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Scarf man is back

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

Bob from Jacksonville:
Will the Jags and the Bears alternate the 10th and 11th pick or does the winner of the coin toss pick 10th in each round?

Vic: The winner of the coin toss picks 10th in the first round, 11th in the second round, 10th in the third round, etc. Yes, they will alternate the picks round by round.

Stephen from Neptune Beach, FL:
What are your thoughts about the square grooves issue on the PGA tour and the comments by Scott McCarron?

Vic: I think the PGA better get this fixed because as it stands right now it's top two players are being accused of cheating, and that's not good for image.

Josh from Lanesboro, MN:
Some friends of mine were discussing the upcoming loss of the salary cap. Is it true it comes with a stipulation blocking teams who made the playoffs from picking up free agents in a specific position without releasing a player in that same position? They are convinced of it and I never heard of it.

Vic: It's called the "Final Eight" plan and it restricts their ability to sign unrestricted free agents. There are two tiers: the four teams in the conference championship games represent one tier and the four teams that lost the divisional round playoff games represent the second tier. In the uncapped year, 2010, the four conference championship game teams may only sign replacements to the UFA's they lose and only at the same contract level or lower; the position the players play has nothing to do with it. If you lose a guy who signs a contract that would've resulted in a $5 million first-year cap hit, then you may sign a UFA to the same contract or less, but not more. The rules are not as restrictive for the teams in the second tier. They may sign replacement UFA's and they may sign one UFA who would've had a $5.5 million first-year cap number, and they may sign any number of UFA's that would've had a $3.7 million first-year cap number.

Ron from Stowe, VT:
I asked you if you thought Mike Smith would make a good head coach and you confidently said yes. I ask you now, do you think Mel Tucker will make a good head coach some day and why?

Vic: My answer, again, is yes and for the same reason I thought Mike Smith would be a good head coach: They communicate well. In my opinion, a head coach has to communicate well. All teachers have to be good communicators and the head coach is the ultimate teacher. I've also said assistant coaches coach, head coaches lead, and being able to communicate your message is a big part of acting out the leadership role. That doesn't mean you have to be a con man, it means you have to be able to deliver your message to your players, your media and your fans in a manner that is respected, believed and trusted. Mike and Mel are very good at that. When you sit and talk to them, you're comfortable in their company. You listen to them, and that's most important because you can't have players tuning out the coach. Chuck Noll was a great teacher and a great communicator, even though he was a man of measured and few words. That was the charm of his communication skill. He only needed a few words, his icy stare and the thin line that was his lips to get his message across. That was his style and Mike has some of that in him. His delivery is soft and friendly, but you know there's something behind it you don't wanna test. Mel delivers his message with repetition. You can ask him the same question several different ways but you'll always get the same answer. He stays on message, so to speak, and that speaks of his commitment to his beliefs.

Travis from Ormond Beach, FL:
You said you expected Torry Holt to be released. I know that's probably because it's a young man's game and he's no longer needed, but I was wondering what you thought of last year's free-agent signings? Do you think they played up to what the Jaguars paid them to do?

Vic: I viewed last year's free-agent signings as security blankets, especially Holt and Tra Thomas. They were signed to provide veteran security at positions where the Jaguars had uncertainty. I think both men did that. As the talent on the roster deepens, those security blanket-type signings won't be necessary.

Jimmy from Alpharetta, GA:
Clark and Ellen will be in a Super Bowl commercial. This has to be the first step toward a sequel to "Christmas Vacation." "Ask Vic's" popularity has done it again.

Vic: I have a feeling Chevy Chase needs money.

Austin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I agree with you on the BAP philosophy for the most part but if you had Peyton Manning at QB and another QB was first on your board, you couldn't justify taking him. There would be no value for your franchise by selecting a guy who has no chance to start for the length of his contract. Sometimes the position is just filled, right?

Vic: Trade the pick and recoup its value, or pick the player. That's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it. I will not, under any circumstances, knowingly allow my competition to pick a better player than I will select, without being adequately compensated for that pick. Plus, can you guarantee Manning won't get hurt? What about the new contract he's going to get? Do you really wanna pay that money for a guy who's heading into his middle 30's? What might Manning yield in a trade? Yeah, I know, I'm presenting the unthinkable, but it would sure feel good to have options at that position, wouldn't it?

Keith from St. Augustine, FL:
How come you didn't mention to John of Jacksonville that you have had "Ask Vic Live!" for six years in a row, all in the month of August? I guess he's not part of the "Ask Vic" golf tournament family. Roll on, August.

Vic: I love August and I love the "Ask Vic" golf tournament. That is truly a highlight day in every year. Oh, what fun.

Mike from Jacksonville:
True Story: Went to the game in Seattle in October. Bought a Seattle Sounders scarf at the Space Needle on Saturday and the Jaguars lost the next day, 41-0. Haven't seen the scarf since I took it out of my suitcase when I got back to Jacksonville.

Vic: I left mine in the press box.

