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There's lots of fun

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

Tommy from Richmond, VA:
Who is or has been Tom Brady's star receiver? Solid, dependable receivers come to mind but no stars. Am I wrong here?

Vic: He's the one quarterback who's great and hasn't had a star receiver. Troy Brown made the Pro Bowl in 2001, Brady's first year as a starter, but that's the only time in Brady's years as the Pats' QB that he's had a receiver in the Pro Bowl. Manning has Harrison and Palmer has Johnson and Roethlisberger has Ward. Bradshaw had Swann and Stallworth and Marino had Duper and Clayton. Montana had Rice and Aikman had Irvin. Unitas had Berry and Namath had Maynard and Graham had Lavelli. It goes on and on, except for Brady. He's had average guys whose stats are mostly a reflection of their quarterback's greatness. Too many fans don't get it. We're talking about a very special quarterback. We're talking about a quarterback the likes of which we may have never previously seen.

Zach from Tumwater, WA:
I noticed one website lists Brian Jones and Elton Patterson as "waived injured," whereas the other four players from your article were designated on "injured reserve." I'm curious if you know more about the differences between these two designations and why one might be chosen over the other?

Vic: When a player is "waived injured," the team intends to release him but acknowledges that he has an injury. That introduces a process. If another team claims a player who has been "waived injured," they assume the liability for that injury. If no team claims that player, then that player reverts to his original team's "injured reserve" list. The team can then retain the player on its "injured reserve" list or offer him an injury settlement.

Aaron from Tyndall AFB, FL:
You say Leftwich won't become great until one of his receivers becomes a star. Is this an example then of how truly great a QB Tom Brady is?

Vic: That's how the question should be asked and the answer is yes.

Nate from Tampa, FL:
Rick from Rome forgot to mention Chad's "gift" to the Cleveland Browns defensive backfield last season. If that's not taunting, I don't know what is.

Vic: Yeah, Johnson overnighted four bottles of Pepto Bismol to the Browns DB's. Then Johnson had four drops and two fumbles. If you were Marvin Lewis, would that crap start to wear on you? The worst thing you can do to somebody is beat them. Just win, baby.

Desmond from Springhill, FL:
Could you tell me what our Jaguars all-time record is on opening day and what it is when the season-opener is at home?

Vic: The Jaguars are 8-3 all-time in openers and 4-2 at home.

Brett from San Diego, CA:
Sorry to be like a sore thumb about the whole Chad Johnson being a jerk thing but do you feel the media is part of the blame for the league sort of being the "No Fun League?"

Vic: Whatever it is you don't like, the media is to blame. I think that goes without saying. I don't understand, however, why you call it the "No Fun League." After watching last night's pregame introductions, I don't know how anyone could have more fun and still have their clothes on. The Falcons chose to introduce their rookies, which was very cute. So all of these rookies, including those who have as much chance of making the team as I do, got to run out through the artificial smoke to the screaming announcement of their name, all while the music blared. First it was comical, then it became embarrassing. They danced, they flexed, they bowed. Each one out-did the previous one. It was a look-at-me show you would expect from children, not men who've prepared themselves mentally and emotionally to play a violent game. It was way over the top for me. I understand, of course, that I am an old-school curmudgeon and people scold me every day for not being up with pop culture, so I accept the way it is and wait for the artificial smoke to clear so the game may begin, but, please, don't tell me this is a "No Fun League." I don't know how much more fun I can stand.

Xavier from El Paso, TX:
I am a big fan of yours and enjoy your point of view, but I have to disagree with your comment about great quarterbacks having a star receiver. Brett Favre, Warren Moon and Dan Marino are some examples of great quarterbacks who didn't have a star receiver.

Vic: Favre had Sterling Sharpe, Antonio Freeman, Mark Chmura and Bubba Franks, all of whom were Pro-Bowlers. Sharpe, Chmura and Franks are multiple-season Pro-Bowlers. In Houston, Warren Moon had Haywood Jeffires, who made the Pro Bowl three consecutive years. Dan Marino, of course, had Mark Duper and Mark Clayton, who were the most feared deep-threat tandem in the game in the 1980's. Clayton made the Pro Bowl five times and Duper three, all with Marino as their quarterback.

Matt from Valdosta, GA:
Based on what you've seen, which receiver has the best chance to take a step forward and assume Jimmy Smith's position?

Vic: At this point in time, in my opinion, no one has distinguished himself as the leader to become Smith's heir. It remains wide open.

Thomas from Jacksonville:
After the "Turk" comes this weekend to those unfortunate players, how long do the other NFL teams have to sign them before we pick them up for the practice squad?

Vic: Final cuts to 53 have to be made by 6:00 p.m. Saturday. At noon on Sunday teams may re-sign their own cut players to their practice squad, and after 4:00 they can sign other teams' cut players to the practice squad.

Matt from Indianapolis, IN:
Fans are gearing up for the meaningless power rankings. Are you ready to share your list?

Vic: I'll post them early next week.

Dan from Easton, PA:
Why is it that after going 12-4 last year nobody thinks (the Jaguars will) make the playoffs this year?

Vic: I understand why critics would point to the loss of Jimmy Smith and Greg Jones and predict the Jaguars won't make the playoffs. There's a tendency for the prediction boys to only look at the top of a team's roster, and that's where they make their mistake. How is it that teams come out of nowhere every year? It's because those teams had well-formed rosters that needed only a player or two to turn losing into winning. The Chargers and Steelers in 2004 were prime examples. Those were teams with good rosters that only needed a quarterback to emerge to transform terrible losing seasons into big-time winning. The Jaguars aren't coming off a losing season, but they're not widely regarded to be a Super Bowl contender and I think the emergence of a player or two could change that. That player or two, in my opinion, has to come from the passing game. That would appear to be this team's Achilles heel. Byron Leftwich and one of his receivers have to establish the hot passing combination you expect to need to be a championship contender. If that hot pass-catch combination emerges, the Jaguars will prove their critics wrong.

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