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Get hot at the right time

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

Bob from Baton Rouge, LA:
Can you explain the usefulness of an offensive lineman's 40 time? I saw an "NFL Network" talking head raving about Bruce Campbell's 40 time the other day and wondered what relevance it had to his ability to play offensive line in the NFL.

Vic: It tells you if he has the ability to pull and trap or release and get out in front of the back, or if he's just a mauler.

Mike from Jacksonville:
When I was at the Gators' pro day, a media person asked a Florida official: "Why is the media not allowed on the field? Every other college lets us." The guy's response was: "Not every other school has Tebow."

Vic: The media are varmints. We are one of the lowest members of the food chain, and we'll probably be replaced by the rat.

Dave from Boyertown, PA:
So it's the Jags pick and these three guys are on the board: Joe Haden, Dan Williams and Rolando McClain. Which one do you take and why?

Vic: Provided there isn't a higher-rated player available, and according to my current value board, I would take Williams because he is the highest-rated player of those three. It's real easy stuff. Just rank 'em and pick 'em.

Chris from Jacksonville:
I just don't understand this town, Vic. We won't pay $40 to see professional football, but we'll pay twice that for first-round college basketball?

Vic: Is it Jacksonville that's buying those tickets or is it the out-of-town fans of the teams that are playing in Jacksonville that are buying those tickets? You see, that's the misnomer I believe created an unrealistic expectation for Jacksonville. I'm talking about the misnomer that since the Florida-Georgia game and the Gator Bowl game drew big crowds, then Jacksonville must be supporting those games. The bottom line is that out-of-town fans were buying the tickets to those games and Jacksonville was sitting at home watching them on TV, which created a terrible habit that has to be broken.

Rocky from Jacksonville:
I had to go back and read the Henry from Oakland question to see what Jeremy from Long Island was talking about. Wow! Are you kidding me? How sensitive can these people get? Do you really have to read this all day? They're lining up to scrutinize your every word. Haha, they're silly. We love you, Vic.

Vic: Lee Elia was right.

Randy from Longview, TX:
Can a team offer a contract to a player before the draft? Can the Lions make a move without waiting on the Rams to make their choice?

Vic: The only team that can sign a draft-eligible player to a contract is the team on the clock. The Rams are on the clock. Should they trade that pick, the team to whom they trade the pick would be on the clock.

Scott from Dover, FL:
The Jaguars and you seem to really like Dan Williams from Tennessee. Are you worried at all that he overachieved his senior season since his other seasons were not nearly as impressive? Also, why did he climb so fast on value boards and in mock drafts? Seems like a few months ago he was projected as a second or third-round pick.

Vic: Who said the Jaguars like him? I never said that and I never heard GM Gene comment on Williams. I like him for all the reasons you've mentioned. He's a guy on the rise. He's playing his best football now. He was a star at the Senior Bowl. What should I do, ignore what he's doing now and rely on what he didn't do previously? He's a big, powerful, hard-working player from a conference that turns out more quality defensive linemen than any other conference in college football. I like everything about him and I especially like short, quick defensive tackles because the name of the game up front is stay low and penetrate.

Perry from Orange Park, FL:
What do you think of bringing in local high school marching bands to perform during halftime? I know in the past the Jags have brought in show bands to perform the halftime show. I believe that allowing local high schools to perform could boost ticket sales for those games, from parents and faculty, and help to endear the Jags to young fans. This could be the first step to reaching out to future season ticket holders.

Vic: I don't think it would sell tickets and I think you're overrating its possible effect, but I love the idea of having local high school bands at Jags games. That's the way it was in the NFL when I was a kid. I always looked forward to seeing which high school band was going to be playing at the game, and it was a very big deal if it was your high school band.

Joe from St. Augustine, FL:
I am in no way on the Tebow bandwagon with our 10th pick and no second-round pick. Do you fear any backlash from these Gators fans should Tebow sign elsewhere and show immediate success at quarterback?

Vic: There would be terrible backlash and there should be. This is important stuff. The guy is a local hero and the Jags have to get this right. Take it from me, the Steelers faced a lot of backlash for having passed on Dan Marino. If Tebow turns out to be Marino, the Tebow supporters would never forgive the Jags for their mistake. As it was once said to me by a very wise personnel man, the draft is a "crystal ball business" and you better have one. They don't pay you for knowing what the guy has done; they pay you for knowing what he'll do. GM Gene is facing the biggest challenge of his career. He has to accurately predict Tebow's future because making the wrong decision would be devastating on both counts. Appreciate the pressure GM Gene is under. That's the real story here.

James from Orlando, FL:
Outside of the of the big names like Suh, McCoy, Williams, Morgan, Pierre-Paul, Haden, etc., are there any defensive players that are floating under the radar that you think could be big-time NFL stars? Is there enough depth in the defensive line that we could take Haden or McClain at 10 and still get quality starters on the defensive line in later rounds?

Vic: This is one of the deepest drafts for defense you'll ever see. There are star-quality players all over the place. I'm talking about guys whose names most people don't even know. The Jaguars currently only have five picks and they don't dare waste any of them. This, in my opinion, is a draft crop that could provide the nucleus of their defenses of the future. If they had 12 picks, as the Browns do, then you could think about taking a flyer on a player about whom you have reservations but know would be a very popular pick with the fans, but the Jags don't have that luxury. When you only have five picks and you have a defense to rebuild, you gotta hit on every pick you make.

Matt from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
If we keep drafting Florida players in the first round, we're bound to get a good player. Agreed? Haden? Tebow?

Vic: Joe Haden is a fantastic football player. He has Darrelle Revis-like ability to mirror, turn his hips, close and play the ball in the air. He'd be a great pick at 10, but it wouldn't be without some concern for what appears to be something less than elite speed. It's the only negative in his game and it may cause him to make it down to 10. That may be the best way to look at it. If he had run sub-4.4 at the combine and at his pro day, he'd be long gone by the time the Jags are on the clock.

Brad from Jacksonville:
The reason I love the NCAA tournament is that it allows these athletes who have worked hard all year to come out, compete and come through in the clutch. I love football because of the adversity and confrontation. I love the NCAA tournament because it gives the little guy the chance to show he, too, can come through in the clutch. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. I love clutch time.

Vic: Basketball is first and foremost a shooting game. What it does is allow kids who don't have the bodies to play in the power programs, but who spend all day shooting a basketball through a hoop at the neighborhood playground, to use that singular skill to defeat the programs that snubbed them. All you have to do is get hot at the right time. The whole Cinderella concept of the NCAA tournament is built on getting hot at the right time. It's fun to watch.

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