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Over my dead body

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

David from Port Orange, FL:
How simple or difficult will it be for Daryl Smith to switch positions? Isn't it completely different to play weakside?

Vic: The Jaguars outside linebackers are interchangeable. That's by design. The outside linebackers aren't designated strongside or weakside because the outside linebackers will have to play both roles. What role they play is determined by the front the Jaguars are in. If the Jaguars are in an "over" front, the linebacker who would normally be the weakside linebacker becomes the strongside linebacker. If the Jaguars are in an "under" front, the roles are normal. It has to do with the strong safety's assignment in each defensive alignment. "Over" means overshifted to the tight end side. If Clint Ingram wins what is considered to be the strongside job and Daryl Smith is moved to what is normally considered to be the weakside position, Smith is the strongside (Sam) backer in an "over" front and Ingram is the weakside (Wil) backer. In an "under" front, Ingram is Sam and Smith is Wil. Fans are putting too much emphasis on this Sam/Wil thing. You have to know the defensive set before you can know who's Sam and who's Wil. The Jaguars linebackers are cross-trained. They can play both roles. That's why it's not important.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Do you think the Jaguars are losing character for signing players with suspended records?

Vic: I don't know what "suspended records" means, but I think I know what you're asking. As I have already stated, I'm not going to sit in judgment of someone's character because I don't want someone judging mine. I will tell you this: In the 2005 draft, the Jaguars red-dotted a guy whose ability they loved. Red-dotted is a way of saying they eliminated him from draft contention. Another team drafted the guy, he is currently on their roster and they think he may become a starting player for them in the future. What does all of that mean? It means teams make their decisions player by player and case by case. In the above player's case, the Jaguars decided he was not worth the risk. In Wayne Hunter's case, the Jaguars decided he was worth the risk. This stuff goes on all of the time. Every team finds itself having to make these decisions.

David from El Dorado, AR:
I sure hope your tongue was pressed firmly against your cheek when you urged Cole from Little Rock, AR, to return to Jacksonville to "learn to think again." Is it something we've done to cause you to bash our state?

Vic: No, it's just that I love sparring with you guys. Let's make this a spring ritual. I'm tellin' you, I'm going to move to Arkansas when I retire. I love you people. You're fun. You should see the e-mails I got. You don't think I knew they'd be coming, do you?

David from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Thanks for the great job you do each day on this website. Pretty impressive that these posts are read by friends at the Hall of Fame. Either they are keeping you in check or appreciate the amount of work you do to pull this off. I bet it's the latter.

Vic: In my opinion, this is an entertainment forum for football fans who want to read about something other than Byron Leftwich vs. David Garrard. I strive to make this a place where people can learn about the game and exchange thoughts, that's why it's so important to ask questions about something other than who the Jaguars quarterback should be or the play-calling. That crap is worn out and boring. The question about Heisman Trophy winners who are in the Hall of Fame is perfect. Imagine, just eight men in the history of the game. How good were they, huh? I liked the question about overtime. Did you know the team that wins the OT coin toss only wins 52.9 percent of the time? Knowledge is a good thing. Real football isn't played inside one of those video games. I want "Ask Vic" to be about real football. I want it to be fun and I want it to have a little edge, too, because real football is fun and real football has an edge.

Josh from Jacksonville:
I've been reading the comments on the current overtime system in the NFL. I love the sudden death overtime, however, I hate the fact that an NFL game can end in a tie. A tie is surrender by both teams. What are your thoughts on the tie issue?

Vic: At some point, both teams have to live to fight another day. If you can't get it done in 75 minutes of play, it's time to accept a tie.

Matt from Lexington, KY:
What happens if a player wants to come out of retirement and play for a team besides the one he retired from and he had time left on his contract when he retired?

Vic: Jimmy Smith is on the Jaguars' "reserve/retired" list. The Jaguars will own his rights forever. The same situation exists for Tony Boselli.

Thomas from Orlando, FL:
Where does Byron Leftwich being carried up the field by his offensive linemen rank in college football lore?

Vic: If it had happened at Notre Dame, Leftwich would have a statue right next to "Touchdown Jesus."

Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
John Clayton from ESPN writes from the owners meeting that the Jags are a candidate for LA. Is it fair to say that if the Jags sell out all seats, including premium seats, for the next several years, then the future of pro football is secure in Jacksonville?

Vic: If the Jaguars sell out all seats, including premium seats, for the next several years, and they try to move, I'll stand in front of the moving vans like that guy stood in front of the tanks at Tiananmen Square.

Alfie from Jacksonville:
Before the 2005 season, Brian Iwuh was ranked by some scouts as the number one strong safety coming out of college. Do you think Brian Iwuh could be a special teams ace, as well as a SS?

Vic: He's a linebacker with the Jaguars and Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith really likes Iwuh's trigger, which means his ability to go get the ball. He's an undersized, undrafted guy and that means he has to be a special teams standout in the preseason to make this team. I've already compared him to Larry Izzo. We'll see.

Sal from Dallas, TX:
Can you please tell us how many NFL teams that won the coin toss in overtime elected not to receive since the NFL overtime playoff system was instituted in 1974?

Vic: Nine times (2.3 percent) the team that won the coin toss elected to kick. Four times teams that elected to kickoff won the game. The one that's legendary – it's not included in the above statistics – is the 1962 AFL title game between the Dallas Texans and the Houston Oilers. Texans star running back Abner Haynes screwed up the coin toss decision when the Texans won the toss and Haynes elected to "kick to the clock." By saying "kick" first, he allowed the Oilers to elect at which end of the field they would receive the kickoff, meaning Haynes' gaffe allowed the Oilers to get the ball and the wind. The wind was very strong and was the priority issue in the coin toss decision. What Haynes should've stated was the goal he wished to defend and make no mention of kick or receive. That would've forced the Oilers to play overtime into the wind. The Texans defense bailed out Haynes, however, intercepting George Blanda twice in overtime on the way to a 20-17 win.

Ricky from Middleburg, FL:
It doesn't matter who has the ball first. Defense wins football games.

Vic: Let me put it to you this way: You're playing the Jaguars at Alltel Stadium on a windy day. You know that if you win the coin toss and elect to receive, Josh Scobee will have the wind at his back and will likely kick it through the back of the end zone, leaving you to start a drive against Marcus Stroud and company at your 20-yard line. Now you'll need to drive the ball into the wind at least 60 yards to have a reasonable shot at a field goal. So, tell me, do you really want the ball?

Weaver from Jacksonville, AR:
Have you ever been to Arkansas and spent some time in Arkansas?

Vic: No, but my parents moved to some town close to Arkansas and one of these days I'm gonna visit them and, when I do, I'm gonna drive up to the Arkansas border and take a look.

Burt from Miami, FL:
I think your take on the players numbers is ridiculous. So what if it makes the QB's job harder. It's stupid what the NFL is doing about numbers. If a wideout wants to wear 55, he should be able to. If Bush wants number five, he should, and if you don't know where the LB or free safety is, you should not even be a quarterback. Vic, I love you, but you say some stupid stuff.

Vic: I'm just tellin' you the way it is. If you don't believe me, call a coordinator and ask him.

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