"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Keith from Columbia, SC
Now that we have three wild card teams per conference we could potentially see one division have all its teams make the playoffs. Which division is most likely to accomplish this milestone first?
I think the NFC West is the best division in football.
Mike from Goshen, IN
Vic, I put "The Red Badge of Courage" on my reading list per your recommendation. I drive a lot for work and love audiobooks. Is "The Red Badge of Courage" the kind of book that needs to be read in the printed word?
I think Stephen Crane would say yes. In my opinion, you need to read the book, stop and ask yourself, "What would I have done?"
Eric from Sydney, Australia
I really don't understand the shovel story. What did he mean by all shovels are AA at the mill. Are "shovels" people with menial jobs that come from your bigger school, meaning your school's size was advantageous for football but academically a rung down on the ladder? And this realization made you stop your chortling? Or perhaps "shovels" are just tools used for digging and the particular shovels they used at the mill were AA brand and you nodded because you knew these were superior shovels?
The story isn't about shovels. It's about class distinction.
Adam from Denver, CO
What would the Packers look like right now had they drafted T.J. Watt?
They wouldn't have signed the Smith Bros.
Greg from Chelsea, MD
"Love is the answer, but you protect those you love with lead." -- Jesus of Nazareth
Nazareth was a tough town.
Fred from Florida
Did Chuck Noll engage in the kind of manic hours and control-freak behavior of other football coaches? It seems coaches wear it as a badge of honor they like to work 18-hour days. Was that typical in his era or did it happen after he was gone? Just how many hours should a coach work? In the end it seems to be about player procurement. Get good players, develop them and the dominoes will fall into place. What are your thoughts on this, Vic?
Coach Noll wasn't a sleep-in-the-office kind of guy. He secretly thought it was show-off stuff. As time wore on, however, he and his staff found themselves working later on Tuesday nights, which was the result of an explosion in scheme across the league. You have to make sure you have it all covered before you present the game plan to the team on Wednesday morning. Whatever it takes.
Pete from Minneapolis, MN
Vic, what's with all these presumably grown men fantasizing about committing violence?
Too many Rambo movies.
Pat from Collierville, TN
Vic, when looking at draft picks and free agents, how much is a college scout under scrutiny if the players he grades fail to make the roster? I may be wrong but it seems college scouts fly under the radar.
A scout is defined by his reports. If he misses the mark too often, he'll be fired.
Jeff from Jacksonville
You always speak of "take care of the future" and "jars on the shelf." Isn't this what the Jaguars are doing? The players they're releasing/trading are talented but the Jaguars aren't in a position to win soon, and by the time they are, age will have caught up with many of them. Now seems like a great chance to see what those jars can do. It's also a chance to evaluate Marrone's ability to develop raw talent, if the Jags look noticeably better in December than in September. Thoughts?
If you believe this season is going to be compromised by Covid, and the ticket-sales part of it certainly will, then this is a good time to blow it up and clean it up. I think that's what the Jaguars have decided to do.
Jack from Middleton, WI
Could you describe a tough interview that became a good interview over the years?
I think most interview relationships begin cautiously, defensively. Trust is earned over time. A subject needs to know the reporter can be trusted and will protect his or her sources. Media-savvy players and coaches develop relationships with reporters just as reporters develop relationships with players and coaches. Reporters test for truth and information, and players and coaches test for trustworthiness and loyalty.
Tom from Pleasant Hill, CA
Why did this seem like the most uneventful cutdown weekend in the history of the NFL?
We never had a chance to get to know the desperate dreamers. We don't even know who they are.
Robert from Plymouth, WI
Will you return to three days a week during the season?
Mike from Florida
The couple of posters who got you to shut down comments hold personal animosity toward you and your views. They said as much, repeatedly, insultingly. They deliberately broke your rules and poisoned your board, manipulating you into shutting down what is otherwise a pretty positive cross-culture discussion space. You got played by haters.
I got played? The comments section meant nothing to me. It was my gift to the column's readers. Even if I was monetizing this site and dependent on visits, which I'm not, nothing has changed. The column is still getting the same number of visits. I'm not going to attach my name to something vulgar and hateful, and I'm not going to spend most of the day and night monitoring the vulgar and the hateful.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
Vic, how loud is 70 decibels? Is it louder when the game is on the line?
I get the feeling the NFL is headed for controversy on this issue.
Ben from El Paso, TX
Will the baloney stop Thursday night?
There is no baloney this year. There's no hype.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL
I know in the past you have said, "I like to watch." Is this season any different?
I'll begin answering that question tonight.
Tim from Sun Prairie, WI
Can year-two improvements from Darnell Savage and Rashan Gary transform the Packers defense into a special one?
Gary is critical to the defense's growth. He was the 12th pick of his draft. He was selected to be a force up front for the Packers and, without a doubt, the front needs help. The expectations for him remain high. He must become a player of impact for the pick to be justified.
Matt from Sioux Falls, SD
I was curious what you think the Packers have to do to beat the Vikings?
Stop the run! Make Kirk Cousins throw more than eight passes. Play as a man plays!
Nick from Milwaukee, WI
Imagine passing on having Cam Newton or Jameis Winston for only $1 million so you could give up a fourth-round pick for Nick Foles and guarantee him $21 million, only to keep Mitch Trubisky as your starter.
The Bears are one of the worst-run franchises in the NFL. They are an embarrassment to a great football town.
Kary from Sheboygan, WI
Are you surprised by all the vitriol towards athletes who speak their minds? Do you feel the platform they have is even valid?
We all have a platform, which means we are all media. This is my platform. Thank you for contributing.
Brett from Lakewood, CO
Thanks for the time and effort you dedicate to your writing, Vic. You are my favorite writer. You speak often of the importance of knowing and teaching the difference between right and wrong and that love is the answer. What shapes your standard for right and wrong?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You don't have to be a religious person to understand those words.