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A double-edged excuse

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

Mark from King of Prussia, PA:
What are the rules regarding training camp scheduling? I noticed that some teams open camp as early as July 24, yet, the Eagles don't start until August 1. Why the disparity? Does it have anything to do with preseason game scheduling?

Vic: It has everything to do with preseason scheduling. Teams may open their training camps 15 days prior to their first preseason game.

Dana from Jacksonville:
What did you think of David's excuse about how poor Neanderthal men won't go to games because they can't "cuss?"

Vic: It's just another excuse. This one, however, is humorous.

J.T. from Jacksonville:
What do you suppose is this love affair, almost an obsession, the league has with putting a team back in LA? Hasn't that turned up empty in previous attempts? Both the Rams and Raiders left the city for smaller TV markets. It's like Weaver says, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over.

Vic: The league's obsession with Los Angeles is 5.5 million TV households the LA market offers. That's number two in the country and it's insanity not to have a team in a market of that size and impact. The TV networks are demanding a presence in LA for ratings purposes and, in my opinion, that's completely understandable. The reason the NFL doesn't have a team in LA is because of stadium issues. As soon as that issue is resolved, the league will have a team in LA. It's that simple. Some poor city is going to lose its team to LA.

Rob from St. Augustine, FL:
Who are the top five head coaches today? My top five are Belichick, Cowher, Reid, Schottenheimer and Fisher.

Vic: That's a reasonable ranking. One guy I'm getting real high on is Carolina's John Fox. What he's done in three years is very impressive. Rallying the Panthers last season was especially impressive.

Dale from Atlanta, GA:
The reason most of our games were within the current stadium size is because people knew that if they didn't buy tickets they wouldn't watch the game. Now everyone thinks the stadium is small enough that they can watch the games at home.

Vic: So let me get this straight. Essentially, what you're saying is the reason the Jaguars didn't sell-out previously was because the stadium was too big, and the reason they're having trouble selling tickets now that 10,000 seats are being covered is because the stadium is too small. Wow! That's the best example of excuse-making I've ever heard. There's actually some logic to what you're saying.

John from Jacksonville:
Your dream offense and defense are exactly what we run at Bolles High School. The "Wing T" offense and 3-4 defense are both sound systems as long as they are run correctly. So what are the chances of you coming to one of our games this year?

Vic: I think I'll do that.

Umar from Plano, TX:
If the Jaguars had to get insurance for Fred Taylor, who would be your choice?

Vic: At the right trade price, Travis Henry would interest me. I think he's a quality guy and his $1.25 million salary is not out of line.

Robert from Jacksonville:
The reason the tickets are not sold out is because a large portion of the NFL teams do not make you pay for preseason tickets along with your purchase of season tickets.

Vic: You got real bad information, Robert. The league forbids any team from separating preseason tickets from regular-season tickets in season-ticket packages. All season tickets must be sold on a 10-game basis.

Jim from Orlando, FL:
Your biggest concern about the 2005 season is Fred Taylor and you always say he is a great interview. So why not do an in-depth interview with Taylor about his health and the upcoming season?

Vic: offered a video with Fred Taylor during mini-camp. In that interview, Taylor spoke at length about his knee surgery and the prospects for a full recovery by the start of the season. Media interviews are something Fred is attempting to avoid right now for the obvious reason: He has nothing new to add in the way of information.

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