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Don't disturb the spell

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

John from St. Augustine, FL:
You totally called the Bengals' upset win over the Steelers. What did you see?

Vic: I saw last year's Super Bowl. The only difference between that game and the last two is that in the Super Bowl there was time left on the clock after the collapse. You see, the Steelers aren't the Steelers anymore. They allowed their offensive line to go to rot and that's caused their time-honored running game to fall to 27th in the league, but they continue to attempt to play Steeler football, which means take a lead into the fourth quarter and protect it by running the ball and killing the clock. The problem now is they don't have the running game to do that. This isn't new stuff. This started a couple of years ago. They got away with it last year because there always seemed to be enough time left on the clock to rally, as they did against the Jaguars. What did Ken Whisenhunt say after the Super Bowl? We left too much time on the clock, right? The bottom line is the Steelers can't play Steeler football anymore. They don't protect leads now, they rally, and that's gonna catch up to you sooner or later. They better keep the pedal to the floor on offense because the days of protecting a lead are over. By the way, I also saw a team without Troy Polamalu and that's hurting them big time.

Ryan from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Can you explain the rule about the third quarterback playing before the second quarterback during the Miami vs. San Diego game?

Vic: I'm not aware of what happened in the Miami-San Diego game. I was in the air when that game was being played. What I can tell you is the "third quarterback" is inactive. He may enter the game at any time but if he enters the game before the start of the fourth quarter, then neither of the first two quarterbacks may return to the game. If the "third quarterback" doesn't enter the game until the fourth quarter begins, then either of the first two quarterbacks may return to the game.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I just thought I would say you're a mean moron on your answer about Tebow. I hope you get run over on the sideline during your little show during Jaguars practice and have a concussion, too, and can't work for a while.

Vic: You have a great football team and a great quarterback. I just can't resist teasing Gator fans. They're so sensitive and serious that I can't resist needling them. I've always been a terrible tease. I was in trouble as a kid all the time for teasing my brother and sister. My wife hates it about me. Just this morning she got mad at me about it and said she hopes I get a concussion and can't work for a while. Go Gators!

Perry from Orange Park, FL:
Can a quarterback improve his arm strength over time or does it stay relatively the same no matter what?

Vic: I've always believed it can be done, though improvement will be subtle. Throwing a football or baseball is all about the body's ability to turn the arm over at the shoulder joint, just as foot speed is the result of being able to roll the hip, so to speak. The way to improve arm strength in baseball is by doing long throwing. In other words, if you wanna make your arm stronger, then go shag fly balls and throw the ball home. I would imagine the same is true in football. I'm sure the strength and conditioning guys have other exercises in mind.

Brad from San Antonio, TX:
Mike Sims-Walker seems to be coming on and showing some of the potential we thought he had. Do you think he might be this team's future number one guy?

Vic: It's possible. Mike has talent. We all saw that in his rookie OTAs. At this point, however, I don't think his designation is important. He's playing well and if that continues, that'll be good enough.

Andrew from Toledo, OH:
Would you say Eugene Monroe won the battle against Mario Williams?

Vic: Williams was credited in the postgame stats with three tackles and zeroes across the rest of the board. No sacks, ho hurries, no tackles for loss, no passes-defensed, etc. On top of that, he sure didn't stop the run. Yeah, I think Monroe won his battle against Williams. I'm not a big Williams guy and I said that in the pregame radio show. In fact, Jeff Lageman and I got into a little argument about it. Sacks lie. Too many of them are garbage sacks.

Tron from Perth, Australia:
Jeez, toot your own little horn a bit more, Vic. You are paid to do analysis, but I guess it should come as a surprise that you got something right.

Vic: I'll have you know, Tron, that my horn isn't so little. As I'm sure you could tell, I was being very serious about my greatness. I'm a rootin', tootin' sportswriter.

Bill from St. Johns, FL:
I've sometimes wondered about the use of PSLs and whether in retrospect it would have been a good idea here in Jacksonville. It may have in the long run sealed more commitments long term. What are your thoughts?

Vic: Wonder no more. It would not have worked. Trust me on that one, Bill. Fans would've ended up forfeiting the money and that would've caused monumental bitterness. You think the fans are angry now? What do you think they'd be like if the team had pocketed millions of dollars of forfeited PSL money? PSL's only work in a place where you know the people who buy them are going to keep them. If it's a one-time hit, it comes off as theft.

David from Atlanta, GA:
After the replay, Ernest Wilford was ruled out of bounds at the two and the touchdown was called back. How come the ref had the clock start running before the snap?

Vic: Outside two minutes left to play in the first half and outside five minutes to play in the second half, the clock is started on all out of bounds plays once the ball is spotted and deemed ready for play. Inside two minutes in the first half and five minutes in the second half, the clock stops on all out-of-bounds plays and doesn't start again until the next play begins. The clock rules governing out of bounds play in the NFL are different from the college rules, which stop the clock for out of bounds plays, first downs and ambulances.

David from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Just following up on the PSL question. My family was granted Giants season tickets in the early '80's, after my grandfather worked for Wellington Mara as his banker. Unfortunately, we're getting rid of our tickets due to the PSL price being over $10,000 per seat. Fans really do have it easy in Jacksonville.

Vic: So that's what it takes to get a Giants season-ticket, huh? You have to be one of the Mara's bankers. In Pittsburgh, if you put your name on the waiting list for season tickets, it's likely you'll be a victim of violent crime before your name makes it to the top of the list.

John from Jacksonville:
Garrard had a better game and everything and I am glad for that. I hope more fans show up for the game against the Titans. I just hope Garrard shows the same courage. He does have a nice size contract and it is his job, right?

Vic: I don't much care for your lack of appreciation for the courage it takes to play this game, but you're right, it very definitely is part of the job description.

David from Charlotte, NC:
Why do you think our receivers were running wide open?

Vic: Because the Jaguars receivers are getting better and the Texans secondary is getting worse.

Brandon from Jacksonville:
Are the Titans really that young? They are way over the age of 30 at both defensive end spots, over the age of 30 at two starting linebacker jobs and I believe over the age of 30 at one or two players in the secondary. That defense is getting old in key positions and it's showing.

Vic: It's age at the quarterback position that's the real concern. Chris Johnson, Jason Jones, Michael Roos, Cortland Finnegan, Kenny Britt and Jared Cook are good players from recent drafts, but the Titans have no such depth of youth at quarterback and that's what's clouding their future. As I have said, you're only as young as your quarterback and the Titans are old at quarterback and must draft and develop a young guy going forward. What if they had drafted Jay Cutler instead of Vince Young? That's a question that's going to haunt them for a long time, just as it haunted the Steelers that they didn't draft Dan Marino. If Cutler was the Titans' quarterback, I don't think there would be any doubt about the youth of their team or their long-term outlook.

Brad from Jacksonville:
The Titans haven't won a game since they stomped on the "Terrible Towel" against Pittsburgh last December. That's bad karma. Bring your "Teal Towels" to the game on Sunday.

Vic: No, no, don't do that. That could make the real towel angry. It might feel as though it's being mocked. Don't do anything to break the spell. Don't do anything that might re-direct its wrath.

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