"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the football season.
Randy from Medicine Hat, AB
If Dick Butkus was playing in today's NFL, what would he get in terms of fines, penalties or suspensions?
In today's game, Butkus would be a two-down player, at best. He'd be a player of insignificance other than for the penalties he accumulated. He'd have to change the way he played.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, as the wolves begin to howl, is Brian Gutekunst under the gun or does he receive a one-year honeymoon period?
One year? Gutekunst has a roster to rebuild. He was handed a roster in need of pass rushers and pass defenders. That's a bad combination. He was handed a roster in need of a makeover at the receiver positions. He was handed a roster that lacked a feature back and needs to address concerns on the offensive line. These aren't issues that can be resolved in one year.
Cassidy from Vista, CA
What's your opinion of Saquon Barkley, Vic? Is there any weakness to his game?
He's the foundation on which the Giants will attempt to rebuild. You'd rather that player be a quarterback, so I suspect the Giants will pick a quarterback next spring. When that happens, they will have hit the reset button. Until then, they're just spinning their wheels. Barkley was a difficult player to analyze, I thought. His talents were somewhat hidden in that read-option running game Penn State uses. That kind of attack allows defenses to eliminate a great back, which is what happened last year. Opposing defenses decided they wanted the ball in Trace McSorley's hands, not Barkley's, and Barkley appeared to be surrounded by defenders every time he touched the ball. On those occasions when he got room to run, you could see the greatness. He has big-back power and scatback speed. He also has the ability to dip and dart, as Le'Veon Bell does. Barkley's the real deal. For the Giants' sake, I hope he doesn't get old before the Giants get good.
Dan from Grand Rapids, MI
The Browns are 2-2-1 and their fans are excited for the future. The Packers are 2-2-1 and we seem to be extremely disappointed as fans. Have expectations stolen our enjoyment of football?
Yes. Why do it to yourself? I tried during the offseason to temper those expectations, but every attempt was met with resistance. I'd get emails from Packers fans saying, "You're wrong, Vic. If Pettine can fix that defense and if Rodgers can stay healthy, I think we can win it all." I didn't see it that way. I saw a team in change. It had a new GM, a roster in need of repair and a new internal structure that would be at the test. Frankly, 2-2-1 isn't so bad. It could easily be 1-4.
John from Las Vegas, NV
I’ve watched Kallil Mack destroy opponents. I see T.J. Watt tied with his all-world brother for sacks leader. I watched Marcus Davenport on MNF look pretty darn good. It is reasonable to argue the Packers could have had any/all of them. Are they really blowing it in personnel?
Watt and Davenport are the issue. They were legitimate candidates for the Packers to pick. As I've written, it's rush or cover, and the Packers picked cover. I would pick rush because I don't think the rules allow for a defensive back to fully express his coverage ability. You can play zone effectively on the back end, if you can rush the quarterback. If you can't rush the quarterback, I don't think it matters what you play on the back end.
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
Are the Packers' problems fixable? Do they have enough talent on the team to be a playoff contender?
We're going to know the answer to that question by Thanksgiving weekend. At Rams, at Patriots, at Seahawks and at Vikings will tell us everything we need to know about the state of the Green Bay Packers.
Aaron from Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Are we seeing a Packers offense that has become a product of too many drafts top heavy on the defensive side of the ball?
I think we're seeing a Packers offense that has been able to rely heavily enough on Aaron Rodgers to focus on the troubled defensive side of the ball. Maybe those days are over. Maybe it's time to give Rodgers the playmakers he says he needs.
Stephen from Jacksonville, FL
With Shad Khan moving closer to purchasing Wembley Stadium in London, there have been multiple reports trickling out about his possible plans. The latest indicates he would want to keep the team in Jacksonville but would fly them to London on Thursdays to play “home” games overseas and then return them to Jacksonville to practice during the week. Do you think our city would tolerate simply being the practice facility of the Jacksonville Jaguars? Would the league support this kind of setup?
