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I'm off to Seattle

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

Jeff from Richmondale, PA:
The Jets traded their third and fifth-round picks for a wide receiver who doesn't know how to catch a football. Is this the stupidest trade of the year?

Vic: How about the Roy Williams and Deion Branch trades? How are those working for the Cowboys and Seahawks? A third and a fifth isn't that bad, but only if Braylon Edwards actually turns into a dependable receiver. By the time that happens, the Jets could've probably used one of those picks to draft a dependable wide receiver.

Jason from Jacksonville:
Stafford, Tebow, Sanchez, Bradford and McCoy. Out of those five quarterbacks, who do you think will have the best NFL career and why?

Vic: Stafford and Sanchez would be my picks because they would seem to have the best skill set for the pro game.

Josh from Jacksonville:
These Mike Pereira rulings are ridiculous. When a player touches the pylon at the end zone with the football, the play is over and he can lose control of the ball as he falls, but if the player touches three feet down, it's not a touchdown?

Vic: As I have said in the past, the rulebook is too thick and subject to way too much interpretation. Simply put, officiating has become too important, but there's also another side to this. Why is it college football officiating, which is horrible beyond belief, isn't subject to the same criticism that NFL officiating is? I believe one of the reasons is that the NFL promotes scrutiny and criticism with these weekly reviews. In my opinion, going public with Pereira's analysis of the week's calls is a big mistake. It is what it is. Game over. Deal with it.

J.T. from Altamonte Springs, FL:
I read your article on character guys and the chemistry in the locker room. I am a long-time reader and I always thought you were not a chemistry guy. Are you buying into this, or are you just reporting what you hear?

Vic: If the explanation is the Jaguars have better chemistry because they got rid of guys who aren't dedicated to the game and replaced them with guys who work hard and are committed to winning, and that's why the locker room is a happier place, then I'm buyin'. If the explanation, however, is that the locker room is a happier place and that's why guys are working harder, then I'm not buyin'. I'm pretty sure it's the former. When I say I'm not a chemistry guy, what I mean is that I don't believe that liking each other makes you a winner. I believe that being dedicated and working hard lead to winning and that makes everyone happier. In other words, first comes the doing, then comes the feeling. That's why I never bought into that bad chemistry last year. It's because it was taken to mean everything would've changed if everybody had liked each other more, and that's just utter nonsense. Gene Smith has not only brought in players of higher character, he's also brought in players of greater skill. That's the chemistry I like: better players.

Chris from St. Augustine, FL:
Do you feel Derrick Harvey is one of those square pegs in a round hole, or does he have the chance to be successful in this defense? I see a talented player without a true position within this defense.

Vic: Harvey was said to be a bit of a tweener coming out of college. Frankly, I see a guy who has true 4-3 defensive end size, so I really don't get the tweener thing. In the 3-4, however, his body type isn't as natural a fit. I also believe the Jaguars are playing a lot more 3-4 than they intended to play. I think Reggie Hayward's injury chased them out of the 4-3 by necessity. I think they planned to use the 3-4 as a specialty defense. With that in mind, I don't think we can make a determination on Harvey this year because I agree with you, I don't think he has a true position in the 3-4.

Jason from Virginia Beach, VA:
I still don't understand the explanation by Mike Pereira. He said you have to maintain possession of the ball to the ground. Shouldn't Walker landing on the player who was on the ground count? Does this mean that any defender can prevent a wide receiver from hitting the ground, swat the ball out, and it still be called incomplete?

Vic: I really don't know what the truth is. I'm being told that when a receiver attempts to catch a pass as it's being contested by a defender, the receiver must control the ball through the ground or until he spikes it and does a dance or whatever. The whole ground thing is becoming ridiculous and the lateness of whistles is also becoming a major concern. I know why officials are slow on their whistles – so they avoid whistling plays dead and not being able to review them – but slow whistles have introduced other problems. Look at the Steelers-Chargers game. The punt-returner was being held up and mugged until the ball was pulled free. The guy's knee was on a Chargers player who was on the ground; he couldn't get to the ground. The play, however, wasn't whistled dead, as it should've been, and the Chargers were allowed to rip the ball free and return it for a cheap touchdown. In my opinion, Pereira has some work to do, and I think it starts by simplifying everything. Frankly, I don't know who could officiate today's games according to these rules and instructions.

Rodney from Gainesville, FL:
How would you compare David Garrard and Tim Tebow?

Vic: In my opinion, there's no comparison. Garrard is a classic drop-back, pro-style quarterback; Tebow is an option-style, college quarterback. Garrard has a better arm, better mechanics and is a more accurate passer. Tebow is a fantastic runner, but so is Garrard. The big question is: Can Tebow develop his skills to fit the pro game? I don't know the answer to that question but, in my opinion, getting the answer requires taking a risk I wouldn't be willing to accept early in the draft. Again, that's my opinion.

James from Jupiter, FL:
What is the difference between a strong safety and a rover? Is there any advantage or disadvantage by having a rover?

Vic: There's really no difference. Call him a rover or monster or hero or wolfman or whatever, the bottom line is he's a safety being used as the eighth man in the box, just as safeties are in the pro game. The college game actually took the lead on inventive uses of the safety. Because the college game was more of a running game than pro football, it could employ a safety, usually the strong safety, in the rover role and not worry about getting burned in the passing game. The pro game needed both safeties in the passing game more, but then came the zone-blitz and that caused a fever for creative ways to use safeties.

Reggie from Jacksonville:
Are you also leaving early on Friday for Seattle to get used to the time change?

Vic: Absolutely I will. It's going to be strange watching college football at nine o'clock in the morning and I need to get prepared.

Jason from Irvine, CA:
For the record, I did get the Limbaugh response and that small laugh got me through the rest of a very boring class. Please keep up the lightheartedness. That's when I think this column's at its best.

Vic: Yeah, but you're just another one of those bleeding-heart, pinko, California liberals.

John from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
When I drive to work every morning, I see the Jaguars billboard with Derrick Harvey and the three linebackers pointing to an empty seat. The message to me, a season ticket holder since day one, is a negative. Replace those four players with Jaxson, a cheerleader, MoJo. Then in the background, show me a collage including t-shirt cannons, fireworks, a flyover, the giant American flag, a crazy mascot, dancing cheerleaders, a smiling beer man and some crazy fans. Use bright party colors with streamers and confetti and show the low ticket price of $39.99 (but I'd find a way to make it $29.99 or $19.99). Make it worthy of Orlando-type hype and then also stick the ad in Orlando, Daytona, Tallahassee, etc. What does the sign now say? It puts a smile on my face every morning as I drive to work and think about the wonderful game-day experience the Jaguars provide. To the non-ticket holder, it constantly reminds them of the great entertainment they're missing. How a marketing department could not do better on this is beyond me and most people who know business and know people.

Vic: I'm off to Seattle, folks.

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