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He touched their souls

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

Doug from Jacksonville, FL:
I've got a question for you about Matt Jones. OK, no I don't. Enough about him, what can you tell me about Chad Owens?

Vic: He doesn't have a great straight-line speed, but he has top-end quickness, which is the most important ingredient in punt-returning. Owens is compactly built, which further accentuates his quickness. As I said in an earlier column, Jaguars Director of College Scouting Gene Smith is very excited about Owens. Smith talked to me about Owens more than any other Jaguars draft pick.

Richard from Jacksonville:
What makes you an expert?

Vic: I once slept in a Holiday Inn Express.

Bryan from Austin, TX:
Hi, Vic, you seem a little surly these days. Not spending enough time, or too much time on the links? What is the most annoying question you've ever received on "Ask Vic?"

Vic: This one.

Richard from Ormond Beach, FL:
Do you think the Jaguars' failure to draft a cornerback in the first two rounds was because they could not get the player they wanted or, like you, they feel the rules emphasis has de-valued the position?

Vic: It's because they didn't think any of the cornerbacks available offered as much value as Matt Jones and Khalif Barnes did.

Duane from Jacksonville:
I read that the Titans signed 36 undrafted rookies. Is that true? I know they are in a rebuilding period, but isn't that still a lot of rookies to have? And how bad will they be if they field a team so young?

Vic: It's true and that's what you have to do when you're in salary cap arrest. You're forced to fill your roster with the cheapest players you can find. I'm not going to speculate on what the Titans' record will be this year, because Jeff Fisher is an awfully good coach, but I think it's fair to say the Titans' prospects have been adjusted downward.

Terry from Jacksonville:
We keep throwing these measurables around, inferring good numbers translate into competitive advantages for the rookies. Does anyone track these measurables on players after their rookie year? Was Jimmy Smith faster after his sophomore season than he was as a rookie? What about Fred Taylor's three-cone drill or short-shuttle?

Vic: It's not necessary to test veteran players in combine-like drills. Once you have them, you see them every day in practice and you know what they can do. The combine drills are intended to reveal players' talents to scouts and coaches who don't have the luxury of putting them through a real football practice. Teams are looking for information and they want all of it they can get. They see a lot of prospects at the Senior Bowl, where they get a look at those players in true football practices. But not every kid is invited to play at the Senior Bowl. A lot of people laugh at the idea of using the three-cone drill as a measuring tool, but the three-cone drill was very valuable to the Jaguars in evaluating Matt Jones and Chad Owens. Jones is a long-strider, and that can be a concern at wide receiver. The Jaguars put Jones through a three-cone drill and he turned in a performance the equal of a top defensive back, which let the Jaguars know Jones has the ability to come in and out of his pass-route breaks crisply and quickly. In Owens' case, he doesn't have top speed, but his three-cone drill performance made his speed deficiencies unimportant because quickness is more important than straight-line speed in the return game.

Tony from Fayetteville, AR:
I'm a first-time viewer and the reason is because of Matt Jones. I apologize but I don't have a question, I have a statement. I have watched Matt Jones for four years at Arkansas and I know some of the Jaguars fans have doubt about drafting him, but they haven't seen what he can do like I have seen him do. The best way to describe him is like a diamond in the rough; very unique, full of surprises and always makes that one great play that you will never forget. So just wait till that diamond gets polished. You'll never see anything shine so bright.

Vic: I have received a seemingly endless stream of e-mails from Arkansas fans alerting Jaguars fans of Matt Jones' football talents. He is obviously someone who touched the souls of Arkansas fans and I appreciate your devotion to him. Jacksonville is looking forward to seeing what the kid can do.

Malosi from Valencia, CA:
I was excited to see the Jags sign Nebraska DE Benard Thomas as an undrafted free agent. Any thoughts?

Vic: Thomas is one of the Jaguars' plum undrafted signings. So is Virginia Tech defensive end Jim Davis. These are accomplished football players who will compete for roster spots with the Jaguars.

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