Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Attention will be on passing game

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

Casey from Bismarck, ND:
With four interceptions thrown in the scrimmage, it would seem the offense is pretty far off, but how many of those interceptions were because the defense made a great play, or should we be concerned that our offense was that far off?

Vic: I'm not going with the great plays theory. The interception that concerns me the most is the one by Derek Cox in the end zone because it was an overthrown ball and we've seen that in practice. From time to time, through OTAs and now into training camp, David Garrard has had passes sail on him. Why? That's the question that has to be answered. Is he overstriding? That's the usual cause of passes that sail. Has that little hop they took out of his delivery two years ago crept back in? I don't know what it is; I'm just throwing questions out there. I do know, however, that it has to stop. Two summers ago, when Garrard won the job on the strength of a fantastic training camp and preseason, I made the comment that he looked like a pitcher who had taken something off his fastball and, as a result, was throwing more strikes and fewer balls. That's want I want to see again. I want to see, metaphorically speaking, Garrard take something off his fast ball and start throwing strikes again.

Christopher from Deland, FL:
Should we be more excited about our secondary or concerned about our passing game after the showing at the scrimmage last night?

Vic: I'm going to go the concerned route because I am a sportswriter and, of course, all sportswriters are negative people who view the glass as half empty. There's also another reason I have concern and that's because you ain't goin' nowhere in today's pass-happy NFL if you can't throw the ball effectively and efficiently, therefore, I am going to make the Jaguars' passing game a focus of my attention. I'm going to watch it closely in practice and provide you the details of its development.

Tommy from Newark, DE:
I wish people would stop with this whole rookie salary nonsense. We don't need a system, we need restraint. Don't want to pay the mega contracts? Then there are other options, like trading out of the first round. Don't want to gain weight, don't eat the donuts.

Vic: You're absolutely right. No one is holding a water pistol to these teams' heads. If I was an owner, I would set a ceiling on what I was willing to pay and I wouldn't go above it. The team has the leverage. The player and his agent won't get a dime for a whole year if they don't sign with the team that drafted the player, and it's almost certain he won't get a year from now what he could get now. Patience is the key. Once you believe you've been fair, you have to have the patience and discipline to stick to your guns. Your salary structure is at stake; this is about the big picture and, in my opinion, an owner has to be firm on this. The team holds the rights to that player right up to the next year's draft. They can always recoup a portion of the value of the pick they invested in him by trading him for another pick.

Gabe from Jacksonville:
So what you're saying is it does not affect the team financially (direct revenues) to televise the games or not, but televised games are like three-hour commercials for your product, and too many blackouts will result in less interest from the potential consumers.

Vic: That's baloney. That is absolutely false. When I was a kid, all home games were blacked out, period. We saw nothing except road games and it didn't lessen our interest. It piqued our interest. We knew that if we didn't go to the game, we weren't gonna see the game. We started baiting our fathers early in the week about the next game, and you had to be very careful in how you did it. Coming right out and asking was going to be met with an immediate "I don't have time" dismissal. You had to soften him early in the week, building his interest and anticipation. Then, late in the week, you started building guilt. You cleaned the garage or raked the leaves without being asked, and you made sure you called it to his attention, too, but in an I-don't-expect-anything-in-return kind of way, of course. He was having his pocket picked and he didn't even know it. That's how bad we wanted to see a game we knew we weren't gonna see if we weren't there. Three-hour commercial? I didn't need a three-hour commercial. I knew what it was, where it was and what I had to do to see it, which is to say convince my dad that he needed to see it, too.

Michael from Jacksonville:
How is the "Ask Vic" golf tournament coming along? Is there likely to be a full field this year? Look forward to seeing you there.

Vic: We've got four spots remaining. Anybody who wants to play in the tournament should register immediately. We'll have a full field. We'll use every cart Osprey Cove has in their garage.

Mike from Merrillville, IN:
I play for a Division III football team and me and a couple of other guys were wondering how Pete Ittersagen's doing. We play right down the road from Wheaton and it's awesome to see him make it, even to training camp. You think he'll make the roster this season?

Vic: I told Pete not to let them shave his head. I warned him over and over, but he didn't listen to me. They got him. All that beautiful curly hair is gone and it concerns me because I'm afraid Pete may have had a Samson thing going on there. Did he draw his strength from his hair? I hope not.

Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
If more of us had read "The League," as you suggested, we might have a better understanding of TV revenue, among other things.

Vic: If you wanna know about pro football, put down your video game and pick up "The League."

Greg from Jacksonville:
Can you get into the Hall of Fame if you're a choker?

Vic: Yes, you can. That was proven in 1993.

Talmadge from Crossville, TN:
I read in one of your recent articles that you support regulating rookie contracts. The first issue I think of is the potential for a start up league, such as the UFL, being able to lure talented college players into their league more easily.

Vic: The UFL is in no position to compete with the NFL for big-money players, but I like the way you think. By the way, the type of regulation I support is called restraint.

John from Beijing, China:
Who has more followers on Twitter, you or Groves?

Vic: We're running neck and neck right now, but Quentin is burying me with tweets.

Ronald from Jacksonville:
Why would the player's union want maximum salary for a draft pick? Would not a cap on the draft picks free up funds for teams to pay more to vets?

Vic: The players union believes big-money contracts for rookies sets a contract standard for all players. In other words, rich rookie deals drive up all contracts. I tend to agree.

Sam from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
That fake punt by the Titans surprised everybody last night, huh? Tennessee is out to win football games. That shouldn't surprise anyone.

Vic: Yeah, that's great, but I think they should be more concerned about winning postseason games than preseason games. A fake punt in a preseason game is laughable. It's almost embarrassing. The Titans are on a three-straight one-and-done streak in the postseason. It's about crunch time. The preseason isn't crunch time.

Tim from Jacksonville:
In an effort to get routes and timing down with the young receivers, should we expect to see Garrard more than usual this preseason? If not, what should I look for when evaluating the QB and receiving corps?

Vic: Look for completions and first downs and touchdowns. I think that's a fair expectation. Unfamiliarity with each other is a legitimate reason for the passing game not to be as potent as we'd like at this point in training camp. I have no trouble accepting that. Yeah, you might see Garrard get a little more playing time in the preseason, but you have to be careful about that because it's not as though this team can afford to lose him. Get him the time he and his receivers need to achieve familiarity, but not one second more.

Brian from Orlando, FL:
I just wanted to say how impressed and thankful I was to the Jaguars staff and Mr. Weaver. The West Touchdown Club 15-year-ticket-holder celebration could not have been much better. Free food the entire scrimmage? Very nice! I know I loaded up on way too much food. The entire staff that cooked all the burgers, pizza, hot dogs, etc. were great.

Vic: I just figured it out: You guys are the reason we didn't get any food in the press box on Saturday night. You got it all.

Steve from Jacksonville:
In case no one else has asked, what did you see in the scrimmage?

Vic: I don't know what I saw because it was more of a mock game than a scrimmage. I didn't see anything more than what I've seen in OTAs and in the first week of practice in training camp. I need to see a couple of preseason games. I need to see some real blocking and tackling. I've been watching pass-routes practice since the beginning of May and I've grown weary of it. I need to see real football and, fortunately, it's only a week away.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content