Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Could Fisher have challenged the Matt Jones touchdown, being that it was an illegal forward pass?
Vic: I got several e-mails from fans who contend Byron Leftwich was clearly past the line of scrimmage when he threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Matt Jones. So, I called the league office this morning and spoke to Dean Blandino in Director of Officials Mike Pereira's office. The first thing I have to do is flag myself for having provided bad information last week when I said penalties are not subject to review. That information is not correct. Almost all penalties are not subject to review, but four are: 1. ) too many men on the field at the snap of the ball; 2.) illegal touching of a pass by an ineligible receiver; 3.) illegal touching of a kick by a player who went out of bounds; and 4.) illegal forward pass. The Leftwich touchdown pass to Jones, of course, would fall into the illegal forward pass category. Why didn't Tennessee challenge? I don't know. I'm guessing they didn't get a good look at it on replay, although it would seem fans watching the game on TV got a good look.
Jason from Jacksonville:
I would like to know who your top three draft picks would be for the 2006 NFL draft. Mine are Vince Young, Matt Leinart and A.J Hawk.
Vic: I think it's consensus of opinion that Matt Leinart will be the top pick of the draft but Vince Young isn't going to be that easy of a decision. My understanding is that NFL scouts are starting to take Young seriously as a quarterback prospect. He's improved his passing skills significantly and when you stir in his running ability and consider the impact Michael Vick has had, Young is worthy of study as a potential quarterback. That's what I'm getting from the scouts. If you're asking me what my opinion is, I'll tell you that I don't think Young has the skills to play quarterback on the NFL level. He's a touch passer only and he flips his passes as though he has a sore arm. If you're going to take him, you're looking at a massive project for reconstructing his throwing motion and I'm not interested in investing a high pick in a player who has to be rebuilt. That's just my opinion.
Steve from El Dorado, AR:
You said in Friday's editorial that the Jags have never had a pounder like Greg Jones. What about Means and Mack? Were they not considered pounders?
Vic: Stacey Mack was not a pounder. He wasn't a pads-down guy; he was a high-cut slasher whose power was in his hips. Natrone Means was very definitely a pounder but his career in Jacksonville was very short. His impact on the Jaguars was limited to two games, though they were big games; the 1996 playoff wins in Buffalo and Denver.
Rob from Richmond, VA:
The three stars on the Tennessee flag are representative of Eastern (Chattanooga), Middle (Nashville) and Western (Memphis) Tennessee.
Vic: Thanks for clearing that up it. So it has nothing to do with the number of times Vanderbilt has beaten Tennessee, huh?
Cary from Montreal, Quebec:
Yes, Robert Edwards did blow his knee out really bad but it did not end his career. He is playing up here in the CFL for the Montreal Allouettes and has had a great season. He rushed for just under 1,200 yards on a team whose quarterback threw for over 5,500 yards. He has not shown any signs of his former injury and I think he will be able to get back into the NFL in a year or so. John Avery is also in the CFL, in Toronto, but he is having serious injury problems.
Vic: And thank you for that information.
Luke from Jeffersonville, IN:
I would just like to make the comparison of Kevin Mack to Fred Taylor. I just wondered if you agree.
Vic: They couldn't be more opposite in their running styles. Kevin Mack was a brutish pounder. He was the consummate big back. Safeties knew they had to go low on him but they feared catching one of Mack's knees to the head. There was very little wiggle in Mack's game. He was all pounder; the classic four yards and a trail of blood guy. Fred Taylor, of course, is known for his long runs and dazzling cutbacks.
Zach from Boston, MA:
How long do you think it will be before the Titans are over their salary cap problems?
Vic: Depending on what they do with Steve McNair and Brad Hopkins, the Titans will go from $31 million in "dead money" this year – that's the highest in the league – to about $20 million in "dead money" in 2006. That would include about $12 million for McNair and about $6 million for Hopkins, both of whom I'm guessing will not be retained. The Titans will achieve salary cap repair next year but still won't be able to spend any money in free agency. They have one more year of austerity ahead of them. The downside, of course, is that salary cap repair results in roster reconstruction. Major cap problems can be fixed but not without major roster sacrifices. That's the issue now confronting the Titans; roster reconstruction. Of course, everyone will immediately have more cap room if owners and players achieve a Collective Bargaining Agreement extension.
