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Ascending is fun to watch

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

Pete from Jacksonville:
Watching highlights of the Colts preseason game, what did you think of their 1955 Baltimore Colts throwbacks? I think any history of the Colts pre-Indy days should remain in Baltimore. Maybe they found the jerseys in the back of one of the Mayflowers.

Vic: I guess the Colts think they can sell those jerseys or they wouldn't have put them out there, but why would people in Indianapolis care about uniforms the team wore in 1955? It wasn't their team then. The thinking is probably that those jerseys will sell nationally, but what did the 1955 Colts team accomplish that gives the jerseys worth? The 1955 Colts were 5-6-1 and Johnny Unitas was still playing for the Bloomfield Rams. I wanna keep an eye on this. If these jerseys sell, then it's likely the market will be flooded with throwback merchandise representing every crappy team that ever played the game.Victor from Jacksonville:
Give us hope at quarterback, I'll get excited. I might even buy a ticket.

Vic: That is so weak.

R.J. from Jacksonville:
Did you see Matt Jones trying those one-handed catches against Denver? Glad to see him gone.

Vic: It is what it is.

William from Palm Coast, FL:
Kevin Kolb looked sharp on Friday. Isn't he another QB the Jags could have picked up in the draft a couple of years ago and passed on?

Vic: He's a quarterback they liked and wanted to draft but the Eagles overdrafted him with the fourth pick of the second round. The Jaguars would've had to pick Kolb in the first round and he just didn't fit there. I like what I saw on Friday, but I expect the Eagles to endure some growing pains with Kolb because I saw a quarterback who likes to force the ball into coverage and is likely going to throw a lot of interceptions.

James from Jacksonville:
It's exciting to watch a young, ascending team, isn't it?

Vic: It absolutely is. I love it. I was just a kid when I started covering football and I was given the gift of being allowed to cover the development of one of the greatest teams in history. I remember like it was yesterday sitting in the draft room in 1974 as the Steelers picked Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Mike Webster. When they plugged those guys in with the other young talent on the team, it was go time. The accumulation of young talent is invigorating. I'm not suggesting the Jaguars have drafted the equivalent of those players, but it's obvious to me the Jaguars are accumulating talent. All we have to do is sit back and enjoy. Conversely, watching a team get old is depressing. I remember when I realized that the players who won four Super Bowls were at the ends of their career and had to be replaced. It wasn't fun knowing you were covering a team in decline. Holding on is bad. You have to be vigilant about staying young.

Sal from El Paso, TX:
Does McCown have the arm strength to hit the "Honey Hole?"

Vic: He's got an NFL quarterback skill set. He can make all the throws. The challenge facing Luke McCown is to make all the throws all the time.

Greg from Jacksonville:
You said blackouts harm perception; no argument there. How does the blackout rule work? I know other teams are not selling out, so how are they not having blackouts? Miami's stadium was empty for Saturday's game vs. the Bucs and it was televised. Is it preseason vs. regular season or something?

Vic: First of all, empty has nothing to do with blackouts. It's all about tickets sold, not used. The same blackout rules that pertain to the regular season pertain to the preseason. I don't know what the situation was in Miami. Maybe all the tickets were sold. You'd have to ask them. What I can tell you is that Wayne Weaver is graciously doing what is necessary to televise the two Jaguars home preseason games locally because he wants the fans to see his team so they might like what they see and want to buy tickets. Wayne has explained that he will not give the games away, so to speak, in the regular season. He's taking the risk, of course, that fans will call his bluff, but he didn't seem to be bluffing last year when seven regular-season home games were blacked out.

Mike from Southampton, NJ:
Since Rashad Jennings has the best hands on the team and he has some speed, could we use him in the slot a few times a game?

Vic: Yeah, you could, but you wouldn't want to do that if it meant a defensive back was going to cover him. You want him being covered by a linebacker, which is more likely to happen if he's circling out of the backfield. Don't scheme schemes. Scheme personnel.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
Is it a reach to say Terrance Knighton is the best defensive tackle in the 2009 draft class?

Vic: B.J. Raji, Peria Jerry, Ron Brace, Fili Moala, Sen'Derrick Marks and Jarron Gilbert were drafted ahead of Knighton. I think it's safe to say he's the best of that group. There's a defensive tackle that was drafted behind Knighton that I like. His name is Vance Walker and he was picked by the Falcons in round seven, and I watched him recently in combined practices and he stuck out to me. He's a backup player in Atlanta but he caught my eye as a player with upside.

Paul from Hallandale, FL:
Your loyalty to David Garrard is almost sickening. When will the so-called experts realize he is a bust like Leftwich? After the team leaves town because no one comes to the games because it's another crappy year?

Vic: I took a walk out back to the quarterback tree, to pick a new one, but the tree was empty. I think you're forgetting that I wanted to draft Brady Quinn and I wanted to draft Chad Henne. It's not as though I said don't address the position, it's fine the way it is. Quarterback is far too important not to have drafted one since 2003. You're not going to hit on them all, so you have to keep drafting them. That's the nature of the position. It is what it is now, however, and the position can't be addressed again until next spring. If you wanna spend all season whining and crying, go ahead, but I won't.

