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Put soccer balls in it

Join Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Donna from Jacksonville:
Every year I tell my husband I am not going to get wrapped up in the rookies because I take it too personal when they don't make the team, but I am liking this Trevor Harris more and more every day.

Vic: Easy, Donna, easy.

John from St. Augustine, FL:
From corporations to our government, the rights of the individual have been trampled in this country by those in power. I don't want to be told how to live my life and I don't want decisions being made that affect me without 100 percent transparency. I think we need a minister of common sense. You wanna run?

Vic: I'd make Luca Brasi my top assistant and there wouldn't be any more problems. Isn't it funny how that works?

Jeff from Jacksonville:
I would love to hear your opinion on whether or not Pat Tillman should be in the Hall of Fame.

Vic: I would be in favor of adding a wing to the Hall of Fame for honoring players who've served our country with distinction. I'm talking about Pat Tillman and Rocky Bleier and Bob Kalsu, the Buffalo Bills lineman who was killed in Vietnam in 1970. I'd also like to see the generation of NFL players that had their careers interrupted by World War II honored in such a wing of the Hall of Fame. I don't think a lot of people know that Chuck Bednarik was a highly-decorated, B-24 waist-gunner who flew 30 combat missions over Germany. I think we need a place in the Hall of Fame for those kinds of stories, but I'm not in favor of inducting men into the Hall of Fame for any reason other than they were great football players. Tillman's football career is not deserving of induction.

Todd from Glen Burnie, MD:
I have a lot of hope for Tiquan Underwood. Do you see him making the opening-day roster this year?

Vic: Underwood is the most fluid-looking receiver on the field in OTAs. He doesn't have great hands and he's more of a body-catcher than a snatcher, but he has legit beep-beep speed and the ease and grace with which he moves reminds me of John Stallworth. He's looked real good in OTAs so far. I give him a solid chance of being on the roster on opening day.

Mario from Zapata, TX:
Which city today stands the best chance of being awarded an expansion team?

Vic: I don't foresee expansion in this league any time soon but if it were to happen, it would have to be outside the country. Los Angeles is the only city in the United States that doesn't have an NFL team that has the demographics to support one, but Los Angeles isn't going to get an expansion team, it's going to get some other poor city's team.

John from London, England:
Nonsensical is calling a sport football when you pretty much exclusively use your hands, Vic.

Vic: Yeah, whatever. By the way, thanks for the hole in the ground your boys drilled but can't fill. Maybe they should try shooting soccer balls down into it. I'd be all in favor of that.

Kristian from Belo Horizonte, Brazil:
Have you already forgotten? You don't want a personnel director with an eye toward value, you want a guy that fills immediate needs at a higher cost resulting in a smaller mass of talent. Out with the future and BAP and in with expensive players in the twilight of their careers and need-picking.

Vic: You're absolutely right. I keep forgetting that I've changed.

Michael from Humble, TX:
O.J. Atogwe hit the free-agent market this week. Surely a number of teams will be interested in this hard-hitting safety. What impact could Atogwe have in a very mediocre Jaguars secondary?

Vic: I really don't know but I would encourage everyone to let this Atogwe thing die before it becomes this year's J.J. Stokes. I have no reason to believe the Jaguars have any interest.

Ray from Jacksonville:
I've noticed that some teams start signing draft picks before OTAs are over, but some wait until they are done. Is part of waiting a result of a team wanting to have the highest number of players to evaluate during OTAs (since the draftees don't count toward the roster number until they sign)?

Vic: That's correct. You can increase the size of your roster during OTAs by not signing your draft picks and using their roster exemptions to sign undrafted players and street free agents.

Sonny from Jacksonville:
I heard a guy say he thought people who knew a lot about football and stats but never played the game in high school were losers. Do you think people have to play the sport to be experts on it?

Vic: No, I don't, but I think it really helps to understand the human confrontation element of the game to have played it at the high school level or above. It helps to have experienced the primitiveness of the game. If you've known the fear that goes with being overmatched, the anxiety of hearing your number called in the huddle, the courage you must access to play through an injury, you'll have a greater appreciation for the game and the players you watch on Sunday. Football's not about play-calling. Football is about the human confrontation those who play the game must win.

Bo from Orlando, FL:
So is Gene Smith at every practice? If he's in charge of personnel, I would suspect he has to see the players day in and day out. Please enlighten me on where he gets his info.

Vic: One day recently, I noticed that GM Gene wasn't at practice. I said to a reporter standing next to me, "He must be working on a trade," and he was; he was working on the Justin Smiley deal. Smith is at every practice, unless he's tending to another responsibility. Watching practice, however, is something that's done more intensely when practice is over. Every second of every practice is videotaped and reviewed.

Derek from Griffith, IN:
Has expressing your opinion in the column ever gotten you into trouble? Nothing you said made me want to ask this. It was from reading the feedback of some people in the "Facebook" section.

Vic: I'm sure it's happened but I've survived. I like the "Facebook" section. It's a place where readers can exchange their thoughts. I like that about

Rose from Jacksonville:
Is it fair to continue to ask for the fans' dime while fielding a team whose talent level is subpar or less than adequate? Another first-round pick from the West Coast no one knows, and you think this alienated fan base should dig deep in their pockets?

Vic: I ask for nothing. The fans should and will do as they please. You either are a good football town or you aren't a good football town. Time will tell. By the way, that alienated fan base crap is weak and whiney. If you're looking for an excuse, look somewhere else.

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
What do you think about the fact that even though there was an obvious blown call that cost a pitcher a perfect game, there has been little talk about putting replay in a more prominent role in professional baseball?

Vic: I love that about baseball. More than anything else, I love that baseball can live with its mistakes. I wish the NFL could do the same.

Chris from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Your commentary on the World Cup confirms that you truly are as dumb as you look. Get back to work telling us how good Gene Smith is. I can't wait until he's run out of town in a few years. Look at the colleges that our draft picks played at: Louisiana Tech, Central Arkansas, Murray State, Southern Illinois, James Madison. Do you think these guys ended up choosing these schools over SEC/Big 10/Big 12 schools because they preferred the team colors? Maybe it was the education they'd get at Central Arkansas. Or maybe they weren't good enough to play for a real football school. Glad we got them on our team now.

Vic: I'll bet you have one of those soccer ball stickers on the back window of your van, don't you? Come on, tell the truth.

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