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Best-ever 'Ask Vic' question

Join Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

William from Jacksonville:
Is it too late for Jake Locker to change his mind and enter the draft?

Vic: Yes, it's too late. He could petition for special eligibility for next summer's supplemental draft, but I don't know if he would qualify under the rules that govern special eligibility. I think he made a mistake going back for another year in college. I think he would've been the first quarterback picked in this year's draft. He probably would've been a top five pick. It sure didn't work for Sam Bradford.

Kelly from Greensburg, IN:
I picked Daryl Smith. Who do you think our best second-round pick was?

Vic: Based on the poll question on the front page of, my pick would be Rashean Mathis in a close call over Smith. Just go back through the big plays, the game-winning plays Mathis has made in his career: the interception and touchdown return against Tommy Maddox in the 2005 win in Pittsburgh; the interception in overtime against the Jets in '05; the interception and return in the 2007 playoff win in Pittsburgh. Mathis is, in my opinion, a very underappreciated player, which is surprising, especially when you consider he's a Jacksonville native. He's the greatest defensive back in Jaguars history. Smith and Mathis are two of my favorite players. They are friendly and cooperative guys. I'm gonna make a point of twisting Daryl's arm to be a better interview this year. He's too soft-spoken for his own good. He needs to hang around Uche a little more.

Catherine from Jacksonville:
I want my teal scarf so I can wave it at games. The "Terrible Scarf:" Doesn't that have a great ring to it?

Vic: But you'd have to extend your pinky finger when you wave it.

Jimmicane from Cardiff, CA:
If a quarterback is taking a snap from center but the ball never touches him, it's automatically a false start, right? In the Chargers vs. Jets game, a snap went completely over Philip Rivers' head while he was in shotgun. He ran backwards and jumped on it. Could he have saved himself a down and some yardage had he not run back and jumped on the ball?

Vic: Rule 7, Section 3, Article 3b: "The ball must actually leave or be taken from (the snapper's) hands…" In other words, once the snap has left the snapper's hands, the ball is live. A few years ago, a center snap that didn't leave the ground was to be ruled a false start. I'm talking about a situation where the ball slipped out of the center's hands when he attempted to snap it and the ball wobbled along the ground but never came up off the ground. The Jaguars benefitted from an incorrect call in such a situation against the Titans when Kevin Mawae whiffed on a snap and the ball wobbled along the ground and the Jaguars recovered it. It was a play that went a long way toward deciding the game. The amazing thing is the change in possession resulted in a long TV commercial, several replays and ample opportunity for the Titans to challenge the call, but they never did. Had they challenged the call, it almost certainly would've been reversed and they would've kept the ball. That rules interpretation, I believe, was changed following the season.

Colin from Tallahassee, FL:
A winter storm is about to slam into much of the East Coast. What a shame the game is going to be played in Miami. I would love to see what Manning and Brees can do in an ice bowl.

Vic: I don't want the Super Bowl to be played in bad weather, but something was missing from the playoffs this year and I think I know what it was: bad weather. We didn't get any classic snow games. No "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" in New England. No icy winds at Heinz Field. No frozen breath at Lambeau. Instead, we got a bunch of dome games and a short-sleever in San Diego. Yuck! I hope that changes next year. I don't want snow and cold for the Super Bowl, but the playoffs just aren't the same without it.

Jordan from San Antonio, TX:
Did you see the article about Chris Johnson saying his coach told the team they were playing to break records not to win in their final game? What do you think of that? I don't know much about Jeff Fisher but that definitely seems out of character for any head coach. Fisher retold the story shortly thereafter, but it would seem the two don't see eye to eye.

Vic: There's an old rule: What's said in the locker room, stays in the locker room. If I was Fisher, Johnson would feel my chill. Johnson sounds as though he wants more attention. When you've had the kind of season he had, you don't need to say a thing.

Tim from Fond du Lac, WI:
When you said the Colts defense wouldn't be able to do things they do without Manning, in what ways would other teams attack them differently?

Vic: Mel Tucker explained it perfectly in the story I did. He explained that the Colts get on top with their passing game, make you one-dimensional and take you out of your game plan. All of a sudden, you can't afford to spend time establishing the run. The Colts are right in the middle of the rankings for most rushing attempts by opponents, even though everybody knows the way to beat them is to run the ball and keep Peyton Manning on the bench. If they were eighth in the league, say, in opponents rushing attempts, how much worse do you think their 24th ranking in rush-defense would be? Manning makes it all work.

Eric from Jacksonville:
Have you noticed that Manning always throws the ball to the ground after he hears a whistle (usually caused by a penalty) to prevent a LB or DE who did not hear the whistle from hitting him? It's a smart move that will keep him playing in this league and not on IR.

Vic: You're absolutely right. It's the kind of genius that defines Peyton Manning's greatness. Scouts should always look for quarterback prospects who throw the ball to the ground when the whistle blows. It's very important.

Eric from Orange Park, FL:
What qualifications does a (expletive) lineman like Uche Nwaneri (or whatever your unheard of, non-talented, un-achieving name is) possess to judge the capabilities of one of the highest-achieving college quarterbacks of all time? Instead of worrying about how well the quarterback throws, why not worry about your job to protect him? It's attitudes like this the Jags can do without. You want to sell tickets? Give us an offensive line that lets the other talented players have a chance to do what they do best. In truth, it sounds like a guy with no talent is jealous of a guy who achieved more in college then he will throughout his undeserving, overpaid career.

Vic: When I was asked my opinion on Tim Tebow's and his mother's controversial TV commercial, I said I believe in free speech. I still do.

Richard from Altus, OK:
After a week of sitting in Oklahoma under a sheet of ice with no power or heat, I was so glad the power came on this afternoon and I had a week's worth of "Ask Vic" to catch up on.

Vic: I like it when people are nice to me.

Professor Grammar from Jacksonville:
"As it stands right now, it's top two players are being accused of cheating." The correct possessive form of the pronoun "it" is "its." "It's" is a contraction meaning "it is" or "it has." Got it, moron?

Vic: I knew that and just made a mistake, but that's OK, I like the anger, too.

Al from San Antonio, TX:
Back to the best available player thing again. So let's say you're the Colts and you had Peyton Manning. Would it not have benefitted the Colts to draft Tom Brady? Or was it better to let him go to New England because they had Peyton?

Vic: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Oh, baby, you da man. I have never read a better explanation of the value of selecting the best available player. If the Colts had drafted Brady in the sixth round in 2000, to be the backup to Manning, the Colts would probably own at least two more Super Bowl titles. This is genius. You are the all-time smartest person in "Ask Vic" history. If I had a scarf, I'd sent it to you. Oh, by the way, your first sentence is a fragment.

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