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Cornerbacks need a pass-rush

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

Karen from Bushnell, FL:
I heard the Jaguars had a football kids camp. We are foster parents of a very nice 14-year-old who has had a lot of tough breaks. He loves football and we are looking for a pro camp to send him to during the summer for about two weeks. Would you have this information or know where I could ask?

Vic: The Jaguars do not sponsor a football camp, but Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell still conduct their football camp at Jacksonville University in June. Ads will appear in the Times-Union and in Jaguars Inside Report in the spring. Donovin Darius conducts a football camp at Raines High School in June. He begins advertising in late spring. Those are the two local football camps sponsored by Jaguars players.

Brian from Jacksonville:
If the Jaguars do not sell out the Sunday night game against Tampa Bay, can it be blacked out and, also, if a Monday night game is not sold out can it be blacked out?

Vic: First of all, there are enough tickets sold for the Tampa game that it will be televised. But what if enough tickets weren't sold to eclipse the blackout number? Then it would be blacked out in the local market. The same goes for Monday night games.

Jorge from Orlando, FL:
I was wondering how you felt about the play of Mathis the past couple of weeks at corner. It really seemed they were picking on Fernando Bryant all day Sunday.

Vic: Rashean Mathis appears to have settled in at cornerback. I don't think there's any doubt he's the future at one of the two cornerback positions, and I think his performance has been outstanding. I like him much better at corner than at safety. As far as Fernando Bryant is concerned, I'd like to see the Jaguars re-sign him. Let's not forget he's playing on a team that's 30th in the league in sacks per pass play. Do you know of any Pro-Bowl cornerbacks on teams without a pass-rush?

Clay from Jacksonville:
Love your column; it's always a pleasure when a new one posts. Can you please do a little research for me. How many top 10 draft picks have the Bengals had in the last five years? Would you please explain to the Jaguars fans that this has a lot to do with their current success. It's not just the new coaching. Or possibly you feel differently than I do.

Vic: The answer to your question is obvious: The Bengals have had five top 10 picks in the last five drafts. They are Akili Smith (3) in 1999, Peter Warrick (4) in 2000, Justin Smith (4) in 2001, Levi Jones (10) in 2002 and Carson Palmer (1) in 2003. But it's not just about top 10 picks. It's about being at the top of every round of the draft, and being at the top of the waiver claims process, and having room on their salary cap. And it's also about new coaching. The same situation has existed in Cincinnati for years. Now, all of a sudden, they're winning. What's changed? Obviously, it's the coach. Finally, they have the right guy.

John from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Is it better to have your punter or backup QB hold for PATs and field goals? I know punters are funnier to watch when the play goes awry, but from a being-able-to-make-something-happen perspective, why don't more teams use their backup QBs?

Vic: NFL preparation is about efficiency. Having a punter who can do the holding is preferable because the punter and the kicker spend all of their practice time together while the offense and defense are on a separate field doing their thing. To make a quarterback the holder is to take him out of your offensive preparation for a period of time every day. The idea is to not have to make something happen.

Jack from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Great column; entertaining and educational; definitely helps while maintaining patience. I do agree with you about having patience. I wish more fans would take your advice and just enjoy watching something great being built from the ground up. This team is improving every week, and better days are not far away (sooner than most think). My question is concerning instant replay: Does the official see the same camera shots we see on TV, and does he have the ability to see the replay in slow motion? Yes, my question was generated by the Jimmy Smith non-catch.

Vic: By and large, the officials see the same TV shots we see. They have the ability to slow them down, stop them, back them up, etc. What's most important to know is that specific officiating crews have track records for reversing or not reversing calls. Some referees are more likely to reverse a call than others. I can think of one referee who is so preceded by his reputation for not reversing calls that most coaches don't even bother challenging. How do you take the human element out of the equation? You don't.

Stormy from Jackson, TN:
Since you said the win in Denver was your choice of the ones listed, it seems like you were hinting that your greatest Jaguars moment was not one of the choices? If so, what is your moment? My guess would be that it was one of the wins over the Steelers.

Vic: No, the playoff win in Denver, in my opinion, is clearly the defining "moment" of this franchise's early history, and make no mistake, we are still in early history. But I am very surprised the Chris Hudson touchdown return of the blocked field goal attempt against the Steelers on Monday Night Football in 1997 was omitted from the list.

Mike from Patrick Air Force Base, FL:
Is there any possible way you can explain why Fred Taylor was not in for those four critical plays during the most important part of the game with everything on the line at Tennessee? Even the announcers could not believe Fu was in and Taylor was on the sideline.

Vic: Mike, if you had read my game-story account you would know Fred Taylor was not in the game because he was injured. It happened in the third quarter and Taylor began losing playing time long before the final drive. It's all in the game story, Mike.

Andrew from Leesburg, VA:
All right, Vic, what is your outlook on the rest of the season? I think the rest of the schedule is winable, except for the potentially cold day in Boston.

Vic: What? The Jaguars can't play in the cold? Please don't tell me you'll accept that. I can't even bear to hear it.

Kelly from Jacksonville:
Vic, I'm curious to get your thoughts on how you would compare the job Del Rio is doing vs. the job Marvin Lewis is doing with the Bengals. Are the extra wins the Bengals have due to Lewis being a better coach, differences in talent, ease of schedule, etc.? Looking forward to your thoughts.

Vic: Well, it's not ease of schedule because the Bengals just beat the best team in the league. In my opinion, the Bengals are 5-5 because, as I stated above, they finally have a coach who knows how to use the talent available to him. The Bengals have talent. As Dick Vermeil said, they should have talent because they've been picking at the top of the draft for years. In Jack Del Rio's case, he took over a team in the process of rebuilding.

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