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Cold cuts remind me of Yogi

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

Justin from Hubert, NC:
I wrote you a couple of months ago and told you that I am in Afghanistan and will miss this season. I got injured and a couple of my Marines got killed in action; rest their souls. There is a silver lining in everything. Because of my injury, I will see the Jags be a much better team this year.

Vic: Football is just a game. What you're doing is much more important. Get well.

Justin from Jacksonville:
I just finished reading "Ball Four." Are there any books that take the reader inside a football locker room? Have you had any encounters or stories about Jim Bouton?

Vic: I read "Ball Four" when I was a young and aspiring baseball player and one particular locker room scene from the book is indelibly etched in my mind. It's the scene in which Yogi Berra is standing over a table of cold cuts. I have never been able to get that out of my mind. Every time I see a table full of cold cuts, I think of Yogi.

John from Old Town, FL:
Is Jack going to do the Oklahoma drill this year and, if so, when will it be?

Vic: I haven't spoken to Coach Del Rio since everybody went on vacation. I have no doubt I'll see him soon and when I do I'll ask him about the Oklahoma. Traditionally, he's scheduled it for the first full-pads practice, which would be the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 5.

David from Cleveland, OH:
If you are the Vikings, can you mend fences with Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson, or is that a fractured relationship? How do you go back to those guys and tell them you have confidence in them after all of these months of rumors, with even their teammates speaking out that they want Brett Favre, some even calling/texting him and asking him to come back? Have you ever covered a situation like this before?

Vic: I covered a situation I believe resulted in a major distraction and did much to sabotage that team's season. It was 1977 and Chuck Noll was being sued by George Atkinson in a defamation case that failed to produce a dollar award but successfully resulted in damaging the Steelers' season, which was Al Davis' real intent. Space won't permit me to give the full details but I'm sure you can research the case. I think you'll find the story compelling. Anyhow, the court case coincided with training camp, which immediately made it a major distraction because the coach and several players had to spend time in San Francisco testifying. It also resulted in Mel Blount suing his coach for $5 million and becoming a training camp holdout, all in an attempt to get a new contract, at which Blount was successful. It so damaged the environment that two players expressed their disgruntlement by going AWOL at midseason. That's what a distraction can do to your football team. It can also bond it tighter if everyone rallies around the adversity, but more often the result is negative. The Vikings have created a major distraction. Brad Childress' ability to rally his team and repair the damage he created will probably determine the kind of season the Vikings will have.

Darrick from Jacksonville:
I have heard quite a few people say Jacksonville will never be a good team as long as they stay committed to their good-guy approach. These same people say that in order to win in the NFL you need to have some thugs on your team. What's your take on these statements?

Vic: I certainly wouldn't call the 2008 Jaguars a good-guy team. I think the good-guy approach began in this offseason. Nobody wants a team of thugs. That won't work. You want tough guys who know how to be professionals. You accept the fact that they're not choir boys, but they must not be permitted to allow their lifestyles to damage the team.

Doug from Jacksonville:
What do you see? I see a team that overachieves because of the aforementioned good guys. Intelligence and character will count for something. I see 10-6. I see three blackouts. I see people buying Jags gear for Christmas presents because by November people are excited again.

Vic: Do you have an extra pair of those glasses?

Damon from Torrance, CA:
Everywhere you turn now there are reports of the Jags being a possible landing spot for Vick. Wouldn't this completely go against the philosophy of the front office to rid the locker room of guys with character issues? What's your take, Vic?

Vic: You're turning in the wrong directions.

Rob from Deltona, FL:
What do you see that makes you think we're in a rebuilding stage?

Vic: My expectation is that the final roster will be loaded with rookies and first-year types. My expectation is that there will be a massive turnover from last year's roster, which has already occurred. Gutting your roster isn't rebuilding?

Steve from Maitland, FL:
With the Bucs charging to see practice, is there a limit on the amount of scouts the Jags can send to Tampa Bay training camp?

Vic: When a team charges admission to its training camp, other teams in the league may send as many scouts as they'd like to that team's practices.

Cathy from Jacksonville:
Has there ever been a first-round draft pick by any team that was cut the following year?

Vic: I covered one: Huey Richardson. Cutting him was the right decision.

Matt from Tampa, FL:
I found your article on what you see happening this season both exciting and dead on. What do I think? I think this team finally has a GM who is able to make the tough decisions. Tough decisions like when to let your franchise player pursue other options, despite fans who love him and always will. Decisions like letting go of Porter and Florence, who represent major financial investments. For once, we have a draft class that I am not looking at and wondering why we took them. I am excited about the Jags more than ever, not because I think they are true playoff contenders, but because I see the building blocks to have a solid team for the years to come.

Vic: We share a vision.

Andy from Palm Coast, FL:
Will you be doing a Monday night radio show this year? "Jaguars Reporters" was the best of the three weekly shows.

Vic: "Jaguars Reporters" will begin on Monday, Aug. 24 at six p.m. and will do 20 shows through Jan. 4.

Lee from Neptune Beach, FL:
How many original season ticket holders remain from the first year?

Vic: There are about 3,800 season ticket accounts that involve about 11,000 season tickets remaining from 1995.

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