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Big isn't always good

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

Dave from Orange Park, FL:
After Greg Favors sacked McNair for the safety in Sunday's game, I got to thinking, how many safeties have the Jags recorded in their history? I figured you were just the man to ask, so, how many?

Vic: Eight; 9-26-99 vs. Tennessee, 10-3-99 at Pittsburgh, two on 11-18-01 at Pittsburgh, 12-30-01 vs. Kansas City, 10-27-02 vs. Houston, 11-24-02 at Dallas and 11-21-04 vs. Tennessee.

Lee from Jacksonville:
I know Jacksonville has a healthy cap, but how does the rest of our division look for this year and next? What other teams are particularly healthy or unhealthy?

Vic: Houston has a healthy salary cap, Tennessee and Indianapolis are in big trouble.

Mark from Kansas City, MO:
You say short-yardage is our biggest weakness. After watching the Pats put Seymour at fullback in goal-line situations, wouldn't Stroud be a pretty effective lead-blocker?

Vic: It's not as simple as putting a big guy in the backfield in short-yardage because he's a big guy. One of the problems with big guys is they tend to get cut and stuck in the hole and become nothing more than another obstacle for the running back. Big is good, but only if big can move the pile; not become part of the pile. There's a skill that goes with being a lead-blocker. You have to be somebody who doesn't lose his feet.

Brian from Jacksonville:
In your opinion, how many more times can the players be called out for not making plays until they start tuning out the messenger?

Vic: These aren't little kids to be coddled. These are professional football players who are paid handsomely for doing as they are told. If you tune out the messenger too often in this game, you'll be looking for a new messenger.

Travis from Live Oak, FL:
Jack Del Rio wants to run more but Byron is more comfortable in the shotgun. Do you see Byron taking more snaps under center or will they go with what he is more comfortable and give up some of the running game?

Vic: Go back to the bye week. What did Jack Del Rio say? He said we will see a greater focus on the running game in the second half of the season, didn't he? Since then, the Jaguars have rushed for 390 yards in two games. They have moved up from 27th in the league in rushing after the loss in Houston, to 15th in the league currently. I don't think you'll see that emphasis on the running game abandoned.

Keith from Jacksonville:
How are interviews with the upcoming opponents' media handled? Is there a certain day of the week when each team makes itself available to the opposing team's media? Is it required by the NFL or is it professional courtesy?

Vic: Cooperation with the media is encouraged by the NFL and is pursued diligently by the various teams' publicity departments. One day a week, usually on Wednesdays, each team makes its head coach and one player (often the quarterback) available to the media who cover the next opponent. There are recognized media outlets and reporters who cover the NFL on a daily basis, and they largely get what they want in the way of assistance in accumulating interviews and information for their stories.

John from Orange Park, FL:
Wrighster not being in there would appear to be a big loss from the offensive scheme. Do you agree?

Vic: The loss of George Wrighster for the past several weeks has hurt the Jaguars offense. The Jaguars lost a tight end who has distinct receiving skills. They lost a lot of punch from their two-tight-end sets.

Dom from Harrisburg, PA:
Could you possibly help a Jags fan out and explain to me what the point spreads are all about. I feel kind of stupid for asking, but on "Sunday Countdown" Boomer always picks somebody to win but then has a minus number beside them, or something like that.

Vic: Point spreads are a way of denoting by how many points one team is expected to beat another. For example, a minus-three next to a team's name would indicate they are a three-point favorite to win; a plus-three next to a team's name would indicate they are a three-point underdog. Minus and plus denote giving or getting points.

Desmond from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Happy Thanksgiving to you and all Jags fans. I thought it was pretty sad that a no-name, second-string running back ran at will on our front four (95 yards and one touchdown).

Vic: That no-name running back, Antowain Smith, gained 83 yards and scored one touchdown for New England in its Super Bowl win over Carolina. He's not a stiff. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Desmond, and to all Jaguars fans, especially "Ask Vic" readers and writers. You make this possible; thanks.

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