"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Tony from Waunakee, WI
What's your oldest keepsake?
I have a relic, a thing that touched a thing that touched a thing that touched Pope Pius XII. It's either that or a "Kennedy, Man for the '60's" campaign tie clasp or my Buzz Nutter autograph.
Dan from Toledo, OH
I can agree with four out of your five, but Prescott? Call me when he’s able to be better than 8-8 and can beat an Eagles team starting fourth stringers. I think you’ve fallen for a stat stuffer, Vic, and not a quarterback that gets it done in big moments.
I favor youth. Rodgers is a year older; Prescott is a year better. What if the Packers hadn't done a new contract with Rodgers and, before the draft, the Cowboys had offered the Packers Prescott in a straight-up trade for Rodgers? Do you think the Packers would've done the deal?
Greg from Hillman, MN
What are your thoughts on Kenny Clark's deal? Was it a good move or was the price too steep?
It's a good deal and it suggests to me the Packers are going to create ways to feature Clark.
Giuseppe from Chiavari, Italy
Can the franchise tag be so expensive no team would want to use it next year?
The franchise tag is like the atom bomb. You don't need to use it, just have it.
Josh from La Crosse, WI
Do you know any quarterbacks whose passes made rookie receivers' hands bleed?
Back in the '70's, the Steelers had a big, rookie receiver in camp, a guy named Andre Keys. He was a late-round draft pick who was one of the stars early in camp. Keys had huge hands and he sustained an injury to one of those hands and missed practice. Nobody thought much of it but a week later Keys was still not practicing and I asked Coach Noll what the deal was with Keys' hand injury. "He tore the webbing," Noll said. "Huh?" I said. Noll explained Keys had caught the point of the football between two fingers and the force of Terry Bradshaw's pass tore the webbing of Keys' hand halfway up to his wrist. That's the last I remember from Keys' career.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
Vic, what is the number one moment in your life? In my 30 years, it was collecting the shells from a 21-gun salute to my late uncle. Memories make us rich.
Being told I had cancer? Being told to leave campus because four students had just been shot and killed? I'll go with the most recent one: In the wee hours of a winter morning, I got into my car and drove away from Green Bay in darkness. I remember whispering to myself, "That's all."
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
I can feel the weather starting to change. The evenings are crisper and the mornings are cooler. Covid hangs in the air like a dense fog. Normally, this time of year means back to school and Packers football. This year the excitement of being on the precipice of something new has been replaced by apprehension and uncertainty. May we all reach a day when the true unbridled excitement can return.
It's getting stormier and buggier here. The attack of the love bugs is less than a month away. This year the excitement of hurricane season has been heightened by the fear of evacuating during a pandemic. Some things are even bigger than football.
Matt from La Crosse, WI
Apparently, Matt LaFleur will no longer allow media members to report which players are practicing with first team, second team, etc.. This shocked me. How does he have the authority to censor his team's coverage this way? Would he ban offenders from watching camp practices?
I think it's a fair request. Going back to the beginning stage of my career, when the NFL celebrated any kind of coverage, reporters understood they would not act as spies. In other words, reports shouldn't divulge specific strategies they witnessed at practice, such as trick plays, etc. It was acceptable to write in a post-practice report so and so ran with the first team and the offense was emphasizing a deeper commitment to the run or pass, but I think it's over the top to divulge percentages and specifics, and I think it's especially irritating for a coach to know information is being divulged as it's happening. That's more than reporting, it's spying. In the week leading up to the 1976 AFC title game, as Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier nursed injuries that would cause them to miss the game, Coach Noll installed a one-back offense. Nobody wrote it. What would today's reporters do?
John from Jefferson, WI
Vic, were you fortunate enough to recognize the best of times while you were living them?
You bet I was, right down to the five o'clock club and the freedom to knock on dormitory room doors.
Adrian from Inglewood, CA
With one less year of development for Trevor Lawrence, will he still be the No. 1 overall draft pick?
That's my expectation. He's an exceptional talent, a player of great skill and character, but he's not without flaws. He stares down receivers and he overstrides, which causes passes to sail high. Dabo Swinney made a big mistake getting into a shootout with Joe Burrow. That would weigh on my mind if I had the first pick of the draft and needed a quarterback.
Mark from New London, WI
A.J. Dillon is leading the way in the underwear league in Packers camp. What should we be looking for to find out if he has the talent to make it in the NFL?
Are his feet light enough to bounce from one hole to another.
Ron from Beaufort, SC
Choices have to be made on future UFAs. Which of these four are your priority? Bakhtiari, King, Jones and Linsley. I would go in this order: left tackle and cornerback and let the rest join the market.
That's a sensible approach, provided the Packers believe Bakhtiari can hold up physically. He's had back problems and I saw some decline in his play last year. The potential for Aaron Jones and Dillon to provide a thunder and lightning element to the Packers offense would interest me. If Jones and Dillon can do that, I'd find a way to keep Jones.
Beth from Cincinnati, OH
Can you describe the type of people the journalism profession attracts without resorting to cliches?
They tend to be people with a social conscience who know how to turn a phrase.
Doug from Union Grove, WI
How frustrating will it be and how damaged will our (fans) psyche be when the season gets canceled in mid-October?
If that happens, I would ask to what degree did attempting to play have contributed to the mindset that caused the virus to worsen? I think that would be the issue.
Joe from Milwaukee, WI
Are we about to see a shift where players with the big RB body type begin playing the position again instead of LB?
The big back has never gone out of style. From Jim Brown to Franco Harris and Larry Csonka to Earl Campbell and Jerome Bettis and most recently to Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliott and Le'Veon Bell, pro football has always craved big backs who could pound between the tackles and stretch out their legs in the open field. Jim Thorpe was a big back. This isn't something new to pro football, it's just something new to the Packers because Eddie Lacy's career was so short-lived. Vic to Packers fans: Welcome to the wonderful world of power football.
Blanche from Lake Geneva, WI
What receiver made the biggest year-to-year jump during your career?
Jimmy Smith went from trying to hang onto a roster spot in 1995 to being one of the stars of the league in '96.
Kenn from Milwaukee, WI
What do you think about Blake Martinez’ statement he was always cleaning up?
Martinez is a grunt. It's pretty much how Tony Pauline described him to me when Martinez was a draft prospect. He wasn't considered a playmaker; he was a tackler, a guy who cleaned up the mess left by the pass rushers. Those guys aren't difficult to find.
Calvin from Indianapolis, IN
I get punts, but wouldn’t you agree kickoffs are nonsensical to the game?
They've been legislated to the status of being little more than ceremonial. I would favor beginning the game and the second half with a kickoff, but at all other times placing the ball at the 20 and let's go.
Wes from Minneapolis, MN
What does Josiah Deguara have to do to surprise you?
Oscar from Chicago, IL
Vic, what's the case for Tim Boyle? If Rodgers is lost to injury, the season is also likely lost; it doesn't matter who the backup is. If so, what's the case for spending an extra roster spot to keep three QBs?
Maybe the Packers see the day when Love is the starter and Boyle is the backup.