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Bad starts can be overcome

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

John from Orange Park, FL:
Have you ever covered a team that came into a season with such high expectations to stumble out of the gate 0-2? At what point do you write off the season?

Vic: I know it's tough for you, but keep hanging in there. I love your resolve.

Patrick from Jacksonville:
What can a win at Indy do for this team?

Vic: It would probably leave the Jaguars tied for second place in the AFC South, with home games against Houston and Pittsburgh next on the schedule.

Jonathan from Fort Benning, GA:
What would you rather have, a team that grinds out long scoring drives or a team that strikes quick and scores?

Vic: I would like to have a team that grinds out long scoring drives but has the ability to strike quick and score, which would make the opponent respect the whole field instead of loading up against the run, which would allow me to run the ball and grind out long scoring drives.

Dennis from Orlando, FL:
As much as this loss stings, I don't think it's time to get into panic mode.

Vic: Then I'll tell Rick from Jacksonville not to panic.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
The poll is overwhelmingly supportive of the current format. Your thoughts?

Vic: Vic is good just the way he is.

Rob from Jacksonville:
Is it time to panic, yet? We just don't look like a very good football team.

Vic: Dennis from Orlando says it isn't time, yet.

John from Ofallon, MO:
How many plays of 20 yards or longer have the Jags had this year?

Vic: Two.

Joshua from Jacksonville:
The pass was tipped ,Vic. I saw it on the replay. Garrard even gave the tip signal toward the sideline as he walked off. Are you saying the throw was the wrong one regardless because it was low enough to be tipped?

Vic: When you lose, everything you say and do is wrong. A wise man said that to me a long time ago.

Rick from Jacksonville:
What advice would you give the average fan who is hitting the panic button?

Vic: Talk to Dennis from Orlando.

Mack from Houston, TX:
During Ike, we had no power and our Texans could not play. I was yearning to read your column so I had a chance to go to the Galleria, which was the only place with power and, boy, was I disappointed that there was no new column.

Vic: If I had known, I would've written one just for you.

Gary from Jacksonville:
After watching Romeo Crennel misuse his times out vs. the Steelers, I can't understand why these coaches don't get it. What is your take?

Vic: That wasn't his biggest mistake. His biggest mistake was kicking on fourth and seven. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard John Madden say he agreed with the decision to kick. It's nonsensical. Either way, you still have to score a touchdown. Frankly, given the windy, rainy conditions, I thought the chances of making the field goal weren't much better than converting on fourth down. Even if you fail to convert, the Steelers would've taken over about where they got the ball after the kickoff following the field goal. There's no doubt in my mind it was the wrong decision, plus it may have a long-term negative effect. A team tends to lose belief in its coach after that kind of wimpy decision. The Steelers got the ball back and ran out the clock, and I saw some quit in the Browns' defense. That could be the defining moment for the Browns this year. Madden couldn't possibly believe in what he said.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
When will we be in nothing-to-lose mode?

Vic: Right after we're done panicking.

Stephen from Orange Park, FL:
Could you talk to Mr. Weaver about some kind of sun shade at the stadium? Everyone got fried at the game.

Vic: Are you talking about putting a dome over the stadium, or are you asking Wayne to hold an awning over your head?

Alex from Jacksonville:
Myself and a few buddies will be flying up for the game in Indianapolis. What are some good sights to take in while we are up there?

Vic: I can't think of a one.

Todd from Jacksonville:
Do you think they are trying to build Matt Jones' self-esteem by throwing to him in the corner of the end zone so frequently? He may be below the Mendoza line on that play.

Vic: I think they're trying to score.

Radley from Orange Park, FL:
The brutal losses aren't bad enough. I can't tell you how happy it makes me, and I'm sure others, to have to read about how good you think the Patriots and Trojans are. So let's just do away with Jaguars talk for good and concentrate on something more irrelevant. Who would you rather go on a date with, Bill Belichick or Pete Carroll?

Vic: Belichick; there's just something about him when he's wearing his hoodie.

Mack from Youngstown, OH:
I hate to say this, Vic, but I'm beginning to disagree with you about something you wrote. You said the team and coaching staff are too talented for this to continue. I'm no professional talent appraiser but my eyes tell me this team and coaching staff are very average.

Vic: One big-play receiver would change everything. I absolutely believe that.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Sometimes, for whatever reason, good teams struggle at the start of the season. What do you remember about that Steelers team that started 0-4 and won the Super Bowl?

Vic: You're talking about the 1976 team, which started 1-4 and didn't win the Super Bowl. It's not a good analogy, Don, because that team had nine Hall of Famers on it. It got off to a terrible start and it lost its quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, to a severe neck injury. Bradshaw would miss seven games and was replaced by a rookie, Mike Kruczek, who did little more than hand the ball off to Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. For the next nine weeks, the Steelers defense would allow a total of 28 points and would score five shutouts. It's the greatest run of defense I have ever seen. Yes, teams can recover from bad starts. Look at the 2001 Redskins. They started 0-5, won eight of the next 11 and came within one score of making the playoffs. I covered a team in 1989 that lost its first two games by a combined score of 92-10, but it made it into the playoffs and came within one score of the AFC title game. Yeah, it can be done, but not without playing better. It has to start with that.

Lance from Denver, CO:
Any idea what the Bills player lying on the field during kickoff was trying to accomplish?

Vic: I have no idea. It's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. I asked Joe DeCamillis what it was all about and he said he had no idea. The only thing I can figure is the Bills were trying to bait the Jaguars into something; either that or the return man needed a nap.

Mac from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Not time to panic but it is time to face the reality that this team is not going anywhere.

Vic: I get it. Don't panic, just surrender. That way we can avoid patience and resilience and go right to give up.

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