Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Ted from Jacksonville:
The new scoreboards are great; a lot of new info on them. However, the resolution of the video is very fuzzy. I was told that's because they are broadcasting an analog image on a high-def screen. Why is the image so fuzzy?
Vic: I think it's the analogs. I'll take a look at 'em this afternoon.
Charles from Jacksonville:
You have explained how ticket sales increase after a blackout is declared. The NFL must lose advertising revenue with a blackout but is there any financial disadvantage for the local team?
Vic: What lost advertising revenue? All broadcasts are part of a total broadcast package. Advertising isn't sold on an individual game basis. There is no financial disadvantage for a team to blackout a game. In fact, statistics show that blackouts result in increased ticket sales.
Howard from Homestead, FL:
Would you explain for us the salary cap infraction that caused the Denver Broncos to be penalized $950,000 and a third-round pick in next year's draft? Also, is the $950K a reduction in next year's salary cap or a traditional fine they pay to the league?
Vic: The infractions occurred between 1996 and '98, during which Denver won two Super Bowls. Very simply, they got caught paying money under the table, and that's the gravest of sins against the salary cap. The integrity of the entire salary cap system is at stake. I'm not satisfied by the loss of a third-round pick. In my opinion, the league should've taken at least one first-rounder. Hey, the league took a third-rounder from Pittsburgh after the Steelers blew the whistle on themselves for a minor and debatable accounting error the league should've caught in the first place. What I don't like about the Denver infraction is that it was committed with intent to circumvent the cap, and this marks the second time they have been penalized for a salary cap violation; they lost a third-round pick in 2002, too. Does it taint their two Super Bowl wins? In my mind it absolutely does. They cheated.
Vaughn from Jacksonville:
Is there a chance we get a shot at re-signing Keenan McCardell again? I know he is getting older but he is still a very productive receiver that's not scared to go over the middle or make a big play.
Vic: The Jaguars selected Reggie Williams with the ninth pick of the draft, which means they have invested heavily in him. If the Jaguars traded for Keenan McCardell, they not only would lose a future draft choice, they would retard the development of this year's first-round draft choice. Whether you believe Williams is going to be a great player or a bust, the fact of the matter is teams must be consistent in their mode of operation, and they must be very stubborn when it comes to the development of young talent. Embracing the past isn't what got this team to 2-0. Moving on to the future did.
John from Jacksonville:
Why do teams go to these extremely soft zones, especially at the end of the game. I just finished watching the Florida game and this is the third time we have blown a lead in the fourth quarter against a rival team in the past two years, and it is due largely in part to the prevent defense.
Vic: I guess it's human nature to prefer to die slowly rather than all at once. I used to defend the "prevent" because coaches told me it was the thing to do in protecting the lead. Well, I'm older than most coaches now and I'm not nearly as impressionable as I once was. I'm with you on the "prevent." It doesn't work. Hey, if you're going to go to the "prevent," then why not go all the way? Put in 11 defensive backs. Why even bother with a token rush? Let the quarterback stand back there the rest of the day, if he wants. All he's doing is burning time, right? Isn't that what you want him to do? I have great respect for coaches. They are great innovators and have provided for the evolution of this game. But when it comes to defensive strategy in the final two minutes of the game, they have plowed very little ground. They're playing the same "prevent" that was driving fans crazy in the 1960's. It's time for something new. How about the 0-0-11?
Scott from Jacksonville:
A few weeks back someone asked if the Titans were our biggest rival. You said, yes, and I agree with you. I absolutely hate the Titans with every bone in my body. But do the Titans consider the Jaguars their biggest rival? Or is the hatred one-sided?
Vic: What reason do Titans fans have to hate the Jaguars? My guess is Titans fans have much stronger emotions for Baltimore and Indianapolis.
Pete from Jacksonville:
How big is the loss of Paul Spicer at defensive end? Are the Jaguars comfortable with Rob Meier, Lionel Barnes, Brandon Green and Bobby McCray? If not, what are the options? It'd be questionable to try to get Brackens back. Why would you?
