Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Just an OTA practice

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

Al from Fruit Cove, FL:
I just want to say that, due in large part to you, I have become a season ticket holder for the first time.

Vic: The whale takes another breath.

Matt from Reno, NV:
You classify Fitzgerald and Johnson as "no-risk" draft picks. What is it that these players had either in their college career or at the combine?

Vic: "No-risk" is a metaphor for "very little risk," because there's no such thing as no risk. Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson had it all coming out of college. There were no red flags. When the worst thing they can say about a guy is that he doesn't have blazing speed, and then he runs a 4.4, that's a guy with very little risk. I can't even remember if there was a negative about Johnson. If there was, it was probably route-running, which is always a favorite fall-back criticism for guys who don't have a flaw. Now compare Fitzgerald, for example, to Roy Williams, who came out in the same draft. Williams had all the tools but there was a big concern about his penchant for disappearing. He wasn't nearly the technician nor the "pro" Fitzgerald was and it showed right away. Williams was a risk-reward receiver, which is to say a guy who had mouth-watering talent but tends to tease and disappoint. Fitzgerald never disappointed. He scored touchdowns and handed the ball to the official. He made possession catches and acrobatic catches and displayed deep-ball and run-after-the-catch skills, too. The Jags loved him and inquired about trading up for him. There was nothing not to like. That's what "no-risk" means.

David from Gainesville, FL:
Regarding the comments from Richard from Jacksonville, I'm a big Gator fan and I've never seen anything in "Ask Vic" that could be described as venom towards UF and its fans. Do you needle us from time to time? Absolutely. But venom? No way. Keep up the good work, Vic, and thank you for adding a bit of spice to our lives.

Vic: That's a refreshing attitude on a Monday morning. Maybe this will be a good week.

Henry from Jacksonville:
Name the All-Pros and do away with the Pro Bowl.

Vic: A player selected to the Pro Bowl is not an All-Pro. An All-Pro is the best in both conferences. A Pro-Bowler is the best in his conference. If you're saying name Pro Bowl teams and not play the game, I'm OK with that, but I don't want to see the selection of all-star teams representing each conference discontinued.

Stephen from Clermont, FL:
I know it was just the Pro Bowl, but wasn't it great to see how good Garrard can be when he has time to throw and elite receivers?

Vic: Time to throw? You mean all day to throw, because there was no pass-rush. That wasn't a football game, that was an OTA practice. As I watched the defensive linemen come off the ball on passing plays, then stand up and stop their rush and allow the quarterback to throw, I couldn't help but recall something I said to one of my media brethren at an OTA practice in the last few years. I said, "One day, this will be how they play the game." Yes, David Garrard can throw the football. Anybody who doesn't think he has the skills to be a big-time NFL quarterback truly knows nothing about judging talent. The biggest part of playing the position, however, is defeating the rush. Please, don't use yesterday's game as a measuring stick, because it wasn't a football game, it was just an OTA practice.

Eric from Princeton, NJ:
After watching the high-octane offense and awful defense in the Pro Bowl, I got a nagging sense that this type of game is the direction the NFL would like to see the game go. Do you feel the same way?

Vic: Yes, I do. You were watching the future of professional football.

Matt from Yulee, FL:
Do you think Wayne Weaver would spend the kind of money to bring in, say, Julius Peppers? You're looking at about $18-20 million for one season, but he would be worth it.

Vic: I don't think this team is positioned to take that kind of risk. We're trying to save a whale. What you're suggesting could beach it.

Jeremy from Siesta Key, FL:
What type of presence will the Jaguars' scouting department have at this week's Texas vs. the nation game?

Vic: Gene Smith will be there. How's that?

K.D. from Ft. Smith, AR:
Any thoughts or observations on the Senior Bowl? Did anybody catch your eye?

Vic: Brandon Graham was sensational. If I was a 3-4 team, I'd circle his name.

Jonathan from Jacksonville:
If Bradford or Clausen are there when we pick, do you think it's a lock we take one of them? If not, I would love to get LeFevour in the third.

Vic: If you're suggesting the first round then, no, I don't think it's a lock. Back in the fall, it appeared this was going to be a strong quarterback crop in this year's draft but, all of a sudden, I'm starting to hear that it's a very weak crop of quarterbacks. This will play out best at the combine. Wait for it, please, because we need to see these guys being challenged to make all of the throws to know if they can. Dan LeFevour is a productive and resourceful quarterback, but I have serious reservations about his arm strength.

Eric from Palm Coast, FL:
Were the players in the Pro-Bowl told not to hit the quarterback?

Vic: Obviously, they all got some kind of memo.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
As a Jaguar and Gator fan, I find your biting sense of humor to be hilarious and your timing is great. Why do people seem to personalize your comments when you're only having a little fun?

Vic: They must protect this house.

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL:
Big question is rush or cover, not only for the Saints but also for these Jags in the upcoming months.

Vic: There's no question for me. Attack! It's always attack. If you're not attacking, you're retreating. I can't think of one team that has played it soft against Peyton Manning and won. The teams that have beaten Manning have made him move his feet. The Steelers sacked him five times in the 2005 playoffs. The Patriots made him move in their '03 and '04 wins. The Chargers got some rush on him. If I have to choose between a slow or quick death, I wanna die quickly. I also think it's the only chance you have to live.

J.R. from Phoenix, AZ:
I sometimes get tired of your sarcasm but something you said brought up a question: out of the 3-4 hours a typical game takes, how much would you say is actual football?

Vic: Snap to whistle? About 12-14 minutes. There are, on average, between 120-140 plays in each game and each plays lasts an average of about six seconds, snap to whistle. I hope that's not too sarcastic for you.

Dave from London, Ontario:
There it is, Vic. Tebow stunk up the Senior Bowl. Let it go, people. It ain't happening.

Vic: That's not fair. You don't judge a guy based on one meaningless all-star game performance. Kris Jenkins "assassinated" Tim Tebow. Jenkins said he'd have to play H-back in the NFL. I was stunned by those remarks, especially on "NFL Network," which seldom has anything bad to say about a player, mostly because it's players talking about players. If there's a problem Tebow faces, it's that he's become a polarizing personality. He has diehard supporters and dedicated critics and that's not going to help him in his attempts to develop his skills on the pro level. Young quarterbacks require patience. In most cases, it's best if they are allowed to grow into their roles quietly, calmly. That's not gonna happen for Tebow. The mania for him has caused a counter mania against him.

Jeff from St. Mary's, GA:
Do you think it would be a good move for the Jags to trade down in the draft to pick up a second-round pick?

Vic: Yes, I do. It would allow them to get back the second-round pick they traded away to draft Derek Cox last year, and I think the crop of players is deep enough, especially on the defensive line, that a quality guy would still be at the top of their board late in the first round.

Josh from Green Bay, WI:
Would you have considered Calvin Johnson a "no-risk" receiver?

Vic: I think everyone did. He had the size, the speed, the hands, etc., and he's a man of the highest character. What's not to like?

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content