"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Jeff from Miami, FL
So, if the Packers had two more clones of Kenny Clark, they would have a chance to stop the run?
It would certainly help. The Packers have to surround the Smith Bros. with run-stuffers. Pass-rushers are impact players and a defense can't succeed without them.
Brandon from Helena, MT
What are your thoughts on what Deion Sanders said about the Hall of Fame becoming the Hall of "every Tom, Dick and Harry?"
You mean what are my thoughts on Sanders agreeing with me? I've been saying it for years: The Hall of Fame is being diluted. The hall of heads is beginning to look silly. A visitor should never ask, "Who's this guy?" The contributor category is a mistake, and the worst part of it is the old guys are being ignored. Jack Vainisi built the team Lombardi coached. Art Rooney Jr. drafted nine Hall of Famers in five years and just had an undrafted player, Donnie Shell, elected. That's 10 players on a team that won four Super Bowls. But Vainisi and Rooney are unlikely to be considered for election because most people don't know who they are. Instead, we induct Bill Polian, whose Colts teams won one Super Bowl and whose drafts were unspectacular. The NFL is over-commercializing the Hall of Fame. Yes, professional football is about the money, but the line has to be drawn somewhere and I think you draw it at the intersection of immortality. Something has to be sacred. Football heaven should be that place.
Dave from Jacksonville, FL
The clock was at 7:13 in the fourth quarter and the Chiefs had the ball third-and-15 on the KC 35, trailing 20-10. Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill on a 44-yard pass on the ensuing play. That was the play of the game. It was like a boxer landing a left hook. The 49ers took one to the jaw and staggered against the ropes and never recovered from the blow.
That's today's game. The 2014 NFC title game is an even better example. Closing out games is difficult. Defense doesn't win championships as it once did.
Sean from Long Beach, NY
Vic, did the 49ers try to play around their quarterback?
It was obvious from the start. Kyle Shanahan saw the edge the Chiefs had at quarterback and strategized to soften it. His plan almost worked. What the Chiefs did to the 49ers is what I envisioned the Packers doing to the 49ers, which is to say over-matching the 49ers at the quarterback position. The difference is the Chiefs stayed within 10 points; the Packers got blown away early.
K.J. from Minneapolis, MN
Edward's comments (in Monday's column) reminded me just how far the NFL has to go regarding hiring coaches of color. Why do you think coaches are predominantly white and what can the NFL do to address that in a meaningful way?
The assistant coaching ranks continue to swell with minority coaches and, in time, that will spill over into the head coaching ranks. If there's an issue, it's this: Minority coaches aren't swelling the ranks of NFL offensive coordinators, and teams tend to hire head coaches from the offensive side of the ball. Does a prejudice exist when it comes to hiring offensive coordinators? That's the question that needs to be answered.
Ben from Evanston, IL
If the Smiths and Gary are the same player, would trading one or more of them be a legitimate option?
Za'Darius Smith would bring the Packers a one and more in a trade, and that would allow the Packers to plug in Rashan Gary. Here are the problems with trading Smith: 1) He's due a $9.5 million roster bonus on 3-20, so the trade would have to be executed prior to paying that bonus or Smith's dead money would be Nutsville. 2) It's unknown if Gary is the player the Packers think he is? I stand by my initial reaction when the Packers drafted Gary and Darnell Savage. It struck me as odd after signing two pass-rushers and a safety in free agency the Packers would spend first-round picks on a pass-rusher and a safety.
Adam from Denver, CO
How did the 49ers structure Jimmy Garoppolo's contract in such a way where there is little dead money in the upcoming years?
They paid him a whopping $28.8 million roster bonus in 2018. I call it pre-paying on your cap and it makes total sense for a stinky team that's rebuilding, lacks star players and big contracts and needs to get to the cap floor. In a way, it's mortgaging your present to provide for your future. If he was a dud, they'd have the room to go get another guy. If he was a home run, they'd have the room to surround him with good players.
Gary from Belle Meade, NJ
Mahomes takes some extremely deep drops, which seem to work to his benefit to buy time to hit deep routes. Why don't more quarterbacks do this?
The deeper the drop, the longer the pass. A lot of quarterbacks don't have the arm strength to drop nine yards and still hit the deep out. Mahomes is a special talent. He can do it all. He has a great arm, great legs, great instincts and a resolute football personality. The 1970's game was a deep-drop era. I remember Bradshaw taking punter-like drops, but he could still flick the ball downfield to Swann and Stallworth and do it with an easy throwing motion. I doubt Drew Brees could've played in that bump-and-run era. He doesn't have the arm strength to play that deep-drop, throw-it-deep game.
William from Reading, UK
Vic, are the 49ers a good QB away from winning it all?
I think the ACL cost Garoppolo some mobility. Can he get it back? I think he needs to recover that mobility to be the big-play quarterback every team needs.
David from Janesville, WI
Vic, you referenced big, tough guys that are hard to move for 3-4 defensive ends. If the Packers expand or rotate their roster in that area, is this a good year for depth in the draft?
