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Be sure of your decisions at QB

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

Matt from Monticello, IN:
Boy, do I feel dumb, as well. I could have sworn the refs were saying "in the grass." Another instance of this came up Monday night during the Cowboys/Giants game. Thanks for the clarification.

Vic: Yeah, we sure look stupid, don't we?

Todd from Pineville, NC:
I hear there's no cheering in the press box. I can understand that, but every Monday brings a new "Homer Call of the Day" on the Dan Patrick radio show. Are those guys, with all the hooting and hollering, in a location other than the press box?

Vic: The press box is for writers. The radio and TV guys have their own booths.

Jeff from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
What is the reasoning behind having a 53-man roster with only 45 active at game time? Why not have all 53 active?

Vic: Those are the roster restrictions to which the owners and players agreed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Money is the reason. It's always about the money. The players want to receive more of it and the owners want to give less of it. The limits they negotiated are middle ground.

Shrod from Ridgeland, MS:
It's at least good for us that you were the last one to be picked for pick-up games. I mean, could you picture what "Ask Vic" would be like? Probably some half-witted editor that wrote one-sided articles and probably wouldn't know anything about the history of the NFL.

Vic: Yeah, it sure is a good thing I was such a nerd.

Michael from Los Angeles, CA:
Lyn from Jacksonville need only ask the Bucs about Steve Young or the Falcons about Brett Favre to answer her own question.

Vic: Or the Steelers about Johnny Unitas and Len Dawson and the Bears about George Blanda. The decisions you make at the quarterback position are very sensitive. If you screw it up there, you're going to pay a very heavy price.

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
I think comparing the Jaguars to the Patriots is not right. The key players they lost were capable of coming back. Our key losses are done for the year. What optimistic spin can you make out of this for us?

Vic: Rodney Harrison and Matt Lyght were lost for the season in the third game of the year. Losing Harrison and Lyght was every bit as devastating for the Patriots as losing Reggie Hayward and Mike Peterson is for the Jaguars.

Eddy from Jacksonville:
Vic, lead foot is no quarterback. Matt Jones is the truth. He would win the Super Bowl with us.

Vic: It's at times like this that I start to worry about Los Angeles.

Jordan from Little Rock, AR:
Can you specify how the ankle injury caused Byron's play in Houston last Sunday to differ from the good performance he normally has on Sundays?

Vic: When you have a sore ankle or foot, you can't put full weight on it. In this case, it was Leftwich's step foot, which means he couldn't land on it as fully as normal. The tendency is to throw more off your back foot. Jack Del Rio mentioned it affecting Leftwich in making simple hand-offs. Del Rio saw signs on tape of Leftwich having trouble pushing off his left foot to get to the place of exchange. I saw it in pregame; mentioned it on my blog and in pregame radio. He tried to throw a deep ball and threw a 40-yard pop up. Why might it have been ignored? Because Leftwich was adamant that his ankle would loosen up and gain strength with activity.

Thomas from Valdosta, GA:
I hate to disagree with you but when you answered the question about a quarterback being successful somewhere else, meaning you put the blame on the wrong guy, is way off target. Remember when Brett Favre was in Atlanta? Most people don't because he was awful; even he has admitted that. Some guys may just fit in better in other places, don't you think?

Vic: Geography has nothing to do with winning or losing. He had Mike Holmgren in Green Bay. Had Holmgren been Favre's coach in Atlanta, he would've had success there.

Matt from Lexington, KY:
I haven't lived in Kentucky that long but, talking to the locals, it seems that UK hasn't had a good football team in awhile. When was the last time Kentucky had a good football team and what is there history like in that regard?

Vic: The reason I'm answering a question that strays so far from the Jaguars and the NFL is because I have long believed that Kentucky is a plum job waiting for somebody who knows what to do with it. Rutgers and North Carolina are two other jobs I've felt that way about. Now, of course, it's happening at Rutgers. To find the last time Kentucky had any kind of long run of success, you have to go all the way back to the days of Bear Bryant and George Blanda in the 1940's and '50's. For a long time, the popular opinion was that Kentucky was a basketball school that wasn't "allowed" to win on the football field. I believe Kentucky should be a major player in college football, just as it is in basketball.

