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Jets got a great player

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

Mike from Gallitzin, PA:
What is your opinion of the Santonio Holmes trade?

Vic: The Jets got a great player for next to nothing. The Steelers got something, though very little, for a player who was in the last year of his contract, they weren't going to re-sign and would've lost in free agency. From their standpoint, they got the compensatory pick they would've gotten for losing Holmes a year early. Clearly, Holmes wore out his welcome in Pittsburgh. There's a report that he'll be suspended for the first four games of next season due to a positive test. The Steelers also have a young receiver, Mike Wallace, they wanna feature. The Steelers probably feel they got their money's worth out of Holmes, who was the star of their championship run in the 2008 postseason, and this was a good time to cut ties with a player who had become more trouble than they cared to endure. The Jets, however, clearly got the better of this deal. If they can turn the light on in Holmes' head, he can be a lights-out player for a long time. We're talking about a player who is just now coming into his prime years. Yes, wide receivers are a dime a dozen, but this is a special wide receiver because he makes big plays with his hands and feet and he's also a lights-out punt-returner. With this move, the Jets may have won the AFC East title. Meanwhile, the Steelers sent a message to their players that no one is sacred, not even a player one year removed from being the Super Bowl MVP.

Lee from Laurel, MD:
Did the Eagles trade themselves into last place in the division?

Vic: They may have done that, or they may have turned the page to a new chapter of success. I can tell you this: The Eagles didn't trade out of first place. They got all they could out of Donovan McNabb. Good teams stay young. The McNabb-Westbrook years are over. The question is: Can Kevin Kolb and LeSean McCoy replace them?

Jesse from Key Largo, FL:
That's why I like reading your column. You make me think. Imagine the Bears picking Marino at six, instead of Covert. It blows my mind to think about it. You never can be certain but they could have been the team of the 1980's. Marino could have been considered the best ever at his position the same way Jim Brown is for running backs. That would have been something to watch.

Vic: There was nothing wrong with the Jim Covert pick. He's a player worthy of Hall of Fame selection. The Bears had two first-round picks that year and where they screwed up was picking Willie Gault 18th instead of Marino, even though they had picked Jim McMahon in the first round the previous year. You don't pick a wide receiver when a franchise quarterback is staring you in the face, especially when your coach is Mike Ditka, who played at Pitt and drafted Covert after watching tape after tape of Covert protecting Marino's blindside at Pitt. Had the Bears drafted Marino, they might've won the Super Bowls the 49ers and Giants did. That's how fragile the draft can turn out being. The decisions you make in the draft determine the long-term future of your franchise. What if the Steelers had drafted Marino? Put him with Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake, Gregg Lloyd and company and what do you think the result would've been? What if Miami had drafted somebody that could run the ball or play defense?

Fred from Naples, FL:
You mentioned that next year might be the best draft for quarterbacks since 1983. Other than Christian Ponder of my beloved Noles, who else out there is draft-worthy?

Vic: Jake Locker of Washington, Nathan Enderle of Idaho, Ryan Mallett of Arkansas, Andy Dalton of TCU, Case Keenum of Houston, Blaine Gabbert of Missouri (he's a guy I especially like), Pat Devlin of Delaware and lots more.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
What do you miss most about the long-lost, old diet, the Primanti Bros.?

Vic: No, it's the white bread. I'm crazy about bread, especially fresh, doughy white bread. I could sit and eat a whole loaf at dinner, but a doctor told me, "The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead," and now I only eat wheat bread, multi-grain, etc. Even my beloved bagel in the morning is gone. I've learned to like wheat, even wheat crackers, but it tastes like medicine compared to a delicious slice of Italian bread. I used to go to this Italian store back home. As soon as you walked in the door you got smacked in the face by all of the smells. They had fresh-baked loaves of bread piled up like logs in open-ended bags. I'd grab a couple of "logs" and head home for the olive oil. The combination would send me into a feeding frenzy. Dippin' wheat bread into olive oil ain't the same.

Marlin from Palatka, FL:
This year you and the Jaguars have the pleasure of visiting two brand-new stadiums for the first time, in New York and in Dallas. Which of the two are you most looking forward to seeing and why?

Vic: I'm not looking forward to seeing either one because my expectation is that they're both over the top. I don't like football stadiums that aren't football stadiums. The one in Dallas looks gross. It looks like some kind of sensaround theater. I love the new stadiums in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Pittsburgh and Tennessee because they look and feel like football stadiums. They all have great sight lines but they don't kill you with design. I also like football stadiums that are fitted into their environments, and each one of those stadiums is. One of the things I didn't like about Texas Stadium and Giants Stadium is that each one looked as though it was built on the surface of the moon. Neither one contributed to anything. It was as though they were built in parking lots. When I cover a game, I want to get a feeling for the game and the place. I never got a feeling for Texas Stadium or Giants Stadium. They trumpeted the hole in the roof and the wind when the doors were left open, but I thought they were stadiums that lacked personality and I expect the same from their replacements.

Rosario from Michigan:
Would it have been a better decision for Tebow to have come out last year instead of waiting until this year? You and Mayock are the best analysts out there.

Vic: I absolutely think he did the right thing in getting all he could out of his college career. Tim Tebow is college football. What he did at Florida is likely to be how he is remembered, just as what Archie Griffin did at Ohio State is how he is remembered. I don't think Tebow will approach in the NFL the success he had at Florida; Griffin didn't, either. The NFL isn't for everybody and there's nothing wrong with being one of the greatest players in college football history.

Jason from Jacksonville:
I was watching ESPN's "On The Clock" segment about the Jaguars. One of the guys on the show brought up what I thought was a great point. We're so concerned with good-character guys that the team lacks an edge. Trent Dilfer stated he wouldn't want to go to battle with 52 nice guys. I've felt this way for awhile, especially after Mike Peterson and Marcus Stroud left. What do you think?

Vic: I think that's total crap. Dilfer can't possibly believe what he said, if that's what he said. "Hey, guys, this player is really good, but we can't take him because his character is too high." Yeah, that makes total sense. By the way, what did Peterson and Stroud ever do that you would question their character?

Chad from Jacksonville:
What is the average amount of trades per draft?

Vic: I counted 42 in last year's draft and 46 in 2008, and that only counts trades that were made as of the start of trading in Feb. of those years.

Ivory from Jacksonville:
Who will the Jaguars draft with the 10th pick or will they trade down? My opinion is that I would trade down to the second round and get Tebow to save the franchise. If I decide not to trade down, then I would select C.J. Spiller. With both Spiller and Drew running the ball and if David Garrard would roll out when he throws, we would give Indy fits. What is your opinion, Vic?

Vic: You're allowed to draft players from other states. That's why they call it the "National" Football League.

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