Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

GM Gene's profound words

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

Jim from Jacksonville:
I am still not that sold on Jason Pierre-Paul. He seems like a guy with good measureables and had some good sack numbers, but how often was he involved in the play? Did teams scheme for him? I think I'd prefer a player like Rolando McClain, who not only is a talented linebacker but also is an intelligent leader who can direct his teammates in their positions every play. I realize that linebackers are a dime a dozen, but McClain seems to have that something extra to make him special.

Vic: McClain is a genuine football player. He's big and strong and tough and relentless. Is he fast enough to run sideline to sideline and be a difference-maker? That's the big question about him.

Dave from Ada, OK:
I think the combine has shown that Tebow would not be a good switch to any other position. He is too slow to be a RB or a good receiving TE or WR. He has a pretty good vertical and pretty good strength but I agree with QB coach Shula that if anyone could change his throwing motion and be successful it would be Tebow.

Vic: I think he's a natural tight end and could make the switch seamlessly. The cone drill told you everything you need to know about his agility and potential for route-running. He's got perfect tight end size and his toughness and affection for contact leaves no doubt he would develop into a top in-line blocker. His speed is fine for a tight end; everything about him screams out tight end. As I've said, he reminds me of Ditka. He's got the same square-headed, crew-cut features. I honestly believe that with his competitiveness and athletic ability he could become one of the best tight ends in the game. I understand why he wants to be a quarterback. Yes, it's pro football and it's about the money, so I'm OK with it, but I can't help but think of Kordell Stewart and the years of potential greatness as a wide receiver he wasted by insisting on playing quarterback.

Logan from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
In the past you've stated the urgent need for the Jaguars to draft a QB, as they haven't done so in years. It seems like your opinion on this has tempered as we've approached the draft. I know you've stated that this is an excellent crop of defensive players, but I haven't heard the same about potential QB's. If the value isn't there for the Jags to draft a QB this year, can they afford to wait another year to draft one?

Vic: What choice would they have? As it stands, they only have five draft picks. Do you wanna risk wasting one of those picks on a player you may be trying to manufacture? This is one of the best drafts in recent years. It could turn out to be one of the all-time best defensive drafts and it just so happens the Jaguars have great need on defense. If you screw around trying to catch lightning in a bottle in this draft, you may miss the chance to find talent that could fix your defense for the next several years.

Tim from Ocala, FL:
I love the column, Vic, but you need to quit picking on poor Vince. I understand where he is coming from. He knows the Colts are only going to be relevant until Peyton gets old, then it's back to the bottom of the pile. That pick-six to lose the Super Bowl might have been a window of opportunity slam shut by "Father Time."

Vic: I warned him, but he won't listen. Maybe he just needs attention.

Caleb from New Prague, MN:
If you were the Jags GM, from what you saw at the combine and knowledge of how these guys play football, who would be the top 10 on your list?

Vic: I'll be doing my all-important value board over the next few days or so.

Zain from Orlando, FL:
We took some promising receivers in the draft last year. Looking at that position in the draft, I'm intrigued by Eric Decker from Minnesota. Your thoughts?

Vic: I saw him play several times last fall and he never disappointed. He's got great size, hands and instincts. He's a tough, gritty kid who'll go over the middle or up in a crowd. The problem is he's rehabbing from Lisfranc surgery and won't be able to work out until June. In other words, forget about him for 2010, and that's going to impact his draft stock negatively. At that position, I wouldn't be willing to draft a guy on the hope that he'll make a full recovery.

Brandon from Waukesha, WI:
At this point, what do you think is more important, getting the team better or selling tickets so they stay in Jacksonville?

Vic: Of all the interviews I did at the combine, it was something Gene Smith said in the video I did with him that is most profound. He said the Jaguars aren't trying to win this year, they're trying to win every year. Do you understand what that means? He's saying he's looking for players for the long haul, not guys who are going to address an immediate need or sell a few tickets. Long-term winning is what renews ticket sales. One and done won't work. Think about what Smith said. Find the genius in that. You take care of the future and the future takes care of the present, for a long time.

