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The whale moves

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

Bill from Citrus Springs, FL:
What's your opinion of Mario Lemieux's bid to buy the Pirates? Can he go 2-0 in saving Pittsburgh franchises?

Vic: The Pirates don't need to be saved. They're on a streak of 17 consecutive losing seasons and they're still making money hand over fist. Listen, any sports franchise that has had 17 consecutive losing seasons and is showing a $10 million-a-year profit shouldn't change anything about itself.

David from Orangedale, FL:
Since Mr. Weaver, Gene Smith and Jack Del Rio committed to overhauling the roster, I thought it only right that I commit to them. I renewed and upgraded my season tickets just awhile ago, for three years. It is time our community stopped whining and started doing.

Vic: I think the whale actually moved.

Walter from Orange Park, FL:
Can you please explain what the impact of the decision to not allow the dismantling of Supplemental Revenue Sharing will be?

Vic: It'll spread more money around to more teams, which will theoretically allow those teams to spend more money on free agents than if they didn't receive that revenue. That's what the players union was seeking in this court decision.

Alex from Jacksonville:
I was thinking that the Jags pursuing a vet pass-rusher like Aaron Kampman would be a great move. I say this because he's coming off an injury and was disenchanted with Green Bay's transition to the 3-4. So with that being said, I feel an incentive-laden contract would keep him hungry to perform at a high level while he still has something left in the tank. What say you?

Vic: I say nothing because I know nothing about Kampman's recovery from ACL surgery. Before a team could make a decision on him, he would have to submit to a full medical exam. You'd have to know you're not buying damaged goods and, frankly, that's going to be tough to know. You talk about him as though he's a machine and all they have to do is screw in some parts. The guy underwent knee reconstruction.

Garry from Jacksonville:
In response to Gabe, the greatest thing the Jaguars can do for me is to work at putting a competitive team on the field year after year and I believe they are working at that. The Jaguars PR/Marketing has done more than enough for me in sending season greeting cards, e-mails, 15-year fan appreciation events, game day experiences, flyovers and much more. When I received a recent e-mail about ticket renewal, the video promotion was so inspiring that if I could afford it I would buy the entire row of seats. Thanks to Mr. Weaver and the entire organization for all you are doing to make this franchise great.

Vic: I still like the scarf idea. You can never have too many scarves.

Matt from Jacksonville:
Monroe and Britton "established themselves as the foundation of the Jaguars offense of the future." So, would you really take another offensive tackle in the first round if he's the BAP?

Vic: Yes, I would. The Ravens drafted Jonathan Ogden and he played guard in his rookie season because they didn't need a tackle. I think that worked out pretty well.

Ryan from Cincinnati, OH:
What are your opinions on Mardy Gilyard?

Vic: Gilyard seems to be one of those guys who will spend his football career being overlooked. In his case, it's because he's slight of build. Well, so is DeSean Jackson. Gilyard offers similar big-play receiving and kick-return potential. He could be a steal for a team.

Ana from Jacksonville:
I'd like to hear more of your thoughts on the PR efforts of the franchise. A post yesterday mentioned scarves, but I don't think the writer was suggesting that every season ticket holder be handed a scarf. I understood it as saying there needs to be some form of fan acknowledgement from the team. You must have some thoughts on this.

Vic: How about a new car?

John from St. Augustine, FL:
"Welcome to the Jaguars family!" That's how the letter from the Jaguars confirming my season ticket purchase starts out. It ends by saying, "Thank you for your support." I didn't get a scarf, but it would appear Gabe should read his mail.

Vic: I'll get you a scarf.

John from Jacksonville:
Have you ever thought of doing an "Ask Vic" live? You could charge an entrance fee and donate the money to your retirement fund or a suitable charity. I'll bet a few hundred folks would pay $20 to meet and greet the great Vic.

Vic: For $20, I'll come to your house.

Michael from Las Vegas, NV:
So we all know we need a solid pass-rusher. We also know the Jags don't go after the big-name players in free agency, but don't you think Peppers is worth it? He is a little older but there's still plenty left in him and he could teach our young guys so much. It's a position that needs a big upgrade. Your thoughts?

Vic: Coaches teach, players play. For the kind of money Peppers is going to get, I need a guarantee, and there are no guarantees.

Joe from Waterloo, NE:
Do you think Ndamukong Suh is a no-risk prospect?

Vic: What's not to like? That's the question you ask yourself in deciding the risk a player represents. The fewer the answers, the less risk he represents. Is he big enough? Is he fast enough, athletic enough, tough enough, dedicated enough? Does he conduct his life off the field with disciplined behavior? Is he a positive influence on other players? Is he smart enough? Does he have any injuries of concern? Those are all questions you ask of a prospect. In Suh's case, I think the answers paint a picture of a player who represents very little risk.

Courtney from Jacksonville:
I'm happy Gabe from Jacksonville and his father bought season tickets this year, however, his comments make me believe this must be the first time he's ever purchased season tickets. Tell Gabe to look for a package of goodies in the mail that is sent along with his season tickets. The scarf is a nice idea, but I'd rather not wear a scarf in 90-plus temperatures on game days.

Vic: You don't see a lot of scarves in Florida. Is that the reason? My grandmothers were big on babushkas, but you don't see a lot of those at the beach, either.

Adrian from Inglewood, CA:
At the combine, scouts look for mechanics, such as arm strength and footwork, but how can scouts evaluate being able to read defenses like Manning?

Vic: They do a little of that at the combine, too. In the interview process, quarterbacks are presented with circumstances and asked how they'd react. Matt Stafford turned in a legendary performance last year.

Justin from Lake Mary, FL:
I agree with you about Peyton Manning having a great understanding of the game of football. I am sure that has helped him avoid getting blasted many times, but several times during the past few games I remember seeing Payton drop to the ground to avoid getting crushed. It was definitely a surprising thing to see.

Vic: It's the smart thing to do, but I struggle with it. Surrender isn't something I admire.

Dave from Snellville, GA:
This was the first Pro Bowl I've watched since I was a kid in the 1980's. The TV ratings seem to support that I was not alone in that regard. When did the defenses stop playing defense in the Pro Bowl?

Vic: There had been a precipitous decline in defensive intensity during the years, but I don't remember it being nearly as blatant as it was in Sunday's game. I doubt there was a league directive. I have to believe this was a player thing. I can't help but recall a story from a Pro Bowl in the mid-'70's. Jack Lambert found himself in the huddle with seven Steelers teammates, so Lambert started calling Steelers defensive plays. After calling one such play, he finished with, "You other three guys stay out of the way." What would he have said on Sunday? "You other 10 guys stay out of the way?"

Roger from Jacksonville:
How do you think Keenan McCardell will do as a coach?

Vic: He's going to be as good a coach as he was a player. He's perfect for the role. Keenan has fantastic communication skills. He loves the game and is energetic about it. He's passionate about catching passes and he knows all the tricks of the trade. The biggest thing he has going for him is the perseverance he displayed in carving out his career. He was a 12th-round draft choice who spent the first third of his career bouncing between practice squads. His is a story the players he'll coach will respect. I always did.

Alon from Malibu, CA:
Do you see any Jags players under contract being cut in March, such as Holt, Nelson and Groves?

Vic: Teams may begin releasing players on Feb. 8. I expect Torry Holt to be released. I feel fortunate to have been able to work with him for a season. He's a true pro.

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