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Cut him and move on

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

Roy from Gainesville, FL:
What year did the Pro Bowl start? Has it always included fan voting?

Vic: The first Pro Bowl game was played in 1939, but it was in a different format. The NFL-champion Giants played the "Pro All-Stars." The game was suspended in 1943 and re-surfaced in 1951 in the format that is currently used. For a lot of years, East played West. Fan voting began in 1995.

Alice from Minneapolis, MN:
Is putting Porter on the PUP list a possibility to protect a roster spot at the start of the season if it looks like he won't be 100 percent early on?

Vic: The reason you put Jerry Porter on physically unable to perform is to reserve your right to make a decision on him later, should that be necessary. If you put him on PUP, which must be done before he participates in a practice, and it turns out that he's not ready to return to the active roster for the start of the regular season, then you have until weeks 6-9 to make a decision on him. If by week nine he isn't ready to return to the active roster, then he would have to go on the injured reserve list for the remainder of the season. If you didn't put him on PUP now and kept him on the active roster, then you would have to make a roster decision on him at final-cuts time. Putting him on PUP, therefore, is just a logical move to buy yourself more time, if necessary.

Bryan from Woodbridge, VA:
Really? Franco Harris over O.J. Simpson, Marcus Allen over Walter Payton?

Vic: I put a lot of weight on postseason performances. That's where Harris and Allen stand out. They were the best big-game backs of their eras. In regular-season comparisons, Harris rushed for 8,563 yards and 72 touchdowns in eight seasons in the 1970s; Simpson rushed for 10,539 yards and 61 touchdowns in 10 seasons. The big difference between the two is that Harris was a postseason star. He rushed for 1,556 yards, scored 17 postseason touchdowns and was the MVP of Super Bowl IX. Imagine that. The greatest season of his life occurred in the postseason, against the best competition the league had to offer. That's my kind of back; a big-game back. He's also famous for the "Immaculate Reception," a playoff moment from his rookie season in '72. Simpson played in just one postseason game and rushed for a mere 32 yards. Payton out-rushed Allen in regular-season games in the '80s, 9,800 yards to 7,275, but Allen won a Super Bowl MVP and was a postseason star who scored 10 touchdowns. Payton had his postseason chances but never did much. He rushed for 505 yards and scored no touchdowns in the '80s, even though the Bears dominated. As I said, I put a lot of weight on what players do in the postseason.

Kyle from Charleston, IL:
So with that being said about Matt Jones, we want your personal opinion, based on any previously related situations that have occurred, what will the team do? Do you think that was the straw that breaks the camel's back, so to speak?

Vic: I don't know what the team will do. All I can tell you is what I would do. I would judge him as a football player and let law enforcement judge him by their standards. When law enforcement makes a decision on his civil conduct, then I would react accordingly. Until then, in my opinion, nothing has changed. I truly do believe in innocent until proven guilty. I know that's unpopular with the hard-liners, but that's the law of the land.

James from Jacksonville:
Do you feel the Jags will keep three quarterbacks on the team this year or only go with two like most other teams?

Vic: The trend is toward two quarterbacks and I know Jack Del Rio favors that trend. What coach wouldn't? But not so fast, my friend. We have a whole training camp and preseason ahead of us. If last year taught us anything, it taught us that anything can happen.

Chris from Stafford, VA:
When you said "It's almost time," it sent chills down my spine. Are you pumped, Vic?

Vic: My pumped is better than your pumped.

Joe from Orange Park, FL:
This Jerry Porter hamstring surgery thing is something that probably will be with us all season. I have never heard of hamstring surgery (I am a physician) and not really sure what was done, let alone how long it will affect him. It seems as though no one really recovers 100 percent from hamstring injuries. Any info on this case in particular or your thoughts on hamstring recoveries in general?

