Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Go with the hot back

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

Drew from Jacksonville:
Let's say you are the head coach of the Chargers. What's your game plan to beat the Colts this weekend?

Vic: Run the ball. You have, arguably, the best running back in the game in LaDainian Tomlinson. Corey Simon isn't going to play. Trust me, Marty Schottenheimer doesn't need an engraved invitation to know what to do: Run the ball. The Chargers' deficiency is pass-defense, at which they rank 27th in the league. That's even more reason to run the ball. The Chargers have to dominate time of possession and keep Peyton Manning on the bench to have any chance of winning this game. That's probably going to be the story for anybody facing the Colts in the postseason. The way to beat the Colts is to run the ball.

Kamal from Novi, MI:
So, Vic, now you're saying if I said my hometown was in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, you would post my question just because I am the first "Ask Vic" reader in Burkina Faso?

Vic: No, we got lots of guys in Burkina Faso.

Derek from Rio Rancho, NM:
Who has the best chance to go to the Pro Bowl on the Jaguars?

Vic: John Henderson and Mike Peterson would be the top guys, followed by Rashean Mathis and Marcus Stroud.

Cory from Portland, OR:
I just saw on "Sportscenter" that the NFL has sent a memo to every team about crowd noise. It said that a home crowd has to lower their noise when the away team's offense is on the field and the play clock begins, and also when the away team's defense breaks the huddle. I'm sure you heard of this news, so what do you think about it and do you believe it will actually be taken seriously?

Vic: I think it's the first of what will become a series of efforts by the league to fix what has become a major problem, and it will have all started with one reporter who blew the whistle. That stinkin' media, huh?

Chad from Liberty, SC:
In your article, "Need to be challenged," are you saying we should be happy the Jaguars are going to the playoffs but we shouldn't expect a Super Bowl?

Vic: That's not what I was saying at all. My message is that the Jaguars need to challenge themselves because they're not going to get the kind of challenge they need from their schedule. In other words, I think the Jaguars need to be hard on themselves. I think they need to increase their expectations of themselves, in terms of their production, execution and efficiency. They need to play at peak performance because that's what the postseason demands. There can't be any fumbles. There can't be any missed assignments, tackles and blocks. There can't be any more dropped passes or special teams breakdowns. It's now time to be the best they can be and, in my opinion, they're going to have to demand that of themselves because I don't think their opponents will.

Kelvin from Warwick, UK:
Is it at all possible the Jags may look for a potential franchise running back in the draft next year? It's hard to accept but looking at this season as a whole seems to show the decline of Fred Taylor is upon us and maybe we should plan now, not when it is thrust upon us. What's your take?

Vic: You can't draft what's not there. Last year was not a good year for running backs, after the top three were picked early in the first round. Early indications are this won't be the best of drafts for running backs, either; that could change according to underclassmen who might decide to come out. It all becomes a matter of what's available when you pick. If there's only one great running back in the draft but he's available when you pick, then it's a great draft for running backs. Should the Jaguars be open to drafting a running back? Absolutely. This is Fred Taylor's eighth pro season. There are injury concerns.

Don from Palm Valley, FL:
I think we are a much better team with Greg Jones starting. This fullback talk is nonsense. He is, in my opinion, one of our best offensive weapons. What do you think, Mr. It's-a-young-man's-game?

Vic: Pounders are never more valuable than they are in the playoffs, especially if this team is headed for cold, wet conditions, which it probably is. Jones has that kind of "snowplow power" you want in the playoffs, so I'm not going to fight you on this. I disagree with you on fullback not being his natural position, but with what's left of this season and considering the alternatives and the probable conditions, I would agree that the Jags need to lean harder on Jones. I don't think, however, that the Jags should quit on Taylor. There are three games remaining in the regular season. He can be worked back into a groove and Taylor could become the player who puts this team over the top in the playoffs, just as Natrone Means did for the 1996 Jaguars. Wasn't that the plan when training camp ended and Taylor was still battling the effects of offseason knee surgery? These next three games will tell the tale. Go with the hot back.

Scott from Jacksonville:
How do you realistically think we can do in the playoffs? I feel that we can beat the Pats on the road. Give our team another shot and I feel there's no way we could lose to the Colts a third time. Your thoughts?

Vic: If the Jaguars were heading into the playoffs this weekend coming off last Sunday's loss, I wouldn't be real hopeful. You have to be playing your best football to win in the playoffs and that was not the Jaguars' best football against the Colts. There are three weeks remaining in the regular season. There's time for the Jaguars to get on another roll. They need to improve their pass-defense. They need to establish the run and who it is that's going to carry the ball. The Jaguars also need to further David Garrard's development. He has to be more than a manager of the game; more than a caretaker or custodian for the position. He may be the guy under center when the playoffs begin. If he is, he'll have to make plays. This would be a good time to cast him in that role. Those are the three things I wanna see before the regular season ends: improvement in pass-defense, the emergence of a main ball-carrier and the development of Garrard as a play-maker.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content