Tim from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
It seems Underwood and Williamson are competing for the speed receiver spot, yet, Osgood appears to occupy a receiver's position because he's a good special teamer. Is his value so high that we would let one of those other guys go just to keep a guy who can down punts? If Sims-Walker or Thomas went down, I think I'd rather have these speed guys to fall back on than a receiver who is questionable at actually catching the ball.

Vic: You worry too much. GM Gene will figure out. Just watch.

Aaron from White Hall, AR:
Just thought I'd inform you that your BAP theory is at its best again with the Buffalo Bills, since their top two rushers in Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson are out. So now, since they used BAP, they have no worries because they still have C.J. Spiller.

Vic: I guess they drafted for need and didn't even know it.

Tommy from Jacksonville:
I was reading where you said that on the one throw David got rocked and probably wouldn't have if Britton and Monroe were in there. What happens when, in the regular season, one of these guys can't go?

Vic: Well, then, I guess we're screwed.

Greg from Lake Oswego, OR:
Any thoughts on the two members of the media who asked Tebow for an autograph in the locker room?

Vic: I doubt those were members of the credible media. Those were probably fans disguised as media. With the emergence of so many fan websites, the NFL is being besieged by these kinds of bogus media people. It's a problem, in my opinion, because they're not credible media. My profession has a problem in that sense right now. We're losing esteem as a result of fan reporters that are being treated as credible media.

Roland from Jacksonville:
I know you tend to frown on these things but give this one a chance. You know how the Bucs have that pirate ship in one end zone? I think it would be absolutely awesome to have a jungle in the end zone opposite the "Bud Zone." Have some giant palm trees with a huge jaguar in the middle that would do something awesome every time we scored a TD. The kids would go wild for it and it would give the gameday experience some more character. We could also put some activities for the kids in there and Jaxson de Ville could make some cameos. We made some great upgrades to EverBank Field over the years. This would push it over the top.

Vic: The potential for embarrassment isn't worth the risk.

Johann from Jacksonville:
Winning that "second game" against the Eagles shows we are building depth. From your perspective, how does our roster stack up against the Falcons and now the Eagles?

Vic: You're right. When you win the battle of the twos, it says something about the young players on your roster and I thought the Jaguars clearly won the battle of the twos in Philadelphia. It's important to note, however, that the Eagles are in rebuilding, too. It may not seem that way, but that's only because they are a big-market, high-profile team for whom the expectations are always high. The truth of the matter is that DeSean Jackson is the only starter on offense left from the 2008 team. I thought the Jaguars' twos and the Falcons' twos were kind of even. Overall, I thought there was a gap between the Falcons' roster and the Jaguars', but the gap wasn't great and it's a gap the Jaguars should be able to close with one more offseason.

Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
When will this town embrace a QB? Is it going to take a first-round pick and huge amounts of guaranteed money to make people be reasonable?

Vic: I don't know if we have the time for that. We gotta do some embracin' now.

Gary from Puyallup, WA:
What sayeth the official rule committee of the "Ask Vic" golf tournament? Will spectators be allowed to stand in the bunkers on Friday?

Vic: We only have one rule: The cart girls are not permitted to redeem the beer tickets before 8:05 a.m.

Greg from Jacksonville:
I see you are using the it's-only-preseason religiously. Were you using the same line when Garrard outshined Leftwich in preseason and Leftwich was cut? Kind of hard to figure you out, Vic. Garrard has not looked like a quality starting QB since he inked his contract, yet, you continue to go to bat for him? I don't gett it.

Vic: It wasn't in just the preseason and it wasn't in just one preseason game. It was every day in practice and it was with and against the ones, too, and I wrote about it on a daily basis, telling people over and over that this was happening, and I was ridiculed for it. You are, however, right about one thing: You don't get it.

Jimmy from Jacksonville:
What are your expectations for Tyson Alualu? In my opinion, if you select a DT as the 10th pick of the draft, he better dominate. I'm not saying I expect Tyson Alualu to pile up the sacks in his first few games, but I am expecting him to be a can't-be-blocked-by-one-man, pass-rushing defensive tackle. Is that reasonable?

Vic: These are the defensive tackles selected in the top 10 of the draft since 2000: B.J. Raji, Glenn Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis, Amobi Okoye, Dewayne Robertson, Johnathan Sullivan, Kevin Williams, Ryan Sims, John Henderson, Gerard Warren, Richard Seymour and Corey Simon. The only ones on that list that achieved your expectation are Williams, Henderson, Seymour and Simon, and Henderson and Simon didn't do it for long and I never thought of Henderson as a pass-rusher. Ellis is on the rise but he's not in the dominant category yet. Are your expectations reasonable? Probably not, but I think your expectations are symbolic of the fan base's. This is a very demanding town.

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