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Hats off to Titans fans

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

Howard from Homestead, FL:
Now that we've all heard about the recently departed Steeler fan who had the funeral home deck him out in Steeler memorabilia, how would you want your viewing spiced up?

Vic: I've thought about it. Frankly, I like the theme viewing concept. I really mean that. When I had cancer a couple of years ago, the day before my surgery my room was full of friends and my phone wouldn't stop ringing. As soon as I ended one call, the phone would ring again and the first thing my friend on the other end would say was, "Man, I've been trying to get through all day." It was great. I remember thinking to myself this was like being able to attend your own funeral. At one point there were so many people visiting that they spilled out into the hallway and the doctor threatened to end visitations and turn off my phone. I loved it. It was like being Vince Lombardi for a day. Well, I think that's what I would want for my viewing, too. I'd like to be positioned so all of my friends could gather around me. You'll see to it, Howard, won't you?

Brad from Gainesville, FL:
Can you tell us how each coach has improved or made progress at each position?

Vic: Wide receiver has been upgraded with the addition of Matt Jones and the apparent development of Reggie Williams. Left tackle now has a building block player with major upside in Khalif Barnes. Alvin Pearman offers significant third-down back skills and the Jaguars desperately need a guy for that role. The defensive line added a big-time pass-rusher in Reggie Hayward and a veteran run-stuffing end in Marcellus Wiley, and welcomes the return of Paul Spicer and the arrival of Tony Williams, who adds significant depth at defensive tackle. The acquisition of Williams has been largely overlooked. It shouldn't be. Williams was a free-agency steal. In my opinion, Scott Starks has major upside and could become to right cornerback what Rashean Mathis is to left cornerback. I would like to have seen the Jaguars address linebacker a little more aggressively, but Nate Wayne is a quality veteran and Pat Thomas has sixth-round sleeper potential. Chad Owens is expected to upgrade the return game. A re-shaping of the coaching staff could turn out to be the major change of the offseason. We'll see.

Alan from Buford, GA:
Will we know ahead of time who we're paired with at the "Ask Vic" golf tourney (especially if we're playing with celebrities), or do we have to wait until we're checking in at the course to find out?

Vic: You'll have to wait until you check in at the course. I won't start making the tee assignments until we end registration. After this Friday's registration deadline passes, I'll look at how many golfers we have and how they fit on the golf course. At that point, we'll either stand pat or know exactly how many more spots we can offer in late registration. At that point, we'll probably be attempting to fill out some groups.

Tim from Jacksonville:
If you could see only one Jaguars game this season, what game would you see?

Vic: Well, the Dec. 11 game against Indianapolis offers division title showdown potential. I might be inclined to pick that one.

Robert from Las Vegas, NV:
If you would make a Jaguars all-star team from 1995 to now, what would be your offensive and defensive staring lineup?

Vic: I did one of those kinds of teams for the Florida Times-Union last year, as part of the newspaper's celebration of the Jaguars' 10-year anniversary. I don't have a copy of my picks, but (with updates) it's probably close to something like this: WR—Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell, TE—Kyle Brady, OT—Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy, G—Ben Coleman and Chris Naeole, C—Brad Meester, QB—Mark Brunell, RB—Fred Taylor, FB—Daimon Shelton; DE—Tony Brackens and Jeff Lageman, DT—Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, LB—Kevin Hardy, Mike Peterson and Hardy Nickerson, CB—Aaron Beasley and Rashean Mathis, S—Donovin Darius and Chris Hudson.

Joe from Antioch, CA:
When do you start your weekly show on the website?

Vic: This is the deadest time of the "dead zone." Everyone is trying to get vacation time in before the start of training camp. As of the start of training camp, everything changes. Brian Sexton and I will do an "Under the Spotlight" training camp video twice a week and, all of a sudden, you will see a flood of daily information. The weekly "Reporters Corner" video will replace "Under the Spotlight" after training camp ends.

Chase from Redmond, OR:
I'm as big a fan of football as any, but I have to question something. Don't you think the NFL and sports in general are being over-analyzed? We haven't even seen these guys play a real contact scrimmage, yet, there are still journalists and fans analyzing everything that's happening.

Vic: I agree, so, read a book.

Tony from Nashville, TN:
What is your take on the Titans selling out all single-game tickets in just four minutes?

Vic: It wasn't four minutes, it was 22 minutes, but I am super impressed. Nashville has made a statement that it's a town worthy of an NFL franchise. Nashville has let it be known that pro football is alive and well in Tennessee and that the Titans are a franchise not to be considered for Los Angeles. The most impressive thing about the Titans' ticket sale was that it was on the heels of a 5-11 season and, quite frankly, the Titans' prospects for 2005 aren't much better. I take my hat off to Titans fans.

Charlie from Jacksonville:
Are the Colts the team to beat in the division? What do you think the Jags record will end up?

Vic: Yes, the Colts are the team to beat. What they've done the last two seasons make them worthy of preseason respect. I'm not much into predicting records because I think that's being a little too specific. I speak in more general terms of expectation, and my expectation for the Jaguars this season is that they make the playoffs and contend for the division title. If 10-6 will achieve that, then 10-6 is fine with me, but I think that's shooting too low. I'd like to think this team is capable of better.

Harvey from Jacksonville:
Could you explain how the salary cap is figured?

Vic: In 2005, NFL players will receive 65.5 percent of the league's designated gross revenue, which is projected to be $5.126 billion. Take 65.5 percent of $5.126 billion, divide that figure by 32 teams, back off the cost of each team's benefits package and you have a per team salary cap figure of about $85.5 million. Including the benefits package, each team will spend $104.9 million in player costs.

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