"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Scott from Alaska
The Packers had an All-Pro center last season. If they have an average center in the coming year, what significant impact will the shift have on how the offense operates?
It's a game of replacement. In the salary cap era, you have to be willing to let players leave or you'll damage your future. We've debated this repeatedly: all in or protect the future? If it's protect the future, then you must trust your personnel department to find the next Corey Linsley. He was a fifth-round pick. His replacement is out there.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Vic, addressing the three teams you've covered and the draft: The Jags get their man, not mine, but he'll do. The Steelers will, as they most often do, draft a football player. The Packers will draft a player who seems to check most of the boxes but will leave the fan base wishing for more. What is so confounding about the Green Bay approach is they don't seem to understand they lack the personality to be a viable defense, not the athletic ability. Just drafting Tarzans will accomplish nothing.
One player can change a team's personality. Joe Greene did that for the Steelers. Reggie White did that for the Packers. The Packers need to find that player.
John from Charlottesville, VA
I'd like your honest opinion about Brian Gutekunst as GM. He seems to draft well early on but is hit or miss later in the draft. His evaluation of Rodgers seemed to be off when he drafted Love. He has drafted All-Pros and also whiffed in the second and third rounds. I know the draft is a crap shoot but is he leading the team well? For the life of me, I can't understand the direction he has for the franchise. What is his vision?
Gutekunst is an astute evaluator of talent. His vision is consistent with the team's vision: Build a strong roster that, coupled with sound salary cap management, sustains winning. He was absolutely the right choice to lead the Packers. His first draft produced Jaire Alexander but lacked depth. His second draft is beginning to look better. I don't like the Love pick. Give Gutekunst time. He's building a roster.
Ben from Alameda, CA
Where would Jordan Love fit in this draft?
I get the sense he would fall after Kyle Trask. Where will Trask fall? I think that's one of the big questions in this draft.
Tom from Brookfield, WI
I seem to recall you having concerns with the Murphy/Gutekunst model. Now that it's been in place for some time, what's your opinion on the model's effectiveness and on their individual performances?
I distinctly remember supporting the new model. I remember writing about how football operations had become a fiefdom in Ted Thompson's final years, especially after the Lambeau Field remodeling. I completely support the new model. I think it's critically important for the football side and the business side of a franchise to be linked and accountable to the overall product. Under Thompson, that wasn't the case. Football was a feed-me machine. They got whatever they wanted and were answerable to no one. This is better. Individual performances? What part of 26-6 don't you like?
Carter from Fernandina Beach, FL
Vic, I imagine your comments regarding Trevor Lawrence on Monday led to an interesting inbox on Tuesday. Yet, aren't the questions/issues you raise exactly the kinds of questions/issues an NFL GM must address and answer regarding every draft pick, let alone the first pick in the draft? That said, if you were acting as the Jags' GM, is there any other pick you would make at No. 1? If Lawrence's name isn't on the card turned into the league, I would imagine it would be torches and pitchforks and tar and feathers coming to One Stadium Place.
So what would it be if Lawrence is a bust? Oh, that's OK, everyone said he was the right pick? It doesn't work that way. A franchise twists and turns with every first-round pick it makes. It agonizes over what player it should select. I haven't seen enough agonizing by the Jaguars. This pick was made months ago. Is there another player I would pick with the first overall selection? I don't think that's the right question to ask. Lawrence belongs in the top spot. The question is should the Jaguars trade that pick and collect the king's ransom that would help the Jaguars rebuild quickly? Could they trade the pick and still get the quarterback they need? I haven't seen enough debate along those lines.
Douglas from Binghamton, NY
What, in your opinion, would be a successful draft on paper for the Packers?
Two long-term starters is considered a good draft. Two starters and roster depth is a very good draft. Anything above that is a blockbuster.
Andrew from Linden, VA
Do you think the Falcons would take Jordan Love for Julio? If not, what do you think it would take?
You want to trade a first-round quarterback who has yet to take a snap from center for a wide receiver of declining skills and who would be easily replaced by a draft pick? What is this, a thank you for the Brett Favre deal?
Eric from Appleton, WI
Why couldn't the 1999 Jaguars beat the Titans?
The Jaguars wouldn't run the ball. If they had just given Fred the ball they would've won the game and they would've beaten the Rams in the Super Bowl.
Bob from Australia
Vic, I completely understand and cherish your answer regarding team journalism. I did wonder, however, whether the old Jacksonville advice about never embarrassing the team might ever clash with always publishing news you see. What if there was no way to write an inside news story without embarrassing the team? Thanks for the great insights.
Bob, where are we going with this? It's a team website. Why would you go to a team website expecting to read an expose on the team?
Max from Toledo, OH
How do the Steelers keep picking great coaches? Who makes the call?
Dan Rooney was the driving force in hiring Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin. His son, Art II, will make the next pick. It will be the most important decision to that point in his time as team president.
Michael from Sanford, FL
Regarding Dustin from Orlando, "The Jaguars donated $11,203 to Trevor Lawrence as a wedding gift to give to his charities. He, in turn, donated $20,000 to Jaguars charities. Something about this rubs me the wrong way. I'm assuming it's allowed but it just doesn't sit well with me. What's your take on it, Vic?" That's a significant misrepresentation of facts. Jags fans bought him and his wife a high-tech toaster and then kept at it by donating money to charities he supports. In return, they donated $20K to charities based in Jacksonville. The Jaguars organization had nothing to do with any of it, and that detail seems important to me.
My answer remains the same: Too close too soon. You people are so love-struck with Lawrence you're acting like teenage girls. Buy him a wedding gift?
Gregory from Milwaukee, WI
What are some of the best movies you have watched in 2021?
Ben-Hur. I only watch old movies, when they make it to TV. The last time I was in a theater was to see "Concussion." My job required I see it. I remember Mark Murphy walking into the theater as I was sitting there. We later shared our thoughts.
Eric from Lansing, MI
Vic, is there a sleeper in this year's large crop of quarterbacks? Who do you think will be the most surprising, if not the best pick?
Kyle Trask is not a sleeper, but his stock appears to have fallen and I think he could become the steal of the draft. He could turn out to be the best of the quarterbacks.
Steve from New Britain, CT
The click bait suggests Love needs to be traded for a draft pick now to capitalize on his value. Would GM Vic agree? Would someone else be a better backup?
Love wasn't picked to be a backup. He's the future. I think the pick was premature, but it was made and the best course is to stick with it. If you trade him now and he becomes a star, it would be worse than the John Hadl deal. It would be Favre in reverse.
Tim from Lancaster, PA
There's understandably been a lot of talk about Lawrence and the No. 1 pick, but who should the Jaguars be looking at with their other first-rounder?
They should pick from the top of their board. Their needs are many. A good player at any position would be a good fit for them.
Renaud from Paris, France
Which team do you see going crazy during the draft, and why the Bears?
Maybe they'll draft a kicker in the first round.
Morgan from Little Chute, WI
I'm very excited for this year's draft. Something big is going to happen in Green Bay. I just feel it.
A wide receiver in each of the first two rounds? Wow! That would be so exciting.