Mike from Somerset, WI
Vic, Terrell Owens is taking a knee to speak out against the writers. I am OK with it. The writers rarely take into account the background of these men that take the field. They are quick to shame athletes that have had to overcome far more than most. Many of these men will never overcome their early informative years. Where is the compassion?
Wait, I'll get my violin.
Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador
Vic, if it's not whom you play, but when you play them, I'm glad the Packers are playing the Bears first.
Because the Packers will be getting the Bears before they become a contender? OK, but the site of the game, Lambeau Field, makes it a must win for the Packers, in my opinion. I'm not a fan of playing division games in the first few weeks of the season. In my mind, the league is still in preseason mode in the first couple of weeks, and division games are too important to be wasted on teams that aren't in regular season shape.
Clark from Boise, ID
Vic, just watched "A Football Life," featuring Charles Woodson. Amazing athlete and person. How does he stack up with the Deion Sanders?
Sanders did two things exceptionally well: cover receivers and return punts. Woodson was a more complete football player. He was a good enough cover man to play cornerback, and a good enough tackler to play safety. I acknowledge Sanders' greatness as a cover corner, but his unwillingness to tackle was a big turnoff for me. I have greater respect for Woodson as a football player.
Chase from Sunnyvale, CA
Is it safe to say when expectation becomes hope, you're in need of a new coach?
Usually, that means you need new players, but the team usually fires the coach because to admit it needs new players means it doesn't even have hope. Teams fire coaches for the purpose of resurrecting hope.
Eric from Green Bay, WI
Vic, Cowboy fans booed the team when they drafted Zach Martin instead of Johnny Manzel. Martin is now the highest paid guard in NFL history, healthy and dominant. Manzel is a backup in the CFL. What lessons should fans derive from this story?
The lesson is: Get the big guys early.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What are your plans for the dead zone?
I'm going to vacation a little, and I'm also going to make some decisions about the future of "Ask Vic." I've gotten a lot of emails from readers wanting the column to publish more often. A survey will appear in the column, asking readers to chime in on the subject. The column's numbers are strong enough to warrant an increase in publishing volume. I'll look at the survey results and then announce my plans.
Dave from North Potomac, MD
"The Packers want to run the ball, but they always seem to fall back on the pass." Vic, is this due to a lack of commitment in play-calling, lack of execution of the runs called, or a quarterback going to a pass audible too often?
It's the result of poor defense. You can't run the ball if you can't play defense. The best Packers running game I covered was in 2014, which just so happened to be the best Packers defense I covered. A good defense breeds patience on offense.
Omar from 998 Oaks, CA
Deion Sanders and Terrell Owens were the NFL prima donnas of the '90’s and 2000’s. The football era when you were covering the Steelers, there seemed to be none. Why is that? And why is there an explosion of them now?
In the '70's, look-at-me behavior got you cut in half. The star running backs from that era -- O.J. Simpson, Franco Harris, Larry Csonka, Earl Campbell -- were very humble. Lynn Swann was targeted by the Raiders' Jack Tatum and George Atkinson, and I think one of the reasons for it was Swann had some swagger that rubbed the tough guys on defense the wrong way. I remember Swann appearing on Mister Rogers; it's one of the all-time great Mister Rogers episodes. Swann performed ballet. The message to kids was: Tough guys don't have to be bullies, or something like that. Well, Swann's appearance on Mister Rogers rubbed some people in pro football the wrong way. Pro football was a tough-guy game when Swann played, and it didn't like one of its Super Bowl MVPs making pro football look soft. Quarterbacks had to be especially careful of their behavior. They were live to the ground back then. As Joe Namath said, "We're the trophy." Let me put it this way: Aaron Rodgers would not have done "The Belt" back then.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what was the greatest story you never wrote?
I got a call one day from a man in a town where I worked for a newspaper. His wife had died, he had lost his job and he and his son we're packing up the house and moving because he couldn't pay the mortgage anymore. In the process of cleaning out the attic, he found a baseball card his grandfather had given him years ago. "Hold onto this card. It'll be worth a lot of money some day," the man said his grandfather had told him. "Who's the player on the card," I asked him? "Honus Wagner," he said. Oh, my, I thought. At the time, I was writing freelance stories for Beckett Football Card Magazine. I knew the people at Beckett and I knew their baseball magazine was the baseball card bible. I told the man who to call. I said he might have something of great value and somebody at Beckett would immediately know if that was true. The man thanked me and I asked him to call me back and let me know what happened. Hey, I wanted to be the first to write this story if, in fact, he had the Holy Grail of all baseball cards. I didn't get a call, so I called him. He told me a guy from Beckett was on his way to Pittsburgh to look at the card. In the meantime, he was told to take the card to the nearest bank and put it in a safe deposit box. He said he was also told not to talk to anyone about the card, which especially included me. I knew what that meant. He had THE card. I was never able to find out what happened, but I have a feeling it's the greatest story I never wrote: Laid off steel worker forced to sell his home strikes it rich.
Beau from Lancaster, PA
Vic, who is your U.S. Open pick?
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
What do you think about the Packers playing one-third of their most critical games in the first two weeks of the season? Would the NFL ever consider scheduling inter-conference games for every team in the first four weeks of the season?
I don't think the Packers can win the NFC North Division title if they don't win both of those games (Bears, Vikings). You have to win your home games. I favor scheduling as many inter-conference games as possible in September, as they count the least toward playoff tiebreakers. I think it can be done and still give TV feature attractions.
Matt from Oshkosh, WI
Vic, someone is reading your site. It looks like the Ravens are experimenting with two-QB sets. How long until this becomes more than just a gadget package?
As college football dumps more "New Age" quarterbacks onto the NFL, the obvious reaction is to feature those players at what they do best, which is to say play in space. Two-QB sets create space. In my mind, it's going to happen, and I think it'll happen sooner than later.