Any draft is good for finding those kinds of players. Lawrence Guy and Mike Pennel are examples. Defensive tackles that can't rush the passer offer a deep pool for 3-4 teams, as does the pool of tweener pass-rushers that can be moved to outside linebacker. That's why I favor the 3-4 over the 4-3; it provides a deeper pool of talent.
David from Madison, WI
How much of a player's success is putting him in a position to succeed?
It's of critical importance to use a player in a way that maximizes his talent. It would be an outrage to use Aaron Donald as a two-gapper.
Jack from Jacksonville, FL
I really thought this was the year for Tony Boselli to get in the Hall of Fame. Next year is not looking good. When is the next realistic opportunity for Tony to make it in?
Faneca is the problem now. It appears he's ahead of Tony in the offensive linemen pecking order.
Daniel from Richmond, TX
Vic, the answer to the middle linebacker problem is not to abandon the development of a highly drafted pass rusher.
So, stand pat, continue Gary's development by using him on a part-time basis until opportunity and his growth allow for him to be plugged in full time. That's a sound football approach to take.
Bob from Kennesaw, GA
Should the Packers be looking to spend a second or third-round pick on a wide receiver, or should they try to find value later on?
The Packers are picking so low in the order I won't place a position restriction on them. The second and third rounds are where the run on receivers occurred last year. Please, don't perseverate on wide receivers. It's not the problem Packers fans think it is.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What are your thoughts on Lazard?
I like him. He's a big possession-type receiver. He reminds me of Keenan McCardell, who was a 12th-round pick.
Eric from Hudson, WI
Vic, that’s two years in a row with incorrect Super Bowl predictions. How old is your blog now?
About 20 years.
Aiden from Jacksonville, FL
Why do Khan and his executives talk down to us and treat us as though we are expendable? I guess because we are.
Your question struck a nerve with me. I struggled to think of an answer. The best I can offer is I'm sorry this is happening. I feel your fear and hurt. The Colts left as Baltimore slept. Maybe that was merciful.
Scott from Bozeman, MT
You are so correct about the halftime show. I have three young daughters and I am so disappointed in how the NFL objectified women. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised the halftime show is a joke. Now I know.
I never offered an opinion on the halftime show. I try to avoid it because I'm not a song-and-dance kind of guy. The halftime shows are for the other half of the audience. I just ignore it.
Conrad from Oklahoma City, OK
Last year you mentioned Andy Reid teams were soft. Did they win this year despite that or did something change?
The Chiefs were No. 23 in rushing and No. 26 against the run. They were getting spanked by the Texans and the Titans were pounding the ball on them, just as the 49ers were with a 6.4 yards-per-carry average. I think the answer to your question is Mahomes tilts the field. The Chiefs overwhelmed their postseason opponents with offense. That's today's game and you can play it if you have one of those quarterbacks. If you don't have one of those guys, you better do more than one thing.
Don from Richmond, KY
Vic, the Jaguars just announced the team will play 25 percent of their regular season "home" games in London next season. This news concerns me greatly. I was born in Jacksonville and have been an extremely passionate fan of the Jaguars since their inaugural season in 1995. I am angry and disappointed, but I mostly worry the Jaguars might not stay in Jacksonville. Lamping and Kahn say the team isn't moving, but I wonder what will happen if the most ardent fans become disenchanted with the team. Please share your thoughts on this matter, Vic.
Give me four-and-four and share the team with London and I'll sign on the dotted line right now.
Brent from Waunakee, WI
What do you think of Leroy Butler's Hall of Fame chances?
A lot of safeties have been elected in recent years and Charles Woodson could push Butler aside next year.
Dave from Chicago, IL
Vic, do you see Green Bay going WR with the first-round pick, or a run-stuffer and then WR in round two?
You're identifying needs. I think you should include tackle as a need.
Nick from Owego, NY
Why isn't Penn State and Pitt playing each other any more? I was told it had to do with money. Is that true? They were the best games!
Joe Paterno killed the series because Pitt killed his idea for an eastern all-sports conference. Paterno wanted Pitt to leave the Big East, which was a basketball-only conference back then, and then join Penn State in threatening to drop Syracuse and Boston College from the schedule if they didn't also leave the Big East and join Paterno's conference. Pitt declined Paterno's request, stayed in the Big East for basketball and remained an independent in football. Paterno is dead, Penn State is in the Big Ten, Pitt is in the ACC and football fans in Pa. continue to be denied what once was the biggest game of the year. I blame Pitt on this one. They lacked vision.
Sandy from Texas
The overwhelming indigenous Indian populations support the Washington mascot and symbol. They see it as a source of pride. If the people that are represented by the symbol support it, time to let it go, chief.
A new survey says your information is baloney. A Cal-Berkley study claims 57 percent of Native Americans who strongly identify with being Native Americans are "deeply insulted by caricatures of Native American culture." My opinion on the matter was shaped by an email I received from a boy in the Oneida Nation when I was penning this column for packers.com. He touched me with his words describing the hurt and shame he's endured. If I owned a team that employed references to Native Americans for the purpose of marketing the team, I would end that practice immediately. Leave it to Stanford to lead the way. Fifty years ago they changed because their students knew it was the right thing to do. Don't we owe our Native Americans at least that much for what they gave us?