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Because that's the way it is

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

Steve from Jacksonville:
Great column; funny sense of humor, too. Will Elvis make the team? What are the chances of Quinn Gray making the team? Is he still eligible for the practice squad? Any chance of trading one of our QBs, maybe for DT help?

Vic: I assume you're referring to Elvis Joseph, not Elvis Presley. Come to think of it, Joseph may have as much chance of making this team as Presley. Joseph has missed nearly all of training camp with a hamstring pull. Quinn Gray has a chance, and he is eligible for the practice squad. As far as trading any of the quarterbacks: I doubt that there's any thought of trading Byron Leftwich, trading David Garrard wouldn't yield much in return and would represent a huge risk that Garrard may develop into a big-time passer, Mark Brunell's $6.75 million salary probably kills any hope of dealing him, and Gray has no trade value.

Zen from Santa Rosa, CA:
In your opinion, where does that intangible desire to win come from? Does good coaching produce playmakers, or do good players make a coach look like a genius?

Vic: In my opinion, desire to win is another way of describing competitiveness. Some guys have to win at anything they do. As laid-back as Joe Montana appeared to be, a look into his background and personality reveals a super-competitive person and he has talked about his obsession for winning at anything he does. As for your second question, coaching is extremely important, but everything begins with raw talent. The team with the better athletes usually wins. That's why I place such a premium on personnel people.

Bob from Middleburg, FL:
In your opinion, is there a receiver on the Jags roster who could come out of nowhere in Jimmy's absence?

Vic: J.J. Stokes is not an "out of nowhere" guy. But Matt Hatchette would be. I think he has a chance of doing that. I'm impressed by what I've seen from him this week. And remember the name Cortez Hankton.

Peter from Norcross, GA:
Please explain why a player does not have to repay a portion of his signing bonus while suspended by the league. Jimmy's salary is not counted against the Jaguars cap during his suspension, but the prorated portion of his signing bonuses count against the cap.

Vic: That's the way it is because that's what the Collective Bargaining Agreement says it is. The owners agreed to it.

Ben from Jacksonville:
Are NFL coaches subject to the same substance-abuse program as players?

Vic: No; but coaches don't have a union to protect them, either.

Rob from St. Augustine, FL:
What are the chances of Darius and Bryant returning next year?

Vic: The Jaguars couldn't reach a contract agreement with Donovin Darius before his previous contract expired last winter, and I think it's highly unlikely the Jaguars will use the "franchise" tag on him again, so I'd have to say odds are Darius will not return next season. As for Fernando Bryant, he's in his contract year and, as I wrote last week, he's perfectly positioned to have a big season. If he does have a big year, that'll drive his cost up, but that'll also make him more attractive to the Jaguars. I think Bryant has a better than even chance of staying here. Cornerbacks are tough to find and Bryant is in his prime years.

Tom from Cincinnati, OH:
I'm pretty excited over your offseason acquisitions, and getting Leftwich was a real coup. How is Vince Manuwai looking so far?

Vic: Vince Manuwai turned in an outstanding performance in the Miami game.

Terrence from Jacksonville:
While everyone talks about the offense without Jimmy Smith and which quarterback deserves to play, don't you think we've suddenly forgotten about a much-improved defense? Do you see our young defense carrying us this year, if, and only if, they can stop the run?

Vic: To this point in time, I am not impressed by what I've seen on defense. When you've spent the ninth and 13th picks of consecutive drafts on defensive tackles, then paid a $4 million signing bonus to a middle linebacker, you should be able to stop the run and the Jaguars haven't. It all begins with stopping the run. I'm tired of this team not stopping the run. How can they ever proclaim to be a physical team if they can't do that?

Matt from New York, NY:
What actions are taken against a team (or the owner) who's roster is not below the salary cap at the designated time?

Vic: Punishment is arbitrary and meted out by the commissioner to suit the offense. It may involve a fine, loss of draft choice or both.

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