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Move the line of scrimmage

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

Randy from Oxford, PA:
Did Fred give the first 11,000-yard ball back and get the second 11,000-yard ball to keep?

Vic: No one's quite sure. He is in possession of the first ball, but the whereabouts of the second ball have yet to be determined. Oh, look, here it is.

Jimmy from Jacksonville:
I think you should try to land the GM job in Detroit.

Vic: I'd have them in the playoffs in three years. I guarantee it.

Julian from Saint Joseph, MI:
I am a Jaguars season ticket holder who lives in Michigan. I drove 200 miles to watch my Jaguars play the Lions. The Lions fans were great to me and that stadium is incredible. During halftime they honored their 75th all-time team. Watching some of those players walk onto the field brought back some good memories for me. Do you have a good story for any of those outstanding men?

Vic: One of the Lions greats who wasn't there, Bobby Layne, who died in 1986 at the too-young age of 59, was my first football hero. He was followed quickly by Mike Ditka and Ernie Davis, but Layne was my first. He lived life hard and fast and the stories of him are legendary. My friend Myron Cope, who passed away last winter, would regale me with stories of Layne and I loved every one of them.

Brad from Jacksonville:
Do you think the Jaguars should tank the rest of this season in order to get a high draft pick and shoot for next year, or should we attempt to win-out and make the playoffs even though it isn't likely we will make it?

Vic: I think the Jaguars should do everything they can to win as many games as possible. I don't think this team could stand the financial strain of having another top 10 pick.

Dr. Charles from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I was aghast with your crass handling of the Fatty question yesterday. Choose the higher road next time is my advice to you, Iron City bush-leaguer.

Vic: Please tell me you're not a psychologist.

Jonathan from Jacksonville:
A lot of us love you because when the other team makes a good play, you compliment them. Sometimes it hurts a little for us to hear the truth but it helps us to learn the game better. It gives us a clear picture of where we are and what needs to be done to get where we want to be. Thanks for your objectivity.

Vic: The truth is the pure defense.

James from Puyallup, WA:
Although it is certainly far down his list of priorities, President-elect Obama is on record as being a strong advocate of instituting a college football playoff system for the big schools. Do you think his influence could eventually bring about this long-needed change?

Vic: He may be our only hope. Those who resist change, which is to say those who resist progress, would seem to be in control.

Gil from Jacksonville:
Your article "Jaguars turn attention to Titans" says Jack Del Rio notched his 50th win against the Lions, but the game notes article says he is 49-40 since taking over the helm in 2003. I'm not trying to be a jerk, just curious which it is. Also, what was Tom Coughlin's record as coach of the Jags?

Vic: I'm counting the playoff win in Pittsburgh. I think playoff wins are worth counting. Tom Coughlin was 72-64, counting postseason games.

Shane from Scipio, KS:
What do you think of the Chiefs going for two with 23 seconds left to win the game?

Vic: My opinion hasn't changed since the last time it happened and I was asked. It's real simple. If you're going to win that game, your team is going to have to make at least one more play. It may have to make 10 more plays if you go to overtime, or you can make one more play now, get two and win. It's all up to the head coach and nobody knows his team better than him. Mike Tice reminded me yesterday that he was the first coach to do it and win. I remember when Tom Coughlin tried it in Tampa in 1995 and lost. I defended Coughlin then because I thought there was a better chance of that team making one more play than making 10 more plays. I think Herman Edwards felt the same way this past Sunday. I'm not against going for two to win the game. That's why the option is available, right? Otherwise, go back to one-point tries only, as it was for a long, long time.

Gary from Suffolk, VA:
This is a big game against the Titans. Run the ball and stop the run is what we need to do to beat them.

Vic: You got it. Any chance the Jags have of winning this game begins with winning the battle of the line of scrimmage. The Titans put you in that position. That's Jeff Fisher's trademark and I love it. If you wanna beat them, you have to win the line of scrimmage.

Kenny from St. Augustine, FL:
"Wayne Weaver made it clear to everyone when he hired Harris and Jack Del Rio that the one-voice days were over and that decisions would be reached by committee. In other words, the credit and blame would be shared." You ever hear the old saying that the camel was a horse designed by committee?

