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Blame it on a lack of traffic

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

Tim from Baton Rouge, LA:
What can we expect the Titans to do different this Sunday than the previous game?

Vic: Play better; that's what I expect them to do differently.

Steve from Jacksonville:
Can you offer any plausible explanation for the Dolphins continuing to run the "Wildcat" offense in the fourth quarter, after they fell behind the Saints? Why draft Chad Henne if you are not going to allow him the chance to win the game?

Vic: I can't offer any good reason to ever run the "Wildcat" more than for a series or two. Yes, it can cause some hesitation in a defense that hasn't played against it. Players may not readily identify their responsibilities, but after the coaches get with them on the sideline and diagram it, the effectiveness of the "Wildcat" isn't any greater than any running play would be out of a pro-set formation, maybe even less. If you can stir in the pass, then you've got something. That's where I think the "Wildcat" can be effective, but the hike-it-and-run-thing is ludicrous. No, I can't explain why they were running it in the fourth quarter. I can't understand why they elected to run their quarterback on and off the field as though he was a messenger guard. Line up and play football as a professional football team should. That college crap is demeaning.

Sarah from Jacksonville:
I just read that Fred Taylor called Jacksonville "the worst team he has ever been on." Is this true? I just can't imagine Taylor saying something like that.

Vic: Well, Fred, did you say it? Fess up if you did. I know you're reading this.

Kashan from Virginia Beach, VA:
What specific position do we need the most help at or get better in and how do the Jags go about doing that?

Vic: They need defensive linemen and you find them where you find them, though it's usually in the draft.

John from Starke, FL:
What has happened to tackling? I see more and more flag-type football with pushing runners out of bounds now instead of hitting them and knocking them on the ground. My high school football coaches always taught us to keep your head up, slam the runner with your shoulder pads in his stomach, grab his legs behind the knees and put him on his rear. A runner can't run when his feet are off the ground. Your teammate goes after the strip of the ball, but lately everyone is grabbing and not tackling. Poor old Vince must be rolling in his grave. Give me the 1950's and 60's. Your thoughts?

Vic: If Vince Lombardi rose from the grave to coach one of today's teams, the first thing he'd do is find out why the team doesn't have a seven-man sled and one of those old-fashioned tackling dummies that hung from a rope that went around a pulley and had a slab of cement hooked to it. When his team went out to the field for its next practice, the seven-man sled would be parked in the middle of the field and the tackling dummy gizmo would be beckoning from a corner of the field. In all fairness to today's players, though, low tacklers are being treated as criminals, and I think that's part of the problem. If I was a coach, I would encourage my defensive backs to go low. Do you think William Gay should've gone low on Adrian Peterson? A cornerback that's barely wearing a pair of shoulder pads and is expected to run all over the field against speedy wide receivers should not be expected to go high on big backs. Hit him low. I don't care how big a guy is, it's the low hit he fears and football is all about fear.

Jason from Hagerstown, MD:
I'm willing to wager that there are quite a few Jaguars fans that do not live in or near Jacksonville. They've probably moved from the area, but still have ties there, like myself. Is there anything we out-of-towners can do to be of any help, aside from traveling to Jacksonville for every home game? For many of us, that isn't economically feasible. I'd love to be able to do something to help, I just don't know what that would be way up here in Redskins/Steelers land.

Vic: Send me a check and I'll buy some tickets and give them to people that can't afford them. Make the check out to "Vic Ketchman retirement fund." Hey, I'm just kidding, kind of.

Zack from Moultrie, GA:
I recall you saying that one of the quarterbacks you liked in the upcoming draft was Daryll Clark from Penn State. What is your current opinion on him?

Vic: I love his talent, but I've cooled on him because he makes too many mistakes and doesn't display the instincts an NFL quarterback needs to be successful. I see football instincts, for sure, but I don't see true quarterback instincts. For example, he threw a ridiculously dangerous pass at Michigan last Saturday, with Penn State holding a sizeable lead. It had pick-six written all over it and it's the one pass you couldn't throw in that situation because it's the only way Michigan could've gotten back into the game. Fortunately, the defender dropped the ball. In the NFL, it's a pick-six. Clark makes throws that make your mouth water, but then he does something that leaves a really bad taste in your mouth. It's too bad he didn't start playing until he was a junior. He needs more time and seasoning. His talent, however, which includes Donovan McNabb-like mobility and strength, is worthy of somebody taking a shot at him in the middle rounds, maybe higher.

