Don't pay attention to rumors

Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Bryan from Paterson, NJ:
You continue to say the next three games will decide if the Jaguars have a chance at winning the division. What makes these three games so crucial as to the final four games the Jaguars and Colts have to play at the end of the season?

Vic: I believe these next 3-5 weeks of the season will determine whether or not the Jaguars have a chance to win the division because the same scheduling imbalance that favored the Colts and allowed them to take a two-game lead over the Jaguars through the first five weeks of the season now exists for the Jaguars in the next five weeks. The Jaguars play Houston twice and Tennessee once in the next five weeks. The Jaguars also play three times at home during that stretch. Meanwhile, the Colts host the Redskins, then play at Denver and at New England, home against Buffalo and at Dallas. That is likely to be the toughest stretch of schedule for the Colts this season. If the Jaguars are going to close the gap, it probably has to happen now.

Scott from Houghton, MI:
How about the Tigers?

Vic: How about Jim Leyland? He's one of the best guys in professional sports. Go Jimmy. Go Tigers.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
Any truth to the rumor Randy Moss may be coming to the Jaguars? Are the Jags even interested?

Vic: For everyone who bought into that ridiculous rumor, please remember whatever reporter or website started it. It was baseless. The Jaguars weren't interested and, obviously, neither was any other team; at least not interested enough to make a deal. Had you traded for him, you would've gotten a receiver in his ninth year who would've cost you almost $5 million in salary for the rest of this season. If you had traded for Moss, you would've been taking an enormous risk that his personality would've damaged your locker room. On the heels of the T.O. fiasco, you could've come away looking ridiculous. Moreover, Moss has a $9.75 salary for 2007 and $11.5 for '08, so almost certainly you would have to cut him during the offseason. The downside risk in trading for Moss was enormous. You would've been playing "Russian roulette" with your football team.

Barry from Jacksonville:
In reading your response to Scott from Jacksonville on the different names the Cardinals have played under you forgot to mention the season (I believe it was 1944) that they had to merge with the Steelers because of a loss of players to both teams to the military. I think this team was called Card-Pitt; same situation as the Steagles (1943) except for a one-year difference.

Vic: You're absolutely correct. NFL history is fascinating. In my opinion, the NFL hasn't done nearly as good a job of popularizing its history as baseball has done popularizing its.

Joel from Yulee, FL:
Would you say we are the Texans' McCoys but they are not necessarily our Hatfields?

Vic: Do I detect a little smugness?

Dan from Tempe, AZ:
Shouldn't Greg Jennings be mentioned in the rookie of the year race?

Vic: Not yet, though he could certainly push his way in. Jennings' 20 catches don't even rank him in the league's top 50. His 364 yards receiving, however, has him 20th in the league and he has scored three touchdowns. He's having a strong rookie season, but I don't think he's a top four guy, yet.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
Why on earth do they begin the Pro-Bowl balloting this early in the season? How can you possibly know who the best performers are until the season unfolds?

Vic: The league is using the Pro Bowl to promote fan interest and involvement. If it accomplishes that, at least the event will be worth something.

John from Chicago, IL:
I hate to be a nitpicker but it bothers me when the media (or anyone, for that matter) makes an untrue or misleading statement and holds it out to the public to be taken as fact. You mentioned that, along with Boston College and Penn State, Notre Dame has an "impressive" bowl record. Since 1995 they are 0-8 in bowl games.

Vic: When I said "impressive bowl record," I meant that Notre Dame has an impressive record of bowl appearances, which usually indicates on-the-field success. I appreciate your correction. The only point I was trying to make, however, is that those three schools have married success in the classroom with success on the field. I have no doubt they would each enjoy more success on the field if they dropped their academic standards, but each of them has been able to play with the big boys and still march to "Pomp and Circumstance."

John from St. Augustine, FL:
I had no idea the Arizona Cardinals were the oldest pro football franchise. What a shame. Is it mostly bad ownership that keeps franchises so bad for so long?

Vic: I'm sure those who have followed the Cardinals closely will blame the team's fate on the Bidwells, but I think there have been other circumstances that have affected the Cardinals negatively. They were the other team in Chicago and had to leave, so they went to St. Louis, which has always been a baseball town. That forced them to move to Phoenix, which didn't have a stadium capable of funding the team. Now the Cardinals have a stadium that allows them to compete, so now I think it's fair to point the finger at ownership. If the Cardinals don't change their ways, it'll be time to blame Bidwell.

Charlie from Toledo, OH:
I just wanted to hear your opinion on Larry Coker and if you think he will keep his job.

Vic: I'm not close enough to know what'll happen or offer an opinion on what should happen. I will tell you this: In my opinion, moving out of the Big East was a major mistake. Miami was in a conference with schools that had the same disadvantages and advantages Miami has: Private schools with limited athletic budgets and big-city schools that lack on-campus facilities but play in big markets that offer the kind of viewer ratings TV wants. Now Miami is in with big state schools with big facilities, big budgets and lots of room to grow. Miami took the money and ran. I think it was a mistake and I think Larry Coker knew it was a mistake. Don't blame Coker for that.

Tim from Springfield, PA:
When I do my personal power rankings, I account for what teams have done so far. Is your system the same, or is there more to it than that?

Vic: I ask myself, "who's better?" That's all.

