"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Jake from Chippewa Falls, WI
Vic, how have the Saints won so many games without Drew Brees last year and this year?
They've done a sensational job of drafting, managing and coaching their players.
Dawn from Missoula, MT
How can you describe the success of the Steelers and Packers as upsets when you so often stress the importance of the QB? They've had some good ones over the years. Stop writing with both sides of your pen.
Cameron from Sicklerville, NJ
I had some time to kill and looked back at a couple of your "Ask Vic" archives. I found a couple entries where prognosticator Vic didn't appear to hit the nail on the head. Particularly, that should the Packers fire McCarthy, the next coach would last only 3-4 years (in all fairness, you said history indicated that, as opposed to claiming it to be your own opinion, but the response implied you agreed with the sentiment in this case). Barring the rather unexpected, LaFleur is certainly performing well enough to last more than four years. Do you ever look back at your responses/predictions and chuckle at what you got right or wrong? Or are you only in the here and now?
I'll leave the chuckling to you.
Isaac from Columbia, TN
What kind of a running back was LaDainian Tomlinson?
He was of a style similar to what we're seeing in Aaron Jones.
Oscar from Chicago, IL
Vic, how can a 3-4 team emulate the "rush four, drop seven" approach you mentioned needed to beat great quarterbacks?
First of all, I didn't use the word "needed." Think of a 34 as a 52, since the two outside linebackers tend to play at the line of scrimmage. Now drop one and rush the other. In the Steelers' 34, the left outside linebacker (Watt) plays with his hand on the ground, which effectively makes him a defensive end who often drops into coverage. Think function instead of formation.
Eric from Keene, NH
One question about being sued by Rudy Giuliani: How could you tell when the legal argument ends and the flatulence begins?
Dave from Franklin, WI
Should Packers fans be grateful Gruden chose Chicago's offer for Mack over Green Bay's?
Picks have long been valued more than players. In today's game, however, salary cap consequences have made trading more attractive. The Minkah Fitzpatrick trade is an example, as the Steelers got a player on his rookie deal and it helped them in repairing their cap. The Khalil Mack trade required a new contract for Mack, which means it was a lose-lose for the Bears: They lost a lot of picks and cap space. The Packers are better for not having made that trade.
Paul from Bluffton, IN
When you worked for packers.com, I remember you describing Rodgers as fearless in the pocket with all of the bodies crashing around him. After reading that article, I've consistently marveled at Rodgers' ability to keep his eyes downfield in a muddy pocket. It was especially evident this week as I watched Wentz look defeated in the pocket. If I'm looking for a QB in the draft, that is one trait I would have to see if I'm drafting a QB in the first round.
It could be said football is first and foremost a game of courage, and no quarterback possesses more pocket courage than Aaron Rodgers. He's lost some mobility, but I've detected no decline in his pocket courage and awareness. It can happen quickly. All of a sudden, they begin sacking themselves. I've seen no evidence of it in Rodgers.
Benjamin from Columbus, OH
Can you expand on your Justin Fields answer? What don't you like about his passing? I trust your eyes.
He doesn't make it look easy.
Steve from Wauwatosa, WI
Reading an article by Cliff Christl about the players drafted ahead of Aaron Rogers got me to thinking. I was amazed at all the first-round whiffs that year. Is that typical? You talk about years of low draft position eventually catching up to perennially good teams. Say you are drafting 30th. Couldn't that be looked at as though you just didn't get a first-round pick and then you are basically at the top of all subsequent rounds?
It's a philosophy. The idea is it'll lead a team to pick from the top of its board instead of trying to catch lightning in a bottle. I've never put a lot of stock in it.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL
As a sports writer, did you find any players more eloquent than others, and was that a plus or a minus when looking for quotes?
If a player had something he wanted to say, I always found a way to express it for him. The key is the willingness to communicate with the fans. That's what a player or coach is doing when he talks to the media. He's talking to the fans.
Anthony from Milwaukee, WI
Have you ever seen a team have to play defense with its offense as much as the Packers? I think we all know the defense would probably be much worse if it wasn’t for an offense that completely minimizes opportunities for the opponent's offense.
Aaron Rodgers is the heart and soul of the Packers. Does that make him the league MVP? You could certainly make a case for it.
Douglas from Binghamton, NY
What made you think the Packers were not the favorite to win the NFC North?
It was eight passes and the sense Rodgers couldn't play defense as well as offense any longer. I was wrong about Rodgers.