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Committed to offense

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

Agnes from Rocky Point, NY:
After seeing the way the third round of the draft unfolded, do you think the Jaguars panicked a bit when they moved up? To me, giving up a fourth-round pick was too much to surrender for the linebacker who would have probably fallen to us anyway.

Vic: How can you be sure he would've fallen to them? He was the last linebacker in the draft the Jaguars felt could step in and become a starter in 2006. He was a guy they targeted, which means they wanted him very badly. Trading up is what you do when you've targeted a guy. You make sure he doesn't get away.

Joseph from Statesboro, GA:
You know, part of the reason you get such insulting questions is the anonymity this forum provides. Maybe you should force people to e-mail you from a business or home account, then they can be accountable for the insults they fling at you. I wonder if they would say stuff like this if they were talking to you in person.

Vic: I assure you, they wouldn't.

Craig from Jacksonville:
You said you would give us an update early this week. We want to know how well the Jags did with season ticket sales.

Vic: I talked to Scott Loft of ticketing yesterday and he said the ticketing department should have the whole relocation thing sorted out by next Tuesday. The news remains good. Hang in there.

Bill from Camden Point, MO:
Your comment on the use of the words dumb, stupid, moron, idiot, etc. is right on target. This is most true of a certain Jags forum. Several people there use those words when talking about the Jags building an offense around Byron Leftwich. Could you name any team in the history of the NFL that did not attempt to acquire the needed talent to allow their first-round QB to have the players to develop a first-rate offense?

Vic: I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that after the Steelers made Terry Bradshaw the first pick of the 1970 draft, they selected a wide receiver in the second round of that draft, a wide receiver in the first round of the following year's draft, and Lynn Swann and John Stallworth in the 1974 draft when it became apparent the first two wide receivers selected weren't the answers. When the Jaguars selected Byron Leftwich in the 2003 draft, they began the process of rebuilding an offense that was getting old. The Jaguars are the only team in the league to have drafted an offensive player in the first round of each of the last four drafts. That tells you how committed they are to giving Jaguars fans the kind of offense they want.

John from Jacksonville:
As a Jags fan I am thrilled Houston passed on Reggie Bush and the Titans passed on Matt Leinart. What are your thoughts?

Vic: How would you feel about having Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and LenDale White in the AFC South? No thanks.

Doug from Jacksonville:
A.J. Nicholson got drafted three picks before the Jags' fifth-round pick. Would the Jags have taken him if he was available or did they want the guy out of Illinois State?

Vic: Brent Hawkins was the Jags' guy. They went to Illinois State to work him out personally and linebackers coach Mark Duffner had already opened dialogue with Hawkins before the draft. It became clear to Hawkins the Jaguars were going to draft him. What we're talking about is called "targeting" and all teams are doing it. In effect, teams are drafting before the draft begins. They're deciding what players they want and then they fit themselves in the order to where the player fits.

Mark from Jacksonville:
It would appear Marcedes Lewis' size will be useful in two-tight end formations. Do you agree or does another tight end on the roster fit that role better?

Vic: The idea of the two-tight end set is that you force the defense to declare which tight end is the true tight end. That means the defense has to decide which one the strong safety is going to favor. When that happens, you run the ball to the other side. It's a way of getting the defense's best run-stuffing personnel on the side of the field opposite from which you're going to run. If the strong safety lines up on the blocking tight end, then you throw to the pass-catching tight end. It's a little cat-and-mouse game. I love two-tight end offenses. It's a way of letting the defense know it's going to be a long day of blocking and tackling.

Greg from Notre Dame, IN:
Jack Del Rio made it pretty clear during his interview that Maurice Drew was not selected as the every-downs running back for the future. Could you explain exactly how Jacksonville should utilize Drew these next few years, because a second-round pick seems awful high for just a return man?

Vic: Where did you get that misinformation? When asked about Maurice Drew's roles as a punt-returner and as a running back, Jack Del Rio said: "We drafted him as both. We think he can be a positional player."

Kevin from Hilton Head, SC:
The pick I really didn't understand was Brent Hawkins. Is it just me or is this guy a Jorge Cordova clone in every way?

