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Accounting days are over

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

Sal from El Paso, TX:
It might be a little early for this question, but I need to start making plans. I'm going to the Jaguars vs. Cowboys game and I'm planning on showing the colors very prominently. Knowing these Cowboys fans, as a part of my game-day experience, what are the chances there will be fisticuffs?

Vic: Dallas isn't a good place for getting beat up. Cowboys fans are wine-and-cheesers. The best places to get beat up on the road this year are San Diego, Buffalo and New York. You should go to one of those three games. I think you'll find what you seek.

Doug from Jacksonville:
Since the hype for Tim Tebow seems to be at an all-time high for the NFL media, who was the last QB from the University of Florida to actually make it to the Pro Bowl? I say this since I cannot actually remember one doing well at all in the NFL.

Vic: Eleven Florida quarterbacks have played in the NFL: Kerwin Bell, Rex Grossman, Bob Hewko, Doug Johnson, Eric Kresser, Shane Matthews, Jesse Palmer, John Reaves, Kay Stephenson, Danny Wuerffel and Steve Spurrier. Tebow will become the 12th. Should he one day be selected to play in the Pro Bowl, as a quarterback, he would become the first Florida quarterback to have done so.

Dave from Jacksonville:
I don't get the quarterback tree thing. This team has had umpteen opportunities to draft quarterbacks over the last several years. The tree has held fruit. The Jags have passed over and over again. I don't get it and I'm worried that it might cost my town its team.

Vic: It was a mistake to pass on quarterbacks in the draft for all these years. How many times do I have to say it? I agree with everyone who says the Jaguars have neglected the position. You have to pick 'em to find 'em. Who have they passed on? Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers immediately come to mind because those are two young stars of the game, but if you went back through the drafts, I think you'd find that drafting a quarterback would've more often than not have produced a bust. The one that bothered me the most is Chad Henne because the Jaguars could've gotten him with a second-round pick, instead of trading away a bunch of picks to move up. That one really hurts. I really think we need to let this topic alone because there aren't any more drafts between now and next spring and, as I said, I'll swim the St. Johns at its widest point if the Jaguars don't draft a quarterback next spring.

Slim from St. Augustine, FL:
How about this? Next game, the Jags script 25 plays and Garrard starts with the first team. The following game, they script the same 25 plays and let McCown start and let the chips fall where they may.

Vic: When the preseason was six games long, you could've done something like that, but not now. What's important now is getting this team ready to begin the season. Tryouts are over. In fact, tryouts were over last winter when plans were formulated for this season. We really need to start thinking as fans of professional football. You don't put guys with $8 million salaries on the bench. What is it going to take for the fans of this team to understand that?

Sonny from Jacksonville:
Any thoughts on the way Rex Ryan acted on the "Hard Knocks" series?

Vic: This is my 39th season covering the NFL. There is nothing Ryan could say that would offend me. Wadda ya want, "Soft Knocks?" By the way, if Ryan wins it all, it'll get a lot saltier next season.

Jay from Tallahassee, FL:
I'm tired of being the Jacksonville Next Years. When, in your honest and expert opinion is next year going to come?

Vic: I don't know; nobody knows. Maybe it'll be this year. My better judgment tells me that this team is one more draft away, but I've been wrong before. Now I have a question for you: When is this childish whining and crying going to stop because it's nauseating to read day in and day out? Toughen up a little bit. You'll feel better about yourself.

Holger from Bad Vilbel, Germany:
You say Reggie Williams and Matt Jones were overdrafted, which is certainly correct. I assume you do not think Tyson Alualu is overdrafted, although the circumstances are similar. Why is Alualu not overdrafted?

Vic: Most draftniks think he was overdrafted, but I have solid information that at least two teams right behind the Jaguars were prepared to pick him. One of those teams traded back and picked a defensive tackle after Alualu was selected. Alualu's performance will ultimately determine whether he was overdrafted or not. Everyone thought Chris Johnson was overdrafted, but no one is saying that now.

Jeff from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I did research and it looks like one of the all-time worst teams with the worst uniforms is planning to do throwbacks.

Vic: You're talking about the 1976 Tampa Bay Bucs, which is one of the NFL's legendary teams. That's the kind of team that spawns a throwback uniform. The same goes for the New York Titans of the AFL. The Titans were so bad that they made everyone sit on the same side of the field, the side to which the TV cameras were pointed, so it looked like there were people at the game. As I've said in the past, there's a point at which something is so bad it's good. Titan throwbacks reference a distinctive period in the Jets' history.

Tommy from St. Augustine, FL:
I've been reading "Ask Vic" for a long time and you have been saying for a long time that we are rebuilding. So, when you say it is the second year of rebuilding now, I'm like, what? I think Shack decimated the team and no one wants to admit it. So, we are left with what we have and are truly rebuilding now. Hopefully a quarterback is in our future.

Vic: You can't do it all in one year. I just assume that fans that witnessed the gutting of this roster last year would understand the commitment to rebuilding that was made. Fifteen of the 22 starters on opening day in 2008 are gone, and I think a few more will join them when final cuts are made this year. Just because fans are frustrated doesn't mean it's over. This kind of stuff takes time.

Anthony from Jacksonville:
How long have practice squads been around? What is their significance?

Vic: They've been around for a long time; at least since the salary cap era began in the early 1990's. The intent was to build a reservoir of young players that would supplement a draft that was being reduced from 12 rounds to seven rounds.

Whit from St. Johns, FL:
It looks like we will fall a couple thousand short in season ticket sales. Do you know what we averaged in single ticket sales last year? That amount doesn't sound too daunting to overcome each week.

Vic: My accounting days are over. It's time to play football.

Justin from Jacksonville:
I have always followed baseball but can you tell me the last time a major league team had four pitchers that won 15 or more games? The Tampa Bay Rays have a good chance of making that happen and I was curious if it has been done before.

Vic: The Orioles had four 20-game winners back in the late-1960's or early 1970's: Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Pat Dobson and Mike Cuellar.

Matt from Jacksonville:
What exactly did you mean when you said "the potential for embarrassment isn't worth the risk?" That jungle idea actually seems like a pretty good idea to me. Did you have a traumatic experience in the jungle when you were a kid or something?

Vic: No, but this would be a traumatic experience. Hey, it's a football game, not a safari. Man, I'm startin' to lose it. Fortunately, the "Ask Vic" golf tournament is tomorrow. I don't know if I could do this column one more time this week. This has been one of the worst weeks in my 15-plus years covering this team.

Kyle from Orlando, FL:
I live in Orlando. Driving home from work the other day, I noticed a billboard on the side of I-4. It said, "Worth the Drive." It has a Dolphins logo on it along with Chad Henne. Then it switches to a phone number for tickets. Orlando is a lot closer to Jax than to Miami. Why haven't the Jags made a push in Orlando, yet?

Vic: Ah, yes, the billboard capital of the world. Hey, how are those billboards working for the Dolphins? They drew 59,108 (I'm sure that was eyeballs) in a 75,192-seat stadium for their game against the Bucs last week. The last several games I've covered in Miami, the crowd was so sparse that it looked like there was a bomb scare. Then they announced an attendance figure that made you think Pinocchio was doing the counting. What is it with you people and your obsession with billboards?

Grant from Fernandina Beach, FL:
So we are 3,000 tickets short and you still think we are going to be blacked out? There's no chance single-games and half-packs won't keep us afloat?

Vic: I never said it can't be done. It can be done. We're close. So do it.

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