"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Jake from Knoxville, TN
When the NFL eventually allows only two-point stances, how do you think it will affect the run game?
The easy answer is runs will all look like draw plays, but a rules change outlawing hand-on-the-ground stances would result in a wave of creativity similar to what happened following the rules changes of 1978. The game would change dramatically, maybe for the better. I think we'd see new blocking techniques, new ways of double-teaming, pulling, trapping and influence-blocking. Any kind of radical change in the rules is going to send coaches to the drawing board. I think it would be good for football because the game is beginning to look a little stale, especially the run game. It's mostly being used to achieve balance, instead of as a means for moving the ball. Change that and you devalue the quarterback position, and that might be just what the game needs.
Pat from Seneca, SC
What is the least popular opinion you have expressed in the history of "Ask Vic?"
It's probably my defense of Tom Coughlin and Mike McCarthy before they were fired.
Kyle from Osceola, WI
Vic, the Vikings just restructured a linebacker's contract just to fit an unproven first-round draft pick under the cap, and they still have a tight end to re-sign. I think I hear a train whistle.
When you reach the point of needing to re-structure players to sign other players, your car is stalled on the tracks and you're trapped in your seatbelt. It's win-now time for the Vikings. If they miss their window, they'll have a new coach in a year or two and they'll be starting over. Vic to everybody who wants to spend big to win now: This is what it looks like. Take care of the present and the present will rob you of your future.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
Do you think the Browns now have all the pieces to make the playoffs and make some noise if they do?
Yes. Freddie Kitchens is the luckiest man in Cleveland.
Daniel from Richmond, TX
Your answer regarding Kliff Kingsbury got me thinking: Why hasn't the Mike Leach "Air Raid" offense been tried in the NFL before? He's been around a long time, but it seems his coaching tree is only now branching into the NFL.
We've discussed this before, but it bears repeating. College football has traditionally put its most talented players on offense, and it's created a talent mismatch favoring offense. That talent mismatch doesn't exist in the NFL. Most schemes require an element of balance between run and pass to succeed. Maybe Kingsbury will change that. We'll see.
Dave from Franklin, WI
Shortly after McCarthy was fired, it seemed fans and the media instantly focused on Murphy, questioning the current structure and, now, more worry. I haven't paid much attention or read any of the reports. Is it just me or does it seem the Packers fan base is looking for the next person to blame if they don't get the results they want?
That's true of any fan base. They worry. They want guarantees. Here's my guarantee: You don't win with plans, you win with people. Murphy's structure is common among teams with private ownership. The coach is in charge of coaching, the GM is in charge of personnel, the cap man is in charge of contracts and football ops spending, and all of them report to the owner. In this case, Mark Murphy is acting as an owner would. That structure will succeed if Murphy picked the right people. The Ron Wolf/Ted Thompson structure was successful because Wolf traded for Favre and Thompson drafted Rodgers. It also succeeded because Wolf and Thompson hired good coaches. One-voice structures have been successful in the past (the Jaguars were a one-voice system under Coughlin), but we're seeing fewer teams employ that type of structure because running a successful football franchise today requires more than one man's vision. I believe oversight is important. Maybe a lack of oversight is what the player's counsel was referring to as complacency. As I've written, the Packers' football department had become a fiefdom. It was untouchable. That needed to change. The new structure doesn't guarantee success, but the one-voice system wasn't working, was it? I applaud Murphy for having the courage to change it.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
The best slot cornerback in the NFL last season was an undrafted free agent rookie on the Patriots. How would you go about figuring out how the Patriots do it?
Bill Belichick is the best at evaluating talent and envisioning how it can be used in a specific role. That's his genius.
Sal from Austin, TX
In retrospect, was Gene Smith an incompetent? If he wasn't, what happened?
Smith's reign as Jaguars GM coincided with a drought at the quarterback position in the draft. At one point, his best options were Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen. In 2011, he couldn't wait any longer; Smith had to pick a quarterback and his options were Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton. Gabbert was a bust. Dalton would've been a better pick, but I doubt he would've been a difference-maker for Smith and the Jaguars. What if Smith had been the Jaguars' GM in 2004. As the team's college scouting director, he wanted to pick Roethlisberger. How about in 2005? Would he have picked Rodgers? Those options weren't available to him when he became GM in '09. Timing is an important ingredient in success.
Ethan from Ontario, Canada
Vic, you have so much potential for merchandise. I mean, who reading this wouldn’t buy an "OK" shirt?
OK is such a wonderful word. It can mean "I agree with you." It can also mean "That's the dumbest thing I've ever read."
Matt from Eau Claire, WI
I always get a kick out of watching old game footage. What about the game caused quarterbacks to start sidestepping instead of backpedaling when they take the snap?
It was the move from two-gapping to penetrate-and-disrupt defensive schemes. The quarterback had to set up more quickly.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, since Aaron Rodgers became a Bucks owner, the team has risen from years of mediocrity to become dominant. How influential has Rodgers been in that transformation?
They're calling better plays now.
Jake from Eden Prairie, MN
Vic, what are your thoughts on Adam Gase having complete control of the Jets now?
I can't help but think of that picture of him with the crazy eyes. That's the guy you want in control of your franchise? I have to believe it's a temporary situation. Here's what I don't like about one man having complete control of a team: He might do what's best for him instead of doing what's best for the franchise. In my opinion, an active and on-the-job owner in control of the franchise guarantees policy favoring a blend of the present and future. Coaches and general managers often become myopic. They can leave you with a mess. The Packers have a unique situation; they're publicly owned. Mark Murphy has created a system of checks and balances. I think it favors accountability.