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Quick-fix guys are hard to find

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

Steven from Port St. Lucie, FL:
Do you think Damon Huard or Matt Schaub would be a good fit for our offense?

Vic: I've already given my thoughts on Huard. To find out whether or not Schaub would be a good fit would require taking a major risk. You'll have to give the Falcons first and third-round picks to sign him in restricted free agency, or probably something close to that to entice the Falcons to trade him, and you wouldn't trade those picks without signing him to a long-term deal, which would be very pricey. Do you want to take those kinds of risks to find out if he's a good fit? It's not my nature to do that.

Vince from Fredericksburg, VA:
I recently heard on ESPN radio that the Titans are now officially out of salary cap purgatory. Is that the way you see it?

Vic: The Titans weren't in purgatory, they were in hell, but no longer. The last act of the Titans' salary cap problems was the trade of Steve McNair to Baltimore. Fixing their cap was a three-year project that caused the Titans records of 5-11, 4-12 and 8-8. The question now is how long will it take the Titans to build their roster back to a championship level? They had a nice little run in the second half of last season, but I'm not ready to pronounce them fully recovered.

Lisa from Las Vegas, NV:
Who was the last dome team to win the Super Bowl outdoors? I know St. Louis won back in the 1999 season against Tennessee, but that game was played in Atlanta.

Vic: A dome team has never won a Super Bowl played outdoors.

Nicholas from Plymouth, NH:
Bill Polian has said Dwight Freeney will be retained next year, but with current projections saying they will only have $2.9 million in cap space, how will they achieve this? Didn't they run out of money this year and had a problem signing some draft picks?

Vic: Cap room projections at this point in the offseason are not reliable indicators of what a team's true cap health is. The Colts, however, are snug against the cap and to "franchise" Freeney and take the full hit on the team's 2007 cap, the Colts will probably have to re-structure a few contracts and push more money out. They've been doing it for several years. Why stop now?

Vincent from Jacksonville:
Have you covered any quarterback in your career that at a certain point in his career his future with the team was in jeopardy (much like Byron Leftwich) and he responded by having a great showing/year and solidified himself as the guy for years after?

Vic: Yep, Terry Bradshaw. The year was 1974. The players were on strike in training camp. Bradshaw didn't cross picket lines and Joe Gilliam did. Gilliam was sensational in training camp and in the preseason and by the time Bradshaw reported to camp, Gilliam had taken the starting job. There was an extra item involved in Chuck Noll's decision to make Gilliam the starter that we didn't know about at the time. Apparently, Bradshaw had left the team hotel the night before a game in Houston or Dallas to go back to his hometown of Shreveport, La. It was something that had stuck in Noll's craw and Noll decided the circumstances of the summer of '74 made it a good time to challenge Bradshaw's commitment. By midseason, Bradshaw was back in the starting lineup. He responded by leading the Steelers to the first of four Super Bowl titles in six years.

Alton from Melbourne, FL:
What are your thoughts about the Buffalo Bills teams of the early 1990's that lost four Super Bowls in a row?

Vic: They were fantastic. The Bills team that lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XXV was, in my opinion, one of the two best teams to lose in the Super Bowl. The other one is the Cowboys of Super Bowl XIII. Those Bills teams had it all: a great quarterback, running back, wide receiver and pass-rusher. They even had, arguably, the best special teams player of all-time. Unfortunately, they played at a time when the NFC dominated. Two of the Bills' four Super Bowl losses were to the Cowboys, which may have been the best team in the history of professional football.

Brad from Hobart, IN:
If Barbaro were still alive and the Jaguars drafted him for Matt Jones to ride around on and catch the ball, making him even taller and faster, do you think he could be become the deep threat the Jags need?

Vic: They would have to use them right.

