Bubba from Pocatello, ID
Vic, is Mike Vrabel ready to be a head coach? Three years on the sidelines (only one as a DC) and he's good to go? Really?
He's an impressive man, but I would agree the Titans accepted a major risk in firing a veteran coach who had raised the team from the depths of the league to within one win of the AFC title game. Let's not forget, the Titans beat the Jaguars twice. Now, they've hired a defensive-minded coach for a team whose issues are on offense, which is Mike Mularkey's specialty. How is it going to impact Marcus Mariota's development? This coaching change is loaded with downside risk.
Robert from Orlando, FL
Are the Jags back next year, or is this a 2007-like mirage?
These Jaguars aren't a snowman; they won't melt during the offseason. It's a young, talented roster on a team loaded with salary cap room. Quarterback is the issue. The Jags can remain a playoff contender without addressing quarterback, but I don't think they can go to the championship level without an upgrade. Hey, they were afraid to pass the ball with 55 seconds left in the first half. I saw it earlier in the season, too, when they were afraid to throw the ball off their own goal line in overtime against the Jets. They tried to play around the most important club in their bag all season, and that tells me all I need to know about Doug Marrone's opinion of his quarterback. You can't play that way in today's game and expect to win. Playing scared won't work.
Ryan from Las Vegas, NV
Vic, I haven't asked a question since you've been back but you bet I've been reading. It's so great to have you around again. Look into your crystal ball. The Jaguars had a period with four playoff years in a row and two AFC championship games. Then they went 18 years in between championship games. Which scenario is more likely to repeat itself?
Tom Coughlin won't make the same mistake. He won't let the team become a cap casualty again. The Jaguars are at the start of a long run of playoff contention.
Pat from Seneca, SC
“Boston will go back to being the bad football town it always was.” That was provocative; please expand. Is there anything the Patriots could do to change how football is viewed in Boston? Is Boston unique when it comes to how football is viewed?
Boston is a Red Sox town. After that come the Bruins and then the Celtics. It was always that way until Tom Brady came along. When he's gone, it'll go back to how it was. It's in Boston's DNA.
Tyler from Dunnellon, FL
In 2007, despite a great year, you said you were concerned (the Jaguars) team was actually in the middle of its window closing, not opening. Is the window now opening or closing?
It's opening, but how wide it opens is the issue. David Garrard was not "The Man," and the Jaguars didn't have the time to find "The Man" before they got old. I think this Jaguars team will have the opportunity to address the quarterback position in this offseason. Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins are scheduled for free agency -- so is Jimmy Garoppolo but the 49ers would likely put the exclusive franchise tag on him.
Stephen from Jacksonville, FL
What is your opinion of the Jaguars’ offensive line? The number one-ranked run offense disappeared too often this season to be deserving of its title. The inability to run the ball in the second half of the AFC championship game played a significant role in the Jaguars’ loss. Do you think they need to make upgrades to the line for next season?
When you're a one-trick pony, your opponent can focus on taking away your only trick. The Jaguars need a real passing game, not just one built on drags, delays, swings, screens and checkdowns. That's scheme stuff and it worked early but not late. Plays win early, players win late. The Jaguars need to upgrade their passing game talent.
Logan from Lino Lakes, MN
Vic, will you be hanging around Mobile this week? Looking forward to hearing who Tony likes for the Packers.
I asked Tony Pauline for the name of somebody he likes for the Packers. This is what he gave me: "Keep an eye on Marcus Davenport, UT-San Antonio. Working at DE here but devastating 3-4 OLB in college."
Brian from Yakima, WA
With the recent reports of Bell being repeatedly tardy to team functions, even basically not showing up for the final walk-through, is this a player that should get paid? Obviously, the talent is there, but if the reports are accurate, I’m shocked at the display of commitment to a team with a real shot at the Super Bowl at the time.
The franchise tag breeds enmity. The Steelers knew that and were likely prepared to accept a negative reaction by Le'Veon Bell. Hey, it's nothing personal, just business, right? The Steelers are not a feel-good team. They don't mind a little angst. They don't mind allowing their players and their coaches to stew in their own juices. Bell's behavior has weakened his position. I think Mike Tomlin's failure to coach the defense out of its late-season skid will have taken a little of the bounce out of his step, too. All of that is good for the Steelers. Peace and tranquility are not virtues for a football team. Winning isn't a byproduct of job security. Confrontation and angst work best. As Tom Coughlin once told me, "I don't want a lot of people walking around here with smiles on their faces."
