"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Dale from Lodi, WI
What will the media do now that anonymous sources have forever been tarnished?
I'm not sure to what you are referring, but I can tell you anonymous sources are only as good as the reporter using them. Good reporters cultivate reliable sources. Good readers learn to trust the name in the byline.
John from Sioux Falls, SD
What do you think the current player perception is of playing in Green Bay? Growing up in the '70's and '80's, getting traded to or drafted by Green Bay was like being shipped to Siberia. Is it still considered a cold country backwater for players, or does winning fix all of that?
Green Bay is a desirable location for players. The facilities are state of the art and the franchise has a reputation for treating its players with homage-like respect. A friendly airport adjacent to Lambeau Field is also attractive to players who like to use free-time opportunities to go back home. The world is a smaller place now. There are no backwater franchises.
Barry from Portage, WI
It's been said opportunities not taken are life's real regrets. Are there opportunities in your career you regret not taking?
If I had declined opportunities to go to Jacksonville and Green Bay, my regret would be acute.
Jason from Austin, TX
Vic, if you could add or remove one rule that would tilt the scales back toward the defense, or to neutral, what would you do?
I would add five yards to the chuck rule. Completing passes has become too easy.
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
Vic, Foles isn't the answer and neither is Trubisky. Do you care to speculate about where the 2020 Chicago Bears would be if they had picked Patrick Mahomes (or Deshaun Watson, for that matter), rather than reach for Trubisky?
The Packers would be playing for a wild card.
Tyler from Green Bay, WI
What's your take on Kyler Murray? Is he "The Man?" Every time I get a chance to watch him play, I'm amazed at his speed and his ability to make defensive linemen look like they're standing still when he runs by them. I must say, though, he has an awkward throwing motion. Is his throwing motion correctable?
He’s "The Man," so why would you mess with his throwing motion and run the risk of screwing him up? Murray is a "new age" quarterback, which is to say he does as much or more with his feet as he does with his arm. I watched the Panthers hold Murray to 133 yards passing. He looked ordinary that day. I remember thinking to myself, "In the pocket, he's a little guy with average passing skills. That's where you have to make him play."
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
What's a more attractive situation for a GM and coach, the Texans with no draft picks and "The Man," or the Jaguars with a lot of draft picks but no QB.
The Texans are probably more attractive because it won't take much to turn them around. The Texans offer quick-fix patch potential. I would be more attracted to the Jaguars because I like the picks. I think they give the Jaguars long-term home run potential.
Tim from Jacksonville, FL
The Cowboys took a lot of criticism for not retaliating against the head shot Dalton got in the Washington game. Which player you covered in the past would be first to defend his quarterback?
Jack Lambert. He'd even rush to the defense of his kicker.
Dave from Savage, MN
I still hear a lot of media saying/writing the loss of revenue in 2020 will cause the cap to be greatly reduced and teams will have to cut players to make it under the cap. I can't think the league and the players wouldn't make some compromise on the cap to prevent this. How do you see this working out for next year's cap?
For the umpteenth time, there will have to be a reset year negotiated into the CBA. It will happen. The pandemic has caused special circumstances in all walks of life. We're finding new ways to live and deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Eric from Colorado Springs, CO
With Coronavirus cases on the rise among players, coaches and the general population, why is the NFL letting fans into the stands? Are the profits from 15,000-20,000 people really changing their bottom line all that much? Is it a political statement from the owners? Is it to quiet the howl of the wolves? To me it sends a very confusing and disjointed message.
Safety guidelines are permitting it but, as the cold weather sets in and Covid cases spike, those guidelines will likely stiffen. My compliments go to the Big 10 for the way it's handled the pandemic. My hope is they'll throw Nebraska out of the conference.
T.J. from Tampa, FL
What’s going on in New England? Two decades of bottom of the order drafting, or did Tom Brady tilt the field that much?
Belichick was 5-13 and on his way to being fired when he made Brady his starting quarterback. Now Belichick is 2-4 without Brady. Another year of this and Belichick will be on his way to being fired. Do I think he's a great coach? Absolutely. Players, not plays.
Bill from Menominee, MI
You've always entertained comments about certain broadcast personalities. How do you feel about Louis Riddick? I've personally enjoyed his football IQ and think he's a great addition to MNF, but I'm curious of your opinion.
I think he might be the most insightful of all the analysts, and I enjoying listening to him for awhile, but then he becomes professorial, causing me to lose the joy of sport to the tedium of analysis. That's when I mute the TV.
Mike from Somerset, WI
The loss of Danielle Hunter and the poor play of Kirk Cousins changed the Vikings' arrow. Do you see them going to cut and gut in the offseason?
Tom from Mt. Juliet, TN
When did tackling become trying to knock the ball carrier off his feet rather than driving your shoulder into the carrier and wrapping him with the arms? I'm also starting to see this more in college. Are fundamentals not being coached anymore?
Tacklers don't wrap with their arms because that would expose their ribs to injury, so they go with the stinger hit. It's a product of protective equipment being lightened and abandoned. When I began covering the NFL, players wore hip pads, thigh pads and knee pads. The breast plate on shoulder pads was larger and more protective. Those are all long gone, made extinct by the need for speed. The knee pads not only protected the knees of the ball carrier, they protected the ribs of the tackler.
Kamen from Bethel, CT
I understand fans love offense and the league loves offense, and defense just isn't as important or as capable as it used to be. I'm fine with that. But it really grinds me how everyone talking about the Falcons/Lions game feels the need to put the blame on Todd Gurley. Blame? For scoring a touchdown? I get the strategy of just using up the clock and going for a field goal, but doesn't the defense get some blame for allowing a touchdown with barely a minute to go and no timeouts?
I don't like it either, but it's the way the game is played today because it's become too easy to pass the football and nearly impossible to stop an offense on four consecutive downs. The league wants it that way because fans want offense. I'm not one of those fans.
Mike from McFarland, WI
Why didn't Belichick retire after losing Brady? He could have gone out a legend, the genius coach. Now it appears to the world it was Brady all along. Was it ego?
No! He continued to coach because he loves coaching. It's what he does and he's great at it. I fully expect Belichick to end his career coaching somewhere other than New England. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in New York. I'll tell you this: Coach Belichick knew it wasn't him, it was Brady. All great coaches know they owe their success to their players. Coach Noll said: "Some coaches pray for wisdom. I pray for 260-pound tackles. They'll give me plenty of wisdom." The size of those tackles has increased since then.
Amis from Norwich, UK
You were close with a lot of players. Did any of them ever ask you for advice in dealing with the media?
I had that conversation with lots of players. I always told them to establish a relationship with the media covering them. It's really not that difficult. Just let them know you have a regard for what they do; show interest in getting it right. I gravitated toward the players who enjoyed talking about football. Fred Taylor, Tony Boselli and Keenan McCardell were those guys in Jacksonville; Charles Woodson and James Jones in Green Bay. I remember an interview with Joe Greene being cut short. "Stop back and we'll finish this," Joe said. He wanted to get it right because it was important to him. A good reporter is going to protect that kind of source ... forever.