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Carr impressive this year

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

Jami from Jacksonville:
A lot of players and coaches say they don't read the papers or listen to what's said on TV or radio. I'm sure that might be true for some, but I think they're aware of what's being said about the team. When you talk to the players, do you get a sense that they don't know what's happening?

Vic: They read. They listen. They know. A lot of coaches and players just don't want to admit to reporters that what they write or say is worthy of attention. Chuck Noll would never admit to having read the sports section. If he had to admit to knowledge of something that appeared in the newspaper, he would smile and say his wife told him about it.

Jonathan from King George, VA:
In the two years of the AFC South's existence, the Jags have posted a record of 3-9. You said throughout the year that you expected the Jags to contend for a division title this year. The Jags will go into next year with a three-game divisional losing streak, which also includes being outscored by the Texans 41-6. Do you expect the Jags to improve in their divisional games and contend for the division title next year?

Vic: I expected the Jaguars to be a division title contender this season. I was wrong for two reasons: The Jaguars didn't do as well in the second half of the season as I thought they would, and Indianapolis did better than I expected. The second half of the season decided the division title; no question. The Jaguars lost key home games against Tennessee and Houston and the Colts won key games against Baltimore and San Diego. What are my expectations for next season? You gotta be kidding. This season isn't even over. Can we at least wait for the Jaguars to go through free agency and the draft before we begin making predictions?

Joe from Waterloo, NE:
Do the Texans just match-up against us better, or does David Carr see something we don't because he is 4-1 against the Jaguars in his career?

Vic: Let's examine that 4-1. David Carr's first win against the Jaguars was in 2002 and it was the result of a special teams trick play by the Texans. His next win came last season in Houston and it was the result of a fumble by Byron Leftwich, who was making his first-ever start, as the Jaguars were trying to kill the clock and protect a lead. Carr's two wins this season, however, were clearly the result of his performance. I was very impressed by Carr this season. Texans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer has Carr on the move in and out of the pocket and I think that has clearly helped him overcome a low release point that I thought could jeopardize his career. Carr has developed this season into one of the game's bright-young quarterbacks and he will be a tough foe for the Jaguars in the seasons ahead. I don't know about matching-up well. He's just good.

Tony from Suwanee, GA:
In one of your "Ask Vic" replies you said the Jaguars need to address their situation at left tackle. Does that mean that you don't think Mike Pearson can return as a quality starter?

Vic: Mike Pearson suffered a major knee injury that could require a season of recovery. It's possible Pearson will not be full speed when training camp begins next summer. That's why I said the Jaguars need to address their left tackle position.

Ross from Westerly, RI:
I know it's a little early to be thinking about free agency, but what is available and affordable at cornerback, defensive end and wide receiver this year?

Vic: It's too early to know. At this time last year, we were talking about Chris McAlister, Charles Woodson and Champ Bailey being available in free agency. Then, all three of them got tagged. In most cases, teams are doing a much better job with their salary caps now than they were four and five years ago. In most cases, they're not allowing their top players to get away. In cases in which teams have lost their top players, such as Tennessee losing Jevon Kearse and Robaire Smith last year, it's because they've had a cap problem. If you want to know who might be available in free agency, find the teams that have cap problems and look at who their potential free agents are. Otherwise, the teams with healthy salary caps are going to keep their good players off the market.

Kevin from Atlanta, GA:
Could you please tell us who will be free agents on the Jaguars?

Vic: Donovin Darius, Nick Sorensen, Joe Zelenka, Troy Edwards, Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, Jason Gildon, Bob Whitfield and Derrick Ransom are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Akin Ayodele and Deke Cooper are set to become restricted free agents.

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