"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Joe from Waukesha, WI
Vic, 37 receivers were drafted this year. Most NFL teams don’t like to cut their draft picks. I can’t help but wonder: Did the Packers refrain from drafting a receiver because they expect some good veteran receivers to get cut this offseason? After all, most rookie receivers struggle to contribute in year one, and Rodgers wants to win now.
I guess it's possible but kind of far-fetched. The Packers fan base has the worst case of wide receiver fever I've witnessed since Jaguars fans had J.J. Stokes fever. Packers fans have also suffered from safety and inside linebacker fever. Remember Jairus Byrd? We almost needed Dr. Fauci to explain that one. I'm getting a sense this bout of wide receiver fever is a mutation of one-player-away fever, which has claimed the life of many a good team, and win-another-title-for-Rodgers fever, which has decimated the Packers' roster. My advice to Packers fans is find a way to see the big picture. Your focus has been distorted by the team's reliance on the passing game.
Gregory from Milwaukee, WI
What is your opinion of the film, Rudy?
I took my sons to the theater to see it. They were just little guys back then. The oldest one complained a little. He wanted to see one of those ridiculous Terminator-type movies, which was playing in the adjacent theater. On the way home, however, he said he enjoyed Rudy and thanked me for taking them to see it. Meanwhile, the younger one was suspiciously silent until he asked, "Dad, where's Notre Dame?" I told him it was in South Bend, Ind. Nothing more was said. About a week later, a large envelope addressed to my youngest son arrived. It was from Notre Dame. Inside was a picture of Lou Holtz with a personalized inscription. The hook was set. Rudy is great propaganda.
J.P. from Sterling, IL
R.E.L.A.X. The Packers have challenged Aaron Rodgers by drafting his heir apparent. He will respond positively like the warrior and winner he is. Just watch! In addition, the Packers may have secured their QB of the future. This is a win-win. Ignore the noise. What say you, Vic?
I think the noise will become too great to ignore.
Jason from Austin, TX
If the NFL decides to play the season, do you think a player would hold out because of COVID? How many star players would it take for the NFL to change its mind?
In my mind, players with veteran-like contracts would be doing the NFL a huge favor if they decided not to play. The NFL wouldn't have to pay them and the league could then assemble affordable replacement-like teams that would allow the league to play to empty stadiums and pocket the TV revenue. At that point, we'd be so desperate for live sports entertainment the TV ratings would be through the roof. It would be a huge win for the league, protecting its star players while discovering new talent in a season I doubt can be meaningful. Might that happen? No way. The players want the money.
Douglas from Binghamton, NY
Vic, if the Packers have "The Man" with Jordan Love, how long will it take to emerge from the rebuild?
Adam from Wausau, WI
“I'll swim Scott Creek if the Packers don't draft a cornerback.“
I owe my readers a swim. I'll look into producing a short video. Frankly, I think not drafting a cornerback is more of a concern than not drafting a wide receiver. Good cornerbacks are a lot more difficult to find and every team needs to replenish its supply.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
Reflecting back, what was the significance to you?
I was 18, trusting and naive. May 4, 1970, is the day I lost my innocence.
John from Neptune Beach, FL
Vic, how often do you think players will need to be tested for COVID for the season to go on? Would it not have to be weekly, with results having to be available almost immediately?
John, I'm a sports writer, not an epidemiologist. Frankly, I don't understand the mania for playing football. We are in the midst of a pandemic that remains a mystery and to which we are largely defenseless. Unless we have a vaccine heading into next fall, I am opposed to playing the season. Football isn't worth the loss of lives.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
This is such a complicated and nuanced situation. Some are scared, some are sick, some are becoming financially ruined, some are stir-crazy, some are protesting, some are rule-followers, some live in areas completely unaffected, some are living in a Petri dish. Some say we wait for a vaccine, some say we begin to allow the healthy to get sick so life can march on. What happens next and for how long it happens is completely unknown. God’s speed to all.
Some say nothing because they're dead. In my mind, the real concern isn't what the virus has done, it's what it can do if we lose control of it. Yes, restoring our economy and way of life is of critical importance, but everyone from Dr. Fauci to Ben Bernanke says recovery can't begin until the virus has been defeated.
Tracy from Sioux Falls, SD
I understand your view on the hard count. However, after re-watching the Seattle vs. Green Bay divisional game, Seattle was on its heels in a goal line situation. The free play is only one aspect of a deceptive start to a play. Why not use every tool in the tool box?
