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Five-stars don't dominate NFL

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

Ryan from Clyde, OH:
With GM Gene saying the safety position is not deep, does that mean he will try to find a safety in free agency?

Vic: Until a new CBA is negotiated, there is no free agency.

John from Neptune Beach, FL:
Or Dave Robinson?

Vic: In my opinion, Robinson is one of the most underrated players in NFL history. Had he played two decades later, he would've been Lawrence Taylor.

Paul from Jacksonville:
The years from 2000 on have made me appreciate just how special the first five years of this franchise were. To go from a new, bottom-of-the-division team to one that was consistently in the playoffs and played in the AFC championship game two out of four years is amazing. It also makes me appreciate things I've seen in Indy, New England, Pittsburgh and other places where teams have either come out of nowhere to have great seasons or have strung several good/great seasons together. I hope the next time our turn comes around, we appreciate it for what it is, a special time.

Vic: Truer words have never been written in this column. Jaguars fans were spoiled by the team's early success and I don't think we really appreciated how good those teams were in those early years. The good news is that it will come around again and, when it does, Jaguars fans will have a greater appreciation for it.

Catherine from Jacksonville:
I'm out of town this week because my mom is in the hospital. She is suddenly out of her sweet 88-year-old mind. The hospitalist asked her if she knew where she was and she said "New Orleans." When she got back from the MRI she thought she had been on an airplane. So I open my "Ask Vic" and get reminded that your last column is Friday. Mom is giggling a lot, which is great for her, I think, and you are obviously giddy with the excitement of an adventure, which is also great. Selfishly speaking, I think this is more loss than I can deal with in one week. You said no crying. Too bad.

Vic: Yeah, but it sounds like your mother is happy to see me leave.

John from Clearwater, FL:
Vic, you made my wife cry when I told her last week you were leaving the Jags. We are season ticket holders in the Tampa Bay area and we leave an extra hour early on game days just to see you do the live "Ask Vic" during pregame.

Vic: Now you made me cry.

Steve from Brunswick, GA:
Is your leaving for Green Bay the final part of the Anthony Smith trade?

Vic: The Jaguars got Kampman, the Packers got Ketchman. GM Gene did it again.

Jaime from Moline, IL:
Both Knighton and Alualu weren't even heavily recruited out of high school, both being three-star recruits, with Knighton not even being ranked in his state. Comes to show you that you find football players where you find football players.

Vic: I read somewhere that LaMarr Woodley is the only player in this Sunday's Super Bowl that was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. Today's national signing day and all the fuss will be about five-star players, but the pro ranks are dominated by the two-star and three-star prospects.

Enrique from Columbus, OH:
Do you have any good stories about Tony Brackens? What was he like in the locker room?

Vic: Tony was a quiet player. He wasn't a go-to media guy but that's all right because some people just don't have the media gene, so to speak. I never saw or heard him abuse a reporter or even complain about what was written or said. He just did his job and I respect that.

Chad from St. Augustine, FL:
On Friday, I'm gonna drink coffee all day out of my "Ask Vic" mug, wear khakis, tell everyone at work that wide receivers are a dime a dozen, listen to some Snoop, eat a hot dog, think about BAP and knuckleheads who don't get it, think about human confrontation and best of all, just watch a good young team on the rise next year and enjoy it. It's only football.

Vic: You're gonna like this team. It's on the rise. Just give it time. When it gets there, it'll be built to last.

Jim from Jacksonville:
Happy Groundhog Day, Vic.

Vic: I got you babe.

Will from Aspen, CO:
As a 20-year-old college student/Jaguars addict, can you assure me that the Jags will win a Super Bowl in my lifetime?

Vic: Yes, I can. You've got a lot of football to watch.

Timothy from Jacksonville:
I was wondering if before you go, you could give us some perspective on what's next for our site.

Vic: will continue to improve and grow. I stopped to think recently about all the things we've added through the years – very little of which, by the way, was my idea – and a wave of pride swept over me. That's going to continue. The next guy will be an upgrade and the site will grow. Just give the site time to transition.

Wade from Winston-Salem, NC:
As I was lamenting Big Ben and Aaron Rodgers not playing on the Jags, I looked back at the 2003 and 2004 drafts. There are seven teams that passed on them in both years: Jaguars, Texans, Lions, Browns, Redskins, Cardinals and Raiders.

Vic: Good work, Wade. I don't think I need to comment.

Chris from Jacksonville:
It finally sunk in. Kiper, McShay and all the other mock drafts are based on the needs of the teams, not BAP. If the Jags and others are truly drafting BAP, then the mocks are never going to be accurate.

Vic: Mock drafts are an attempt at matching need and value. Look at it that way.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Bill Maher stated that the NFL is run in a Democratic manner while MLB favors a Republican format. I had never thought of it that way, but he had a point. The new CBA will either drive his point home or the NFL will resemble MLB with the haves and have-nots?

Vic: Chris, it's long been understood that the NFL's success is built on Pete Rozelle's "pool the revenue" concept, whereas baseball has applied free-markets standards. Revenue-sharing is a form of welfare, but it's a necessary means of leveling the playing field. Maher might be forgetting that baseball has put into place a "luxury tax" concept that is the same thing as revenue-sharing. What we've come to know about sports leagues is that their success is dependent on the ability of all its teams to compete. All cities don't offer the same revenue opportunity, therefore, a means for leveling the playing field must exist. Call it whatever you want, but I don't think we have to put political tags on it. I call it smart business.

Ryan from Las Vegas, NV:
One other major thing this column has done for me over the years has been exposing me to stories of players on the bubble of even making an NFL roster. Brock Bolen, Charles Sharon and the mysterious Mkristo Bruce all come off the top of my head. I know you won't be able to pay close attention to 80 players for the Jaguars next year, so my question is which Jags player like that is the most memorable for you?

Vic: Brant Boyer and Montell Owens immediately come to mind. Both of them are all-heart guys and they each rose from the ranks of the unknowns to carve out long NFL careers. Owens' story is the most dramatic. He had no chance. He was so far down the depth chart that he was moved to safety in training camp because there had been a rash of injuries at that position. I remember when it happened; I felt bad for the guy that he was wasting his time. Then I got a tip from Joe DeCamillis, the Jags' special teams coach at the time, that Owens was a dynamite special teams player. Joe told me to watch Owens in the final preseason game, in Atlanta, and I did and Owens lit it up. Owens' story is one of the best I've ever covered.

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