"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Brian from Stafford, VA
Vic, given all the players out of the game last night, what, if anything, can you take away from the outcome?
The Packers overwhelmed the 49ers. The Packers played Packers-type football. I think they needed a game that would allow them to return to their identity.
Dillon from Melbourne, FL
Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think we can learn anything about the Packers from this game, considering the 49ers looked like a college team with almost all of their starters out.
We saw confirmation of what we already knew: When Rodgers overmatches the opposing quarterback, the Packers win big.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
Beating up on a beat up team. Didn’t really look good doing it. Yawn.
Would you rather the Packers have lost? They did what they're paid to do. The Packers get another soft opponent next week and, frankly, the remaining schedule isn't real challenging. This is a weird year because I'm not sure playing for homefield advantage in the playoffs is meaningful.
Josh from Wilmington, DE
If I see one more sprint left option I’m going to puke. It was fourth and an inch.
I didn't like it either.
Ben from Hilo, HI
Do you consider Troy Aikman to be a member of the jockocracy? He sets himself apart.
Yeah, he's a member of the jockocracy, but Aikman has fully embraced his media role and I think that's what sets former players such as himself and Cris Collinsworth apart from the former players who never seem to stop being players. Just one word of advice to Aikman: Please stop with the "Rodgers, he."
Brady from Milwaukee, WI
A few years back, I had asked you whether there are any wide receivers who you’d say are special (given that you mention receivers are dime a dozen). At the time, you said Antonio Brown, but that he was a sixth-round pick so “what does that tell you?” I thought it would be a good time to ask again: Are there any receivers in the game today who are truly special (and not dime a dozen)? If so, what skills/traits make a receiver more than dime a dozen?
You're confusing talent with supply. There are several wide receivers who are special, and that's why they're a dime a dozen. Tyreek Hill is special, but he was a fifth-round pick. Again, what's that tell you?
Morgan from Little Chute, WI
Can you disguise the same play by putting players in different spots?
You're describing one of Mike McCarthy's philosophies of offense: "Less volume, more creativity." The jet sweep motion is a perfect example of how motion in one direction can cause an advantage in an another direction. The jet sweep action demands the defense respect the horizontal motion, creating a vertical advantage for the inside running game. Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada is the master of the jet sweep motion. The Steelers' running game has benefited greatly from it.
Jim from Nevada
What was your experience like the first time you voted and how did it feel?
I voted for the first time in 1972. By mail, I voted for George McGovern. I don't remember it being a special feeling.
Jamie from Thunder Bay, Ontario
How does a team acquire its DNA and, more importantly, how does it overcome it?
DNA is my way of describing a franchise's identity and personality. The Packers throw the ball. The Steelers have long been known for hard-nosed defense. How does a team acquire its DNA? In the Steelers' case, the Rooneys are Pittsburghers who have a feel for what Pittsburgh football fans want. The Steelers are a reflection of their fans. From the five seasons I spent covering the Packers, I get the sense the Packers are a reflection of their fans. I'll never forget how the fans at training camp cheered every pass completion, even if it was against air. Overcome your DNA? In the Steelers' and Packers' cases, why would they want to change their identity? They are very successful franchises with huge fan bases.
Alex from Orlando, FL
Vic, which current or past QB in the NFL does Trey Lance remind you of?
Joe from Bloomington, IN
If the Packers secondary is so good, why do they play so much nickel and dime?
All teams play nickel and dime, which are defensive schemes determined by the number of wide receivers the offense is employing. You don't cover five with four, right?