"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Samuel from Jacksonville, FL
What are you looking for from Trevor Lawrence during the preseason?
I want to see evidence of the physical talent that made him the first overall pick. I'm not concerned about his command of the offense or his ability to maneuver through the route tree and his progressions. All of that is for later in his development. In the beginning, I want to see evidence of a player who tilts the field. That's what the first pick of the draft is supposed to do.
Scott from Lincoln City, OR
I was very surprised to not see Adams right after Rodgers on your cut and gut list. Was that an oversight since he's made it known he wants to be the highest-paid receiver in the league, or do you think he's the cream of the dime-a-dozen crop and worth keeping?
He's in the final year of his contract. He wouldn't have to be cut; his time with the Packers would expire and he'd become a free agent who would break the bank and bring the Packers major compensatory draft pick consideration.
Aiden from Jacksonville, FL
I am genuinely not exactly sure why I would ask you this; no offense. Maybe because you speak about sports and life in general with much historical context. My question: Do you see the middle class totally diminished? Banks are buying real estate and prices are going through the roof; median wages are completely stagnant. I know this is probably an old tale told. This American dream seems like a long lost idea that was probably thriving when you were younger. Any thoughts?
When I was young, people lived in company homes and shopped in company stores. Heavy industry was in control of our lives. It poisoned our air, our water and us, and then it left without warning, leaving us with the wreckage to repair and to somehow find new jobs and a new way to live. That American dream? When I made it to adulthood and it was time to buy my first house, interest rates were on their way to 16 percent. That American dream? Aiden, I get what you're saying, but there have always been challenges to the American dream, from the Great Depression to the economic collapse of 2008. "If you can dream and not make dreams your master."
David from San Francisco, CA
You aren’t surprised? You wanted to trade a franchise quarterback a year ahead of schedule for lesser draft returns because of drama that evidently could be fixed unsurprisingly by one single press conference?
It's OK to be a hater, but please don't misrepresent my position. I didn't advocate trading Rodgers for lesser returns, I advocated trading him prior to the draft for a huge haul of picks that would launch the Packers into a new era. What would the Rams or 49ers have given the Packers for Rodgers? It was an opinion I even expressed before Rodgers' "beautiful mystery" press conference. Fixed by a single press conference? I doubt it.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
How was your summer?
This has been the worst touron invasion since I've lived here. Previously, the touron season was Memorial Day through the first week of August, when school began. Since the pandemic began, the touron season has been endless, with the heavy summer concentration beginning earlier and lasting longer. I find myself avoiding the food store and restaurants. I went to one a few weeks ago, early in the afternoon to beat the dinner rush. We were the last people they served and it was three o'clock in the afternoon. They didn't have enough help to keep the place open and they ran out of ice and food. I guess nobody has time to work because they're all on vacation. Now that's what I call an American dream.
Jack from Chicago, IL
What do you make of Josh Allen’s new contract in Buffalo? Is the rush because he is young and ascending?
Dan from Waupun, WI
Brady said the NFLPA should wake up. The resale value of the teams went up. Last year the owners lost some money, the players didn't. The only people that should wake up are fans. Cable TV keeps going up. Tickets go up. Anything football related goes up. Should fans run a "don't buy NFL" for a year? Should office employees go on strike? I guess some don't get the value of $20 million? Did you make $20 million being a sports writer?
No, but I got free hot dogs.
Daniel from Richmond, TX
Given the cap situation and Rodgers’ contract details, I struggle to see any realistic scenario in which he stays in Green Bay after this year. Is there any plausible scenario where that happens?
Sure there is. Rodgers wants to remain with the Packers, the Packers want to retain him and the two sides negotiate a new contract that converts salary to signing bonus and pushes his cap hit into the future. The team then does that to other top-salaried players and signs Adams to a new contract that's heavy in bonus and light in salary in year one, which helps create room in '22 to make another run at a championship. Instead of a cut and gut, it's a re-structure and push out. Instead of how do you wish to die, it's when do you wish to die?
Max from Memphis, TN
Early in the season, does it make sense to use all sorts of looks future opponents must prepare against, or is it more important to learn to run your bread and butter well?
Once the season begins, you do what you do well, with the idea your command of the playbook will grow as the season progresses. I understand what you're suggesting and I advocate one trick-type play a game your future opponents will see on tape and might cause hesitation, but you're only hurting yourself if you spend Sundays practicing the playbook.
Beth from Eau Claire, WI
Is it easier to fool Vic than to convince him he's been fooled? As a reader with a limited understanding of your stubbornness and cocksure thought patterns, methinks it is.
Don't be cute, just say it.
Jan from Minneapolis, MN
If you had to wake up with a tattoo, what would you want it to be?
Mitch from Baileys Harbor, MI
For statistical recording, does a pitch count as a pass or a handoff?
If it's forward, it's a pass. I wouldn't mind some revision of the rules regarding behind-the-line-of-scrimmage forward passes. It chafes me when shovel passes and jet-sweep forward pitches are ruled incompletions. I think a forward pass in the tackle box should be regarded as a handoff.
Mike from Milwaukee, WI
What does a team do when their long-snapper is forced out of the game due to injury with three quarters remaining? Don't be glib.
All teams have a backup long-snapper.
Blake from Chattanooga, TN
Multiple articles have described veterans and rookies text messaging coaches at night as an example of their professionalism, but isn't part of professionalism also being able to compartmentalize one's work from one's personal life? Does being a professional football player in today's game mean worshiping at the altar of the franchise, at the expense of all else? I've a new respect for how much these players sacrifice.
For most players, pro football is short-lived. It's a passionate and intense pursuit until they move on to their life's work. The financial reward, if banked, can launch a young man into a lucrative business career.
Jack from Middleton, WI
How long did it take national writers to recognize Earl Campbell's unique talents?
I covered Campbell in a Monday night game in his rookie season. He was the star of that game. The world knew by then.