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Commercials or pay-per-view?

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

Keith from Jacksonville:
It was very refreshing to see the Jags did not abandon the running game when it did not work in the first half. That persistence paid off in the second half in a big way. I thought Stacey Mack made one of the crucial plays of the game by getting the Jags out of the jam at their own one-yard line. Why doesn't Coughlin use Stacey Mack in the rotation more?

Vic: The answer is obvious: Fred Taylor is healthy and offers a greater threat to defenses. Having Taylor in the game helps the passing game because defenses don't dare ignore play-action.

Nick from Tampa, FL:
You stated in a recent column that Coughlin does not let the players read your column. Are you serious? Down here, I haven't seen any information on the Jaguars practice squad. Do we have one and, if so, who is on it?

Vic: It was a joke, Nick. The five players on the Jaguars practice squad are: wide receiver Henry Douglas, defensive back Steve Smith, linebacker Aaron Humphrey, offensive tackle Mark Bristol and defensive end Javor Mills.

Jason from Jacksonville:
I was wondering if other NFL cities have as many fair-weather fans as we do? An example is the guy who wondered why Gibson was cut and not Brunell. I believe he said he would not be a fan until Coughlin and Brunell were gone. I must admit I am a huge Brunell fan and probably 27 of the 32 teams would love to have him over their QB. Someone needs to remind people you are a fan of a team whether they win or lose. How do you feel about fair-weather fans?

Vic: I really don't have an opinion, but I wanted to give you an opportunity to rebut the "cut Brunell" guy.

Don from Savannah, GA:
During the preseason when our offense looked so awful, I believe I read that Tom Coughlin was considering using Fred Taylor and Stacey Mack in the backfield at the same time. I haven't seen that, yet, but do you think there are situations we should? If so, how might we use them together.

Vic: In a split-backfield formation, one of the two backs must be an accomplished blocker. Neither Fred Taylor nor Stacey Mack is.

Lonnie from Jacksonville:
I was wondering what your thoughts were on Coughlin's recent willingness to occasionally accept input from Mark Brunell on the play-calling. This seems like a relatively new development. I know that in previous eras, QBs frequently called their own plays, but with a coach with as strong a vision as Coughlin, this seems like an indication of a very deep and unusual respect for the player. Do you think this may be an indication of a new open-mindedness in our coach? At the very least, Brunell seems to have earned the right to have Coughlin listen to his input.

Vic: It's more a case of Mark Brunell's willingness to assert himself.

John from Mandarin, FL:
Do you ever foresee another effort to shorten the length of NFL games? I remember one preseason game this year lasted three hours and 45 minutes; a preseason game! Monday night games have dragged on until nearly one a.m. Why do they bring the markers in to measure for a first down, other than if the alternative is fourth down? If the choice is first down or second down, just rely on the official to make a judgement call and move on.

Vic: The problem with games lasting too long isn't the fault of first-down measurements. The problem is television's need for more commercial time to justify the increase in rights fees they've paid. What would you rather have, a pay-per-view system that dramatically reduces commercial time and limits it to non-interruption periods of the game? Or a continuation of the current system, in which the TV networks pay the freight and you get the product for free at home, along with massive amounts of commercial time that obstruct the natural flow of the game?

David from Jacksonville:
I know it's very early, but what players do you see out there who may draw the Jags' interest around draft time? I would like to start my draft research early.

Vic: Slow down, David. Chew your food before you swallow it.

Ed from Jacksonville:
I always read your column and always admired your insight about the game and comments from the heart about the Jaguars. But do I detect optimism from you after only two games? I am a diehard fan and have not missed any home game since 1995, except one when I was deployed at sea. I have resigned myself to a rebuilding year and watch the effort of a young team. Now you are talking about a division hunt. What gives?

Vic: Any way you cut it, this is a rebuilding year. You don't lose the number of players the Jaguars did in the offseason and not need to rebuild your roster. Rebuilding is not another word for losing. You're allowed to win while you rebuild, though that is a very difficult task. Let's see what happens.

Mike from Atlanta, GA:
I'm going to reveal my ignorance when I ask this question, but here goes: When reading the defensive statistics on a particular game, is it a good thing when players in the secondary are the leading tacklers? Logic tells me no; it means the receiver has caught the ball and the defensive back must make or assist on the tackle.

Vic: It also applies to the running game. If your defensive backs are making the tackles, it usually indicates yardage has been gained. It's not a good thing.

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