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Two great examples

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

Gene from Jacksonville:
Chad Owens heading to Europe?

Vic: No, Owens declined to go to NFL Europe. The Jaguars have allocated four players: DE Elton Patterson, OT Carlos Joseph, FB Lee Webb and DE Walter Curry.

Colby from Conway, AR:
To elaborate on Pete from Jacksonville's point regarding the top five run-offenses, I think an equally telling stat is run-defense. Of the top five run-defenses in the regular season, the four remaining teams rank two, three, four and five. San Diego is one and was widely thought of as the best team that didn't make the playoffs. While big offense is sexy, to make deep runs in the playoffs you must run the ball and be able to stop the run.

Vic: I've heard that.

Igor from Jacksonville:
Just to follow up on Mike's comment on 1/19/06 about the draft spot, should Pittsburgh or Carolina advance to the Super Bowl. Both could be looking for a running back, so them moving down should allow the Jags to pick up one of those running backs, should one slip to the back of round one; say Mauroney, White or Williams.

Vic: Congratulations or condolences – depending on your perspective – you're beginning to think like a sportswriter.

Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico:
Here's what gets you respect: Polamalu getting back up, not saying a word about the ridiculous overturn, and Ben Watson running a hundred yards to stop a sure touchdown. Playing hard, even if you're losing, gets you respect, not talking about it.

Vic: We were treated to two great examples of professionalism in this past weekend's playoff games. Troy Polamalu's behavior and Ben Watson's effort are shining examples the NFLPA and the league should promote and encourage. From where I sit, this is what I think fans want. They wanna see the game played with honor and distinction. They want heroes, not notorious figures. The two examples you cited may be how we remember this postseason.

Ed from Jacksonville:
If the CBA is not extended by the early March deadline, does that mean it cannot be extended for a whole year? Is March a hard deadline?

Vic: The two sides can come to a CBA extension agreement at any time during the year, but March 3 is the first day of the league calendar year which is the first day of the 2006 salary cap. In other words, you have to be under the cap on March 3 and if there's no CBA extension by then it'll be nearly impossible for some teams to get under the cap without experiencing major personnel losses. In Washington, it could be even worse than that.

Jacob from Villanova, PA:
With all of the tough games the Jaguars have, do you think they will have more nationally-televised games?

Vic: I think the Jaguars' 2006 schedule, because it includes so many high-profile opponents, will produce more national TV exposure for the Jaguars, but it didn't help the Jaguars that their playoff game in New England got the lowest TV ratings of the wild-card weekend. Don't forget, it was the only prime-time game of that weekend. That won't be lost on the networks.

Jose from Hyattsville, MD:
What do players get if they win the Super Bowl, besides a ring? Any added bonus money?

Vic: This year's Super Bowl winner will receive $73,000 per player; each member of the losing team will get $38,000.

Nick from Clearfield, PA:
What do you think of Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson? Is he worth a look in the draft?

Vic: He's absolutely worth a look in the draft, but I don't think he's a legitimate quarterback prospect. Robinson also played wide receiver at Penn State and I think that's where his future lies. He's a "slash." He's a great athlete who can do it all: run, catch and throw. He's Randle El.

Alvin from Jacksonville:
If a new CBA gets signed, is there a limit on how far a team can push out bonus money? With certain players signed to long-term deals, could their cap hits be lessened?

Vic: If the CBA is extended, teams can push money out as far as the new extension would allow. You understand, of course, that by doing that a team is mortgaging its future. It's spending its inheritance, so to speak, now. That's what the Jaguars did in 1999 and that's what the Colts have been doing and would like to continue to do, for the obvious reason. If a CBA extension gets done in February, you're going to see the Colts, for example, rush into emergency contract restructuring with high-cap players such as Peyton Manning, for the purpose of pushing money into the future and creating cap room now. That's the only way they'll be able to avoid losing key players.

Jason from Jacksonville:
In order to start some tradition with the franchise, do you see the Jaguars ever retiring jerseys of players such as Tony Boselli and Jimmy Smith?

Vic: You're going to see the team address the issue of honoring its great players. I'm a member of a committee to examine the possibilities: retiring numbers, ring of honor, etc. I can tell you that I am against retiring numbers. It's too restrictive. I can't tell you when a strategy will be announced – our committee has only had one formal meeting – but I have no doubt it will get done.

James from Jacksonville:
Wouldn't it be easier to tell us in advance or just post a note when you're taking the day off?

Vic: Yeah, that's a great idea. It could go something like this: "Dear thieves, I'm going on vacation this week so the house is yours. The jewelry I stole from my ex-wife is in the old sneakers at the back of the closet. That little patch of Astro-Turf on my desk has sentimental value. Please don't take it. I have my golf clubs with me, but there's an extra set in the garage. I'll warn you, the driver has a two-degree hook face. If you make a pot of coffee, don't forget to pull the plug before you leave. Thanks for reading Your victim, Vic."

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