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Taylor could be sentimental pick

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

Brad from Jacksonville:
Did you hear Sterling Sharpe mention that "no one wants the Jags in the playoffs?" Do you think he feels that way because he just doesn't like coming to our city? I look forward to your response.

Vic: I don't know what he means. I really don't. It doesn't bother me one way or another.

Christian from Jacksonville:
Instead of railing about the officials, maybe fans should start railing about the commentators. It seems a lot of misinformation about the game is being transmitted this way. Some fans take what commentators say as gospel. The Welker play would be a recent example. Are commentators graded on accuracy?

Vic: The first reaction to a controversial call is almost always that the officials are wrong. I don't understand that thinking. The officials know more about the rules than any of us. Why would we immediately think they were wrong? Why wouldn't we first think that they know and we don't? I didn't know the rule governing kickoffs going out of bounds, but I know how to read the situation and my instincts told me the officials had it right. First of all, Wes Welker made a very deliberate move. He made the move a guy who knew the rules would make. Secondly, I didn't see the Jaguars bench react to the call. The combination of those two observations made me believe the right call was made. I don't know why the TV guys didn't put those two observations together. I don't think you have to know every little detail of the rulebook to be qualified to broadcast a game, but I think you should be expected to give the officials the benefit of the doubt before you question their decisions. Just assume they're right. What's wrong with that?

Tyler from San Mateo, CA:
Three running backs from each conference make the Pro Bowl? Does that mean Fred has a shot?

Vic: I'll tell you why I think Fred Taylor has a shot at making the Pro Bowl. I think he has a chance to make the Pro Bowl because players and coaches are going to take into account the fact Fred has been a very good player for a very long time and he's never been selected to play in the Pro Bowl. They're going to take into account that this might be his last chance to play in the Pro Bowl and that kind of sentimentality might help Fred nose out Willie Parker and Rudi Johnson. Parker currently has rushed for 24 more yards than Fred; Johnson has 15 fewer. Parker has five more rushing touchdowns; Johnson has four more. Parker's long run in last year's Super Bowl certainly helps promote his name. The race between those three guys in the final four games will be interesting to watch. The thing that's hurting Fred is carries; he doesn't have enough of them. Larry Johnson, for example, has 310 carries. LaDainian Tomlinson has 257, Parker 232 and Johnson 246. Fred only has 213. There's another way Fred could make it into the Pro Bowl and that's as an alternate. Johnson or Tomlinson could decide not to play, which could open a spot for Fred. I like Fred. I always have. I hope he gets in.

Sherwood from St. Marys, GA:
What do you believe is the biggest key to beating the Colts on Sunday?

Vic: The key has always been time of possession because it's the way to limit Peyton Manning's play count. Recently, however, Manning has started to throw interceptions. That's how Dallas and Tennessee beat the Colts, so, I'm going to take a more aggressive approach for this game. I'm gonna say it's time to get after Manning. It's time to pressure him into mistakes. It's time to sack him. I have no doubt the Jaguars will run the ball on the Colts and win time of possession, but my expectations are beyond that for this game. If the Jaguars truly are an elite defense, and I believe they are, then it's time to prove it against the most dominant regular-season quarterback in the game, and the way to do that is to rush the quarterback.

Edwin from Jacksonville:
Short and sweet, is the NFL Network broadcast in HD?

Vic: Yes, it is, but I'm not a technician and I'm not going to take time and use space to explain it. Call the cable company. Let them explain it.

Leonard from White Hall, AR:
About those coaches who played, I know Del Rio was a linebacker, but what position did the others play? Is there a position that seems to produce a disproportionate number of coaches?

Vic: Tony Dungy and Dick Jauron were safeties, Herman Edwards and Jeff Fisher were cornerback, Gary Kubiak and Sean Payton were quarterbacks, Bill Cowher and Marty Schottenheimer were linebackers and Art Shell was an offensive tackle.

Doug from Jacksonville:
Thanks for the explanation of the kickoff-out-of-bounds rule, but from the angle they showed on replay on the TV coverage, I don't think it applies. Welker made the catch and then put his right foot down out of bounds. Does that matter?

