketball, so I don’t know what you’re referring to when you talk about the life experiences learned in high school football. I did, however, endure basic training in the Army. I was treated like a dog for eight weeks and it seemed that once I graduated it was like I was accepted into the club. How does that compare to football?

It’s very similar to how it was in my day. Football camp had a Parris Island feel to it. You felt a sense of achievement when you completed camp. You gained in self-esteem, and you felt more confident among your peers. It also had a dark side to it that, looking back, is laughable. I had a high school coach who drove a really cool Thunderbird convertible. One day, obviously overcome by the savage that lived within him, the coach told us he was going to drive his car around the track that circled the practice field, and he was going to hold a stick with a piece of bloody meat on it as he drove around the track, and we would chase after the car because we wanted that bloody meat. I can remember thinking, “I’m probably not going to do that, coach.” Every time I hear about Roger Goodell changing the culture, I think about that high school coach.

Jake from Billings, MT

Are you just predicting this is the year Peyton Manning’s age will catch up with him?

On the first play of the Super Bowl, when the ball sailed over his head, didn’t you get a sense of foreboding? I did.

Ben from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, I used to be an avid reader of yours. I read your column literally every day for close to a year, but lost interest over time due to the fact that you continue to belittle fans for simple questions. I’ve been reading again for the last week and I’m ready to stop reading completely. A perfect example is your answer about Clay moving to the inside. For the record, I do agree with you. I consider myself a very educated football fan and agree it sounds absolutely silly to move him to the inside for obvious reasons. I’m all for making sarcastic comments and, trust me, I am. But not at the expense of your readers. These people are the reason you have a job. Just something to think about. Not everyone knows everything about football like you do.

Was that a shot, Ben? I gotta tell you, I think that was a shot.

Roger from Waukegan, IL

I can find your headline, your questions and answers and your comments section, but I can’t find your article.

There wasn’t an article. There was just a headline, questions, answers and a comments section.

Steve from Sister Bay, WI

If the half-line drill was the trendsetter for last year’s resurgence of the run game, what will be the new trendsetter for the rejuvenation of the defense?

The half-line drill; stop it.

 

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