I'm posting Friday's column a day early because we've lost Internet service on Edisto and I suspect that could continue. Let's call today's column "Day Early Ask Vic."
Kelvin from Kenilworth, UK
Vic, do you think the Dolphins apparently trading good players for picks is wise? After all, the draft is a crystal ball business and if you have a young and good left tackle, why trade him for uncertainty? I understand you need "The Man," but why blow everything up until you get him?
Sometimes that's what you have to do to get "The Man," and by the time you develop him and he truly is "The Man," that good young tackle might be bad and old. You don't want the back end getting old before the front end "arrives." I'm talking about talent on your roster. It's all got to happen quickly or you'll have a short run. I understand what the Dolphins are doing and I'd do the same thing if I was running the show.
Nathan from New York, NY
I was watching highlights of the Colts-Chargers game and I noticed the Colts only rushed one man on the final play of regulation. Will we eventually see the "Ketchman prevent defense" or will teams copy the Colts instead?
Why bother rushing one? Get another pass defender in there. I don't care if the quarterback uses all of the time left on the clock to find an open receiver. That's what you want, right?
Patrick from Indianapolis, IN
Vic, Aaron Rodgers' performance has not been the same for several years now (a bit understandably, given age and the injuries). Do you still consider him an elite QB capable of carrying a team? If so, what do you see as his best remaining skill/asset?
I'm getting a lot of this type of question and it's chafing me because I think it's unfair. Two years ago, I said the Packers should consider drafting a quarterback early, if one is at the top of their board when it's time to pick. I was soundly rebuked by my readership. Then last year, on the subject of signing Rodgers to a new contract, I said "What's the rush?" and I was even more harshly rebuked. Now I'm being asked if I think Rodgers is still an elite quarterback. That's baloney.
Charlie from Waukesha, WI
Can/would the league punish the Dolphins for not fielding a competitive team? For example, take away draft picks? If so, should the league punish the Dolphins?
I don't think the league would or should. The Dolphins are trying to take care of their future. They're trying to become what they aren't. They stink and they want to stop stinking, and the best way to do that is to accumulate a lot of high draft picks. I think the Jaguars should do the same thing. It bothers me they traded a fifth-round pick for Josh Dobbs.
Josh from Madison, WI
For newer readers (and those of us with suspect memories), could you explain how your mistrust for the Patriots organization developed?
It began with the headset stuff. It became a leaguewide joke. As I've written, Jack Del Rio and I once jokingly made a friendly wager on what quarter the headsets would go out for the Jaguars-Patriots game in New England that week. The Colts were piping in crowd noise and the Patriots were turning off the visiting teams' headsets. They were the top two teams in the AFC. It was a disgrace. Then came Spygate, which is when I put the asterisk next to the Patriots' name in my power rankings: "Cheated in one game." Hey, they cheated in one game! I'm sure it was more than one game, but the league had convicted the Patriots of having cheated in at least one. It was official, right? At that point, the Patriots were who we thought they were.
Chris from Bozeman, MT
The promise of winning seems to have caused a few guys to stray from making value-driven choices. At some point, winning has to take a back seat to doing things the right way. That point is upon us.
If you're referring to the Antonio Brown saga, I don't think the drama has ended. The Patriots better make sure they don't anger him, or he might sing like a canary.
Chris from Winston-Salem, NC
I'm not sure if I am becoming old and curmudgeonly (I am), but the antics of players have become bothersome to the point I can't enjoy the game as much. Whether it's Jalen Ramsey, Beckham and his watch that costs more than my house, the never-ending Brown saga; is it me or are these things becoming more common?
Nefarious behavior is on the rise and it's distasteful. I think Odell Beckham should be disqualified from any game in which he attempts to wear the watch while playing. It's unnecessary equipment that hasn't been approved by the league and, therefore, should be considered a danger to Beckham and the other players in the game. Hey, Antonio Brown had to change helmets because the league wouldn't approve the one he wanted to wear, and that ruling was supported by an arbitrator. The Beckham watch ordeal is the same thing.
Morgan from Kaukauna, WI
When Brian Gutekunst was looking at how to build the team his way, what was he looking for on both sides of the ball?
Speed. The Packers had become a slow football team.
Elizabeth from Sylvania, OH
You got me, Vic. Hope you stayed safe. What is your impression so far with college football? What about Michigan in particular? Are they just hype or are their problems on offense fixable?
The network TV games Saturday are Ohio State at Indiana, Pitt at Penn State, Alabama at South Carolina and Clemson at Syracuse. I'll put the total point differential in those games at 120 points. Anybody wanna take the under? College football is a bad product. As for Michigan, it's fallen far behind Ohio State.
Ryan from Plymouth, MN
What do you think of Steve Palazzolo's quip the Raiders gave up draft picks so the Pats could sign Antonio Brown?
Aaron Hernandez? Brown being accused of rape? I'm not laughing.
Kyle from Green Bay, WI
On the play after J.J. Watt sacked Brees, Payton called a draw play directly at Watt. The tackle let Watt run past and the running back got the first down. Masterful play-calling. I won't forget that for a while. I'm sure Watt won't either.
Run at a rusher is old-school football strategy. Yinz people are gaga about play-calling, but you don't see the real genius in football strategy. Mike McCarthy completely pencil-whipped Adam Gase with line splits, but nobody saw it or appreciated it. Calling plays is easy stuff. Creating matchups and attacking weaknesses are true examples of strategic genius.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Packers fans become very angsty when the offense isn't the star of the show. Any coping techniques?
Instead of wetting their pants every time Rodgers completes a pass, maybe the Lambeau crowd should start chanting, "Defense, defense, defense."