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Combine extra addition

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

Robert from Amelia Island, FL:
I have no doubt your opinions carry a lot of weight for the Jaguars in particular and the NFL in general. If any employee of the Jags asked you to downplay a particular draft-eligible player who they were interested in, would you consider that request to be a breach of ethics?

Vic: I'm not trying to avoid answering your question, it's just that no team executive would ever make that request of a reporter because all draft prospects are over-hyped and other teams tend not to trust reports that such and such team is interested in drafting such and such player, because they know false information is intentionally planted. I think your question is: Would I knowingly deceive my readers for the purpose of aiding the Jaguars? The answer is no on all counts, and I have every reason to believe that's clearly understood, therefore, the request would not be made. Here's another question: Have I been unknowingly used by personnel men and coaches to advance false information for the purpose of deceiving the competition? Absolutely, I have, and when I come to find out I was used, I tend not to use that person again as a source.

Ed from Orange Park, FL:
Why is it that defensive linemen rotate but offensive linemen don't?

Vic: Because offensive linemen must play as one. They must come off the ball together. They must coordinate their blocking so that one block sets up another. Good offensive line play has a rhythm and flow to it. If you rotate linemen, you're likely to disrupt that flow.

Randy from Longview, TX:
With players making millions of dollars to play a game, do you know what the union and owners don't agree on? Has there ever been a season in which replacement players were used?

Vic: It's professional football. It's about the money. As long as you remember that, you'll never be disillusioned. One of the most memorable professional experiences of my life is having covered the 1987 replacement player games. There were three of them and the concept of replacement players was so traumatic, so gut-wrenching that we haven't had a strike since. As we were landing in Atlanta on Friday, on our way to Indianapolis, I couldn't help but remember landing in Atlanta for the first of those replacement games in '87. I told Ryan Robinson about looking out the window and all of a sudden seeing a military jet pull up on the wing and hold there. The same thing happened on the other side of the plane and those two jets escorted us down to the runway. I asked one of the team execs what that was all about and he said, "You're coming out of a hardcore union town with a bunch of scabs. It's not a good thing."

Charles from Jacksonville:
With all the talk about grabbin' Tebow because he's a local, why not talk about grabbing C.J. Spiller?

Vic: He's not Tebow. There's only one Tebow. We had a lot of players heading for the combine on our flight from Atlanta to Indianapolis. The Florida, Georgia and Alabama players converged on Atlanta to join our flight. A female Florida fan instantly recognized the Gator players and engaged our party in questions about them. We told her we were with the Jaguars, which didn't seem to interest her. She wanted to know one thing: Where's Tebow? Apparently, he had taken another flight.

Dave from Snellville, GA:
What was the money difference in the deals that the 10th and 11th picks received last year?

Vic: The difference was about $2.8 million. If I was Wayne Weaver, I couldn't help but ask myself: Did I win that coin toss or lose it?

Gabe from Jacksonville:
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz was quoted saying, "Whether you trade down and get more picks, or whether you move up, it's more about identifying the players and getting the players to fit what you do." Sounds like pretty good logic.

Vic: It makes sense, but not if it means at a loss of value. That's the priority in the draft because the draft is all about value. Yes, every team wants to address their needs, but the good ones are desperate to retain the full value of the slot they possess. In other words, you must move to where the player is and never move the player to where you are. More and more it's becoming draft-day dogma, and that's why draft-day trading has exploded in recent years. Everybody is trying to move to where the player they want is in the order, and all of the teams are cooperating with each other because they know that to get help, you have to give help, and they'll all need help at some time or another. Needs are common to all teams. There isn't a team in the league that doesn't have multiple needs, which means that addressing a need in the draft really isn't that difficult, and that makes "reaching" for players a mortal sin. Look at the Super Bowl-champion New Orleans Saints. Where don't they have need?

Jason from Sinking Spring, PA:
One of the knocks on Tom Brady was that he was too thin to be an NFL QB. So, in saying that, should that really be something that pushes Tony Pike away from teams?

Vic: There are degrees of thinness. If Brady is, say, Gisele Bundchen, then Pike is Twiggy. One scout told me Pike has the worst body of any quarterback he's ever seen. Fortunately, I've never seen Pike naked, but I've seen his arm and I like it.

Todd from Beaufort, SC:
If you had a chance to sign Ochocinco for about $5 million for one year, would you do it with the idea his presence on the field could draw double-coverage, which would be a great help to our other receivers

Vic: It would depend on how many times I'd have to play against the Jets. I definitely wouldn't do it if my team played in the AFC East because that means there would be two games in which Ochocinco wouldn't catch a pass, and he wouldn't be getting double-coverage, either.

Alex from Jacksonville:
Have you ever been to "Monster Jam?"

Vic: I'm not a "Monster Jam" kind of guy, Alex. That's too much fun for me. My idea of a good time is falling asleep with an open book on my chest, which is what I'm about to do in my hotel room in Indianapolis. I'm looking out my window as a write this and I can see right into Lucas Oil Stadium through the big window in the end zone. I can even see "Crunch Time's" picture on the outside of the stadium. It's a lovely evening here in central Indiana, with a couple of inches of snow predicted to be on the ground by morning. I think I'm going to get under the covers now and read myself to sleep. I hope you enjoy this combine extra addition of "Ask Vic." We might even have another one on Sunday.

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