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Bad drafting is the reason

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

Tom from London, UK:
I never really appreciated what you meant when you said Jacksonville fans have it so good with regards to stadium access and traffic issues, until this Sunday, when I went to the NFL London game for the first time. Compared to supposedly one of the premier stadiums in the world, "The Jack" is incredible in terms of parking, access and traffic. Jags fans really have it sweet in Jacksonville.

Vic: Please, believe me when I tell you that I have been stuck in worse traffic jams at high school football games than I have been for Jaguars games. The city does a fantastic job of moving traffic to and from Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. It's the best-access situation in the league.

Holger from Bad Vilbel, Germany:
Is it just me or do we have so many lopsided wins this year like never before?

Vic: There were six hideous blowouts yesterday. I'm talking about games with 28-point or greater differences. Yes, we are in a season of lopsided outcomes and everyone wants to know why. Why? The answer is simple: bad drafting. When you draft Jamarcus Russell with the first overall pick, you're gonna get blown out. When you trade up to pick Kellen Winslow over Ben Roethlisberger, you're gonna pay a price. When you select Chris Long with Matt Ryan still on the board, look out. Look at the teams that got blown out yesterday and then look at their drafts.

John from Savannah, GA:
After seven weeks, it looks like Gregg Williams is doing just fine in New Orleans with the 7-0 Saints. The obvious question must be asked: Why is it working in New Orleans but did not work last year in Jacksonville?

Vic: Players, not plays.

Zack from Daytona Beach, FL:
I am a long-time reader and I agree with you 90 percent of the time, including your early evaluation of Brett Favre playing for the Vikings. Before the season started, you indicated that you felt it was a bad deal for the Vikings and that Brett was not worth the contract. Now that the season is halfway through, can you re-evaluate your outlook of Favre? Do you think he will win in Green Bay? It's a young man's game but Favre seems to break all the molds.

Vic: Yes, he does, and there are always exceptions to every rule. After watching yesterday's game, however, I think the Vikings have to either get smart or they've got a problem because the Steelers showed everybody how to defense Favre. They dared him to throw deep and he wouldn't take the bait. He just kept checking it down and checking it down until it became so boring it was difficult to watch. Some quarterbacks need to get the ball out of their hand faster. Favre needs to keep it in his hand longer because you can't make plays in the passing game by making your check-down receiver your primary receiver. I couldn't figure it out, and then I saw him sail one over the middle. Oh, it was ugly. Then I saw him throw a deep ball down the sideline that was little more than a pop-up, and it became obvious why the Steelers were singling the outside guys and jamming up the hook zones. Ultimately, it resulted in an interception and long touchdown return with the game on the line. Brad Childress is a hard one to figure. He has sensational offensive and defensive lines and a running back that can carry a team on its back, yet, he elected to have an aging, almost scared-looking quarterback throw the ball 51 times, compared to 18 rushing attempts by Adrian Peterson. Favre and Peterson don't go well together. When you have a back that causes fear in defenses and requires an eighth man in the box on all plays and, on occasion, a ninth man, too, you shouldn't be dinkin' and dunkin'. With a back like that, you wanna sell play-action and then throw it deep. The problem is Favre isn't that kind of quarterback anymore. Dom Capers will see the tape of that game and do the exact same thing the Steelers did. He'll crowd the line of scrimmage and dare Favre to throw deep.

Josh from Richmond Hill, GA:
So how good do you think the Jaguars can get?

Vic: Barring injury, I think they can get real good on offense. The offensive line and the wide receiving corps are going to make steady gains throughout the season. It's on defense where the concern is.

Mike from Mill Valley, CA:
What are your thoughts on the prospect of an NFL team in London? Any team in London would have to compete with five Premier League teams playing at the same time as the NFL season. I just don't see it working and I'm not sure I buy Roger Goodell's talk about all this supposed British interest in American football.

Vic: You sound as though you know more about this than I do, but based on Roger Goodell's comments, I have to believe we're heading toward the day when a team will play in London on either a regular or semi-regular basis, and it won't be an expansion team. Will it work? I don't know, but I think we're gonna find out.

Jeff from Daytona Beach, FL:
How long do you think it will take for the Jaguars to be a Super Bowl contender?

Vic: There's no timetable for that sort of thing. There's no progression chart for becoming a conference champion. My philosophy has always been to build your team into a consistent playoff contender, and then wait for the one year when you get hot at the right time and everything falls in your favor. The Colts are the perfect example of that. My expectation for next season will likely be for the Jaguars to be a playoff contender. That's as far as I can look ahead at this point.

Steve from Redlands, CA:
I had been a season ticket holder for 10 years until life's circumstances dictated that I relocate. I never miss your column. My specific question is why are we so bad in sacking the quarterback? Do we lack the personnel?

Vic: Yes.

Jim from Jacksonville:
The Los Angeles stadium appears to be in the works but statements made sound like they are targeting the California teams. Can you briefly describe some of the barriers that exist that may help keep the Jaguars?

Vic: Targeting teams in California is logical for several reasons, the primary reason being that California isn't in financial shape to build stadiums for all the teams in the state that need new facilities. That's number one. If an out-of-state team was to move to Los Angeles, then it would almost have to be from a market to which the NFL wouldn't mind one of the California teams moving. What you're asking, in my opinion, doesn't pertain to the Jaguars. It does no good to find ways to keep the Jaguars if keeping the Jaguars means not selling out the stadium. That's the only means of keeping this team that will work long-term. London will be an option. Playing games in Orlando is an option that could actually help keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Ultimately, however, it's up to the fans in Jacksonville. They will determine this team's future.

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