Vic: I have no information on Porter's surgery. I don't know what was done and I'll allow Porter to provide details, should he be willing. What I can tell you is that hamstring surgery is becoming a little more common. I had never covered a player who had it, but it's a rather minor procedure that is yielding positive results. From what I've been told, it's clean-up stuff. Imagine a rope or cord that's frayed. What the surgeon does is clean off those frayed ends, which facilitates healing and encourages the muscle to reconstitute itself. The results of wear and tear on the muscle are an obstacle to healing, I've been told. I can't offer specific examples of athletes who've had the surgery, but I've been told that results have been positive and have saved careers. I've covered great players who've had their careers shortened by hamstring woes. I can think of two: Lynn Swann and Louis Lipps. Mark Brunell was dogged by hamstring problems. I think Ken Griffey Jr. is a classic example.

Bray'de from Jacksonville:
What did you learn on your summer vacation?

Vic: Retirement will be no problem. All I need is the money.

Adam from Jacksonville:
It's almost time, Vic. Give me a just win baby.

Vic: Just win, baby.

Derek from Griffith, IN:
So with Jerry Porter's hamstring injury, do you think the Jags will hold on to six wide receivers to be safe?

Vic: I think the Jaguars are likely to keep an extra wide receiver, either on the active roster or on the practice squad. It's not just Porter's hamstring. It's Mike Walker's knee. Let's not forget that Walker is making a comeback of his own and needs to be eased back into action.

Nick from Phoenix, AZ:
I know you seem sick of the Favre saga, but we haven't really heard your thoughts. Could you take a minute and tell us what you would do if you were the Packers GM?

Vic: You really had to ask? Cut him and move on. If you're not getting younger, you're getting older, and in that playoff game against the Giants, Brett Favre looked old and cold.

Brandon from McComb, MS:
Could you tell us the story of how the jaguar statue lost its tooth and if it was ever replaced?

Vic: Some kid got his head stuck in there and they had to cut the tooth out to get the kid's head out. The tooth was replaced.

Jonathon from Washington, DC:
I was comparing the Redskins trade for Taylor and the Saints trade for Shockey. If you compare the two deals, based on the premium for a defensive end vs. a tight end, I would say the Saints gave up too much. However, Shockey, who turns 28 in August, is much younger than Taylor (34), and that might explain the higher price tag. Do you think the Saints overpaid?

Vic: It's a deal I wouldn't have made for a few reasons: He's hurt all the time, he's a me-me guy and he's not a premium-position player, as you've said. The trade makes a little more sense, however, when you consider how Shockey is likely to be used by the Saints. Drew Brees is not a big-arm guy. He loves to dink and dunk and he loves to find the tight end, which he did quite often with Antonio Gates in San Diego. A second and a fifth for Shockey is more than I would give, but it could turn out to be a good deal for the Saints, provided Shockey stays healthy and commits himself to being a team guy. As for the Giants, they got two picks for a player they obviously don't need.

Danny from Jacksonville:
Franco Harris was the best in the 70's? I don't know about that. Wasn't there a little back called Walter Payton who broke the career rushing record Jim Brown held and won the 1977 MVP? Franco was good but Walter had to be the best of those days.

Vic: I was asked to do it by decade. Payton's career was split between two decades.

Paul from Jacksonville:
What's the most interesting book you've read this summer?

Vic: "Dreams from My Father," by Barack Obama. It's a good read, which surprised me. Usually, when someone who isn't a professional writer attempts to do his own writing, it lacks style and creativity, but that wasn't the case with Obama. He's a strong writer. At times, he read like one of his speeches, but he got better as the book went on and I thought he did a fantastic job of expressing the inner debates he experienced during those formative years of his life. He's a deep thinker, all the way. He's someone who needs to know the truth and he clearly struggled to know what it was. He's an introspective person and they make the best writers.

Joe from Jacksonville:
Hey, Vic, what do you and Tony Kornheiser both have in common? Give up? You're both disgruntled old men who should have been put out to pasture a long time ago.

Vic: And what's the name of your column?

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