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Get ready for "The Greatest Game"

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

James from Jacksonville:
Who will have the better pro career, Stafford or Bradford?

Vic: They might each have great careers, but I favor Sam Bradford because he seems to distribute the ball with a little more ease and comfort. Matt Stafford can make all the throws and he's a true talent, but he appears to struggle at moving the ball. Maybe that's a result of the offense he's in, but I can't help but see it as a warning.

Brandon from Jacksonville:
How many years removed from high school must a player be to enter the NFL draft?

Vic: A player must be three years removed from high school graduation to acquire eligibility for the draft. It's the Larry Fitzgerald rule.

Rich from Jacksonville:
I saw a clip about the "Greatest Game" and noticed that the goal posts were at the front of the end zone. When were they put back 10 yards to the back of the end zone?

Vic: The goal posts were moved from the goal line to the back line of the end zone for the start of the 1974 season, the same season when the NFL instituted an overtime period.

Aaron from White Hall, AR:
I thought for a college player to be eligible for the draft they have to be either a red-shirt sophomore or a junior.

Vic: A true sophomore may seek eligibility for the draft if he is three years removed from high school graduation. That goes directly to players such as Fitzgerald, who spent a year at Valley Forge Military School following high school graduation. LeSean McCoy is a current example of a true sophomore who may seek draft eligibility.

Bill from Jacksonville:
Do you feel it's a team's job to energize the fan base in any way other than by winning football games?

Vic: Not really. I think it's the team's job to put a competitive product on the field and to provide an entertaining and comfortable environment in which the fan can watch the team play. What else do you want them to do, call you during the week and give you a pep talk?

Gavin from Vancouver, BC:
I was watching "Off The Record" with Michael Landsberg and they talked about the possibility that the Pats re-sign Cassel and trade Brady. What kind of trade value would you give Brady, assuming his recovery will make it possible for him to participate in the preseason and possibly training camp?

Vic: What happened to the Matt Cassel questions last week? I didn't get one. Now, all of a sudden, he's headed back to the Hall of Fame? Hey, that was 2-11 Seattle the Patriots had to rally to beat. I don't know what Tom Brady's trade value would be – I would expect, however, that it would be high – because I don't know the state of his recovery from knee surgery, but I will tell you this: After watching Cassel against the Steelers, I see no reason to believe he can lead the Patriots to Super Bowl titles.

Kris from Worcester, NY:
In regards to needing to add depth at the offensive line positions, do you look at the teams that consistently run the ball well every year and tap into their development systems, i.e. practice squad players, or do you just draft prospects throughout the draft.

Vic: You find football players where you find football players. You find them in different conferences and in different leagues. You find them off the street and you find them on practice squads. It is an expectation of personnel departments that they find the muts that can play. Don't worry about pedigrees.

Fester from Pensacola, FL:
What chance do you give the Texans against the Titans?

Vic: That's the game of the week in the AFC South this week because it may give us a preview of the balance of power in the division in 2009. The Texans see themselves on the verge of becoming a division title contender. The Titans are the 2008 AFC South champs. This could be the tipping point for the Texans. I don't think the Texans have the defense to stop the Titans' running game, but I expect the Texans to be in this one right to the end.

Scott from London, England:
Do you think the Jaguars pass-defense needs improvement in the offseason?

Vic: Absolutely it does. It appears the team may lose Gerald Sensabaugh in free agency, so right away that's one guy who may have to be replaced, and cornerback is a premium position that requires constant attention.

Kevin from Festus, MO:
Howard Balzer, a St. Louis area sportscaster, wrote a letter to the commissioner outlining a playoff format as follows: Two conferences with no divisions, AFC and NFC. All the conference teams play each other once. You play the other conference's team that finished in the same place as you. The top six teams make the playoffs for each conference. What do you think?

Vic: It's an equitable plan. It guarantees that the best teams make it into the playoffs and it levels the scheduling playing field, which is not the case right now, as the AFC East is enjoying a tremendous scheduling advantage, while the Steelers and Ravens are having to deal with killer schedules that make the system unfair. There are two problems with Howard's proposal: Loss of divisions and loss of extended inter-conference play. The second one doesn't bother me nearly as much as the first one. A lot of the divisions have great regionality and tradition and the loss of twice-a-season scheduling would be highly unfavorable among their fans. I'm talking about teams in the NFC East, AFC East, AFC North, etc., that are in close proximity to each other and whose fans travel. Eliminating that twice-a-season tradition would be, in my opinion, a huge mistake. Howard's team, the Rams, don't have that kind of division charm. The Rams are a thousand miles from Seattle, Arizona and San Francisco. His plan would work fine for St. Louis, but it would be harshly defeated in places where regional rivalry gives true meaning to winning a division title. Here's an example: The Steelers play at Baltimore this Sunday in a headline game that would not exist if this plan was in place, since the Steelers and Ravens have already played against each other once this season. Ask the Steelers and Ravens fans what they think of the plan.

Cole from Jacksonville:
I am a huge Garrard fan but I cannot ignore the fact that he has struggled mightily this year. I ask you, Vic, does Garrard have it? I mean, Roethlisberger has no protection from his offensive line but he gets it done consistently.

Vic: Ben Roethlisberger also has Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Nate Washington. Washington alone has catches of 48, 50, 50 and 65 yards; three of those were for touchdowns. Ward has catches of 41 and 49 yards, and Holmes has 47 and 48-yarders. By the way, Washington was signed as an undrafted free agent from that football powerhouse Tiffin.

Russ from Jacksonville:
How many passes over 40 yards did David have in college?

Vic: I don't know but he had eight last year for the Jaguars; six in 12 regular-season games and two in the postseason.

Margy from Jacksonville:
I know you don't want to field any questions about Tim Tebow but I just can't help myself, sorry. Don't you sense the hopeful anticipation of Jaguars fans dreaming and yearning to one day see Tim Tebow play in a Jaguars uniform? Most of us realize this will be unlikely unless Mr. Tebow decides he wants to be a Jaguar and the NFL biz is worked offline with Mr. Weaver, somewhat like the Coughlin, Rivers and Eli Manning arrangement.

Vic: I don't think that'll be necessary. I have no doubt the Jaguars will have multiple opportunities to select Tebow.

Seth from Ocala, FL:
This Saturday, ESPN will be airing "The Greatest Game Ever Played." Did you get to see this game when it actually happened? I don't know the year that it was because I had never heard of it before. What can I expect to see different in this game from the games that are played now?

Vic: Yeah, I was sitting with my father, grandfather and uncle in the basement of our home watching the 1958 NFL title game. I remember the picture going out and then the picture coming back and then Alan Ameche running straight at me. I knew what it meant but I didn't understand the significance. I'm interested to see what colorizing the game will do to its appearance. I saw a preview and immediately the game and the players appeared to have a more contemporary look. You'll see a lot that is different, but that's not what's important. What's important is what you're going to see that's the same, which is to say Johnny Unitas' use of the sideline in his execution of the two-minute drill. He invented it and he perfected it. All these years later, it's being done just as he did it. Watch for that. Watch for how accomplished Unitas and Raymond Berry were in executing the precision passing game. Watch for how Frank Gifford was used in a role similar to how Reggie Bush is used today. What was different? Watch the offensive linemen block without using their hands. That's what was different. One more thing: Watch for the lack of celebration by the players. Unitas handed off to Ameche, who then scored one of the most dramatic touchdowns in football history, and Unitas merely turned and walked off the field; no fist pump, no finger in the air, no dance, no taunt, just victory.

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