"Ask Vic" will publish on Mondays and Thursdays through the offseason.
Cofy from Ontario, Canada
I was wondering, what would happen if (when the new stadium opens) the Chargers and Rams, or Giants and Jets were both hosting conference championships in the same year?
One would be played on Monday.
Adam from Chicago, IL
Are good plays the ones that work?
Yeah, and good plays are also the ones that help make other plays work. All those four-yard runs help set up that play-action pass that wins the game. As I've written, you don't call plays, you call a game plan.
Art from Edwardsville, IL
I am convinced the Packers' downfall started when they got rid of Eddie Lacy. Am I wrong?
The Packers need to find a runner who can force defenses to get that eighth man up in the box, as Lacy did. The 2017 draft was a blockbuster for running backs. Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, D'Onta Foreman, James Conner, Tarik Cohen and Marlon Mack were selected after the Packers made their first pick. The Packers selected Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Maybe one of those two will be the next Eddie Lacy.
JPS from Illinois
Vic, if you could pick one, what would you say is the hardest NFL hit you ever witnessed?
That I covered? I remember a Jerome Bettis/Donovin Darius head-on, full-speed collision that caused both men to recoil. It was Okoye/Atwater esque. The Donnie Shell hit that broke Earl Campbell's ribs made me gasp for air.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
Vic, as a millennial with all the information at my fingertips most of my life, I find game commentary is becoming more and more pointless. Do you think there will be a shift to more calm and well-chosen words before, during and after a snap? I really miss listening to Pat Summerall. Sometimes what he didn't say was all I really needed to hear.
The video game people want chalk talk, so I suppose the mind-numbing cover two crap will continue. I want someone who can capture the moment. I want someone who'll see Derwin James whiff on a tackle and say, "The Chargers aren't ready to play." Chatty said nothing.
Mary from New Richmond, WI
The players' council wanted "accountability and removal of complacency." Is it wrong of me to think this was a cop-out attitude? Just do your job! Did everyone think their jobs were safe, or am I missing something?
When I first read of the players' council, I said to myself, "That's baloney," except I didn't say baloney.
Matthew from Rolling Meadows, IL
Not only are the rule changes making it easier for QBs, they are allowing a different QB to play the game now. The kid from Oklahoma is listed at 5-10, 195. Those numbers may even be a little exaggerated. The NFL wants exciting.
The rules changes have increased the supply of quarterbacks. It's genius. Prior to the rules changes of 1978, NFL quarterbacks fit into a tight prototype. The evolution of the game, especially in recent years as the protections have been increased, have caused quarterbacks to come in all shapes and sizes. I'm not sure there is a prototype anymore. Creativity, right?
Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador
Vic, in your last column you said Coach Belichick out-coached Andy Reid. What did you see in that game?
Belichick shifted gears in the second half. He went to a ball-control running game and Reid had no answer for it.
Jon from Lynchburg, VA
A Big 12 quarterback finally won a playoff game! Is Mahomes one you would pick if you were starting a team today or is it a little too soon yet?
I think he's a sensational talent. Maybe he's the new prototype. I only see one thing I don't like. He tends to turn and commit his entire body to the throw. I think we might begin seeing defensive backs jump routes.
Jason from Austin, TX
Vic, I've been thinking of ways the XFL could one-up the NFL. For starters, I think they could create a lot of attention if they had a female-coached team (which I'm still surprised there isn't one in the NFL). Secondly, remove kickoffs. I don't care what alternative they go with, but it will mean that if the NFL ever decides to change their rules, it'll look like they're following the XFL. Thirdly, allow college players to leave college and play for the XFL, where they'll get paid. If Trevor Lawrence left college early to join the XFL, that would send waves across the league and send a message to high-profile recruits. I think the XFL could carve a chunk out of the NFL, if it really wanted to. What do you think?
I'm surprised you didn't include a human sacrifice prior to kickoff.
Ben from Hilo, HI
Why are divas tolerated at wide receiver but not, say, on the offensive line?
We put a premium on playmakers and under-appreciate the guys who block and tackle. I think Mike Tomlin did a masterful job of tolerating Antonio Brown and quieting the storms he created. The most recent incident was too much to overcome. You can blame Tomlin for not acting sooner, but the fact of the matter is great players can use their talent to hold teams and coaches hostage. Lombardi, the ultimate taskmaster, had a higher level of tolerance for Hornung.
Nic from Milwaukee, WI
Did the dud last Sunday cost Phillip Rivers his last chance at the Hall of Fame?
Rivers is not a Hall of Fame player. If I was on the selection committee and one of its members campaigned to elect Rivers, I'd say, "Really? You want us to elect another Chargers quarterback who was terrible in the postseason?"
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, are people at your house allowed to talk during playoff games when your favorite teams aren't involved?
It doesn't matter if it's the regular season, postseason or what teams are playing, if we're going to talk, I mute the TV. Either we talk or the TV talks. It's one or the other, not both.
Mark from Wausau, WI
Do you have any insight into a head coach agreeing to let one of his assistants interview for an assistant position with another team? Some block interviews; some allow them. Is it based on personal relationships, the perceived talent of the leaving assistant, pending arrangements to bring in someone new, etc.?
The league regards coaches as belonging to one of two categories: head coach or assistant coach. A team can deny permission for an assistant coach to interview for an assistant coach position with another team, but may not deny a request to interview for a head coach job. Previously, coordinator positions were considered to be a promotion for a non-coordinator assistant coach, therefore, an interview request could not be denied.
Kirsten from Madison, WI
I know it was unrealistic, but I was hoping Joe Philbin could stick around. I think all Wisconsinites hold the Philbin family in their hearts, and the Philbins just seem like Wisconsin kind of people. Do you have any Joe Philbin stories to share?
I've never seen a family conduct themselves with more dignity than the Philbin family did during the funeral services for their son.
Ryan from Bloomer, WI
Do the Packers have the pieces in place to create a power running game? Is it a commitment thing or are they missing some key pieces?
Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones give the Packers a potential thunder and lightning combination. I think every effort should be made to develop a Williams/Jones complementary running game. Yes, it requires commitment, the kind of commitment Mike McCarthy made to Eddie Lacy when McCarthy made his big-letters promise to improve the running game. Here are the questions I have: Does Aaron Rodgers want to make that kind of commitment? Would Packers fans complain about a lack of creativity in the play-calling? The best running games are the most predictable running games.
Eli from St. Paul, MN
I used to share the belief the Patriots owed some of their success to playing in the weak AFC East. I decided to look at the numbers. Over the last 10 years, the Patriots have won 78 percent of their division games; they have won 76 percent of their non-division games. I was surprised to find very little difference. They just win.
I've even some of my readers complain the Patriots have played in a weak AFC. The Peyton Manning Colts, Ben Roethlisberger Steelers and Ray Lewis Ravens were weak?
Dimitris from Athens, Greece
Vic, your opinion about Adam Gase?
I hurt for him.
Aiden from Jacksonville, FL
You seem very keen on Tom Coughlin; obviously his resume speaks for itself. QB was never addressed, among other things. How much is he and/or Caldwell to blame for the Jaguars' down season?
Coughlin is the boss. I promise you, he's taking this very personally.