Roland from Jacksonville:
While I do agree with you that fans are not in a position to dictate who plays on the field, I do take a little offense to the notion that they should have no indirect input. Football does not survive without fans who pay uncanny amounts of dollars to attend a game, not to mention pay full price for preseason tickets and watch the broadcasts that are laden with commercials. If the fans are unhappy with the product on the field, is it not the owners responsibility to at least take that into consideration?

Vic: You don't think the fans should dictate who plays but should have some input into who plays. So which one is it? Allow me to answer that for you: The fans should have absolutely no input into any football decision the team makes, period. If you start letting the fans run the show, you're dead. I remember when I was a kid sitting with my father in Pitt Stadium at a Steelers game. Their head coach, a guy named Bill Austin, started to send the punt team onto the field on fourth down and the fans booed the decision. Austin called time out and after the time out he sent the offense back onto the field. Even at that young age, I knew Austin was done, and he was fired at the end of the season. With that, I'll segue to the next question.

Fred from St. Clair Shores, MI:
This is more of a comment to the people who think Jacksonville needs a change at QB. Jim Leyland has a great thought about that: "I manage for the guy in Section 216, but not by how he wants me to manage. If I managed by how he thought I should manage, I might as well quit and go sit in Section 216."

Vic: Maybe Jimmy was at that Steelers game, too.

Mike from Eau Claire, WI:
A tinge of sadness always greets me when I reach the end of this column and I wish it were longer. As it is, how long does it usually take you to write it?

Vic: About three, four hours.

Alon from Malibu, CA:
It is implied by you that Jaguars fans get very worked up after every loss. Do Jags fans get more worked up than other NFL fans? If so, why do you think that is?

Vic: More upset after a loss than other fans? No, but I think Jaguars fans are quicker to throw the team under the bus and threaten to not renew their tickets. There's a knee-jerk "I'm through with them" attitude in this town I can't explain. I'm not saying don't rip the team. Rip 'em when they play bad. Tell it like it is. If you don't like the way the quarterback played, say so. What I don't understand is this constant ticket threat. It's lame.

Alton from Orange Park, FL:
I noticed that there are a lot more die-hard Jaguars fans in the last couple of years compared to the late 1990's. However, a lot of these die-hard fans always threaten to give up their season tickets after a tough loss. Real fans support their team win or lose. That's one thing I admire about Eagles fans. What do you think?

Vic: Eagles fans know that if they give up their season tickets they'll never get them back. That's the difference.

Matt from Boulder, CO:
Who's your favorite player on the team to have conversation with, and who's your least favorite player to talk to?

Vic: Byron Leftwich is my favorite. My least favorite, at least this week, is Paul Spicer because he declined to be interviewed after the game in Houston.

Rob from Delona, FL:
Tell us what QBs you think have a secure job with their teams right now?

Vic: I'll give you the names of the quarterbacks who I think have clearly established themselves as the their teams' long-term futures at the position: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Trent Green, Phillip Rivers, Eli Manning, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Jake Delhomme, Drew Brees and Matt Hasselbeck.

Brian from Fredericksburg, VA:
I must apologize for my e-mail on Sunday night. That was not me. I am a true Jaguars fan since 1995 and have had loads of fun being a fan of this great team.

Vic: So you're using the line Byron Leftwich used after the game in Houston: "That wasn't us." I have no problem with that, but why lose your cool in the first place? It must be the middle of the week because I always get tons of e-mails just like yours in the middle of the week. All of a sudden, everybody wants to apologize. I could've used a lot of other e-mails instead of yours. I guess you're just lucky I chose yours to make a point. Come on, folks, let's show some strength after a loss, huh? For three consecutive days I received e-mails that were embarrassing. Now I'm getting the apologies, as though I even know who you are or could make the connection between the rant and the apology. I love what this column can be when it thinks. The Jim Leyland line the guy from Michigan sent me is a wonderful touch. I don't want rants. I get those by the thousands and they mean nothing more to me than another emotionally-out-of-control thought from someone who's struggling to find the strength to accept defeat. Is that the image you want to convey? Brian, your apology is accepted, but it wasn't necessary in the first place. You don't owe me an apology. You owe yourself one.

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