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Change? Get ready for it

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

Jason from Olympia, WA:
What is your take on Garrard's first start? I couldn't watch him because I'm on the west coast, but I saw the numbers and they didn't look too bad for a rookie in his first start. Are the Jaguars serious about him being the future quarterback for this franchise?

Vic: Nothing can be known about the Jaguars' plans for David Garrard's future until a new regime is hired. As far as his first pro start, I thought he did fine. He will require time and patience and the Jaguars should be able to offer both as they rebuild this team.

Nick from Tampa, FL:
It is both a sad time and an exciting time for us Jag fans. I want to thank coach Coughlin for his hard work and determination. I always respected him as a coach, though I did believe a change was necessary. That said, I read your column about "one hour." I'm surprised Coughlin did not make a statement to any media outlet after his firing. Did the Jaguars offer him that opportunity or did Coughlin decline? I understand his despair, but this is the end of an era. It would have been nice to put a classy touch to the end.

Vic: I don't think post-firing press conferences serve any purpose. He was fired. That says it all. The "one hour" column was not meant to challenge the itinerary of Coughlin's departure. It was a think piece meant to challenge the perspective we have assigned professional football.

Wes from Clermont, FL:
I am a Jacksonville native and a huge Jags fan. I would like to thank coach Coughlin for the success this young franchise has enjoyed and I wish him luck. What do you think were his biggest mistakes? Also, what should be the top priorities of the next coaching staff?

Vic: Tom Coughlin's biggest mistake was allowing the salary cap to get out of control, and he certainly had help. In my opinion, it cost him his job. His next biggest mistake was drafting R.J. Soward, which had an affect on subsequent personnel decisions. The top priority of the new regime (GM-type person and head coach) will be the institution of a new mode of operation. Then, you go right to the repair of the salary cap and the reconstruction of the roster, which must go hand-in-hand. Everybody wanted change. Get ready for it.

Ian from Chesapeake, VA:
What position are the Jaguars gonna be at in the 2003 NFL draft.

Vic: The Jaguars will have the eighth pick of the first round.

Glenn from Coral Springs, FL:
Mark Brunell is probably my favorite player on the team. This year, with all of the salary cap problems and such, I, like many others, expected Mark to step up. I was very disappointed this season. Mark Brunell was 22nd in passing yards this season. That's not very good for a former Pro-Bowler. What is Mark's future for the Jags going to be like?

Vic: Again, we can't know for sure until a new regime is put into place, however, I'm inclined to believe a new "broom" may want to "sweep" clean.

Ed from Jacksonville:
I always have believed this was year one of rebuilding. I hope they can do better, but I have my doubts. We could be the next Bungles. What do you think?

Vic: Not if the right people are hired.

Keith from Jacksonville:
Who will be with this team next year? Darius will be a free agent and Mack's one-year contract is up, too. As for those two, who else will be free agents or will have their contracts voided?

Vic: : The Jaguars unrestricted free agents are: Donovin Darius, Stacey Mack, Wali Rainer, Larry Smith, John Wade, Todd Fordham, Pete Mitchell, Bobby Shaw, Kevin Lockett, Patrick Johnson, Kent Graham, Joe Zelenka and Zach Wiegert. The restricted free agents are: Leander Jordan, Robert Bean, Aaron Koch, Kiwaukee Thomas, Danny Clark, Paul Spicer, Ainsley Battles, T.J. Slaughter and Bobby Brooks.

Sharon from Port Charlotte, FL:
After viewing next year's teams we play, they all look real tough. Most all those teams either made it to the playoffs this year or just missed it by one game. How is it determined who plays who? I didn't think they would put a lousy team in with the playoff teams of the former year.

Vic: Sharon, where have you been? The change in the scheduling format was announced two years ago. No more stinky team vs. stinky team. It's on a yearly rotational basis by division now.

Gino from Memphis, TN:
We've heard everything that's going bad with the Jags, but what, if any, are the good or positive things going on for the Jags this upcoming season?

Vic: Change will be good, if the right people are hired.

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