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Might as well do it your way

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

Chad from Gulf Shores, AL:
What's the biggest difference in player scouting and exposure to players between the Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine? Do all teams show up for the Senior Bowl as well as the combine?

Vic: All teams are at both events, but all prospects aren't at the Senior Bowl. That's one of the two big differences. The Indy scouting combine will showcase 328 prospects, which includes more than 40 underclassmen. The Senior Bowl offered just two rosters of senior-only players. The other big difference is that the Senior Bowl offers a look at prospects playing real football, whereas the scouting combine is little more than gym class. You go to the Senior Bowl to see who can play among those present. You go to the scouting combine to get comprehensive medical information and more on the entire draft class.

Brian from Hernando, MS:
If the Jags were to select a QB in the first round, don't you think that might create a little controversy? I know it would be addressed as the drafted QB would be the team's future but you would think David would feel some pressure. I know competition is good but it's hard to play when you are looking over your shoulder.

Vic: All teams seek depth and if your quarterback is threatened by the fact that the team has drafted a player who will strengthen the team's roster, then you really do need another quarterback. What your starting quarterback needs to know is that he's the man now. He needs to know that it's his job now and the team is committed to him. I think David Garrard knows that.

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
Are compensatory picks given for free agency from the previous year or for free agency in the month or so before the draft?

Vic: Compensatory picks are awarded in the month or so before the draft, but they are awarded as compensation for a team's net loss in free agency the previous year. The Jaguars are likely to sustain a net loss in free agency this year, which means they are likely to receive compensatory picks for the 2010 draft. Given the signing of Jerry Porter, Drayton Florence and Cleo Lemon in free agency last year, the Jaguars' compensatory picks prospects are not good for this year's draft.

Dustin from Jacksonville:
I don't want to speak for all of the other fans, but when you run into Fred, tell him that we wish him the very best. I think he and the team both acted honorably in this situation, without temper tantrums or cheap shots and both sides should be able to walk away knowing they not only did the best thing for themselves, but they did the right thing for each other. It shows a lot of mutual respect and that is becoming more and more rare these days. Just look at Favre and the Packers last year. It's sad.

Vic: It's much more honorable to give a man his freedom than it is to sell him for 30 pieces of silver and a kiss.

Lorrie from St. Augustine, FL:
Is there any concern that Fred's departure will hurt ticket sales?

Vic: It's a good excuse, if that's what you mean.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
Do you believe it is worthwhile to have a player sign a one-day contract in order to retire as a member of the team by which their career was defined?

Vic: I consider that to be ceremonious silliness. What does it accomplish? We know where they played.

John from St. Augustine, FL:
Your handling of the flow of information regarding the release of Fred Taylor is to be commended. You handled questions with class, honesty, diplomacy and care. I think this situation allows all of us to see your true colors as a journalist and I want you to know that I am grateful. As for Fred … I feel honored to have watched him play and I will always remember him as the greatest player in our history. Thank you for covering the end of his days as a Jaguar with class.

Vic: Fred always made it easy. That's why he's a media favorite. He worked with us, not against us.

Steven from Jacksonville:
I read your column every day and while the release of Fred Taylor hurts, loyal fans of "Ask Vic" should have seen this one coming. My question for you is can you give us your top 10 favorite Fred Taylor moments?

Vic: I could give you the long runs against Miami and Tampa in his rookie season, the 90-yarder against Miami in the 1999 playoffs, the record-setting performance at Three Rivers Stadium in 2000, the game-winning touchdown run at Heinz Field in 2007, or even that I never saw him run harder than he did in his final game, at Chicago, but my favorite Fred moments have always been off the field. I have always loved his perspective on football. If I had to pick one all-time favorite Fred experience, it would be from the summer of 2007, when I came back from vacation to find out Fred did "Ask Vic" while I was gone and that he was a huge hit. I can't tell you how that touched me, because he came so far from the shy, suspicious rookie who first intrigued me. I can remember a couple of times last season when Fred started droppin' some big vocabulary words in interviews, and I can remember thinking to myself, "Go, Fred, go." No Jaguars player has ever grown more in his years with this team.

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
Do you think if Fred were offered a deal with an AFC South team he would sign or would he consider those teams off limits?

Vic: You're serious, aren't you? Go, Fred, go. It's professional football, Jeff. It's about the money.

Steve from Julington Creek, FL:
If your quarterback is a lefty, does that make the right offensive tackle the premier line position?

Vic: Yes and no. It does because he's protecting your quarterback's blind side, but it doesn't because he's not up against what is usually the best athlete on the defensive line.

David from Waycross, GA:
Do you like the idea of trading our first-round pick for second and third-round picks? Is there anyone on the roster who could be a starting left tackle?

Vic: There's not enough return value in that deal. There is, however, a left tackle candidate on the roster. His name is Jordan Black and he's started 29 games in his career. The Jaguars signed him late last season, after Black had missed the 2008 season due to shoulder surgery and was on the "street." "Teams were starting to get interested. We got out in front of it," Gene Smith said of signing Black.

Tyler from Carlsbad, CA:
I got choked up reading yesterday's "Ask Vic." Thanks for allocating all of yesterday's column to Fred. When is the first day teams may sign free agents?

Vic: Free agency begins on Friday, Feb. 27. That is the first day of the league year, which also signals the beginning of the trading period.

Mark from Boise, ID:
Edgerrin James was presented a Super Bowl ring by the Colts in appreciation for everything he did for that team for so many years leading up to their championship run. If Jacksonville wins a Super Bowl in the near future, Freddie T. should get a ring. This is a very classy move by an organization and the Jags should follow suit. Your thoughts?

Vic: I didn't know that the Colts gave James a Super Bowl ring. I've never heard of anything more ridiculous.

Robyn from Jacksonville:
I am really disappointed about the decision made to let Fred go. Have they listened to the fans' comments since this happened? They complained of low ticket sales. Do you think this will help?

Vic: Decisions should be made based on winning, not on selling tickets. Winning will sell tickets. If winning doesn't sell tickets, then I think you know the rest.

Kelvin from Atlanta, GA:
I hear you with the "they don't pay Gene Smith to make the easy decisions," but what happens if the decision to release Fred proves to be the wrong one during the season? Just because he decided Fred should be released doesn't automatically make it right. The jury will be watching during the 2009 season and you can make me the foreman.

Vic: And what happens to you if you're wrong? You win either way, don't you? If it was the wrong decision, you say I told you so. If it was the right decision, you cheer the outcome. It's a scoreboard business, Kelvin. As Chuck Noll said a long time ago, when you win you're great and when you lose you stink. No one ever said, "Well, he lost, but that's OK because he did what we wanted him to do."

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