"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
David from Madison, WI
Orwell wrote, "Mechanization leads to a decay of taste, the decay of taste leads to the demand for machine-made articles and, hence, to more mechanization, and so a vicious cycle is established." Does this idea apply to media? Humor? I hope you feel as good as you look.
I always viewed my job with a simple formula in mind: See it, feel it, write it. Jim Murray lost his eyesight but he could still feel and write. I never felt machine-like. I could always feel the storyline, as well as underlying storylines, and find the words inside me. They weren't always great words, but they were my words. I've always tried to write from my heart.
Nicholas from Owego, NY
Which NFL rookie are you most excited to watch?
It's a three-way tie: Rashan Gary, Josh Allen, Devin Bush.
Dan from Davenport, IA
Since the draft, I've read a number of experts who think Rashan Gary has a high chance of being a bust. While I know only time will tell with Gary, I am wondering if you can give an example of a player taken early in the draft who the draftniks thought had high bust potential but turned out to be a success in line with where he was drafted.
Franco Harris comes to mind. He was the 13th pick of his draft. His head coach didn't even like the pick.
Ross from L'Anse, MI
"Get 'em good or get 'em gone" may be my favorite Vicism. When do you decide to get 'em gone? How patient are you going to be?
In year one, you have to be patient with the player. In year two, you have to be patient with yourself. In year three, it's get 'em good or get 'em gone.
Milan from New York
You often mention Lynn Swann and his grace and beauty on the field, and rightly so. My first live NFL game was Browns at Giants at a frigid Yankee Stadium in 1967. I was taken aback by how primitive it was, just a bunch of guys falling on top of each other, with one exception. Like a gazelle among a herd of cattle, Paul Warfield. I spent most of the game, when the Browns had the ball, watching him run patterns.
Warfield might be the most talented receiver in history, but nobody is going to state that opinion because Warfield only caught 427 passes; Jerry Rice caught nearly four times as many. Of course, Warfield played in the run-the-ball era, as Swann did. Rice couldn't run or jump as Warfield and Swann did, he wasn't as athletic, and Rice played his career with the aid of gloves; Warfield and Swann played au naturel. I encourage all young fans to look beyond the stats. Football's history is fascinating. I think it's every bit as strong as baseball's.
Scott from Little Rock, AR
Do you recall if Tony Pauline had an opinion of Jason Spriggs as a second-round draft choice? What is your opinion of the pick now? Thanks for your column!
Tony thought Spriggs looked like Tarzan, played like Jane. I think it's time to get him good or get him gone.
Deb from Camarillo, CA
I'm visiting Wisconsin for Mother's Day and shocked by the Journal Sentinel front page article by Tom Silverstein, "Cracks in the Pack?" Your thoughts?
First of all, Tom is a sensational reporter. Be that as it may, these anonymous-attribution exposes on the Packers have become a little too trendy for my tastes. Hire a five-million-dollar special teams coach? Not on a team I own. That's absurd. Strongly encouraged to retain Mike Pettine? That's surprising? They just hired him. Payoffs are a you know what, and it's a you know what having to pay the salaries of coaches who are coaching against you. When Bill Cowher was hired, he was told Dick Hoak would remain the team's running backs coach. Hoak was a Steeler for life. That kind of thing happens all of the time. It's not heavy-handed or meddling, it's sound management by ownership that was there before the coach arrived and will be there after the coach is gone. Coaches should not be granted a blank check or free rein. That's what creates football fiefdoms. There needs to be oversight. Mark Murphy is being wronged with this stuff.
David from Washington, DC
I was just watching some "Legion of Boom" highlights and they were really good. It's crazy it took about five superstars to make that defense what it was. So much is needed to dominate on that side of the ball.
At the least, it takes an in-space pass rusher, and in-line butt kicker, a let-me-alone cover corner and eight role-players.
Adam from Chippewa Falls, WI
If Ron Wolf didn't hire the right head coach or understand free agency better than anyone else at its dawn, his first trade would have never achieved greatness.
He won one Super Bowl. If that's the standard of greatness, then Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy also achieved greatness. McCarthy only made one mistake. He stayed. The rest of them, including Lombardi, left before the wolves began to howl. McCarthy was punished for his commitment.
Jordan from LaCrosse, WI
What will we all be talking about 20 years from now?
If what we see on TV could be computer-generated visually, I honestly believe the NFL could be as successful as it is today without having to build stadiums, pay players, coaches, etc. I honestly believe characters (players, coaches, game officials) could be created and scripted in such a way to captivate audiences. Bad calls, replay reviews and controversies could be scripted weekly to create a kind of football soap opera. Sports writers would rule the game! Maybe that's where we're headed.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
When will we know if LaFleur has what it takes to be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers?
We already know he has what it takes to be the head coach of the Green Bay Packers because he is the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. What you want to know is when will we know if he has what it takes to be a winning coach? We'll know it when we see it.
Jake from Wisconsin
On paper, it appears the defense has much more talent than the past few years. Could you please provide your opinion on the chances of Green Bay's defense ending up in the top 10 for scoring? What about top five?
You mean points allowed? Let me put it this way: After what the Packers have invested on the defensive side of the ball the last two years, if the performance of this defense doesn't begin trending toward the top third of the league, the team needs to begin questioning its DNA.
Ethan from Ontario, Canada
Rodgers looked more excited when talking about LaFleur's offense than I’ve seen him in quite some time. It’s nice to see offseason hope extend to the players, as well. Everyone seems excited about the Packers offseason. Are you?
I swallowed the baloney (I didn't call it baloney) back in 2008 with the Jaguars. I tap-danced and sang happy songs all offseason long. I didn't want to do it; I felt I owed it to them. When the season ended 5-11, I apologized and promised I would never do it again. Yes, I have high hopes for the Packers this season, but to this point I've been able to control my excitement.
Kevin from Silverdale, WA
Vic, I am keeping an open mind with the current receiving corps because they really did flash at times last year. The real reason for my belief in them, though, stems from your counsel to people who said Adams was a bust halfway though his second year.
He was a boundary receiver who didn't find the boundary until that playoff game in Washington. That was the turning point. In every player, identify what you believe can be his role, and then hold him to that standard. It was easy for me to identify Davante Adams as a boundary-type receiver. I haven't been able to identify roles for the current cast of young receivers. That needs to happen this season. When it does, confidence in their futures and contributions will grow.
Brian from Kingston, NY
I saw a report the Cardinals offense will be run out of shotgun 99 percent of the time. Is Kliff Kingsbury destined to be another Chip Kelly, or does this have a chance to work?
It's the future of the game: spread formations intended to create favorable matchups, an up-tempo pace intended to increase the plays count, mobile quarterbacks extending plays and stretching defenses sideline to sideline. Kelly didn't have the players to do it. Make no mistake, that kind of offense is more about scheming personnel than it is about scheming schemes. You have to have the talent to win in space. Kingsbury is a Kelly kind of college coach. Kingsbury's success or failure will determine whether pro football is ready, yet, to step into its future.