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Gassers will empty your tank

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

Frank from St. Augustine, FL:
In your "Ask Vic: convention categories, what about the person who has a season ticket and doesn't want to play golf or need a hotel room? Are you going to have a category for that situation?

Vic: Yeah, we'll work it out. When we put the packages together, we were concerned that if we provided a ticket-only option we would find ourselves having to deliver tickets by mail or courier. That was something we didn't want to do because of the cost. So we tied the ticket to the reception, which was a way of avoiding handling charges by delivering the ticket at the reception. In other words, you had to attend the reception to get your ticket. We have this thing priced out at the bare bones. There won't be a dollar to spare and we didn't want to add handling charges. What we forgot about was the season ticket holder who already has a ticket. We'll fix that situation in the official registration form that we expect to post some time this week.

Sione from Los Angeles, CA:
What is the biggest strength on our team, offense or defense?

Vic: The Jaguars' greatest strength in 2003 was its run-the-ball/stop-the-run combination, which is half offense and half defense. I would expect that combination to be the foundation of this year's team.

Brad from Jacksonville:
Where do we go to sign up for the convention?

Vic: We expect to post an official registration form later this week.

Scott from Canandaigua, NY:
Should I miss some football practices and attend the "Ask Vic" golf tournament and party.

Vic: No! Being a good football player means dedicating yourself completely to the sport and to your team. Golf is an old man's game. You'll get old soon enough.

James from Ojai, CA:
This is James and I am the reader who suggested the "Ask Vic" convention a few months ago. I am so excited to see that your loyal readers have taken to the idea. Thank you so much for the time and effort you have put into the event. It sounds fantastic. I am going to round up my contingent of West Coast Jags fans and we will surely make the trip (with the Gold package, of course).

Vic: James, if this thing is a success, you will be "da man." I don't think I need to tell you what you will be if it bombs, but we're going to try to avoid that. The golf tournament will be played at a high-end course and will include top-notch prizes. The reception has the potential to be a truly special event. I'm not going to paint myself into a corner by promising things I can't deliver, but I have no doubt those who attend the reception will be delighted by the lineup of celebrities. and the Jaguars are going to put together something real good. In the next few days, we'll throw it out there and see what the response is. If the response is favorable, we'll make it happen.

Tom from Jacksonville:
Many people, including you, I think, have said in the last couple years this team has lacked play-makers. Have we added enough of these players and who do you see as the best potential game-breakers?

Vic: When last season ended, I said the Jaguars had three distinct needs: a touchdown-making receiver, a pass-rushing defensive end and a starter-quality cornerback. Obviously, they chose to address the receiver need over the defensive end need, and it's hoped the additions of Juran Bolden and Dewayne Washington will provide the starter-quality cornerback the Jaguars need. First-round pick Reggie Williams must provide the play-making ability the Jaguars need at receiver. He was drafted specifically for that purpose. Defensive end will have to wait for another offseason, but the Jaguars added speed on defense in draft picks Daryl Smith and Jorge Cordova, and they each offer play-making potential. So does safety Deon Grant, running back Greg Jones and, possibly, wide receiver Ernest Wilford, too. The answer to your question is the Jaguars have a lot of candidates to become play-makers.

Josh from Las Vegas, NV:
There have been a few questions brought up after the news of the Jaguars coaching staff having to run gassers. The number one question is, what exactly is a gasser? The answer seems to vary depending on where you live.

Vic: A gasser is any kind of running regimen that's intended to be a conditioning drill. It's a general term that pertains to a running exercise that will empty your "gas tank." The Jaguars run their gassers in wind-sprint fashion across the field. I've covered teams that ran hundred-yard gassers, and teams that ran their gassers in the form of laps around the field.

Scott from Thunder Bay, Ontario:
Which team would you compare with the Jags for the next season, and if you see them making the playoffs?

Vic: You might compare them to Cincinnati. The Jaguars and the Bengals are each teams who took steps forward last season under rookie head coaches. They've each experienced roster turnover, have some salary cap room, would appear to be the team on the rise in their respective divisions and their prospects are tied to the development of a young quarterback.

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