"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
John from Jacksonville, FL
I think one of the greatest examples of sportsmanship in any sport is at the end of a Stanley Cup playoff series when the players line up at center ice to shake hands. In your years of covering the NFL, what was the greatest example of sportsmanship you witnessed?
One moment leaps to mind. It was a game in the Astrodome in 1980. The Oilers effectively ended the Steelers' dynasty with a 6-0 win. In the final moments of that game, the Steelers failed on a fourth-down play from near their goal line and the Oilers took possession. I was standing near the Oilers' sideline at the time. When Bum Phillips saw his offense line up in regular-play formation, he ran down the sideline yelling "no, no." The Oilers then took a knee to end the game. It was a memorable moment mostly because it was symbolic of the respect Phillips had for an opponent that had beaten his team in two consecutive AFC title games. Bum was a man of honor and principle. So was the man on the other sideline. These moments are more important than the outcomes of games.
John from Sioux Falls, SD
There is so much talk of NFL journalists like Adam Schefter being manipulated by agents to deliver negotiating tactics as news. I wonder, did you ever feel like an agent was trying to negotiate through you? Does it even matter as long as you recognize it?
I often felt the people I interviewed were attempting to manipulate me. I just reported what was said. The reader decides who and what to believe.
Steve from Phoenix, AZ
I used to be cynical when you dismissed people's reluctance to admit it's about the money. We want it to be about loyalty, competition, camaraderie, you know, about professionalism. Now watching the Rodgers debacle, I agree the Packers organization is showing its desperation. I find myself wishing Rodgers would be man enough to make it about the money. I get it now. It should be about the money; that's professionalism.
Professional -- Following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain. If it's not about the money, it's not professional football.
Jimmy from Jacksonville, FL
I don't understand the negativity NFL fans and some media have for Urban Meyer. People saying Urban is "above his head" and "doesn't know what he is doing" before he even enters his first NFL training camp bewilders me. Is it jealousy? The historic football ire against the city of Jacksonville? What's this longing for Urban to fail so bad and whatever happened to the wait and see approach?
Coach Meyer has a used car salesman type of personality, which is common to a lot of college coaches. Baloney, if you know what I mean, is in the job description. There's a suspicion of deceit college coaches must bear and that's the negativity you're sensing. Coach Meyer can erase that stain by winning on the NFL level. The draft and the salary cap will make him an honorable man.
Micah from San Diego, CA
Vic, how long before Justin Herbert makes Chargers games one of the hardest tickets to get instead of one of the easiest and cheapest, like it has been recently?
What you're asking is can Herbert flip the Los Angeles fan base from Rams fans to Chargers fans? Yes, he can.
Alberto from Barcelona, Spain
Since becoming a football fan, I have read that better to draft a QB before you need one. So, was it a mistake to draft Love when AR already was 37?
You're living in the past, Alberto. This is the plug and play era.
Isaac from Columbia, TN
In your opinion, what separates the all-time great running backs from the really good ones? I would also like your opinion on the same question about wide receivers.
All great players have at least one dominant skill, and all great players share one dominant trait, longevity. In other words, a great player uses his dominant skill to achieve success over a long career.
Will from Salt Lake, UT
Five QBs now. Is that a good or bad indicator of the status of the position? I know it's training camp, but that seems excessive.
You want to take at least four quarterbacks to training camp. Don't read too much into roster bodies at this time of year.
Mitch from Brown Deer, WI
What did you think of Chip Kelly as a head coach? Was he ahead of his time?
He was more of a sign of the times. Mike McCarthy was from the same school of up tempo and high play count, but not to the extreme Kelly took it. I can remember McCarthy taking delight in a practice that produced more plays than were in the script. He'd say, "We were plus five today." He used play count to grade the quality of the practice. I think his emphasis on tempo was a big reason his teams played well in hot-weather games; their play-count conditioning kept them from wilting. As the game softens, and that trend will continue, the emphasis on offense and tempo will also continue.
James from United Kingdom
Vic, if Rodgers has said his reason for holding out is about having a difference of opinion on the vision of the team, what do you think his vision is? Calling his own plays? Making personnel decisions? If Brady never got a say, I don’t see why Rodgers should.
Here's a vision: Win the NFC title game.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
If there's a room in heaven for complicated fellas, please let me join. I'm pretty sure I won't be bumping into Ted Thompson in that room. I guess I wouldn't expect to see Mike McCarthy in there, either. Probably not many, if any, linebackers. But, I sure hope to see Vic there. Or, do you think he would rather be uncomplicated?
Vic is not a complicated fella.
Mike from McFarland, WI
Are there ever any new innovations in cap management in the same way playbooks are always evolving and recycling over time? Or are all the same tools and tricks teams use now the same ones they've been using for 20 years to manage the cap?
The cap tricks with which I'm familiar all evolved early in the process. First came the salary to bonus conversion tactic. The Jaguars were the king of that strategy. They used it to convert every player on their roster and pin themselves in a salary cap problem that might've left them unable to get under the cap in 2002 if the Texans expansion draft hadn't saved them. At about the same time, the Broncos popularized voidables. Now, voidables are all the rage. They're a means of pre-cutting a player. The Eagles used roster bonus to pre-pay players and create room in forward years by taking big hits in the current year. I think it's a great strategy for teams rebuilding. Since then, I haven't seen anything too imaginative. I think the Patriots, Saints and Steelers have recently shown us how to wind down the dead money of star quarterbacks nearing retirement. It is clearly a strategy and requires advance planning.
Mark from Tennessee
Vic, how beneficial would it be towards the Packers' cap if Rodgers does not play this year?
It would be hugely beneficial but I don't see it happening. If this situation stays the same, I see Rodgers waltzing into Green Bay at some point prior to the start of the season, and then the real turmoil would begin. Imagine benching Jordan Love in the midst of an impressive preseason. I repeat, the Packers must achieve resolution.
Bruce from Washburn, WI
What is your favorite weather condition for a game in an open stadium and why?
Cloudy, calm and 50. I think that's football weather.
John from Madison, WI
Why are we assuming if Aaron Rodgers does not return, then Jordan Love will have to be thrown into the starting role? The Packers (signed) Blake Bortles for a reason. Wouldn't he step in if Love is not ready?
That's the worst possible result.