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Enough with the expectations

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

Steve from Neptune Beach, FL:
Do you know of any instances where a college quarterback has ever been able to significantly transform his throwing motion to one that is suitable to the pro game?

Vic: No, I don't. I've covered two such quarterbacks, Mark Malone and Byron Leftwich. A throwing motion is a natural act that is the result of a player's physiology. I think a passer's footwork can be improved, though it often is the result of what he does with his arm and you're just not going to significantly alter that motion.

Chris from Glen Lyon, PA:
Any chance we can get your Super Bowl picks now that the field is set? And just for comparison (I don't remember who you picked, so hopefully you did well and it won't look like I'm throwing it in your face), who did you pick before the season?

Vic: I don't know which teams I picked or even if I did pick, but if I did pick two teams, those teams were probably New England and Philadelphia. If somebody knows different, please correct me. Let's do this round by round, OK? This week, I'm picking the Jets over the Bengals, the Cowboys over the Eagles, the Patriots over the Ravens and the Packers over the Cardinals.

Sascha from Cologne, Germany:
You say we need big men in the draft, but what about a LB? Is it a premium position? I think it means something that in the last 10 years nine defensive rookies of the year were LBs. Any thoughts?

Vic: You've just explained why linebacker is not a premium position. They are, obviously, not at a premium.

Brian from Jacksonville:
In your opinion, what is your take on the reason we lost five of the last six games?

Vic: The schedule stiffened. Going into the season, we all knew the schedule was front and back-loaded and soft in the middle. The Jaguars lost their first two and last four. We were right.

Wally from Jacksonville:
Roger Goodell said the competition committee will look into the Colts case. Is it just me or is there a blatant conflict of interest here?

Vic: Let's see what the competition committee, of which Bill Polian is a member, decides. This could get interesting.

Todd from Jacksonville:
In what rounds do we still hold draft picks?

Vic: The Jaguars have one pick in each of rounds one, three, four, five and six. General Manager Gene Smith said on "Jaguars Monday" that he expects to receive a compensatory draft pick.

Alan from Jacksonville:
I see we have signed three guys to contracts. As the season is over, I can't imagine the team would be training anymore, so why do this?

Vic: They're designated as "reserve/future" contracts and they go into effect on March 5, the first day of the league calendar year. On that day, active rosters are expanded from 53 to 80. Until then, teams may sign players in the "reserve/future" category until the team reaches 80 players under contract. The practice squad goes away one week after the last regular season game. Currently, the Jaguars have 53 players on the active roster and 11 on injured reserve, which means the Jaguars may sign 16 players in the "reserve/future" category.

John from Melbourne, FL:
When will the Jags fire the defensive staff and the offensive line coach?

Vic: I'd love to arrange a meeting between those coaches and people such as yourself, who've turned the hiring and firing of coaches into some kind of little game you use to entertain yourself. What you'd find out is how skilled these men are at their craft. They would humble you with their knowledge, to the point you would be unable to even converse with them. It's a shame what's happening to football fans. They've lost control of their emotions and have completely given way to frustration. The daily rants and raves I receive in my inbox are embarrassing.

Lee from Stuart, FL:
Playoffs? What playoffs? How can they possibly think playoffs next year in the AFC South? Titans and Texans are on the rise and while the Colts may be on the decline, they still are way better than the Jags. Agree?

Vic: So what is it you want him to say? If he says the expectation is to miss the playoffs, you complain. If he says the expectation is to make the playoffs, you say it can't be done. Well, if it can't be done, then you must be satisfied with the way things are, so what's the problem?

Andrew from Casselberry, FL:
I am a life-long fan of the University of Illinois football program. We are typically happy with an eight-win season with a bowl appearance. Once or twice a decade, we win the Big 10 and go to a BCS Bowl. My question: Even with Indy in our conference, should we see it that way for the Jags? Make the playoffs, win the conference once or twice a decade and maybe we get to the big game? Is that reasonable to expect as a fan?

Vic: You know what I think we all need to do? I think we need to cease with having expectations because it's creating anxiety in people they can't handle. Hey, it's Jan. 6. We're only three days into the offseason. We have basketball season, golf season, baseball season and vacation season between now and the start of next football season. Let's all take a deep breath, blow it out and think of more calming ways to discuss football without worrying about what the next decade will hold for the Jaguars.

R.J. from Jacksonville:
Last year at the scouting combine, you gave us a very detailed look into the minds of the coaches and Gene Smith. Can we expect the same this year, or was that a one-time thing?

Vic: The plan is to do it again.

Brett from Jacksonville:
Thank you for the Tommy Lasorda reference. I haven't laughed that hard in awhile but, seriously, what do you think of Chris Johnson?

Vic: The guy runs for 2,000 yards and you wanna know what the bleep I think of Chris bleeping Johnson. Bleep.

John from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I think it's inane to take any pride in not having a pass-interference penalty for the season. I think that it is a result of too much cushion given the receivers and an absence of aggressive play by the pass-defenders. Is it a valid point?

Vic: Sure, everybody needs to have more pass-interference penalties.

Kai from San Diego, CA:
When evaluating a quarterback, how much do you value intangibles, such as decision-making ability and work ethics, vs. being able to make every throw? What separates Brady from Cutler?

Vic: You start with being able to make every throw. If a prospect can do that, then you evaluate his intangibles. If he can't make every throw, he's not going to be much of a prospect so I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time investigating his intangibles. It's real simple: A quarterback either has the ability to make all the throws or NFL defensive coordinators will force him to make the throws he can't. I don't know what separates Brady from Cutler, but it's not their ability to make all the throws. They each can.

John from Baxter, MN:
I have read reports saying the two teams most likely to be pursued by Los Angeles are the Bills and Jaguars. I was working in Jacksonville when we got the Jags and the thought of them leaving town just kills me. I know a full stadium would fix the situation but, in lieu of that, does Wayne Weaver have any say in the matter, or will it be decided by the NFL?

Vic: Wayne Weaver owns the team, controls its movement and has said repeatedly the team is not for sale. Yes, a full stadium would fix the situation.

David from Merritt Island, FL:
The worst thing about the Jags loss on Sunday was that the Steelers won't be in town next year.

Vic: That would've guaranteed at least one sellout.

Lou from Jacksonville:
I really enjoyed your Monday night show this year, especially when you had Gene Smith as a guest. I found it interesting that he said the Jaguars were much closer than many think to being a strong team. Personally, I agree with him. If he can draft a defensive playmaker who can rush the passer consistently, I believe this team can meet Smith's high expectations, due to a strong core of young, ascending players. What are your thoughts on this?

Vic: I, too, was struck by that remark and glad to hear him say it. One dynamic player can change any team. Look at what Chris Johnson did for Tennessee in 2008. If the Jaguars were to find that kind of difference-maker in the offseason, it could happen to them, too. What the Jaguars need to find is another Tony Brackens. If they could find a pass-rusher that could burst onto the scene as Brackens did in 1996, everything would start to look better. It's important to remember, however, that we took that same approach to the 2008 offseason, didn't we? I prefer something else Smith said on the radio show: his base-hit philosophy. Just keep getting base hits and maybe, just maybe, you'll hit one out of the park without even trying.

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