Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Chris from Jacksonville:
Are teams interested in trading for Anquan Boldin allowed to contact him or his agent to see what it might take to sign him to a new contract, or is that considered tampering?
Vic: You would need permission from the Cardinals to talk to Boldin and I'm sure the Cardinals would give you that permission as soon as you agree to give them the draft picks they want in exchange for Boldin, contingent, of course, on being able to sign Boldin to a new contract. If you came to an agreement with Boldin on a new deal, the trade would be consummated; no new deal, no trade. Each would be contingent on the other.
Sal from El Paso, TX:
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the 3-4 and the 4-3 as they compare to each other?
Vic: The 4-3 offers more beef up front against the run; the 3-4 provides another mobile defender in space and schematic creativity. On the down side, the 4-3 can get a little stale and predictable; the 3-4 is vulnerable to the run if its defensive linemen can't hold the point.
Jaime from Jacksonville:
How does one become a scout?
Vic: For starters, you have to have established a strong football background. Most scouts played high school and college football; many played in the NFL, too. I've known top scouts who didn't play college football but were successful high school coaches. Gene Smith was a small-college recruiting coordinator and that led to him being hired by Blesto; another Jaguars scout was also a college recruiting coordinator. You see more variety of football backgrounds in scouts than you do in NFL coaches, but the one thing that seems to be common to all scouts is that they played high school football and continued their relationship with football into their professional careers in one way or another. Believe it or not, several top scouts came out of the sportswriting ranks. Ernie Accorsi was a sportswriter. So was legendary scout Bill Nunn. Long-time NFL personnel director Dick Haley told me years ago that sportswriters' ability to express themselves in written reports made them naturals, provided they have a football-playing or coaching background of some sort. That's the key; you have to know football technique to know if a prospect is using it correctly.
Gary from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Regarding the NFL policy on blackouts, do you know if the powers that be will look at 2009 with any compassion for the fans of the actual NFL cities this year? I know the NFL wants to sell out every game in every city, but are they being realistic?
Vic: This is a business, Gary. Does Ford give away its cars? Does McDonalds give away its hamburgers? The answer is no because if you give away your product, you'll go out of business. What about last year? Do you think Wayne Weaver showed compassion? I promise you, he was most generous in giving his team to its fans on TV. So what's the result? Are people saying, "Hey, Wayne cut us a break last year so we're gonna show our appreciation by buying all the tickets?" That does not appear to be the early reaction. When you ease up on the blackout rules or buy up tickets so the games can be shown, fans tend to expect more of the same.
Lawrence from Beech Grove, VA:
In reference to the question about the Cardinals drafting three wide receivers in the first round, didn't the Jaguars do the same thing with Williams, Jones and Wilford? Do you think those three were considered best available players at the time?
Vic: Ernest Wilford was a fourth-round pick and I think everyone would agree he played beyond the expectations for his selection. If he wasn't BAP, he certainly played like one. I think we can safely say Reggie Williams and Matt Jones didn't work out. All the media could do at the time they were selected was ask if they were BAP, which we did, and the answer was yes, they were. Now, five and four years later, I'm not buyin' it. I think the Jaguars were intent on giving Byron Leftwich the receivers he needed to be successful, and that's why the Jaguars drafted receivers in the first round in three consecutive drafts. I don't know that to be a fact but I think it's a logical assumption. At no time did Williams show the skills you would expect of a ninth pick of the draft. Jones was a swing for the fence. The Jaguars saw star ability and fan popularity in the Jones pick and they were willing to give it a shot.
Craig from Jacksonville:
On the message board, I posted this for you, just to let you know: "Love him or hate him, we are lucky to have a guy that does what he does. If Vic decided to leave, or the Jags shut down fan interaction with someone on the inside, we could have "Ask...ah…nobody." Not every team offers what Vic does. Having been to all the other teams' websites, I personally think the Jags' website is tops. Rock on, Vic.
Vic: Thank you for your kind words but you shouldn't overlook the fact that the Jaguars also allow harsh criticism and very edgy content on their message board. You're not gonna find that kind of freedom on most team message boards. You speak of love and hate and, for the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would come to a sports website to express hate, but I think it says a lot about jaguars.com that it offers that freedom. Rock on, message board.
