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I'm not a halftime guy

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

Steve from St. Augustine, FL:
I am new to this forum of yours and I am curious as to how long you have been doing it. I would also like to know how long will it continue during the offseason. I have become somewhat addicted to it and hope these daily discussions will not stop anytime soon. As a Jaguar fan, I can see how this will make the offseason a little shorter.

Vic: We've been doing "Ask Vic" for three years or more. The column has really grown in popularity and I intend to keep it going on a regular basis during the offseason.

Jason from Jacksonville:
If I remember correctly, the upgrades to Alltel Stadium during last offseason were only a part of the planned improvements for the Super Bowl. Is that accurate? What upgrades can we expect to see in this offseason?

Vic: Super Bowl XXXIX was the impetus to the Alltel Stadium improvements, and the bulk of the work is complete. The major project of this offseason will be the conversion of the old practice fields into a grand entrance and entertainment zone at the south end zone of the stadium.

Rob from St. Augustine, FL:
How can you possibly get a delay-of-game penalty on defense?

Vic: From the NFL rulebook: "The ball must be put in play promptly and any action or inaction by either team that tends to prevent this is a delay of game. It is a delay of game if the ball is not put into play within 40/25 seconds. Other examples of actions or inactions that are to be construed as delay of game or attempts to conserve playing time are: Repeatedly charging into the neutral zone prior to the snap when not otherwise ruled encroaching. With time in, start of neutral zone is unduly delayed by failure of players of either team to assemble promptly."

David from Oviedo, FL:
The site is better than ever; keep up the great work. Every year it seems the winner of a Super Bowl sets a trend. By winning another Super Bowl, what will the New England Patriots inspire other teams to do?

Vic: The New England Patriots are the model for every team that wants to build a lasting championship-caliber roster. No snowman in New England; the Pats won't melt in the spring. They are built to last. How did they accomplish that? By paying careful attention to their salary cap and by drafting well. Those are the key ingredients to building a team that lasts. The Patriots have traded players such as Drew Bledsoe and Tebucky Jones for high draft picks, and the team wasn't afraid to release Lawyer Milloy and plug in a rookie at safety when it became apparent Milloy's contract was going to burden the Pats' salary cap. New England will have seven picks in the first four rounds of next spring's draft. That's what I call sound management; turning salary cap problems into extra draft picks. The Patriots have been very aggressive in managing their roster in favor of the salary cap.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
Congratulations, Vic, on predicting the Super Bowl champs before the season started. Do you get a bonus for this accomplishment?

Vic: I think you know the answer to that. I just wanted to use your question so I could pat myself on the back a little bit.

J.T. from Jacksonville:
Vic, you answer our questions; most of them anyway, which is cool. You help us to learn more about the game and our team. However, not all our questions get answered. I and, hopefully, many others want to know what to expect from you when we ask questions. What kinds of questions do you prefer to respond to, and what kinds of questions do you tend to avoid?

Vic: I'm looking for questions that might help "Ask Vic" in its quest to be informative and entertaining. I avoid questions I've already answered, and submissions that are more editorial comment than they are question. For example, "Has there ever been a team that played in the Super Bowl on its home turf?" is getting real old. I've answered that question probably a half-dozen times over the past couple of years. I'm looking for fresh stuff that is worthy of an answer, and I always like a good laugh.

John from Jacksonville:
When a team releases a player after Feb. 24, I assume the remaining accumulated amortization is a salary cap hit against the 2003 salary cap. Most teams probably have little salary cap room under the 2003 cap to absorb remaining amortization. How do teams get away with not going over the 2003 cap when they release players after Feb. 24 and before March 1?

Vic: Players released on or after Feb. 24 will have their remaining amortization applied to the 2004 salary cap. By the way, the NFL has moved the first day of the league calendar year from March 1 to March 3.

Dino from Jacksonville:
Hey, Vic, I know how the draft order in the first round is established. How does the order go for the next rounds?

Vic: The order remains the same, except in the case of ties. Tied teams move up and back in the order from round to round. For example, the Jaguars are one of six 5-11 teams. After the ties were broken, the Jaguars were put in the ninth spot in the first round. They will have the eighth pick of the second round, seventh in the third, etc. The Redskins have the fifth pick of the first round, then they will drop back to the 10th pick in the second round.

Tim from Crescent City, FL:
I hope I am the first to ask. What did you think of the halftime show last night?

Vic: I turned on ESPN Classic at halftime.

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