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Fisher takes another shot

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

Lee Ann from Cocoa Beach, FL:
In searching for new coaches, it seems New York and Washington did not interview any black candidates for the job. Is there any chance they will be fined as Matt Millen of the Detroit Lions was? Thanks for your column. It keeps me well-informed.

Vic: Your information is not correct. The Giants interviewed Lovie Smith and Romeo Crennel before hiring Tom Coughlin, and the Redskins interviewed Denny Green before hiring Joe Gibbs.

Holger from Bad Vilbel, Germany:
Ben Roethlisberger actually is a Swiss name. Of course, the Swiss people also speak German but his nationality would be Swiss. Looking at German draft prospects, DE Constantin Ritzman out of Tennessee might be the most interesting German football player who's going to enter the draft. It will be interesting to see where he ends up.

Vic: Actually, Ben Roethlisberger's nationality is American. What you're saying is that Roethlisberger is of Swiss descent. I bring this up because when I answered the Alfredo from Dayton question the other day, I only used the word "Spanish." I failed to correct Alfredo's use of the word "nationality," instead of "heritage."

Justin from Jacksonville:
I love your column, Vic. Keep up the good work. You posted my comment yesterday about who's gonna win this weekend's playoff games and all. I was wondering if there's any way possible, if I do win all four games, you can send me something in the mail like a hat, picture of the Jags, t-shirt, etc.?

Vic: Let's wait to see if you're picks are right, first.

Greg from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Hey, Vic, with the resurgence of all the old re-tread coaches in the NFL, like Joe Gibbs and Dick Vermeil, why don't we bring back a real winner like Chuck Noll?

Vic: You know all of those coaches who, on the day they retire, say they're going to make up for all of the time they didn't spend with their families while they were coaching? Chuck's doing it. Soon after the Carolina Panthers franchise was awarded, Chuck got a call from his old friend, Mike McCormack, who was president of the Panthers. McCormack wanted to know if Chuck would be interested in becoming the Panthers' first-ever coach. Chuck didn't even have to think about it. Chuck left the Steelers as the only coach in NFL history to have won four Super Bowls, and since then he has become the world's greatest grandfather.

Fishhead from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I heard Jeff Fisher made another snide comment directed toward Jacksonville. When he was asked if the recent playoff game with Baltimore was comparable to the AFC title game against the Jaguars, he said: "No, we expected to win in Jacksonville." I can see where he expected to win against the Jaguars, since he beat them twice that year, but it still seemed a bit sarcastic. What was it that started this obsession for cutting down the Jaguars? Was it because his was the first team this expansion club beat?

Vic: First of all, Fishhead, no more nicknames. You gotta use your real first name from now on. As for your comment and question: You're right, Jeff Fisher did take another shot and, frankly, I don't get it either. After all, he's vulnerable to the biggest shot of all: He can't win the big one. How many times are the Titans going to almost get it done? He lost at home to Baltimore in the 2000 playoffs, just as the Jaguars lost at home to the Titans the year before. If the Titans don't win the Super Bowl this year, I don't see them winning it any time soon and that'll mean Fisher will have wasted his team's run at the top of the AFC. Why does he keep taking shots at the Jaguars? Here's the only reason I can offer: From the second game between the two teams in 1996 to the first game between the two teams in 1998, the Jaguars beat Fisher and the Oilers four straight. In that '98 game, at Vanderbilt, Fisher was horribly out-coached and that fact was noted in media reports. At that point, he was fighting for his job. In fact, most media people thought he was a goner. My guess is that's when he developed his bitterness toward the Jaguars.

Tim from Crescent City, FL:
Thank you for answering my past questions, Mr. Vic. I am a high school football coach here in central Florida. I like the 5-2 defense. What defense would you run if you were a high school coach.

Vic: If you're playing in a run-the-ball league, let's play a "53" with eight up front and a single-high safety. If you're in a throw-the-ball league, "52" sounds just right.

Michael from Georgia:
How do high school players get scouted for college? What if your team is not good and scouts don't come to your school and you go to a smaller college, what are the chances of making it to the NFL?

Vic: Colleges and pro teams spend enormous sums of money scouting for talent. You won't get missed, Michael. There are scouting services for high school players. A lot of those scouting services also conduct football camps, where the talent is further evaluated and identified. College head coaches also have their football camps, where they do the same scouting, evaluating and, of course, recruiting. In the NFL, there are two scouting services: Blesto and National. Of course, each team has its own scouting department, and each team is responsible for providing tape to the NFL duplicate center in New Jersey of a specific number of colleges. All of those tapes are provided to the league's 32 teams. By the end of the year, there is no college football team or NFL prospect for whom every team in the league does not have at least one game tape.

Alan from Jacksonville:
Who was the number nine pick in the draft last year?

Vic: The Vikings drafted Oklahoma State defensive tackle Kevin Williams with the ninth pick of the 2003 draft.

Thiago from Madrid, Spain:
I was wondering what teams have never gone to the playoffs? And what teams including the Jags have never played in a Super Bowl?

Vic: The Texans are the only team not to have played in the NFL postseason. Teams that have never played in a Super Bowl are: Cardinals, Panthers, Browns, Lions, Texans, Jaguars, Saints and Seahawks.

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