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Words are meaningless

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

Dave from Rockford, IL:
I heard this question on the radio this morning and it got me thinking about all the things I've done and lived through: What has happened in your life since Brett Favre's consecutive-games streak started back in 1992?

Vic: That's a fantastic perspective, especially for me because I covered Favre's first game as a starting quarterback. It was one of those sparkling fall days at Lambeau Field and Favre threw a couple of touchdown passes. The man has played a lot of football for a long time and he has defined much about the game we love over the last two decades. In my opinion, longevity is the greatest tribute to a career. Nothing beats a life lived well and in Favre's case it's been a career well-played.

Bryan from Indianapolis, IN:
The Jags don't have a chance on Sunday. Sorry! Number 18 will eat that secondary up. Have fun posting a lot about 18 on your blog.

Vic: No need to apologize. I'm really looking forward to this game and the blog I'm going to do. Number 18 will certainly be the key figure in this game. It's all on his shoulders.

Mickey from Jacksonville:
On the non-return, Terrance Knighton out-ran everyone to the end zone, which is pretty amazing for such a big man. Your thoughts?

Vic: When I talk to coaches and scouts about Knighton, it's almost as though I can hear them thinking, "He's the best young defensive tackle in the game not named Suh," but they're afraid to say it because nobody wants to be the first to say it. I'll say this: I don't know how you find better than this guy. He is a dominant player and he's a treasure to interview. He's the best interview on the team because he gets it. You don't have to play Q&A games with him and work to drag information out of him. All you have to do is ask him what his thoughts are and they come pouring out in a manner that dignifies himself, his teammates, his coaches and the game. He's what I call a one-question interview.

Geoff from Warrington, PA:
What is the Jags' record in Indy all-time?

Vic: 2-7.

Rick from Jacksonville:
Is Tom Brady the best winter-weather quarterback in NFL history? Who, in your mind provides the strongest argument to take his place?

Vic: There's a long list of great cold-weather quarterbacks: Graham, Layne, Starr, Unitas, Tarkenton, Bradshaw, Kelly, Favre. The list is too long for me to mention them all, but any list has to begin with Starr. When you talk cold-weather football, the first game that comes to mind is the "Ice Bowl" and Starr's endurance, calm and leadership in that game defines what it is to be a great cold-weather quarterback.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
Those who bet on week 15 for T.O. lambasting his coaches, step up and claim your prize.

Vic: Why would anyone want this man on their football team? He destroys a locker room. That Bengals team won the AFC North last year. They were 4-0 against the Ravens and Steelers.

Allen from San Jose, CA:
Mike Sims-Walker didn't get both feet in bounds on a 10-yard touchdown pass that put Jacksonville up 28-24. It seems strange that even though Sims-Walker was clearly out, the TD was not reviewable because Cable was out of challenges. Cable was one for two in the game and a challenge there would have made him two for three. Do you think the coach's challenge rules need to be changed?

Vic: No, I think your coach needs to avoid blind challenges. What did he possibly see or what did someone on his sideline or in his coaches' box see on the Rashad Jennings run that led Coach Cable to challenge the play? Jennings didn't come close to stepping out of bounds. Don't use challenge flags for "fishing" expeditions unless it's very late in the game. That's the lesson in this. By the way, are you sure Sims-Walker didn't score? I watched it a couple of times on replay and nothing jumped out at me that would reverse the call. Maybe you're right; I don't know.

Arthur from Jacksonville:
The Patriots vs. God? Who wins?

Vic: Who's God's quarterback? No, forget that question. The Patriots win.

Nick from Annapolis, MD:
You know what's scary? The Patriots have three of the top 33 picks in the 2011 draft. If they manage to hit on two of the three, they might go undefeated next year.

Vic: They'll trade two of those three picks for four more.

Mike from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
My dad and I were once running late for a Steelers game in the early '70's, before they got good, and some kids said, "Hey, mister, we'll watch your car for you." So my dad tossed them the keys and we went in and watched the Steelers get creamed. When the game was over, we came out and the car was gone. It was eventually found. I guess they needed something to transport the hubcaps in.

Vic: They didn't want the car; they just wanted a few bucks. What was your dad thinking? All they wanted to do was provide a little protection, as a service to you and your father, and they were offering their services at a very affordable rate. Your dad should've employed their services and explained to them that if they did a really good job, he would retain their services for future games. Hey, it's America. Free markets, right?