Colton from Highlands Ranch, CO:
I noticed that Gregg Williams has gained some serious weight from his days in Buffalo, Washington and Jacksonville. I don't believe the size of some of these head coaches. It's pathetic, if you ask me. Why can't guys like Tom Cable, Rex Ryan, Andy Reid and Mike Holmgren keep themselves in shape? Can't they practice what they preach?

Vic: Shame on you for being so bold and insensitive. This isn't a fashion show, it's football. Maybe you need to lay off the Granola bars for awhile; they're hardening your heart.

Andy from Portsmouth, UK:
Twenty-two quarterbacks who have attempted a minimum of 14 passes per game have a passer rating of 80-plus. Fourteen have a rating of over 90 and seven have over 100. How does this compare to previous seasons and what does it show about the modern day NFL?

Vic: I don't have to do an exhaustive study to know what the answer is: Passer ratings, yards, touchdowns, etc., have steadily climbed as the NFL has continually made it easier to throw the football. If a defender breathes on a receiver, it's pass-interference. If a pass-rusher bumps a quarterback, it's roughing the passer. Compared to what the quarterbacks of the 1970's faced, today's passers are playing against air.

Patrick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Who do you think will start this week, Young or Collins? I say give Young a chance see if he can produce something good so you don't have to spend a first-round pick on a quarterback.

Vic: Paul Kuharsky,'s AFC South reporter and a resident of Nashville who has covered the Titans since their days in Houston, was on my radio show on Monday night and Paul said he expects Kerry Collins to be under center on Sunday. I think Vince Young's ship has sailed in Nashville. He's not their guy going forward and I believe that decision has already been made.

Brandon from Jacksonville:
I was watching "Monday Night Football" when I heard them talk about the Eagles trading for Witherspoon on Tuesday and how he was already playing with limited knowledge of the defensive scheme. Then he gets a pick-six, forces a fumble on a sack and was all over the field, and the first thing I thought was, "Players, not plays." Best example I've seen all year.

Vic: That's a pretty good one.

Ben from Jacksonville:
How many more seasons can the Jags endure these types of ticket sales before they actually move out of town?

Vic: I don't like the words "move out of town." That's not what I see happening. I see the Jaguars playing games out of town, but not moving out of town. We've already talked about the Orlando option. I think the ticket-sales problem has already reached the point that the Jaguars need to explore the Orlando option.

Jason from Dayton, OH:
Bad drafting is certainly the reason for many teams' failures. What about the practice of signing old, high-priced free agents and the impact that has on developing younger players on your roster? It seems teams like the Redskins commit to old players and guaranteed money and are unable to develop "jars on the shelf." Meanwhile, the Steelers let the old guys go at the right time. What is your opinion on this?

Vic: Last night's game is the perfect example of what's happened to parity in the NFL this season. The Eagles are a model franchise. They hired a coach and drafted a quarterback that became the long-term identity of their team. They've drafted young players who've secured the future of the franchise, and the Eagles countered by signing some of those young players to contracts of unprecedented length, effectively paying large sums of money now on contracts that will be bargains later. When the Eagles have gone out and spent in free agency, they've usually done it wisely; Asante Samuel is the example. During the same period of time, the Redskins have had five head coaches and at least eight different quarterbacks. Their drafts have been grossly unproductive and the money they've wasted in free agency is laughable. The situation got so bad that the Redskins wouldn't have been able to get under the salary cap in 2006, had a new Collective Bargaining Agreement not been instituted. What's happened to parity? That's what's happened to parity.

Fred from Jacksonville:
It's this "best-access situation" that reinforces the lack of synergy and critical mass necessary for downtown Jacksonville to be successful. Rather than promoting ease of access and efficient flow of traffic, an NFL city should be embracing congestion, filling in the empty spaces with vibrant, densely-compacted entertainment/activity centers that are connected by transit and walkable public open spaces, all of which contribute to people staying and supporting downtown. It may also be said the success of the Jaguars is intrinsically linked to the success of downtown Jacksonville's evolution as a livable, sustainable, world-class city whose identity isn't measured by the ease through which one can get out of downtown and back to suburbia.

Vic: This is a new one: Blame it on a lack of traffic.

Lance from Orange Park, FL:
I think your opinion that blackouts help sell tickets is way off base. Maybe it may help sell an extra several thousand tickets, but I believe it does more damage to the fan base in the long run. When fans can't watch the team every week, they will begin to lose interest (out of sight, out of mind). Also, new fan recruitment starts from TV broadcasts.

Vic: Stop begging, Lance. It's not gonna work.

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