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Difference between football, hockey

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

Matt from La Puente, CA:
The Broncos obviously have two great corners in Dre Bly and Champ Bailey. Do you think they will have their linebackers stay in on the run like the Texans did since they have confidence in their corners? Or do you think they'll drop back like the Steelers to take away the slant?

Vic: I think they'll put their corners in single coverage and load up against the run.

Andrew from Jacksonville:
You know, all this talk about is this a must-win game or the schedule is easier after the bye or they should win this one or that one is getting old. This is the NFL. Every game should be treated as a must-win game. Is there a must-lose game? No. You have one opponent this week. Go out and take care of business, then move on to the next one. Don't look at the schedule down the road 4-6 weeks away and think it's going to get easier. You can't schedule your wins and losses and say we should be all right finishing 9-7. Concentrate on this week and this game. It's one game at a time. No game is a gimme or a should-win. You have to earn each win no matter if they are 5-0 or 0-5. How many times have the Jags lost to teams they should have beaten? Too many. Don't look ahead, look at now. Don't overlook any team, because on any given Sunday anything can happen. Play for today and for where it can get you tomorrow. It's about right here and right now.

Vic: And go out there and win one for the Gipper.

Loftur from Reykjavik, Iceland:
What is the greatest offensive line ever to play the game?

Vic: The Packers line with Jerry Kramer, Fuzzy Thurston, Jim Ringo, Bob Skoronski and Forrest Gregg would get a lot of votes. So would the Redskins line of Mark May, Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, George Starke and Jeff Bostic.

Adam from Jacksonville:
In hindsight, wouldn't it have made more sense to put the Ravens in the AFC South instead of the Colts? After all, that Ravens-Browns rivalry never really developed.

Vic: We've been over this before. It's like this: The teams in the other three AFC divisions had blood oaths to stay together. There was just no way you were going to separate the Steelers, Browns, Bengals and Ravens. The same goes for the teams in the East and the West. The four AFC South teams were the left-overs. They were the ones nobody wanted.

Will from Orlando, FL:
At what age did you start loving this wonderful game of football and who was your favorite player or team growing up?

Vic: I was very, very young when I found a high school football practice one day and fell in love with the game. From then on, my mother always knew where I was after school in the fall. I loved my hometown high school team. I lived and died with their results. My first football hero was a high school running back. His name was McKinley Combs and he was the coolest thing I ever saw. He was the star player at a time when the hit song in the country was "Mack the Knife" and every high school band played it. I can't imagine being cast in that fairy tale. I later played with his brother, Tyrone. As a kid, I also fell in love with Bobby Layne and "Iron Mike" Ditka. You have to remember that back then we didn't have the kind of exposure to players nationally that we have today. You found local heroes and they became your heroes for life.

Michael from London, UK:
You should consider a stint in politics because you're very good at avoiding the questions that you either don't want to answer or the Jags have told you not to answer, even though your site states that you tackle the fans' tough questions. Let's try this one. Do you see the Jags doing anything major at the receivers or defensive line positions before the trade deadline on Tuesday?

Vic: No, I don't, but that's just my opinion. I have no information one way or the other. I hope that answer satisfies you because it is the absolute truth. Now let's try this one: Because of your disrespectful tone, your participation in "Ask Vic" is now complete. Bye, Mike.

Bill from Jacksonville:
I know this isn't really a football question but I'll ask it anyway. Why do you think it has worked for the NHL to allow fighting in its sport? I mean just imagine if the other major sports allowed fighting. Do you think it is something that is unique to the sport and should live on or does the NHL need to let its past go and stop the brutality?

Vic: I really don't like watching it. It's so stupid. The amazing thing, however, is that NHL players don't trash talk, they just kill each other. Two guys get up off the ice leaving a trail of blood all the way to the penalty box and if you asked them who started the fight, they'd say, "It's a tough game, eh?" They beat each other bloody but you seldom hear them speak disrespectfully of each other. In football, they talk, talk, talk and draw penalties that cripple their teams' chances of winning, but nobody throws a punch. So tell me, which is more stupid?

Troy from Richmond, VA:
Since the Bucs had success using the "cover two" defense against the Broncos and the Broncos should expect more of the same from the Jags, what adjustments do you think the Broncos will do to help Jay Cutler against the "cover two?"

