Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Gary from Jacksonville:
I know you've got to be tired of the BAP questions, but I've got one for you. You made the comment about taking the BAP to prevent the competition from grabbing him. Well, I could see that in the first four or so rounds, but after that, when all the best players have been drafted, wouldn't it be safe to stray away from BAP a little and try to fill any holes that haven't been addressed or that may need a little more depth?
Vic: Yes, that would be a good idea. In fact, I've decided to change my philosophy to draft for need, not value. I mean, why would you draft Ben Roethlisberger a year after you've drafted a quarterback in the first round, especially when you can get a wide receiver such as Reggie Williams? Hey, you don't need a quarterback, right? Last year the Jaguars needed a defensive end. It was the last thing the Jaguars needed to go to the Super Bowl, right? I mean, why draft a running back such as Chris Johnson? You didn't need a running back. You do now but you didn't last year, right? The same thing goes in the late rounds. Go back to the 2000 draft. Did the Jaguars need a quarterback? No. They had just signed Mark Brunell to a new contract, so why draft Tom Brady in the sixth round? What the Jaguars needed were young receivers to take the place of Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell down the road, so they took Emanuel Smith in the sixth round. I'm with you on this one. I now see the error in my ways and I'm gonna change. It's all about need, baby.
Scott from Vienna, VA:
You mention "Plan B" players. What do you mean by that?
Vic: In the years prior to unrestricted free agency, there was a free agency process known as "Plan B free agency," in which bottom-of-the-roster players were unprotected and could be signed by other teams.
Mike from Delray Beach, FL:
Can you confirm that the Jaguars will be changing their jerseys for the 2009 season?
Vic: I just assume they will. It's awfully hot here in the early season and those jerseys will start smellin' bad if they don't change them.
Alex from Jacksonville:
People constantly challenging your BAP philosophy gives me a headache. On another note, how do you feel about Tiger Woods returning from his injury?
Vic: I get the same kind of headache. By the way, has anyone seen the scar?
Mark from Boise, ID:
Six or seven quarterbacks in the draft would potentially mean six or seven prospects for other teams, which means trading power. Am I getting close?
Vic: Please, let it go. You are obsessing on something I have never known to happen. In the name of all that is sane, please stop. It's just not that important.
Christian from Jacksonville:
Do you feel readers pore over every word you write just to try to prove you wrong?
Vic: Yeah, but I understand why. They just lost at Madden and they're frustrated and angry. Madden is the problem. I have a friend who's a psychologist and I asked him about the questions I receive and he said a lot of them display the classic characteristics of video game frustration.
Darrik from Jacksonville:
Harvin or Maclin?
Rob from Jacksonville:
You are so wrong on the Harvin or Crabtree question. I'll be back in a couple of years to remind you so I expect you to publish that one.
Vic: Maybe I have a screw loose. Get it?
Mike from Jacksonville:
Can you explain what it's going to take to make my team great again?
Vic: Time and players; that's all. If you do it right, time is players
Charles from Donna, TX:
Are you kidding me? Now Spice is gone? What is going on? Jax has one bad year and they suddenly feel the need to rebuild?
Vic: Now you got it. Old doesn't get young again. All it takes is one year.
Kelly from Greensburg, IN:
Can we please hear some kind words for the departure of Paul Spicer?
Vic: Paul is the classic "street free agent." He came to the Jaguars desperate to play football and he played that way for all the years he was with the Jaguars. He was everything a team could ever want. He gave everything he had, body and soul. Paul is a true pro. Last spring, when he did that little holdout thing in OTA's, which was so unlike Paul, I knew Paul knew the end was near and that he had to get his money now because this would probably be his last chance. They know when age has hit them. They won't admit it, but they know.
Paul from Arlington, VA:
You seem to have Harvin higher than most other journalists who cover the draft. What do you see in him that makes him more enticing than someone like Ted Ginn, another undersized WR with speed?
Vic: Ginn is a deep receiver. Percy Harvin is an underneath receiver who catches the ball and then goes deep with it. In my opinion, that's the new NFL. You've seen Maurice Jones-Drew do that and there's another guy in this year's draft, LeSean McCoy, who has that ability. Harvin and McCoy are players who possess tremendous acceleration. As Gene Smith recently said, it's a 10-yard game, meaning that a player's burst in those first 10 yards is what makes a play break wide open. Harvin is that kind of player. He's also a thickly-built guy; he's not undersized. He has some pop in his game. You can line him up in the backfield, in the slot or on the line. He has a knack for getting open and a feel for knowing what to do to score. I think he is an underrated player. The only thing about him that concerns me is his penchant for soft-tissue injury. The route-running can be taught.
Bob from Jacksonville:
Just for your information: Teams were informed that the salary cap will move from $123 million to $127 million. This might change a few free-agent signings.
Vic: Technically, the salary cap remains at $123 million, but due to a program known as CAM (Cash Adjustment Mechanism), each team will receive a $4 million credit on their 2009 salary cap, effectively taking each team's cap to $127 million. CAM returns cap money to teams league-wide because the average spending over the past three years was beneath a specific level.
Sal from El Paso, TX:
You say receivers are a dime a dozen, then you got Harvin listed at number eight. Sometimes we just wanna know what your thinking is.
Vic: It is what it is. I don't say, hey, I can't put a receiver in there because he's a receiver. Harvin is a guy for whom I envision a star role and I think he offers more speed, athletic ability and upside than the player at nine and so on. I think Harvin lends a lot of creativity. Frankly, I think this draft may have a hole in it at about where the Jaguars are scheduled to select. I'm not crazy about the 8-15 range. I think the real strength of the first round may turn out to be the bottom of it. I look at players such as Donald Brown, LeSean McCoy, Clay Matthews, Alex Mack, Aaron Maybin and others who are tabbed for the bottom of the first round, and I think that they may end up being less risky and more productive than some of the guys I see at the top. I think teams at the bottom of the first round may get better bang for their buck. The mistake a lot of our readers is making is that they're taking statements and applying them across the board. I don't know if people are just trying to be argumentative or if they really believe that there are no exceptions to the rule nor compromises to the philosophy. I assure you, Larry Fitzgerald is an exception to the rule. Receivers of his ability are not a dime a dozen. I'll also tell you that should a team have it happen that a quarterback is at the top of its board in seven consecutive rounds, it probably shouldn't pick a quarterback seven times. At this time, I'll wish everyone a pleasant weekend and hope that Monday returns this column to a less-challenging format, because if you think I'm gonna get on here every day and defend myself, you're very mistaken. If "Ask Vic" needs a vacation, it'll take one. Have a nice weekend.