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Subject to public scrutiny

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

Robert from Amelia Island, FL:
An NFL umpire stands behind the defensive line in the center of the field and, unfortunately, often gets in the way of offensive players, especially on short passes over the middle. What do you think about moving the umpire to the offensive side, with the same responsibilities, thus, greatly reducing his chance of being struck by a short pass, acting as a pick or obstructing a play?

Vic: The same people who complain when the umpire gets in the way of a pass are the same people who use the umpire to rub off the defender. Yeah, I'd like to see the umpire re-positioned, but how is he going to see offensive holding from behind the offensive line? He's the guy who calls offensive holding. That's his main responsibility. Why do we have to change everything? The umpire has been where he's at for a long time and nobody complained much until now. Why? Because offenses are using him to pick the defender more and more, which means he's getting involved in the action more and more. When it happens to the defense, you don't hear much in the way of complaint. The attitude is that the umpire is part of the game and you have to deal with it, but when it happens to the offense, oh, the whining and crying is extreme. You know what I'd like to see happen? I'd like to see the league start passing some rules to favor the defense.

Shane from McLean, VA:
Rejoice, Vic, for there are rumors floating about Hollywood that Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are getting out of mothballs for another "Vacation" movie. Will it be as good as "Christmas Vacation?" Almost certainly not. Will I see it? You betcha.

Vic: So will I.

Chris from Jacksonville:
While I like what Gene and company have done, and I agree with building through the draft, it seems like the very high failure rate of pass-rushers from the draft would make it a wiser financial decision to just pay the money to an established/proven free agent. Does that make sense, or am I missing something in the bigger picture?

Vic: A proven pass-rusher? First of all, proven pass-rushers rarely make it to free agency. Secondly, to acquire one you'll have to lose a lot of draft picks and pay a king's ransom. That's why pass-rushers are over-drafted and it's because they're over-drafted that the bust percentage is so high.

Cole from Jacksonville:
Didn't Derek Cox have a pass-interference penalty called on him at the end of the Chiefs game?

Vic: He was penalized for illegal contact. That's not pass-interference. Illegal contact carries with it a five-yard penalty and first down. Pass-interference is a spot foul.

David from Charlotte, NC:
Tim Tebow is being projected to be picked in the mid to early 20's, which is where the Jags will likely pick if they can win the next few games. Do Gator fans realize these next few games might actually be for Tebow? If so, "The Jack" should be packed, right?

Vic: I wouldn't worry about that.

Dennis from Kingsland, GA:
I know I'm probably jumping on a bandwagon full of people responding to your comment, "the Jaguars have not been flagged for a defensive pass-interference penalty all season," but I'm going to. You do know that's because we don't usually have defenders close enough to commit pass-interference? I know that blanket statement is a bit unfair but there is a tinge of truth to it.

Vic: They've been close enough to be credited with 31 passes-defensed.

Darian from Jacksonville:
The Jags are without a second-round pick this year, which I think is the round Tebow should be selected. Will this force the Jags to draft him in the first round because of this?

Vic: I wouldn't worry about that.

Bill from Jacksonville:
I don't disagree with your assertion that the Jags need more linemen, but it looks more and more like defenses are driven by their safeties. Look at Polamalu's effect on Pittsburgh and the boost that Dawkins has brought to Denver. New Orleans wouldn't be nearly as successful defensively without Roman Harper.

Vic: When you have a defensive line that's eating up blocks at the point of attack, you can put your safeties into positions to make plays. Linemen come first, then safeties.

Wes from Jacksonville:
I enjoy reading your column and would like to know your opinion as a professional sportswriter, journalist and avid golfer of the Tiger Woods coverage? Should pro athletes have any privacy and is it fair to regard them as role models just for being great athletes?

Vic: I don't care what you do about regarding athletes as role models. That's a purely personal thing and I don't think an athlete has any responsibility for raising other men's children. When I was a kid, I had favorite players but I never concerned myself with anything about them other than how they played. I liked Clemente, Layne and Ditka. Clemente was accused of being a hypochondriac, Layne drank too much and Ditka was borderline bipolar, but I didn't aspire to be any of those things. All I wanted to do was play like them. As far as the Tiger Woods coverage, the next time somebody in the golf industry writes or says a bad thing about Woods will be the first. No athlete has ever been treated more softly, more promotionally and with more reverence than Woods. Here's where the professional part comes into play: When you take "Law of the Mass Media" in college, you learn that one of the first laws of the mass media is that public figures are subject to public scrutiny. I assure you, Woods is very much a public figure.

Daniel from Jacksonville:
"Mr. Controversy" (aka Lane Kiffin) said, "It will be a real interesting matchup. Florida has better players, and Alabama has better coaches." What do you think and what is your prediction?

Vic: Urban Meyer is as good a coach as there is in football.

Todd from Jacksonville:
From Craigslist: "Pittsburgh Steelers PSL-2 in Sec 236, $25,000 each (Irwin). Two Steelers seat licenses in Section 236, Row F, Seats 13-14, priced at $25,000 each. Great investment!" Are we not so lucky to have football in Jacksonville for pennies compared to this? Those fans will pay any amount to see their team play and we can't get people to pay an amount far less. That's just the PSL's, not the season tickets. Crazy! Could you imagine the crowds if we had PSL's?

Vic: I'm so sad for Jacksonville. It doesn't understand the value of what it has and what losing it could mean.

Bryson from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Carlos Dunlap on the board at 19 or 20. Jaguars scared to pick him because of Harvey?

Vic: Are you talking about Derrick Harvey or Harvey the giant white pooka? Where have you been this week? Dunlap has created his own problems.

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