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Fred's backup, coaching changes, and more salary cap...

Chris from Tampa, FL:
What do you think of the coaching changes Tom Coughlin has made. I see good things in the future. The (re)addition of an offensive coordinator has to be a plus. I felt (even after a 14-2 season), that the offense would be one notch better with an extra man at the helm. With that and a new assitant head coach, I expect this to be a great season. Do you agree?

Vic: Gary Moeller (defensive coordinator) is a great addition to Tom Coughlin's staff. Bob Petrino (offensive coordinator) is a rising guy. John Pease (assistant head coach) knows the organization and adds stability. Coughlin has an outstanding staff. However, I do not share the opinion of those who believed the team was lacking in offensive direction last season, or that the play-calling was weak. Coughlin is an outstanding offensive mind.
 

Charles Reynolds of St. Louis, Missouri:
In the event that the Jaguars and Mark Brunell don't come to an agreement on a new contract in the future, is the team prepared to go with a Quarterback that can fill or outgrow Mark's Shoes?

Vic:


The Jaguars will come to an agreement with Brunell, however, there has to be concern about developing a capable backup. That's why Jonathan Quinn has been sent to NFL Europe. He's a talented guy and coach Tom Coughlin believes Quinn can be an NFL-caliber quarterback. What will be interesting is how the Jaguars approach the position in the draft. They have definite reason to draft a quarterback, but he wouldn't help their cause this season and, clearly, the Jaguars have other major needs to address in the draft if they are to be a playoff contender this year?

 

Charles in New Jersey:
Who will the Jaguars probably draft?What position?

Chris Page from Jacksonville, FL:
Is it possible to either keep all of the starting skill players out of the pre-season games or better for the jaguars, not play them at all?

Vic:Obviously, those veteran players of greatest importance will be protected the most during the preseason, however, it's not realistic to expect them not to play at all. It's a tough game. Injuries occur. Leon Searcy was lost for the season in the first hour of the team's first full-pads practice of training camp last summer, in a seemingly harmless pass-blocking drill. What would you have them do? Not practice? Caution is not the foundation on which championship football teams are built.
 

Alex in Fernandina Beach , FL:
When players are put on injured reserve for the year after an injury, do their salaries continue to count against the cap?

Vic:


Yes, players on injured reserve count against a team's salary cap.

 

Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
What would the cap hit be for the 2001 season if Kevin Hardy is traded or released? Would trading him to San Francisco or Carolina for their first round pick make sense if Dan Morgan is still on the board when those teams pick? (This savings would then allow the Jaguars to possibly re-sign Leon Searcy and then they could use their regular first round pick on Santana Moss or a lineman on either side of the ball.) A LB corps of Nickerson, Slaughter, Morgan, Clark, and possibly Boyer (or Storz) would be great. I'm not trying to be Anti-Hardy. I think he is one of the best in the league but we cannot afford to keep him. Keeping Nickerson and Hardy just does not appear to be an option. To select Morgan would be a move made with an eye definitely looking toward the future.

Vic: Kevin Hardy would represent a $2.2 million salary cap savings in 2001, if he was traded or released. According to his current contract, he is a $4.5 million hit on the 2001 salary cap. Of that $4.5 million, $2.3 million is amortized bonus money and $2.2 million is salary. The $2.3 must stay on the books; the $2.2 would be extinguished if he was traded or released.
 

Eric Schneller in Carmel, Indiana:
I was wondering who you think the backup to Fred Taylor will be? With his injury history a solid backup is crucial as we found out this year, where the backups just didn't cut it in my mind. Will they have to stick with who they have, or will drafting a RB be a priority? What about someone like Terry Allen or Chris Warren who seem to have some gas left in their tank? Your thoughts?

Vic: Shyrone Stith is the best candidate currently on the Jaguars roster to back up Fred Taylor. Expect the Jaguars to draft a running back and sign a couple of undrafted rookie free agents. They'll also be looking for a veteran they might acquire at minimum wage. Obviously, the Jaguars' salary cap problems restrict their search. That means Taylor's durability will be a major issue next season.
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Jason Wulfekuhle writes from Cheyenne, WY:
I'm very concerned about the Jaguars. With all the changes and the salary cap situation how in the world could they possibly be a playoff contender next season. I could be wrong, but isn't the teams problems more than just trying to keep the core of the team together? For some reason everyone thinks that "as long as the teams core stays together they'll be a playoff contender". I don't know, but this dosent quite make sence to me. Does it to you?

Vic: Your concerns are valid. It takes more than a few good players to be a championship contender. Consider Dan Marino and the Dolphins for all the years they were unable to make it to the Super Bowl. They always seemed to have a good core. The Jaguars clearly need to have a blockbuster draft, if they are to add to their core and be playoff contenders in 2001.
 

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