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Bo was the real thing

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Evan from Jacksonville:
What was your favorite coaching decision of all time?

Vic: Vince Lombardi's decision to go for it in the "Ice Bowl." The Packers trailed by three points and were at the Dallas one-yard line when Bart Starr told Lombardi he thought he could score. Lombardi decided against a field goal attempt and told Starr to go ahead and score and "Let's get the hell out of here." How many chances do you need to win? The Packers only needed one. Great teams seize the moment.

Gabe from Jacksonville:
How about this for a revenue source? Charge "Ask Vic" e-mailers a quarter per question. That goes for posters on the Jags Message Board as well. I think if we were to do that the Jaguars could align themselves with the big-market teams.

Vic: The players would take 16.25 cents of every quarter collected. Every time I think of the new CBA in those terms, I can't help but wonder what were the owners thinking?

Nathan from Mesa, AZ:
Who was better, Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders?

Vic: I am respectful of Deion Sanders because he was an indescribable athlete. It's just that he didn't like contact and that is so distasteful for me that I tend to avoid conversation about him. He's probably the greatest pass-defender and one of the best punt-returners in history, but his reluctance to tackle and his aversion to the physical aspect of the game makes me want to turn the discussion in another direction. So let's turn it to Bo Jackson. There was nothing soft about Bo. He was as powerful and as athletic as they came. It's possible, just possible, that he could've become recognized as the equal of Jim Brown. Sanders had the better career, by far, but give me Jackson any day.

Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico:
I have a number 11 for the top 10: Forget about all the we-want-respect whining of last season. It just clouded the Jaguars good games and made us look like wimps. If we want respect, this is the schedule and season to stop asking for it and earn it.

Vic: You're right.

Vincent from Jacksonville:
Some time ago, you discussed with me the 3-4 vs. 4-3 debate, and I believe you said the 3-4 is vulnerable to the run, with the subtraction of one big guy for a linebacker, losing about 60 pounds on the front seven. Teams such as New England and the (team name withheld) stop the run with their 3-4. San Diego was the number one run-defense last year and I think they run the 3-4, too. I'm a 4-3 guy but what makes these teams hard to run on with one less big man up front?

Vic: Teams using the 3-4 understand they are naturally vulnerable to the run because they are lighter up front, so they make up for it by the role in which they cast their defensive ends. In a 3-4, ends are really tackles. They tend to be two-gappers and run-stuffers, which means that 3-4 teams effectively have three defensive tackles on the field and that's tough to run on.

Newt from Jacksonville:
With the explosion of tall receivers coming into the league, why haven't there been a complementary amount of taller corners and safeties?

Vic: It's difficult to find tall guys with the feet and hips of short guys. You gotta have quick feet and be able to turn your hips to play cornerback.

Sol from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Since you brought it up and it's the dead season, let's talk about Alex Hawkins. He was the first special teams captain in the NFL and would go out for the coin toss with two other Colts. The ref would introduce them to the opposition as "Captain Unitas, Captain Marchetti and Captain Hawkins." One of the opposing captains responded with, "Captain Who?" and the name stuck. A few years later Hawkins was playing cards in the back of a barbershop when there was a raid by the police at 4:30 in the morning. In the locker room the next day, a reporter asked Hawkins what he was doing there. "Getting my hair cut," was the answer.

Vic: Thank you for those wonderful stories. I hope they're both true, but does it really matter? I love the old guys.

Jason from Portland, OR:
Could you explain the "Wing T" offense? My high school used it and it seemed to be a run-heavy offense. They would fake the hand-off to so many players that I often found it difficult to see who had the ball. I have never seen it in the NFL, why is that?

Vic: I'm thinking you might be confusing the "Wing T" with the "Single Wing," because it was the "Single Wing" that was a big ball-handling offense. The "Wing T" had some ball-handling in it when the quarterback faked to the left halfback and then did a full spin and made an inside hand-off to the wingback on a counter play, but that was about it. Everything else was pretty straight forward because the "Wing T" was a power offense. I love the "Wing T." It's my all-time favorite offense because you could do everything out of it. The wingback was cocked at an angle and he was more blocker than receiver or runner, but he was in position to get downfield for a pass or, if the defense started keying on the flow with the fullback and left halfback, the wingback was a quick and effective counter mechanism to make everybody "stay home." The reason you can't use the "Wing T" today is that its trademark, the tackle-wingback "Post and Turn" block, has been outlawed. In the "Post and Turn," the tackle would post the defensive end and the wingback would "crab" the end's legs and turn him with his hips. It blew out knees so routinely that the end on the wingback side of the field kept his eyes on the wingback at all times. In 1978, Marv Levy's rookie year as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, he used the "Wing T" because he was heavy on backs and light on receivers. The Chiefs were a physical offense nobody wanted to play but, of course, they didn't score much because the "Wing T" was past its usefulness. Tom Coughlin was a wingback in the Syracuse "Wing T" in which Floyd Little was the left halfback and Larry Csonka was the fullback. Oh, baby, could they run it.

Ben from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Spurrier's "Run and Shoot" offense with the Redskins is a great example why that scheme didn't work in the NFL.

Vic: That was a pathetic offense. I love screen passes but that was ridiculous. That's all they did. Screen on top of screen on top of screen. The tip on Steve Spurrier's offense came in his first preseason when a couple of coordinators said, "There's nothing to it."

Brad from Tallahassee, FL:
I've been reading your columns every day for about two years now. It seems like this past year "Ask Vic" has exploded in popularity, turning into an international phenomenon for fans of all 32 NFL teams. Can you tell us when you began getting substantial amounts of questions from non-Jacksonville people and how you plan to further expand Vicmania?

Vic: Everything changed on Dec. 6, 2004. When I opened my inbox that morning. I saw there were four hundred and some e-mails and my eyes just about popped out of my head. In a lot of ways, the new Jaguars and "Ask Vic" were born that day. The columns I did before that day were about half as long as the ones I do now. We'll go with the flow.

Chad from Liberty, SC:
I work with a Redskins fan and he is always going on about how their website might not change for weeks during the offseason and that they don't have a Vic. Do you have any favorite Redskin stories I could share with him and maybe turn him on to "Ask Vic?"

Vic: One of my all-time favorite stories is a Redskins story. It's from a scrimmage at the Redskins training camp, which was in Carlisle, Pa, back then. The scrimmage was at the high school stadium, which probably sat 15,000-20,000 people. It was packed. An hour before the scrimmage was to begin, people were spilling onto hillsides, buildings, etc. In the pregame warm-ups, Redskins owner Jack Cooke wandered onto the field. An elderly man, Cooke had a Mr. Magoo look about him at that point and an aide guided him toward the sideline where Cooke decided he would sit in a folding chair, which Cooke had positioned right on the sideline. The Redskins were televising the scrimmage back to Washington and a TV camera was positioned in the bed of a pickup truck along the sideline. Anyhow, a big tight end named Don Warren was running a down-and-out. Warren caught the ball as he was running toward the sideline and when he turned after the catch he saw that he was about to run over the guy who signed his checks. Cooke didn't even flinch. I really don't think Cooke even saw Warren, who did a marvelous job of avoiding Cooke. In his desperation to avoid Cooke, however, Warren threw himself into the path of the pickup truck. Warren ran into the driver-side door head-first as though he was a rhinoceros in a safari scene. The stadium exploded with laughter but Cooke never turned to see what happened. I don't think he even knew what happened.

Steve from Maitland, FL:
Just to help prove a point about the rules changes of 1978, all of the top 20 passing yardage quarterbacks played most if not all of their careers after the rules changes were instituted.

Vic: It was a different game before '78.

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