Fabrizio from Cuneo, Italy
Vic, do you think Case Keenum has earned a starting job for next year? I don't know why but I like his grit and I'm happy for this season of his.
He's not "The Man" and he'll never be "The Man" because he neither has the skill set nor the financial commitment to justify it. Even if he takes the Vikings all the way, he'll continue to play on the edge of being replaced as the starter. What he's achieved this year is longevity in the league. He's going to play in this league for a long time because as backups/starters go, he's "The Man."
Aaron from Wausau, WI
How important is a GM in relation to the rest of the personnel department? Have you seen any that were the difference-maker in the success of their organizations?
The GM is the picker, and the picker is the most important person in the franchise. You can have the best board in the league, but if you don't know how to massage it and pick from it, they're just names on a wall.
Paul from Cumming, GA
How did you enjoy the Rose Bowl?
That's not my kind of football. I don't like 102 points and well over a thousand yards of offense. It's not Georgia's fault. They play the right way, and eventually the best team and the best way of playing won. With apologies to TCU, which plays football the right way, the Big 12 plays soft and cheesy football. It's all scheme, and schemes work great until a real team sees them for the third or fourth time, and then they stop working. Schemes win early; players win late. That's what happened on Monday night. I was delighted for my friend Mel Tucker.
Greg from Danbury, CT
Do you still think the incoming GM goes for a No. 2 guy in the first round? The Insiders seem to think A-Rod will be around long enough.
We are so far from that kind of decision it doesn't make sense to even talk about it. Everything is open to change right now, and it'll stay that way until a new person is hired. I think we start with this: The Packers need a new GM and Aaron Rodgers needs a new contract. Packers fans know this drill. We wait.
Ben from El Paso, TX
What do you think really happened with Martellus Bennett? I don't buy the doctor story.
The Packers got conned. Welcome to high-priced free agency.
Joe from Minneapolis, MN
Do you think Monday's events indicate the Packers are tired of winning?
Monday's events indicate the Packers think it's time to be new.
Betty from Flagstaff, AZ
Vic, am I being too wild and crazy pondering the possibility of Mike Holmgren coming back to Green Bay as GM?
Betty, I said it's time to be new, not prehistoric.
Lupe from Minneapolis, MN
Is the relationship between senior adviser to football operations and GM similar to Vito advising Michael after Vito went into semi-retirement?
It's more like Tom Hagen advising Michael after the family moved its operations to Las Vegas.
Joel from Laramie, WY
Vic, we know how you felt about Mr. Capers and Thompson, however, you're given the keys to finding their very big shoes to fill, who is on your short list for each position?
There is no short list for GM. Right now, it needs to be a very long list. The search should be exhaustive and the process should be time-consuming. As for defensive coordinator, I get the feeling someone from within needs to be promoted. Reportedly, Mike McCarthy had a year added to his contract, which now runs through 2019. Assistant coaches' contracts are usually concurrent with the head coach's; new assistants usually don't get deals with more years on them than the head coach has. Where are you going to find a top guy who'll work on a two-year deal? I love Joe Whitt. I think he's ready to be a coordinator and he might be the next Mike Tomlin. He'd be at the top of my short list.
Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador
Vic, the Packers purge has begun. What is it like around the business offices when this happens? Is everyone on edge, including secretaries? Is there just a sense of resignation and acceptance? Is there any good way to transition?
Somebody almost always gets hurt when change occurs. It's the way of life in the NFL. For the fans, it's a game. They're entertained by the real-life misfortunes of good people. Just howl, baby.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, does the number of teams looking for a new head coach surprise you? What effect will the coaching turnover have on the league next year? Which team -- Bears, Cardinals, Colts, Giants, Lions -- has the most potential and would be your go-to choice if you were looking for a head coaching position?
You're not going to like this answer: the Bears. They've got a big-play defense, a quarterback on the rise and more high picks on the way. The Bears' days of futility are nearly at an end. They're about to become a worthy rival again.
Gregg from Chapel Hill, NC
Vic, do you think the Steelers and their fans will eventually welcome Harrison back the way the Packers did with Favre?
It doesn't work that way there. That door swings one way.
Joe from Wauwatosa, WI
SEC rematch in the CFP. Is this good for college football? Do you think it will lead to an eight-team playoff format?
