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Underwear League champions?

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

Brendon from Monterey, CA:
In making preseason predictions over the last few years, I've been burned by preaching patience with rebuilding efforts. Last year, I pointed at Miami and Atlanta and said they're getting started, but don't get ahead of yourself, the rebuilding effort will take at least a couple of years. Two 11-5 records and playoff berths later, I looked silly. Those teams emerged from back-to-back losing seasons to playoff level in one offseason. I want to stick with my philosophy of this stuff doesn't happen overnight, but the quick turnaround teams are taunting me for it.

Vic: What happens if they go right back to being out of the playoffs? Would that mean they are, in fact, rebuilding but a weak schedule allowed them to disguise rebuilding for a season? I think your advice last season was sound. Quick turnarounds can turn right back around just as quickly. Let's see, how many playoff games did the Falcons and Dolphins win last season?

Kristin from Jacksonville:
The message board has a five-page thread on Torry Holt pulling the vet card and missing practice. I saw him stay after practice and work with the rookies and then have three TDs later that night. I think this is a non-issue. How do you feel?

Vic: Isn't this kind of silly? The guy is in his 11th season in the league and he's one of the greatest receivers in history. Does he need to make a statement in mini-camp? What if his hamstrings felt tight on Saturday morning and he asked to sit practice out so he could avoid the risk of injury? Torry Holt isn't a kid. He doesn't have young legs. What gain is there in wearing him down and subjecting him to injury? Whatever he needs to prove, he can do it in training camp.

Thomas from Jacksonville:
If Derek Cox wins a starting role, will that move Brian Williams back to safety? Is Sean Considine looking like he is the best player at strong safety so Reggie can just play and not worry about making the secondary calls?

Vic: If one guy has to do his job and part of another guy's job, too, then you need a new guy. Everybody has a job to do. Nobody should have to do somebody else's job, too.

Mario from Burlingame, CA:
On the subject of play-calling, was Tom Landry the first to institute play-calling from the sidelines? In the classic Super Bowl matchups between the Cowboys and Steelers, did Terry Bradshaw call his own plays?

Vic: Long before Landry was calling plays for the Cowboys, Paul Brown introduced a "messenger guard" system of play-calling as coach of the Cleveland Browns. Chuck Noll was one of Brown's "messenger guards" that were used to shuttle in plays, yet, as coach of the Steelers, Noll used no such shuttle system and left the play-calling to Terry Bradshaw. Yes, Bradshaw called his own plays.

Joel from Atlanta, GA:
In reference to your question regarding Justin Durant and his potential move to MLB, isn't this position typically designated as the "quarterback" position on the defense, therefore, don't factors have to be taken into account in addition to a player's physical ability, such as calling out changes in coverages based on the offensive alignment, etc?

Vic: Yes, middle linebackers are responsible for helping coordinate coverage calls and at-the-line changes. Justin Durant is capable of doing that and he is in the process of learning how to do it.

Jon from Jacksonville:
It's sad that we couldn't even get a warm six-pack for Leftwich, Jones or Williams.

Vic: Picks, not players.

Dale from Hampton, VA:
When the quarterback called the plays in the huddle, was there much coaching and analysis going on while the defense was on the field? Was that the appropriate time for the coach to provide his input?

Vic: Yes, that's when the head coach and quarterback met and analysis was provided. When the offense went onto the field, it was the defense's turn to be coached. In those days, coaching was a sideline thing. With the advent of the helmet communicator, coaches have entered the huddle.

Todd from Orange Park, FL:
So your integrity is for sale? "Yeah, I know Ryan had a nasty streak in him, but he was always good to me and that's why you'll never hear me say anything bad about him."

Vic: Yeah, I can be bought, by kindness, consideration and acts of friendship.

Kira and Mike from La Porte, TX:
This is from your youngest reader, my daughter. Her name is Kira and she sits in my lap while I read about the Jaguars. Just thought we'd say hi.

Vic: You just want everyone to know you're a daddy, daddy.

Will from Jacksonville:
How is Mike Walker looking? I feel if he takes a big step this year our wide receiving corps will get a huge boost.

Vic: Mike turned in another outstanding series of underwear performances. He was, in my opinion, the most impressive receiver in mini-camp and I saw no wrap of any kind on either knee. This was the best I have seen him run in successive practices.

Steve from Lancaster, PA:
I'm a little disappointed that none of your readers have spoken about the recent injury to former special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, who was inside Dallas' indoor practice facility when it collapsed. Have you spoken to him? I am continuing to pray that his surgery goes well. What is your fondest memory of him when he was with the Jaguars?

Vic: I have received a lot of e-mails offering concern for Joe's condition; I wanted to wait until I had some information. His surgery was yesterday and all seems to have gone well. My fondest memory of Joe is from last summer when he hit a screaming five iron to about six feet of the hole and made the putt to win the hole for us. I'll explain. Joe and a few others of us created the "Association of Golfing Pro Football Employees" last July. I think we played 14 days in a row. Joe and I routinely partnered, which was great for me because Joe reaches into his pocket better than any assistant coach I have ever known. I'll put it this way: If you're with Joe and he doesn't offer to buy you a beer, you've either done something to offend him or he's heard you're a recovering alcoholic. Plans were for Joe to return to the "AGPFE" tour this July but that'll probably be delayed until after the season. Actually, this could help him keep his head still, so he has that going for him, which is nice.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
In comparison to last year's underwear practices, how did the team look?

Vic: The team looked great. If it continues its improvement through OTA's, the Jaguars could win the Underwear League.

Ken from Memphis, TN:
McShay basically called our third-round picks reaches. He said there are rarely any of those gems that other teams just don't know about because they went overlooked. He credits this to today's wealth of information that just wasn't available for scouts back in the day. I don't really like Kiper or McShay, but he raises an interesting point. Your thoughts?

Vic: He's absolutely right. So how did he miss it?

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