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The scouts blew it

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

William from Jacksonville:
I think it's interesting that no one in the media ever says anything that is the media's fault. The media is good at pointing the finger at everyone but themselves. Case in point: I know more about T.O.'s hamstring and practice issue than I do about Deion Branch's situation in New England. Why? Because the media can't stop telling me about one and can't grasp that the other is just as important. I'm sure you disagree but how and why? Why does the media never bear any responsibility for what it covers and to what degree it's covered?

Vic: The media has a huge responsibility and there are plenty of examples of misjudgments in coverage. We just saw a perfect example of that with the coverage of the nut case who wanted a free airplane ride. So why does the media make that kind of a mistake? Because its readers, viewers and listeners are thirsting for coverage of such glitzy, high-profile events. That shouldn't be an excuse. Credible media doesn't allow the reader to dictate coverage decisions, so what readers do is turn to those borderline-credible media outlets to get all the juicy stuff the credible media isn't providing, and then people like you blame all of the media. Don't blame the media, blame yourself for not knowing what media to access and what media to ignore. I agree that the T.O. thing is way overdone. Understand, of course, FOX-TV is sending their "A" team to Jacksonville this week. Jacksonville is the epicenter of the NFL this Sunday and it's not because the Jaguars have a really good team. It's because T.O. will drive the ratings, and that's not the media's fault. You have the right of choice; to decide what to watch and what to read. TV is a combination of entertainment and news. The news divisions have to consider credibility of coverage and the balance of that coverage. The entertainment divisions only consider ratings, therefore, the viewers make the call.

Chris from Crestview, FL:
I've heard lots of rips on Brady, but he wins. I mean the kid couldn't win the starting job in college. I know he is possibly the greatest QB ever, but what does he do so well?

Vic: Couldn't win the starting job in college? Then who was at quarterback for Michigan when they beat Shaun Alexander and Alabama in that great Orange Bowl game? He was 20-5 as the starting quarterback in his junior and senior seasons. He led Michigan to 15 wins in a 16-game span and won both bowl games, Citrus and Orange, in which he was the starting quarterback. Take a look at what he did at Michigan. He completed 62.3 percent of his passes and threw for 35 touchdowns. Clearly, the scouts blew it. That can be the only explanation for a 6-4, 225-pound guy with those credentials lasting until the compensatory pick part of the sixth round. The scouts gagged. They thought they knew but they didn't know. What does he do well? He completes passes and wins Super Bowls.

Dave from Port Orange, FL:
I had a terrible dream last night. I dreamed you passed away from some unknown condition. It was very upsetting until I woke up and realized that I was only dreaming and your usual "Ask Vic" put all my fears to rest. I pondered the possible meaning that might hold. I figured that it was just a representation of the death of preseason and the subsequent birth of regular season. On that note, is there a Jags game you are looking forward to more than any other this year?

Vic: No, I'm just happy to be alive.

Sam from Spokane, WA:
Who do you think will meet in the Super Bowl?

Vic: New England and Carolina.

Fred from Portland, OR:
The Texans just added Kailee Wong to their PUP list. I thought players could only be added to that list before training camp begins.

Vic: Wong was put on "Active PUP" on July 28. That left the door open for the Texans to put him on "Reserve PUP" recently.

Charles from Port St. Lucie, FL:
You're right, everything is the media's fault. I think GWB should start including you guys with the axis of evil. Where did you guys stash those weapons of mass destruction?

Vic: We have mobile laboratories we move from stadium to stadium each week.

Armando from Vacaville, CA:
How could the Jaguars get rid of Jamaal Fudge after having recorded 11 tackles against Miami?

Vic: When coaches cut their rosters, they consider every possibility. They have to see the whole picture. Jamaal Fudge appears in the future picture. He's someone you want to keep around and spend time developing, which made him a perfect candidate for the practice squad, where the team may continue their observations and evaluations of his potential for being an NFL active-roster player.

Tommy from Richmond, VA:
Seeing that Peter Warrick was cut by Seattle made me think of so many great moments he had at FSU and how dominant a college player he was. I thought he was a can't-miss NFL play-maker. Which great college players surprised you the most by not making it in the NFL?

Vic: I can honestly say it never shocks me when a guy turns into a bust. The move up from college football to pro football is so dramatic that I'm never surprised when a guy can't make the transition. I watched a lot of college football this past weekend and I enjoyed it, but the difference from college football to pro football is much greater than the step up from high-level high school football to college. I watched and listened as the TV broadcasters sung the praises of this guy and that guy, of which only a few will even make a roster in the NFL. I saw quarterback after quarterback reach the depth of the pocket, pat the ball one time and then take off running, which left me to shake my head and think how all of those instincts to run have to be re-programmed to stay in the pocket and pass, before those quarterbacks have any chance of being successful in the NFL. I'm not saying you shouldn't watch college football. Watch it and enjoy it. I do. It's good stuff. What I am saying is that don't ever think success on the college level is an accurate indicator of what will happen on the next level. Pro football isn't a different game.

