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A lot of candidates

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

Richard from Amelia Island, FL:
I heard a rumor that Brian Sexton might be leaving and Sean Hannity will be taking his job. Is that true?

Vic: Brian Sexton is Sean Hannity.

Dick from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Hey, Vic, let me set all these guys straight. All we need to do is have Byron Leftwich halve his turnovers from last year and maybe add four more field goals this coming year and we'll be automatic bids to win the AFC South. It's not a question, but do you agree?

Vic: You've put your finger on last season's two major problems: turnovers (the Jaguars were minus-four) and missed field-goal attempts (the Jaguars were dead last in the league in field goal percentage). Improvement in those two categories would probably improve the record, but it's not as easy as that because there's no guarantee new problems won't arise. The Jaguars stayed healthy. What if they're not as fortunate this season? That's why you might also add "build depth" to your formula for winning the AFC South. Another major issue will be the team's response to being a division title contender, which I believe the Jaguars will be considered. Last year, they were a rebuilding team that got off to a 1-7 start and appeared to be playing for the first pick of the draft. Did opponents take the Jaguars lightly? Could that have aided the Jaguars' cause in the second half of the season? Because of the way they played in the second half of the year – upsetting Indianapolis, playing tough at Tennessee, etc. – the Jaguars have been singled out as a possible surprise team in 2004. They won't sneak up on anyone this year. Are they capable of answering that challenge?

David from Orlando, FL:
Does the money you pay a free agent, who ends up not making the roster, count toward the salary cap?

Vic: You pay it, you claim it.

Mark from King of Prussia, PA:
Just to humor you, I am writing this response from my bathroom. The invention of wireless internet access has allowed me to do this. The question I have for you is which player do you see as being primed to have a breakout season for the Jaguars next year?

Vic: Ninety percent of the e-mails I received over the weekend included some reference to reading "Ask Vic" in the bathroom. One e-mail writer even designated his hometown as "the bathroom." I wish I could share them all with you – some of them were hilarious – but that might be overdoing it. Nonetheless, I applaud "Ask Vic" readers for having a sense of humor and maintaining an offseason perspective. Now, to your question: I can remember the same question being asked a couple of years ago and, frankly, I was lost for "breakout" candidates. Now, in my opinion, there are several. John Henderson, Mike Peterson, Rashean Mathis, Deon Grant, Juran Bolden, Maurice Williams, Brad Meester and Byron Leftwich are all legitimate candidates, and I'm sure you might have other players in mind. The point is that this is a team with some young talent on the rise.

Mike from Jacksonville:
There is a lot of emphasis put on offseason workouts and mini-camps, especially when it comes to quarterbacks and receivers getting on the same page. Manning and Harrison both frequently cite their offseason workouts as a reason for success. With this in mind, I'm personally amazed at the job Byron Leftwich did last year when you look at his top three receivers. Not only didn't he have an offseason with them, he didn't throw a pass to them until the fifth week of the season (Jimmy Smith), the ninth week (Troy Edwards) and the 12th week (Kevin Johnson). What's your take on his performance from this perspective?

Vic: Troy Edwards actually caught a touchdown pass in Houston in week four, but you make a great point. Byron Leftwich is in the offseason program and he's working with his receivers, which can only make the Jaguars passing game better.

Joe from Houston, TX:
If I'm not mistaken, when the Jaguars drafted Fred Taylor they were looking at drafting another back who was picked in front of them and we had to settle for Taylor. I remember reading an article where Taylor said he was going to try his best to prove to the Jaguars he was better. My question is, who was that other back we might have drafted instead of Fred?

Vic: Curtis Enis is the other guy. The Jaguars attempted to trade with Chicago for the purpose of drafting Enis, but the trade didn't happen and Chicago drafted Enis. In the following season's opening game, Enis came off the bench to turn in a dominant performance against the Jags, though Mark Brunell rallied the Jaguars to a long, final-minutes touchdown drive to win the game at Soldier Field. Enis rushed for 497 yards before tearing his ACL at midseason. He never really recovered from the injury. He rushed for 916 yards in his comeback season, but Enis developed arthritis in the knee and was out of football a couple of years later. It's one of those tragic football stories. Injury robbed the game of what appeared to be a great talent.

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