"Ask Vic" is published on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Jake from Knoxville, TN
What do you remember about Steve Blass? I was just reading about him and I realized we can soon add him to the list of sports records that will never be broken. No one’s ever going to pitch another complete game in Game Seven of the World Series while hitting for himself.
I remember he won the Cy Young Award in 1972 but lost his control the following season, went to the minors and was out of baseball following one start in '74. It can happen that quickly.
Justin from Delavan, WI
Have Green Bay fans forgotten quarterbacks at Rodgers' age can suddenly decline from an MVP form to waiver cut?
That's not a realistic expectation, but a decline due to age can be precipitous. It's usually accompanied by injury.
Eric from Lansing, MI
Vic, what do you think of Mike Tomlin as a coach and of his new three-year extension?
It was a no-brainer. He's a good coach. I like his boldness, not because of the strategy it brings to a particular game, but because of the big-picture challenge to his players to respond. Tomlin is a demanding coach. He's got the respect and support of his players, but he's not a player's coach. In that sense he reminds me of Coach Noll. Tomlin's team last season over-achieved early in the season and fell apart as the playoffs approached. He's the coach and he must shoulder the blame, but I've never perceived a lack of accountability from him.
Isaac from Abiquiu, NM
Vic, since drafting is such a crystal ball business, when do you know you've hit on a guy or have got a dud? Did you see or know of any signs that made Jerel Worthy or Datone Jones bad picks?
By the end of a player's rookie season, I think a team knows if it correctly evaluated the player. If it missed on its evaluation, then it needs to find ways to utilize the talent the player has. Role or position changes are often an indication the evaluation was off the mark. Worthy and Jones were bad fits. I sensed that right from the beginning. Worthy was a three-technique defensive tackle being asked to two-gap, and I remember on draft day defensive line coach Mike Trgovac questioning Jones' ability to play the Okie end.
Craig from Sheboygan, WI
Will Monday Night Football ever be what it once was? I remember when MNF came to your town, you were really in the spotlight.
It was never the same without Cosell.
Jon from Omaha, NE
Do you have any inkling on why my beloved Packers have drafted so poorly on defense during Aaron's era?
I think they tried to do too much. That might've been a product of drafting so low in the order. Often they appeared to be trying to catch lightning in a bottle. Khyri Thornton and Carl Bradford were head-scratching picks.
Mark from Sturgeon Bay, WI
Can a personnel department (GM, scouts, etc.) be better at picking players on one side of the ball vs. the other?
It happens that way. The Steelers have a poor record when picking defensive backs.
Dustin from Orlando, FL
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?
Too close too soon.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL
Mock drafts are everywhere, especially at this time of year. What are your feelings on them?
They're good for identifying team needs and where players fit in the order, if they're authored by a credible draftnik.
Dave from Madison, WI
How are medical expenses covered in the NFL? Does each team have an insurance plan for their players to cover surgeries and rehab? The premiums must be sky-high?
Medical liability is so great it has protected the NFL from competing leagues.
Alberto from Barcelona, Spain
One week ahead of the draft, your preferred picks for Steelers and Packers?
The Steelers need a pass rusher, a cornerback, a running back and a left tackle, not in that order. I'm also greatly interested in how far Kyle Trask will have fallen. He would be an outstanding fit for them. The Steelers are rebuilding; they have many needs. The Packers need big guys.
Scott from Issaquah, WA
What did you think of the recent statements by Trevor Lawrence he has no chip on his shoulder and doesn’t need football? I find the honesty refreshing.
What chip could he have on his shoulder? He was the No. 1 prospect coming out of high school, won a national championship as a true freshmen and has been the consensus first pick of his draft since then. Has he ever faced adversity?
Victor from Mt. Horeb, WI
With the increased length of the season and both Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love on their roster, are the Packers in the best position of all teams in the league to weather their quarterback sustaining a serious injury?
Love hasn't played a down. Even the stinky Bears have two quarterbacks who were long-time starters, one of whom won a Super Bowl. I can't consider the Packers deep at quarterback until I see Love play at least one meaningful game. At this point in time, we know nothing more of Love than he was a first-round pick.
Bob from Milwaukee, WI
How have the boundaries of professionalism changed in the role you played for the team over the course of your career?
I don't think the tenets of sports reporting have changed -- you write a story and stand by it -- but the physical boundaries have changed inasmuch as reporters who cover the team are being kept at a much greater distance. When I began covering the NFL, reporters were welcome and appreciated for their contribution toward popularizing professional football. My press credential was a badge of honor and membership. Now, it's the equivalent of the "Scarlet Letter."
Pistol from Illinois
Do you feel Mason Rudolph can be a good starting QB or do the Steelers go in a different direction after this year?
I don't think Rudolph is their future and my opinion is mostly the result of the contract deadline the Steelers are facing. Rudolph is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next year. It's a situation similar to what the Packers faced with Matt Flynn in 2011. The addition of Dwayne Haskins also suggests to me the Steelers are preparing to lose Rudolph. Should the Steelers draft a quarterback, I would expect the Steelers to attempt to trade Rudolph.
Matt from Madison, WI
So much for leaguethink in European soccer. What would happen if some of the richest teams in the NFL tried to start their own football league?
To avoid pooling the revenue? A few would rise to the top, parity would suffer and viewership would decline.