Beginning next week, "Ask Vic" will publish M-W-F through the regular season.
Dave from Chippewa Falls, WI
Is it just me or is it harder the last few years to get a read on NFL teams going into the season? Maybe it's just that I am completely unsure about my team from Green Bay this year.
A new coach always introduces an element of suspense. My view is with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback the Packers will be the same formidable offense they have been for a very long time. Defensively, the talent level has been significantly improved the last two years and that should translate into significantly improved results. I share your uncertainty in some ways -- why have they made so many bottom-of-the-roster moves through the preseason? -- but my feel for the Packers is they'll be a playoff contender this season.
Jared from Rigby, ID
Vic, I am not as optimistic on the Packers running backs as it seems others who frequent packers.com are. What are your thoughts? Can Aaron Jones be the dynamic back we hope for? Can Jamal Williams be the bruiser? Can either of them be both?
I think the Packers' hopes at that position are pinned to Jones. I also think this is a position the Packers will address early in next year's draft, regardless of Jones' performance this season. The depth isn't there. The Packers need more competition at this position.
Elizabeth from Sylvania, OH
Aaron Rodgers is 35, a 15-year NFL veteran, two-time league MVP, Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP. Don't you think he knows by now how to properly prepare for a season?
Yes, I do. Be that as it may, this is a team with a new coach, a new playbook and young receivers. I can understand why fans might be feeling a sense of anxiety as the clock ticks toward the season opener and the play-time meter sits at zero. A lot of that anxiety would be extinguished tonight with a good-looking performance against the Chiefs.
Dan from Waupun, WI
Since season ticket holders paid for tickets to watch Luck be the QB, should they be able to receive full reimbursement? Do you think Irsay will do the right thing for the fans? If a missed penalty set off a legal battle, why not this?
What you're suggesting is beyond ridiculous. Imagine the precedent it would set. No, fans don't deserve a refund due to injury to a player, but they also deserve the truth and to be treated respectfully. When they're deceived, and I believe Colts fans were deceived, they deserve the right to boo.
Chris from Bozeman, MT
Really liked your last answer segment. You picked questions that exposed a victim mentality possessed by the Packers. Love that team, but the losing hasn’t forged the steel, it’s made it more sensitive.
Let's wait until the regular season before we begin passing judgement. I would've liked to have seen a little more edge during training camp, but what the Packers do on the field in the first two games of the season will be the true test of their preparedness. Yeah, September might be the new preseason, but when you open against your two division rivals, you better be ready to play or your season could be wrecked early.
Rodney from Jacksonville, FL
Speaking for all my fellow Jaguars fans, oh, how joyful it is to know the pits of hell the Colts organization will embark on for the next several years. My suggestion to the fan base: It can get worse than you think so be grateful for every win. Perhaps Indianapolis will finally be exposed for the small market team it is without a franchise QB.
It seems like yesterday they were giddy for having stolen that great franchise from Baltimore.
Mark from Regina, Saskatchewan
Long-time reader (from the Jaguars days of crows and aliens). So happy I stumbled upon that you're still doing this! How is retirement, Vic?
I had two sandies on Tuesday.
Blaine from Fennimore, WI
Don't forget Nick Collins in the Hall of Hurt category. I always felt he was special before he had his career ended.
Tim Lewis, too. The Packers have had their share of Hall of Hurt guys. Jermichael Finley is another one. I covered a young center, Michael Cheever, in Jacksonville. I think he was on his way to becoming one of the best centers in the league when a back injury ended his career. A knee injury ended Tony Brackens'. Tony Boselli would be in the Hall of Fame today if a shoulder injury hadn't cut his career short. I can even go way back, to a Steelers running back named Laverne Smith, whose career was ended by a broken leg in a preseason game in Baltimore. Smith had Dorsett-like speed. The Hall of Hurt is the saddest place in football.
Jon from Wright City, MO
Vic, what will a successful season look like for the Packers this year? I personally think anything better than 6-9-1 is successful. What do you think?
I think the money spent in free agency tells us the Packers won't be satisfied by anything less than making it into the playoffs. They are in the final years of Rodgers' career and they don't want to waste any of those years on rebuilding. The time is now.
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
We’ve seen other players retire early, but seeing a top QB, in his prime, retire feels different. Do you see high-profile players retiring prematurely becoming a trend?
The following was my answer on 1-14-19 to a question about Luck's performance in the playoff loss to the Chiefs: "It looked like he was throwing bricks. He had a great comeback season, but his arm isn't what it was a few years ago. His skills might be eroding." Would you feel better if Luck had hung on as his skills continued to erode? Watching him play against the Chiefs in the postseason, I couldn't help but think of Bill Belichick's "eroding skills" comment when he cut Bernie Kosar. I thought Luck looked terrible in that Chiefs game. His arm looked dead. His feet were stone. Retire prematurely? I think Luck knew he was at the end.
Mike from Bridgeport, CT
Thursday night, my eyes told me Josh Allen belongs and looked like a star in the making. A potential game-wrecker. They also told me the Jaguars can give some 3-4 looks. Can you confirm I was seeing the shell of a 3-4 defense at times vs. the Dolphins? Call it whatever, I guess. Just get the quarterback down and get him down soft.
What you saw was Dom Capers using Allen as Capers used Brackens in 1999. You'll see a 4-3 look with a lot of 3-4 principles.
Patrick from Indianapolis, IN
If you were an opposing coordinator, how would you attack the Packers' defense and offense respectively? Have you seen enough of the Packers (or do you know enough about what Pettine and LaFleur want to do schematically) to be able to answer that?
Justin from Titonka, IA
How has preseason football changed throughout your lifetime?
For the first several years I covered the NFL, the preseason was six games long and the starters played a little more with each passing game. The intent was to peak performance for the start of the regular season. How stupid was that? Everything is so much better now: bigger, stronger, faster, smarter.
Alexander from Brooklyn, NY
I heard the Colts will not go after the unearned portion of Andrew Luck's signing bonus. Why would they do that?
Maybe they know they were going to have to cut him and they're glad he cut himself.