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Great crop of QBs

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

Adrian from Reading, United Kingdom:
There are plenty of team sports without salary caps. Bizarrely, this near-communist solution (from each according to their ability to each according to their needs) seems to be a largely American invention and, from the viewpoint of an outsider, it's one of the best ideas in the history of sport.

Vic: The success of the salary cap is proof that controls in a free enterprise system aren't always a bad thing.

Joel from Orange Park, FL:
I love your analysis, wit and patience. With Matt Jones still able to be present at the OTA's, will he benefit more than Williams, who was not able to attend last year's spring practices?

Vic: Matt Jones can get all of the learning he needs without participating. This is the learning, not the doing time of the year. Jones' hamstring injury won't become a major concern until training camp. That's the doing time and, by then, he better be ready to go or it'll be time to worry. Reggie Williams missed all but the last couple of OTA practices last spring and it set him back. This spring, it's Khalif Barnes who is unable to attend and there will be a loss of learning Barnes will have to make up. I think it would be a mistake, however, to believe a player's fate is sealed in the spring. The coaches will make sure Barnes is brought up to speed.

William from Jacksonville:
Interesting comparison between the Colts and Patriots receivers. Over the long haul, however, my sense is that when you reach the elite level of starting quarterback in the NFL, the biggest difference-maker is the old intangible "it" that can't be defined. Joe Montana had "it" from day one. John Elway didn't seem to develop "it" until later in his career or maybe he never did and it was just Terrell Davis. Tom Brady clearly has "it." Johnny Unitas and Terry Bradshaw would probably qualify. Peyton Manning is still missing "it" and, to me, that's why he has come up short repeatedly in big games in both college and in the NFL playoffs. Which quarterbacks who have come into the league recently have shown you the potential to have this intangible "it" in their games?

Vic: First of all, let me assure you that Unitas and Bradshaw had "it." Unitas proved that in the 1958 title game and Bradshaw, of course, won four Super Bowls. I believe Elway had "it," too. I think he proved that with "The Drive." The bottom line on Elway is the Broncos teams that lost in the Super Bowl were woefully inferior to the Giants, Redskins and 49ers. We are currently blessed with a wonderful crop of young quarterbacks. Who has "it?" Byron Leftwich? Carson Palmer? Ben Roethlisberger? David Carr? We still haven't decided if Donovan McNabb or Daunte Culpepper have "it." I like the way Leftwich has responded in games against other big-time quarterbacks. He's 2-1 against Manning, 1-0 against Brett Favre and played pretty well in the snow against Tom Brady. Palmer came to life late last season and I think he proved at USC that he has some "it" qualities. What Roethlisberger did on the Steelers' game-winning drive in Jacksonville showed me something, and even after a horrible start in the AFC title game, I think the kid was in the process of bringing the Steelers back when Plaxico Burress dropped what should've been a touchdown pass. Carr made big gains last season but needs a statement game. McNabb and Culpepper are two quarterbacks I love, and I have no doubt Michael Vick has "it." Marc Bulger is a gritty guy and he's showed me something in big games. What a sensational crop of young quarterbacks. This is going to be fun to watch.

Jesse from Tallahassee, FL:
You said your opinion was that the Jags would keep five receivers on the roster. If Chad Owens is kept for his kick-return ability, do you think this would swell to six or would we stay at five? Smith, Jones, Williams, Edwards, Wilford, Hankton; five out of those six is hard enough.

Vic: Owens will make or not make this team based on what he does as a kick-returner. Though he's someone who could potentially add depth to the wide receiver corps, I would not include him in the group of five, should he make the team. He's a specialist. Jack Del Rio said as much when the Jaguars drafted Owens.

John from Jacksonville:
The upcoming NFL owners meeting will be one of the more important meetings because the large-market teams want more of the shared revenue for their teams. This can have a significant impact on the smaller-market teams, like the Jaguars. If you had to look into your crystal football, how do you see this issue being resolved?

Vic: The success of the NFL is built on the concept of "share the wealth," which is another way of saying "pool the revenues." Not exactly capitalism, is it? But it has worked beautifully and for two reasons: 1.) the absence of greed; 2.) dedication to "leaguethink," which was Pete Rozelle's term for what is now 32 teams thinking and acting as one. The problem now is that greed and individualism are creeping into the system and they are threatening the concepts that have made the NFL the most successful sports enterprise in the world. I don't know how this is going to turn out, but I think you'd have to be blind not to see the threat. Simply put, the NFL has pushed the revenue envelope too hard over the last several years. Revenues must be bridled if the NFL is to continue to enjoy peace and prosperity.

Joe from Jefferson City, MO:
Any fond memories of Jon Jurkovic?

Vic: Jurko was always a willing interview. He loved to talk about football. He was a player and a fan and that's the combination I most appreciate.

Mark from Wichita, KS:
With tensions rising between the owners and the players over key issues, do you see a possible strike by the players in the years to come?

Vic: The players won't make that mistake again.

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