Todd from Beaufort, SC
I know in Jacksonville a number of players would read “Ask Vic” and would occasionally submit questions. I am going to assume that players are still reading “Ask Vic” but, with the lockout, would answering a question from a player be considered having contact with a player?
Joe from Charlotte, NC
When packers.com ran a story about the Super Bowl rings, a picture showed Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn along with two other guys. Who are they and what positions do they hold with the Packers?
One of them is Tom Clements, the Packers’ quarterbacks coach. The other is Graham Harrell.
Pat from Austin, TX
Is there a stat that takes into account interceptions thrown in desperation? In other words, at the end of the half or at the end of the game, on fourth down or when down by more than 14 points.
Interceptions aren’t divided into categories of meaningful and meaningless, and that’s another reason we have to pick and choose the stats we use responsibly. For example, a quarterback plays a great half of football. He does all of the right things, avoids mistakes, makes the right audibles and adjustments, the key throws, etc. Then, with a 10-point lead and the ball at midfield on the final play of the half, he takes a shot at the end zone with a “Hail Mary” that is intercepted and his passer rating dips beneath the quarterback he’s beating by 10 points. Meaningful stat? Here’s another one: meaningless sacks. How many sacks come at garbage time? How many of a guy’s total sacks were against a couple of subpar tackles? What did he do in the big games against the top tackles? I have a problem with dome pass-rushers. You look at their sacks and you see that 90 percent of them came at home in the dome, which means they’re not the same player when you turn the noise off or take them outside on grass and in the cold. Stats are good when they are used responsibly and they tell a true story, but there are good interceptions and there are bad interceptions and the problem is they impact a quarterback’s passer rating equally.
Mike from White Plains, GA
If you like the way the Badgers play football, what do you think of Paul Johnson's option teams?
Johnson is a great football coach. What he did at Navy is extraordinary and I love to watch his teams play. His linemen drive-block. His backs drop their pads and deliver the blow. That’s old-time football and I love it. There are, however, a couple of problems that go with running the wishbone: 1.) You’re never going to be able to compete for the five-star, all-world quarterback prospects, even when they’re in your recruiting area, unless, of course, they’re wishbone guys and there just aren’t a lot of those these days. 2.) It’s not a good catch-up offense; you almost always have to play from ahead. There’s one big positive that goes with running the wishbone: You will likely be the only wishbone team your opponents will face all season, and defensive linemen usually don’t know how to deal with being cut until they’ve played against it because you can’t cut-block in practice or you’ll get guys injured. If you can establish a wishbone program, as Johnson has, I think you guarantee yourself 7-8 wins and a bowl game every year, but I don’t think you can win with it at the highest level; it’s too one-dimensional.
Dereck from Jacksonville, FL
What I have to say is that regardless of how great “The Man” is, he is going to need help from his team, offense and defense. Montana may well be the best I saw during my exposure, but I still remember what he looked like in Kansas City. I also think Steve Young looked pretty good with the help he had. I still think Steve was a good player, but if he were in Kansas City? You know what I mean?
Whoa! In 1993, at the age of 37, Joe Montana took Kansas City to the AFC title game. I covered one of the playoff games he won that year. In true Montana fashion, he sent the game into overtime with a touchdown pass with 46 seconds left in regulation, then he drove the Chiefs to the game-winning field goal in overtime. He looked pretty good to me, even wearing a No. 19 Chiefs uniform. Why 19? Well, Len Dawson had worn 16, Montana’s 49ers number, and it was retired. Montana then wanted No. 3, his number at Notre Dame, but Jan Stenerud wore No. 3 and it was retired, too. So Montana settled for No. 19, which he wore in high school. I can’t help but think Montana was a Johnny Unitas fan as a high schooler.
Chris from Mequon, WI
Where will we see a new NFL team first, Los Angeles or Canada?
I think it’ll be in Los Angeles. It’s going to happen. The second-largest market in the country can’t be left vacant.
Michael from Kansas City, MO
What is your opinion of Mike Sherman as a coach? I was always impressed by what I perceived as his even-handedness with the players, as well as his approach to the game. In my opinion, his career with the Packers would have lasted much longer had he not been the GM, as well. It's quite obvious to me the dual role of coach and GM is just too much for any one person to handle, at least in today's game.