It's supposed to be a national title game, not a conference title game. The process needs more work.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What are your thoughts on Baker Mayfield following his performance in the Rose Bowl?
I didn't see him complete an NFL-type throw. I'm not saying he can't do it, I just didn't see him do it. I saw drag routes, swing passes, back-shoulder fades, bubble screens ad nauseum, etc. They're scheme passes and they worked early. They made Georgia look as though Oklahoma was playing against air. I wanted to see Mayfield make the pro-like throws. Late in the game, as the schemes dried up, Mayfield was forced to make some throws at which he didn't appear to be comfortable. They're pro-like throws. Late in the fourth quarter, he missed on a honey hole throw down the right sideline. Earlier, he was intercepted on a tight-window throw down the seam. Late in the game, he threw incomplete short with a rusher hanging on him. I didn't see him attempt a deep sideline pass from the far hash. He didn't do anything to raise my opinion of him.
Connor from Greenville, SC
When I’m older, I’ll happily think back to eight straight years of playoff runs. Will we ever have it this good again?
A wise man once said to me, "Too often, we don't learn to say hello until it's time to say goodbye." Did we say hello to eight years of winning? In other words, did we appreciate its presence, or did we take it for granted? Unfortunately, it's time to say goodbye.
Ben from Chicago, IL
Vic, do you think Aaron Rodgers' play allowed other players to become complacent?
No, but I think it allowed for other players to be average, and that needs to change.
Joe from Rhinelander, WI
Vic, You have always said the stars of the 3-4 defense are the linebackers, yet, in the nine drafts where the Packers were picking with the 3-4 defense, they spent top three picks on exactly three linebackers (Matthews, Perry and Fackrell). None of them played ILB and they hit on two of the three when healthy. We wonder why the defense couldn't be relied on to win ballgames without top athletes playing the most important positions.
In that same period of time, the Steelers picked linebackers in the top three rounds six times, four times in the first round in the last five years, and they picked linebackers 13 times overall since 2009. If you're going to play a 3-4, you need to pick linebackers early and often. Dom Capers didn't get the picks he needed to run his schemes.
Nathan from New York, NY
Vic, what are your picks for this week's playoff games?
Jacksonville and Kansas City in the AFC and Falcons and Saints in the NFC. Yes, I'm making a change. I had made the Rams my NFC Super Bowl pick in a previous column, but I've changed my mind. After more thought, I like the way the Falcons match up against the Rams. I think the Falcons are going to stop the run.
Tom from De Pere, WI
What are the strengths of Russ Ball, Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf?
Ball understands and appreciates the importance of the salary cap and how it relates to the future stability of a franchise. A GM must possess that talent. Gutekunst is a top scout and I was impressed by his ability to communicate with the media and explain why a pick was made. Those are also significant traits. Wolf has the bloodlines and there is reason to believe he possesses his father's magic touch. What's not to like about that?
Tom from Seatac, WA
Did the cold weather catch you?
Yes, but yesterday afternoon's event is about a whole lot more than a rare cold day on the southeast coast. Since October of 2015, coastal South Carolina has experienced a thousand-year flood, two hurricanes, five tropical storms and, now, something called a "winter bomb cyclone." Frankly, I think our king tides are most frightening of all. Every time I read or listen to our president mock global warming by referring to it as a hoax or fake news, my worry deepens. The sun is on the rise as I write this, and yesterday will be quickly committed to memory, but what's headed up the coast isn't a hoax or fake news. Mr. President, please open your mind to what's real.
John from Jacksonville Beach, FL
I have read all your columns since 2004 and, yes, I started reading after the 2004 Jaguars-Steelers game. I just found the new blog yesterday and I’m thrilled. Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye and Barry Church have been excellent free-agent signings. I agree with your stance on free agency being a trap, so how did this success happen? Lightning in a bottle?
It's easily explained as the Jaguars falling so far under the salary cap minimum they were forced to spend ultra-liberally in free agency and, therefore, bound to hit on some of their acquisitions. Let's not forget the misses: Davon House, Chris Ivory, Jared Odrick, Julius Thomas, Toby Gerhart, Chris Clemons, Ziggy Hood and others. A team tight against the cap couldn't employ the Jaguars' strategy, and the day is rapidly approaching when the Jaguars won't be able to employ the Jaguars' strategy. The current Jaguars team is a product of epoch losing. They're good because they were bad.