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I'll take a bust

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

Chris from St. Augustine, FL:
Are the busts that are enshrined in the Hall of Fame designed to look like the player at his prime or like the player at the time of his induction into the Hall? All of these busts shown on TV this week look like a bunch of old guys.

Vic: The busts are intended to represent the player as we remember him from his playing days. Bronze tends to make you look a little older.

Nathan from Richmond, VA:
Hey, Vic, looking forward to the convention and game next week. I have a question regarding the Ricky Williams issue down in Miami. Now that he is retired, how does that affect his salary cap hit? And since Wayne Huizenga hit the roof and justifiably wants some portion of the contract back, how will that affect the team's cap? Will it be awarded back to them, or does it just go back into Wayne's checking account?

Vic: Let's start with the immediate salary cap ramifications of Ricky Williams' retirement. Williams' 2004 salary and LTBEs (likely to be earned incentives) will be credited back to the Dolphins' '04 cap, so they get some needed relief there. His scheduled cap amortization for this year, however, remains the same. Do you remember the "Salary Cap 101" language regarding players who are cut or retire after June 1? What's in the year stays in the year, everything else goes into the next year. That means that what remains of Williams' bonus amortization following this season will go onto the Dolphins' '05 cap. But it's not going to be that simple since the Dolphins want Williams to return a portion of his signing bonus. When that issue is settled, then we'll know how much amortization will remain to go onto the Dolphins' '05 cap.

Linda from Toledo, OH:
I have been a Jags fan since their start and I moved back to Ohio. Now I can't get the game on cable like before. The locals are all Lions fans. Is there a station I can get to see all the televised games up here?

Vic: You'll have to purchase "Sunday Ticket" on DirecTV. You'll see 'em all.

Steve from Glenside, PA:
Why is it that all the NFL logos face to the right, but the Eagles' logo faces to the left?

Vic: Are you guys all right up there? Things OK in Philly? I know those NFC title game losses are tough to take. Hang in there.

Shon from San Antonio, TX:
How much of our rookie draft picks can fans expect to see in the Jags/Dolphins game? Will Reggie Williams play in the first quarter or in all four quarters? Protection of a first-round pick vs. progression of the receiver's skill? Couldn't he use the reps, though?

Vic: I expect that all of the Jaguars rookies will see a lot of playing time, including Reggie Williams.

Pete from Jacksonville:
The Hall of Fame ceremony gave me a question. What do you consider most important, winning a Super Bowl or being inducted into the Hall of Fame?

Vic: That's a tough one. The answer is going to depend on the person answering it. Obviously, the Super Bowl is the goal in every season of a player's career, but the Hall of Fame is the cumulative result of the years in that player's career and, in many cases, the player's ability to achieve his Super Bowl goals will directly impact his chance of making it into the Hall of Fame. I have always been a team guy – always team first – but I can't imagine a greater honor than being recognized as a player worthy to be included in a group that represents the greatest collection of football players in history. I'd have to believe my career would be left lacking if I hadn't won a Super Bowl, but I could sure get over it in a hurry if they put my head in Canton. Yeah, I'll take a bust.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Because of our depth at linebacker and running back, do you think Cordova's and Toefield's injuries, however minor, could jeopardize their making the final cut?

Vic: No; they each have specific roles this team needs them to fill. LaBrandon Toefield is not only a capable backup running back, he is the Jaguars' best chance to have a third-down back since Tavian Banks was lost in 1999. His ankle sprain will probably keep him out for a couple of weeks, which will give him plenty of time to get ready for the season-opener. Jorge Cordova is listed as a linebacker but he's specifically a pass-rush specialist. He is going to be used in special ways to do something the Jaguars didn't do very well last season and which the Jaguars must improve dramatically this season. Cordova may offer the best chance for the Jaguars to improve their pass-rush and Jack Del Rio isn't likely to squander that potential on a sore quad muscle. Toefield and Cordova are important players on this team.

Devin from Middleburg, FL:
With Tony Brackens' recent injury, do you think it will threaten the rest of his career as a football player?

Vic: Tony Brackens is the greatest defensive player in Jaguars history, but it appears his playing days could be behind him now. He got almost no attention in free agency last spring, and now he's sustained an injury that is going to make it very difficult for the Jaguars to believe he could make it through a season. I think the answer to your question is pretty obvious.

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