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Competition is good

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

Rajesh from Jacksonville:
Other than Jack, what Jaguars coaches played in the NFL?

Vic: Ken Anderson played 16 seasons for the Bengals and is one of the great quarterbacks in NFL history. Ray Hamilton had a long and distinguished career as a defensive lineman for the Patriots. Hamilton played for Oklahoma in the 1971 Nebraska-Oklahoma Thanksgiving Day classic. Andy Heck is a former first-round pick by the Seahawks and was a standout offensive lineman for 12 NFL seasons. Todd Howard played with Jack Del Rio in Kansas City. Alfredo Roberts was a tight end for the Cowboys.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
Since we're talking about communism, what do you think of McCain's idea to make steroid testing in pro sports the responsibility of government?

Vic: I think it's frightening. What's next, experiments with eunuchs? Behavior modification implants? But, you know, a lot of people thought the 1973 Act of Congress that continues to govern the NFL's TV policy was a frightening interference of government in business. People asked, are they going to make Ford give away its cars?

Kelly from Rohnert Park, CA:
You mentioned that the Patriots have spent no first-round picks on WR, RB or QB. What positions have they taken in the first round? And can you compare their 2000 roster against the 2001 squad that upset St. Louis? What put them over the top? I remember the analysts all saying they played above their skill level to get to that first Super Bowl victory.

Vic: What put the Patriots over the top in 2001? How about Tom Brady? The Patriots began the season 0-2 with Drew Bledsoe at quarterback. Brady took over in week three and led the Patriots on a 14-3 run that included three postseason wins. The Patriots, however, did get help from Bledsoe in their AFC title game win, though it was two touchdowns by Patriots special teams that won the game. That season was Brady's second after being selected in the sixth round of the 2000 draft, which was coach Bill Belichick's first draft. In his six drafts as head coach, the Patriots have used their first-round picks to select three defensive tackles, two tight ends and a guard.

Trent from Litchville, ND:
How many points did the 2000 Ravens give up during the regular season and what was the least amount given up in NFL history?

Vic: The 2000 Ravens allowed 165 points in 2000, which is the fewest in a 16-game season. Technically, the 1932 Chicago Bears hold the NFL record for fewest points allowed in a season, 44, but that was in a different era and includes only 14 games. The best stretch of defense I've ever seen was in 1976, when the "Steel Curtain" scored five shutouts and allowed just 28 points over the final nine games of the season.

Alan from Jacksonville:
Are Jaguars coaches allowed to communicate officially with Barnes while he is blocked from the OTA's by the league rules or is communication also prevented? Meaning, can they call or visit and go over the playbook or answer his questions while he studies (I assume he has a playbook with him?) or would that violate team rules?

Vic: They may not instruct him. The strength coaches may provide him with a workout plan, but all other contact is either forbidden or discouraged.

Sam from Little Rock, AR:
How is Jones' hamstring healing process coming? He injured it last year and still played through it but he was very limited in his running.

Vic: Matt Jones participated in practice on Thursday to a greater degree. The Jaguars will not practice next week. It's expected Jones' participation will be increased even more when the Jaguars return to the practice field on June 7.

Kyal from Canberra Act, Australia:
With the additions on defense, do you think the Jaguars will be in the top three for team sacks?

Vic: I think that's too aggressive of an expectation. Reggie Hayward should make a big difference, but I don't think the Jaguars have a big blitz guy, and that's what a team usually needs to get into the upper echelon of the sack totals. My expectation for the Jaguars' pass-rush is that it improve on its 16th-place finish last season and, possibly, move into the top 10.

Ben from Coventry, England:
You said you expect the Jaguars to go with five wide receivers. Which five do you believe this will be? Who gets cut and why?

Vic: They're probably not going to cut Matt Jones. I feel safe in saying that. Reggie Williams has gotten rave reviews this spring, so I think he has some security, too. All indications are Jimmy Smith is still playing at a high level. Ernest Wilford is someone the Jaguars like in the red zone. Troy Edwards has been outstanding in spring drills and Cortez Hankton has a lot of upside. Hmmm, this could be pretty tough. Good! That's the way it's supposed to be.

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