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Oklahoma rite of passage

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

Adrian from Reading, UK:
Williamson caught the ball. It's great news but, from speaking to Vikings fans, it's exactly what happened in the past; through training camp he was great but when it came to the regular season things started to fall apart. Have we seen anything that suggests things will be different this year?

Vic: If I had seen anything, I'd tell you. He's been fantastic to date. Is there any guarantee it'll stay that way? No, but I don't think I should be reporting that he's playing well but not expected to play well in the regular season. I'm just giving it to you the way it is. He's catching the ball. If he starts dropping the ball, I'll report it.

Joe from Fleming Island, FL:
I just read a story about Maurice Jones-Drew. Is he a good interview?

Vic: He's an outstanding interview. He's another player who seems to have a desire to communicate with the fans. That's what a player does when he talks to the media; he communicates with the fans. It's really not a difficult thing to do. All you have to do is show a little personality. Jones-Drew has a lot of personality.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
When I was a kid, I saw my grandpa get into a tug of war with a raccoon over a cooler at his lake camp. They were both pulling real hard. The raccoon wasn't hissing or anything, just pulling; it was hilarious. In the end, grandpa got the cooler back but, in the spirit of fair play, he threw the raccoon a sandwich for being a worthy adversary.

Vic: The raccoon probably wanted a beer, too.

Shane from Macy, IN:
Isn't it nice that a quarterback controversy isn't being talked about in Jacksonville this year?

Vic: That's very perceptive of you. Yeah, if there's one position at which it's good not to have competition, it's at quarterback. Every team needs an undisputed leader. As I said previously, pick and stick. That's what Jack Del Rio did last year. It is the most dramatic decision he has made in his young coaching career. We may not know the far-reaching impact of that decision for a long time. Is it a decision that will send this team into an extended playoff run? Lead to a Super Bowl title? Save the franchise? We don't know. As it stands, it was a decision that produced a playoff victory, a lot of optimism for this season and the kind of stability at the game's most important position that a team must have to build the kind of continuity required to contend on the championship level. I doubt if this training camp will produce the kind of drama last year's did.

Stew from Jacksonville:
I watched Williamson in the OTAs. I watched him leave Mathis and score and watched him leave someone else. He looked fast; really fast. If he can stay healthy and based on what you have seen in this camp, where do you see him stacking up with the other WRs?

Vic: Well, apparently he's going to drop everything thrown to him in the regular season, so I guess he'll have to be cut.

Franchot from St. Augustine, FL:
Your "Inside Training Camp" video is pretty worthless, let me tell you. No one wants to look at you standing by two trash cans. Show us the players and what they are doing. Just being honest.

Vic: Thanks for your advice. I'll try harder.

Parker from Jacksonville:
Why can't you just admit that you are the head of the Jags PR department? I am not intending to insult you, but I just find it really hard to think of you as media. All you do is walk the company line. This whole Matt Jones thing, come on, you are our eyes and ears, you can't just say, "Oh, I let the police handle their own business, I just report on sports." That doesn't seem to be the worldwide leader's policy. They talk to specialists and get the entire story out. So come on, either report on all the issues and give us some serious insight, or just own up to it. We all know who ultimately signs your checks, so it's OK.

Vic: Well, I guess it's OK then.

Your wife from Palm Valley, FL:
I killed a small snake in the garage this afternoon and then threw it in the lake. A little while after I threw it in the lake, I saw an alligator.

Vic: So we have that going for us, which is nice.

Mark from Indianapolis, IN:
My daughter attended her first Jaguars game last December against the Raiders at not quite two years old. We weren't sure how she'd do but she loved every minute of the whole experience and danced on her seat and high-fived everyone around us when they got excited. You just never know when the fever will take hold. We're driving down with her again this year, too, for the Vikings game. I know this is not really a question, but I wanted a reason to say thank you for the column and your game-day blogs. What you do adds to my knowledge and enjoyment of the games and the season.

Vic: It's all lies. I'm worthless.

Daniel from Savannah, GA:
I don't think it's fair for Quentin Groves to do the Oklahoma drill because he operates in space and, with the dummies pinning the players in, it takes him out of his element. Plus, he's too small to stand his ground. Your take?

Vic: The Oklahoma is not a drill for pass-rushers, but if the plan is for Groves to develop into an every-downs end, then the Oklahoma is a rite of passage. He did OK last night.

Ryan from Ottawa, IL:
I read somewhere that Reggie Nelson is going to become a featured player in Williams' defense. Do you think they will bring him up to the line of scrimmage like Bob Sanders? Will they use his ball-hawking skills more?

Vic: You probably read it here because I've written it several times. Reggie Nelson is going to be one of the featured players in Gregg Williams' defense. He's going to be used much as Bob Sanders and Troy Polamalu are used, which is to say as a playmaker. I don't think Nelson is going to be featured in run-support as Sanders and Polamalu are, but you're going to see Nelson used a lot on blitzes.

Loftur from Reykjavik, Iceland:
What player from the AFC South do you think the Jaguars would benefit most from acquiring?

Vic: Peyton Manning is the obvious answer because it would be addition by subtraction. Not only would he be on your team but, more importantly, he wouldn't be on the Colts' team. More practically, however, I think Andre Johnson is the better answer. He's exactly what this team has been trying to find for a long time.

Malachi from Lebec, CA:
Who's looking more likely to replace Meester, Norman or Miller?

Vic: Dennis Norman is the obvious replacement. Behind Norman is Uche Nwaneri, who got a lot of development time at center last year. Drew Miller is battling to make the team and, through the first few days of training camp, I think I can say he's winning the battle. He looks good.

Adam from Cypress, CA:
I was under the impression that the Oklahoma drill was going to be filmed and put on

Vic: Give us some time, please. The tape has to be edited and produced into a video. We're a very small staff. The expectations and criticism of are becoming unfair. Yesterday was a full day of work and then came the night practice. We don't have a midnight shift.

Jonathon from Wichita, KS:
Nice! A WR vs. a CB in the Oklahoma! Was Del Rio sending a message that no position is above blocking or tackling?

Vic: I don't think coach Del Rio was sending a message. I just think he was trying to help Matt Jones get into the flow and feel part of the action. Jones is going through a tough time right now and there have been hecklers at practice. He has to walk through the crowd onto and off the field every day. Put yourself in his position. Do you think you might find yourself withdrawing a little? Well, what coach Del Rio did was draw Jones back out. He loosened him up a little bit for his first full-pads practice. Del Rio is very good with that kind of stuff. He's trying to help the guy, but it's gotta be tough love. The soft stuff doesn't work in these situations. Don't abandon him, but don't baby him. In fact, it's gotta be just the opposite.

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