Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Tim from St. Augustine, FL:
What do you think of Mathis' performance Sunday? I re-watched every play and I did not see much of an effort and no positive plays.
Vic: Jack Del Rio has been succinct about it in his evaluation. He has already said on two occasions this week that Rashean Mathis needs to play at a higher level. I don't understand what more fans are looking for in the way of criticism or analysis. He's gotta play better or he's gonna lose his job. He knows that.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Placing padding on the outside of the helmet?
Vic: The first helmet I was given in junior high school had a padded crown from front to back. Ohio State made that helmet popular in the early-1960's. It was horrible. When you got hit right on the pad, your head felt like it had been gonged. You heard this sickening thud and then a second later you got the thump inside your head and then came the wobble. By the time I was a junior in high school, Riddell had come out with its suspension helmet which was the best helmet ever made. It was light and cool-feeling in hot weather and everybody started wearing it. I had one with the double-bar facemask and loop. Padded helmet? Are we trying to go back and start all over?
Ryan from Statesboro, GA:
So we have seven games left in the season and a pretty tough schedule coming up with no easy games left. So, out of the four non-division games (Cleveland, New York, Oakland, and Washington) which do you feel is most important or has the potential to be the best game? Also, out of the three division games left, which are you looking forward to the most?
Vic: Of the four non-division games, the Giants and Redskins games are the least important because they're not AFC games and will have the least impact on the tiebreakers. I think this week's game against Cleveland has the potential to be the best of the home games. The Browns are an old AFC Central rival and the two teams have some history. I don't think the Jaguars can make the playoffs without winning this game. Of the three road games, the one in Tennessee is the one to which I am most looking forward. I explained why in yesterday's column.
Doug from Jacksonville:
I was at a five-year-old's birthday party and it was all in Jaguars stuff: plates, napkins, table cloth, etc. His gifts were mostly Jaguar-themed. The kids were so excited about all the Jaguar stuff. This is the future. This kid's earliest memories are going to be Jaguars. I hope this has been going on for the past 10-15 years, but this is the foundation. This is the kind of adult who will buy season tickets and root for the Jags win or lose. The Jags are coming out of their infancy and into the beginning of their existence. The excitement waned, now the relationship is growing. Childhood memories are the foundation. Agree?
Vic: Yeah, I agree, but I started hearing that kind of stuff 15 years ago and we're still waiting. We have to stop thinking about 15 years from now and start thinking about this Sunday. It's up to the adults of today, the kids of 15 years ago, to secure the future of this franchise for the adults of tomorrow.
John from West Chester, PA:
I'm interested in how Eugene Monroe did against Mario Williams. Williams' name only gets credit with an assisted tackle but I know the stats do not tell the whole story. I want to know what your eyes told you.
Vic: My eyes told me that he wasn't a factor in the game. They moved him around but he played with equal ineffectiveness. That's not something new. He hasn't done a lot in his games against the Jaguars, which has always jaundiced my opinion of him. His sacks tend to come in bunches, as they did in college against the lower echelon of the ACC. I'm not a big Mario Williams guy.
Adam from Jacksonville:
I recently saw a report that the NFL is looking to make the field wider in an attempt to reduce big hits on offensive players. They don't get it, do they?
Vic: Maybe I don't get it.
Mike from Parrish, FL:
I can't believe that I haven't seen any acknowledgement of David Garrard's toughness on making the first down on his fourth-and-one QB sneak.
Vic: He's the best quarterback-sneak quarterback I've ever covered.
Steve from Defuniak Springs, FL:
Your response to Greg from Jacksonville about the power outage in the Giants game reminded me of how Tommy Lasorda once responded to a question about Dave Kingman hitting three home runs against them. Are you familiar with the rant I speak of and, if so, were you channeling your inner Lasorda?
Vic: You wanna know if I'm channeling my inner Lasorda? You wanna (bleep) know if I'm (bleep) channeling my inner (bleep) Lasorda. The (bleep) guy was the (bleep) manager in over 3,000 (bleep) major league games, he won two (bleep) World Series and was a two-(bleep)time National League (bleep) manager of the (bleep) year and you wanna know if I'm (bleep) channeling my inner (bleep) Lasorda?
Vince from Indianapolis, IN:
You and your fans absolutely crack me up. With every win, suddenly the Jags have saved the day, even when it's a fluke "Hail Mary." Yeah, I said it, fluke. And with every loss it's woe is Jacksonville. You guys really are hilarious.
Vic: You wanna know what would really be hilarious? It would really be hilarious if the Colts didn't even make the playoffs. I can't tell you how funny that would be.
Brandon from Jacksonville:
We must protect this house? The Cleveland fan who allegedly tackled an eight-year-old Jets fan is disgusting.
Vic: It's a tough game for tough guys.
Cedrick from Jacksonville:
When you witnessed the "Immaculate Reception," did you know it was as historic as it is today?
Vic: Oh, yeah. It was even bigger then because stuff like that just didn't happen in the old game. It was a Saturday and Christmas was on Monday. Bowls didn't play at Christmas back then as they do now, and the minor bowls didn't have the TV exposure back then that they have now because there was no ESPN. Pro football had the whole weekend to itself and the two Saturday playoff games sent America into a pro football frenzy. That was the weekend pro football became king.
Adrian from Reading, UK:
So, who's at fault for the unacceptable pass-defense and what do we have to do to make it better?
Vic: It's their parents' fault. They're non-athletes. The Jaguars have to find more athletic parents. Seriously, though, isn't this outrage at the pass-defense a little silly, not to mention lacking in understanding of the game? It's not as though these guys aren't trying. It's not as though this was their only bad day. It is what it is and I think we know what it is. They'll continue to work on it and try to improve, but I think it's obvious that the long-term fix is going to involve changes in personnel.
Chris from Jacksonville:
What do you think of college teams that use posters on the sidelines? It seems like real football is moving too much toward video-game football.
Vic: I prefer messenger guards. Those cards Oregon and Notre Dame are using look like they were stolen from a nursery school.
Matt from Raleigh, NC:
I've seen you use the term "finesse team" a couple of times and maybe I'm reading too deep, but the context always seems vaguely sneering. Can you give some examples of finesse teams and, in particular, any you've admired?
Vic: Vaguely? The "Air Coryell" Chargers teams were finesse teams. The Dolphins of the Dan Marino era were finesse teams. I can think of one in the AFC South. There have been loads of finesse teams, but I can't think of any I admired. I hate finesse football. It has a dirty feel to it.
Adrian from Inglewood, CA:
"Ask Vic" is a great daily read, not just for information on the team but for your stories, as well. I honestly believe the stories are what set this column apart from the rest. I enjoy how you glorify the players of the past, but it often makes me wonder if they loved the game more than today's players do.
Vic: Since you enjoy the history of the game so much, you might enjoy going to the official site of the Pro Football Researchers Association. These guys have long performed a service to the game; they are underrated and under-appreciated. Today, they announced their 2010 Hall of Very Good selections. Those selections are: Robert Brazile, Ed Budde, Don Coryell, Ox Emerson, Chuck Foreman, Bob Gain, Riley Matheson, Jimmy Patton, Drew Pearson and Ken Riley.