"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F during the football season.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What will it mean that Dalvin Cook won't play tonight?
I think it means the Packers will win. My first prediction on this game was based on the expectation Cook would play. Since then, he has been ruled out. I can't imagine the Vikings winning without Cook. His absence will allow the Packers to subtract attention from stopping the run and focus on their pursuit of Kirk Cousins. This could be a sack fest tonight. Somebody up above likes the Packers. They go to Kansas City and Mahomes is out, now they go to Minnesota and Cook won't play, and should the Packers have to win in Detroit next week, they won't have to do it against Matt Stafford.
Richard from Clearwater, MN
In your mind, what are the keys to victory in the battle for the NFC North on Monday night?
I think the Packers need to throw the ball and rush the quarterback. The Vikings are No. 18 against the pass (No. 8 against the run), which I consider an invitation for Aaron Rodgers to tilt the field against Kirk Cousins. With Cook out, the Packers should be able to focus their attention on sacking Cousins.
Kelvin from Kenilworth, UK
What was the knock on Lock in the draft? Denver looks like they have "The Man" and arguably the best of the rookie QBs so far.
Small hands was the knock I saw. That was the knock on Dan Marino, too. Everyone agreed Lock has a great arm. He was a fast-riser in the postseason and he didn't have enough time to get into the first round. I liked him a lot and thought he could be the steal of the draft. I thought the Packers might take him with their second first-round pick.
Josh from Madison, WI
I imagine Landry and Noll and Lombardi and Parcells would also have difficulties adjusting their methods to abide by the current CBA. I don't mean to place blame or make excuses for anyone involved. It feels like there's a lesson here but I can't figure out what it is.
The lesson is one voice doesn't work anymore. A head coach has to surround himself with experts in their disciplines. He needs a cap man who'll say we're paying too much cash over cap, a legal mind who knows what the CBA allows, a GM with a long-range personnel plan and the authority to execute it, a medical team with the player's health as its main concern, and an owner who's in the building every day working in concert with the coach to guide the team in a positive direction. Lombardi was from a one-voice era. Landry and Noll began the era of multiple voices. Parcells was foolish for wanting to do the shopping; George Young gave Parcells everything he needed to win championships.
Travis from Indianapolis, IN
Vic, in the offseason you mentioned you didn’t see the hype in the Packers' young receivers. It appears you were right. Are the new undrafted guys the answer as the Packers head toward the postseason, or still dime-a-dozen after Adams?
I remember also saying "you can't draft everybody." I was surprised the Packers didn't tap into that run on wide receivers in last spring's draft, but they had targeted players at other positions of need and maneuvered accordingly. I think we might be forgetting the desperate state of the Packers' roster when Brian Gutekunst inherited it. It needed a nearly total rebuild on defense. Two years of addressing that need on defense will probably turn the Packers' attention to offense this year, in the draft and maybe even in free agency.
Jerry from Savannah, GA
Vic, where does gamesmanship end and cheating begin? Is it gamesmanship or cheating when the headsets are intentionally shut off? Should there be a difference between the two?
Gamesmanship is a violation of the spirit of the rules, cheating is a violation of the rules.
Scott from Little Rock, AR
National pundits are saying the Packers offense is good on the script but not so good making adjustments in the second half. I tend to agree. What do you see?
Didn't they say the same thing last season? I think the "national pundits" to which you refer are play-calling wannabes who enjoy impressing their audience with their command of football terminology and strategy. I see a football team that has won 11 games despite having one of the worst combined offense/defense total yardage rankings in the league. I think it says they're doing more with less.
Jeff from Alexandria, VA
Can you explain the origin of the rule about kicking out of bounds being penalized so stiffly? Seems like an odd rule.
It's been that way for as long as I can remember. Stiff? Once upon a time, an incomplete pass in the end zone in college football was a turnover and a touchback.
Steven from Pueblo, CO
Vic, what prompted Art Modell to move the Browns from Cleveland?
Art wanted the city to build him a new stadium. Instead, they built the Indians a new ballpark, which angered Art, so the city gave Art a sweetheart deal on old Cleveland Stadium. It sold it to him for a mere $100,000. Art chortled mightily, bragging about all the money he'd make from bringing rock concerts to the stadium he now owned. Then he found out the poles holding the place up had rusted to the thickness of a pencil and the stadium was slowly sinking into Lake Erie. Behind closed doors in city hall, they were probably laughing at Art for having bought the old rust bucket and finding out he was going to have to spend millions just to keep it from being condemned. Now Art was really angry. Then he found out the city was spending millions to build a rock and roll hall of fame right next to the rust bucket he owned, and that's when Art picked up the phone and called Baltimore.
Zach from Virginia Beach, VA
Vic, what would you do about the QB position if you were the Titans? Is either Tannehill or Mariota worth another year to look over or would you look to the draft or free agency for a reset?
Mariota's days in Tennessee are over. Tannehill is the starter and will own the job heading into next season, but I think the Titans should try to address the position in the draft.
John from Green Bay, WI
Vic, any thoughts on reports the NFL may simplify coin toss language in the wake of the Dak Prescott situation? It seems odd to me professionals who have been playing this game their whole lives and have been specifically chosen by the head coach to be at midfield for the coin toss can have issues clearly communicating their choice. As you have clearly explained time and time again, it's not rocket science.
How much simpler can the language be made? If you win the coin toss, say kick, receive, defend or defer; just say one of those words. If you say receive, the referee will turn to your opponent and say, "Which goal do you wish to defend?" They don't even have to say a word, just point.
Dave from Chippewa Falls, WI
I don't think there have been many NFL games better than Chiefs-Dolphins on Christmas Day, 1971. Any memories?
I remember watching the game at a friend's house, and I remember Ed Podolak and Garo Yepremian. Three hundred and sixty-three days later, I would be witnessing something even more dramatic. Life moves fast when you're young.
Evan from Ann Arbor, MI
Team of destiny? The one seed is possible for the Packers. Please beat the Vikings.
Maybe Packers fans are being rewarded for having to endure that terrible hurt in Seattle in the 2014 NFC title game. I can't help but wonder because everything seems to be going their way. How big is that hands to the face now? Surely fate wouldn't be that cruel again. This can't possibly be a set up, can it?