Vic: Losing Paul Spicer is a killer. Not only was he the Jaguars' best player at a position where the team is thin, he was also an inspirational leader. He will be missed in a lot of ways. I hurt for Paul because he's a great guy, a real effort player who fought so long and so hard in his career to achieve starter's status, and I think he was on his way to a great season. His injury puts a tremendous burden on Lionel Barnes. I think it's unrealistic to expect Bobby McCray to be anything more than a pass-rush specialist, and Brandon Green had been deactivated for the first two games so I don't know what his capabilities are for picking up the slack. The Jaguars will probably look long and hard at the list of available defensive ends. Clearly, the team is in a desperate situation at that position and I don't feel confident that I could speculate accurately on what they might do. I think that one of the solutions will be for Akin Ayodele to spend more time at end. Another solution might involve scheme. I don't think the waiver wire will produce much in the way of help. You gotta do it with what you have. Chuck Noll used to say, "Help is not on the way." It's the attitude you have to take in dealing with something like this. You can't wait for help to arrive.
Roger from Jacksonville:
The Jags lost the coin toss and Denver elected to receive. Why did the Jags choose to defend the south end zone, putting them against the wind in the fourth quarter?
Vic: That's not how it works. Denver won the coin toss and elected to receive. That meant the Jaguars got first choice to start the second half. They elected to receive. Denver then elected to defend the south goal, which meant they would be driving with the wind in the fourth quarter. As it turned out, that decision cost them the game because the Jason Elam 51-yard field goal attempt that fell short was against the wind in the third quarter. If the Jaguars wanted to defend the north goal in the fourth quarter, then they would've had to make that their choice to start the second half, which means Denver would've gotten the ball twice.
Andre from Jacksonville:
OK, I get it, you love the defensive mentality, and I admit I love it, too, but wouldn't it be nice to have a consistent running game like the second half of the season last year? This style is not gonna continue to get it done. The defense is gonna need help here. Your thoughts?
Vic: Do you think they've chosen to not gain yards? Do you think it's their choice to be dead last in the league rankings on offense? You're right, they won't continue to win if they don't improve dramatically on offense. But gaining yards and scoring points isn't something you chose to do, it's something you have to accomplish, and in this case it's going to take time. I credit Jack Del Rio for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of his team, then fashioning a style of play consistent with what his team can and can't do. It takes a lot of discipline to play the style of football with which the Jaguars have won the first two games. It has bought the Jaguars time to work with their offense without it costing games. Do you have another solution?
Alan from Buford, GA:
Last year, it seemed Fred Taylor played mediocre through the first eight games of the season and then really turned it on in the last eight games. He seems to be off to the same start this year. Do you think it's attributed to lack of carries in preseason, to his current sore foot, or to the fact that Brady is not in there to help with blocking? Your article was dead right about this team's strength in special teams and defense. I'll take wins any day.
Vic: I think it hurt Fred Taylor only having carried the ball six times in the preseason and not playing at all in the final two preseason games. It's also hurting the Jaguars running game that Kyle Brady isn't playing. They need the blocking he provides. Jack Del Rio said Taylor's foot is not an issue. If that's true, then I have no doubt Taylor will be Taylor before long. My concern on offense is this team's inability to identify, develop or establish a number two receiver. Byron Leftwich needs a dependable possession receiver with whom he might develop the kind of relationship Mark Brunell had with Keenan McCardell. Leftwich needs a mid-range check-down receiver with whom he can convert third downs. Maybe Reggie Williams will grow into that role. Or maybe Ernest Wilford or Troy Williams will be that guy. Somebody has to ascend to that role for this offense to grow. When the Jaguars start converting third downs, Taylor will start getting 25-30 carries a game. That's what a great running back needs to take control of the game; he needs more rushing attempts.