Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Erik from Jacksonville:
I've seen Matt Jones' weight listed as 242, 245 and, most recently, as 229. What is his actual weight? Has he shed a few pounds to play receiver better and have more speed and agility?
Vic: Matt said he played at 238 at Arkansas last year, worked out at the combine at 242, and is down around 230 right now. He looks like a guy who has the ability to slim down to play wide receiver or bulk up to play tight end.
Drake from Orange Park, FL:
Would a "draw" technically be considered "play-action" in the literal sense of the words?
Vic: A "draw" is the exact opposite of "play-action." A "draw" is a running play that teases defenders' pass keys; "play-action" is an intended pass play that teases defenders' run keys. Let's not make this difficult. "Play-action" is a faked hand-off on an intended pass play. That's it; nothing more.
Nick from Atlanta, GA:
How is the scrimmage going to operate? Will it be a teal and black game where they split the team into two roughly equal teams, or will they pit the offense vs. the defense and sacks and interceptions are worth points?
Vic: The squad will be divided into teal and white teams. The offense will be awarded seven points for a touchdown and three points for a field goal. The offense will also get two points for two consecutive first downs and one point for an explosive play of 20 or more yards. The defense will score accordingly: three points for a fumble recovery or interception; two points for a three-and-out; one point for stopping a drive without the offense scoring points, for making a tackle for a loss or for making a sack. The scrimmage will also include a special teams segment for kickoff return, punt, punt return and field goal.
Jami from Jacksonville:
The Jags will have 5,000 seats available for group sales. Are teams obligated to keep a certain number of tickets available or could they sell all their tickets as season tickets?
Vic: Teams can sell their tickets any way they please. The Jaguars have set aside 5,000 tickets per game for group sales because that's part of their marketing strategy for filling this building. Everybody rips the Jaguars for not marketing. Well, here's an example of marketing. If you put those 5,000 tickets into the overall mix, the Jaguars would still have 6,700 tickets to sell for each game and that would make the TV blackout prospects pretty grim. Instead, the Jaguars are actively marketing 5,000 tickets to groups.
Fred from St. Marys, GA:
I understand that Reggie Hayward is going to be one of the starting defensive ends on the team. In your opinion, who do you think is leading at this point between Paul Spicer, Marcellus Wiley and others to be the starter on the opposite side of the ball.
Vic: I think Spicer will win that job.
Dan from Lindenhurst, IL:
I'm trying to understand salary caps a little better. Because of you I understand the dangers of back-loaded contracts. You say you like front-loaded or flat contracts, but if a player gets all of his money in the front, won't that make him more likely to hold-out toward the end of his contract because he already has all of his money and doesn't stand to earn that much in the last years?
Vic: Don't confuse cap with cash. Front-loaded and back-loaded refer mainly to the guaranteed money in a contract. Salary goes away if you cut a guy, so you can't ever get held "hostage" by salary as long as it's not guaranteed. The bonus money or guaranteed money is what's critical in structuring a contract. You can pay it as roster bonus, which has to be declared in full on the salary cap in the year it's paid. That's front-loading, which is what the Jaguars did with Reggie Hayward, and I like that. You can pay it as signing bonus and spread it out evenly over the life of the contract, which is what's done with most contracts. That produces a flat amortization of the bonus money. The Jaguars produced a flat amortization of Matt Jones' bonus money by employing a formula of roster bonus and option bonus. Back-loading is easily achieved by mixing signing bonus with option bonus, which is what got the Jaguars into trouble with Tony Brackens in 2000. They pushed so much money out in Brackens' 2000 deal that the team was never able to recover without taking a major "dead money" hit. So how do you front-load the guaranteed money in a contract and still provide motivation for the player to play at the end of his deal? That's easy. Spike his salary when the bonus amortization significantly lessens. Now you got a guy who has to play for his pay, and you hold all the cards. No play, no pay, and the amortization is all but off your books. Bonus money early, salary late: That's the combination I like. It protects you mostly against players who have gotten old or injured. Of course, you're always counting on the integrity of the player. He can lay down on you in the early years when you're pinned by the bonus money you paid him. You can structure a deal any way you want, but it won't be a good deal if the player doesn't perform.