I couldn’t agree more. I covered the Jaguars when Tom Coughlin was the coach and GM. Tom is a tireless worker. He’s a sleep-in-the-office guy and it was always easy to tell when he didn’t sleep at all because his eyes could get more bloodshot than anybody I’ve ever known, and during the season his eyes were almost always bloodshot. Even for him, it was too much. One guy can’t do it all. Not only does a GM have to pick the talent, he has to work with the cap guy in making sure the players fit properly in the team’s salary cap framework. That’s where it becomes too much. That, in itself, is a full-time job. Another killer is “workout Tuesdays.” Tuesday is the players’ day off, which means that’s the day teams bring players in off the “street” to work them out and evaluate them for signing to the practice squad or signing them to replace a player that was injured in the previous game. Tuesday, however, is also game-plan day, and when a head coach has to divide himself between his GM duties on “workout Tuesdays” and his head coach duties on “game-plan Tuesdays,” something is going to suffer.
Andy from Abbotsford, BC
NFL Network is going gaga over their top positional players, specifically quarterbacks. The trend right now is that Brady and Manning are fighting for the No. 1 position, while Brees gets third place, Rodgers gets fourth and “Big Ben” gets fifth. I think it’s hard to argue that Manning and Brady don't deserve their rankings, but where would you put Rodgers when compared to Brees and “Big Ben”? Are the three of them fairly equal?
I think Rodgers is the best quarterback in the game. He would be my No. 1, but I’m OK with their top five. I think that’s a fair and respectful list. I’ve been a big Tom Brady guy for a long time, mostly because of his penchant for getting it done in the postseason. He hasn’t been getting it done in the postseason in recent years, however, and that’s caused me to drop him in my rankings. Hey, nobody does it forever. All five of those quarterbacks have something in common: They’ve all won at least one Super Bowl. I think it’s a good list, but I’ll offer this: If I was drafting from that list, at those players’ current ages, Rodgers would be my first pick and Roethlisberger would be my second.
Terrence from Austin, TX
In reference to your golf tournament example: This is likely the reason the owners opted out of their old contract. Players were being owed money they held no part in earning. It's upsetting to think the majority of fans see the owners as greedy and unreasonable, when the facts to me appear as though the owners hastily signed a bad agreement for the purpose of keeping the fans happy with football, and now they are the bad guys for wanting to make the system fairer.
It’s not because the players didn’t earn the money. It’s because it’s a bad business model. There was no allowance for the owners’ costs in the 2006 CBA model. That’s the problem. Per the golf tournament example, you’re paying 100 percent of the costs with 40 percent of the gross. That’s a bad business model. There has to be an allowance for costs. That’s a major point in negotiations, I’m sure.
William from Jacksonville, FL
“There’s no choice but to spread it out and whip it around. I love the running game and balance is important, but you can’t win with the run in today s game; you win with the pass.” Who the heck are you? What have you done with Vic?
I tell you what I believe. Back then, I really believed the way to win a championship was to run the ball and stop the run, and it was. Those days are over. Balance between run and pass is still important, but today’s game is more about throw the ball and sack the quarterback. I wouldn’t lie to you.
Jake from Aurora, IL
As somebody that played corner throughout high school and into college, I have a deep respect for the position. That being said, when looking at the film as an all-around corner, I haven't seen a player play the position as effectively as Charles Woodson. There is a lot of talk about Revis and Asomugha being the best. I agree they are both great, even the best pass-defenders, but if I was a coach, I would rather have a player like Woodson, who can defend the pass effectively and stop the run, blitz, etc. What are your thoughts?
There’s no coach that wouldn’t want Charles Woodson. He’s headed for the Hall of Fame. I think you better take a closer look at Darrelle Revis. I’m stunned by what a solid tackler he is for a pure cover corner. Can he play at his current level for as long as Woodson has? That’s the question. Woodson has been a premier cornerback for 13 years. Revis has only done it for four years. If he does it for four more, he’ll join Woodson in the Hall of Fame.