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Homer Jones changed the game

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

Michael from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Regarding the James Harrison play and your comment, "Had it been seen by an official, it would've resulted in a penalty, but I don't think he would've been ejected." The play did result in a penalty, which was half the distance to the goal on the punt which was downed at the one-yard line. So, in essence, it was an 18-inch penalty.

Vic: You're right. I forgot that it was detected and penalized.

Lee from Jacksonville:
When can we look forward to your articles on college players in the draft?

Vic: You can start on Friday, Feb. 20, which is the day I'm planning to arrive in Indianapolis for this year's scouting combine.

Joe from Sanderson, FL:
What seems to make the transition from college defensive end to NFL 3-4 outside linebacker easier than other position changes from college to NFL?

Vic: A rookie making the move from college defensive end to outside linebacker is usually going to be used in only one capacity, as a pass-rusher. That's how LaMarr Woodley was used in 2007 after moving from defensive end at Michigan to linebacker with the Steelers. As a rookie, Woodley was a part-time player, a pass-rush specialist. It's an easy transition because the player is only responsible for doing one thing. In his second season, Woodley became a full-time player and was involved in other aspects of the game, but his primary responsibility continues to be rushing the passer. The position he plays is often referred to as rush-backer, which pretty much describes the range of its responsibilities.

Mike from Saint Augustine, FL:
If Gene Smith has final say in how much players make, where does Paul Vance fit into the picture?

Vic: Paul continues to be the Jaguars' lead contract negotiator. Gene said he will assist Paul in helping to put a market value on a player, but it'll continue to be Paul's job to put a signature on that contract. Paul's office dug this team out of a salary cap mess several years ago and continues to be vigilant about negotiating contracts that protect the future of the Jaguars franchise.

Luis from Edgewater, FL:
Could you name one disruptive player that had Super Bowl glory in his era?

Vic: Duane Thomas.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
I think a quote from the Roman Consul Marcus Cato is appropriate for all your Hall of Fame questions regarding Warner: "I would rather men ask why I have no statue than why I have one."

Vic: That's beautiful. Thank you for being a man of intelligence.

Dan from Orlando, FL:
You must remind us of your flowers before Valentines Day technique.

Vic: I think I'm going to change that this year. She loved those new kind of pans I bought her for Christmas so much that I think I'm gonna get another box of pans.

Brian from Cornwall, Ontario:
What happened to players just spiking the ball after a touchdown and celebrating with their teammates?

Vic: I guess that wasn't good enough. By the way, talk about a guy changing the game, how about Homer Jones? He may have done more to change the game than any player in NFL history.

Fergal from Toronto, Ontario:
Young man's game right, Vic? If that's the case, and Brady's recovery really isn't where it needs to be, should the Patriots look at moving one of the greatest quarterbacks of the modern era? When Roethlisberger hits that stage, should the Steelers look at moving him?

Vic: You're talking about heritage players. They are all over their team's histories and they are symbols of the franchise. When it comes to those types of players, the rules change a little. Right away, people will say, what about Brett Favre? Well, the Packers did treat him with respect, but there came a time when they absolutely had to move on. All players hit a wall, but the wall is a little farther out for the heritage guys. By the way, Roethlisberger hasn't turned 27 yet.

David from New York, NY:
Vic, you totally missed the point of Jason from Orange Park regarding Santonio Holmes' post-touchdown celebration. Jason, I and countless others couldn't care less whether Holmes is fined, the point being there is no question that a 15-yard celebration penalty should have been enforced on the kickoff, and that would have been huge in that situation.

Vic: And you're totally missing the point that the officials can't see everything. For the Super Bowl, TV has cameras mounted on top of cameras. If a guy in the last row of the upper deck is picking his nose, they can find him, zoom in and embarrass the guy to the whole world. All you have to do is sit, watch and pass judgment. The officials don't have that luxury. The only time they may use the big eye in the sky is when a coach has challenged one of their calls or the booth-review guy buzzes them. OK, they missed the celebration. What do you want them to do now, go back, assess the penalty and play the game from there? Life's tough and it's often not fair. Wanna win? Here's what you do. You stop the other guy from going 88 yards in the final two minutes-plus of the game, after his first pass completion was nullified by a penalty that left him facing a first and 20 at his 12-yard line.

Scott from Canandaigua, NY:
You know how bad Fitzgerald got snubbed for the Heisman? My mother still points it out whenever she sees or hears about Fitzgerald. Now, on a side note, last year after the Giants won, there was a major push by other teams to get pass-rushers. What will be the new trend this year?

Vic: I could say that every team will be looking for a crunch-time quarterback, but they always have been so nothing will change there. If there will be a trend, I think it'll be that teams will use Mike Tomlin as their new head coach standard. That's two years in a row that a no-nonsense, strict disciplinarian coach has won the Super Bowl and that is, in my opinion, a trend.

Andrew from Jacksonville:
In regards to Bill's from Orange Park question, I don't think you would sacrifice a definite six points for a possible six points and some clock time. Remember when the Cardinals were on the one and turned it over, which resulted in a Steelers TD? They could've tried to pound it in and turned it over and their six points could be going the other way. Remember, also, in 2006, Colts vs. Steelers, Bettis' fumble? Anything can happen.

Vic: You've got a good football mind. Anybody who thinks it's the right decision to stop short of the goal line when you're trailing by four points with fewer than three minutes to play in the Super Bowl needs a rabies shot. Can you imagine the fallout if Larry Fitzgerald had done that and the Cardinals didn't score a touchdown? A similar situation had already produced the longest play in Super Bowl history. Even if the Cardinals had been trailing by two points, I don't believe it would've been the right thing to do, but I am absolutely sure you don't do it when you're trailing by four. I am stunned by the number of e-mails I've received from people who think Fitzgerald should've stopped short of the goal line. Please, if you feel the need to express that opinion, put a fake name on your e-mail. Protect your identity. When Brian Westbrook did it, the Eagles were leading. All they had to do was kneel. Ask yourself this question: What does Fitzgerald tell his grandchildren about that play some day? Well, kids, I could've scored and we would've won the game, but I decided to stop short. I'm very concerned about the mental health of anybody who thinks Fitzgerald did the wrong thing. How can I help?

Jay from Little Rock, AR:
From a Chiefs fan, do you know Todd Haley and do you think he'll make a good head coach?

Vic: I remember little Todd from when he was a ballboy with the Steelers. After the Cardinals' first playoff win, I called his dad and asked him if that's the same kid who wore the baggy shorts and tube socks. He said it is. I think he'll be a great coach.

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