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Linemen are 'big guys'

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

Mark from Jacksonville:
: The first question is to clear your mind for the second. Don't think, just answer; that should be easy for you. Ginger or Mariann? Panthers or Pats?

Vic: Ginger and the Patriots. Mariann is "just a guy."

Keith from Jacksonville:
Your column is a great way to help my Jaguar fix in the offseason. Based on their record and the fact they are definitely a team on the ascent, do you think the Jags will get a Sunday or Monday night game next season, or will the 5-11 record and our next-to-smallest market black us out totally of 2004 prime-time games?

Vic: I expect the Jaguars will get a Monday nighter. That's what having a young quarterback the league wants to promote will do for you.

Roger from Jacksonville:
Which division has had the most teams play in the Super Bowls, and which division has had the most winners?

Vic: According to the current alignment of divisions and not counting this season's Super Bowl, the NFC East is the all-time leader in wins, 10, and total appearances, 17. The AFC West and the NFC West are tied for second in wins, six, while the AFC West is second in total appearances, 14.

Scott from Cocoa, FL:
Love your column and always look forward to reading it. When the Jags first came into the league, they had their training camp in Wisconsin, then later relocated to Jacksonville. Why the change and how does a team chose its training camp location?

Vic: The Jaguars went to Stevens Point, Wisc., for its first-ever training camp in 1995, largely because coach Tom Coughlin wanted to get this team out of the Florida heat. Of course, temperatures reached 106 degrees in Wisconsin, in one of the hottest summers in history. The following year, the Jaguars moved their training camp to their Alltel Stadium practice facility, largely because Wayne Weaver wanted fans of his team to be able to attend camp.

LeRoi from Cleveland, OH:
Do you see a tremendous need for an outside linebacker in the early stages of the draft? Do you see the Jags drafting a D.J. Williams or a Karlos Dansby? You know how Del Rio is very big on linebackers, and an upgrade would solidify that position, don't you think?

Vic: Vic: It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility. D.J. Williams has fallen a little bit, but Karlos Dansby was dynamite in Auburn's bowl game. Dansby and Williams are thought to be candidates for the second 10, but they're top athletes who could move up based on their scouting combine and personal workouts.

Daniel from Springfield, MO:
Pertaining to the offensive lineman set questions, I was wondering if a lineman is required to come to a three-point stance before the snap? Could he just keep his hands above the ground and move around to try and get the encroachment call?

Vic: OK, last one of these: The idea is to not cheat. The rules do not permit any attempt by an offensive lineman to make a move or gesture that is intended to draw the defense offside. Offensive linemen are not required to assume a three-point stance, but they may not make any herky-jerky moves that would suggest to a defensive lineman that the ball is being snapped.

Holger from Bad Vilbel, Germany:
You said Sean Taylor doesn't fit your idea of a big guy and, therefore, shouldn't be picked by the Jaguars in the first round of this year's draft. Which player do you consider as those big guys? And why don't you consider safeties as those?

Vic: When I use the term "big guys," I'm referring to offensive and defensive linemen; big guys such as Tony Boselli, Marcus Stroud and John Henderson. They go quickly and if you don't get them when you have a chance, you won't have a second chance. The "big guys" in this year's draft would seem to be players such as Robert Gallery, Shawn Andrews, Vince Wilfork, Will Smith and Kenechi Udeze. I didn't write that the Jaguars shouldn't draft Sean Taylor. I wrote that I have hesitation about drafting safeties that high. A player's position definitely carries with it a regard that affects the player's overall grade. Guards, safeties and tight ends are positions that traditionally yield lower grades. Popular opinion among personnel people is that you can find guards, safeties and tight ends in the later rounds, but not the big guys. If you're going to draft a guard, tight end or safety high in the first round, he better be a very special player, and Taylor may be. If, after figuring all of that into a player's grade he's the highest-rated player on your board when it's your turn to pick, then take him.

Jim from Jacksonville:
Vic, its seems there's an assumption Jimmy Smith will continue to be our number one receiver, yet, his production has really fallen off. Do you think that spot is open to competition?

Vic: Number one receiver is not a position, it's a distinction, and distinctions are always open to competition.

Chris from Pass Christian, MS:
I recently saw Mel Kiper's draft board and it has San Diego picking Eli Manning number one. I know San Diego got the bad end of the number one pick twice now, once by selecting Ryan Leaf, the other by trading Mike Vick. But are the Chargers that unhappy with Drew Brees?

Vic: Yes, the Chargers are that unhappy with Drew Brees and, frankly, I'd have to believe the Chargers would be afraid Eli Manning is a Brees clone. Look for the Chargers to trade the pick, and I wouldn't be surprised if they attempt to sign Mark Brunell.

John from Jacksonville:
I noticed a number of Packers players failed a season-ending exit physical. Is this season-ending exit physical required by all teams, and what is the purpose of this exit physical?

Vic: All teams do exit physicals and the intent is as you would expect: To determine the health of the team's players. Personnel, contract and salary cap decisions need to be made during the offseason. Teams need information to be able to make those decisions wisely.

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