Herb from Jacksonville:
In a discussion with a few football fans, one person asked why it's mandatory that pro teams use the quarterback under center as their primary offensive formation as opposed to the shotgun set. Wide receivers still have to run pass patterns and linemen still have to block and running backs would get hand-offs regardless of where the quarterback took the snap. Certainly in the shotgun one gets a clearer and quicker view of the defense without having to worry about taking his drop. What are we missing?

Vic: You got it backwards, Herb. One of the big reasons coaches prefer having the quarterback under center, as opposed to in the shotgun, is because a quarterback under center never has to take his eyes off the defense to take the snap, as a quarterback in the shotgun formation does to see and catch the snap. That split second the quarterback has to dedicate to catching the snap is when a quarterback has to identify a blitz. Plus, defenses react to play-action more aggressively when the quarterback is under center. The shotgun eliminates the drop. That's about the only advantage. I like it in obvious passing situations, especially when you're in come-from-behind mode and the defense is heavy with defensive backs and is in coverage mode, not blitz.

Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
I don't actually have a question but I do agree with John. The letter I got from the Jaguars in the mail today was very welcoming and I feel very excited to be a first-time season ticket holder, scarves or not. I don't think the team needs to start any gimmicks like that, just continue building a competitive football team, and the fans shouldn't need a gift from the team with their tickets, they should just be glad they have a pro football franchise in Jacksonville and show their support. Just buy, baby.

Vic: So, do you want your scarf or not?

Jason from Brooklyn, NY:
I have been hearing all this slack about Terrance Cody being out of shape but, truthfully, I do not understand why a nose tackle needs to be in such great shape. The sheer element of a 370-pound guy in the middle of the defensive line seems to be enough, given my understanding of the 3-4 scheme.

Vic: The picture I saw of him at the Senior Bowl weigh-in was frightening. You don't come into the league looking like that, you go out of the league looking like that. When a player is that dangerously overweight, it's likely the team will put him on "reserve/non-football injury" to start training camp, meaning he can't practice until he sheds some weight. Casey Hampton was so ordered last summer. It's just not healthy to run a man that heavy through practice in the heat, not to mention that he's likely to have a short career unless he gets his weight under control. Cody is a sensational player. If I was his agent, I would do everything in my power to persuade him to lose weight before the combine weigh-in. He doesn't have enough time to lose it all, but if he shows he can do it and he continues his weight loss heading into pro-day and personal workouts, I guarantee it'll raise his draft stock.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
The reason the Colts are in the Super Bowl is not just because of Manning, it's that the team drafts so well. Year after year they just keep adding good players. The defense is the best the Colts have ever had. They have the disposition of a champion and they will handle the Saints in the game. In my opinion, this Colts team will be highly regarded as a great team after the Super Bowl. What's your opinion on how good this team is?

Vic: I agree with you that if the Colts win on Sunday, they will go down in history as one of the league's great teams. If they lose, the postseason under-achiever label will stick. As far as their defense is concerned, I think you're off base. If it wasn't for Manning, they couldn't do the things they do on defense because teams would attack them differently. Manning makes it all work. I think we saw that in the infamous "tank game." The defense was 18th in the league this past season; 24th against the run and 14th against the pass. They were 23rd in sacks per pass play. How about 31st in third-down conversions? That's good? Twenty-fourth against the run and 31st on third down would be a formula for disaster on almost any team in the league. Manning makes it all work. He hides a lot of blemishes. Nobody moves the ball as Manning does. Drew Brees had a great season but if you had to pick, which one would you want? Yeah, me, too. Manning's performance in his career has been stunning. I've only ever had one criticism of him and that has been for his penchant not to play as well in the postseason as he has in the regular season. He's been out of this world through two games in this postseason. If he does it again on Sunday, the choker label will be gone. They've done a great job of drafting, especially in the later rounds. Clint Session, Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie are home run picks.

Robert from Chicago, IL:
What color are the scarves going to be?

Vic: Teal, of course. I think it'll look really sharp with my white golf shirt and khaki pants.

Gabe (scarf man) from Jacksonville:
Wow! Thanks for the thoughts, gang. Too bad most of you missed the point. I don't really care about a scarf or a sticker. What I wrote about scarves and Seattle was meant as an example. Most fans don't wear the scarves, even when it's cold out. It's a prop, something that creates unity and contributes to game day atmosphere. If you want to wear yours in 90-degree weather, be my guest. I'll consider you a diehard. I do like your idea of handing out cars, though, Vic. I'll also keep checking my mail; maybe mine got sent to John. Believe it or not, some people don't read "Ask Vic" every day. Those of us that do are the ones the Jags need to worry about least of all. We are already fans. Last time I checked, though, the team was looking to add a few more of us. I don't think this should be treated so lightly. At some point the self-righteous attitude – no excuses, stop whining, just support – is gonna burn us all. Hopefully, we'll all do whatever it takes to make sure that day never comes.

Vic: We love you, scarf man.

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