Jacksonville's football fans wouldn't support that kind of arrangement, nor do I think they would support a four-and-four arrangement, either. The Jaguars belong to Jacksonville. They were uniquely awarded to the City of Jacksonville by the NFL. I would consider any attempt to move that team an act of betrayal. My immediate concern is for the impact these reports are having on Jaguars fans right now. Times are good in Jacksonville. I don't want to see empty seats and apathy result from these reports. I don't want to see a good season ruined by rumors.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Vic, I think it's safe to say you're more into the telling mood than the listening mood nowadays. Good for you. You no longer work for a team. You can tell it like it really is. We get your situation now, as sort of a freelancer. Predictably, you're tired of Green Bay and its fans. You seem to have a soft spot for fellow Pittsburgher, Coach McCarthy. We get that, too. Also, an admiration for Tom Coughlin. We get that, as well. I have always liked his style. At the end of the day, though, you love everything Pittsburgh and western Pa. You're a great writer and story teller of that period in your life. I think you should only take questions hereafter from fans of Jax and Pittsburgh. I'll still read your piece.
Jeff from Alexandria, VA
You're right, your inbox is very whiny and annoying. I have tried to explain to my friends the Packers lack speed, athleticism and young talent on the rise but none of them want to hear that is the source of their recent struggles. Everyone wants to blame coaches and plays and everything else. I want to tell Aaron Rodgers to shut his mouth and throw the football better. I feel like I have more perspective than those around me, but I haven't fully achieved perspective. How can I take that next step?
Be patient. The next month or so will allow you to fully achieve perspective.
Brett from Lakewood, CO
The Saints suffered through three straight 7-9 seasons with Drew Brees in his prime. Now they are Super Bowl contenders (once again) while Brees is still playing like he's in his prime in his late thirties. Sean Payton remained the coach the whole time (other than the season during which he served his suspension). I'm not saying the Packers will follow suit, but there sure are a lot of similarities.
Moving up in the draft order allowed the Saints to rebuild their roster. They enjoyed a blockbuster draft in 2017. That's what it takes.
Joe from Clifton Park, NY
Imagine if Jacksonville had signed Cousins and had him playing the way he is now in Minnesota? That would be a formidable team.
I was surprised the Jaguars stood pat at quarterback.
Kevin from New Orleans, LA
If we get your list of the five worst uniforms, what's your top five look like?
1. Steelers -- I lovvvvve the Steelers. 2. Giants -- The best blue and red I've ever seen. 3. Cowboys -- The star is special. 4. Packers -- Lombardi lives. 5. Jets -- Enduring symbol of the AFL.
Jason from Austin, TX
I would be so curious what a word count would look like on the questions you receive in your inbox on a weekly basis. Have you ever done something like that since you started "Ask Vic?"
It's not a secret. As I write this there are 651 unread questions in my inbox.
Julian from Menasha, WI
"The answer is he'll be the team's coach next season." You gave this as part of your answer to Ed from South Beloit. I can't help but wonder, is that you indicating the Packers will turn it around yet this season?
Joseph from Dillon, MT
Vic, I think Mike McCarthy is the coach the Packers need, so this question is not about wanting him gone. I am wondering how you, if you were management, would deal with the howling wolves.
Ignore them. Let them howl.
Jake from Florence, AL
My question stems back to Rodgers' critique of McCarthy and how it has caused this surge in howling. In your opinion, did Rodgers purposefully critique McCarthy during the press conference to put pressure on him by starting the howls?
That's not it. I think Rodgers' remark was the result of frustration. I think there's a lesson in this: Sticks and stones will break your bones and words can really hurt you.
Vincent from Seattle, WA
Vic, I read a UFO type of debris washed up on a South Carolina beach over the weekend? What's the local inside information?
I think it looks like one of those old Mercury capsules. Did we lose one?
Bill from Troy, WI
Aaron Rodgers is past his prime. Am I the only Packers fan who will speak this truth? That's not to say he's finished, but he is on the downhill side of his playing days.
Blasphemy! You must be banished from the kingdom. Guards, arrest this man!
David from Janesville, WI
Vic, I hope we didn't get tired of winning.
Time is a great attitude adjuster.