"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Roger from Auburn, CA
Vic, who would you target in free agency if you were the GM for the Packers? Maybe your top three picks, if they could pull it off?
That's too aggressive for my taste. That's like buying Berkshire, Google and Amazon. You're not going to have enough money left to build a portfolio (team). I like cheap free agency. Wanna do what the Patriots do? Then identify some affordable patches and fit them into a role-playing design that covers your needs but doesn't pin you against the cap. Expensive free agency is a trap. You don't get a lot for your money and the reward, in my opinion, is seldom worth the risk. Jimmy Graham is a perfect example. Now the Packers are stuck with the decision of whether to cut their losses on Graham or pay him even more money and increase their risk. No thanks.
Jerry from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Why would any team trade for Antonio Brown?
His cap situation favors trading for him, if you believe he's still a great player and he can be managed. His amortization stays with the Steelers so you'd only be on the hook for his salary if you traded for him. If after one season you don't want him on your team, cut him and he's off your books; no dead money. A team with wide receiver fever that believes it's one player away will trade for him, but I don't see the Steelers getting better than a third-round pick for him. I think Mike Tomlin did a pretty good job of dealing with Brown's disruptive personality; Tomlin got a lot of production out of Brown. When Brown walked out on his team, it was over; there was no excusing that behavior. Two of the best players in the game became the top stories in the league this past season, and for the wrong reasons.
Kurt from Springfield, MO
My family and I will be in Charleston this weekend. My nephew graduates from Navy Nuke School on Friday and gets married on Sunday. If you were to offer a suggestion on a local place for a good meal to take your family, what would it be?
High dollar -- Fulton Five. Medium price -- Acme Lowcountry Kitchen on Isle of Palms. Cheapo -- Swig and Swine.
Mark from Wausau, WI
Vic, really NFL? Kareem Hunt gets signed, but Colin Kaepernick doesn't?
The message is you can beat up a woman and get a second chance, but expressing your right to peaceful protest is intolerable if it's viewed as unpatriotic.
Bryce from Marquette, WI
Vic, have you ever given thought to writing about anything other than football? I find myself gravitating towards your writing style and your disposition towards your own life (and life in general) is something I strive for. Your columns are a constant exercise in perspective.
I'm toying with the idea of tweaking the "Ask Vic" format by adding topics on which I'd like to comment.
Pete from Los Angeles, CA
Vic, are there any second or third-tier free agents who pique your interest?
They all do. That's where the bargains are. A good pro personnel department finds those guys. They find role players from other team's castoffs.
Bob from Green Bay, WI
What are your thoughts on Sterling Sharpe having a shot at the Hall of Fame. Arguably the best receiver in the league his last three years, even when compared to Jerry Rice at the time. Any chance?
No. His career was too short. We don't need to reach for wide receivers. The Hall of Fame selection committee is barraged by better candidates. We need a Hall of Fame of Wide Receivers. Sharpe belongs there.
John from Ann Arbor, MI
You get your rocks off fooling imbeciles into thinking you’ve any real insight into the strategy of the game. This whole website is one vanity plate. You reminisce about a time when sports writers could paint a picture instead of analyze. The irony is you never had the talent for either. You claim to love the human confrontation but you completely ignore the grit and maturation of coaches like Belichick and instead attribute their success to others. There’s a reason you giggle when Romo makes a wrong guess. Because you mistake fallibility with coming down to your level.
Mike from Missoula, MT
I got my dad "Instant Replay" for Christmas and he found it interesting Kramer said the Packers practiced harder than any other team. In what ways do practices differ from team to team? Have they changed dramatically over the decades?
Under Chuck Noll, nine-on-seven drills and sled work were staples of Steelers practices. Coach Noll also liked to begin each training camp with an Oklahoma drill. That regimen is considered Neanderthal-like compared to today's passing camps. Bill Cowher liked a spirited goal-line drill in training camp. He liked to end a hard-hitting practice with a test-of-will thud. Tom Coughlin's practices featured precision passing. I think Mark Brunell could've completed a down-and-out in his sleep. Jack Del Rio was big on pass-rush drills pitting offensive and defensive linemen; that's where he put his exclamation point in his practices. Mike McCarthy was all about tempo and thoroughness. He covered all of the bases.
Ryan from Hayward, WI
Did you have the opportunity to watch any AAF games last weekend? I'm curious about your overall impressions and whether you think a league like this has a future.
I'm not going to judge the success or viability of that league on just one weekend of play. Can it sustain the level of play for which it's being praised? What happens when injuries begin depleting their ranks? Will the quality of play decline? What happens when the TV ratings and media attention declines? Will anybody still care? If it keeps its costs down and finds a way to limit its exposure to player liability, the AAF has a chance to survive and become a minor league of football, but the odds aren't in its favor.
Ryan from Bartlett, IL
Vic, I was watching the excellent documentary "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" discussing the lives of some of the members of Motown Records' house band, the Funk Brothers. This was the band that played the instruments for a massive number of hits, but received none of the recognition the singers did. One of the musicians was bassist James Jamerson, who hailed from Edisto Island, and his son still lives there, carrying on his father's legacy. Did you know before you moved there you'd have the scion of one of Motown's (unsung) heroes as a neighbor?
It was after I owned a home here I learned of Jamerson. I love the first three notes of "My Girl."
Brady from Milwaukee, WI
In the NBA in particular, there is a lot of discussion about market size. I don’t think I can think of a time the media has mentioned market size as a relevant factor for free agency in the NFL. Is this just because the NFL is such a national game and other sports leagues tend to be more regionally focused? Or is my analysis incorrect?
It's because Pete Rozelle instituted a system of pooling the revenue. It allows markets such as Green Bay to compete on a level field with New York. In my opinion, the Packers owe their success as much to Wellington Mara as they do to Vince Lombardi. Mara agreed to Rozelle's idea and at that point market size became meaningless in the NFL.
Tom from Vista, CA
Who was your fave player to ask for a quote?
In Pittsburgh, it was Joe Greene. In Jacksonville, it was Fred Taylor and Tony Boselli. In Green Bay, I thought Aaron Rodgers' postgame press conferences were always enlightening and I thought he worked hard and respectfully to help reporters provide an accurate account of the game. I found James Jones too late and I wish I had been able to spend more time with Charles Woodson.
Ben from Columbus, OH
Vic, what's your eye-test opinion of Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray? Do you believe they're top 10 picks?
Haskins absolutely is. Murray, in my opinion, is a little guy with a long throwing motion. I think he's a big risk in the first round.
Omar from Morelia, Mexico
Vic, this season was quite disappointing. Right now, I need to take a break from football and that saddens me. It is the first time I have had this feeling. I really want to leave this season behind. Do you have any advice?
I feel the same way and I think it's good for me because I came to count on football too much. I'm going to fill my offseason with other endeavors. Right now, I'm in the midst of house remodeling. It's taken my mind off football. By the start of next season, I want to feel refreshed and ready for something better. Hopefully, the NFL will fix what ailed it in 2018.