"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Loftur from Columbus, OH
I know you are big on players having a defining postseason moment regarding their Hall of Fame case. I also know you think there are too many wide receivers in the Hall of Fame. What is your stance regarding the Julian Edelman Hall of Fame discussion? Shouldn't Cliff Branch get in before Edelman even gets looked at?
Why not Wes Welker, too? Those who believe Edelman belongs in the Hall of Fame are suffering from terminal wide receiver fever. They should be ignored because they can't be saved. Cliff Branch? If you're talking about the old guys, I would begin with Drew Pearson and Otis Taylor.
Kelvin from Kenilworth, UK
Vic, hope you're enjoying the mild winter compared to Green Bay. My question to you is there appears to be an increase in quarterbacks who can pass and run, yet, it is Brady, Brees and Rivers who are playing into their 40's and dual-purpose guys have been replaced quicker. So has the franchise pocket QB been devalued or has it actually increased due to the greater chance of longevity?
The pocket quarterback has never been more valuable, and that's the problem with the pocket quarterback. Conversely, the throw-and-run quarterback may not stay healthy long enough to play long enough to become a killer cap hit. He might be a one or two-year wonder, but the supply of these types of quarterbacks is plentiful. Are you willing to commit to that type of quarterback? You'll need to have a few of them on your roster and be willing to replace them several times before the pocket passer's career ends, but the throw-and-run guy is easier to replace and his friendly cap hit will allow you to surround him with talent. I think it's doable. In fact, I think the Ravens did it.
Brent from Dubuque, IA
Vic, do you remember any game or even a specific play early in Tom Brady's career that first made you say, "Wow, this guy is going to be great?"
I remember being amazed at Bill Belichick's confidence in Brady to convert fourth-and-short plays at midfield. I had never seen anything like that. And Brady converted. I had never seen anything like that, either. I was in awe of his ability to make clutch plays.
Fabrizio from Fossano, Italy
The Patriots are the great franchise of the last two decades, but how did they do it? Is it just Tom Brady? Or Bill Belichick?
I've been over this and over this seemingly a million times, but my inbox is still teeming with this question, so let's do it again: Belichick might be the greatest evaluator of talent of any coach in history. His ability to patch with affordable players for whom he designs specific roles he believes they can execute, and then designs a plan based on those roles, continues to amaze me, along with his ability to focus and prepare his team to play a game. Be that as it may, Belichick was 5-13 and on his way to being fired when he made Brady his starting quarterback. They became the greatest winning combination in pro football history. Packers fans don't like my analysis because they want to believe Aaron Rodgers is better than Brady and Mike McCarthy is to blame for Brady having won so many more titles. I believe Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time.
Don from Colorado Springs, CO
The Patriots neutralized Aaron Donald so he was not a factor in the game. Next season, every team that plays the Rams will look at that film and try to do the same. Since you think he's the best defensive player, what do you think of his play in that game?
On at least one play I saw, he was triple-teamed. He had beaten a double-team and was about to sack Brady when the third blocker engaged Donald. I don't consider double and triple-teaming to be cutting edge strategy. Don, the Patriots were held to 13 points. I think it's more likely teams will watch that tape to see how the Rams did it.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
Vic, are there any specific rules you would like to see the NFL change for next season?
I don't want to discuss rules or rules changes. I'm weary of it; this past season was a weekly seminar on rules, rules interpretation, etc. For next season, I would like to see the NFL give us a seminar on football playing, not football officiating. The 2018 season, in my opinion, was one of the worst in NFL history. It reminded me of politics: No solution, just bickering.
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
Vic, I just watched a four-minute video highlighting the best of Chatty's calls for the Super Bowl (I was underwhelmed). I've seen numerous articles over the past two seasons expressing nothing short of awe at his commentary and hailing him as a football Nostradamus. Can you explain why he has become such a football media darling?
He's perfect for the video game generation: they love plays and strategy. I think he makes a lot of astute comments, but he often ruins them by saying too much. On one play in the Super Bowl, he talked about how the Patriots were going to run right at Aaron Donald, and then they ran directly away from him. I laughed. What about that cover zero with the deep safety in the AFC title game? Hey, he knows his stuff and he got himself a big contract. Good for him. Success is the pure defense.
Kyle from Phoenix, AZ
Going into this offseason, would you rather be the GM of the Packers, Steelers or Jaguars?
I love your question. If I'm Brian Gutekunst, I like what I've done and I'm excited about adding to it. If I'm Kevin Colbert, I wanna get the defense fixed and begin playing Steelers football again. If I'm Tom Coughlin, I'm going to find a quarterback. I think I'd like to be Coughlin.
Travis from Belvidere, IL
I noticed your pre-Super Bowl answers had a nostalgic feel to them. Does Super Bowl time have that effect?
Dru from Lehi, UT
You mentioned you're nostalgic for old-school football games, but wasn't the Super Bowl just that? Both teams tried to run first and their defenses were great. I would have thought you liked the game.
I didn't think it was great defense; I thought it was bad offense. The Rams offensive line couldn't block a toilet seat, Jared Goff played in a fog, and his coach did nothing to clear the fog.
Allyn from New Canaan, CT
Vic, my Mt. Rushmore of coaches: Lombardi, Belichick, Noll and Walsh. Yours?
Brown, Lombardi, Walsh and Belichick. Coach Noll wasn't a Mt. Rushmore kind of guy. He didn't do commercials or endorsements. He believed players had a short career and endorsements should be left for them to enjoy. Coach Noll once saw his picture on a billboard and was embarrassed. His last name was commonly misspelled Knoll. Chuck liked that. He was never selected coach of the year. I think he liked that, too. When he retired, he did so with the same commitment he coached: He cast no shadows. He's the most honorable man I've ever known. Mt. Rushmore is too overstated for a man of his humility.
Mark from Wausau, WI
Vic, why do you think Belichick's assistants have been relatively unsuccessful as head coaches? Is their failure a testament to his coaching genius?
I think it's a testament to not having Tom Brady as their quarterback.
Paul from Hartland, WI
I believe the Rams and Chiefs are more talented teams than the Patriots but feel Belichick had an advantage getting to game plan against two young quarterbacks.
Belichick vs. Andy Reid and Sean McVay? Lombardi vs. Caspar Milquetoast.