"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Jeffeory from Bloomington, IL
I'm thinking back to when you predicted the Steelers would get a fifth for Antonio Brown. You were very close, as they got a third and a fifth. Remember when the Steelers wanted, and Packers fans wanted to give two firsts in a trade? Mercifully, the Packers stayed out of the Brown saga. Could you imagine losing two firsts for a player with frozen feet who filed a grievance and is threatening to hold out a full season because he can't wear a helmet deemed unsafe?
In the last two years, the Steelers have skinned the Raiders for two thirds and a fifth for two malcontent wide receivers, one of whom has been suspended for substance abuse violations, and another whose acquisition has become a source of embarrassment for the Raiders. With the pick the Steelers got for Martavis Bryant, the Steelers selected Mason Rudolph, who might become Ben Roethlisberger's replacement. With the picks the Steelers got for Brown, the Steelers selected wide receiver Diontae Johnson (projected to be Brown's replacement) and tight end Zach Gentry, a Jesse James clone. Wide receiver fever is a killer.
Alex from Orlando, FL
Vic, your thoughts on the FedEx Cup Playoffs?
The PGA has done a nice job of creating a weekly event to hold the interest of golf fans between majors. I don't fully understand the scoring system for the FedEx Cup, but I understand it's based on merit and that gives the event worth. I like it.
Brad from Jacksonville, FL
It really impresses me Tomlin and the Steelers kept Antonio Brown performing at such a high level and on the field. I can only imagine the behind the scenes hoops they jumped through.
Not many coaches could've held that team together; Tomlin did, and it's because he's a leader. Vic to Bradshaw: Mike Tomlin does a lot more than you know.
Nate from Pueblo, CO
I believe leaders have their own leadership styles and followers have their own following styles. This is why some players love Rodgers, others not so much. What do you think?
Not everyone has to be a leader. Do your job; that's good enough. Aaron Rodgers is his own man. That's his natural personality. Terry Bradshaw was the same. He stayed to himself and did his job. Rodgers is the best quarterback I ever covered. He's also one of the toughest players I ever covered. He was good to me in postgame interviews and I have fond memories of covering him. I would hate to see his legacy tarnished by these mini-controversies. I would also hate to see that happen to Packers fans. A lot of them were left with a bad taste for Brett Favre. I don't want to see that happen in the final years of Rodgers' career.
Dave from Savage, MN
Can we get a "winners and losers," a "five takeaways" and a "seven first impressions" from you on the first preseason game?
How about a "top 10 meaningless plays?" I think you're looking for Bleacher Report. When I see something of note, I'll write it.
Luke from Eagle, CO
Do you respect Rodgers' leadership style? Why or why not?
In the years I covered the Packers, I sensed a special reverence for Rodgers by his teammates. He wasn't just one of the guys, he was "the guy," and that's how it should be at the quarterback position.
Pete from Columbia Heights, MN
Is it normal for NFL coaches or players to take a whiff of smelling salts prior to a game, as Adam Gase did (Thursday) night?
Gase over Mike McCarthy? Really? I think the Jets need to take a whiff of smelling salts.
Ryan from Plymouth, MN
Did you watch any of the preseason games? If so, what did your eyes tell you?
I watched several of them. The Packers have talent in the secondary. The Steelers would be wise to keep three quarterbacks, again. The Jaguars need an Oklahoma drill, if you know what I mean. Also, Daniel Jones looked awfully good.
Bob from Australia
Vic, please help me understand your perspective regarding the Saints. On the surface of it, you seem to be hoping for their demise based on not anything the team has done but on the actions of some of its supporters. There must be more to your rancor than that. What am I missing?
Coach, Gayle Benson was leading the parade in the beginning. She was the lead whiner and even issued a prepared statement that stopped short of accusing the league of fixing the game. Also, after the way in which the Saints lost on the final play in Minnesota in the previous year's postseason, neither the Saints nor their fans have the right to complain about incompetent officiating.
Jeff from Miami, FL
Why do some coaches thrive as a position coach or coordinator but not find success at the head coach position?
Assistant coaches coach, head coaches lead.
Michael from Ithaca, NY
How do I wish to die? With six Lombardis and three of them after playing the salary cap game the Patriots have. The cap game the Patriots are playing works with a Hall of Fame QB who has not lost a step. Do you see Green Bay doing the same with Rodgers?
