Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Committed to improvement

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Daniel from Honolulu, HI:
When we can have update on the Jaguars roster?

Vic: We announce roster additions, but that's all there can be at this point. Teams may not release players until Feb. 9 and the only players they can add right now are "street" free agents. I think you need to wind down and accept the fact that you're about to head into the offseason. It's slow for the teams out of the playoffs and it's gonna get slower. I'm going to golf camp next week.

Jim from Jacksonville:
You wrote last week that you expected the Jags would be a lot better next year. What factors lead you to believe this?

Vic: I believe the team is committed to improvement. I think it's in the process of taking a critical look at itself and I have every reason to believe the team is going to be aggressive in pursuing repairs. Jack Del Rio has already drawn a line in the sand as far as offseason conditioning is concerned.

Colin from Tallahassee, FL:
Although the Steelers offensive line didn't look that bad on Sunday, they weren't under a ton of pressure. How do the Steelers keep winning? Third time the charm for the Ravens?

Vic: Yeah, I think it will be. It's very difficult to beat a team three times in the same season. I've always believed that the more you win, the closer you get to losing. The Steelers offensive line played its best game of the season against the Chargers, but the Ravens dominated the Steelers up front in both previous games. That'll be the Ravens' formula on Sunday. They know the Steelers can't run against them, so they'll be all-out to sack Ben Roethlisberger. I expect him to be under a ferocious pass-rush.

R.J. from New Iberia, LA:
On Jan. 5, you talked about the small number of quarterbacks from the Big 12 making it to the NFL and succeeding. I am curious as to which conferences have been successful and your insight as to why they consistently produce quality quarterbacks?

Vic: Let's examine some of the top quarterbacks in history and the colleges that produced them. Johnny Unitas was from Louisville. Joe Montana is from Notre Dame, Dan Marino from Pitt, Terry Bradshaw from Louisiana Tech, Otto Graham from Northwestern, Sammy Baugh from TCU, Joe Namath from Alabama, John Elway from Stanford, Tom Brady from Michigan, Brett Favre from Southern Miss, Norm Van Brocklin from Oregon, Peyton Manning from Tennessee, etc. What can you deduce from that list? In my opinion, that list tells us that you find quarterbacks where you find quarterbacks. You find them in the SEC, the Big Ten, the Southwest Conference, the PAC 10, the Big East, etc. You find them in the north, east, south and west. You find them everywhere, just not in the Big Eight/Big 12. I love college football, but the thing I dislike most about it is the regionality of the fans. Hey, the Civil War is over, folks. It was a mistake, OK? The south shouldn't have gone to Gettysburg. They didn't have shoes and the rocks were sharp. Let's forgive and forget. Most of all, let's step out of our little fiefdoms, shed our regional prejudices and turn college football into the national game it should be.

James from Mooresville, IN:
I know Reggie Williams is going to be a free agent this upcoming offseason. Should we expect to see him in another uniform next year and try to get a receiver through the draft or do you think the Jags may try to bring him back, depending on the asking price?

Vic: I think you should think in terms of replacement, not maintenance. Williams is one of nine Jaguars headed for free agency. The others are: Brad Meester, Chris Naeole, Khalif Barnes, Mike Peterson, Scott Starks, Pierson Prioleau, Gerald Sensabaugh and Joe Zelenka.

Johnny from Jacksonville:
I hope Gene Smith also meant he was opposed to swinging for the fences in free agency as well. We haven't had a lot of success with that recently, either.

Vic: Few teams have success in free agency. The ones that do are the ones that find a guy in cheap free agency. Smith is a draft guy. I promise you that. In my opinion, the first week of free agency would be a good time for Jaguars fans to go on vacation.

Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
I tried telling my friends in Charlotte the Panthers were taking a lot of risk by trading away a first-round pick to live in the world of right now. Now they have a quarterback who turns the ball over too often, a problem in the secondary and no first-round pick. How do you see their offseason going?

