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At peak of his career

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

Seth from Jacksonville:
As it relates to his prime years, where do you think Fred Taylor is right now?

Vic: He's exactly at the peak of the prime years of his career, which are generally considered to be years 4-7 for a professional football player. For some, it begins a little earlier or lasts a little longer, but this is year seven for Fred Taylor and expectations for him this season are as you would expect for a great running back in his peak season.

Andrew from Jacksonville:
The August 5 poll on is what will be the most competitive position in training camp? Wide receiver got 34 percent of the vote and offensive tackle only received 5 percent, however, I believe the most competitive position battle will be between Mike Pearson and Ephraim Salaam at left tackle. What is your take on the most competitive position battle?

Vic: In my opinion, linebacker is the hot spot. Tommy Hendricks, Greg Favors and Daryl Smith are each trying to find a place in the starting lineup, and Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith says his best three linebackers will play, so position wouldn't seem to be as much an issue as performance is. At this point in time, the competition at linebacker is so intense that I'm not taking anything for granted.

John from Atwater, CA:
I was wondering if you could settle a bet for me by informing us as to what coach Del Rio's player stats were for his career. Also, did he play for any teams other than the Cowboys and the Vikings?

Vic: Jack Del Rio played two years in New Orleans, two years in Kansas City, three years in Dallas and his final four years in Minnesota. He played in 160 games, made 13 interceptions and scored three touchdowns, one on an interception and two on fumble recoveries. Del Rio recorded 13 sacks and is credited for one rushing attempt for 16 yards and one kickoff return for four yards. I'll have to ask him about the rushing attempt. I'm sorry, but I can't provide tackle stats.

Jake from Toronto, Canada:
Could you please give your predictions on who will start opening day at the wide receiver opposite Jimmy Smith, the cornerback position opposite Rashean Mathis, the linebacker position alongside Akin Ayodele and Mike Peterson, and the defensive end position opposite Hugh Douglas?

Vic: At this point in time, Troy Edwards has the lead at the number two wide receiver position. Edwards is really focused on holding onto the job and I see no reason to doubt he will. Obviously, Reggie Williams was drafted to be this team's star wide receiver of the future, but young players need time to develop. Dewayne Washington and Juran Bolden are head-to-head for the right cornerback spot and that competition is too close to call. As I mentioned about linebacker, the competition is too intense to assume anything. At left defensive end, I expect Paul Spicer to be the opening-day starter.

Joni from Jacksonville:
What do you think of the Orlando Sentinel's recent editorial claiming that Jacksonville cheapens the Super Bowl and that it would be better off in another city? I love Jacksonville and I think it's a great place for a Super Bowl.

Vic: It made me so angry that I stopped wearing my Mickey Mouse watch.

Tim from Jacksonville:
As the first week of training camp winds down I was wondering if there was anyone who has surprised you and played really well thus far. Any young guys stepping up?

Vic: Here are a couple of off-the-wall names: Cornerback David Richardson of Cal Poly-SLO and tight end Brian Jones of Arkansas Pine-Bluff.

Paul from Jacksonville:
What things are you looking to see in Friday's scrimmage?

Vic: I'll start with the performance of every draft choice. That's always number one early in any training camp. Where is the draft class in its development? Who among the draft class shows signs of making an impact this season? Then I'll turn to defensive end. I want to see evidence that Hugh Douglas is in a comeback season. I doubt that we'll see a whole lot of Tony Brackens. Are there any pass-rush candidates we might've glossed over? Linebacker will certainly be worth a look, but the competition there is going to be summer-long. Then there's the kicking competition. Seth Marler jumped up on this night a year ago. Will somebody distinguish himself tonight? Kicker is becoming a big deal now.

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