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Fitzgerald on fast track

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

Gene from Keystone Heights, FL:
So who did you pick in your office pool to go to the "Final Four" and who is going to win it all?

Vic: I'm very disappointed in my picks this year, in the for-fun-only office pool. I have Kentucky beating UConn in the championship game and I'm not sure I believe either one is really championship caliber. But I made the picks game by game and that's the way it rolled out, so I turned in my sheet, got out my red pen and within a few hours of the start of the tournament I put a red "X" next to Florida's name. My "Final Four" are: Kentucky, UConn, Wisconsin and Texas.

Mike from Orlando, FL:
I've heard the expression many times that football is now a year-round sport and, looking at your column, that definitely bears out. My question is, what are the Jaguars players up to this time of year? Is there anything they have to do for the team this time of year? If not, when do required workouts and meetings start?

Vic: The you-better-be-there volunteer offseason conditioning program officially begins on Monday. With that, the players' offseason ends.

Andrew from Ft Lauderdale, FL:
How would you rate the Jags defense as a whole? What areas do you believe they need to improve to be a divisional title contender?

Vic: Everybody knows they need to improve their pass-rush. That's number one. If they achieve that goal, the pass-coverage will improve, too.

Robert from Daytona Beach, FL:
Seriously, though, how would your draft go? Who would you like to see wearing the teal and black next year? Love the Bush line.

Vic: I'd love to see Larry Fitzgerald fall to the Jaguars, and I held out hope that might happen but, now, I don't think it will. I found out this morning it's possible the run-for-time portion of Fitzgerald's workout on Monday will be moved to the Pitt Field House, where Fitzgerald will run on a fast track. The first part of the workout will be conducted at Pitt's indoor football facility, which has a spongy FieldTurf surface that could cost Fitzgerald a slower time. If that were to have occurred, Fitzgerald might've fallen far enough for the Jaguars to take a shot at him. I don't like taking wide receivers high in the draft because I believe you can find them in the later rounds, but I also believe Fitzgerald is a special player who would be worthy of a high selection by the Jaguars. When you commit yourself to a young quarterback, as the Jaguars have to Byron Leftwich, you have to do what it takes to get him success or run the risk of fan criticism ruining the kid. Let's stop there, for now. Fitzgerald, Roy Williams and Kenechi Udeze run for scouts next week. Let's wait for those results. But here are a couple of sobering thoughts about the draft: 1. You can't pick everybody. 2. The player you love may be drafted just ahead of you by the team you hate.

Brian from Jacksonville, FL:
Assuming Byron Leftwich was in this year's draft, how would he rank among this year's crop of QBs?

Vic: Ben Roethlisberger isn't a real mobile quarterback and he's rated at the top of the pack, so I'd have to believe Byron Leftwich would measure up among this year's quarterback prospects. Leftwich and Roethlisberger are from the same conference and they're each big, classic pocket-passers.

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