"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
J.P. from Florida
How do good football coaches motivate their players when it's obvious the other team is bigger, faster and stronger? I'm facing this situation in my kid's youth league and don't know what to tell the kids other than "play hard."
Be a teacher, not a preacher. Help them achieve individual success. It'll motivate them to reach higher. A good team is the byproduct of talented individuals, not pep talks.
Matt from Chicago, IL
Doesn’t this whole story seem like a case study of 24/7, click-driven, be-first-even-if-you’re-wrong media? It feels poorly handled everywhere. Who do I trust?
That's the question the reader must ultimately answer. If the reader continues to click on sexy headlines to stories written by reporters proven unworthy of the reader's trust, the reader becomes the problem.
Justin from Delavan, WI
Do you think Aaron Rodgers will hold a grudge against you for calling his Derby hat silly?
"Ask Vic Retirement" isn't big enough for Rodgers to care. I love "Ask Vic Retirement." I don't want clicks. They just mean more work and expense, for which I receive no compensation. I just want to entertain myself by expressing what I believe to be true.
Rich from York, PA
Vic, who's going to play left tackle for the Steelers this year? The draft did not provide answers.
One of my favorite and most trusted scout friends believes Okorafor has the athletic ability to play left tackle.
Chevin from Jacksonville, FL
Do you believe the NFL owners were aware of how much power quarterbacks would eventually wield when the league began shifting to a more quarterback-centric approach with rule changes?
Sure they were. They were creating star power, super celebrities that deepen the league's popularity and help drive its media platforms, which include their media partners' platforms. How is that bad for the league? The salary cap guarantees the players get a set percentage of the revenue. If the quarterbacks take more than their fair share, there's less for everybody else. You can only push it out so far. Ultimately, there is a cap to spending.
Ray from Jacksonville, FL
Thanks for your insight and humor. Is there really any way the Rodgers fiasco ends other than a new contract?
I think that's how it'll end. The dead money will be outrageous, but that's the penalty the Packers have to pay for what I consider to be a couple of mistakes. They rushed into the current contract. It should've been the one that would carry Rodgers to the end, which would allow the Packers to unwind his dead money as he played into retirement or decline. Instead, they're going to have to wind it up one more time. The Patriots weren't willing to wind up Brady's dead money again on a new deal. The Steelers are winding down Roethlisberger's. They put a huge roster bonus in his contract to serve as a boundary that would force a decision on his career. He agreed to decrease the terms of his contract instead of retiring. Rushing into the Love pick was an accelerant in igniting the current situation. In my opinion, the Packers need to throw money at this problem and learn from their mistakes. Trading Rodgers or standing firm would likely cause upheaval that could plunge the franchise into chaos.
Ben from Chicago, IL
If the Packers had traded Rodgers after the NFC championship, wouldn't the cap hit have been crippling? Perhaps they wait until June 1?
They wouldn't have paid the $6.8 million roster bonus because it was due on the third day of the league year -- that's how teams protect their trade leverage -- and that would've made the hit shoulderable. At that point, they likely wouldn't have signed Aaron Jones and they could've saved more money with a cut here and a cut there -- Preston Smith would've been a big savings -- moving neatly into a rebuilding phase but still competitive in the NFC North. June 1 is a way of lessening the hurt in one year but extending it to two years. I'm not a big June 1 fan. As Coach Noll might say, "How do you wish to die?"
Shane from Onalaska, WI
How much effort do teams make to understand the potential draft targets of the other teams around them in the draft order, especially beyond the first couple of rounds? I imagine this is an important aspect of draft strategy when considering trading up or down to recoup the full value of a pick.
Teams conduct in-house mock drafts repeatedly leading up to the draft. Each scout will be assigned a few teams to research and learn who those teams might pick. That's always been a key element in the unholy and anonymous relationship scouts and reporters have always had. If you want information, you have to give information.
Cliff from Idaho
What is the State Farm Rodgers rate for the Packers?
Richest contract in NFL history, fully guaranteed, and new khakis and an office for Jake.
Tyler from Green Bay, WI
What drives professional athletes to compete? Could you put percentages to those items? Finally, do those percentages change as years pass for a professional athlete?
Is this a trick question?
Joel from Jacksonville, FL
“I wouldn’t worry about that.” You turned my bad day into a solid one with the vivid memories from your tenure sweeping into my mind. It was the perfect response, then and now. It was your football insight that helped me to truly understand the game. Here’s my question: With hurricane season coming up, how many battries do we need to get?
You buy insurance for the bank. You buy your insurance at the bank. I re-financed. I don't ever want to own this home.
Ben from El Paso, TX
What do you think about Tampa Bay picking Trask?
He could turn out to be the steal of the draft. He could be the player who forces Brady into retirement. Hmmm.
Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL
So many first-round QBs fail to succeed in the NFL. Do you think it's a poor situation they are drafted into, lack of NFL talent, lack of patience by the team or other factors?
For the most part, I think quarterbacks fail because they peak in college. They have no growth left in them. The NFL is a huge step up from college football. Trevor Lawrence played in a half-field-read system at Clemson; now he'll have to see the whole field. Zach Wilson and Trey Lance played against suspect competition; now they'll play against the best. Justin Fields was surrounded by talent at Ohio State; now he'll play for the stinky Bears.
Roger from Cincinnati, OH
Just wanted to say I am very entertained by your column. You have a very refreshing way to look at the Packers; hopeful, yet, realistic and definitely not rah rah. Am I the only one who's having a hard time finding a side to root for in this dispute? I see pettiness and thin skin by Rodgers, but I also fault Gutey for not considering this was a natural result of drafting Love, knowing what Rodgers is like. How do I root for an outcome if I can’t figure out which side I agree with?
Don't root, watch. If you pick a side, you'll be the one left holding the hurt and feeling of betrayal when they're all kissing and hugging at the end, making nice and acting as though this was all a big misunderstanding. Don't let this get to you. It's not your problem, it's theirs. As my father was fond of saying when he thought I was watching too much sports on TV, "That makin' you any money?"
Bret from Hertel, WI
Why not trade away older pieces of your team after a Super Bowl or run at it? You have said getting new keeps you from hearing the train whistle.
I said blow it up, but I would accept all in. Maybe this is a step in the process of going all in. If the Packers do a new deal with Rodgers, I guarantee they will be all in.
Daniel from Johnston, IA
It's always about the cash. If they say it's about the Kumerow, then it's really about the cash.
It's never about the Kumerow.
Blaine from Fennimore, WI
Which draft pick are you most intrigued by for each of the teams you covered?
Packers -- DL Tedarrell Slaton, Florida. Jaguars -- DL Jay Tufele, USC. Steelers -- LB Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M.
Steven from Doctors Inlet, FL
"I wouldn't worry about that" goes back a long way, Vic. Very nice.
I felt young again.
Jimmy from Jacksonville, FL
If the Packers trade Rodgers, should they immediately call the Jags and inquire about a trade for Gardner Minshew?
No, sign Duck Hodges. Save the draft picks for the rebuild the Packers will be facing.