David from Palm Coast, FL:
I have been a season ticket holder since the beginning. I was given the opportunity to go into the press box for the Colts game a couple of years ago. I was so excited leading up to the game. For all the people who keep asking if there is any cheering, there is not. Actually, it was by far the most boring way to watch a game I have ever experienced. I left after the first quarter and went to my seat in the end zone where the fans are. I did enjoy the hot dogs, though.

Vic: It's where people work. I don't understand why fans don't understand that. This is what I do for a living. I've played golf with a certain assistant coach, a guy who's been in the league for a long, long time, who gets angry if you talk about football while you're playing golf. Why? Because for him football is work and golf is supposed to be play time.

Josh from Las Vegas, NV:
Now that the deadline is over, how many "do you think the Jags will trade for Moss?" e-mails did you get? Was it as bad as T.O.?

Vic: It wasn't as bad as T.O. That's the good news. At least there would seem to be some learning curve. There were, however, a barrage of Moss e-mails, and that's the bad news, that fans continue to allow themselves to be worked into a frenzy by baseless and illogical reports, simply because the subject of those reports is a big-name player with a nefarious reputation.

Malosi from Valencia, CA:
Although Edgerrin James and the Arizona Cardinals lost to Chicago, I think that game speaks volumes about the theory of "it's not the quality but the quantity of rushes that matter." Despite Edge's horrendous per-carry average, the time of possession was staggering in favor of the Cardinals. Against any other defense, the Cardinals would've won going away.

Vic: If you're going to play the ball-control game, you can't turn the ball over and allow returns for touchdowns. That's the mistake the Jaguars made against the Colts. The Jaguars dominated the line of scrimmage and time of possession, but they threw two interceptions and they gave away 13 points on special teams.

Paul from Gainesville, FL:
Do you expect the acquisition of McFarland to be the answer to the Colts' run-defense issues? They gave up too much for him, in my opinion. He's not that young and they gave up a second-rounder.

Vic: Anthony McFarland will be 29 in December. He is in the eighth year of his career and is still pretty good against the run, but he's not the player he was when he was in his prime. McFarland is the Colts' new Corey Simon but McFarland cost the Colts a second-round pick, whereas Simon was a free-agent signing. I understand why the Colts made the trade. They could not win in the postseason without improving their run-defense. McFarland might make a major difference, but I am a strict big-picture guy and if I was a Bucs fan I would feel very good about my team today. At 1-4 and playing with a rookie quarterback, the Bucs see the big picture. They see that it's time to begin addressing the future and now they'll have an extra first-day pick and more salary cap room to spend on that future.

Ethan from Wampum, PA:
If you could pick any former Jaguars player in their prime to come back and play for the Jags for the rest of this season, who would it be?

Vic: Tony Brackens or Hardy Nickerson, because they played positions at which the Jaguars have lost major players for the season due to injury. By the way, your hometown is one of my all-time favorite town names. Do you know who was called the "Wampum Walloper?" Richie Allen.

Joshua from Orange Park, FL:
I've heard recent rumors about the Jaguars trading David Garrard and a draft pick to the Raiders for Randy Moss.

Vic: You should probably stop listening to rumors.

Xavier from El Paso, TX:
Every year I keep reading how the Colts and the Redskins are going to suffer because of their relentless spending and the consequences it will have on their salary cap. I am amazed at how these two teams can still have room to sign more veteran players in the position they are in. I think I speak for a lot of people when I ask, "How do they do it?"

Vic: They push it out, push it out, waaaay out.

John from Fort Smith, AR:
Arkansas people are not all as ignorant and rude as they are in some of the e-mails you post. Believe it or not, there are fans of the whole team and not just Matt Jones. I would hope people like this are not under your Arkansas question ban. So do you think you could lift the ban?

Vic: The ban is lifted.

Jonathan from Maumelle, AR:
Matt Jones is not contributing to the Jags the way most have hoped for this year. I'm disappointed that he has not been out on the field more. Have the decisions to hold him out of games been that of the coaching and training staff, or did Jones make the final call?

Vic: The decisions have been made by his groin and his hamstring.

Ernst from Jacksonville:
You act like you know everything in your column but you don't. The rule is called "in the GRASP." Why didn't an educated sportswriter know that?

Vic: I don't what to say. I feel so stupid. You sure put me in my place and I deserved it. I'm a humbler person today.

Eric from Columbus, IN:
I love your column. Now I'm going to try to stump the "Schwab" of football. Where were the Chicago Bears originally founded and what was their name?

Vic: They were the Decatur Staleys. On Sept. 17, 1920, George Halas, representing the Staleys, met with representatives of 11 other football clubs at Ralph Hay's Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio, forming the American Professional Football Association, which later became the NFL. Membership was set at $100. In the 1920 season, the Staleys shut out 10 of their 13 opponents. Each player was paid $1,900 for the season. Eric, those facts are right out of the Bears media guide. I have media guides for every team in the league dating back to 1995. When I sold my house to move here in '95, I had every media guide for every team in the league dating back to the mid-'70s. When a couple came to look at the house, I'd take them into the basement and their son would see the media guides and go "Wow!" I never let a kid leave the house without one whole year's worth of media guides. Moving is the best way to clean house.

Ryan from Los Angeles, CA:
Is the Colts trade of a second-round pick for McFarland another example of playing to win now and sacrificing the future?

Vic: Absolutely.

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