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Blame it on Bouman

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

Rod from Liverpool, UK:
Who's available in free agency that could come in and help out this secondary?

Vic: You mean from the list of players who've been cut by the rest of the league and judged not to be worthy of a roster spot? As Chuck Noll would say, "Help is not on the way."

Bill from Citrus Springs, FL:
In regards to your question from Bill from Dunnellon, why not put the late Bob Carroll in the Hall of Fame? If it wasn't for him and the Pro Football Researchers Association, none of us would know who Fiscus and Brallier were, let alone know that Syracuse and Tonawanda were once members of the NFL.

Vic: Bob Carroll was a giant among football historians. He came to me when I was a sports editor of a newspaper near his hometown and proposed writing a football history column. I looked forward to editing it every week and I learned more about the history of professional football from Bob's column than I did anywhere else. In my office is one of the great achievements of his life: "Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League." It is a magnificent publication that details the evolution of the game, including offensive and defensive formations. If Bob wrote it, you can count on it being a fact.

Matt from Atlantic Beach, FL:
It's my birthday Sunday and the only thing I want is the Jags to beat Philly. I'll be at the game. What do you think the honest chances of my birthday wish coming true are?

Vic: I expect the Jaguars to win, but they'll have to find a way to contain DeSean Jackson and tackle Michael Vick in the open field. Those are the two main challenges, as I see it, facing the Jaguars this Sunday.

Trey from Jacksonville:
When I think of the AFC North, the first thing that comes to mind is hard-nosed football. To be competitive in that division, your defense better be one of the league's best. When I think of the AFC South, I think of offense. Do you think it's in the Jags' best interest to become an offensive team? Playing the Texans and Colts twice a year is a tall task for a team that cannot match their firepower. The league continues to make rules to hinder the defense and promote offense. I think a good offense sometimes makes your defense look better.

Vic: I like the question. It's thought-provoking. The AFC South is split between two styles of football: The Colts and Texans are up-tempo passing teams; the Jaguars and Titans favor a ball-control, field-position, defensive game. In my opinion, it's good to be against the grain because you're doing what the other guy can't do. At that point, it becomes a test of will and the execution of your style of play. I think Baltimore and Pittsburgh would do quite well in the AFC South, mostly because they have players such as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. It always comes down to players, not plays. One more thing: Regardless of the style of play you choose, make sure you have a good quarterback. Everybody needs a good quarterback.

Robert from Arlington, VA:
Do you think the Bouman signing means he's a lock for the backup QB spot, or does Ratliff have a chance to win it?

Vic: You're thinking in terms of long-range designations and neither Todd Bouman nor Brett Ratliff apply. Bouman was signed because he knows the Jaguars offense. He was signed because he offers immediate insurance at the position, should the Jaguars need to play a backup quarterback this week. Ratliff is on the practice squad, which technically means he's a free agent that's being allowed to audition his talent. There's only one constant at the quarterback position for the Jaguars: David Garrard. He's the quarterback today, he'll be the quarterback tomorrow and for every day the remainder of this season, provided he's healthy. When the season is over, I have no doubt the Jaguars will begin planning to fortify the position long-term, but I don't think that's possible at this time. I've said this many times, but I'll keep saying it because I believe it to be the absolute truth and I believe it would do everyone a world of good to accept it as such.

Jimmicane from Cardiff, CA:
With 12:54 remaining in the second quarter, Marcedes Lewis was called for ineligible man downfield. I cannot seem to figure out what was wrong here. The ref said "89 was covered up by 11." Can you please explain?

Vic: "Covered up" means that a player on the line of scrimmage was to the outside of another player on the line of scrimmage who attempted to become a pass receiver. Only two players on the line of scrimmage, the ends, are eligible to catch a pass. Lewis couldn't have been an end because Sims-Walker was the end on that side of the field. One of those two players needed to line up a step backward for both players to be eligible receivers.

