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Hardy could be candidate

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

Andy from Jacksonville:
Another one of my favorites from Tom Coughlin's days was "we just need to execute." Ugh!

Vic: Every coach I have ever covered has used that coachspeak. I have actually wasted time attempting to understand it. Is there something beyond the obvious? I think it's coaches' way of saying the plays and all of the strategies were good; it's the players who screwed it up.

Wes from Center Hill, FL:
If Fred Taylor's rehab doesn't progress as quickly as we all hope, do you think that any of the running backs currently on the roster can carry the load if needed?

Vic: If there's one guy in the Jaguars' stable of running backs who has load-carrying potential, it's Fu. Watching him in mini-camp, I couldn't help but wonder, again, what the guy could do if he stayed healthy. He's an amazing package of size, speed, power and elusiveness. He's also an outstanding screen-play runner. He just hasn't been able to stay healthy. In 2001, Fu replaced Jerome Bettis down the stretch and helped the Steelers win homefield advantage. It was the one time in his career when he was the dependable pounder everyone has wanted him to be. Can he do it for the Jaguars this year? In my opinion, that's one of the big questions the Jaguars will take into training camp.

Mike from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
With all of the mocks pointing at us taking David Pollack, I'm sure you did some research into him. I read recently that he was moved to linebacker. I question this decision. Sure, he's fast, but he's a pass-rusher, not a linebacker. In my opinion, he's too small and his arms don't seem long enough to wrap up some of the premium fullbacks. What's your take on this?

Vic: What you've described are reasons to move him to linebacker. I had written repeatedly that David Pollack was too small to play defensive end, and I got e-mail after e-mail saying I was crazy. I had said that I thought he was a perfect fit as a 3-4 linebacker. Well, the Bengals don't use the 3-4 but Marvin Lewis is an old zone-blitz guy who knows how to feature a linebacker. Pollack will be featured. He was drafted by the right team and I expect he will excel in Lewis' defense.

Bill from Jacksonville:
I was surprised I didn't see even one question in this column yesterday asking, "Do you think the Jaguars will be interested in Kevin Hardy?" Only to be followed by a response from you along the lines of, "Why don't you guys get it? How many times do I have to explain to you the NFL is a young man's game and not a museum for has-been players who are past their primes? It's questions like this that have turned me into the grumpy old sportswriter I am!" So, do you think the Jags will give Hardy another look? I mean, of course, for the right price?

Vic: You know me well. Yes, it's a young man's game and I don't like the recycling of old players, but free agency (largely) and the draft have passed and the Jaguars haven't aggressively addressed what I consider to be a depth problem at linebacker, so I think it's possible the team will show interest in signing Kevin Hardy. I saw Kevin at last Saturday morning's mini-camp practice and, immediately, alarm bells went off. Players don't show up at other team's practices. In this case it was a former Jaguars player. I don't know what Kevin has left in the tank. I talked to him briefly and he said the knee on which he had microfracture surgery was not a problem. He said his biggest problems were aches and pains in his hip and back, but that's just a matter of getting old in the game. If he wants to play and the price is right, I think he's a candidate to sign with the Jaguars.

Holger from Bad Vilbel, Germany:
Wasn't that guy in "Mr. Belvedere" a sportswriter as well? He even had a butler.

Vic: You're right. The part was played by Bob Uecker, who may be the funniest guy in sports history. If he's doing a playoff game, I watch.

Steve from Jacksonville:
I remember a game you seemed to overlook in which Washington played Philadelphia. It was infamously called "The Body-Bag Game." I remember Redskins RB/KR Brian Mitchell at QB by the end of the game. True? Obviously, the emergency QB didn't make much of a difference in that game. What's your recollection of this game?

Vic: It was a Monday night game in 1990 and Brian Mitchell was used at quarterback and the Redskins lost.

Connor from Jacksonville:
Are you not receiving football questions? Every day it looks like we get answers to personal questions and very little insight to what is going on with the Jags. Let's talk football and the future of our team.

Vic: Frankly, there's nothing going on right now. The players have been off all week and the coaches have been off the past two days. It's a perfect time to lighten up a little bit.

Donna from Jacksonville:
You never answer my questions but I have a comment on Tom Matte. He was, I believe, the first to use the plays written on a wristband, as he was the halfback and not the third quarterback, since teams only carried two quarterbacks at the time.

Vic: You're absolutely right. The wristband play sheet was invented for Tom Matte. I believe the wristband he used in the 1965 playoffs is in the Hall of Fame.

Richard from Little Rock, AR:
I have to strongly disagree with you on your reply to Matt from AR on 5/4/05. Matt Jones could easily make the third spot, even if most of the third-string plays were just scripted for his running ability. Yes, the game is much more than that of a pick-up game in the backyard, but Matt Jones is no backyard flunky running around with a pot belly. I think it's a very creative way for coach Del Rio to help open up a key spot.

Vic: You guys gotta get off your knees. Matt Jones is coming into the NFL. He's facing a major challenge to play just one position.

Don from Jacksonville:
I read about an annual Ed Block Courage Award for courage and sportsmanship. One player from every team is chosen for the award by his teammates. Who earned this award for the Jaguars?

Vic: David Garrard.

John from Jacksonville:
I saw a kid playing at a small private school in Charlotte. I think he has the potential to come straight out of high school. He had 46 receiving touchdowns as a freshman on the varsity team and runs a 4.23. Does this not qualify as good enough to come straight out of high school to the NFL?

Vic: Only if he can play emergency quarterback.

John from Jacksonville:
There must be at least one coachspeak that you like. Mine is "callous disregard for the ball."

Vic: That's a good Coughlinism, but favorite all-time Coughlin quote is from the 1997 draft, after the Jaguars selected Damon Jones, who had gotten into trouble in college as a result of a dormitory fire. "Now, we all know the story involving a dormitory and an incendiary device," Coughlin said to the media.

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