"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Hill from Denver, CO
You called it with Tiger, Vic! What did you think of the entire weekend?
I didn't call it. I merely suggested if he was going to win another major, Augusta would be the likely place for it to happen. Golf got what it wanted. The sport and its fans were begging for this. I don't know what Tiger Woods did to become an underdog, but he pulled it off. I guess he became a forlorn character and the American sports fan has always identified with comeback stories. Now the question is this: Did we witness a Nicklaus '86 moment, or has Woods begun a second run at the top of the golf world?
Nicholas from Appleton, WI
If a tight end can't run-block well, does his body type give an offense any benefit over a WR?
Mike McCarthy wanted a big body in the middle of the field; that's the body type a pass-catching tight end gives an offense. The middle of the field is a violent place. If you don't have a big body that can make the catch and absorb a blow, you're going to have to live outside the numbers.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
Can you think of any NFL star player whose son was also a star or even out-performed his old man?
Archie Manning is the obvious answer, twice.
Tony from Colorado Springs, CO
What’s your favorite club in your bag?
It's the seven iron. The problem now is I find myself hitting it less often as age moves the green farther from my reach. Move up? As long as there's a club in my bag that'll get me home, I'm staying back. It's my last stand.
Kevin from Solon Springs, WI
I’m stumped. Where are the Vikings getting all this money?
Teams can create cap room by pushing money out. It's what the Broncos did. You create cap room to sign a free agent by restructuring contracts of other players, converting salary to signing bonus and pushing a portion of the salary onto future caps. It's a cash-above-cap approach that'll usually buy four or five years of living the high life but, when the bill comes due, you're out of business. Teams that take that approach are committing to a live-for-today philosophy that'll almost certainly require a cut-and-gut and a roster rebuild. The Vikings' window is open, but when it closes, they'll likely be facing a complete rebuild. I think they're accepting of that fact. The Packers have long been flat-cappers, but they've become very aggressive with their spending in the last two years. I think they're accepting of the inevitable rebuild they'll face when Aaron Rodgers retires or has to be replaced. Similarly, the Packers' window is open, but for how long? Rodgers will answer that question.
Eric from Greenville, WI
It was a long journey for Tiger. Many of his obstacles were of his own doing for a while. He could have quit long ago and still be thought to be a great. Instead, he chose to battle through all of it for years and years. How sweet this must be. What's more satisfying , the years of heartache and work, or this moment of victory?
The achievement celebrates the pursuit.
Jon from Omaha, NE
So, how would you manage a handful of your unaccountable star players?
Managing your players is a big part of coaching. Mike Tomlin is receiving a lot of criticism for having allowed Antonio Brown to disrupt the atmosphere within the Steelers, but think of all the games the Steelers won because of the big plays Brown made. His amazing sideline catch beat the Packers in 2017. I think Brown is the greatest receiver in Steelers history. You wanna cut that guy because he has an undisciplined personality? Not me. Manage him. I think Tomlin did. He did the same thing with Santonio Holmes, and the Steelers won a Super Bowl with Holmes as the game's MVP. You ride the talent train as long as the player's production warrants it. Inevitably, either his skills will erode (Holmes) or his undisciplined personality (Brown) will become too much to endure. Coach Noll had Joe Gilliam. Coach Lombardi had Paul Hornung. Every coach has a star player whose personality requires special management.
Donovan from Al Qayyarah, Iraq
How come Bradshaw isn't in your top four? He's proven to be a championship QB in both eras, pre and post '78 rules changes. I'm curious, what's the knock on him, the "Steel Curtain?"
Most of his career was spent in the run-the-ball era, when defense dominated, and like so many quarterbacks from that era, Terry Bradshaw's stats just don't measure up to what today's quarterbacks are posting. In other words, he lacks the body of work (stats) to be a top-five quarterback. He has everything else: big plays, rings, defining postseason moments, etc. The rules changes of 1978 are the divide in Bradshaw's career. If what he did in '78 and '79 could be extrapolated over his whole career, I think a strong case could be built for Bradshaw being a top-five guy. As it stands, he enters the debate at top 10.
Nate from Osceola, WI
What happened to Green Bay's defense, which was respectable during the Super Bowl run, to fall off the charts in a 15-1 season?
Age (Charles Woodson), injury (Nick Collins) and free agency (Cullen Jenkins) took their toll. Also, I don't think the Packers' 2010 defense was really as good as its ranking. I think Coach Capers did more with less; that defense gave up a lot of yards, especially on the ground, in the Super Bowl. It's a game of replacement and the Packers didn't do a very good job of replacing the talent that left. That's what I think happened.
Ray from Milwaukee, WI
I was struck by these words in a self-help book I was reading: "I have enough and I am enough." That's it, I thought to myself. For me, that's happiness: contentment.
Christian from Norway
Mike McCarthy relinquished his play-calling duties for most of the 2015 season. How do you see this decision now, in light of the recent article about his relationship with Rodgers?
Maybe he was trying to avoid something that would cost him his job three years later. I promise you, Coach McCarthy does not have a low football IQ.
Nate from Plymouth, MN
Who was the best wide receiver in the league last season? Who is the best you've ever covered?
Tyreek Hill, Lynn Swann.
Bob from Caster a Del Din, Vicenza, Italy
Vic, what are the top two or three things you look for to determine if a draft prospect can make a successful transition to the professional level? There must be several intangible traits that make the difference from everything measured pre-draft, otherwise the draft would be cut and dried.
How about one thing? If I was a scout, I'd be looking for examples of a prospect being capable of playing to a level higher than he did in college. Can he take his game up a notch? That's the question that has to be answered because all prospects have to go to a higher level to succeed in the NFL. Look at the instances when he was up against another top prospect. Does he flash? Do you see something special in your crystal ball?
Dan from Milwaukee, WI
Who else had or has a flair for the dramatic?
That's easy: Bradshaw. From the "Immaculate Reception" to his final game, ol' Brad was nothing if he wasn't high drama. He recovered from and played with injury better than any player I ever covered. How about being knocked out cold on the bomb to Swann that won Super Bowl X? He had to be told what happened. My favorite was his final game, which was the final game in Shea Stadium history. He took so many painkiller shots in the arm before the game he could hardly feel the football, but twice he capped long touchdown drives with weak, wobbly touchdown passes before retiring to the sideline forever. When the moment got big, he got bigger. Four up, four down. I don't want the stats, I want the story.