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Coughlin perfect fit for these Jaguars

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

Mark Parrish from Jacksonville:
I enjoy your analysis. I guess I would be a "glass-is-half-full" man. I am of the opinion that their current roster, filled with eager rookies and hungry "no names," could be the ideal coaching environment for Coughlin. His dictatorial style, married with those eager to please and make a name for themselves, can help win some ballgames, ala 1996. I know other teams have the same types, but do they have a Coughlin?

Vic: Tom Coughlin is a thoroughly unique coaching personality. His energy for coaching and his obsession for thoroughness never waver. If any coach is perfect for what the Jaguars are facing, which is to say a rebuilding process, Coughlin is that coach. Does any other team have a Coughlin? The Lions came close with Bobby Ross, and in his younger days Dick Vermeil was very similar, but I can't think of any current coaches in the league who are cut from the Coughlin cloth.

Brian White from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Will the upcoming suspension of R. Jay Soward be enforced in the first four preseason games, or would it be the first four regular season games? When will the Jaguars or the NFL announce this information? Thanks and keep up the great work.

Vic: I don't know when the league is going to make it official, but Soward will be suspended without pay for the first four regular season games of the 2001 season. The Jaguars have already been granted $144,117.65 of salary cap relief. That figure is four-seventeenths of Soward's 2001 salary.

John Andreoli from Orange Park, FL:
I know this is looking way down the road, but with all of the possible losses to free agency this year, will the Jaguars pick up large numbers of compensatory picks for next year, which would lend a helping hand to your "jars on the shelf" theory, and help with the salary cap, too?

Vic: Unfortunately, John, most of the Jaguars' personnel losses will not apply toward compensation. For example, when the Jaguars cut Leon Searcy, Brenden Stai, Brant Boyer, Joel Smeenge and Reggie Barlow prior to the start of the new league season on March 1, they surrendered the rights to those players and, in the process, compensation. For a team to receive compensation for losing a player in free agency, the team must have owned the rights to that player when he signed with another team in free agency. The losses of Mike Logan, Todd Fordham and Bryan Barker will return draft compensation to the Jaguars, and Daimon Shelton would, too, provided he signs with another team by June 1. If he signs with another team after June 1, he would not be included in a compensation package. Ben Coleman is an example of that.

Dave Armbruster from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
With Jimmy Smith potentially out for some period of time, when do you make the move to sign Charles Johnson or a veteran player (before the competition does)? Do you cut Hardy or will the Jaguars get possible cap relief from Smith/Soward unable to perform? Do you think Hardy will negotiate, or is that out of the question. Keep up the good work.

Vic: In my opinion, it's too early to push any panic buttons about Jimmy Smith. The Jaguars are unable to spend anything more than minimum wage on a player, and Charles Johnson is likely to cost more than minimum wage. A less-expensive option will probably present itself this summer, as teams massage their rosters and salary caps. The cap relief on Soward has already been received and figured in. The Jaguars would get no cap relief for Smith, unless he is put on the "reserve/non-football injury" list, which would end his season. Even at that, the relief would only be $500,000, which is Smith's salary in 2001. There is no need to make that kind of decision on Smith now. The Kevin Hardy situation is another matter. Something needs to be done there. Trading or cutting Hardy would result in a $2.2 million (Hardy's salary) cap savings for the Jaguars, and they desperately need the cap room.
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.

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