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You can drop it, kick it

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

Don from Naples, Italy:
Do you know what defensive ends might be available in free agency this year? Also, which ones are looking good in college?

Vic: It's too early to get a read on next year's free-agent crop, but I can tell you the best every-downs defensive end prospect I've seen in college football this year is Wisconsin's Erasmus James. He appears to have the physical gifts to be a star pass-rusher. In fact, he bears resemblance to Julius Peppers. Georgia's David Pollack is a high-motor, high-production guy, but he's undersized for the position.

Kevin from Cocoa, FL:
They say those who cannot play, coach. Well how does someone like me, someone who cannot play, coach?

Vic: That's a tough one, Kevin. You almost have to play at the college level to break into the coaching ranks. My advice is that you pursue a full-time career in another discipline. If you still feel a burning desire to coach, volunteer your services to a local high school and allow your talent to be developed by a high school coach who will see your aptitude and passion for the game and overlook your lack of playing experience. That can happen on the high school level. Go to a local high school coach and ask him the same question. Maybe he can offer better advice.

Chad from Wernersville, PA:
I think that if the Jags give the ball to Fred Taylor more they'll have a better chance of winning, and also winning by more points so you don't have to worry about the close victories. Do you think they have to give the ball to Fred Taylor more than 16 or 17 times a game?

Vic: Fred Taylor got 17 carries in Tennessee last Sunday, but 13 of them were in the second half. It was no coincidence that's when the Jaguars offense came to life. Yes, the Jaguars have to get Taylor more than 16-17 carries. In my opinion, Taylor needs to get at least 25 carries for the Jaguars to beat the Colts.

Mark from Jacksonville:
Is a drop kick through the goal posts for three points still legal in the NFL?

Vic: Yes.

David from Port Orange, FL:
Love the column and I'd love your opinion on the Pat Tillman issue. I don't understand the reasoning behind not letting Jake Plummer and other players who knew and loved Tillman for the man he was wear his number on their helmets. They just want to honor his memory and the NFL should just let those players do that this season. This is a special case which requires a special exemption from the crazy NFL uniform code.

Vic: The NFL's concern is that it would set a risky precedent. For example, a player's mother dies and he wants to wear a picture of her on his helmet. She sure was special to him and believes she's worth a special exemption. The NFL had a special day for Pat Tillman. Every player in the league wore his number "40" on their helmet. Tillman's life was a day-long, league-wide celebration. The league believes that was a worthy expression and wants to stop with that. Individual expressions beyond "Pat Tillman Day" might also stray into the realm of political opinion, and that's something that could be real dangerous. This is football, not politics. We've all been touched by Tillman and his patriotism, and he has been so honored. Let's move on.

Mario from Zapata, TX:
Two top-notch running backs are going head-to-head when the Jags rumble with the Colts. Which running back (Taylor or James) do you think needs the bigger game to lead their team to victory this Sunday?

Vic: For the Jaguars to beat the Colts, Fred Taylor must out-play Edgerrin James.

Emory from Savannah, GA:
Mr. Ketchman, I am a high school student and I love your column. My question is about Rashean Mathis. How would you rate his performance so far this year, compared to last year? Do you think we are witnessing a potential Pro Bowler?

Vic: Rashean Mathis' potential goes beyond the Pro Bowl. We are witnessing the development of a player who could become one of the game's enduring stars at the cornerback position.

Justin from Westerly, RI:
I am a huge football fan and my dream is to be a sports reporter on TV or in any big papers or websites. Can you give me a tip of how to get to this point? I am only 15.

Vic: Go to your local newspaper and volunteer your services to cover high school football. If you like it, keep doing it, then find a college with a good school of journalism. You certainly have them in New England.

Joseph from Daytona Beach, FL:
Love your show. Just wanted to know who granted the blackout extension for the Colts game, and why is there an exception for this particular game? Is it just because it's a big game at home, or are there other determining factors involved?

Vic: Blackout extensions aren't a big thing. Any team can get one from the league, but it doesn't do any good to get one if you know you have no chance of beating the blackout. In the case of this Sunday's game against the Colts, the Jaguars had sold enough tickets this week to believe one more day might make a difference. The league is happy to do whatever it can to help teams beat the blackout and get their games on TV, because the league wants its games televised.

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