Nick from Oswego, NY
Is it worth trying to get Mack for a year as rental before letting him walk in free agency and getting a good comp pick?
In my opinion, it would be more trouble than it's worth. The Packers have yet to sign Aaron Rodgers to a new contract. What message would it send should the team spend big on Khalil Mack but drag its feet on a new deal for Rodgers? I think it would be an unsettling message that could become a distraction. The Packers aren't one player away. I think it would be in their best interest to remain committed to their current roster and whatever strategy they have for developing it.
Jerry from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Does the fact players today consider themselves to be their own brand make them more sensitive to reporters comments or observations?
The best way for a player to build his brand is by using a willing media to do it. The media loved Joe Greene. What do you think that did for his brand and the Coke commercial that became one of the great creations in advertising history?
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL
Who's the greatest preseason player you've covered that couldn't translate the same success to the regular season?
A running back named Jack Deloplaine.
Kevin from New Orleans, LA
Vic, would you be opposed to or in favor of the playoffs changing to an eight-team format with no first-round bye? If it were that way last year, the Patriots would have hosted the red-hot Chargers in the wild card round. That's a game I would have liked to see.
I'm strongly in favor of an eight-team, no-byes playoff format. Be that as it may, the Chargers were on a three-game winning streak last season when they played at New England and lost, 21-13.
Richard from St. Augustine, FL
Do you miss having the immediate access to players and coaches? Do you miss the camaraderie of the NFL and your fellow sports writers?
Yeah, I miss it, especially on game day. I miss the press box. I miss seeing people I've known for a long time but would only see once or twice a year. I miss the postgame interviews. I always felt that was when telling the truth couldn't be avoided. I miss Mike McCarthy's and Aaron Rodgers' postgame interviews. They were good copy. At Jack Lambert's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, he said if he could do it all over again, he'd be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe he'd be a Pittsburgh Steeler. Well, if I could do it all over again, I'd be a sports writer, and you damn well better believe I'd cover the Steelers, the Jaguars and the Packers.
Dave from Seattle, WA
“Defense was also a problem during the Favre era." Uhhh, no, Vic, it wasn’t! At least not at the beginning. From 1995-1999, the Packers had a top five defense each year. Reggie White and company supplied Favre with a defense to win at least two Super Bowls, yet, Favre only made it one Super Bowl. The way the Packers won the Super Bowl was with the defense and Desmond Howards’ returns. I need to remind you, Favre is easily the leading interception leader in NFL history.
The Packers defense was horrible in Super Bowl XXXII. The only thing it did right was intentionally allow the Broncos to score, or did they?
Justin from Richmond, VA
As I become older, I find myself becoming far less passionate about sports. Why is that?
You're overexposed to sports. You've seen too many games to get excited about the current one. After a while, the seasons begin to run together. We begin to draw comparisons of one season to a previous season. It's as though we're reliving history. Frankly, I like it.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
Vic, I've been reading some history on Jim Thorpe. Do you have any thoughts or stories to share about him? Do you think he would be the type of player that would be able to play in today's game, considering how great an athlete he was?
LOL, no player from the past could possibly be as good as today's players. Don't you know? Today's players are bigger, stronger, faster, better. Can't you tell by what great blockers and tacklers they are? I mean, what would Jim Thorpe have been without those sticky gloves he wore? And that story about him running down and catching his own punt is just an urban legend, even though it was reported by credible newspapers. And what about that story about Thorpe getting tackled hard on a play and then going back to the huddle and asking the same play be called again so he could punish the guy who tackled him? He probably dropped his head and hit him, and that's a violation of the current player safety movement. Hmmm, it makes me wonder what Thorpe would've been like with a facemask on those ear muffs they called a helmet.
Cindy from Los Angeles, CA
Vic, one of the articles about the new AAF contained a quote from a coach saying essentially they have plenty of skill players but, like the NFL, are having trouble finding big men. Do you think the relative lack of elite, 300-pound athletes contributes to football's evolution toward basketball on grass? Players have gotten bigger and stronger over the years; perhaps we've reached a tipping point?
You gotta get the big guys early. They'll find them, or they'll manufacture them.
Anthony from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, why change preseason? Speaking specifically as a Packers fan, it's a chance for fans to go to a game and celebrate with one another. Maybe that's where football gets it wrong. Every game has to mean something. Not every game is important in baseball. Football, everything is important.
Here's the difference: In baseball, you hit a ball. In football, you hit each other.
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
Given the solid play of Hundley and Kizer, and without being able to stash them on the practice squad, should the Packers consider keeping three QBs on the roster?
I think they should. The position is so valuable I wouldn't cut one of them and give him away for free. Hold onto both of them. I guarantee, some team will get injured at the position and be willing to trade for one of the two guys.
Alice from Philadelphia, PA
Vic, if players, not plays is true, why did the Saints struggle so much in 2012 when Sean Payton was suspended, but returned to 2011 form in 2013 when Payton came back?
The plays didn't change; the coaching staff remained largely the same. What changed was the Saints lost their leader. Payton's replacement was a lame duck, and that almost never works.
Todd from Brookfield, WI
You indicated we are strong at QB this year, but how can we trust what we've seen in preseason after what happened with Hundley last year? Do you think the backup really will be better prepared?
Never trust the preseason. It is proof of nothing. Trust what you saw last season. Hundley had his moments of promise. So did Kizer. Yes, I think the Packers will be better prepared this year to deal with an injury to Rodgers.
Max from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, what storylines intrigue you going into the 2018 season? I'd be curious to see what you'll be following beyond the Steelers, Jaguars and Packers.
What does Tom Brady have left in the tank? Can Andrew Luck make a comeback? Is Jon Gruden as good a coach as he is a TV analyst? What rookie quarterback will become a star? What losing team will make the step up to playoff team?
Travis from Sobieski, WI
Saw Vito Stellino tweet “Steelers had zero playoff wins from 1933 until the Immaculate Reception in 1972.” Now they lead the NFL in total playoff wins. That’s pretty remarkable. Nowadays, the Steelers are a team revered in football lore, but what was their reputation before the Immaculate Reception?
Their reputation was for being a physically punishing team that usually won the battle but lost the war. They always seemed to have bad luck. Art Rooney found the coach, Jock Sutherland, who would reverse the team's fortunes, but then Sutherland died. Buddy Parker once said the Steelers would one day find good luck and it would last 10 years. That's almost exactly what happened when Chuck Noll became the team's coach. The league's most dysfunctional franchise became the league's most stable franchise.
Mike from Las Vegas, NV
So the one player away mentality is dangerous. I guess I get that, but what one player past or present would give the Packers the best chance at getting to the Super Bowl this year?
The Packers need a dominant force on defense. They need an Aaron Donald. Khalil Mack isn't Aaron Donald.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Vic, you certainly know Tom Coughlin better than probably any reporter in the field. Exactly how long will he put up with what seems to be an over-abundance of immature lip flapping. They have a real nice defense, a good coach and a decent offense, but they seem to be falling into the trap so many young teams on the rise often do. They seem caught up in a hype their own players and fan base have created. In simple terms, they haven't really done anything, yet. They're drawing a big target on their backs with all the premature and immature talk.
I don't want Coughlin to gag his players. If Jalen Ramsey wants to shoot off his mouth, let him do it. It makes for good theater.