Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Bill from Edgewater, FL:
I like Alan's and your idea for a travel club. Put one together for next year and I am in.
Vic: As president, I'm sure Alan will take the necessary steps to include your name.
Kyle from Jacksonville:
I'd love to be a part of the "Ask Vic" travel club. What a great idea. Are you getting much of a response to the idea?
Billy from Live Oak, FL:
Thanks for the informative answer concerning "nickel" and "dime" packages. Do you see any chance of our defense becoming the "Teal Curtain" next year? Sure would be great to be waving teal and black towels, similar to your old "Steel Curtain" Steelers fans, eh? What's your thought?
Vic: I can see it happening.
Joe from San Diego, CA:
Could you please explain what "stunts" are on defense?
Vic: "Stunts" refers to "games" defensive linemen play to confuse the blocking schemes of the offensive linemen. For example, a defensive tackle and defensive end may crisscross their pass-rush routes, or a defensive tackle may loop to the outside of a defensive end.
Nick from Estero, FL:
I am a really big Jaguars fan, and coming from a small town not close to Jacksonville, I rely on this column and this website for all my Jags info. I saw you made Alan president of the "Ask Vic" travel club. I would love to be a part of that, but I can't afford to travel to all of the away games, so I would like your endorsement for becoming the "Ask Vic" president of small town Jags fans.
Vic: All right, you're the president, but what are you guys going to do, make ice cream?
Mario from Zapata, TX:
I have a question about the "franchise" tag; how does it work and how can a player work his way around it? Also, if a team signs a player with that tag, what happens?
Vic: The best way for a player to get around the "franchise" tag is to agree to a new contract. Ask for too much and this is what you get, franchised, and that means no signing bonus. Most teams prefer to not use the "franchise" tag; they prefer to keep it available to use, as a means for encouraging its star players to come to a contract agreement or else. For example, the Colts are negotiating with Peyton Manning, who would become an unrestricted free agent on the first day of the 2004 league calendar year if the Colts haven't signed him to a new deal. But the Colts have the "franchise" tag available, which is a way of saying to Manning, "We'll use it if necessary." The "franchise" tag is an instrument for teams to retain a player with whom the team is having difficulty reaching a contract agreement. If they put the "franchise" tag on a player, that player may still negotiate with other teams during the free agency signing period, and if another team signs that player they will owe the player's original team two first-round picks; a team must have a first-round pick in each of the next two drafts. If the player is not signed by another team, his original team must compensate the player with a salary that is the average of the top five salaries in the league at the player's position. That can be bad for the team because salary must be declared in full on the salary cap of the year the money is paid. But it's also bad for the player because he doesn't get that signing bonus, which is the big hit every player wants. Often, using the "franchise" tag kicks off a more serious round of contract negotiations.
Dave from Providence, RI:
I'm so excited about where this team is going right now, and can not wait for this game Sunday. Living here in New England, the fans here are looking at this game as a win before they hit the field. I can't wait till they see this defense. But when talking about defense, the coach in Foxboro is great for coming up with schemes. And I think this game will fall on how well Byron can manage this game. Do you agree?
Vic: Byron Leftwich will see more pressure defense this Sunday than he has ever seen in his career.
Mike from Jacksonville:
I second Alan's nomination as president of the "Ask Vic" travel club. How do I join?
Vic: That's Alan's department and, quite frankly, he's not doing a very good job.
Michael from Jacksonville:
What happens when an official is injured during the course of the game? Are there backup officials waiting in the locker room for their chance to shine?
Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA:
It would not surprise me if the Jags "run the table." As for Garo Yepremian, I am sure you know he threw an interception (after a botched field goal attempt) that was run back for a touchdown by Brig Owens of the Redskins. This put a very temporary scare into the 1972 undefeated Dolphins and I believe that team will remain the only "modern era" undefeated team.
Vic: I was wondering how long it was going to take for someone to catch that. You guys are slipping.