Mike from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Would you like to see more man-to-man coverage from our defense? Teams just pick apart our zone defense. Every week, I watch the other team's star receiver run freely across the middle when he clearly deserved a double-team.

Vic: A double-team is not man-to-man coverage. Malcolm Floyd's 54-yard touchdown catch was against man-to-man coverage.

Eric from Jacksonville:
You're absolutely right in saying that talent level significantly drops after the second round, so we ought to manage expectations, but we also need to remember that Cox is basically our second-round pick this year and should be evaluated as such. Is that fair?

Vic: It's not fair to Cox. He was a third-round pick, is paid accordingly and should be evaluated as such.

James from Jacksonville:
How should the Jag nation feel now about our trade of picks for Cox, now that he has been benched? Is he now a reach or just having a bad time?

Vic: I think the Jag nation should relax. It's not necessary to rush to judgment on everything. Why does the Jag nation want to do that? Can you answer that for me? Why do they want to criticize and convict at the first hint of adversity or misconduct?

Patrick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Why didn't the Jags sign Jeff Garcia or Chad Pennington instead of Todd Bouman? At least Garcia or Pennington would give us a better chance to win. We are trying to sell tickets and you do that by winning, right?

Vic: Just when I think I've heard it all, along comes a new one, and this one might be the best of them all: Blame it on Bouman.

Jason from Mims, FL:
The coin toss threw me a few times. Then I realized, if you have the ball to start the second half, there's a chance you could have back-to-back scoring drives without giving the opposing team even a chance at a possession.

Vic: If the defense had forced a punt at the end of the half and the offense had produced a field goal that would've cut the Chargers' lead to 14-9 by halftime, the Jaguars could've taken the lead by getting the second-half kickoff and driving for a touchdown. I fail to see the flaw in the strategy.

Dave from Snellville, GA:
What did we call it when a guy got a torn ACL in 1968?

Vic: We called it a career-ending knee injury.

Ancil from Charleston, WV:
Who would you rather face on Sunday, Kolb or Vick?

Vic: If I'm the Jaguars, I'd rather face Kevin Kolb. At least I'd know where he is: in the pocket. Michael Vick is unique. He breaks the mold. Preparing to play him is like a college team preparing to play Navy, which is to say preparing to play against an offense, the "wishbone," that you won't play against at any other time that season. I'm not gonna say Vick is a great quarterback, but he is absolutely a great, game-breaking athlete who happens to line up at the quarterback position. If he truly is back on his game, he'll frighten every defensive coordinator he faces.

Joe from Orlando, FL:
You called the Orlando TV situation. This Sunday, with the Dolphins and Bucs on other networks, the Orlando Fox affiliate will show Saints vs. Falcons, even with the media frenzy over Michael Vick.

Vic: Billboards aren't the answer. It's going to take more than billboards to get that market's attention.

Todd from La Jolla, CA:
Is there any way IT can make the web site more mobile-friendly? I spend at least 50 percent of my time on the web on my Blackberry and I'd venture to guess plenty of others do, too. I cannot read the in-game blog and it takes a very long time to load the different pages.

Vic: So why is the carpet all wet, Todd?

Andrew from Toledo, OH:
No it wasn't a fair statement by you. Why don't you explain the dumb offensive play-calling over the past few years?

Vic: You're the Ohio Bobcat, aren't you?

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Between the radio talk shows and the Jaguars website, the fans are upset. Is Wayne Weaver hiding out in an undisclosed bunker this week?

Vic: I don't know, but if I had a lot of money and an airplane, I wouldn't be hangin' around Jacksonville this week. I'd pick up my buddies and find a golf course somewhere. I'm tellin' ya, after a loss, this town goes goofy, and it really is starting to get tiresome.

Kenny from Tampa, FL:
What do you think about Ryan Mallett being our first-round pick?

Vic: Fine, no problem, but can we wait until the season is over before we start on next year's draft? By the way, I'm doing a chat today at 10:30 a.m. on

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