Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Keith from Miami, FL:
After reading about the new weight room, I gotta ask, why am I so excited about the new strength and conditioning program?
Vic: I was amazed at the reaction I received to the weight room story I did. Clearly, today's young sports fans have a greater interest in the conditioning part of football than my generation did. Why? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that players put their physiques on display much more readily than players did in the old days, so to speak. The jerseys are tailored to display the players' muscles and their menacing tattoos. Then there are those arm bands they wear that lend further definition. The truth is that conditioning has always been a big part of football, even in the old days. I hear people talk about training camp having been used to get in shape in the old days, but it's never been that way during my years covering the NFL. Yes, conditioning is more intense, scientific and sophisticated, but take a look at pictures of Gale Sayers and Jim Brown and tell me those guys weren't cut. Football players have to be strong and powerful to have any chance of success, but this is also a game of the heart and we should never lose sight of that. You have to have the courage it takes to play this game and you can't find that in the weight room.
Michael from Atlanta, GA:
With Stafford and Sanchez gone before the Jaguars pick at number eight, that leaves no incentive for teams to trade up. How can the Jaguars still retain their value here?
Vic: You look for the teams that have multiple draft picks in the first couple of rounds, you identify a player they want that fits where you're drafting but won't be available to them, and then you start dangling that player as you would a carrot to a rabbit. You have to tease them. Yeah, I agree with you that the eighth overall pick looks like it could be no-man's land and it would be fortuitous if the Jaguars could get out of that pick, move down, add picks and get more for less.
Chito from Eagle Pass, TX:
I know you've been asked before, but with Boldin recently saying in NFL.com that he would be grateful to play in Florida, will the Jags explore this option if the price is right?
Vic: So every time a player says he'd like to play in Florida, you accommodate him by trading away your future to the team that owns his rights and then spend recklessly to sign him, all because that would be nice for him? Hey, if the money is right in California, he'd like to play there, or Ohio or Pennsylvania or New York or anywhere else where the money is right. It's professional football and it's about the money.
Tim from Ithaca, NY:
If Sanchez or Stafford still remain when the Jaguars pick eighth, do you think there would be any chance of Denver packaging its two first-round picks to move up and take one?
Vic: If I was Denver and Matt Stafford was available, I'd think about it. If it was Mark Sanchez, I wouldn't consider it. I like Sanchez, but he didn't play enough football at USC to be worthy of two first-round picks.
Jordan from Cullowhee, NC:
You have a hunch we'll select Beanie Wells. Would the same be true if Michael Crabtree is there at number eight? Every source I've heard or read has said there's no way the Jags will pass on Crabtree. What's your hunch on that?
Vic: Crabtree would be a major temptation for the Jaguars, especially considering the Jaguars' desperate need for a centerpiece wide receiver and the fact that Crabtree would almost certainly be high on the Jaguars' board at the time. I would have to have a medical guarantee from my training staff that Crabtree is going to make a full recovery from foot surgery and that he'll be ready to play at full speed for the start of training camp. Then, when I had that guarantee, I'd pass on him because I just couldn't force myself to select in the top 10 a player who, on the day I draft him, can't run. I'm not sure what the Jaguars would do, but I'd have to believe the foot injury would be reason for great gnashing of teeth.
Steve from Lancaster, PA:
Do you ever get annoyed with all the PR baloney? For example, the New York Giants were going to stick by Burress and then, wham, he's released. I'm not blaming the Giants for cutting him, but I wish teams would keep their mouth shut or at least be more honest. I know, I'm asking too much, Vic.
Vic: Yeah, you are asking too much. This is an age of great media scrutiny. Everything teams do and say will be analyzed and criticized and, if possible, used against them. At all times, teams have to make sure they represent their best interests, and when you're in a title chase and you're asking your players to give their all for the uniform they wear, it's not in your best interests to throw one of their own overboard. I think you need to be able to look through the baloney and know that carrying a handgun into a nightclub and then shooting yourself in the leg isn't a good thing and, frankly speaking, is tough to "stick by."
John from Jacksonville:
You mentioned that you believe Jacksonville ought to draft Beanie Wells. Does that imply that you do not believe Maurice Jones-Drew can carry the load? That selection in my opinion would not be a good vote of confidence in Greg Jones' and MJD's abilities to be our principal backs. And besides, don't we have more pressing needs?
Vic: I didn't say the Jaguars should draft Beanie Wells. I was asked who I thought the Jaguars would draft and I said I was leaning toward Wells. Be that as it may, I think Wells is a big-time talent and I think the Jaguars have that same belief. As for Jones-Drew, Jones and more pressing needs, you must be new to the column because if you were a veteran of the column you'd know that I don't believe in considering needs when you draft. I believe in collecting the best talent available and, at pick eight, Wells might be the best available. It's not as though I don't have reservations about him. He hasn't been durable or always dominant, but he may be the player who offers the most upside at pick eight.
Rob from St. Augustine, FL:
On "SI.com," former Redskins lineman Ross Tucker called the Jaguars short-sighted and stupid for even contemplating drafting a quarterback, being that we signed Garrard to a big deal and are now looking for a QB after one down year. That is not the case. I wrote back what you said. What if he's the real deal? You don't pass on him and let someone else take him. What if Garrard's hurt? What's wrong with having two good QBs and developing a young guy? What if that 2007 year was a fluke? Then I told him about us drafting Reggie Williams over Roethlisberger because we didn't need a QB. Hopefully, he's man enough to post my comment and apologize for calling Jacksonville stupid. He's the short-sighted one.
Vic: Was drafting Fred Taylor in 1998 short-sighted and stupid? The Jaguars had James Stewart and Stewart started the '98 season with consecutive 100-yard games. Taylor was on the bench and got only seven rushing attempts in those first two games. Stewart was the man and there were murmurs that Taylor was a disappointment and that it was a mistake drafting him because the Jaguars didn't need him. Then, in the first quarter of the third game, Stewart blew out his knee and was lost for the season. Into the game came Taylor, who quickly began his assault on the rookie record book and stands today as arguably the greatest player in Jaguars history. Clearly, it was not a mistake to draft a player the Jaguars appeared not to need. In my opinion, you have to be clairvoyant to accurately draft for need. You have to be able to look into the future and see injuries and declining performances. I acknowledge that it's a little different in drafting quarterbacks because of the dent they make in a team's financial structure, and that teams with quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have to draft a little differently at the position, but even for those teams I think it's important to at least recoup the value of the pick when a top quarterback prospect falls into their laps. In my opinion, the draft is all about value, not need.