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It was not the single wing

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

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
Should the Jaguars be concerned at all about Steve Slaton?

Vic: Yeah, I think they should because Slaton has real, game-breaking speed. He made the mistake of bulking up last season, with the idea that it would make him more attractive to NFL scouts. What it did was cause him to lose a step and that resulted in a terrible drop in production, which allowed the Texans to get Slaton in the third round. Well, his speed is back and Slaton could turn out to be the steal of this year's draft. He's averaging 5.1 yards per carry.

Blake from Jacksonville:
What's wrong with the Texans?

Vic: They're allowing too much rushing yardage.

Bernard from Okinawa, Japan:
From what you just explained about the strategy that Miami used and how easy it is to neutralize it, didn't that just show that Belichick isn't as great as people think?

Vic: Bill Belichick is a great coach, but all great coaches have great quarterbacks and Belichick doesn't have his right now. Did people really expect the Patriots to just keep winning after they lost Tom Brady? Look at the coaches in the Hall of Fame: Paul Brown had Otto Graham, Weeb Ewbank had Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath, George Halas had Sid Luckman, Tom Landry had Roger Staubach, Marv Levy had Jim Kelly, Vince Lombardi had Bart Starr, Chuck Noll had Terry Bradshaw, Don Shula had Bob Griese and Dan Marino, Hank Stram had Len Dawson and Bill Walsh had Joe Montana. Those aren't coincidences. Great coaches and great quarterbacks go hand in hand.

Jason from Chicago, IL:
I hardly consider writing a play-by-play of what's happening in a football game journalism. Your feigned integrity nonsense is laughable.

Vic: Yeah, but they pay me to do it and I keep getting alumni magazines from the Kent State School of Journalism that tell me about all of the great things the other graduates are doing. Do you think they just do that because they want me to contribute money? Now that really hurts.

Vince from Fredericksburg, VA:
Having been stationed in Europe for several years, I can assure you that Boo Weekley's postmatch interview clip, where he makes mention of a pack of dogs and a biscuit, in his best backwoods dialect, will be the only video clip the Europeans will see. Then they'll have to ask themselves, "We lost to them?" I love it.

Vic: I don't get it. Why do we dislike everyone and why do we want everyone to dislike us? Why are we so angry?

Scott from Indianapolis, IN:
I love how you take the word of a minimum-wage security guard and a Pittsburgh sportswriter as gospel. It was so loud in the RCA Dome because it was a relatively small, totally enclosed dome and the sound bounced off the low roof. Lucas Oil will never be as loud because the sound has so much room to go up and dissipate.

Vic: Scott, it was a joke. Did you really not get it? As the RCA Dome moves closer to its demolition date, I think it's time to stop and appreciate the wonderful years of piped-in hilarity it gave us. Truth be known, I like Indianapolis. I like the people, I like the town and I love the new stadium. It's time to let it go now. We've had our fun. We both need to move on.

Alex from New York City, NY:
Why in old footage do I see the linemen of some teams kind of crouch down, stand up and then assume their stance before the snap of the ball?

Vic: The Cowboys did it under Tom Landry. It was just a timing thing. In the run-the-ball era, it was a way of saying that when you go down into a three-point stance, you better be ready to come off the ball hard and together. A unified line surge is everything in the running game. Coaches would spend hours upon hours of practice time getting their offensive line to come off the ball low, hard and together at the precise moment the ball was snapped. In the passing game era, linemen squat and announce their intention to retreat into pass-blocking. It's a different game.

Mike from St. Augustine, FL:
You had me for a second there with your campaign platform, but I think it would only work out to about $5,000 per taxpayer. After only two days of campaigning, you're already pandering to the special interests and making promises you can't keep.

Vic: Come on, it was just a small exaggeration, and I never really said that's what you'd get, I just asked if you could use a half million dollars. That's how it's done, right? It's like saying you were opposed to something when you were really for it. You've heard of poetic license, right? Well this is political license.

Keith from Jacksonville:
Who determines if practices are open to the media? Does the league have any rules governing media access?

