"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Joachim from Kassel, Germany
Is it fair to assume Murphy already knew the Rodgers-McCarthy relationship was fractured and didn't need SI to uncover that for him? If so, it seems the decision to fire McCarthy was ultimately driven by the fact the QB-coach dysfunction was now in the public domain. Why tolerate it until then? Why not act as soon as the magnitude of the problem became apparent internally?
If, indeed, Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy were at odds and it was creating team-wide dysfunction, I have no doubt Mark Murphy knew about it and was preparing to act on it. Maybe he had already prepared for such a move by limiting McCarthy's contract to one extra year, and by re-structuring the chain of command following Ted Thompson's departure. Maybe he was hoping Rodgers and McCarthy would get the message and the problem would go away. Rodgers' new contract was clearly a statement on where Murphy stood on the future of the Packers. We'll never know all of the facts; all we can do is guess what they are. I'm reminded of what I think might've been a similar situation with the Steelers when I was covering them. Dan Rooney had spoken to the media a few times about the team needing better communication between scouting and coaching. Rooney was indirectly speaking about the relationship between Coach Noll and Art Rooney Jr., the Steelers' personnel director, having become dysfunctional. Following a disappointing 1986 season, Dan fired his brother. It was a classic case of somebody had to go and that guy was the one considered to be replaceable. Ironically, the man who replaced Art was fired a decade later for the same reason, a dysfunctional relationship with the coach. These things happen in an intensely competitive environment. The big boss -- in the Packers' case it's Murphy -- needs to do what he believes is in the best interests of the franchise. That's what Murphy did, just as Dan Rooney did.
Stephen from Belfast, Northern Ireland
Vic, no idea how it’s taken me so long to come across your blog. The consensus is the Jags are selecting the right tackle from Florida. Back in the day, only a left tackle would warrant such a high selection on the offensive line. Has the game changed or is it a reach?
Rushers are coming from all angles these days. If you have a weakness up front, especially if it's on one of the edges, the defense is going to attack it. I have no problem with drafting a right tackle in the top 10, as long as he can pass-block as you would expect of a left tackle.
Chris from Winston Salem, NC
What’s with all the new names for positions? I hear edge, buck, leo, star, etc. They all seem to be different names for undersized defensive ends. Am I missing something?
Mike, Mo, Will, Sam; monster, hero, wolfback. Nothing's changed. It's just sexy terminology for positions with specific functions. Think in terms of function, not position.
Pat from Seneca, SC
What are your expectations for Tiger this week?
If he's going to win another major, I would expect Augusta to be where he does it. He knows the course, the field is limited and it has no rough to smother his errant drives. This might be his best chance to reclaim glory.
Scott from St. Charles, IL
In the old days, a team might have a quality backup at several positions, so a veteran might actually fear being benched or even for losing his job. Today, with the salary cap limiting quality depth, and cap ramifications from cutting a highly-paid veteran in mid-contract, how does a coach hold players accountable?
Accountability comes from within. Find players who hold themselves accountable.
Philip from Sydney, Australia
With respect to teams you've covered, which player went from the fringe to making a contribution due to a change in head coach? Do you think anyone on the Packers is likely to emerge because of the changes?
The one player who immediately comes to mind is Barry Foster. Chuck Noll drafted him and had big plans for him, but it was under Bill Cowher Foster's career blossomed. Maybe Aaron Jones will do the same under Matt LaFleur.
Taylor from Amarillo, TX
Vic, you answered a question about needing a star to pair with Rodgers on offense. Is Davante Adams that star?
He's close, but he's not a run-after-the-catch guy, and I think the Packers need that type of receiver. They need a receiver who can do something big with a small pass. That kind of receiver would help Rodgers become more of a rhythm passer.
David from Fleetwood, PA
Not listing Favre or Rodgers in your top five QBs, on a forum for Packers fans, no less. I see you like to live dangerously.
I didn't give a top five, I gave a top four. It's with No. 5 the debate begins. Some have the body of work but not a lot of rings. Others have the rings but their body of work isn't as strong. By the way, there were no complaints.
Eric from Keene, NH
As a consumer of news, I have mixed feelings about anonymous sources. I understand sometimes they are necessary for reporters to do their jobs, but it is also a tool that begs to be abused and, therefore, puts tremendous responsibility on reporters and news organizations to police themselves. I also think the problem is even worse in the era of Internet reporting. What was your approach to anonymous sources?
Know who to trust and limit your attribution. "Anonymous" is a distinction reserved for a reporter's most trusted sources. A story with too many anonymous sources becomes a rumor. I think readers also need to know who to trust. It's all about relationships. Reporters develop trusting relationships with sources and readers should do the same with reporters' bylines.
Eric from Green Bay, WI
What kind of leader was Terry Bradshaw?
On the field, he was a strong and effective leader. He made big plays at big times and was always supportive of his teammates. I never knew him to point the finger. His teammates respected the way he held up under Coach Noll's demands, and their respect for Bradshaw grew immensely when he recovered from his benching in 1974, regained his starting job and led the team to a Super Bowl title. It was a challenge to which Noll believed Bradshaw needed to respond to become a championship quarterback. Off the field, Bradshaw was a loner, and I don't think that damaged his stature as a quarterback. The lovey dovey stuff is way overrated. Just win, baby. Bradshaw did. Four up, four down.
Dan from Silver Spring, MD
What the heck happened with Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers?
Plays happened. They began confusing plays for winning.