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Garrard says he'll be ready

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

John from Jacksonville:
How do unsigned rookies get paid for offseason workouts? Does any of that compensation count toward their eventual contract and signing bonus? Thanks as always for the inside scoop.

Vic: They are not paid a salary; they are paid per diem for expenses. None of it counts toward the eventual contract they sign.

Ron from Peoria, AZ:
Will you provide an update on how each of the QBs is doing? How is Garrard? Will the Jags keep four QBs active? As of today, how would you rate the QBs on the depth chart?

Vic: I'll keep you updated on everything. David Garrard is only three weeks removed from his surgery and he looks great. Garrard believes he'll be ready to go and at full speed for the start of training camp. He told me he believes he has been completely relieved of the effects of Crohn's Disease and should be able to fully compete for playing time this summer. In my opinion, David has earned the right to be number two on the depth chart going into training camp. Doug Johnson has NFL experience and deserves the chance to compete with Garrard for the backup job to Byron Leftwich. Quinn Gray has elevated himself to a position of being a serious contender for a roster spot as the team's number three quarterback, and should he set training camp on its ear, Gray could take a step toward one day becoming a number two guy. Keeping four quarterbacks is a possibility, but that might require Gray being assigned to the practice squad. We'll see; that's the purpose of training camp. Let 'em compete.

Jay from Jacksonville:
Why can't the Jaguars invite a boat-load of undrafted defensive ends for an informal workout, in search of a diamond in the rough? Are there any limits to that form of finding talent?

Vic: You can audition as many prospects as you wish. The Jaguars have always been one of the NFL's leading "workout" teams.

Steve from Jacksonville:
About your "Ask Vic" convention registration form, does the $30 each for the reception and the tailgate party cover the cost of food and drinks, or do we also need to bring a full wallet for those extras? Please let us know so we can come prepared.

Vic: The $30 charge each for the reception and tailgate party will cover food, soft drinks, beer and wine. Mixed drinks will be a cash bar. I think you'll find the menu very worthwhile.

Jamia from NFL Network:
I work at NFL Network and handle the marketing efforts that help gain network distribution with the cable operators. I read your daily column and thought your readers may be interested in clicking on our link that lets consumers notify their cable operator that they are interested in getting NFL Network. That link is: Additionally, they can go to to find out more information regarding the network. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have or to discuss additional online tools to increase NFL Network awareness to Jacksonville fans.

Vic: All of this is leaving me longing for the good old days your network features daily.

Dave from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I didn't get the runaround from Comcast but I didn't really get an answer either. Here's the response I got. "Thank you for contacting Comcast Cable. I have sent your inquiry to our marketing department for review. It was originally anticipated we would negotiate this addition prior to the 2004 season beginning. At this time, I will need to follow up with the marketing department to find out the particulars of these negotiations."

Vic: Business is all about negotiations. Give it time.

Olivia from Coral Gables, FL:
Since lists and rankings are en vogue these days, could you please rank your five-best NFL defensive teams in the past 25 years. Your opinions are insightful and often very surprising (since I thought Shannon Sharpe was a no-brainer for top three best TEs of all time).

Vic: I'm going to go back more than 25 years, if you don't mind. Working forward through history, these are the defenses I consider to be the best in NFL modern history: Vikings' "Purple People Eaters" of the late-'60s and early-'70s; Steelers' "Steel Curtain" defense of the mid to late-'70s; 49ers' 1984 defense; Bears' "46 defense" of the mid to late-'80s; Giants' Lawrence Taylor defense of the late-'80s; Eagles' Buddy Ryan defense of the late-'80s; Cowboys' Jimmy Johnson defense of the early to mid-'90s; Steelers' "Blitzburgh" defense of the mid-'90s; Ravens' 2000 defense. There are lots of other great defenses in NFL history. Those are the ones that stick out most in my mind.

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