Vic: The head coach determines if practice is open to the media. The league requires that practice be open to the media for the first 30 minutes or until the important stuff starts, whichever comes first.

Aaron from St. Augustine, FL:
As of today, I am writing you in for president. Who is going to be your running mate?

Vic: My first instinct would be Snoop but, on second thought, I'd go with Jenny McCarthy, whether she knows anything about hockey or not. We could use that picture of us from back in June for our campaign signs.

William from Jacksonville:
After you are elected president, will congress be given a hard cap or a soft cap?

Vic: Congress won't be necessary. The guys in the Delta 88 will take care of the extra stuff.

John from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I solved the elevator problem. All stadiums should put an escalator next to the elevator.

Vic: Or they could do what they've done in Tennessee and in Pittsburgh, which is to put the press box at a reasonable height and put a staircase adjacent to it so the media can do two things: 1.) See the game. 2.) Walk to the locker rooms after the game.

Michael from Toronto, Ontario:
"Dr. Z" of wrote: "They ran a direct snap to Ronnie Brown, with Chad Pennington out on the wing, six times, with spectacular results. This has caused journalists with a poor knowledge of football history to hail the return of the single wing, 'a formation 100 years old,' according to the AP. First of all, 100 years ago the basic formation was the T. Different, of course, than the open T-formation of today, but a tight alignment with the QB right behind the center. And the single wing? Oh, my, what a beautiful thing – that few people today have ever seen. The run-pass tailback and the spinning fullback and the short, evil-looking blocking back, designated QB in those days, cruising behind the line, delivering those devastating trap blocks. Dear departed past, will I ever see it again?" Just like you said, Vic, the single wing is not what the Dolphins did, but is there a college team out there doing it? If not, will they ever be able to bring it back?

Vic: What the Dolphins did wasn't the single wing because all four backs were not positioned in the backfield together in a tight, descending formation. That's what gives the single wing its unmistakable wing appearance. One of the Dolphins' four backs was used as a flanker and split far to the outside. What the Dolphins did was a simple direct snap counter play or counter fake and keep. It reminded me of a play from my youth in the wing T offense: wing left or right, eight or nine counter, depending on whether it was run to the right or left. Compared to the precision ball-handling of the single wing, what the Dolphins did was little more than an off-tackle slant. As I wrote earlier this week, the single wing is ballet. Comparatively speaking, the Dolphins did the bunny hop. There are high school teams that are said to run the single wing, but I can't help but wonder whether they really run the true single wing Pop Warner created at Carlisle Indian School for Jim Thorpe, or if it's a watered-down version. The true single wing is so elaborate in its ball-faking, movement and blocking assignments that I can't imagine any team in today's gap-defense concept of penetration and disruption could run the single wing with any degree of success. It had its day and it was a beautiful thing to watch – I have my own memories of it – but its day has long since passed.

Dan from Columbus, NE:
Just wanted to tell you that you display the same amount of grumpiness you always have. And I wouldn't have it any other way. You're hilarious.

Vic: Yeah, what Brandon said bothered me. Where does he come off saying there was ever a time I wasn't grumpy? Thanks for setting the record straight.

Matt from Orlando, FL:
What constitutes an illegal man downfield?

Vic: Generally speaking, it is an ineligible receiver who has crossed the line of scrimmage before a pass attempt has left the passer's hand. There are, however, rules that make exception for linemen who've engaged a defender at the line of scrimmage and have maintained contact with that defender beyond the line of scrimmage, but that kind of stuff is more than you need to know and it gets tricky. What's important for you to know is that an ineligible receiver, which in nearly all cases is an offensive lineman, can not cross the line of scrimmage until the ball is thrown.

Ed from Jacksonville:
What would happen if there was no bailout? Would we be looking at "Black Tuesday" all over again?

Vic: I don't know, Ed. Everything is out of control. They blew up three packages of perfectly good hot dogs in Philadelphia the other night. Do you have any idea how many needy sportswriters those hot dogs would've fed? I'm so down on everything right now. We need change. We must protect our hot dogs.

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