"Ask Vic" is published on M-W-F through the regular season.
Casey from Duluth, MN
If this is "The Last Dance," do you think Bakhtiari could be traded soon?
The dead money hit is too great for the Packers to even consider moving Bakhtiari. This might be the last dance for Rodgers, but it won't be the last dance for Bakhtiari. He'll be with the Packers at least through 2022.
Jason from Austin, TX
Speaking of the Chargers, I find it interesting their fan base is so small compared to most of the league. They've been a highly competitive team since 2004 with great quarterback play and they currently have one of the more exciting rosters. Most fans flock to winning teams, yet, they basically played an away game on Monday. I know the Raiders have a lot of fans in LA, so Monday might not be the best example, but most games are like this. What gives?
The Chargers are from San Diego. They shouldn't have left; it was a big mistake. If they had stayed and found a way to negotiate the construction of a new stadium, their fans would be going crazy about this team right now. Think of the good times ahead: young star quarterback, team on the rise, new stadium on the way. The Chargers would be a scorching-hot ticket in San Diego. As it stands, they could waste their run on a non-existent fan base. Loyalties are hard to change. The Rams are LA's team. I don't see that changing any time soon.
Marty from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Vic, I loved your analogy that a team like the Chargers, who are at the start of their run, gives you that feeling like the first day of summer. So, in contrast the Jaguars would be like that feeling you get on the night before the first day of school when you realize summer is over and you are going to a new school where you don’t know anyone.
If Shad Khan had hired properly, the Jaguars would have a good young coach building a good young team behind a good young quarterback. All of the arrows would be pointing up and the feeling would be like late May, when you know summer vacation is right around the corner and all you have to do is wait a little longer.
Adam from Madison, WI
Any updates to your thoughts on A.J. Dillon? Looks lighter on his feet this year.
He's a good back. I think he's an especially good complementary back. What I like best about him is his burst. When he gets a hole, he hits it with fury. What I dislike about him is his lack of lateral quickness. When he's forced to go sideways, the play is over. He's a straight line runner. So was Ahman Green. It can work.
Chevin from Jacksonville, FL
This crap has to stop right now. Shad Khan needs to see the writing on the wall. You swung for the fences, but your head coach is an absolute embarrassment and GM Trent Baalke might be an even bigger problem. When you're team is 1-19 over its last 20 games and certain of your second, third, fourth and fifth-round draft picks are barely seeing the field, there are incredibly serious problems with your talent evaluations. Meyer and Baalke are in over their heads. Will the owner accept the sunk costs?
Money isn't the issue for Khan. He just doesn't know what he's doing.
Isiah from Little Chute, WI
I've been a Packers fan my entire life, but if the Packers play the Cowboys to go to the Super Bowl, I kind of want the Cowboys to win, and if the game is played in Green Bay, I think McCarthy's team will be tougher and I think they will win. I don't know what it is but this team is rubbing me the wrong way. Maybe it's just because I'm an aspiring singer-songwriter and the State Farm commercials are making me feel sensitive.
I'd love to see a Packers-Cowboys playoff game.
Thomas from Wisconsin
It wasn’t that long ago it seemed Patrick Mahomes would have a Brady-like dominance over his division. Now, with Herbert in the equation, winning the division isn’t a sure thing going forward anymore. I can’t recall any great quarterback in the recent era to have another one in their division. I know it’s still early on Herbert, but could those two be headed for one of the better rivalries in the NFL?
The AFC is loaded with good young quarterbacks. The AFC North has three of them. The AFC East has the potential for four.
Cliff from Jacksonville, FL
I've lived in Jacksonville since 1983, was an original Jaguars season ticket owner, and one of the major problems with the franchise as I see it is the insistence on trying to please Gators fans. The Tebow story lasted from 2006 right up to this season and is probably still not over. There have been numerous high-round draft picks wasted on unworthy former Florida players, some of which were traded up to obtain. Now this Meyer fiasco. I know you knew it when you were here: Jacksonville is a college football town and will always be.
