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Mel wears silk pajamas

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

Slaw from Jacksonville:
Any reason the Jags haven't had a press conference introducing Alualu, yet? Don't they typically do this the day after they select their first-round pick?

Vic: He was in Hawaii. Flying across six time zones for a press conference, and then flying back home and doing the whole thing a week later doesn't make much sense. He'll be here today. Easy, Slaw, easy.

Josh from Daytona, FL:
Are you an offensive or defensive-minded guy?

Vic: Probably defensive-minded.

Allen from Reynoldsburg, OH:
As you say, I like to watch. Having some new guys I know nothing about makes me more interested. Are you looking forward seeing this team develop this year?

Vic: You bet I am. I'll be interested to see this team develop over the next few years. This team is going to be good. I have no doubt about it. Two more years of this, and it'll be a championship contender. This is what I enjoy most about football. I like to watch teams grow.

Dave from St. Augustine Beach, FL:
I don't know if you've looked into this or not, but Alualu's career stats mirror Gerald McCoy's, and his 40-yard, 10-yard and vertical are all better than McCoy's. Maybe McCoy was a reach.

Vic: Neither one was a reach. They are dominant big guys and you gotta get the big guys early. How many years have I been saying that?

Jason from Torrance, CA:
You may have already discussed this, but how is it that Alualu can be shooting up boards if no one is talking about it? If he was a good prospect in draft week, why not a month prior?

Vic: It's because the work that was being done on him finally caught up to his talent level. I'm stunned the average fan doesn't understand how the scouting process works. It's a system. It's not see a guy, grade a guy. It's see a guy over and over and over. First, the area scout accumulates information and reports on him. Then the cross-checkers get into the action. Then the general manager does his homework on the guy. At that point, a draft board is assembled and the team begins targeting guys. Then come the combine and the pro days and personal workouts. The accumulation of information continues right up to the week of the draft. When a guy is hidden in a read-and-react system that doesn't readily reveal his true worth or potential, the good personnel departments look deeper. That's what happened with Tyson Alualu. The Jaguars had to look deeper and that takes a lot of work because you've had to "bake this cake" from scratch. At some point a few weeks before the draft, the scouts got caught up on the work that had to be done on Alualu. He was a tough player to grade because he was hidden in a defense that didn't fit him or feature him.

Jay from Melbourne, FL:
My new "Ask Vic" mug arrived yesterday with the handle broken in four or five pieces. Should I blame this on a simple accident in shipping or is there a more sinister conspiracy at work here?

Vic: Hey, your problem is with the post office. That thing was fine when we shipped it.

Bill from Chapel Hill, NC:
Why doesn't GM Gene (or GMs in general) make his draft board available after the draft?

Vic: Because it would cause some people, not you, of course, to stare at it for two days, mess their pants and have a nervous breakdown.

Bill from St. Johns, FL:
VicBow, I see little harm in some friendly taunting of our Gator friends about who's gonna own the Florida college game next year, since football is supposed to be about having some fun and entertainment. What goes around comes around.

Vic: How's that song go? F-L-O-R-I-D-A, S-T-I-N-K. Hey, I'm just kidding. Go Gators! Yeah.

Stephen from Jacksonville:
What are your thoughts on Darren Sharper?

Vic: Good player.

Jason from San Antonio, TX:
Have you placed your order for the Tim Tebow Broncos jersey? I hear it's a hot item.

Vic: I think I'll wait until the end of the season, when they go on sale.

Ed from Orange Park, FL:
Is it wrong of me to want to help out Wayne Weaver and the Jags more than I want to help out the fans? I'm going to change my season tickets from general bowl to club seats. Am I wrong for doing this?

Vic: I know we've focused hard on the general-bowl seats, for the obvious reason that they determine whether the games will be shown on local TV, but those club seats are the life blood of this franchise. You have to sell your premium seats to be able to compete in this league.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How's that oil-drilling thing working now? When are we going to learn our lessons about oil? It's a dirty business. They can now drill in the Gulf because everything is dead. The dumb (butts). Football is for fun but, there is no fun when man destroys the earth.

Vic: Drill, baby, drill has been replaced by kill, baby, kill. Let me say this: Marcellus Shale. I'm in, baby. Oh, yeah, I'm in the Marcellus big-time. Drill sideways, baby, drill sideways.

Chris from Jacksonville:
Have the Jaguars thought about reducing the number of club seats to help with ticket sales?

Vic: Doing that might produce a double-negative effect: It could cause TV blackouts and it would likely reduce ticket revenue.

Corey from Austin, TX:
Actually, I believe mini-camp is required for all players, with the exception of Brett Favre.

Vic: That's correct. The elderly are exempt from mini-camp.

Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Have you ever seen another player polarize a fan base like Tebow? I hope he does well in Denver, but I hope we do better in Jacksonville.

Vic: That's why I said we have a cultural divide in the Jacksonville football fan base. That's what the Tebow thing taught us. We are harshly divided along the line that divides college and pro football. There's no denying it now.

Tyler from Jacksonville:
According to the picture of the Cowboys' draft board, they had Sean Lee ranked 14th BAP and Tyson Alualu ranked 22nd overall. It goes to show how much a team's board can differ from other teams, not to mention from expert Kiper.

Vic: Are we just figuring that out? Are we just coming to understand that there is no universal value board? Mel Kiper doesn't make one board for all teams to follow. Each team makes its own board and it shares it with no one. I continue to be stunned by the average fan's lack of understanding of the scouting and drafting process. Kiper is a businessman. He does what he does to make money. The more you hate him, the more he likes it because that puts more money in his pocket. Every night, after he puts on his silk pajamas and tucks himself between his silk sheets, he says a little prayer of thanks to Bill Tobin. Then, just before he closes his eyes, he laughs and mumbles, "You stupid fans." What is wrong with you people? How can you let this guy get you so twisted up? He's not even a scout. He's just a guy who had a great idea.

Norm from Nampa, ID:
Besides Alualu, who will you be most interested in seeing this weekend during mini-camp? Also, please give us feedback on how Deji Karim looks; he seems to be an intriguing prospect at RB.

Vic: I wanna see the quarterback, Trevor Harris. This team only has three and he's one of them. That bothers me greatly that the Jaguars are as thin as they are at quarterback. That's a situation that'll be rectified next year, but what about this year?

Daniel from Egg Harbor Township, NJ:
So let me get this straight, the Jags take Alualu with the 10th pick in the draft and now he becomes this amazing player? Funny, you didn't think he was so amazing prior to him becoming a Jag since he wasn't even on your value board. How much does Gene Smith pay you to worship every move he makes? Before we put Smith in the Hall of Fame, how about the Jaguars win a playoff game first under him, huh?

Vic: Egg Harbor?

Jhun from Jacksonville:
Love your work on What's your secret?

Vic: I tell people what I believe and that irritates them because they want me to tell them what they believe.

Steve from Orange Park, FL:
You said "the contemporary game is all about rushing the passer," yet, we generated a whopping 14 sacks and even less pressure last year. With our first four picks we get defensive linemen; obviously need came first, not BAP. I am sorry the evidence is just too overwhelming.

Vic: Keep thinking about it. Stay up all night thinking about until you go goofy. It's really, really important. I can't think of anything more important than BAP. I often wake up in the middle of the night screaming, "BAP, BAP." You know what my greatest need is? No more BAP. So, next year I'm going to change. Next year, I'm going to believe in need drafting, which only goes to prove that if you badger me long enough, I'll change. I wanna be like Mel. I wanna put on the silk pajamas.

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