James from Mooresville, IN:
Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Vic: I'm going to root for the Colts because I have three friends in that organization. Tony Dungy and Tom Moore are two of the friendliest, most accommodating guys I've ever covered. When the Colts lost to the Steelers in last year's playoffs, I got a lump in my throat as TV showed Dungy shaking Bill Cowher's hand following the game. What an awful time that was for Tony. If ever there was a guy who deserves to win the big one, it's Tony. editor John Oehser is also a good friend. He covered the Jaguars for "The Florida Times-Union" for the first several years. I hope the Colts remember to give John a little something for the effort, you know?

Noah from Tuscola, TX:
Although Brady Quinn didn't play well in the games against Michigan, USC and LSU, in the 20-17 comeback win over UCLA I felt he showed a lot of poise and made several good reads, which led to the touchdown. He didn't prove himself in the three big games but he does know what it's like to be able to perform under pressure. I would like your thoughts on this.

Vic: You're right about knowing what pressure is. Playing quarterback at Notre Dame is one of the most pressure-packed "jobs" in all of sports. The quarterback at Notre Dame is under more pressure than the pope. UCLA wasn't his only crunch-time success. He brought 'em back against Michigan State in 2006 and he rallied the Irish to the lead late against USC in 2005. Those are "feathers" in his cap. He's shown both sides of himself at crunch time, which is going to make it difficult and risky in coming to a final determination on where he fits in the draft.

Georges from Jacksonville:
Do you think that if we don't pick up a quarterback this year and decide to try to work with either Quinn Gray and David Garrard and it doesn't work out, the Jaguars will go for a quick-fix quarterback at some point so they don't miss their turn?

Vic: Let's take a look at the quick-fix guys. Is either Peyton Manning or Rex Grossman a quick-fix guy? Steve McNair is a quick-fix guy but it doesn't appear as though the fix is going to last very long, does it? Daunte Culpepper is a quick-fix guy but he didn't fix anything. Drew Brees is the best and only current example of a quarterback who appears to have provided a quick and long-term fix. The bottom line is that these guys don't fall through the cracks very often. There's nothing wrong with bringing in a veteran to help stem the tide, but the long-term fixture every team needs at quarterback is usually the result of acquiring a young quarterback and patiently developing him.

Brett from Glendive, MT:
For Gary from Centerville, OH: I have been working with horses my entire life. My family on both sides has been raising and training horses and pushing cattle for over four generations. So don't tell me I don't know what I'm talking about when I say something you don't like about your precious Barbi or whatever. Know who you're talking to before you make yourself look like an idiot.

Vic: When I was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, the only time I saw a horse was at the church bazaar, when they gave pony rides. I always thought they were overrated.

Scott from Woodbridge, VA:
Who are your top three Super Bowl quarterbacks? I'm thinking Montana, Bradshaw and Aikman. Your thoughts?

Vic: Make it a top four and add Tom Brady. Troy Aikman and Brady have each won three Super Bowls and Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana each won four. That means of the 40 Super Bowls played, those four quarterbacks have won 14 of them. Even more impressively, they have never lost a Super Bowl. I think their 14-0 record in Super Bowls is one of the truly amazing stats in sports.

Trey from Jacksonville:
Why aren't any of the Patriots teams in your top five; three years in a row is pretty impressive these days?

Vic: I was asked to pick what I consider to be the five best teams in Super Bowl history. I didn't pick any of the Patriots' three Super Bowl teams because, in my opinion, each of the five teams I picked would've flattened the Patriots' three champions combined. It's simple economics. Teams of today are penalized by a salary cap, so, they can't have as many star players on their roster as teams did in the pre-cap years. Nine players on the Steelers team that won Super Bowl XIII are in the Hall of Fame. How could you have fit them all under the cap? The same goes for the other four teams I mentioned. We saw what happened to the Cowboys that won Super Bowl XXVII. The cap slowly robbed them of their players. What the Patriots have done is fantastic, but their rosters just didn't have the star power that the rosters of the five teams I picked did. That's the biggest problem with the salary cap. Teams in the cap era just aren't going to fare well in all-time rankings. They can't.

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