Vic: Trading up is risky, but I'm OK with the trade-up they made for two reasons: 1.) It didn't cost a lot, in picks or money. 2.) They got a dominant player, Jeff Otah. It's hard to fault what the Panthers did because they got real quality with both of their first-round picks. All they did was draft this year's first-round pick a year early. If you get true, long-term quality, which I believe they did, and if you didn't give away the rest of your draft to do so, which they didn't, then it's OK. The Panthers gave the Eagles a first-round pick in 2009 and their second and fourth-round picks in '08. The pick the Eagles are getting in the first round this year will be low, so it was a good deal for Carolina. It's not likely they'd find a player of Otah's caliber where they'd be picking this year.

Dale from Hampton, VA:
Why was Tony Dungy's playing career so short?

Vic: Because he was long on smarts and short on size and speed. Tony always got it. He was the kind of player who was smart enough to understand the brilliance of his coach, Chuck Noll. As a result, I think Tony has used Noll's career as a template. Noll also had a short playing career. He went into coaching and quickly rose through the ranks, just as Tony did, and Noll also retired at a relatively young age so he could enjoy the fruits of his labor in retirement, which I have no doubt Tony will, too.

Bob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I love watching Tim Tebow play, but comparing him to Jim Thorpe is like comparing LenDale White to Jim Brown. Seriously, what do you think Thorpe would be capable of if he had been born in 1985 or so, with modern training methods? Would anyone think of Bo Jackson ever again? Or do you think he would have been as unmotivated to train today as he often was then?

Vic: I studied Thorpe's career some years ago; did some reading on him. Much of his legend is likely embellished, of course, but there's reason to believe Thorpe is the greatest athlete of all time. He was said to be able to do anything he wanted on the football field. If an opponent tackled him vigorously, he would demand the ball on the next play so he could hunt the guy down and punish him. First of all, Thorpe was a big guy. He would've been a nice-sized running back today. I would love to see a greater awareness of his skills and accomplishments, but history wasn't as skilled or as interested in recording the achievements of players from his day, especially those who were resented because of the color of their skin.

Jean from Jacksonville:
If the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, is that the seventh sign of the apocalypse?

Vic: Phooey on Nostradamus and that 2012 crap. He didn't see this one coming, did he?

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
Do you believe Gene Smith's draft philosophy is flawed? If you draft a bunch of base-hit guys, no one is going to get the home run to knock them in.

Vic: It's not flawed. It's sound strategy. I'm surprised at how many people are struggling with what he said. It's simple stuff: He doesn't believe in taking wild swings in the draft. That's all it is. You're reading too deep into the base-hit thing. It's just don't take wild swings that are likely to miss. Don't strikeout. That's all he's saying.

Trey from Jacksonville:
If Harvin and Spikes return to UF to play their senior seasons, just give us the trophy. We will be undefeated (probably not even contested.) We will become a dynasty. Tim Tebow will be the greatest/most decorated player ever in college football history (even though you will probably disagree because you're old); probably win a second Heisman. And it will be the best/fastest group ever assembled and put on the field at the college level.

Vic: We sure are great.

Matthew from Jacksonville:
The Jags signed Matt Jones and converted him from QB to WR. Do you think Del Rio would ever possibly try to go after Tebow and try to make him a linebacker or fullback?

Vic: Maybe they'll draft him and make him a quarterback.

John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How do the Steelers do it year after year, decade after decade?

Vic: They go on vacation during the first week of free agency, they draft and develop, and they are very, very patient.

Aaron from White Hall, AR:
I know Larry Fitzgerald is a great receiver, but you have to put Andre Johnson in the same category with him or above him.

Vic: I don't have to do anything. This is my column and I can say anything I want.

William from Palm Coast, FL:
What happened to Darren McFadden this year? Was his talent overrated, or was he as a rookie overshadowed by a weak team?

Vic: I have an opinion, but I'd probably regret giving it, if you know what I mean.

Thomas from Las Vegas, NV:
Put yourself in Gene Smith's shoes. In April's draft, do you first fill a glaring need at LT, or do you take the best player available regardless of position?

Vic: Yeah, that, or trade down and recoup the value of the pick.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content