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I got the message

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

Charlie from Neptune Beach, FL:
How do you think the devastation to New Orleans will affect the situation with the NFL and Los Angeles? I'd hate to see this catastrophe determine the fate of the Saints, but I also find it hard to see New Orleans worrying about football with all they have to deal with.

Vic: I think that's what our approach should be. What's going on in New Orleans isn't about football, it's about life. Obviously, the Saints' future in New Orleans is at issue because the future of the city of New Orleans is at issue. I don't think anything more needs to be said at this time.

Spencey from Neptune Beach, FL:
How do the Colts have cap room to sign Corey Simon? I thought they were going to be in cap trouble already. Are they burying themselves deeper with this move?

Vic: The Colts are taking their swing at the Super Bowl and this may be their last swing. The Corey Simon contract had yet to be turned into the league on Thursday so I don't have all of the particulars for you. I'm sure someone will re-ask the question over the weekend and on Monday I'll give you the exact numbers on Simon's contract and how they'll be applied to the Colts' salary cap, but I have no doubt the Colts will have pushed out everything they can. I'm not going to guess at the structure but I'll bet it's heavily back-loaded. It can be done. You can usually squeeze a few more beads out of the toothpaste tube. The Jaguars did it in 1999-2001. The Titans did it. The Redskins are doing it. Then, one day, the tube is empty. I understand the Colts' thinking. They have a prolific passer who is at the peak of his career. If they don't get some help for Peyton Manning on defense, the Colts run the risk of wasting Manning's career on a lot of records but no titles. This may be the Colts' last chance.

Pete from Gainesville, VA:
I just wanted to let you know I have a friend who lives in Slidell, La., and he is alive and well. He is an "Ask Vic" reader and just wanted me to pass on thanks for what you said. Everyone down there is thankful for everyone keeping them in their thoughts and prayers.

Vic: Tell him we're happy to hear the news.

Jeff from Little Rock, AR:
People from Arkansas are used to being made fun of; it's part of our identity and, therefore, one of the reasons we trumpet the success of one of our own. That being said, we can appreciate someone who can make fun of us, without really making fun of us, if you know what I mean. You, my friend, are an expert at it. Keep up the good work. Honestly, I think that's why we keep assailing you with questions. You may not like it, Vic, but as far as we're concerned, you're one of us now. You'll get your Hog Hat and membership card in the mail.

Vic: I love good-natured teasing. It's my twisted little way of showing affection. Thanks for getting it. I like people who delight in the art of subtle repartee.

David from Soleton, MS:
Thanks so much for the "shout out" you gave in your latest "Ask Vic" to the victims of this storm. "Katrina" totally demolished our little town of 500 people, but it has brought our community together. On behalf of me and my Jaguars fan family, we would like to let you know we will be using for our updates on our beloved team as we temporarily reside in Pensacola, Fla. Even if this doesn't make it to the column, thank you for the concern you have expressed for those affected by the storm.

Vic: One by one, I want members of our "Ask Vic" family that were in "Katrina's" path to let us know they're safe and back in the fold.

Steve from Cassville, MO:
I noticed the offense is predominately the same people as last year. I see no reason to expect any different results.

Vic: I don't agree that the offensive personnel is the same. There are new faces at wide receiver that could provide major impact. Khalif Barnes gives the Jaguars a big body for the future and maybe he'll step into that future at some point this season. I think it's logical to expect Byron Leftwich to be a better quarterback. Alvin Pearman gives the Jaguars some excitement potential in the backfield. Let's not forget that the offense has a new coordinator and an all-new playbook and philosophy. It's not the same offense and I see every reason to expect different results.

Robert from Jacksonville:
Do you like what you saw vs. the Cowboys?

Vic: I like the quick-strike ability Byron Leftwich and the passing game showed in its two-play touchdown drive. I like what I saw in a lot of the young players, such as Derrick Wimbush and Gerald Sensabaugh. On the downside, I was aghast at the play of the second-team defense against the run. I expect a rookie cornerback to have some trouble in man-to-man coverage against a veteran pass combination such as Drew Bledsoe to Terry Glenn, but I don't expect veteran defensive linemen to get pushed around in the run game by a rookie tackle, as was the case Thursday night when the Jaguars defensive line made Rob Petitti look like an All-Pro.

Mike from Athens, OH:
I was wondering if you thought coach Del Rio pulled Jimmy Smith out of the game after dropping a pass because of the drops in the previous games and practices or because he didn't want to get him hurt? I would like to think that it was a message reminding Smith he needs to produce to keep playing.

Vic: Jack Del Rio said that taking Jimmy Smith out of the game wasn't a reaction to the drop, but I don't think there's anyone who believes that or who didn't get the message: The drops have to stop and they have to stop now.

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