"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Kevin from San Francisco, CA
Julius Peppers did not make your all-time team. Was that because you covered him as a linebacker on the latter side of his career? Would he have won a spot had you covered him in his prime?
He would've been a consideration at defensive end if I had covered him in his prime, but Peppers had a strange career. Despite his great body of work, there just aren't a lot of crunch-time moments. His career was quiet greatness. The impact doesn't match the stats. His defining moment with the Packers was telling Morgan Burnett to "get down."
Jeff from Appleton, WI
Vic, I used to read a newspaper for facts and stats. When those became instantly available online, I appear to be reading mostly opinions. I am not focusing on newspapers, the question is more broad. What do you think is the next shift in the written word?
We transitioned from broadsheet journalism to niche journalism with the creation of the Internet and cable TV news. They have divided us, identified us, pigeon-holed us and trained us in their platform so we refuse to accept anything else as news. The bill will be coming.
Jake from Los Angeles, CA
Why did the 1978 rules change happen?
Not enough points were being scored. Defense was dominating. Four defensive players were named Super Bowl MVP between Super Bowls V and XII.
John from St. Augustine, FL
What made John Henderson special? I always thought Stroud was the better player but I don’t have the eye for these things.
Marcus Stroud was more athletic but John was more physically dominant. Jack Del Rio not so jokingly told me John was a three-gapper. That was in 2007. I remember writing John had a Joe Greene kind of year. Back problems shortened John's career.
Chase from Jacksonville, FL
How do you beat the 1999 Jaguars?
The Titans did it by forcing turnovers. They were patient and waited for the Jaguars to quit on the run, which the Jaguars did in the AFC title game for some unknown and ridiculous reason. They were gashing the Titans when Brunell threw an interception that killed an early-game drive when the Jaguars were threatening to pull away. I don't know why the Jaguars felt the need to pass. I guess it was just in their DNA, and that played to the Titans' proclivity for forcing turnovers.
Nate from Pueblo, CO
Do you believe some QBs need 2-3 excellent WRs while others only need one?
In his early years, Bradshaw threw to Shanklin and Lewis. In the middle of his career, it was Swann and Stallworth. Bradshaw's last two touchdown passes were caught by Garrity and Sweeney. Great quarterbacks get it done. Average quarterbacks need great receivers.
Brian from Racine, WI
In today's game, running backs such as Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson are the exception, while most seem to fizzle out after their first contract. Were the old guys just that much tougher? Was everyone playing hurt? Or do you have another explanation for this impression?
The running game of the '70's was out of pro set, which meant the fullback was the feature back. He was a bigger guy. Larry Csonka was 6-3, 237. Franco Harris was 6-2, 230. Jim Brown, 6-2, 232, was a fullback in the '60's. Compare the sizes of these men to today's running backs. Aaron Jones is 5-9, 208 playing against decidedly bigger defenders. I love big backs.
Alex from Girdwood, AK
What's your take on Aaron Jones?
He put himself into the star category last season. He's a speed and wiggle back who stretches a front and makes big plays. I think the addition of A.J. Dillon will give the Packers a thunder and lightning combination that could transform the Packers from a pass-first to a run-first personality.
David from Capitol Heights, MD
I started reading you because of the Packers but I keep reading you because of your perspective. I think you may be one of my favorite philosophers. That being said, what's your take on Minneapolis?
I'm trying to avoid these types of questions because they came to dominate my inbox and I grew tired of reading the vitriol aimed at me. It was an experiment and those who believed political and social issues couldn't be discussed respectfully were correct, I'm sad to say. I'm sure your question will open the flood gates again, but I wanted to get it out there as to why I all of a sudden posted a column on my all-time team. It was my means of escape. Your question is worthy and respectful. I apologize for not answering it.
Robert from Oak Creek, WI
I've been following football since the early '60's. Realizing there has been quite a change in the game over the years, I still believe if you want a consistent and championship team, spend your money on the offensive and defensive lines. A couple of really good starters on each side of the ball and your team will dominate.
It would be easy to say quarterback, left tackle, pass rusher, shut down corner, but I don't think it has to be that regimented. I think a good team needs a handful of star players, one of whom must be the quarterback, and a scheme that features the star players by directing the action toward them. Yes, you have to have the big guys.
Robert from Jacksonville Beach, FL
I think a really buttoned up public address announcer adds to a great game day experience. I don’t like some of these new guys who think they need to scream to be good at their job. However, someone with a good delivery and schtick adds to a game. With this being said, in my life nobody will ever be as good as the great Roger Houston at Pitt games back in the 1970’s and early '80’s. Did you have any interactions or stories about him?
I remember him. Pitt got him from a local harness racing outfit. He called a game with a "and they're off" kind of flair; it was his schtick. My favorite PA story is from a Pitt-West Virginia game at Pitt Stadium. I think it was the guy who replaced Houston. He decided to spice up his delivery with this announcement: "Dr. O. McDonald, West Virginia license plate EI, EI, O. Your tractor is running."
Jared from Sugar City, ID
Vic, how does LaFleur get/keep the respect of Rodgers in year two?
That's no longer an issue. The Love pick changed everything. Just win, baby.
John from Topeka, KS
Hard to believe this is going on five years; what are your feelings on retirement? Did you get out at the right time? Are you happy?
I retired at absolutely the right time. I have neck and back issues that were making the physical demands of the job difficult. Beyond that, I wouldn't want to be covering football during this pandemic. I'm happy to be sitting at my laptop in the comfort of my home.
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
I think you need to give Packers fans a pre-flight safety demonstration on what life without a Hall of Fame quarterback looks like.
It can take on many forms. It can look like the Jaguars or it can look like the 49ers, which is to say a powerful team that got overmatched at the quarterback position in the Super Bowl. The better team didn't win; the better quarterback did. The good news for teams trying to find a quarterback, which is to say teams such as the Jaguars, is it's never been easier to play the position. The league is doing everything it can to help its teams find "The Man;" it guarantees parity. I can't guarantee Jordan Love will be a Hall of Fame quarterback, but it would be a major miss by the Packers if he isn't good enough.
Joe from St. Paul, MN
Have you ever seen anything like this, Vic?