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Colts only AFC South surprise

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

Derrick from Jacksonville:
Hi, Vic. I'm one of your biggest fans and happen to be totally blind. My question is, do you have any way to put Jaguars Inside Report on the internet, since it's the only way I really have access to your work?

Vic: Derrick, we don't offer Jaguars Inside Report on the web, but I'll make sure on that you don't miss any Jaguars news, and your questions are always welcome in "Ask Vic."

Terrance from Jacksonville:
Hey, Vic, in regards to Fred Taylor's comments, I've never seen him punish anyone, so I don't think Mike Doss has anything to worry about on Sunday. But I do like the fact that someone on the team seems to care about what's going on over there. This team has no vocal leaders, no one to get them fired up to play the games, they just go about their way. I think they need to show some kind of enthusiasm, and I'm happy someone finally did. Your thoughts?

Vic: I'm OK with it, but that vocal stuff doesn't excite me. Show me on Sunday.

Newt from Jacksonville:
Are my eyes and ears deceiving me? Wasn't it during the offseason that we heard how the AFC South Division was to be one of the weakest divisions in the NFL? Wasn't Indy considered to be in disarray and Tennessee was in a back-slide, and after three losing seasons we were considered to be the possible wild card for our division, while Houston was still recovering from injuries and still had an expansion tag on them? What happened? Are we in a weak division or does Tennessee and Indy have weak schedules? C'mon, Vic, make sense of this all.

Vic: You're right when you say the AFC South was thought to be a weak division, but your facts are a bit off. Tennessee was considered to be the class of the division and was largely considered a favorite to play in the Super Bowl, and nowhere did I see the Jaguars getting wild-card consideration. Truth be known, the only surprise in the division is Indianapolis. On the heels of the Colts' 41-0 loss in the first round of the playoffs last year, a lot of people were down on Peyton Manning and the Colts, and it didn't help that a team considered to have desperate need on defense picked a tight end in the first round of the draft. The Colts' penchant for under-achieving was the reason people were down on the AFC South, and the Colts' 7-1 record is now the reason the AFC South is considered to be one of the league's strongest divisions. What happens if the Colts do their collapse act again?

David from Middleburg, FL:
With your history covering the Steelers in their heyday, I'd like to know your thoughts on the NFL sacrificing quality for parity. Though it may be nice to even the playing field for teams like the Bengals and Cardinals, is it really the best thing for the NFL to help bad teams and penalize good teams? It takes too long for even the greatest coaches to develop a team, but if they can do it, their window of opportunity to win it all is so small that they're back in the cellar before you know it. It's now rare to see more than a team or two that are considered great. Parity has applied a bell curve to NFL win-loss records, in which most teams are just average and games aren't what they used to be. It's almost like teams don't have to strive to be the champ, they just have to wait their turn. I think parity is hurting the league. Your thoughts?

Vic: It's not the NFL's system for parity -- rewarding the weak teams and penalizing the strong teams -- that's the problem. Free agency is the problem, but it's not going to go away and all professional sports are desperate to find ways to mitigate its effects. Those Steelers teams that won four Super Bowls competed largely within the same framework of today's game. Those teams were, for the most part, built in drafts when the Steelers were high in the order. Once the Steelers began winning Super Bowls, they moved to the bottom of the draft and their drafts weren't nearly as productive. That system still exists. But Chuck Noll didn't have to worry about losing his players to free agency. He did have to worry about losing his players to the World Football League, but that's where Joe Greene is to be commended because he held those Steelers teams together by persuading his teammates that they were embarking on something remarkable. Joe called it "achieving immortality." The bottom line is that the Steelers' last Super Bowl champion, in the 1979 season, had a complete roster of home-grown players. No player on that team had ever played for any team other than the Steelers. That day is gone forever, and that's the real problem with the game today.

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