If you use one of those tools too much, you'll wear it out and forget how to use the other ones. The Packers forgot how to use the hammer.
Cody from Davis, CA
Did you catch the Boston College vs. Pitt game last year? Packer fans should watch at least the last six minutes of the game.
Dillon pounded them, and that was a good Pitt defense with a strong front.
Nathan from New York, NY
What's upsetting your inbox the most? A) The Packers drafted a QB in the first round. B) The Packers didn't draft a WR. C) The Packers didn't use a high-round draft choice on a DL or LB who will fix their run defense.
As Coach Noll would say, "What you're really asking me is why didn't we win?"
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
If you were a coach in today's NFL and your star player continued to do in-game what you've told him not to do, how would you handle that?
I'd talk to my cap man.
Jeff from Miami, FL
I think I remember Jimmy Johnson in 1997 saying he didn't want to change the Dolphins offense too much in his first year, in deference to Dan Marino, but in their second year together the running game would be more important. Does history repeat itself?
Last year, the Packers were Rodgers' team. Now, it must become LaFleur's team or it won't be his team for long.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
Big backs tend to have heavy feet. Does Dillon?
I watched for that very closely. Jerome Bettis was very light on his feet. T.J. Duckett wasn't. Dillon, in my opinion, is closer to Bettis than to Duckett.
Art from Edwardsville (state unknown)
Could the Dillon pick help the Green Bay defense by actually giving them a pounder to practice against?
In the old days, when teams wore pads to practice and nine-on-seven was a daily drill, it was said teams that ran the ball also stopped the run, for the simple reason a defense had to practice against an offense that was good at running the ball. In today's softer practice regimens, I don't think we can make that kind of blanket statement. I think teams have to find players who are naturally good at each.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
Can the Packers improve their run defense with scheme adjustments?
The Packers run-blitzed the Vikings. There was a lot of scheme in the Packers' run defense that night. Of course, the Vikings were without Dalvin Cook. Would the Packers have dared getting creased by Cook? That's what can happen against a big-play back in a run-blitz scheme. The answer to your question is, yes, you can scheme to stop the run when you have a personnel advantage, but you'll likely have to play it straight up against a team of equal or greater strength, and that's when you have to get off blocks and win the one-on-ones.
Colby from Orange Park, FL
What made the '70’s, '80’s Steelers trap running game so effective? Why did others not try to copy it?
Mike Webster. They didn't have Mike Webster.
Joe from Dundee, IL
Vic, you mentioned this summer's supplemental draft class could be the best ever. Would the NFL have to modify the eligibility rules in this unusual offseason? The way I understand it, only players who became ineligible for the next college season may petition the league to enter the supplemental draft.
If the possibility exists there'll be no college football season, I think the NFL should open the door of eligibility for all players three years removed from high school graduation. If a flood of eligible players results, I think the bigger question becomes: How should the NFL conduct such a supplemental draft? The league might need to abandon the standard send-it-in format.
Aric from Oshkosh, WI
Vic, USA Today made an article explaining the events at Kent State with an interactive map that shows how events unfolded and images of each of the deceased and their stories. Were you able to see this feature and, if so, how did it impact you?
I don't need a map to tell me where I was, what I saw or what I felt. The events, especially the sounds, are indelibly etched into my consciousness. I'm a naturally talkative person, but I remember not saying much that day. I was frozen by observation and thought. I also remember having seen Allison Krause with her boyfriend on numerous occasions in my dormitory's TV lounge, which didn't seem important until she was dead. All of a sudden, everything became important.
Alex from Acworth, GA
Hear me out: Gutekunst created Covid-19 in his kitchen in order to force the NFL to delay or even cancel its 2020 season. As a consequence, the 2021 salary cap would take an estimated $80M hit and force Goodell to impose an uncapped 2021 season in order to avoid player strife and league peril. Gutekunst can then unload Rodgers' contract with no dead-cap penalty and maximize the benefit of the remaining three years on Jordan Love's cheap rookie contract.
I called my cap man. He said no way; the commissioner wouldn't allow it because teams all over the league would be cutting and trading players with big dead money. He said one way or another the dead money will have to make it through the books. I said, "You pay it, you claim it, right?" He said yes. I love my cap man.