Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
William from Jacksonville:
The Ravens looked big and very physical. Should the Colts be nervous?
Vic: The two teams have already played against each other this season, so they know each other. I think that would bother me a little if I was the Colts, that the Ravens might have a bead on me, as they did on the Patriots from having played them earlier in the season. The thing that would bother me most about the Ravens, if I was the Colts, is their running game. The Ravens have a big, powerful offensive line that can take over a game, and we all know the formula for beating Peyton Manning has long been controlling time of possession and keeping Manning on the bench. The Ravens have the running game to do that, but the Ravens don't have much of a passing game and that'll allow the Colts to load up against the run. Watch for that to happen. For the Ravens to win, Joe Flacco will probably have to be effective enough to create balance. The Ravens defense is playing well right now but, if it has a weakness, it's against the pass. Their secondary has been torched more than a few times this season. Can the Ravens get the same rush on Manning that they got on Tom Brady? That's the key on defense for the Ravens.
Conor from Plains, MT:
Who are your picks going into divisional weekend?
Vic: Colts, Chargers, Saints and Cowboys.
Nick from New York, NY:
Do you think the obsession with perfection in the officiating of football has been a cause of fans' increasing inability to control their emotions?
Vic: I absolutely do believe that to be true. In my opinion, replay review has hurt the game. We've all gone analysis crazy. We've lost our ability to live with mistakes.
George from Jacksonville:
Reflecting on Tom Brady's performance, is it safe to say his arrow is pointing down? Have we seen the best of Brady and might he slip down into the next rung of quarterbacks?
Vic: He was not the same quarterback in 2009 that he was in every other year of his career. Yes, he took a fall and he has clearly stepped out of the top rung of quarterbacks. The question is this: Is Brady's fall the result of his knee surgery? Let's not forget that comeback from ACL surgery usually requires two seasons. We'll start to get an answer next season.
Richard from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
My wife and I, season ticket holders for the last 15 years (and tailgaters in Lot Z), will definitely renew in 2010. Also, both of us are now proud owners of brand new "Ask Vic" coffee mugs. Do you think Zach Miller will have a breakout year in 2010? He certainly came on strong toward the end of the season. When I read the recent article on him, he seemed to have a very competitive attitude.
Vic: He had a breakout game in the regular-season finale. That was a preview of what he can do and what he might do next season. He's listed as a tight end, but he's really a wide receiver in tight end's clothes. The idea is to get him matched up on a linebacker or strong safety that can't run with him. To do that, however, you have to get him on the field more often and for that to happen Miller has to become a better blocker. That's the key for him in the offseason; to become stronger so he can be a better blocker and increase his play time.
Judson from Jacksonville:
It only takes good open-ended questions to get a great response from you. So here goes: What player in the league would you pick to start a team with and why would you pick that person?
Vic: It has to be a quarterback, for the obvious reason, and Matt Ryan is still an impressive, young passer who possesses a strong building block quality. He's a player you want to be the face of your franchise and he appears to have the talent to make that happen.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
At what point in the draft would a team be considered to be "reaching" for a player? If the Jags have a guy on their board at number 12, but they pick at the eleventh spot, would that be considered reaching?
Vic: What does it matter? If he's not the top-rated guy on your board, then you didn't pick the best available player, and that means you weren't true to your philosophy. He either is the best or he isn't.
K.C. from Atlantic Beach, FL:
By average, how much time do the elite QBs have to throw per pass play? And how much time does Garrard have?
Vic: I don't know how much time Garrard has to throw. I guess the answer is too often not enough. The expectation should be for three seconds. If a quarterback can count three Mississippi's and he's still standing, he's had enough time to throw.
Nathan from Vancouver, BC:
The Stanley Cup presented at the end of the playoffs is the authentic one. It's the one that takes a beating (the original bowl is in the hall of fame). There are all kinds of fantastic stories about what players did when they got their day with the Cup. One player had his child baptized in it. Another ate a giant ice cream sundae out of it with his family. Kris Draper's newborn pooped in it. Mark Messier set it on stage at a strip club. Let's just hope it gets thoroughly cleansed between uses. This past summer the Penguins partied at Mario Lemieux's house and there are photos of the Cup in the pool.
Vic: Hockey has cool traditions.
Sean from Gainesville, FL:
Teams are never just one player away, are they?
Vic: When you start thinking that way, you're in trouble. Injuries can dramatically change the landscape of your team in a matter of a few practices or a few games. That's why I tell readers not to concern themselves about the starting lineup. Worry about the roster because you'll probably need to use all of it.
Steve from Crystal River, FL:
My brother and I were talking about parity and how it seems to not be present anymore. We began to think about when the problems began. It seems when the NFL changed the rules to favor the offense that we began to see more blowouts and the gap between the best and the worst teams widened. It appears that an offensive-minded NFL has lost parity in the process of becoming more fan-friendly.
Vic: I think you've got something there. When you increase the number of points scored, you run the risk of a wider point spread. The bad thing about a 10-3 game is that it's boring. The good thing is that it's close to the end. It's all in what you like. I like close.
Josie from Jacksonville:
Mr. Weaver mentioned a story about Peyton Manning driving three hours each way to work out with Pierre Garcon during the offseason. What did you make of that in terms of his expectations of Garrard, or anyone else for that matter?
Vic: I don't think there's any mystery as to what Wayne was trying to say: He wants a more committed and dedicated effort from everyone.
Charlie from Jacksonville:
When Gene Smith said that we would draft the best player available, was that overall or for a certain position?
Vic: Never has something so simple caused such confusion. It's overall, Charlie. In other words, if you need a defensive end but an offensive tackle is number one on your board, you pick the offensive tackle, even though you don't need one. I have no doubt that statement will cause little drops of blood to form on many of the readers' foreheads. I guess it truly is the offseason now. Let the BAP angst begin.