"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Kevin from Albuquerque, NM
The Packers official social media accounts have been touting how hard Jordan Love is working at OTAs. Is this a sign of something or are they just trying to generate content?
In the training camp of 1977, Jack Lambert was a holdout. Steelers linebackers coach Woody Widenhofer praised the play of first-round pick Robin Cole, to the point of suggesting Cole could replace Lambert. I laughed. Woody said, "He's here." Huh? "Lambert's here right now," Woody said and he pointed to the hill adjacent to the practice field, where a man of Lambert's height and build and in what appeared to be a disguise began to run. "Is that him?" I asked. Woody nodded his head and laughed. I don't know if it was or wasn't, but it's a great story and I love it. Athletes are fundamentally insecure. Don't let them believe they can't be replaced.
Leif from Frederic, WI
Ben Roethlisberger has been giving high praise to Dwayne Haskins and Najee Harris. Do you think those two players could be the lynchpin to the Steelers' offensive future?
If Harris isn't, the Steelers made a big mistake. Haskins? He throws the ball like a god. We'll see.
Isaac from Nashville, TN
Vic, I get you deal with a lot of media haters, but I've been writing you questions for almost 10 years, so I'm a little surprised you'd think I was trying to set you up. I was genuinely curious about the journalistic process. How does a local reporter whose job it is to keep people informed about high school basketball or city council meetings do his/her job?
He or she does it by establishing relationships with news sources who will provide the reporter with information he or she can share with his or her readers. It's not difficult to understand. You identify trustworthy people who believe you're a trusted messenger. It's a relationship that's worked for a very long time.
Ryan from Green Bay, WI
Vic, I don’t understand holdouts. Players want big guaranteed money but, in order to do that, they need to sign long contracts. Long contracts mean you’ll most likely be underpaid on the back half of your contract. Don’t be mad at the front office, you’re the one who signed the contract.
It's understood the length of the contract helps the team create cap room in the forward years. It's also understood the player will likely seek to negotiate an update or extension if he out-performs the contract. That's the cost of doing business. The door also swings the other way when the player under-performs. I'm OK with it both ways. It's OK for it to be about the money.
David from Rochester, MN
I know you were at the Kent State shootings, but did you participate in any protests prior to the shooting or afterwards, or did you stay out of it?
I was a naive freshman when it happened. I didn't have a political bent until after the shootings. They changed me. I attended the vigils. At my graduation, one of the student speakers reminded us we were the last graduating class to have witnessed what happened on this campus four years earlier. "Never forget," he said. I haven't.
Art from Edwardsville, IL
Vic, I met you in Green Bay several years ago. You were walking to the elevator the Saturday before the game and I hollered at you. I hope I didn’t spook you but I think I caught you off guard! Anyway, it was the highlight of my trip. Rodgers got hurt the week before and we played like garbage when I was there. You were so gracious to speak with me for just a few minutes on your way to work and the photo we took together still pops up on my iPad every so often. I was hoping there might be a way to share it with you but, if not, please know you really brightened my trip!
I'm so flattered you remembered that moment. I just got richer.
Jeff from Miami, FL
If Packers fans had to choose, would they rather have Aaron Rodgers back or win the Super Bowl?
What Packers fans want is a guarantee Jordan Love will be "The Man." They're afraid of life without him.
Tony from Milwaukee, WI
First off, I love your column and the insights you provide. We're in the offseason, so I'll ask a non-football question if that is OK. What are your thoughts on the latest news on UFOs? I'm amazed the government is finally admitting something is happening they can't explain. I guess even more amazing is the non-reaction from we, the people.
I called this years ago when all of those halftime abductions began in Jacksonville.
Jack from Middleton, WI
What parts of Bettis' oeuvre will be most difficult for Dillon to replicate?
Longevity and endurance.
Sean from Poling, IL
I’m reading "Downfield!" and Jerry Kramer ended his forward with some excellent perspective. “Remember, the next time a player screws up, they are boys playing a game.” I feel like that gets lost in this column too much from the responses we read.
Here's another way to look at it: Remember, the next time a player screws up, they are world class athletes and one player's success is another player's failure. Someone has to win and someone has to lose."
Mark from Bristol, UK
So the Rodgers situation has "split the fan base." Is Murphy sending a message to Rodgers?
I edited Mark's column for five years and I think I have an accurate feeling for his message. He was telling fans "we feel your pain."
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Mark Murphy has "tremendous confidence" in our GM. Well, I have "tremendous confidence" Murphy would likely have to say that.
The baloney always stops with you, Tom.
Ethan from Erie, PA
As a Jags fan, I was pretty happy to learn the Titans traded for Julio Jones, as I was hoping the price tag would be steep enough they'd be mortgaging their future. I'm a little disappointed they got him so cheap. Dime a dozen, I agree but, if he can help them over the hump, I think the Titans very clearly won this trade.
They spent a second-round pick on an expensive, over-the-hill receiver they could've drafted in the third round for a fraction of the cost.
Don from Fall City, MA
What would the result be of a rule requiring an NFL team to count any money paid or guaranteed against the salary cap of the year it was paid or guaranteed? In other words, no pushing out money, no dead-cap liability.
That is a hard cap in the truest sense and the result would be no cash over cap. Quarterbacks would have to be signed to new contracts every year, otherwise the roster would have to be purged every time they signed a multi-year contract. The ramifications of what you're proposing would be extreme and would result in chaos.