"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Eric from Hudson, WI
Green Bay is handing out huge contracts to Ted’s guys and drafting poorly now. Would you give that kind of extension to an almost 30-year-old tackle who’s starting to show some wear? The writing is on the wall. I’m concerned.
The year-by-year breakdown of how the deal is capped isn't fully known yet, since it was a weekend event. I'll know by Wednesday and I'll comment on the structure then. At first glance, I see $62 million in guaranteed money, which includes a $30 million signing bonus and $30 million in roster bonuses. The contract is sensibly even. It isn't backloaded and won't leave a big hit to shoulder in the final years. Bakhtiari's contract is the going rate for a premier left tackle, which Bakhtiari is. At first glance, it appears the contract is flat through the years and protects the Packers from the wear you're detecting.
Keith from Roanoke, VA
What do you make of the Packers' lack of energy? It seems La Fleur would love to turn the team over to the team but the team isn't ready for that ownership. I hate to say it, but maybe this team needs a losing season to get fired up for competing and winning again.
You want losing? Hang on, you'll get your wish. Everybody gets some losing.
John from Topeka, KS
Vic, any thoughts on the weather game in New England on Sunday?
It's that time of year. Run the ball, get the lead and protect it.
Barry from Hayward, WI
Vic, did the turning point in the game come when Cam Robinson came off the field or was there something even more critical to the Packers defense finally being able to stuff some runs and get some sacks on Luton?
The turning point in the game was the arrival of crunch time. The Packers offense went right down the field. It's that way when you have one of the great quarterbacks of all time. Appreciate him. You won't have him forever.
Jonathan from St. Joseph, MO
Who’s your MVP so far this season?
Patrick Mahomes is the star of the league. The Chiefs would be nowhere without him, but does anyone think the Steelers would be 9-0 with Mason Rudolph at quarterback? Shouldn't Ben Roethlisberger at least get a mention?
Paul from Chicago, IL
What should we make of the Jacksonville vs. Green Bay game?
A good team did what it needed to do to beat a bad but gritty team. That's all. Packers won. Move on.
Rich from Savanna, IL
The "bye week" vs. the Jags almost backfired. The Jags came to play, like the Cowboys did against the Steelers. Never underestimate your opponent.
Never be disappointed by a win.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
Any player can have a bad game, but I can never understand how several players can have a bad game on the same day. Any theories?
Todd from Wauwatosa, WI
I know you take a win any way you can get it, but it sure does feel like a loss. Why does Green Bay regularly play down to the level of their competition?
Are you tired of winning?
Scott from Hamlin, NY
The Jaguars defense looked pretty good. The officials, on the other hand, did not.
The calls continue to favor the Packers.
Ryan from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, if you could pick any player, past or present, to help the Packers this year, who would it be?
Brian from Little Rock, AR
I'm an old guy trying to explain it to my young nephew why being a quarterback is so much easier today than it was in the past as it pertains to wide receivers and how they are covered. Can you give me some pointers?
Bump-and-run coverage required deep drops by quarterbacks so they could buy time for the receiver to come open. It took longer in bump-and-run because the receiver was being jammed within his route. Quarterbacks didn't have the luxury of throwing on rhythm back then. They had to sit in the pocket and wait for someone to come open. When a receiver came open, it was often brief and the window was small. The combination of the deep drop and the small window required quarterbacks to have strong arms and quick, compact releases. I doubt Drew Brees would've been successful in that game. Bump-and-run coverage is only half the issue. Quarterbacks back then didn't have helmet communicators, they couldn't spike the ball to stop the clock or even throw the ball away without a receiver being in the area of the pass, and I can't remember specific rules to protect the passer. The quarterback was live to the ground. As Joe Namath said, "We're the trophy." Pass rushers could go high or low on the quarterback, and sometimes even late. I remember seeing Glen Edwards clothesline Ken Anderson five yards out of bounds. Fifteen yards and play on; that's all. If you really want to understand the difference between then and now, Google "Bradshaw Turkey Jones." Jones got a 15-yard roughing penalty and Plain Dealer sports writer Chuck Heaton wrote it was a questionable call. Anthony Barr? That's funny.
John from Seattle, WA
I think Jacksonville lost its compass when it lost the Steelers as a division foe. During those up-and-coming years when we played the Steelers twice, it felt like we were the new blood trying to get respect from the old-money elite. Every time we beat them was like kicking the door down and snatching a seat at the table of football relevance.
I favored a realignment AFC North that would've included Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore, but it would've been a terrible loss had we been denied those wonderfully criminal games between the Steelers and Bengals a few years ago. The Jaguars are in a good place. They've developed rivalries and history within the AFC South. The division isn't the problem; the Jaguars are the problem. It's time to get serious about winning.
Milan from New York
Ah, another one leaves. I saw him on TV at Notre Dame and then he came to the Packers. A friend of mine told me he used to see him in the offseason hanging out at jazz clubs in New York with a lady on each arm. The photo of him running the sweep is iconic.
It sure is. I can still see the sweep to the left against the Browns in the title game. A few weeks ago, I was watching a Steelers game in which James Conner was having a lot of success on running plays around end. I kept thinking to myself, "Who is that?" Then it hit me. "It's Paul Hornung." Conner was running with the same upright, graceful gallop. His head was up and his eyes were searching. Hornung never gained a thousand yards in a season, but he left his mark on the game.
Rick from Madison, WI
This probably speaks to the fallibility of the human experience, however, why does it seem to be so difficult to maintain gap integrity? If that’s your gap assignment, why not stick with that? Same with looking the ball in before looking upfield.
It's difficult to maintain your gap assignment because someone is trying to push you out of it. Looking the ball in is also difficult because that noise you hear belongs to a man who wants to hit you and he is likely to arrive at the same time the ball does. Football is a game of human confrontation.
Mike from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, the Packers have always been about offense. Curly Lambeau was an innovator of the forward pass. Don Hutson dominated the league for a decade. Lombardi was an offensive guy and his best teams, the early teams, won with a dominant offense. During the dark ages of the '80's, the one bright spot was a great offense. Our best coaches have always been offensive guys. I guess that's just who we are. This has helped me embrace that and enjoy it.
You got it. The Packers' DNA favors offense.
Carlos from Portugal
Vic, I agree with you, the Love pick is a head-scratcher. Do you think it had something to do with Covid; in the eventuality of a giant cut in revenue, the Packers needed a QB in a rookie deal ready to play?
I don't think that's it. I think Brian Gutekunst fell in love with Love and didn't want to regret not having picked him. The Jaguars passed on Roethlisberger and Rodgers because the Jags didn't need a quarterback. Then, when they needed one, there was a drought at the position. The Packers are nearing the day they'll need to replace Rodgers. That's a scary thought and I think it scared Gutekunst into picking Love.
Ryan from Bloomer, WI
I keep waiting for a day to see a superstar athletic punter. Can you indulge us with a list of your favorite punters and can you paint a picture of Ray Guy for someone who never saw him play?
I don't have a list of favorite punters. Guy reminded me of a man who had a whip for a right leg. Reggie Roby had a battering ram for a right leg. Whatever it takes, right?