Chase from Rapid City, SD
Vic, do you believe college football players should stay for all four years at their university before going on to declare for the NFL draft?
I don't believe anyone should be held hostage and denied advancement, but I don't like the farce that is the commitment the top players make but never intend to honor. These are our esteemed institutions of higher learning. They are where young people with genuine academic intentions go to become the leaders of our nation's future. I'd prefer to see players who aren't sincere about their commitment move directly from high school to the NFL. Maybe Cookie Gilchrist was ahead of his time. I think it's time for the NFL to fund its own system for developing talent.
Andrew from Mount Dora, FL
Vic, you mentioned the Packers need one or two great players to fix the defense next year. Do you think there are any players available where the Packers pick this year that could fit the need?
Where the Packers are picking, they should be able to find exactly what they need.
Andrew from Minneapolis, MN
If Brady wins with or without Gronk, Deion Branch, Wes Welker, etc., who from the Patriots' Super Bowl rosters should go into the Hall of Fame? Is everybody riding Brady's coattails?
Ty Law is the only true Patriots player in the Brady era I see as a Hall of Famer, and it's going to be a fight for Law to get in. Some might say Richard Seymour; I wouldn't. By and large, it's been Brady and a cast of misfit toys.
Dan from Sebastopol, CA
What are your keys to victory for both New England and Philadelphia?
Chatty says you beat the Patriots with man-to-man coverage, but the Jaguars have the best man corners in the league and they got trashed. For the Eagles to win, I think the quarterback must go down and the quarterback must go down hard. This Super Bowl will be decided by the Eagles' pass rush or the Patriots' ability to block it.
J.G. from Silver Spring, MD
Peer into the "Ask Vic" crystal ball. Who starts at QB in Week 1 for the Jaguars?
I'll say Kirk Cousins. I think Drew Brees is too intelligent not to get a deal done with the Saints. He's the hero of New Orleans. He must never play for another team, and I think he gets that.
Chad from Troy, MI
What is your favorite trick play you've ever seen executed?
It's one I invented for my all-star baseball team. I called it the pop up play. When the pitcher saw the runner at first break for second, he threw a pitch out to the catcher, who then threw a pop up in the infield. The second baseman began yelling "I got it, I got it," which caused the runner to stop and retreat to first base, where the ball was waiting for him.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, Leonard Fournette's spin moves are remarkable. Which players have impressed you with their signature moves?
I'm not a spin move kind of guy. I like one cut and go. I liked Earl Campbell's charging bull move. Fournette reminds me of Campbell. I think he should charge more and spin less. In my mind, if you're not running the ball with power, you're not running the ball. Power forces defenses to commit extra defenders to the line of scrimmage, and when that happens, the running game has won.
Richard from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, what's your opinion on whistles being blown too early on turnovers? There have been several instances this year of a fumble return being blown dead inappropriately. I understand the safety aspect, but the plays seem so important to games that the refs should let the play go unless 100 percent sure the play is over.
Richard, you're whining. I think you need to remember the score was 20-10 and the Jaguars had the No. 1 pass defense and its "Sacksonville" pass rush to protect that lead, but they didn't get it done at crunch time. In my opinion, that unit spent too much energy celebrating itself. It should remember the numbers 772-7; that's the numbers of yards and touchdowns passing it allowed in the final two games.
Dan from Grand Rapids, MI
Recently, I read an article arguing why Vince Lombardi is still a greater coach than Bill Belichick. The basic crux of the argument was Lombardi won four titles in nine years and didn't have Tom Brady. Even though Belichick has the greatest QB of all time, he still has to be considered the greatest coach of all time, right? What he has done in the salary cap era is nothing short of remarkable. If you had to pick one, who is your greatest coach of all time?
It would be Lombardi because I think his persona has had a greater and more lasting impact on the game than that of any other coach in the game's history. Lombardi defines the essence of the game, which is human confrontation. I'm not sure what Belichick defines. I don't think he wants to define anything other than winning and, frankly, quarterbacks define winning. Nearly all of the great coaches won their titles with one quarterback.