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Dawkins makes Jaguars better

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

Mark Parrish from Jacksonville:
I lost track of Sean Dawkins' career after (Indianapolis). I like that he wants to play with a throwing quarterback. Based on your knowledge of Dawkins, do you think he will enjoy a renewed career with Brunell passing to him? If Smith is back, will Coughlin really use him? If Smith is not back, is Dawkins the kind of receiver for our offense? What are Dawkins strengths and weaknesses? What is your overall assessment of him and his acquisition?

Vic: Sean Dawkins doesn't have to renew his career to help the Jaguars. What he did last year in Seattle, when he was the Seahawks' most reliable wide receiver with 63 receptions for 731 yards and five touchdowns, would be just fine. Without a doubt, the Jaguars' wide receiver corps got better with the acquisition of Dawkins. He's an accomplished player; not a star, but a dependable, durable and productive player. His worth is not at issue; his cost is. If the Jaguars weren't cap-strapped, the acquisition of Dawkins would be without risk, however, if he reaches his incentives and their $500,000 owed, the Jaguars will probably have to move that money onto their 2002 cap. Of course, we all know what that means. It's the only negative in this deal, but it's considerable

Gary Mitchem from Jacksonville:
If Quinn continues to develop in Europe, I would imagine there is going to be quite a shootout between he and Martin in the preseason for second place behind Mark. My questions is, what will happen to Martin if Quinn wins the second spot? In my opinion, Martin is too good to accept third place. Do you think he would be targeted by other teams in the league that would be interested in his talents?

Vic: A look at the numbers would suggest that unless something radically unforeseen happens, Jonathan Quinn and Jamie Martin will be on the Jaguars' roster this season, regardless of who is second and who is third. Quinn's salary for 2001 is $418,000; Martin's is $477,000. The fourth quarterback, Ted White, would make $298,000. That means White would only be a savings of $120,000 over Quinn, and $179,000 over Martin. Even for a cap-strapped team such as the Jaguars, those two savings are too minimal to cut a quarterback who has been with the team and knows the offensive system. Of course, White could change that with a super-impressive training camp performance, but I'm expecting the big issue at quarterback this summer to be the battle between Quinn and Martin for the second spot. It's unlikely either quarterback would command much in a trade.

David Wielgus from Orlando, FL:
The Jaguars were decimated by injuries early last year. One injury that I feel changed the course of our season was when Damon Jones went down. At the time, there was all this talk about a two-tight ends set, which would give teams a heavy dose of Fred Taylor. Of course, that was about the same time the offensive line fell apart. Do you like the two-tight ends scheme, and do you see the Jags utilizing it more this season?

Vic: The two-tight ends set the New York Giants popularized in the early 1990s is a great ball-possession formation. It adds an extra blocker without subtracting a receiver, provided both tight ends are capable pass-catchers. However, it's not a high-performance pass offense, and the fact remains that any wide receiver on your team should be able to run faster, jump higher, catch better and do more with the ball after he catches it than the best tight ends in the league. The two-tight ends set is a nice diversion that forces defenses to alter their personnel and, against teams that may not have adequate personnel to defense the two-tight ends set, it has the ability to dominate.

Mike Weidner from Atlanta, GA:
I'm a big Tony Brackens fan and believe he is probably one of the more underrated defensive ends in the league. I look for him to return to his 1999 form, and not just because of the addition of Marcus Stroud to the line. I think the holdout last summer hurt Tony's performance. Do you agree?

Vic: I don't think anyone would disagree with you. Of course, it didn't help his performance that the Jaguars defense as a whole played poorly and without key personnel. Brackens is a true play-maker. That's his value to the Jaguars and he must sack the quarterback, force fumbles, swat down passes and create havoc in the opposition's backfield. That's how Tony Brackens will be judged. If he does those things, he's a Pro-Bowler; if he doesn't, he's just a guy.

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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