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Fu has been sensational

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

Jacques from Alexandria, VA:
In your opinion, would it be Spicer and Hugh or Spicer and Tony at the defensive ends on opening day?

Vic: First of all, Tony Brackens has to prove to the Jaguars in training camp and in the preseason that his knees are healthy enough to allow him to play a full season. The contract he signed was structured in such a way that training camp would be used as a proving ground for Brackens, so, to use Jack Del Rio's words, you might be getting "ahead of the story" on this one. Should Brackens prove in training camp his knees are a go, however, I see him being used more as a specialty pass-rusher than as an every-downs defensive end. In fact, in the first week of training camp he was used at right defensive end, which tells me the Jaguars have a specific role in mind for Brackens. Paul Spicer has proven himself as a two-downs defensive end, so I expect him to be the starter at left defensive end, then give way to whatever third-down rush packages the Jaguars have in mind. Hugh Douglas is the Jaguars' only true every-downs defensive end candidate and I expect him to fulfill that role this year with greater productivity than he did a year ago.

Bill from Jacksonville:
I've missed one Jaguars game since they started and have recently moved to Palm Coast. Since we get Orlando TV stations rather than Jacksonville, will I be able to watch the Jaguars away games or will they show the Bucs?

Vic: Orlando is a secondary market for both Jacksonville and Tampa. For that reason and because the Jaguars and Bucs would appear on separate networks, you should see both teams' road games.

Eric from Columbus, IN:
For us who don't exactly live close to Jacksonville but have the NFL Network, what time can we expect the Jags show to air on the NFL Network Wednesday?

Vic: The premier episode of "Inside Training Camp: Jaguars Summer" will be shown on NFL Network at nine p.m. this Wednesday.

Dave from Racine WI:
How is the running back position going to play out? I love LaBrandon Toefield and was shocked the Jaguars took Greg Jones. What is Toefield's future? How about Fu?

Vic: LaBrandon Toefield seems destined to be most prominently used as the Jaguars' third-down pass-catcher. The Jaguars haven't had that kind of a back since Tavian Banks suffered a career-ending knee injury in 1999, and Toefield has the potential to be a major player in that role, but he continues to be impressive as a backup runner, too. From what I've seen to date in training camp, he is not being pushed out of a job by Greg Jones. As I said when the Jaguars drafted Jones, I expect his role will be as a short-yardage and goal-line runner. To date, I haven't seen anything to change my mind. Fu has been sensational. Only Fred Taylor has run with more speed, grace and confidence in training camp. Fu is competing with Marc Edwards at fullback and with Jones for that short-yardage role. If Fu keeps his hamstrings loose and stays on the field, I don't know how you cut him. Other than for Taylor, nobody offers the combination of size, speed, strength, power and pass-catching ability that Fu does.

Michael from Jackson, MS:
Is John Henderson getting any reps at defensive end, and are things looking gloomy for Mississippi's hometown guy, running back Joe Smith?

Vic: John Henderson is getting no reps at defensive end. He is exclusively a defensive tackle. I don't see him ever playing defensive end. Joe Smith has been injured from the start of training camp, so, he's obviously facing an uphill battle on a team loaded with running backs.

Fred from Portland, OR:
It was reported that both second-round picks signed four-year deals, however, the NFLPA is showing Greg Jones signed for five years and Daryl Smith signed for six years. Can you sort this out for us?

Vic: Daryl Smith signed a six-year deal that voids to four and Greg Jones signed a five-year contract that also voids to four. In each case, voiding to four years is a salary cap technicality that pertains to 2006 being the last capped year of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Tim from Jacksonville:
Love your column, especially for giving an honest assessment and unvarnished opinion. Based on the performance of the four quarterbacks to date, what are the odds David Garrard could somehow be named the starting QB for this team over Leftwich if his struggles continue? I know this seems like a silly question, but the discussions are already starting to brew on this very topic around town, and I wanted to go to someone who's got an inside track on the standpoint of this issue. Would the coaching staff bench Leftwich if Garrard continues to improve and look better than Byron?

Vic: If Byron Leftwich's first 500 passes of the 2004 season are incomplete, it's possible the Jaguars would consider benching him. Get the point? Leftwich is "The Man." Jack Del Rio has said over and over of Leftwich that "this is his team." The Jaguars have invested their future in him.

David from Oviedo, FL:
The Jags can only keep a limited number of players from each position. Which positions do you feel are overcrowded with talent?

Vic: Running back and linebacker.

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