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Are you sure it's being flat?

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

Dan from New Hartford, NY:
I am seeing a trend this season; the Jags keep getting off to slow starts. Do you know the reason for this and where is the sense of urgency for this team? Being young is no excuse for playing such a flat three quarters with the playoffs on the line. Nice to have you back, Vic.

Vic: I agree with you, but, unfortunately, I can't offer an explanation. Are we sure it's a case of being flat?

Michelle from Jacksonville:
Do you believe the loss of Mo Williams and Zach Wiegert are the main reasons for the lack of consistency on the frontline?

Vic: The loss of Maurice Williams really hurt because he was playing the best football of all the Jaguars offensive linemen. The loss of Zach Wiegert was damaging because the Jaguars lost the versatility Wiegert offered.

Dan from Orange Park, FL:
I am glad you are doing well, Vic. My question is: Does Terrell Owens get compensated in any way for the Sharpie incident. I have seen numerous commercials aired during NFL games about the whole situation and I was wondering if it's ethical for a player to be fined and then for the NFL to turn around and sell millions in commercials from it. This kind of remindsme of the whole argument the NFLPA is presenting to the NFL about fines on late hits and then selling the videos. Any thoughts or info?

Vic: I can't offer concrete information, just opinion, which goes like this: Yes, I would consider it a terrible breach of ethics if Terrell Owens had performed the Sharpie incident as part of an endorsement campaign from which he would profit. It would also bother me if the league is profiting from it. The integrity of the game must always be the number one consideration. I understand the players' argument against the league selling video of hits that were fined, but let's not forget the players also profit from those videos. Remember, under the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, the players and the league are one and the same.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I tend to agree with you that our expectations for the "Big Three" were too high this year. We cannot depend on three players to carry the load, which brings me to my question. We are making the same mistakes over and over again. We are not aggressive, we are getting pushed around by teams we should beat, our play-calling is predictable and miserable, and weare making no headway. How much more of this do we endure before coaching and management changes are made? Secondly, do you believe that Wayne Weaver will allow one, two, or even three more years of seasons like this and last year?

Vic: Come on, Mike, endure? Talk to Bengals fans about endure. Ask Bears fans about finding a quarterback. Before you think that's what's happened in Jacksonville the past three seasons qualifies as especially harsh, check out the histories of some of the most esteemed teams in the league. The Steelers didn't win a postseason game until the 40th year of their history. The Broncos didn't post a winning record until the 14th year of their history. Do you want more? The situation in Jacksonville will be solved by time and patience.

Keith from Jacksonville:
Great to see you back and to see you beat your illness. Onto football. Would you agree it's coaching that's the reason the Jags cannot be consistently intense. I know the team can't be up for every game, but can't they increase their intensity for games they know they have to win, like Dallas?

Vic: I don't know the answer to that question. I ask, again, are we sure it's a matter of being flat?

Donny from Orlando, FL:
We're really happy you're back safe and sound. This entire year you've emphasized that salary cap repair and player development is more important to the Jags' future than this year's record or success. With an 8-8 record still being a possibility, and the salary cap under reasonable control now, how is our overall player development progressing? Clearly, Stroud, Henderson, Pearson and Ayodele are seeing quality playing time, but how are they and the rest of the young playerson the team coming along to impact future seasons? Could you break down your analysis by position group?

Vic: In my opinion, the Jaguars have identified these young players to be true "core players" for their future: Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Maurice Williams, Mike Pearson, T.J. Slaughter, Akin Ayodele, Jason Craft and David Garrard. Others are close to following into that category. Of course, other veterans had previously been identified. Stroud has shown signs of being dominant, but he's had a tendency to disappear. Maturity and professionalism should fix that. Henderson is a powerful, straight-up pass-rusher, but he's got to get lower to be a force against the run, and he's shown difficulty finding the ball. Give him time, too. Williams was playing at the highest level when he was injured. Pearson has a long way to go but he clearly presents hope. Slaughter only needs to stay healthy. Ayodele has made the greatest gains among the rookies. Craft is one of the Jaguars' proudest accomplishments. Garrard has miles to go but possesses all of the natural skills to help ease the development process.

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