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I'll go with Eagles-Raiders

Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Stephen from St. Augustine, FL:
I've heard Mark Brunell's future with the Jaguars is in doubt. I think with the right coach he'll be great again. Would Mark or any other players have any input into who the next coach is?

Vic: Absolutely not.

Donny from Orlando:
My question concerns our needs in the draft. As I see it, defensive end, linebacker and wide receiver are critical areas. Which of the three do you think is most crucial? We appear to be set at running back, quarterback, offensive tackle and defensive tackle. How would you rank the other positions I haven't listed here in terms of need?

Vic: Defensive end, linebacker and wide receiver are certainly the critical-need positions for the Jaguars, but I don't consider the Jaguars to be set at any position. That kind of thinking is risky. When you're drafting in the number eight spot, you better come away with a great player, regardless of position.

Chris from St. Augustine, FL:
Are there any rules prohibiting kickers from taking "practice shots" on the field when the other team tries to "ice the kicker" by taking a timeout?

Vic: I didn't know the answer to your question, so I asked special teams coach John Bonamego. He said he's never seen it done, but he knows of no rule prohibiting it.

Lane from Orlando, FL:
Before we get involved with draft-related questions, I was hoping I could get your take on the playoffs. What's your pick for the Super Bowl?

Vic: The Browns-Steelers, Giants-49ers games Sunday were classics. How does it get any better than that? The 49ers offense is on a roll heading to Tampa Bay; look out Bucs. You might say the same for the Eagles, who'll face a red-hot Michael Vick on a day Donovan McNabb will try to knock off a month of rust. But the Eagles have great resilience and Vick will find the Eagles defense and the Philly crowd much more difficult than Green Bay. In the AFC, I don't see anyone beating the Raiders. The Jets are hot and have the best chance; they were narrow losers in Oakland in early December. The Titans and the Steelers each lost big to the Raiders this year and neither has the secondary to stop Rich Gannon. Of course, you could do it the way Baltimore did a couple of years ago, when Tony Siragusa squashed Gannon. I'm leaning toward a Philadelphia-Oakland Super Bowl.

Sharon from Port Charlotte, FL:
Who or what keeps track of all the yardage, sacks, tackles, stats, etc. of a game on both sides of the ball?

Vic: Each game includes a stats crew in the press box. The information is input to a computer that's linked to the league office, and the league office releases all of its league-wide information by the start of business on Monday mornings.

Chris from Jacksonville:
My question is regarding Jimmy Smith and Tony Brackens. Over the radio show I heard you mention we'll be fine salary cap-wise for the 2003 season but that '04 scares you with regards to Brackens and Smith. Can you explain the cap ramifications from both players' contracts? Is there anything we can do now that the contracts have been signed for both players to rectify the situation and keep it from happening in the future?

Vic: Tony Brackens and Jimmy Smith represent whopping bonus amortization figures that must make it through the Jaguars' books. That's money that's already been paid. Remember, you pay it, you claim it. So, from that standpoint, nothing can be done to extinguish that money without it getting on the books. My concern is for each player's future with the team. If Brackens is cut, say, in June of this year, he'll be a major "dead money" hit on the '04 cap. The same applies to Smith. If a new coach, for example, decided to clear the team's cap at all cost, the combined Brackens-Smith hit on the '04 cap would be extremely harsh.

Marcone from Natal, Brazil:
How do you expect the Jaguars to play in the free agency market this offseason?

Vic: The Jaguars have enough cap room in '03 to be a player in the free-agent market, but not in week one. They've got to be frugal with their spending.

Dave from Orange Park, FL:
We all know postseason awards are a dime a dozen, but who does the voting for Comeback Player of the Year? Sure, Tommy Maddox was the feel-good story of the year. But how could the voters not select Fred Taylor? After missing 14 games last year with a horrendous groin injury, Fred came back, started all 16 games for the first time in his career and gained over 1,700 yards from scrimmage. What's your take on this? Is it another big media slight for a small-market team, or is Maddox really worthy of the award?

Vic: The vast majority of the Associated Press' voters considered Tommy Maddox worthy of the award, and so do I. You would find it impossible to convince those voters otherwise today.

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