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Fu Jags' first pounder

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

Stephen from Williston, FL:
Hey, Vic, nice picture. You almost look like an intelligent reporter.

Vic: Thanks, Stephen. I was going for the pensive look. Do you think I pulled it off?

Keith from Jacksonville:
I noticed in the preseason games that in the early part of halves the clock kept running even after the ball went out of bounds. I know there are rules for this and they've been around for some time, but I don't know exactly what they are. Please refresh me.

Vic: Outside two minutes to play in the first half and five minutes to play in the fourth quarter, on plays that carry out of bounds and on incomplete passes, the game clock stops long enough to spot the ball and whistle it into play, then the game clock is re-started. Inside the two-minute warning in the first half and inside five minutes to go in the game, the clock remains stopped on plays that carry out of bounds and on incomplete passes. It's a rule intended to keep games about three hours in length, and it's been in effect for awhile. Once upon a time, the clock remained stopped on all plays that carried out of bounds and on all incomplete passes.

Brian from Davenport, IA:
Am I missing something or what is the deal with the Titans being picked to go to the Super Bowl? Eddie George has gone down in yards per carry each year. McNair was the only reason they went as far as they did and then they got rid of two wide receivers.

Vic: I'm likewise surprised by the Titans' lofty place in the preseason polls. I don't get it, either. New England is my preseason pick in the AFC.

Chris from Albuquerque, NM:
What do you think of the Jags signing Fuamatu-Ma'afala? He really wasn't the best runner for the Steelers. Do you think it was a wise choice?

Vic: Chris, if he was the best runner for the Steelers, they wouldn't have cut him. But Fu (I've begun a vowels-rationing program) had some highlight moments with the Steelers. He's a powerful inside runner who is also great on screen passes. This is not a man you want to tackle in the secondary when he has a full head of steam. He starred in the Steelers' upset win in Jacksonville in 2000, especially as a screens runner. Fu is a pads-down pounder; maybe the first true pounder the Jaguars have ever had. If he stays healthy, he could be a big hit with the Jaguars. But the rap on Fu is he has never been able to stay healthy. And that's why the Steelers released him.

Brad from Nashville, TN:
In recent days the Maurice Clarett issue has come up and they said Maurice could not enter the NFL. But then why was Michael Vick eligible and considered it after his freshman year of football at Virginia Tech? Did he red-shirt a year, maybe?

Vic: Brad, let's sort out the facts. First of all, Michael Vick declared eligibility for the NFL draft after his sophomore season. And, yes, he had red-shirted. The NFL rule regarding draft eligibility requires a player to be three years removed from his high school graduation.

Aaron from Washington, D.C. :
Given that the Jaguars are $3-4 million under the cap, how do you foresee them spending it? Is there any chance the Jaguars could push some of Brunell's amortization onto this year's cap to give them more space next year?

Vic: The salary cap room they have is "maintenance money." In other words, it will be kept in reserve to be used for minor roster moves and for emergency situations. As far as Mark Brunell's remaining amortization, there will only be $2 million left after this season, but that's money that's already been paid as signing bonus and signing bonus must be divided equally among the years of the contract; it must stay in 2004.

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