Vic: He's a pass-rush specialist, just as Cordova was drafted to be. Every team drafts pass-rush specialists. Robert Mathis is a pass-rush specialist. The Eagles drafted Chris Gocong from Cal Poly to be a pass-rush specialist. What don't you get?

Fred from Portland, OR:
I'm sure Drew over Spencer was a very tough call. Do you think the deciding factor may have been that they really like Connolly?

Vic: I think the deciding factor was that Drew addressed offense and special teams. That probably means more coaches in the draft room were tooting his horn.

Weaver from Bentonville, AR:
I am a neophyte when it comes to personnel decisions regarding professional football, but I find your statement that "drafting by position" is a formula for failure very interesting. Why?

Vic: This is pretty old stuff. It goes to best available player vs. need. I believe that when you draft for need you tend to leave better players on the board for your opponents to draft. Let me tell you a little story. Under Tom Landry, the Cowboys were a dye-in-the-wool BAP team. In the 1979 draft, Joe Montana was at the top of the Cowboys' draft board when it was their turn to pick in the third round. The Cowboys, however, had drafted Glenn Carano two years earlier and Landry felt he didn't need another quarterback so he went against his BAP philosophy, passed on Montana and drafted Doug Cosbie, who satisfied a need at tight end. Now, tell me, who doesn't need Joe Montana? What the Cowboys did by passing on Montana was leave him for the 49ers, who would beat the Cowboys in the 1981 NFC title game on Montana's pass to Dwight Clark. See what I mean?

Bobby from Jacksonville, FL:
"Tell me how you were going to trade up in the first round and not lose either your second-round or third-round pick." The Ravens traded up in the first round and only gave up a sixth-rounder.

Vic: They traded up one spot, with Cleveland, to draft a player the Browns didn't want, so, for moving down one pick, the Browns got an extra pick and still got the guy they wanted. In short, the Ravens got snookered. Phil Savage, a long-time Ravens personnel exec, fooled his old team into believing someone wanted to trade up and draft the guy the Ravens wanted. Savage, however, was ripped by Browns fans for trading with the enemy. I think the Browns wanted to do to the Ravens want the Lions did to the Browns a couple of years ago, except, the Lions got the Browns for a second-round pick. Moving up in the first round is almost always going to cost you a first-day pick. Savage was just playing a little game with his former team.

Nathan from Mesa, AZ:
I'm a fan of your work and I read it every day. Tell me, Vic, about your grading of the draft, were your scores for the teams based upon a personal grading scale of the players chosen, or were you grading based upon draft manipulation?

Vic: I printed out each team's draft crop. I looked at each crop, and I said that's a "B" or that's a "C," etc. That's all.

Sonny from Jacksonville:
Way to go, Vic. Pick on one game that an SEC team lost as a way to discredit the entire league. Boy, is that convincing. Spoken like a true football imbecile.

Vic: You must have found a thesaurus.

Jess from Visalia, CA:
Since you called me out and asked how I would trade up in the first round and not lose our second or third pick, I'll show you. We swap picks with the Giants. In round one we move up three spots. We also swap picks in rounds three and five and move down while the Giants move up. What's your next excuse?

Vic: You're sure the Giants would've gone for that? You know, you would've been competing against the Steelers, who traded with the Giants to move up from 32 to 25. It cost the Steelers their third-round and fourth-round picks, but that was OK with them because they had all those compensatory picks. The Giants wanted to draft Mathias Kiwanuka, who they knew would be available at 32, so why would they have made that bad deal you were offering when they could've gotten a better deal with the Steelers, moved farther down than the Jaguars' 28 and still gotten Kiwanuka, but for a picks exchange of greater value and a less expensive contract for Kiwanuka? Does that make sense?

Barry from Richmond, VA:
I think we all know that MAC quarterbacks can't hold a candle to big conferences that produce Heisman winners that go on to dominate in the NFL like Danny Wuerffel, Jason White, Eric Crouch, Chris Weinke, Charlie Ward, Gino Torreta.

Vic: You're going to get people mad at you.

Keith from Jacksonville:
How much will Maurice Drew's development be hurt by the NCAA rule that says undergrads can't start practicing until their school graduates except for mini-camp?

Vic: Marcedes Lewis and Maurice Drew will miss 12 of the Jaguars' 14 OTA (Organized Team Activities) practices. It didn't seem to hurt Khalif Barnes.

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