"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Jeff from Miami, FL
I just wanted to see if I understand your point. Are you saying you need to pick the big guys first because controlling the line of scrimmage means controlling the game?
Big guys come at a premium, and the popular belief is you have to get them early in the draft. Seventeen linemen were selected in the first round of the 2019 draft, as opposed to two wide receivers and one running back.
Chris from Bozeman, MT
Vic, why do the Packers love having 8-10 draft picks per year? They rarely use them as trade capital to acquire more talent earlier in the draft. I’d rather have four picks in the top 100 than one or two and eight scrubs. You only have 53 spots. What am I missing?
I'm not opposed to trading up, and I think the Packers should've done more of it during the Rodgers era. What you might be missing about the late-round picks and why the Packers and a lot of teams value them is this: When you hit on one of those guys, it's four years of minimum-wage labor, and that's how you keep your cap healthy. Those are the guys that "pay" the quarterback's salary.
Dan from Toledo, OH
It seems we’ve figured out Brian Gutekunst’s strategy. Identify a weak position and acquire multiple players to fit. WR deficit? Draft three of them. No edge rushers? Acquire three. Poor safety play? Let's get two new ones. How would you rate him as a GM so far?
Shotgun approach? It's worked for teams down through the years, but I'm not a fan of it because I think you end up drafting the same guy two and three times. In 2008, the Jaguars thought they were one player away, a pass rusher. So, they traded up in the first round and drafted Derrick Harvey and then traded up in the second round and drafted Quentin Groves. Five extra draft picks were spent on the same guy, so to speak, and neither Harvey nor Groves was the player the Jaguars needed. In 1999, the Jaguars were thought to need a cornerback and a defensive lineman. They spent seven of their eight picks on those two positions, and none of the players they picked after the first round was the player they needed. I'm not ready to pigeon-hole Gutekunst after just two drafts. Again, I'll tell you I think he is an outstanding evaluator of talent and I believe he is absolutely the right guy for the job.
Stephen from Jacksonville, FL
Does the NFL regret awarding a franchise to Jacksonville?
It shouldn't. Jacksonville did the NFL a great service by offering the league an option to St. Louis, which was supposed to be the pick but failed to present an acceptable plan to the league. The NFL even delayed its decision, to give St. Louis more time, but St. Louis still failed to produce an ownership plan and it left the league with no choice but to award the franchise to another city. Jacksonville was the choice and it was made with the idea the market would require time to grow into its new big-league designation. In my opinion, the market has arrived. After 25 years of growth, I think Jacksonville is a legitimate NFL market and I would hate to see the league quit on Jacksonville after 25 years of pruning and watering.
Leo from Dallas, TX
You spent years defending you weren't a company shill but had to be a true journalist. Now you have to defend that your opinions aren't the company line.
Falls down a well, eyes go crossed. Kicked by a mule, they go back. I don't know.
Joe from Leland, NC
When you worked in Jacksonville, did you feel at the time the Jaguars reached for a guy when they drafted Tyson Alualu No. 10 overall?
I wasn't sure. Alualu was a late riser and it was difficult to get a feel for where he fit. I had it on good information the Steelers liked him a lot and Miami was considering taking him at No. 12 and then traded back and picked defensive tackle Jared Odrick when the Jaguars picked Alualu at 10. I also considered the possibility one of the Jaguars' attractions to Alualu is they believed they could sign him affordably. Remember, 2010 was an uncapped year and it was obvious the Jaguars were clearing their cap. Earl Thomas was available, but the Jaguars needed big guys and the premium on them is almost always greater than it is on safeties. Alualu never became a star player, but he's still in the league. If you want to criticize the Jaguars for bad drafting, Blake Bortles, Luke Joeckel and Justin Blackmon are better examples.
Robert from Orlando, FL
In the past, you used to say teams leave for stadium issues. Do you think that is still true? It seems to me market size and potential value increases are what drive moves now.
With the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, the Bills would seem to be the only team in the league with a stadium issue. Stadiums are no longer the issue they once were because the NFL has just completed a 25-year stadium building boom. All but a handful of teams in the league have moved into a new stadium during that time, and most of the others have conducted expensive renovation to existing stadiums. The Bills need to upgrade their stadium and the Jacksonville market has come into question recently, otherwise, the NFL is more stable right now than it has been since the Colts left Baltimore and the crab hit the fan.
Scott from Milwaukee, WI
If wide receiver isn't the problem for the Packers, then what needs do you perceive they have?
This is a trick question, right? Seriously, the Packers fan base has the worst case of wide receiver fever I've ever witnessed. I can remember the crowd at training camp cheering wide receivers catching passes against air. I had never seen anything like that. I'd hear a cheer and I'd look around the field to see what I had missed. I don't think this is a good column for you because I'm more concerned about the 49ers throwing eight passes and beating the Packers' brains in than I am about finding a complement to Davante Adams.
Richard from Jacksonville, FL
The taxpayer money that went into that stadium and those TV screens, and Khan can then just take two games away from the city like that. It's embarrassing what we let the rich get away with.
Art Rooney bought the Steelers franchise for $3,200. Until 1970, his teams played in a baseball park and a college football stadium. The Steelers' games were broadcast on an FM radio station (I didn't even know what an FM radio was) until the Pirates' season ended. The Packers played in a high school stadium. These days, the Rams are building a stadium that'll cost $5 billion and the NFL chases the World Series around the dial, so to speak. That's how dramatic the NFL's rise to popularity has been. I get what you're saying, Richard, but Jacksonville was awarded one of 32 pieces of gold and the cost of losing its piece would be devastating. Jaguars fans must find a way to put aside their bitterness, support that team and keep it in Jacksonville. I would also add this: Shad Khan owes Jacksonville a winner. It's not enough to spend money and pass out titles. It's your team. Run it!
Steven from Kimberly, WI
Why should losing teams have a chance to reverse what happened for the previous 58 minutes of the game? Because of "the tradition, history, memories and emotions that go with (the) league."
We're in a player-safety movement and the game is changing in a multitude of ways in pursuit of less danger. The onside kick might be the most dangerous play in football. One of the most frightening injuries I ever witnessed occurred on an onside kick in a game in Cincinnati. The outcome of the game had been decided. Riverfront Stadium was empty and the sound of Jaguars cornerback Dave Thomas' leg breaking reverberated throughout the stadium. It sounded like wood breaking. In 1909, handles were sewn into the pants of ball-carriers so they could be used as battering rams, and 26 young men died that season. Fortunately, Teddy Roosevelt led a movement to save the game. Football has always had to deal with the effects of its dangerous nature, and it's dealing with it again by legislating against kickoffs. Maybe you could say that's part of the tradition, history, memories and emotions that go with the game.
Henry from Jacksonville, FL
Did Dan Marino have the smoothest throwing motion you've ever seen? Any other notable throwers of the football without the recognition?
When Marino was a freshman at Pitt, Jackie Sherrill said to him, "Son, whatever you do, don't let anybody change your style on how you throw the football." Marino and Bert Jones had the most perfect throwing motions I've ever seen.
Jak from Devils Lake, ND
You are a walking contraction. "That's my opinion. This is also my column." So much for "it's the fans' column."
Contraction? Do you mean contradiction? I think my words were "the readers (fans) write the column," which they do because they ask the questions that determine the subject matter of the column. I'm sensing anger in my inbox. I think it's time for "Nice Vic" to return. Maybe we could have a "You Said Day," too.
Dan from Waupun, WI
Should we have a history month for every skin color in America? I am for every color every day. Treat all with respect.
I like that.