Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Michael from Rock Hill, NY:
If 10 wins could win this division, would it be realistic to say the second place team in the AFC South might not make the playoffs?
Vic: That's where the schedule becomes a big factor. The AFC South played a weak schedule and produced two playoff teams last season. The AFC West had a very tough schedule and turned out only one playoff team. This year, the AFC South has a tough schedule, similar to what the AFC West faced last season, and I think it's very possible only one team from the AFC South could make it into the playoffs. That's why I think it's really important to make the division title the goal.
James from Gainesville, FL:
I believe the Cleveland Browns had two 1,000 yard-rushers in 1985, Kevin Mack (1,104 yards) and Earnest Byner (1,002).
Vic: Oh, yeah, Cleveland. I forgot about Cleveland. I do that a lot.
Steve from Los Angeles, CA:
You said you didn't think Warren Moon should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame because he never won a big game. Would you say the same about Peyton Manning, when he's inducted, if his career continues on the current pace of big numbers and no playoff wins?
Vic: I'll buy Moon. I like his story. I guess I'm OK with putting him in, but it really bothers me that he doesn't have a significant win. It's not as though he didn't have a chance. He played in 10 postseason games and had a 3-7 record and lost his last four playoff appearances. That bothers me. I put a lot of stock in guys who reach up in the postseason. I'm willing to give him a pass because he played in that stupid run-and-shoot offense, which is just not a postseason offense, but the problem with giving him a pass on the run-and-shoot is that it was all those stats that he got in the run-and-shoot, which is a real stats-happy scheme, that got him into the Hall of Fame. This is one where you just have to look into your heart and make a call. If I was on the selection committee, I would've been persuaded to vote for Moon, but it would've required some cajoling. I covered a lot of Moon's games. I know what he could do. I just wish he had done more of it in the postseason. As far as Manning is concerned, I feel the same way, but Manning is going to be a first-ballot guy. There's no doubt about his election to the Hall of Fame. His stats blow everybody away. There's no denying the ease with which he moves the ball and scores points. His production is fantastic and he has been a very durable player, but he's 3-6 in the postseason and, in my opinion, that's damaging his reputation.
Nick from Toronto, Ontario:
Thanks for being a true "pro football" historian. Your knowledge and appreciation of the CFL is far greater than any American I have talked with regarding the game. I'm not going to go into an our-balls-are-bigger tirade (I actually prefer the NFL), but it's refreshing to have our little league attain some recognition from a man whose football opinions I admire and respect.
Vic: The CFL has roots dating back to 1861. The league has done a wonderful job of staying in business for a long time. During the same period, American professional football has seen several different leagues: the All-American Football Conference, the AFL, the WFL, The USFL, the XFL. The AAFC and the AFL merged teams into the NFL, but the other three went belly up. The business of professional football is not easy. The CFL has made it work for a long time. Football fans in Canada should be proud of their "little league."
Tom from Jacksonville:
As much as you don't want to admit it, kids these days get into football video game playing before they play the game on the field. It helps them understand the structure of the game. You really are unfairly harsh on the video game crowd. You make a lot of blanket statements about the group as a whole. Young kids cling to the Madden games because they are excellent simulations (until the kids get too good at them, then you start seeing 50-point scores and then the reality goes). If the games are so fake and have no merit (based) on real football, why do so many of the athletes play the game? They obviously don't think it's crap. I really think your comments about video games are based in ignorance and presumption and not on hard facts.
Cliff from Patuxent River, MD:
Why would a player agree to re-structure his contract that establishes incentives he knows won't be reached?
Vic: It's at no cost and no harm to him and he's helping the club.
Trevor from Washington, DC:
I took a break from playing Madden 2006 to read your article today. I have to admit that until you put their names in print, I had never heard of Mercury Morris or Rocky Bleier (what great names). However, I think it's safe to say that most anyone who knows a football isn't round knows who Larry Csonka and Franco Harris are. In your opinion, what was the most potent running back tandem to play the game? One of those pairs or someone else?
Vic: Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor.
Steve Jones from Jacksonville:
John Czarnecki wrote an interesting article about the new NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. In it he describes how Mr. Goodell should move the Jags to Los Angeles. I am happy to tell my out-of-town friends the Jags have a waiting list which, to me, is indicative of our city's support. What teams in the NFL do not have a waiting list currently that could be more viable candidates for relocation?
Vic: The teams that are candidates to move to Los Angeles are candidates, in most cases, because of bad stadium situations. Selling tickets in Jacksonville is vitally important because Jacksonville doesn't offer the other revenue streams that most NFL cities do. Selling tickets in Miami is obviously not as big an issue because the Dolphins have had blackouts, yet, the Dolphins are never mentioned as a candidate to move to LA because the Miami market offers so many lucrative revenue streams. The Jacksonville situation is kind of unique. It's mostly about stadiums in other places. The Vikings need a new stadium. So do the Chargers, 49ers and Raiders. They are all candidates. The Bills don't need a new stadium and Buffalo has great fans, but the Buffalo market doesn't offer the kind of revenue streams the Bills need to be able to compete with their big-market brethren in the AFC East. That's what makes the Bills vulnerable, sort of, but I think a lot of the "scare" in Buffalo is bluster, since Hamilton and Toronto sit just to the north and make Buffalo a bigger market than the numbers show. Jacksonville is unique because it has to support itself almost entirely. Green Bay has regionalism, as Packers fans come from all over the state of Wisconsin. The Jaguars don't have that. The Jaguars are truly Jacksonville's team and that places a major burden on a very small market. Given the current state of season ticket sales, Jacksonville deserves a big pat on the back.
John from Moenchengladbach, Germany:
I like your thoughts about the Hall of Fame being a special place for special people. In your opinion, is there any member of the current team who has the potential to one day be in Canton?
Vic: Marcus Stroud, John Henderson and Rashean Mathis have Hall of Fame ability. Mathis may be the best athlete this team has ever had, Stroud is one of the best big-man athletes I have ever seen, and Henderson's power is stunning. At practice yesterday afternoon, Stroud decided he wanted to catch a punt so he jumped into position as one of Chris Hanson's punts fell out of the sky. Now here's a guy with his arms and hands all padded up and he's looking up at a punt that is falling so far and so fast that if it hit someone in the head it would probably knock them out, and Stroud judged it perfectly. He bobbled and dropped the ball, but he moved gracefully and I have no doubt that if he had taken the pads off and Hanson had punted another one, Stroud would've caught it. A little later, the Jaguars were doing a pass-rush drill and Henderson bull-rushed a poor undrafted kid as though Henderson was plowing snow. He even let up on the kid. It was comical and there were a few giggles. These are special physical specimens.
Stevie from Scotland:
I think Pearman should be the punt-returner because he always catches the punts, he's small and very agile. What do you think?
Vic: I think Alvin Pearman is going to make a career out of being coachable, willing, dedicated, smart, versatile and dependable.
John from Jacksonville:
Your Chad Owens human confrontation reply was great. Did he hurt his chances with the team by refusing to go to NFL Europe? At the time, I thought that was a very poor decision.
Vic: At the time, I thought it was a mistake, too. Obviously, it wasn't. He's now second team at wide receiver and number one at punt-returner. Owens needed to get his confidence back. He may not have been ready for NFL Europe. His "NFL Europe" season begins this Saturday.