Vic: The best offense against the "cover two" is a strong running game. Denver's is 14th in the league. In the passing game, you attack the "cover two" in two spaces on the field known as the "honey holes." That's where the "cover two" is vulnerable. They are along the sidelines between the cornerback and safety on each side, provided the cornerback is rolled up. If he plays off the receiver, you attack underneath him until he moves up.

Tim from Jacksonville:
With teams looking to load the box to stop the run, wouldn't a flea flicker work well?

Vic: When teams load the box, the pass-defenders are usually locked in man-to-man coverage and ignore the run. They turn their back on the line of scrimmage and run with the receivers, so I really don't see how the flea-flicker would freeze a defensive back. The flea-flicker works best against defensive backs who have a tendency to bite on the play-action; on guys who will leave their coverage assignment to come up and support against the run.

Aaron from Reno, NV:
This year the league has been more balanced as far as records and teams. Is this a result of Tom Brady's injury and the Colts' poor play? Can these two teams really impact the league that much?

Vic: I think it's mostly the result of Brady's injury. Had he not been injured, the Patriots would be undefeated and he'd be piling up the touchdown passes on the way to a new single-season touchdown passes record. With the Patriots' ultra-soft schedule, this year would've likely been a repeat of last year, had Brady not been lost for the season.

Bill from Jacksonville:
There are fun things to do other than attending a Jags game? What would those things be?

Vic: There are fun things to do in any city other than attending a football game. Why do you go to the game? Because it's where you want to be. In the really good football towns, a seat at the stadium on Sunday is prime real estate, and when you own one of those seats, you are a member of the elite. When that happens in Jacksonville, this town will have arrived as one of the elite NFL cities.

Rob from Deltona, FL:
No wonder fans aren't interested in attending games. It's because the organization has people like you working for them. How can you work for the Jaguars and talk about waving a "Terrible Towel." That just doesn't make me upset with you, it also makes me upset with the organization. Why would the organization have someone that would not support the Jaguars work for them?

Vic: I'm sorry, I won't do it any more. It's just that we're not allowed to cheer in the press box so I thought it would be OK for me to wave my "Terrible Towel." Please, don't tell Wayne Weaver about this. My 401(k) is evaporating and I really need this job.

Ryan from Clyde, OH:
How do you think you'll adjust to the jet lag for the Denver game?

Vic: Going out is no problem. It's coming home that's a problem. I'll do it the same way I always do it. I'll get home about two, three in the morning on Monday, trip over a dog toy in the middle of the bedroom, lie down in bed and feel as though the bed is flying 500 miles an hour until the alarm goes off 10 minutes after I finally fall asleep. Then I'll get up, go to work, come home after the Monday radio show, go immediately to bed and wake up 10 hours later feeling as though I just went to sleep 10 minutes earlier. Then I'll pick up my "Terrible Towel" and go back to work.

Chris from Lynchburg, VA:
I don't think you're a Pittsburgh or Jacksonville homer but think anyone has to have a fondness for a city that he has spent so much time in and had so many great memories in. I know you don't cheer at all in the booth, but when you're at home or at a game do you just watch or are you cheering for a team? Plus, when you have put your pen up for the last time, do you think you will ever go back to being a fan or will you continue to be a journalist?

Vic: I just watch. That's all. I don't cheer, I don't boo, I just watch. Why is that so difficult to understand or accept? As far as when I hang up the keyboard, I doubt that I'll watch much football. For half a year every year for 37 years, I have spent every Sunday and half of all Saturdays away from home. I've missed weddings and birthday parties and reunions and social gatherings, which has, in many cases, also caused a certain other member of my family to miss those events. When the day comes that I'm able to retire, the focus of my life will change. I'll stop giving all my love to football and start giving it to the people who should've been getting it all along. I'm sure you can understand that.

Parks from Port Orange, FL:
Now I get it. Del Rio likes to go for it on fourth down because he's a maverick.

Vic: That's it. He's mavericky.

Hugh from Jacksonville:
What are your thoughts on Jay Cutler saying he has a better arm than John Elway?

Vic: Kids say the darnedest things.

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