Joseph from Sacramento, CA:
Getting down to the 53 roster spots, were you at all surprised at who was cut from the team?

Vic: Only one cut surprised me, and that was only mildly surprising. Considering the situation at tight end, where Marcedes Lewis is coming off a high-ankle sprain, I expected the Jaguars to keep four tight ends, so the release of Todd Yoder surprised me. I expect the Jaguars to do a lot of two-TE stuff and use the TE as an H-back, too, so I didn't expect Yoder to be cut. The Jaguars can bring him back at any time, however, if he doesn't sign with another team. I think we all put too much stock in the importance of the cuts. Teams tend to gravitate toward players they know, so most of the players that were cut will remain in a "street" stockpile to be accessed when injuries require it.

Jon from Jacksonville:
How did Montell Owens make the team? I was not overly impressed by his play in the preseason. What am I not seeing?

Vic: Did you not see him covering kicks? You obviously didn't read my in-game blog during the last preseason game. Owens was sensational in kick coverage and it was clear he was making a serious bid to make the roster. Bottom-of-the-roster guys don't make the team rushing for yards and scoring touchdowns. They make the team covering kicks.

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
Is there anything stopping Bill Cowher from saying "Big Ben" is out and then say he's ready just before game time, or any coach doing anything similar to that?

Vic: The weekly injury report prevents that. If a player goes from "out" to starting, the league is going to impose a penalty, which it has. I believe Dallas and Denver have drawn the league's wrath concerning injury report inconsistencies. Bill Cowher has been pretty good about representing the Steelers' injury situation. I don't hear a lot of complaints from the reporters about Cowher manipulating injury information. He was very upright about Ben Roethlisberger's condition for last year's Jaguars-Steelers game. Newspaper reports in Pittsburgh today have Roethlisberger missing the first two games of the season, which would leave the Steelers having to host Cincinnati in a critical week three game with Roethlisberger in his first start of the season. The Steelers better keep their Vince Lombardi Trophy close to keep them warm this season. Fate does not appear to be on their side this year.

Roger from Jacksonville:
Why does everyone keep comparing the Vince Young selection to Ryan Leaf/ Peyton Manning, and why were people so high on Ryan Leaf?

Vic: I haven't heard that comparison but it makes sense to me. The Titans had a choice between a polished drop-back passer in Matt Leinart and a raw run-around guy in Vince Young. The Chargers didn't have a choice. Manning went number one and the Chargers took Leaf number two. There were concerns about Leaf's personality, but he was a big guy with a great arm and the pick made sense from a talent standpoint. The Young selection, in my opinion, is wild and senseless. As I've said, two or three years from now, if I'm wrong, I'll point the finger at myself and say I was wrong, but I can't lie to you now. I don't get the pick. The NFL is a drop-back game. Leinart would've been a perfect pick for a team that needs a quarterback now.

Nick from Mountain Ranch, CA:
You say Byron won't become great until he has a star receiver? I think Jimmy Smith made that cut.

Vic: Jimmy was well past his prime when Leftwich got here, and it wasn't until Leftwich's second or third years that he was far enough along in his development to take advantage of a great receiver. One of the great concerns I have for Leftwich is the timing of his arrival. He caught Smith at the end and a decision on him may have to be made before the next great receiver emerges. He needs a star receiver to emerge now.

David from Jacksonville:
How do Brett Romberg and Wayne Hunter qualify for the practice squad? Don't they have too much experience?

Vic: Neither player has been on the 45-man active roster for nine games in any one season. That's why they qualify for the practice squad. I had said on "Jaguars This Week" several weeks ago that Hunter was a candidate for the practice squad because he hadn't been active for nine games in a season while with the Seahawks.

Clyde from Jacksonville:
Not to get too far ahead of the schedule, but would you agree the Jags chances of winning the first two games got better with Dallas and Pittsburgh having injuries at quarterback and at their number one wide receiver?

Vic: How injured is Terrell Owens? That's the $64,000 question. I think the Jaguars are going to get Dallas in a pretty healthy state this Sunday, so don't expect any help from the Cowboys' injury report. The Steelers situation is very different. Hines Ward has battled a chronic hamstring injury all summer and it's an injury that could be the beginning of the end of his great career. Worn out hamstrings have ended a lot of careers. It ended Lynn Swann's. Roethlisberger, of course, is the most recent setback and I don't know if the Steelers can win without him. The Steelers are really struggling with the run and they needed to put a heavier load on Roethlisberger. They can't do that with Charlie Batch. With a win this Sunday against Dallas, the Jaguars could get off to a great start.

Alan from Jacksonville:
Please explain waiver transactions for me. For example, Peter Warrick and Charles Rogers were both cut on Saturday. Could the Jags have picked them up immediately if they so desired, or is there a pecking order on who can get them first?

Vic: Peter Warrick is a vested veteran, therefore, he became an unrestricted free agent the moment he was cut and was free to sign with any team in the league. Charles Rogers is not a vested veteran. He had to go through the league's waiver wire system, which has a worst to best order.

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