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Fair and balanced

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

Hasso from Jacksonville:
I just saw the short list of players the Jaguars might be interested in and I didn't see Thomas Howard. He could meet need and value at 28 and, according to you, the Jaguars really like him. Why is his name not on the list?

Vic: You're absolutely right, he should be on the short list. I had his name on paper and then I forgot to put him in with the others. The short list of players should include Thomas Howard of UTEP, an undersized linebacker who has top speed and the potential to be the disruptive force the Jaguars want at weakside linebacker. I've also heard the Bengals are interested in drafting Howard as a strong safety.

Tom from Melbourne, FL:
Tough schedule; we'll have to win early and often. What are your thoughts?

Vic: Difficult opening stretches of schedule have become common for the Jaguars. The difference between previous years' schedules and this year's schedule is that the second half of this year's schedule doesn't let up. This schedule really doesn't require much analysis. It's balanced from beginning to end and the Jaguars won't be able to slump for any period of time and get away with it. It's also a fair schedule. Yeah, it's fair and balanced, and that really is the truth. It doesn't send the Jaguars to the west coast five times or make the Jaguars fly through the night at any time. This is a schedule that will distinguish the Jaguars if they master it, but won't beat the team up with late-night flights or too many prime-time starts.

Gamble from Charleston, SC:
You say Don Hutson is the greatest Packer, but I was also wondering who you think was the greatest Packer defender? Nitschke? Reggie White? Other?

Vic: I would say it's Herb Adderley. Ray Nitschke and Reggie White are solid nominations, but White spent his best years in Philadelphia and Adderley, in my opinion, was a better player than Nitschke.

Jeff from Erie PA:
You said you expected the Jaguars to have two home Monday night games. Now that the schedule is out and the Jags, in fact, have two home Monday night games, unless you had some inside information how could you have expected that?

Vic: I had very inside information. The schedule was to be announced at 2 p.m. I wanted to give "Ask Vic" readers a little reward for their loyalty.

Beth from Orange Park, FL:
I am very excited about the two Monday night games but a part of me still sees all those ugly mustard yellow towels from two years ago. Should I be worried about a recurring nightmare?

Vic: Let's understand this: Those ugly yellow towels were there because Jaguars fans weren't. I know that's going to anger a lot of fans but it's the truth. Those towels can't buy what isn't for sale, right?

Mr. Brandt from Jacksonville:
Listen, dude, I've seriously asked you about 1,000 questions on this stupid "Ask Vic" thing. You never answer me! If you don't give me an answer, I promise you I will write you again. Peace.

Vic: Peace to you, too, Mr. Brandt.

Brandon from Malabar, FL:
I am excited to see that we got two home Monday night games. After looking at the schedule, the first four games and the last six games are going to be really difficult. What do you think our record will be and do you think that 10-6 will get us into the playoffs this year?

Vic: I think 10-6 will win the division. My expectation, therefore, has to be for the Jaguars to win 10 or more games because I expect the Jaguars to be a division title contender.

Howard from Homestead:
Are you surprised that a 12-4 record doesn't get us any Sunday night games?

Vic: I was hoping the Jaguars would get a Tuesday morning game.

Chris from Ormond Beach, FL:
Looks like we'll find out fast if the Jags are one of the elite teams. Having to play Pittsburgh on Monday night and then travel to Indy on the short week could be pretty brutal.

Vic: That'll be challenging but not brutal. Elite teams play prime-time games. That's what everybody wanted and that's what the Jaguars got. Now, before we go any further, I want to nip this "elite team" thing in the bud. We're not gonna do that elite team begging thing again this year. There's no need to do it. This is a schedule that will earn you everything you want. You don't have to beg for respect. Just win, baby, win.

Gamble from Charleston, SC:
I'd like to know what you think of Bart Starr. Any favorite Bart moments, Vic?

Vic: I like the one where he scored a touchdown on a quarterback sneak in that game that got guys' fingers, toes and ear lobes cut off. That was a "cool" moment. I mean, it's not like seeing T.O. celebrate a touchdown or Ray Lewis act like somebody dropped a mouse down the back of his shirt, but it was something you might remember.

Daniel from Jacksonville:
It's a shame more people do not remember the players of old because sports have been such a large part of American culture. I wish our public schools would adopt sports history classes so the young ones today can better appreciate the players who made this league we enjoy today possible.

Vic: We can do it right here and it won't cost you any tax money at all. I have a deep appreciation for the players who pioneered this game. I can't tell you how many former players I know who are struggling through the second half of their lives with hip replacements and knee replacements, etc. What they left on those fields should never be forgotten, nor should it yellow with time.

Fred from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
My wife and I have been strategizing our away game plans for this season. We have given a lot of consideration to the Philly game but we've heard wearing an opponent's jersey may result in bodily harm. Your thoughts on going there?

Vic: Do not go there. I repeat, do not go there. Pick another game, Fred.

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