You don't change that identity by pandering to it. You change it by winning your way. Give me that team. I'll fix it real fast. It's simple. I'd hire good people, and if you spend every day working with coaches and personnel people, you'll know who the good people are. If you're out riding around on your yacht, you don't have a clue.
Douglas from Binghamton, NY
What do you make of the Giants? Could the Steelers be heading down the same road? I am surprised by both teams' lack of physicality.
The Giants have drafted high enough long enough for it to be producing results. I expect the Steelers to begin picking high in the order next spring. A team's name doesn't make it physical; its players do.
Tyler from Green Bay, WI
I did a quick Google search of Tom Stabile. I did not find much information besides a video of his acceptance speech he gave after he was accepted into the Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Can you share any stories of Tom Stabile? Stabile seems to be a great leader of men. I could not help but listen to the entire speech.
Tom was a newly-hired assistant coach when I was a senior in high school. He was also an outstanding baseball player and we played together on a Tri-County team one summer. Sports were clearly at the center of Tom's life, as they were at the center of mine. Thirty-some years later, when I was in Jacksonville, I got word one of the game officials was asking about me. I knew right away who it was. We connected the next time he was in town. When I was in Green Bay, Mike McCarthy stopped me one day and said, "Your buddy screwed us on a call yesterday." I said, "Tom is one of us, Mike." I got a sour look back. Tom is someone who's given his life to sports. He was totally dedicated to officiating. It became his passion. It's that way for all of the game officials.
Josh from Madison, WI
For a rebuilding team to move on from the past and forge a new winning identity with fresh but unproven players, where does it start? The coach? Do you need a linchpin veteran player or two to anchor them during the tumultuous change of a rebuild?
You need a personnel director who collects talented players for a coach with a stable personality and a commitment to building and developing a young football team. I'm describing Jack Vainisi and Vince Lombardi, Art Rooney Jr. and Chuck Noll, and Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy, among other partnerships that transformed losing teams into winning teams. They share a vision and they are dogged in their pursuit of it.
Dan from Kewaskum, WI
Wouldn't it be something if the Packers couldn't acquire Stephon Gilmore because they spent resources trading for Randall Cobb?
You mean, they couldn't acquire a premium-position player because they had traded for a dime-a-dozen player?
Paul from San Antonio, TX
If a team has multiple injuries at key positions and those players go to IR, I assume those players are still being paid. Does the phrase "you pay it, you cap it" still apply? If a team needs more players to replace the talent lost, how do they go about keeping under the cap?
You re-structure a contract.
Jake from Eden Prairie, MN
The Packers landed Jaylon Smith. I guess help is on the way. Is this the new standard way of doing business in the NFL?
Patching is very much a part of personnel management in the salary cap era, but is help really on the way? We don't know for sure it is. Even if it is, what's its cost? Will the immediate help a veteran provides result in the departure of a young player who develops into a long-term player somewhere else? James Harrison was cut by the Steelers, signed by the Ravens, cut by the Ravens and then re-signed by the Steelers. What if the Ravens had stuck with him? "Help is not on the way" is more a philosophy than it is a prediction.
John from Brookfield, WI
Would your opinion of the Seahawks; uniforms have been different when you were younger?
I like colorful uniforms; I always have. I also like iconic uniforms such as the Packers', but the Seahawks have never really settled on a design that represents a particular identity, so I'm OK with the road-construction uniforms they wore last night.
Bob from Houston, TX
Has Aaron Donald lost weight? If he has, is that better or worse for his position?
Does it matter? Nothing's changed. He dominates the game: Seven tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, a pass-defensed and three quarterback hits, of which one hit knocked Russell Wilson out of the game. He also blew up a fourth-and-two play by standing up the blocker and shoving him backward into the ball carrier. Why would the Seahawks run at him? I felt like I was watching Donald at the Senior Bowl again.