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It was in need of reform

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

What happened with Courtney Brown?:
What happened with Courtney Brown?

Vic: Indications are Courtney Brown wanted to play in Denver because the Broncos have an assistant coach with whom Brown developed strong ties when they were together in Cleveland. In my opinion, Brown used Washington and Jacksonville to drive up his price and get the best deal he could in Denver. It's professional football. It's about the money.

Daniel from Springfield, MO:
Erasmus James has recent injury history. How much does injury play into placing people on draft boards?

Vic: Medical concerns have a major impact on the stock of draft prospects. Erasmus James is a big-time talent at a premium position. I saw him a couple of times early last season and he reminded me of Julius Peppers. James, however, has a history of injuries and there are growing concerns about a hip injury. It is said to be causing him to fall in the order. So what do you do if he falls to you? Do you take a chance on a great talent who otherwise would've been long gone, or do you pass on him, like everybody before you had, because the risk is too great?

Nick from Tallahassee, FL:
Considering draftable players, do you acquire all your knowledge of these players through Jaguars reps or do you listen to, say, Mel Kiper?

Vic: I'm a reporter. I use every bit of credible information I can find.

Mike from Jacksonville:
It seems to me the NFL is turning into a softy sport like baseball or basketball, now that blind-side hits are going to be penalized as well as cut-blocks, helmet-to-helmet, etc. Let's create a time machine and go back to the 1970's when football was a man's game.

Vic: I can't help but recall Jack Lambert's line that they're putting "skirts on the quarterbacks," however, times change and the '70's game was in need of reform. It had become too vicious. Any time I think I want to see a return to the '70's, I remind myself of Darryl Stingley.

Malosi from Valencia, CA:
Did you hear the rumor that the Chargers could trade Phillip Rivers to the 49ers for their number one pick this year? It sounds crazy, but then I guess most people would agree that Rivers grades out higher than Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees seems to have come around. Plus, it doesn't seem likely the 49ers will be able to trade down since teams feel they will get who they want anyway from a lower pick. Does this seem like it could happen cap-wise?

Vic: That's tasty food for thought. I agree Phillip Rivers would be more attractive than the two guys in this year's draft. From that standpoint, it would make sense for the 49ers to be interested, but I wouldn't give the Chargers the first pick of the draft for the 12th pick of the draft without getting at least another first-day pick. But the really big stumbling block in a Rivers trade is his remaining amortization. Rivers just got another $6.625 million in bonus money in March, which raises his remaining amortization to a staggering $13 million. By trading Rivers, the Chargers would have to eat all of that amount on their 2005 salary cap. Frankly, I think it would make them look very, very foolish. My immediate question would be: Why didn't they make this trade early in March before they paid Rivers his most recent bonus?

Andrew from Waipahu, HI:
Just out of curiosity, what's your opinion of Timmy Chang from the University of Hawaii? He is the NCAA career passing yards leader, but I know the NFL is very hesitant to draft gimmick players. I think he'll go in a late round to a team willing to take a chance on the kid. Your thoughts?

Vic: He's a system quarterback. In a "West Coast offense," he may have a future as a backup. I watched him closely in some kind of late-season or postseason game. He didn't pique my interest.

Jason from Jacksonville:
Who was the last player drafted in 2004? Did he play or make an impact on his team?

Vic: Oakland drafted Colorado State linebacker Andre Sommersell with the 255th and final pick of the 2004 draft. Sommersell is now with the Colts and they have allocated him to NFL Europe. He was on the Browns' and Colts' practice squads for a total of two regular-season and two postseason weeks last season.

Nick from Atlanta, GA:
What two positions normally create the best tandem on offense/defense, meaning the two positions you would want to build around?

Vic: Quarterback and running back on offense, and defensive tackle and defensive end on defense.

Kelvin from Atlanta, GA:
William Green may be cut now since it seems that a trade between the Browns and the Broncos will send Reuben Droughns to Cleveland. What do you feel about the Jags picking up William Green as insurance to Fred Taylor?

Vic: You may be the first person to ever describe William Green as insurance.

Cory from Jacksonville:
Are you able to get around to all the e-mails?

Vic: I read them all.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
Speed, power, ability to find the holes in the line and good hands; that's a lot to ask of a running back. Are there any out there in this year's draft class?

Vic: Ronnie Brown and Cedric Benson are do-it-all types, and that's why they'll be drafted in the top-five picks. One back who interests me is Louisville's Eric Shelton. At 6-1, 246, Shelton is a big back who moves the pile. He's a true "pounder," but he's also a guy who's got some very impressive speed and athletic ability. He ran 4.54 and 4.60 – very good speed for a guy his size – at the scouting combine, and he jumped out of the RCA Dome with a 38.5-inch vertical jump. He is said to have marginal catching and blocking ability, but you would think an athlete of his ability could certainly improve in those two areas. He's considered to be a second-round prospect. He'd interest me.

John from Jacksonville:
Can you provide examples of high-priced free-agent successes and failures from last season?

Vic: Terrell Owens and Bert Berry were big hits and Jeff Garcia and Warren Sapp were big misses. There are a lot of examples on both sides. It's a crap shoot and it can cost a lot of money to play.

Brad from Jacksonville Beach:
Has there been anything said or done by coaches or players that gives you a good feeling for what's to come with the Jaguars this season?

Vic: As I said yesterday, the players have been gone since the end of last season. I've seen a few roaming the hallway, but it's not as though the players spend the winter champing at the bit to start another season. This is their rest time and they rest themselves mentally and emotionally as well as physically. If there is one thing that has given me a good feeling about what might be ahead this year, it's the approach the Jaguars took into free agency. They went big for a specific need, instead of signing a lot of guys, as they did a year ago. That leads me to believe their needs are fewer. Maybe they think they're close. We'll see.

Daniel from Orlando, FL:
Are there any players that were picked low in the draft and then went on to become superstars?

Vic: Tom Brady and Terrell Davis are the best examples in recent years. Curtis Martin, Terrell Owens and Hines Ward were third-round picks. There are a lot of low-round guys who went on to become stars, but relative to all of the low-round picks who never did a thing, the low-round picks who become stars represent a very small percentage.

Troy from Orlando, FL:
I'm a soldier in Iraq and I've submitted three questions that haven't been posted. You are answering questions from people in Iceland asking dumb questions and I can't get one of mine answered. Do you have favorites or am I getting passed by coincidentally?

Vic: Troy, I get hundreds of questions and then I get questions asking me why I didn't use their question. It's impossible to use them all. I select what I select for obvious reasons: they introduce fresh material, they allow for entertaining banter, etc. I'm looking for something out of the ordinary. Your question is out of the ordinary because you identify yourself as a soldier in Iraq. I want you to know that you have my respect and my appreciation.

Chris from Jacksonville:
My grandfather recently passed away and he left me some sports memorabilia. One of them is an original silver Jaguar helmet. I was wondering if you might know how much it is worth?

Vic: Not as much as your memory of your grandfather. Keep that helmet.

Adam from Sandown, NH:
You seem really high on Charlie Frye, so much so that you put him in your top 32, and I've heard that he is a second or third-round guy. I am a Charlie Frye fan as well, but why do you think he is worthy of the top 32?

Vic: He's a quarterback, which is the most premium and overdrafted position in football. Experience tells me quarterbacks shoot up boards as the draft nears.

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