"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Gary from Belle Mead, NJ
Anything meaningful to conclude from Lions-Packers?
Nothing. Analysis of the game should be avoided, which is what I said prior to the Jets game. These were meaningless games. Meaning will begin again when the new head coach is selected. It's time to be patient.
Steve from Lake Stevens, WA
Any word on where the upcoming draft is deepest? Also, would you draft a player who skipped his team's bowl game? I don't like players who think of reasons not to play.
The draft is said to be deep in pass rushers. As for players sitting out meaningless bowl games, I have no problem with it.
Augustin from Monterrey, Mexico
Do you believe there’s a realistic chance Tom Coughlin becomes the new coach in Green Bay?
No, but after Coughlin's postgame tirade aimed at Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon, I can't help but think he should be the Jaguars' coach. The Jaguars' lack of discipline this season was disgraceful and every bit as responsible for their poor record as their deficiencies at the quarterback position. I kept waiting for Doug Marrone to call somebody out, but it didn't happen. Yesterday, Coughlin did it. It's about time.
Erik from Woodbridge, VA
I get what happened to the Packers. But please explain to me how that Vikings team misses the playoffs?
They missed the playoffs because their kicker missed in Green Bay. That's how narrow the margin can be. The Steelers had kicker problems, too. Be that as it may, I don't think either one of those teams has what it takes to win in the postseason. It just wasn't their year. Something was missing and now Mike Zimmer and Mike Tomlin will spend the next month in deep reflection, figuring out what went wrong.
Pete from Antigua, WI
My mom knows and cares zero about football but she was aghast this weekend over the horrible quality of college football. We were stuck on a layover in Miami and there were Alabama and Oklahoma fans everywhere. Alabama fans seemed to be the kind of clueless people who tip poorly at TGI Friday’s.
Alabama fans bring to a bowl game a 20-dollar bill and a pair of underwear and don't change either.
Dan from Sebastopol, CA
What surprised you the most about the 2018 season for Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville?
Mike McCarthy being fired, Le'Veon Bell walking away from $14.5 million, and the Jaguars thinking they could win with Blake Bortles at quarterback.
Bob from Kennesaw, GA
Wolves chased out McCarthy? I'd believe that to be true for a bunch of other franchises, but I have difficulty believing it to be the case in Green Bay. Our season ticket waiting list stretches generations. We're probably not in danger of having empty seats in the near future. We have good football people running the team. I can't see public sentiment being a factor here. It must have been something else (in my opinion). Was it the wolves, or possibly internal factors?
Yeah, it was probably something else.
Justin from Janesville, WI
Do you think an eight-team playoffs would save college football?
It would provide one more week of meaningful games, and it would almost certainly kill a lot of bad bowl games that need to go, but it wouldn't singlehandedly save college football. As I've written, improving the quality of college football begins with addressing scholarship limits and the process of recruiting.
Justin from Portland, OR
“Who will be the Packers' next coach? I can't overstate how important this decision is.” Or “players, not plays." Which one is it?
You're not getting it. Coaches aren't just about calling plays. A head coach is so much more than plays. He's the personality of your franchise. He decides everything. Will the conditioning program focus on strengthening the core or on building mass? Tom Coughlin loved free weights and squats; Jack Del Rio's program used beach balls. The head coach is about motivating his players, and how the head coach does that sets a tone and creates a personality in the locker room. Chuck Noll believed motivation had to come from within and pep talks were only effective until the first time you got knocked on your butt. He motivated his players by demanding they be professionals. Bill Cowher could fire up his team with the mere set of his jaw. He once stared down his team at halftime and then said, "Go kick their (butt)," and they did. In terms of scheme, most good coaches are astute evaluators of talent who use that skill to create favorable matchups. So, when you hire a head coach, you're also hiring a scout. All you're seeing is the play he calls that wins or loses the game. By then, the issue had already been decided. It's everything that leads up to the big play that decides whether the play succeeds or fails, and good coaches are about identifying, developing and preparing players.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
How good is Pete Carroll?
I think his miss in New England launched him to a higher level of coaching. The years he spent at USC popularized his brand and made him a more demanding coach. Carroll gets the most out of his players. That's his strength. He demands they win the physical battles, and they usually do.
Ron from Boise, ID
Vic, I'm in Green Bay and looking at Lambeau Field as I write this. Took a tour yesterday and we were in the press box and I asked our guide if he knew who you were and he replied, of course. Then he showed me where you sat during games. What do you miss most about those days?
I miss being there. It was a weekly event that defined my life. I miss the out-of-town people I would see; it's unlikely I'll ever see them again. For 45 years, I was permitted to sit and watch football games, and then write about what I saw according to my interests and sensitivities. It's a great freedom for which I will always be appreciative. I miss acting out that privilege.
Greg from Danbury, CT
If McCarthy's choice boils down to the Jets or Cardinals, it seems the team with a quarterback of the future is his best bet. Darnold?
I think the Jets are poised to become the dominant team in the AFC East.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what are your top three memories from the 2018 NFL season?
It hasn't been a great season, but memories aren't limited to ones that feel good. Mike McCarthy's dismissal as Packers coach is my No. 1 memory of the 2018 season. The Steelers-Jaguars game is probably No. 2. It was an example of what was wrong with each team this season. The No. 3 memory has yet to happen, I hope.
Dan from Toledo, OH
Four weeks of hype, eight hours of garbage, and the inevitable Clemson-Alabama title match. Why even have the playoffs? Give me the NFL playoffs any day.
Here are the scores from Saturday's college football bowl games: 28-0, 41-15, 30-3 and 45-34 (it wasn't that close). I'm receiving a lot of questions from readers who want to know what my new year's resolution is. I've come to a decision: My new year's resolution is to watch less college football in 2019. I'm wasting entire days of my life watching that crap.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Vic, what are the issues you believe the NFL will address in the offseason?
I think a large segment of the league's ownership has grown disenchanted with the obsession for calling penalties and the degree to which the game has been softened. I think a lot of those owners are wondering why good people such as Dean Blandino and Gene Steratore -- he's even better in his new role -- have left the league for TV. I think we're going to see changes made in the league's football operations department.
Eric from Lansing, MI
Do you think the 2014 Packers team was stronger than the Super Bowl team of 2010?
Yes, and I also think the '14 team was better than the '11 team.
Tim from Madison, WI
If Kyler Murray enters the NFL draft and is available when the Packers pick in the first round, should they take him?
No. Every resource must be committed to surrounding Aaron Rodgers with the talent he needs to win one more title before his career ends. His contract demands it! I'm a big believer in drafting the best available player, but that changed at the quarterback position for the Packers the moment Rodgers signed his new contract. As far as I'm concerned, quarterback is off the board for the Packers.