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Can't lose your star players

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

Austin from Gainesville, FL:
What did you think of Ricky Williams this past game?

Vic: He looked great. He was quick and powerful. He looked like the guy who ran out on his teammates and coach a few years ago. That's the whole thing with him. Can he be trusted? He has to earn that trust all over again.

Dave from Ormond Beach, FL:
It amazes me how many people get so upset at a preseason loss. Even other fans where I sit were booing. It's preseason, for goodness sakes. I will say the two things that bother me from the first two games are the amount of times the ball has hit the ground either by fumble or dropped pass, and Garrard looks a little off so far. That should not be the case preseason or not. Your thoughts overall on the Jags?

Vic: The quarterback is getting hit too often. David Garrard was hit after he released the ball several times in the game against Miami. That's my number one concern. My number two concern is the run-defense, especially as it pertains to the defensive end position. Other than for Paul Spicer, I see a lot of run-around, pass-rush specialists. Reggie Hayward is becoming a very important player. The Jaguars desperately need him to get healthy and stay healthy. My number three concern is the lack of suddenness among the wide receivers. Mike Walker is the only one among the current group that is playing who has shown any big-play ability. Jerry Porter is becoming more important every day. The Jaguars desperately need him to get healthy and stay healthy, too.

Tony from Jacksonville:
I know you say that peaking is for December, but you've also said that the first month will be extremely important due to the number of division games we play. Would you agree that our chances of winning the division would be low if we have a bad first month?

Vic: Please, don't try to twist my words. September is very important, but you better be playing your best football in December or you won't be playing for long in January, if at all.

Franklin from St. Augustine, FL:
"There will be lots of time to be stupid once the regular season begins." Vic, I think you are being a little strong here. Being worried about a preseason game isn't stupid. Del Rio looked pretty upset about this team's performance. Is he acting stupid, too? It is not the score, it is the physical play that bothers me.

Vic: OK, I'm worried. In fact, I'm panic-stricken. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I may need therapy. Is the team playing better now? Did that fix it? Just relax. All we can do is watch. We're not players, we're just spectators. Worry doesn't accomplish a thing.

Kyle from Jacksonville:
If the column is embarrassing, I suggest you look in the mirror to find out why. When you pick the same dumb, inane, ignorant comments/questions day after day, of course it's going to be embarrassing. Don't blame the readers, blame yourself for picking such lame questions.

Vic: You're right, I picked yours.

Charles from Orange Park, FL:
I've yet to see anything from Troy Williamson that makes me think wow. I'm tired of hearing about his speed. I want to see him go after a ball or fight for a ball in a crowd. It looks like he's content just to make the team and draw a paycheck. Your observation please.

Vic: He's only played in one preseason game. I think he deserves at least one more preseason chance to make us go wow! If he doesn't do it then, then he should be cut immediately and not be given one more chance to show us that he might be the solution to the number one receiver problem this team has had since Jimmy Smith was in his prime. Three chances are way too many, even if he's injured and isn't running at full speed. I think two chances should be the limit, in football and in marriage. I remember Fred Taylor in his rookie preseason. He was terrible; rushed 39 times for 114 yards and a 2.9 yards-per-carry average. The only reason he wasn't cut was because he was a first-round pick. What a waste of time.

Rick from Jacksonville:
The worrying we're hearing from fans about this Jag team has got to stop. Seasoned NFL fans know enough to let the coaches coach. I was raised in Cleveland. We never panicked about preseason. We saved that for playoff fumbles on the three-yard line.

Vic: Or for "The Drive" or "The Drop" or "The Interception" or for whatever means the Browns have found to choke at crunch time in the postseason, right? That's the way to do it.

Chad from Jacksonville:
You're telling me not to be stupid during the preseason. The league is telling me not to act stupid during the regular season. When can I be stupid?

Vic: How about right now?

Tim from Lake Forest, IL:
I enjoy your column and I agree with most of what you have to say. Maybe you should write a column on what preseason is designed to accomplish. I am not sure people really get it.

Vic: The intent in the preseason is to evaluate personnel, establish the fundamentals of sound football performance, and lay the foundation of the style and scheme on which you will build your regular-season game plans. I'm sure there are other purposes, but those are the big ones, as I see it.

Reed from Jacksonville:
This Derrick Harvey holdout is starting to get ridiculous. Could you please give me some good news (or at least some background info on the situation) so that I might feel a little bit better about this whole ordeal?

Vic: This is all about that hurricane, isn't it? That's why everybody has turned into a squirrel this week, right? Look, just do what the TV stations tell you to do. Go out and buy every battery and bottle of water in the town. That always makes me feel better.

Benjamin from Jacksonville:
Do you think Garrard's performance, while not horrible, was hampered by a lack of rapport with his receivers? It seems like there is a constant rotation of guys getting hurt and returning from injuries. If that is the case, doesn't it make sense for him to look more to his plethora of tight ends?

Vic: The Jaguars have got to get the ball into Smolko's hands more often.

John from Fort Myers, FL:
I need your help. I need a new football jersey. I don't buy much football gear, so when I buy one, I would like to have one that matches a current player that will be with the Jaguars for a few years. Besides Fred Taylor, who might have only a year or two left, whose jersey looks like it will see much more greatness and longevity over the next few years that you'd recommend? I would like to bet on Garrard, but I feel that it is too soon to invest in his jersey just yet. I'm leaning on Jones-Drew. Thoughts?

Vic: I'm going with the Fred Taylor jersey. I think Fred's got a few years left in him, but what's most important is that I think his jersey will become one of those timeless classics; you know, a Jim Brown, a Johnny Unitas, a Joe Montana, etc. They never go out of style. I have a Tony Boselli jersey and I love to wear it in the press box on game day.

Michael from London, UK:
Do you think the new 80-man roster rule during preseason has anything to do with all the injuries occurring to key starting players while not even playing in games?

Vic: First of all, it's not a new rule, it's just that the Europe roster exemptions are gone and that's reduced the size of the rosters to the mandated 80-man limit. Do I think that's the reason for all of theses injuries? No, I don't. I think players and coaches are just more sensitive to injuries these days for the obvious reasons: the players make tremendous sums of money and they are not as easily replaced as they once were. It's a game of stars now and you can't afford to lose your star players in August.

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