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Better to ask the lamp

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

Alan from Doncaster, UK:
Am I able to listen to any of your radio shows over the internet?

Vic: I think you can. Here's what you do: Go into your living room and ask the lamp how to do it, because the lamp probably knows more about computers than I do. I know how to turn the computer on and off, and how to write words on it. I know nothing more. My hope is that I'll be able to retire before I have to know anything more than that. Sorry I can't help you. I just wanted you to know where not to go for computer information.

Roger from Jacksonville:
This is not a Jaguars question, but because you covered the Steelers, I'd like to ask your opinion on Lynn Swann. I always liked and respected him as a player, and thought he was among the most talented wide receivers who had ever played the game (even though I never was much of a Steelers fan). ESPN ranks him third on their list of "Most Overrated Athletes of All Time," citing the fact that he is not among the top 50 in any major statistical category. This came as quite a surprise to me. Do you believe he belongs in the Hall of Fame?

Vic: Forget about the statistics; not just for Lynn Swann but for every wide receiver who played during his era. You can't catch passes that weren't thrown. For example, Terry Bradshaw's passing stats for the 1974 AFC title game in Oakland, which the Steelers won, 24-13, were nine of 12 for 96 yards. A year earlier, Bob Griese threw seven passes in the Dolphins' 24-7 win in Super Bowl VIII. It's how they played the game back then. It was a run-the-ball, stop-the-run kind of game. Offensive linemen were not permitted to use their hands in blocking and defensive linemen were permitted a technique known as the "head slap." Professional football in the 1970s was a brutally physical game. When the ball was hiked, the first thing an offensive lineman did was bring his hands to his chest. At the same time, the first thing a defensive lineman did was slap the offensive lineman on the side of the head. And if an offensive lineman got his hands the least little bit away from his body, it was holding, and holding back then was a 15-yard penalty. Coaches were reluctant to pass the ball because a holding penalty would not only kill the drive but seriously damage field position, and the game back then was all about field position. So how can you compare wide receivers from that era with wide receivers from today's wide open game? Lynn Swann doesn't have comparable numbers, unless, of course, you want to compare his postseason stats to some of the other guys in the Hall of Fame who set records in the regular season but never did a thing when it counted. In the postseason, Swann was spectacular. When do you ever see Super Bowl highlights without seeing him? He is one of the players who distinguished the Super Bowl, and he did so at a time when the Super Bowl was desperate for excitement. He is a famous player, and isn't that what the Hall of Fame is all about? It's not the Hall of Stats, is it?

Justin from Jacksonville:
A conspiracy is afoot. The Times-Union's online poll is, "Should Brunell start the last home game?" I voted "no," but when it showed the results it had 100 percent "yes" (742 total votes). Things that make you go "hmmm?"

Vic: Does it matter at all what Mark Brunell thinks? Brunell doesn't want a gift start. He told me that. A gift start would be demeaning. He's meant too much to this franchise to go out as a sideshow act.

Mark from Jacksonville:
Has there ever been a game in which all the quarterbacks on one team have been injured and replaced by a non-quarterback, like, say a wide receiver who played the position in high school?

Vic: I covered such a game in 1977. All of the quarterbacks got hurt – and early in the game, too – and a rookie safety took over at quarterback. Who was the rookie safety? Tony Dungy, who was a quarterback at the University of Minnesota. He completed three of eight passes for 43 yards and threw a couple of interceptions.

Warren from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Thanks for answering my last question. This question also involves my wife asking. She believes (as do I) that for everything Brunell has done for the organization, he should start the last home game. Del Rio is dead wrong on this one. What do you think?

Vic: First of all, you gotta start letting your wife speak for herself. All right, let's say Mark Brunell decides he wants to play one more game for the Jaguars; for no other reason than your entertainment. He really doesn't want to play for the reason you're suggesting, but he'll risk an injury that could ruin his career because he wants you to feel good. OK? But he does get hurt, and now none of the other teams want an injured, 33-year-old quarterback. If that should happen, Brunell would lose millions, and the Jaguars would also have some financial liability under the "injury protection" clause. Does your wife still think it's worth the risk, for either party, especially for Brunell? Baseball is a good game for farewell appearances. Football isn't. Have you ever seen an old-timers' tackle football game?

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