Colin from Tallahassee, FL:
I'm sure you'll address this when you publish a value board but what players do you view as low risk in this draft?

Vic: The two guys that immediately come to mind are Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy. Big, strong, quick, athletic and tough are favorable characteristics.

Sean from St. Johns, FL:
"We're going to stay true to our board." – Gene Smith. Love those words (and your coverage at the combine). You mentioned before the rebuilding process could take three or four years to assemble the talent. Last year's draft worked out quite well and this year's draft seems to be an intersection of a lot of talent where the Jaguars have some needs. If we are lucky (and don't reach) and the talent we have on our board is at a position we need, do you think the rebuilding would lean more towards three than four years?

Vic: It can be done more quickly these days, but please try to understand my point of reference, which goes back a long way. Chuck Noll's first three years were 1-13, 5-9, 6-8. He followed that with 11-3 and then four Super Bowl titles. Bill Walsh went 2-14, 6-10, 13-3 and three Super Bowl titles. Jimmy Johnson went 1-15, 7-9, 11-5 and then consecutive Super Bowl championships. When I think in terms of building a football team, I think of those three teams because they were built to last. Those teams were also built, essentially, without the benefit of free agency, and there are other softening factors in today's game that allow teams to rebuild more quickly. Nonetheless, I tend to use the Steelers, 49ers and Cowboys as my templates for building a football team because all three teams began with horribly weak rosters that forced them to start from scratch.

Brendon from Monterey, CA:
Every single Madden player knows what cover two is. Not to go down the Madden road again, but you seem to think media people using terms like that are being smug and talking over their audience. I submit for consideration that, here in 2010, you may be incorrect, for better or worse.

Vic: Oh, I get it. You like it when they talk like that because it makes you feel like a player, right? You can push the buttons and talk the talk and feel like you're playing the game. Do you put those little black things under your eyes when you play Madden? Come on, be truthful.

Faye from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Is it true that one of the NFL's dirty little secrets is that owners want to at least stay around 10-6 each year?

Vic: Yeah, because the goal each year is to make it into the playoffs and 10-6 will usually accomplish that goal. The Super Bowl becomes the goal after a team has made it into the playoffs. I don't think any part of that is dirty or a secret. College football thinks in terms of undefeated and one-loss seasons. Pro football thinks in terms of whatever it takes to make it into the playoffs. When the day comes that college football has a playoff system, it'll start thinking that way, too. College basketball already does.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
What's your take on Joe Haden's slow 40 time?

Vic: It's gonna hurt him. He'll have a chance to fix it at his pro day, but it's a major issue now and he'll have to run fast at more than just his pro day. He'll have to run fast at personal workouts, too, because any team thinking of investing a high pick in Haden is going to want proof that his Indy time is not his real time. I think he's a fantastic player. I watched him play last season and I saw a lot of Darrelle Revis in him, but slow isn't good at cornerback, especially when you're talking about a guy who was being projected as a shutdown corner. Those are guys you put in man-to-man coverage with the idea you can trust they won't get beat for the big play. At 4.6, you lack the confidence to put a guy in that role.

James from Fleming Island, FL:
I heard an interview with the kid from Fordham and loved him. What do you think?

Vic: I asked Jaguars quarterback coach Mike Shula in the video I did with him if he had a sleeper in this year's draft. He said he didn't but I was later told he's leaning toward Skelton as a sleeper in this draft.

Austin from Orlando, FL:
Hindsight is 20/20, isn't it? Had we traded our 2004 and 2005 first-round picks to the Cardinals for their 2004 pick, we'd have one all-decade wide receiver instead of two busts. So much for him being too expensive.

Vic: You're forgetting something: Roethlisberger was available with one of those picks, and a two-time Super Bowl-champion quarterback always trumps an all-decade wide receiver. You forgot that part of the hindsight. The price was too high and the Jaguars did the right thing in declining the trade; they just didn't make the right picks.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content