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I prefer footsie

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

Zoltan from Budapest, Hungary:
In the is soccer boring case, I could say this. It depends on the person. Yeah, there are some, who feel, like you, Vic, that it's boring. This is point of view. But I know many people who think the NFL is boring, too. In my case, I find both very exciting sports because both could be joyful to watch. In case soccer, I could accept that somebody says, it's boring, as his view, even if I think otherwise. I think that's tolerance.

Vic: What, no smack? You're not going to call me an idiot or a moron or a (derogatory word withheld). Come on, Zoltan, you're way too respectful. This is America. No censors here, baby.

John from Jacksonville:
Let's say I am the person who turned my vehicle into the path of Ben Roethlisberger riding his motorcycle. If I currently live in Pittsburgh, do I need to relocate?

Vic: It was a 62-year-old woman. Her husband actually issued a statement. Remember the guy in Chicago who caught the foul ball? This could be worse. I hope she doesn't have a dog.

Michael from Los Angeles, CA:
Soccer bores me to tears, too, and the fact that the fans push passion to the point of imbecility creates no additional lure. Is it OK to have an opinion? Do we have to worry about China on this one, too?

Vic: Not this time. There are a lot of things about America that are worth defending. The greatest of those things is the right to free speech.

Sol from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Better pro football fight song, "Hail to the Redskins" or "Bear Down, Chicago Bears?"

Vic: I love them both. They're right up there with the "Notre Dame Victory March" and "Hail to the Victors."

Leo from New Orleans, LA:
Do you think the new game plan against Roethlisberger, assuming his jaw doesn't fully recover before the season, will be to facemask him as much as possible to try to irritate the injury? Personally, I'd take the five and 15-yard penalties if it meant getting Batch or whomever into the game.

Vic: You gotta get some help, Leo.

D.J. from Jacmel, Haiti:
I'm with you 100 percent about the big deal over soccer. I've been in Haiti for 10 months and they absolutely love it down here. I see kids kicking basketballs or anything round, playing soccer in the streets. I'm working with the U.N. and my co-workers are doing absolutely nothing right now. They're all sitting in front of the TV watching the World Cup. I was at the brunt of their jokes (on Monday) when the U.S. lost. I told them I wasn't impressed with their little sissy game. If any of their countries had the guts to play a real man's game, then we'll see who laughs.

Vic: I don't wanna cause an international incident, but you could tell them if you're going to use your feet for anything it'll be to play footsie at the dinner table with your girlfriend. At least you could use your hands to eat at the same time.

Martin from Fernandina Beach, FL:
In your opinion, who in the AFC South has gotten better in this offseason, and who has gotten worse?

Vic: The Texans have clearly gotten stronger, but that's as you would expect of a team with the first pick of the draft. Of course, I think they could've done even better, had they selected Reggie Bush. I don't think the Colts or the Jaguars can claim to have significantly improved. It's difficult to claim improvement at this time of the year after you've just lost your leading rusher and receiver. Both teams, of course, are coming off very high levels; 13-3 and 12-4. In the Colts' and Jaguars' cases, the intent should be to stay at those same high levels and, this time, win in the playoffs. The Titans, in my opinion, have gotten worse. They paid a lot of money for free agents I consider to be overrated, and I really question their draft; for that matter, their last several drafts. I don't expect the Titans to take a step back from their 4-12 record of last season, but their roster this year isn't as good as the one with which they began last season.

Sam from Cardiff, Wales:
What can we gain from watching offensive linemen in OTA's? Is it just footwork and balance?

Vic: That's about it. The only thing a player can show you in "underwear" practices is his movement and his grasp of the playbook. Movement is a big thing. A lineman's feet and his balance are at the core of everything he does and it's unlikely a guy with bad feet and balance is going to be a good player, but a lot of guys with good feet and good balance become bad players when the contact begins. OTA's, in my opinion, can tell you who can't play, but I don't think they can tell you who can play. You have to have full contact to know who can play.

Tim from Little Rock, AR:
When does Jaguars fall football practice start?

Vic: In 2006, the autumnal equinox will occur on Sept. 23, which is a Saturday, the day before the Jaguars' game at Indianapolis. The Jaguars will conduct a brief, walk-through that morning before flying to Indy. It won't be much of a practice, but it'll be the first practice of the fall.

Ken from St. Augustine, FL:
Most of the NFL team websites list the day, as well as the date and team when showing their schedule. This helps the fans know if the game is Sunday, Monday or Thursday, without pulling out a calendar to look it up. Sure would help.

Vic: Is there anything else I can do for you, Uncle Lewis?

Shaun from Australia:
I remember you mentioning several college quarterbacks who only put up huge numbers because they were "system" players. Do you believe there is anyone in pro football that wouldn't be so successful at another club due to being a "system" player?

Vic: There are a lot of players who wouldn't be as successful with another team. How successful would Peyton Manning be in a throw-it-20-times-a-game, run-the-ball offense such as Pittsburgh's? What about Joe Montana? He played in a "system" offense. The west coast offense is a three-step-drop, throw-it-on-rhythm offense that fit Montana perfectly. What if Montana had been drafted by a team with a seven-step-drop offense? Pro football has its "systems" and they benefit players who have specific skills that fit those systems. Defense, however, is the equalizer. College defenses just don't have the speed and muscle the pro defenses have, so, a college "system" quarterback can throw for a lot of yards and touchdowns – David Klingler, Andre Ware, etc. – but just not have the arm, for example, to succeed against pro defenses. I don't care what system you're in, to succeed in the NFL you've got to have distinct physical skills.

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