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He's a mean, wittle wide weceiver

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

Matt from La Puente, CA:
How can a switch at the head coach position have such a dramatic affect on the Rams? I know a head coach is real important but to go from just awful to beating the Redskins and Cowboys is pretty dramatic.

Vic: Apparently, Scott Linehan had lost his team. I thought that was apparent late last season when Torry Holt embarrassed Linehan on the sideline. I figured the Rams would pull the plug on Linehan then. All they did was delay the inevitable. When a coach is challenged by a high-ranking player and that player is allowed to win, the coach has no chance of succeeding.

Matt from Sykesville, MD:
Who should the Jags hope loses on Monday night? Colts or Titans?

Vic: Does it really matter? Whether you root for the Colts or the Titans, you'll have no impact on the game. You can do cartwheels all over the living room and no one will even know it but your wife and kids. What more can we do but watch? That's what I'm going to do; I'm gonna watch. I'm going to sit in front of the TV, say nothing and watch. Then, when the game is over, I'll figure out what impact the outcome has on the Jaguars. Personally, I think it would benefit the Jaguars for the Colts to lose, which would put them behind the Jaguars in the wild-card race. Others don't share that opinion. They want to continue to pursue a division title. OK, pursue it. Who said don't pursue it? But I would also ask: Were the 2007 Giants division champions? Were the 2005 Steelers division champions? Were the Jaguars division champions last year when they scored their first playoff win in eight years? And how many playoff games did last season's AFC South champion win? It is what it is. The Jags trail the Titans by three games. If I offered you a wild-card berth right now, would you take it? You betcha.

Marianne from Casselberry, FL:
I realize after watching the Dolphins game on Sunday that their stadium was so empty. Have there been any blackouts in other cities so far this season?

Vic: This Sunday's game in Detroit will be the first game blacked out in the league this year.

Rob from Atlanta, GA:
Have the blackout rules changed at all? When the press release refers to tickets still remaining, is it speaking only of club seats? How many tickets must be sold for the game to be televised?

Vic: The blackout rules have not changed. All non-premium tickets, excluding those set aside for the handicapped and military personnel, etc., must be sold to avoid a blackout. The Jaguars have about 50,000 non-premium seats that represent the blackout number. Club seats and luxury suite seats don't count toward the blackout and the story in on Thursday was not referring specifically to premium seats remaining for Sunday's game.

Gabriel from Jacksonville:
I don't understand what removing the facemask will do?

Vic: You really don't understand why a normal human being would be hesitant to use his face as a weapon? I guess you could duck your head and hit with the top of the helmet, but you'd still run the risk that your face would slide across the other guy's helmet and your nose might come off. Seriously, though, find some film from the old days, before they wore facemasks. See how many head shots you can find. I don't think you'll see much "launching." What you'll see is a lot of clotheslining, but not launching. Even back then, guys didn't like it when their nose came off.

Max from Albuquerque, NM:
What do you make of this bounty being put on Hines Ward by Terrell Suggs? Last time they put a bounty on someone, it was Mendenhall and he got injured for the season.

Vic: Oh, is the wittle wide weceiver pickin' on the wough, tough winebacker? This is hilarious. Is it possible that in the year 2008, the bad boy of the league is a wide receiver? You gotta be kidding me. Suggs is embarrassing defensive players everywhere.

Nathan from Mission Viejo, CA:
"Curtains don't go down on careers that dramatically." I have to disagree with you somewhat on this. I understand with Peyton he has a lot left in him, but I think the careers of Jim Kelly, Dan Marino and John Elway were ended in a pretty dramatic fashion, as we sent each of them into retirement with a playoff loss.

Vic: "We" did, huh? Gee, I thought John Elway squeezed out a couple of Super Bowl wins before he hung it up. As far as Marino and Kelly are concerned, I think it had become obvious for quite awhile that their arrows were pointing down. Kelly's passer ratings dipped significantly in his final seasons: 84.6, 81.1, 73.2. I think everyone saw the end approaching. The same was true of Marino, who battled neck problems that left him with a weakened throwing arm in his final years. His last three passer ratings were 80.7, 80.0 and 67.4. Maybe you didn't see it coming, but most people did. So now look at Manning. His last three passer ratings are 101.0 in 2006, 98.0 in '07 and 80.0 so far this year. Manning had reached a career-high 121.1 in '04, followed by a 104.1 in '05. So wadda ya think? It's an old man's game, right?

Mike from Jacksonville:
With all the talk about unnecessary hits, what is going to happen when you don`t deliver an unnecessary hit on a player away from the play and he ends up down the field making a game-saving tackle?

Vic: I think they'll have a ceremony at the end of the season to honor those players that touched fans everywhere with their loving behavior. After all, it's what fans want to see; kind, sensitive behavior.

Andy from Fort Collins, CO:
I read that Mike Ditka suggests taking the facemask off the helmets to dissuade the players from using their helmets as weapons. This on the very same day that you suggested likewise in "Ask Vic." Clearly, you two must have planned this in advance.

Vic: I've been saying it for years. Boxing trainers will tell you that the more you pad boxers' fists, the more punches they'll throw and the more head shots the other guy will sustain. A guy with a sore hand doesn't punch as hard or as often as a guy who doesn't have a sore hand, right? Hines Ward was on "PTI" on Thursday and when they asked him about playing without a facemask, he said no way. There you go.

Gary from Jacksonville:
With three of the worst teams in the league coming up, wouldn't it make sense for Matt Jones not to appeal his suspension and sit out the next three games and be back for Tennessee?

Vic: I wrote in yesterday's "Jaguars news" story that Matt Jones told reporters on Thursday that he had yet to receive official notification of a suspension.

T. Max from Los Angeles, CA:
I met Joe Paterno in 1999 on a train going to New York City in late December. I was a teenager then and I was asking him a lot of sports trivia. When we arrived at his stop in Pa., he bought me lunch and gave me $100 and wished me good luck in the city. Joe is an incredible person.

Vic: Could you tell me, please, what train that was and does he travel on it often?

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