Vic: If it was designed specifically for the desert, the committee did a great job.

Corey from Baton Rouge, LA:
I don't think the Lions will ever be good as long as the Ford family owns them.

Vic: They said the same thing about the Rooneys when I was growing up. Then along came a coach who said geography has nothing to do with losing and he instituted a program that stopped trading draft picks for older players in quick-fix schemes that never worked, and started using those picks on long-term fixes that produced a dynasty. The first three years of that program resulted in losing seasons, and then the explosion came. All it took for it to happen was resolve and patience.

Alan from Jacksonville:
Given the current state of the markets and the fact that the Lions are owned by Ford, there is a possibility the team might wind up for sale sooner than later if the auto world gets much worse. Would they then become the Los Angeles Lions or, as one of the storied, oldest franchises, would the NFL do anything in their power to keep them in Detroit (an area that would have no fans capable of affording tickets if said auto market does tank)?

Vic: What's your last name, Greenspan? Hey, Al, all of that is a crock. Detroit is the number 11 market in America. It's a huge market and a link to Canada. It's not going away any time soon. The Lions are a heritage franchise with a great fan base. When the wins come, the Lions' waiting list will start winding its way toward Jacksonville. Let's worry about our own situation and leave the Lions to Detroit.

Alex from Orange, CA:
Watching the Titans games and highlights, it's amazing how similar they are to the Jaguars of the past years and even now.

Vic: Whoa! The Jaguars didn't invent run the ball/stop the run. The Titans were doing it with under Jeff Fisher with Eddie George and a stout defense long before Jack Del Rio came along. This Titans team isn't reminiscent of Jaguars teams of the past. This Titans team is reminiscent of the one that beat the Jaguars three times in 1999 because the Titans had a more physical approach than the Jaguars did.

Logan from Saskatoon, SK:
How do we run the ball with success against the Titans?

Vic: You move the line of scrimmage. The plan is that simple, though the execution of it is very difficult. This is when you must have a line surge.

Mark from Middleburg, FL:
Would you agree that the play of Gerald Sensabaugh has been much improved over the last few games?

Vic: Absolutely, I would agree. In fact, I asked Jack Del Rio on Monday if Sensabaugh was starting to settle in at the safety position and this was his response: "I think he's doing a nice job. How that ends up working out, we'll see. It's good for our football team to have our guys settle into roles." I don't know if Sensabaugh is the long-term solution at strong safety or not, but this is the kind of player development I'm talking about. You have to be committed to and patient with your young players. You have to believe in them and express that belief. There's no guarantee that you'll be rewarded, but if you are, the reward is likely to be long-lasting.

Brandon from Heilwood, PA:
Good call on the sitting Kellen Winslow comment you made in a previous forum. He only went out that Thursday night and had a career game and along with Brady Quinn was the only true reason they were even in the game. Just wanted to let you know when you're not correct, because you are human and your opinions stink sometimes.

Vic: How did it work for them?

Max from Albuquerque, NM:
You're right. Losing that game would have been truly devastating. Blackouts would become a norm. There would be no new fans. Coaches would have been severely questioned and some internal moves may have been made. Players would have no faith in the team and quit. JDR would have lost his locker room for real. Los Angeles talks would loom. I don't want to say this was a franchise-saving win, but it sure would have been bad if we would have lost to back-to-back 0-8 teams.

Vic: I think you've covered it all.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
All Kerry Collins does is win games, right?

Vic: He does a lot more than that. Collins makes plays. He's not some no-talent caretaker. Collins is a big, athletic guy with a great arm, a lot of durability and a true veteran's mind for the game. He singlehandedly won the game in Baltimore, when the Titans couldn't run the ball, were forced to pass and faced a last-ditch chance to drive for the win, which he did. He was the difference in Chicago this past Sunday. Collins has one of the most ordinary receiving corps in the NFL, but he gets it done when the Titans turn to him. Don't underestimate this guy. He wasn't made the fifth pick of the 1995 draft because he lacked talent. He should've been the Titans' starting quarterback last year.

Justin from Jacksonville:
So my girlfriend thinks we should get married in September. I told her football season (and playoffs) were off-limits. She threw a fit. Should I stick to my guns?

Vic: You might as well. It'll be your last chance.

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