"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Alex from Orlando, FL
Vic, what would be a successful season for Trevor Lawrence? I think seven wins would be a strong start to his career, but nine wins is not out of reach.
The unmistakable look of promise would be a successful season for Lawrence. You don't measure it in wins. You'll know it when you see it.
Roxanne from Helena, MT
Vic, what would you think of a rule that allowed teams to take a smaller cap hit for retaining their own players? For example, if a player signed a new contract with the team that drafted him, only 90 percent of the salary would count against their cap.
Real player costs would increase by 10 percent.
Paul from Cumming, GA
When envisioning a seismic shift for the Packers, do you see the outcomes as still open-ended? What is the ideal outcome and how does it compare to your expectation?
I'm envisioning a dramatic change in the style and identity of the Packers. I feel it coming. The Rodgers era is about to end and, when it does, it will bring the curtain down on consecutive eras of quarterback play that have defined three decades of Packers football. Rodgers and Favre have been overwhelming figures in Packers history. I envision a shift toward less drama.
Brian from Sugar Land, TX
MLB pulled the All-Star game from Atlanta to make a political statement. A fan unfurls a political banner at MLB games and is now banned from all 30 MLB stadiums. One wonders whether it was the banner's political nature or the viewpoint it expressed that merited the banishment. What's your view?
It's MLB's product and it's entitled to govern it. Pulling the All-Star game from Atlanta wasn't a political statement as much as what was a decision to avoid the protests and controversy that would've ensued if the game had been played in Atlanta. Banning the banner was a safety measure. You're not getting it. As I said, the line was drawn. It was winner take all.
Joe from Hampshire, IL
Is that photo you as a kid, or a kid or grandkid of yours? And is that a lawnmower or garden tiller or something else?
Grandkid? At a lawnmower museum? Look at that thing, Joe. That picture is nearly 70 years old and I suspect that lawnmower was 20-30 years old when the picture was taken. You're looking at a picture that represents nearly a century of lawnmower evolution.
Nate from Plymouth, MN
Do you happen to know what the purchasing power of that salary was when adjusted for inflation?
I sure do. I had to borrow money to buy a crib for my first born. Credit cards? They weren't that easy to get back then, especially for young people coming out of college and with no financial history. My first credit card application was rejected. We lived in the downstairs of a house on a city street; $145 a month, no utilities. Parking was a nightmare when it snowed. I saw a neighbor make his kid stand in the parking spot he just shoveled out. I had to park at a funeral home around the corner. I've read all of the emails complaining about student debt and I get it, but starting out in life has never been easy for any generation. Wanna blame somebody? Blame the colleges for sitting on billions of dollars of endowment money as they raise tuitions. I'll say no more and read no more on this topic. Done!
Patrick from St. Paul, MN
What are your thoughts on the punishment Washington received as a result of the investigation into their longstanding culture of sexual harassment toward women, and what does it tell us about the NFL?
How can anyone judge the appropriateness of the punishment without knowing the specifics of the misconduct? Based on the punishment, I know the Washington Football Team is guilty, but of what? The lack of disclosure is the reason I try to avoid getting worked up about civil lawsuits. They're mostly about legal posturing to extract or protect money. There is little regard for fairness.
Scott from Racine, WI
Vic, you mentioning that everything a player wears is technically team property made me wonder how teams handle the postgame jersey swaps that some players do. Are the players billed for those jerseys or do teams just write those off as acceptable losses?
There's no hard and fast rule on this type of thing. What you're asking is a good question for a team to ask a head coach candidate. His answer would provide an indication of the relationship he would have with his players. Jersey swaps and that kind of sign-my-scrapbook silliness leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If I was an owner, I wouldn't want my team's jersey in the hands of the enemy. I want a coach who demands his players act as professionals and treats them as such.
Jeff from Brooklyn, WI
Thanks for the wisdom you bestow on us weekly. Can you give us your best opinion on what you see in Jordan Love's abilities to be "The Man" as fans like to address the QB position?
He's big, strong-armed and athletic. That's all we know about him at this point. We know his physical skills impressed Brian Gutekunst enough to trade up and draft Love in the first round. In my opinion, his ability to throw on the run is his most impressive talent. He appears to have improvisational skills and that's a fan pleaser.
Spencer from Fullerton, CA
In your opinion, what makes a cornerback better at playing as a press-man or zone corner? And similarly, what makes a receiver better at defeating press or zone coverage?
All press-man corners should be able to play zone, but zone corners should only play press-man against receivers who are better defeating zone coverage. Do you see where I'm going with this? John Stallworth was adept at beating press coverage early in his career. He was big enough to get off the jam and fast enough to beat corners to the ball. He has some of the biggest plays in Super Bowl history. Late in his career, he relied on knowing where the soft spots were in zone coverage. Why the change? Age. He lost a step. If a press-man corner struggles in zone coverage, it's usually because he's impatient and strays from his responsibility. Usually, a team can find a place for a guy like that, until he loses a step. At that point, if he can't play zone he's gone. The same applies to receivers.
Bob from Marietta, GA
With fullback evolving to being a blocker, and halfback becoming the featured ball carrier, what was the role of the halfback when fullback was the main ball carrier? Was he the blocker, or more of a decoy who received half of the carries?
In split backs or pro set formation, the halfback blocked a lot and ran a little. Rocky Bleier immediately comes to mind. He was the blocker for Franco Harris. Bleier rushed for a thousand yards in 1976, however, and it's because that was during the run-the-ball era and the second back had to get some carries or the feature back would be gassed by halftime. Bleier rushed 220 times in '76. By comparison, Aaron Jones had only 201 rushing attempts last season in the same number of games Bleier played in '76. Split backs fit the game of the '70's. In today's throw-the-ball era, the position would be wasteful.
Jim from Madison, WI
The Decades Channel has a Fourth of July Twilight Zone marathon on the tube. Do you remember any of the stories besides the nurses episode?
I remember them all, including the one with William Shatner and the monster on the airplane wing. I recently watched a Twilight Zone marathon weekend. Twilight Zone was the best. I remember being a kid and racing home from the high school football game on Friday night to see the show.
Tom from Eau Claire, WI
Was making Adams the highest paid receiver in the NFL part of your “seismic shift” prediction? I’m more confused than ever about what the heck is going on in that front office.
Wide receivers don't define seismic shifts; quarterbacks and coaches do. A big deal for Adams wouldn't surprise me. I would expect a new contract to include a team-friendly cap hit this season that would give the Packers the cap room they need to seek resolution with Rodgers.