Vince from Jacksonville:
Why is the offense always sluggish during the first part of the game?
Vic: The reason it was sluggish against the Titans was that the Titans caught the Jaguars a little off guard with a defensive game plan that loaded the line of scrimmage with defenders shooting the gaps to stop the run and sack Byron Leftwich. It was the ultimate attack strategy involving something defensive coordinators call "Cover Zero" and "Cover One." In "Cover Zero," the cornerbacks are in man to man coverage with no safety help; you're sending the house to get the quarterback. In "Cover One," there is only a single-high safety. The Titans played "Zero" and "One" the whole game and once the Jaguars made the necessary adjustments to it, they torched it. The Jaguars loaded the field with receivers and spread their formation, forcing the Titans to replace pass-rushers with pass-defenders and the Titans just didn't have the coverage personnel to match up to that adjustment. Frankly, I was surprised the Titans employed that defensive strategy. I would've thought the Titans would've loved the idea of a slower-tempo, low-scoring game; more of a bend-but-don't-break strategy intended to test the Jaguars' patience. The Titans just couldn't match up in the secondary. They had to know that.
Howard from Homestead, FL:
Based on Fisher's game plan, is it safe to say he really didn't think much of Byron prior to yesterday's game?
Vic: That would seem to be the message.
Jason from Jacksonville:
Do you think with the Jaguars being 7-3 and being atop the wild-card race that they will finally receive some attention on national sports talk shows? I'm getting really tired of this team getting ignored.
Vic: You're not going to earn "elite team" status by beating Houston, Baltimore and Tennessee. We all know what it's going to take; a win over Indianapolis on Dec. 11. Please, let's stop with the Rodney Dangerfield routine and wait for the next chance to win a game worthy of attention. Then, when it comes, win.
Ben from Jacksonville:
I was not a big Leftwich fan in the beginning but after seeing his toughness and ability to lead this football team yesterday he sure has my backing now. Do you think the Leftwich bashers will finally accept him as a good, young NFL quarterback?
Vic: I only got one anti-Leftwich e-mail following Sunday's game. It was from a guy in Arkansas who complained about Byron throwing the ball too much to Jimmy Smith. I have no doubt the Byron bashers will be back in full force the next time he doesn't play especially well, but recent performances have clearly sent them underground for now.
Carl from Jacksonville:
I just wanted to point out to you that despite the sluggish start to the game, the Tennessee fans that were there still did not boo their team. Maybe some of these so-called Jaguars fans should take note.
Vic: You're right. I didn't even notice but, come to think of it, they didn't boo and I'm kind of shocked. At one point in the first half Billy Volek was warming up and it appeared as though Jeff Fisher was poised to make a change at quarterback, but there were no boos urging him to do so. Your e-mail gives me an opportunity to say something to the fans in Nashville: You are very hospitable people. I've never gone to Nashville that I haven't been met by warm and friendly people. It's a good town with good people and a first-class stadium. I like going there to cover a football game.
Matt from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Tom Moore, Colts offensive coordinator, has done a great job for a number of years but does not seem to get the recognition that Martz, Shanahan, Holmgren, Walsh, Coryell, etc. have received. What's your opinion of Tom?
Vic: I disagree with you. I think Tom Moore is one of the most celebrated offensive coordinators in league history. He's the dean of the offensive gurus right now. I've known Tom since 1977 and I consider him to be a friend and a man at the top of my all-time assistant coaches rankings. I'll give you a favorite Tom Moore story of mine: When he was Chuck Noll's offensive coordinator, Noll asked Moore if he could install a high-tempo offense as an experiment for a meaningless final game of the season. At the time, the Chargers and 49ers were racing up and down the field and Noll asked Moore, "Can you give me one of those offenses?" Moore said he could and he put together a game plan that had the Steelers racing up and down the field. Unfortunately, so was the other team, which happened to be the Chargers. Noll related the story to a few of us in the lunch room a couple of days after the game and we asked him what he thought of the up-tempo attack. "Never again," Noll said. I remember telling Tom of Noll's comment and Tom got a big laugh out of it.