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Jags need 'hot' quarterbacks

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

Mathias from Stockholm, Sweden:
Who will be the next coach inducted into the HOF?

Vic: That's another category where I think there needs to be a pull-back or slowdown. When John Madden was selected, it opened the door for nearly every coach who had won one Super Bowl. Based on Madden's numbers, Bill Cowher, Tony Dungy, Tom Coughlin, Bill Belichick, Mike Shanahan and Mike Holmgren are "locks" for induction. Hey, that's a lot of coaches, and what about Marty Schottenheimer and Dan Reeves? I don't think the question should be who's next? I think the question should be where will it stop?

Peter from Atlantic Beach, FL:
There are no position coaches in the HOF. What do you think about Dick LeBeau and Alex Gibbs after they retire? They have had great influence wherever they have been.

Vic: We had this conversation on "Jaguars This Week" and I found it enlightening. LeBeau and Gibbs have been great assistant coaches. So have Monte Kiffin, Dick Hoak, Jim Johnson and Tom Moore, to name a few more. In my opinion, LeBeau should be in the Hall of Fame based on his contribution as a player/coach. Assistant coaches? I don't think so. I think that goes beyond the limits of the Hall of Fame. I think a guy should have to climb to the level of head coach before he can dream of making it into the Hall of Fame.

Glenn from Greenville, NC:
Julius Peppers says he wants to play in a 3-4 defense. Do you think he is big enough to play on a three-man line or athletic enough to play outside linebacker?

Vic: He must want to be a linebacker because I can't imagine why anyone would want to be a 3-4 defensive end. You're talking about a whole lot of two-gapping. In other words, doing the grunt work so the linebackers can get the sacks and all the glory.

Ed from St. Augustine, FL:
Dom Capers is switching the Packers to a 3-4 defense. What can he be thinking?

Vic: That doesn't surprise me. Dom is a 3-4 guy and based on what I saw of the Packers defense when they played in Jacksonville, they would seem to have a lot of two-gap guys among their defensive linemen. The challenge will be turning the Packers' corners, who specialize in press man-to-man coverage, into zone-coverage guys, and finding the kind of run-and-hit linebackers that warrant playing the 3-4.

Josie from Jacksonville:
Did the Jaguars have an opportunity to get Larry Fitzgerald during his draft? Who in this draft looks most like Larry Fitzgerald?

Vic: Fitzgerald was selected by Arizona with the third overall pick in 2004. The Jaguars loved Fitzgerald and tried to trade up to draft him but the Cardinals apparently wanted too much in the trade. The Jaguars had the ninth overall pick. The next wide receiver selected was Roy Williams by Detroit at number seven. I see no one in this draft who reminds me of Fitzgerald, but I can't think of anyone I've ever seen who reminds me of Fitzgerald. With all due respect to Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver in history, I have never seen anyone catch the ball with the aplomb and ease with which Fitzgerald does. Imagine him finishing second in the Heisman voting to Jason White. What a disgrace.

Rob from St. Augustine, FL:
What's the minimum wage in the NFL? What does practice squad players make?

Vic: Rookie minimum wage for the 2009 season is $310,000. Practice squad players earn $5,200 a week for a maximum of 17 weeks.

Ryan from Clyde, OH:
I remember after the draft I asked you who the best team was in the draft and you said the Arizona Cardinals. Do you think that's part of the reason they are in the Super Bowl?

Vic: Absolutely it is. The Cardinals have drafted very well. They got Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in round one in 2008 and Tim Hightower in round five. Levi Brown was the fifth overall pick in '07 and Steve Breaston was a steal that year in round five. There's a lot more there than just Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, both of whom are draft picks. There are drafted players such as Gerald Hayes, Deuce Lutuli, Antrel Rolle, etc.

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL:
What do you think about the Steelers playing against a team with as much of a Pittsburgh influence as the Cardinals have? Does it really matter or is too much being made of this?

Vic: It matters. I covered a Super Bowl, XIV, in which several of the Rams coaches came from Chuck Noll's staff. They knew the Steelers inside and out, including the Steelers' audible system. The Cardinals have a distinct advantage that Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm know the Steelers as well as they do.

Mike from St. Augustine, FL:
It seems like most of the original attraction to the 3-4 was that it should be easier to find 6-2, 240-pound players than mammoth linemen.

Vic: The real attraction is that it's easier to find defensive linemen who can hold the point than it is to find defensive linemen who can hold the point and rush the passer. In a 3-4, rushing the passer is left to the linebackers who, in many cases, are college defensive ends with pass-rush ability but are too small to play end in the NFL. LaMarr Woodley is such a player.

Cheyne from Greensboro, NC:
I know you're against free agency. I, essentially, agree with you and by no means am I campaigning for more high-dollar free agents, however, what do we attribute to Minnesota? They purchased a pass-rusher and a deep threat and it propelled them to the top of the division. What would you call that? Anomaly? Irrelevant? Aberration?

Vic: They had to borrow the money to sign the pass-rusher. What would you call that?

John from Newport News, VA:
If you were the Steelers, how would deal with Larry Fitzgerald?

Vic: I'd rush the passer.

Jon from Lincoln, NE:
I know you're probably getting sick of the HOF questions, but what is your opinion of Derrick Thomas? Is he worthy of a look from the Hall?

Vic: If I were on the selection committee, he'd be one of my picks this year.

Jonathon from Washington, DC:
Would you cut Larry Fitzgerald Sr. any slack this Sunday, or is the "no cheering in the press box" rule an absolute?

Vic: I sat just across the aisle from Fitzgerald's father in the press box a few years ago, in a game in which his son was playing, and I never heard him say a word. He's a pro.

Mario from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
The selection of Mel Tucker as the defensive coordinator has created quite a stir among my peers. He's a 3-4 type coordinator and I understand he's good at scheming this defense. Jack is a 4-3 guy and has stated in the past that this is the defensive style of his team. You have always professed the team does not possess the talents to play a 4-3. What are your thoughts on this now? Thanks.

Vic: I've changed since yesterday. I now believe the team should make the switch to a 3-4 defense immediately. There's no question that the Jaguars' talent fits a 3-4. Nothing beats a high-cut nose tackle. Thin-legged defensive ends are perfect in a two-gap system. A roster that's light on linebackers and heavy on linemen is just what you want. Any changes that have to be made can be made quickly. Hey, the Jags have six draft picks to do it. Never mind that Jack Del Rio believes in a 4-3 system and the team has drafted to fit it. Never mind that Dom Capers is a 3-4 guy but the Jaguars remained a 4-3 team when he became its defensive coordinator. Change is the important thing. It must be done and it must be done now.

Donny from Lake Mary, FL:
Based on the trend that many NFL teams don't intend to trade up into the top 10 of the draft because of the risk factor, as well as the guaranteed money paid at that level, how difficult in your opinion will it be for the Jags to trade down for appropriate value in this year's draft?

Vic: That's a question I asked Gene Smith on Wednesday and he said he believes there will be enough enticement to persuade a team to move up. Normally, it takes a quarterback to get a team to move up. This year's draft, however, lacks "hot" quarterbacks. The hope is that will change during the postseason workouts. If Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez got "hot" at the combine and in their pro days and personal workouts, the Jags could all of a sudden find themselves holding a "hot" pick. In my opinion, that's what it would take.

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