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He's trying to help

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

David from Jacksonville:
After the new CBA, are there any teams that are actually still in salary cap trouble?

Vic: Not this year; the new CBA bought more time for the teams that were in salary cap trouble. Their troubles, however, are likely to re-surface. The new CBA allowed teams to re-structure contracts and push money out a few years. Those teams will run right back into that amortization when the players to whom that amortization belongs have to be replaced.

Bill from Woodbury, MN:
Very nice, not-so-subtle jab in William's question. What makes it better is how true it is. I am glad to hear our (ticket) news will be uplifting, but it does show the real difference of fans of mature football teams. The Jags will get there when those that grew up with the team dominate the population. Still, though, nice shot over the bow.

Vic: It wasn't a jab. It wasn't a shot over the bow. Fans are usually ranked according to their ticket-buying habits. The best fans are those of teams that are sold-out; the worst fans are those of teams that don't sell-out. It's that simple. I can't imagine a rational person disagreeing with that logic.

Aaron from Gainesville, FL:
It might be too early, but could you do a special write-up on the receiving corps and how they all fit together as a group. It seems that position holds the key to the season.

Vic: You're right on both counts. It's too early and that position holds the key to the season.

Evan from Hull, Quebec:
Last year, you were constantly telling fans about the poor state of ticket sales. I don't know the exact details, but I'm pretty sure you were satisfied by the turn-out. Over the past few weeks, I keep reading about successful ticket sales. Do you think the reverse in philosophy could damage the number of tickets sold in the end? Are you knowingly saying the exact opposite this offseason for a specific reason?

Vic: I don't deal in philosophy of ticket sales or in the manipulation of the facts. I deal in the truth. Last year at this time, ticket sales were slow. This year, the Jaguars have a "hot" ticket. I think the difference is attributable to two things: 1.) The rift with the city and the L.A. scare created a "Save the Whale" attitude among Jaguars fans. 2.) The team's strong performance last season has given fans reason to believe the Jaguars are in an up cycle. Those are the facts. Spin it any way you want.

Dan from Ormond Beach, FL:
Jack Del Rio's comment about Mike Williams not pushing for a starting job got me thinking. Do you really want guys on your team that aren't pushing for a starting job?

Vic: Of course you don't. That's why Jack Del Rio made his comments. I don't know how Del Rio could make it any clearer. He's seeking a greater determination. Claiming Wayne Hunter should've gotten that message across. A coach doesn't make challenging statements to embarrass a player. He says them to help him. He says them to motivate the player to be better; to be the best he can be. Ultimately, motivation has to come from within. Del Rio was giving Mike Williams some help in finding his motivation. This is a big, talented guy who can be a big-time blocker in a ball-control offense. The Jaguars very much want him to succeed; they invested in him rather handsomely for that purpose. I hope it happens for Williams because he's a real good guy.

Jason from Hagerstown, MD:
You don't believe Larry Johnson has the athletic ability of Bo? Give me a break, Vic. Offensive line or not, only great things are in store for him in his career.

Vic: Larry Johnson is, in my opinion, the best back in the league, but he's not Bo; not even close.

Nick from Toronto, Ontario:
I read an article on that said Matt Jones has been very impressive during the OTA's. We haven't had much of a chance to hear from you how he is progressing thus far (either that or the reviews you are giving on him are a lot less enthusiastic), and I was just wondering if the article had it right.

Vic: I saw the article and I was delighted to read the news.

Will from Jacksonville:
I loved that Dan from Melbourne used "we" when referencing the Jags. Are you one of the journalists who hates fans using "we?"

Vic: There's nothing wrong with fans referring to their team as "we" or "us," but I don't like journalists who do it. It's very unprofessional. We're supposed to be objective.

LeRoi from Cleveland, OH:
I tend to disagree with your assessment of the Ravens QB situation. You said you don't get better by getting older. Have you seen Kyle Boller play QB the last few years?

Vic: OK, let's say Steve McNair leads the Ravens to the playoffs. He made them better, right? But now where are they? He's a year older and they've done nothing to address the long-term future of the position. That's what I mean when I say you don't get better by getting older. I look at the big picture. One season is just one season. I strongly believe that if you take care of the future, the future will take care of the present. Now, let's look at another scenario. Let's say McNair doesn't lead the Ravens to the playoffs. Let's say he plays like an old quarterback who has to be replaced. Now where are they? They have no quarterback, the coach is fired and the whole thing is in reconstruction. As I see it, the upside of the McNair trade is that he might make the Ravens a playoff contender – nothing more, however – or the whole thing could collapse. The upside, in my opinion, does not justify the downside.

Tom from Jacksonville:
As a part-time assistant high school coach, I attended the Jags coach clinic day last week. This was my third year attending and, as always, it was great. I was surprised that the most impressive player that day was Reggie Williams. He was first onto the field, was the standout in team passing and made the play of the practice in the end zone, taking the ball away from Rashean Mathis. The most impressive thing was after practice. As the rest of the team sat down to barbecue, Reggie went off to extra receiving drills with the ball machine. Later, several players came and went, but Reggie stayed two, three times longer than anyone else. Is this the norm for him this year and what is the coaching staff saying about Reggie?

Vic: That's been the norm for Reggie Williams the last two years. He's having another strong spring. He's catching balls and working hard. Jack Del Rio praised him a couple of weeks ago. Based on what I've seen the last couple of weeks, Williams has been the Jaguars' most impressive wide receiver.

Steve from Jacksonville:
"Packers fans are great, win or lose. The worst fans are the ones of the teams that have trouble selling tickets." So, Vic, are you stating that the Jaguars had the worst fans in the league the past few years?

Vic: I'm sorry. I really do have to apologize for being insensitive. I answered the question with what popped into my head. I never considered the feelings of Jaguars fans. I just answered the question according to what I believed was true. I need to watch what I say.

Bill from Atlanta, GA:
Forgive me if I've already asked this question, but your thoughts on Bo Jackson reminded me of my favorite running back of all time, Earl Campbell. Got any Earl Campbell stories?

Vic: Campbell was a quiet guy and didn't lend himself to a lot of stories. Bum Phillips loved Campbell and liked to tell this one story about Campbell's spending habits. Apparently, Campbell was cautious with money. Phillips said on one road trip early in Campbell's career, the running back sheepishly approached his coach and told him he had forgotten his wallet and didn't have any money. Campbell asked Phillips if he could spare a few dollars. Phillips said, "Sure, Earl, wadda you need?" "You gotta five?" Campbell asked. Campbell is also one of my favorite all-time backs. He's what I believe a great running back should be, a combination of power and speed.

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