Vic: It doesn't matter. The spirit of the rule is such that it protects the receiving team from getting caught in no-man's land. The spirit of the rule is such that it protects the receiving team from suffering the field position effects of having its return man's momentum carry him out of bounds as he fields the kickoff. The rule is easy to understand. The return man has to get two feet in bounds after catching the kickoff for the kickoff to have been ruled legally in bounds. The rule prohibits the kicking team from using the sideline as a trap. It allows the receiving team a reasonable opportunity to field the ball and turn up the field.

Anthony from Jacksonville:
I was amazed to learn about the kickoff-out-of-bounds rule. I had no idea. Any other interesting rules you can think of that most fans don't know about?

Vic: Yeah, the kickoff-out-of-bounds rule would seem to be this week's greatest revelation. I know my life hasn't been the same since Wes Welker did that. Here's one a lot of people don't know. A member of the punting team touches the ball in attempting to down it. A member of the receiving team then picks up the ball and runs from his one-yard line to the punting team's one-yard line, where he fumbles the ball away to the punting team. Whose ball is it and where? The receiving team gets it where it was first touched by the punting team. Why? Because after a punt has been touched by the punting team, it may be advanced by the receiving team at no risk of fumble. There are a lot of rules we don't know, but the officials know them all.

Jake from San Francisco, CA:
Do you think the Jaguars can lose to both Indianapolis and New England and still make the playoffs?

Vic: No.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I always read your power rankings with interest, but I can't figure out your comment for the Jaguars. You indicate the Jaguars look like a playoff team, but you have the Chiefs, Broncos and Bengals rated higher. Unless my math is wrong, only two of these four teams will make the playoffs.

Vic: The Chiefs looked like a playoff team at the end of last year, but they didn't make the playoffs. You understand, of course, that these power rankings are not final. You also understand, of course, that they are ridiculous and you should find better things to do with your time.

Adam from Sandown, NH:
Is there any small-school quarterback (i.e. Jay Cutler from Vanderbilt) that is a likely first-round pick in the upcoming draft?

Vic: I like that; a small-school quarterback like one from the SEC. That's good. I don't think there are any first-round prospects in the true small-college ranks, but there's a guy at Delta State who'll be drafted and he could surprise people. His name is Scott Eyster. He's a nice-sized guy who's thrown for 109 touchdowns and over 13,000 yards in his college career. He's also an academic All-America. He's likely to be a second-day pick, because of the low level of competition he's faced.

Tony from Jacksonville:
Do you think that if the Jaguars can win at least three of the next four games they can make the playoffs and, if they do make the playoffs, can they pull off what the Steelers did last year, even with all of their injuries?

Vic: If the Jaguars win three of their next four games, I think they'll make the playoffs and, if they make the playoffs, I think they could do what the Steelers did last season. I don't think you should count on that happening because what the Steelers did had never been done before and may never be done again, but the Jaguars have the kind of ingredients that carried the Steelers through December and the postseason: a stout defense, a strong running game and a hot quarterback. The trick is maintaining all of those things for two months. That's what the Steelers did.

Chris from Jacksonville:
What's the difference between a Pro-Bowl player and an All-Pro?

Vic: A Pro-Bowl player is one of the best players at his position in his conference. An All-Pro is the best at his position in the league. Mark Brunell was a Pro-Bowl player. Tony Boselli was an All-Pro.

Paul from Jacksonville:
So if a return man could grab the ball near the sideline and leap out of bounds before touching the ground, or just get one foot out, we would get the ball at the 40? Start practicing those long jumps.

Vic: I knew somebody would come up with that idea. Why is it that fans are always looking for a way to violate the rules and get away with it? What you're suggesting is a clear violation of the spirit of the rule and would require a rules change if what you're suggesting became a common practice. If you did it in a game I was officiating, I'd start looking for holding real hard. Hey, by the rules, right?

Derek from Columbus, OH:
What is it with Hawaii; tons of passing yards and a QB with a high passer rating? They seem to do this every year with every quarterback.

Vic: June Jones is their coach. He's a run-and-shoot devotee and he could turn his waterboy into a 300-yard passer. That's why you shouldn't draft Hawaii quarterbacks.

Josh from Jacksonville:
You are the biggest idiot in football. Just thought I would let you know that. Go Colts!

Vic: I was wondering where you people were, though I was expecting to hear from someone from Indianapolis, not Jacksonville. Wow! I didn't get my first hate e-mail from a Colts fans until Wednesday. Hmmm, it sounds like the Hatfields might be getting a little tight for this one, huh?

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