Jacob from Cocoa, FL:
If you were picking and the top two players left on your board were Orakpo and then Raji, would you bypass BAP and pick Raji because you already have two young defensive ends and need a defensive tackle?
Vic: Please, no more with the BAP stuff, OK? What more can I say? I believe in it.
Rodney from Jacksonville:
Hey, Vic, tell your boss (Mr. Weaver) that the fans not only want a uniform change, but we also want that goofy-looking and wimpy-looking cat head logo off our football team's helmets. Now take that back to your boss, wimp. The fans have spoken.
Vic: I don't believe the fans have spoken, Rodney. I believe you have spoken and I believe you are one of very few fans who want the logo changed. Hey, Rodney, it ain't gonna happen, but thank you for your very dignified and respectful e-mail.
Rayray from Nampa, ID:
How would the signing of Torry Holt affect the Jags in the first round? Is it a definite goodbye to Maclin, Crabtree and Harvin, or is BAP truly still in effect?
Vic: Regardless of what happens with Holt, if a receiver is at the top of the Jaguars' board when they pick on Saturday, he'll be the pick. There would be absolutely no reason not to make that pick. The Jaguars have need at the position and the need is long-term.
Johnson from Calgary, Alberta:
I'm not a huge fan of mock drafts and understand it is just someone's opinion, but how are all these "experts" still placing OT Andre Smith in the top 10? Do you think Smith has any chance of being drafted in the top 10 and what would your reaction be if the Jaguars were to take him at eight?
Vic: You gotta get the big guys early and Smith, without a doubt, is a quality big guy. Left tackle is one of the most premium positions. Yes, it's an overdrafted position but there's a good reason for it: If you don't have a left tackle, your quarterback tends to get hurt. Yes, I think Smith is a candidate for the Jaguars at pick eight. Even considering his combine disappearance and bad pro-day workout, there's no denying he's one of the top prospects at one of the most premium positions. I've even had a few scouts tell me they don't think Smith will be available when the Jaguars go on the clock.
Rob from Deltona, FL:
Will the Jaguars have something for the fans this Wednesday to gather and see the new uniforms presented in person?
Vic: The press conference is for media only. Jaguars.com will provide live streaming video, and will also post pictures of the new uniforms and a story from the press conference as soon as possible following the press conference.
Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
If a player fails a drug test at the combine, is that the beginning of the official NFL sanctions period or does it begin when he is a contracted player in the NFL?
Vic: A failed drug test at the combine would result in the player entering the NFL's substance abuse program, but he is not subject to suspension. Good question.
Dino from Jacksonville:
In a previous segment, you stated that Aaron Curry, if he made it to the Jaguars pick, would be their pick. All indications for Curry seem like he is a natural at the OLB position, so why remove Daryl from the middle and put him on the outside, where I believe he is much more ineffective?
Vic: What do I have to do to make my philosophy on the draft understood? Are my simple beliefs that difficult to understand? The draft, in my opinion, is about collecting talent. That's all. In my opinion, you shouldn't use the draft to fit pieces of the puzzle together, only to collect puzzle pieces.
Keith from Inverness, FL:
Do you think the Jags are going after Holt for the sole purpose of mentoring a young receiver they pick up in this year's draft?
Vic: Coaches coach, players play. The Jags would want Holt for catching passes and scoring touchdowns. It would also be expected of him that he be a positive influence in the locker room, but you don't sign players for their personality, you sign them for their playing performance.
Jackson from Jacksonville:
I don't know if you realize it, but you have some haters. What would you like to say to these haters?
Vic: Hate on.
Kristian from Copenhagen, Denmark:
How would you rate Hakeem Nicks from UNC? And in what round do you think he will be drafted?
Vic: He's a top athlete. He's got fantastic hands and great ball skills; I mean, absolutely fantastic ball skills. There are, however, concerns, and that's why I'm not sure in what round he'll be drafted.
Patrick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
How angry would you be if we were close to signing Holt but didn't get the deal done?
Vic: I wouldn't be angry. I could live with it. The price has to be right or the signing is no good. Didn't we learn that from Jerry Porter?