It's not the "game" the Patriots play, it's Tom Brady. The Steelers have played the same cap game with Big Ben and he's a Hall of Fame QB. They restructure his contract every year and push money out; they've won two Super Bowls with him and both were won before they began playing the cap game. The Saints have played the same cap game with Drew Brees and he's a Hall of Fame QB; they've won one Super Bowl with him and that was before they began playing the cap game to the extreme they're playing it now. Rodgers' most recent contract is playing the cap game. The Packers pushed out a huge chunk of that deal, and I suspect they'll begin restructuring him no later than in 2021, when his salary spikes from $1.1 million to $14.7 million. At that point, the Packers can convert Rodgers' salary to signing bonus, push it out and create cap room in 2021. That's the "game" you want to play and just about every team is playing it with their quarterback. It's not the "game," it's "The Man."
Rich from Apple Valley, MN
Thoughts on the horn being played at Lambeau on third down? To me it's a lame attempt at getting fans out of the seat. I love being a Packers fan, but it's embarrassing our solution to a third-down home advantage is weak and too similar to our rivals out here. When and why did we lose our homefield advantage from the 90's?
I don't think the Packers have lost their homefield advantage. They were 5-2-1 at home last year, which isn't bad for a 6-9-1 team. They were 3-0 at home in '17 when Rodgers got hurt in Minnesota. They were 6-2 at home in '16, 5-3 in '15, 8-0 in '14, 3-0 in '13 when Rodgers was injured against the Bears, 7-1 in '12, 8-0 in '11 and 7-1 in '10. . The horn is just a means for enriching the stadium experience. You don't win with horns or gimmicks. You win with players. South Carolina has a little saying about their stadium: If it ain't swayin', we ain't playin'.
Justin from Titonka, IA
Do you think Antonio Brown is suffering from CTE?
I don't want to make light of this because I'm considering the possibility Brown's behavior, dating back to last season, is a cry for help.
Jerry from Savannah, GA
Vic, why does Aaron Rodgers feel like he needs to publicly comment on every little thing, even to the detriment of his relationship with his coaches? Do you think fans are starting to turn on him a little bit?
That's my concern. He is a special player who has given Packers fans a special era in Packers history. His legacy must not be tainted.
Justin from Eustis, FL
I know you touched on it a bit in a previous post, but what do you watch for pre-snap and after the ball has snapped?
I did the pre-snap thing. Post-snap? I take a quick look at the blocking and then watch the ball. TV has post-snap covered. They'll make sure you don't miss anything. If you're at the game, watch the blocking on one play and then watch the coverage on the next play. You can't see everything. If you're at the game, just have fun.
Patrick from Ashland, WI
Can a team bring pro-rated bonus money back to earlier years and pay if off as the salary cap is increased?
What you're describing is known as pre-paying on the cap, and it's best accomplished by converting chunks of future salaries to roster bonus, which must be declared in full in the year it's paid. So, if you're a young team with players you believe will be future stars, and if you're having trouble getting to the salary cap floor, you might consider converting future salaries to roster bonus and bringing money forward. It'll give you a lot of cap room to sign free agents in the future, when those young players are reaching their primes. There is, however, a risk: What if they don't turn out to be future stars, or they get hurt? Pre-paying requires a crystal ball. A flat cap is the best cap.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
How much work would coach Vic give Aaron Rodgers in the preseason?
Two games. I was interested to see Rodgers standing next to LaFleur on the sideline. Rodgers was engrossed in the play-calling. It's almost as though he wants to coach.
Randy from Medicine Hat, AB
I was doing some reading on some of the owners in the fledgling AFL of the sixties. Is there one owner in your opinion (in either the AFL/NFL then) that had a greater impact on the shaping of the modern NFL than the others?
Lamar Hunt was an AFL owner with an NFL personality. He was the AFL's Pete Rozelle. Those two men made the merger happen.
Kyle from Los Angeles, CA
What was the most memorable preseason game you covered?
It was a Jaguars-Giants game at Giants Stadium in 1997, and it's memorable because Mark Brunell sustained a knee injury that threatened to end his season. Brunell was coming off a Cinderella season in '96 and, frankly, I don't think he was ever the same following that knee injury in Giants Stadium. Nothing good happens in the preseason.