Kevin from Jacksonville:
When was the last time you won one for the Gipper, Vic?

Vic: I'm not sure.

Dan from Orlando, FL:
In your blog for the Colts game, you mentioned that Kampman was getting inside Peyton's head. How does the loss of Kampman affect our ability to defeat the Colts again?

Vic: This is the game for which Aaron Kampman was signed in free agency. He was the most dominant player on the Jaguars defense in the first meeting between the two teams. He'll be missed.Vic from Duval, FL:
I know once we cover seats, they must stay covered all season. Can we uncover them, should we host a playoff game?

Vic: The answer is no. Why does everyone want to uncover those seats? First of all, how are you gonna fold up those covers with all that bird poop on them? Yuk! And what are you gonna find when you take those covers off? There might be some homeless sportswriters living under there. Come on, give a guy a break during the holidays, huh?

Greg from Jacksonville:
I followed the link to the Pro-Bowl voting and noticed that Montell Owens was the only Jaguar on the ballot for "Special Teamers." While I think Owens is certainly deserving, I was disappointed that Kassim Osgood wasn't on the ballot as well. Is only one player from each team allowed to be chosen for the ballot and if so who makes that decision?

Vic: Only one player from each team is permitted to have his name on the fan ballot; up to three players may appear on the ballot that goes to the players and coaches. It was a team decision to put Owens' name on the fan ballot.

John from Austin, TX:
Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier were often on the field at the same time. It seems it would be an advantage to have two great runners on the field. Why don't teams do that anymore? What am I missing? For example, wouldn't the Giants be more dangerous if they had Jacobs and Bradshaw on the field at the same time?

Vic: Harris and Bleier ran out of "split backs" or "pro set" formation. In that system, the halfback was the lead blocker and the fullback was the featured ball-carrier, though the halfback was also expected to be a threat as a runner and pass-catcher, too. Through time, the pro game became more specialized and we now have a "running back" that is the featured ball-carrier and a fullback that is almost exclusively a blocker. Why is it like that now? I'll explain it to you the way it was explained to me once when an offensive coordinator told me that when he wanted to get 4.1 yards, he'd give the ball to his running back, who was averaging 4.1 yards per carry, and when he wanted to get 3.1 yards, he'd give the ball to his fullback, who was averaging 3.1 yards. In other words, when would you not prefer to gain 4.1 yards? The short answer to your question about Jacobs and Bradshaw is that neither one of them is a good enough blocker to justify a place on the field in the blocker's role. Using the two of them together would have to create enough deception to overcome the lack of blocking power on the field and most coaches would prefer the blocking power to the deception.

Andy from Saint Johns, FL:
With all your NFL travels, does every team (minus dome teams) do a fly-over before games? Is it common or is Jacksonville unique that we are privileged to have a fly-over for each home game?

Vic: Jacksonville is the fly-over capital of the world.

Mary from Spencerport, NY:
I graduated from Binghamton University last weekend with my master's degree. Instead of listening to Billy Baldwin give the commencement address, I kept up with the action on Vic's blog on my iPod. It was far more entertaining and I still got my fake diploma.

Vic: There you go.

Trey from Macclenny, FL:
All the teams that have beaten the Colts this season have had 90-yard rushers and kept the Colts under 90 yards rushing. So even when you play Manning, it's still about run the ball and stop the run.

Vic: That's a great stat. Good work.

Kevin from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How much weight does the banter between two rivals hold in the NFL? Often we see players taunt all the way up to kickoff and throughout the game, only to shake hands or pray with their mocked opponents at midfield immediately following the final whistle.

Vic: What's said is meaningless. It's all for fun. I wish fans would understand that. The only thing that matters is what happens on the field during the game. What you're seeing after the game is the proof of that. Bulletin board material for a game like this is laughable. I promise you, neither one of these teams needs to have its intensity heightened by words. This is for the division title. This is for the playoffs. This isn't about avenging something that was said. Remember the asterisk? Remember the big deal ESPN made out of it? Now, do you remember any Patriots player even mentioning it? No one did and that's because they're professional football players and they know that kind of stuff is part of the pregame flavor that piques the fans' passion and enjoyment for the game and that's ultimately good for the game.

Tyler from Neptune Beach, FL:
If you were the coach of a team, is there any running back that you would rather have on your team over Maurice Jones-Drew, or would he be your guy?

Vic: No offense, but I'll take Jim Brown if you got him.

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