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Easier to deal with noise

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

Will from Jacksonville:
A co-worker of mine asked me this question and I didn't really have an answer. Since the home team of the Super Bowl usually alternates between AFC and NFC (with next year's Super Bowl being the NFC home team), if the Jaguars won to make it to the Super Bowl, even though playing in Jacksonville they'd still be the visiting team? And as such, would they be forced to use the visiting team's locker room?

Vic: Yes to both.

Jon from Jacksonville:
Do you remember there was a time not too long ago when the home team would actually get a warning, or even penalized for the fans being too loud? Is that something that was changed, or just not enforced anymore?

Vic: The league found it was easier to ask 11 players to deal with the noise, than it was to get 60,000 people to stop making noise.

Kelly from Santa Rosa, CA:
You're doing a great job of making the offseason not so long and cold. With the recent interest in David Garrard by other teams, who would step in behind Leftwich should Garrard be traded? And would you trade him away, if the price was right?

Vic: If the price is right, yes, the Jaguars should and probably would consider trading David Garrard. And if that happened, they'd have to sign a journeyman quarterback to back up Byron Leftwich.

Dave from Saint Marys, GA:
Thanks for the column, as always. How many questions did you get regarding the Super Bowl halftime show that you didn't answer?

Vic: I got as many questions about the halftime show as I did about the game. I answered one, and my answer was the absolute truth: I turned to ESPN Classic at halftime, so I didn't see Janet Jackson's exhibition, but I understand what happened. Now here's a question for you: What do you think is going to happen to the TV ratings for next year's Super Bowl halftime show? Do you think they might spike a little?

Mike from Burbank, CA:
What were the highest and lowest-scoring Super Bowls?

Vic: The highest is Super Bowl XXIX, won by San Francisco, 49-26, over San Diego. The lowest is Super Bowl VII, won by Miami, 14-7, over Washington.

Neil from Plantation, FL:
What do you think of Dan Marino's decision to leave the Dolphins?

Vic: I didn't understand his decision to join the Dolphins. Managing a professional football team is serious business. Just because you can quarterback one doesn't mean you can manage one.

Jim from Ridgecrest, CA:
Vic, I was reading an article on the internet by Pete Prisco, and he wrote that "it might not be a good year to be a high-priced free agent." Looking back at the Super Bowl winners since free agency started, how many of them were built with free-agency players and how many were more home-grown, like the Patriots?

Vic: Free agency began in 1993, but it really didn't begin having a major impact until Jacksonville and Carolina joined the league in 1995. Let's look at the quarterback position: Dallas won with Troy Aikman, Green Bay with Brett Favre and Denver with John Elway; all home-grown players. Then, in 1999, we get our first radical change at the quarterback position, when an Arena Football League refugee named Kurt Warner comes out of nowhere. He was followed by Trent Dilfer, Tom Brady, Brad Johnson and Brady again. Only Brady is a home-grown player. St. Louis won with Marshall Faulk as its star, and Faulk came in a trade that was salary cap motivated. Baltimore won with a lot of home-grown stars, but clearly would not have made it to the big game without free agents such as Sam Adams, Tony Siragusa, Shannon Sharpe, Rod Woodson, Dilfer, etc. New England and Tampa are clearly home-grown teams, but they each did some major work in free agency by having acquired players such as Mike Vrabel and Simeon Rice. Baltimore would seem to be the best example of a team that relied on free agents, and I agree with Pete that free agency may dry up a little.

Michael from Jacksonville:
The Patriots seem to have the winning formula with respect to managing the cap and building a champion. As teams around the league duplicate that philosophy, do you see a trend toward lower player salaries overall? What happens to the Peyton Mannings of the league when there are more Tom Bradys ready to be discovered?

Vic: I wrote a column a couple of weeks ago: "When will teams learn?" Maybe this is the year. Tom Brady and Jake Delhomme represented a combined salary cap hit of $5.1 million, which is a third of Peyton Manning's 2003 cap hit. What I do see is a trend of teams not willing to mortgage as much of their future salary caps for the sake of winning now. At that, there would seem to be a much greater sense of responsibility. Just look at the way contracts are structured. In most cases, the team has built in an escape route.

David from Port Orange, FL:
Hey, Vic, I definitely agree with you that John Fox made a panic move when he went for those two-point conversions. I want to be an offensive coordinator in the NFL someday soon, and I firmly believe DeShaun Foster would've had a tremendous impact by stretching the New England defense and giving Stephen Davis running room. What was more of a key in your opinion, the two failed two-point conversions or DeShaun Foster not getting the ball enough?

Vic: The key was the collapse of the Carolina defense. When the Jaguars went to Charlotte for the season-opener, the local newspaper was comparing the Panthers defense to the "Steel Curtain." Gimme a break. They got hammered. All they had to do was stop New England one time and they couldn't do it.

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