Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Nathan from Richmond, VA:
I saw an interview with Jim Leyland. When asked about players, he said (and I am paraphrasing here), "Give me talent over experience any day. Talented players can get better. I already know what an experienced player can do." I thought that this applied nicely to the Jaguars situation.
Vic: And experienced players won't be doing it much longer because they're getting old. Nothing is better than young talent.
Bryan from Orange Park, FL:
It's shocking to me the number of people stunned that the team loses no money in a blackout. I think all of these blackout people that have been e-mailing you all summer just assumed blackouts hurt the bottom line now. That is either indicative of, or one of the reasons for, these fans' sense of entitlement. Well, I for one have paid for my tickets, will be in the stadium and will love watching my team play. I hope you can keep hammering home the blackout reality until this town gets it.
Vic: I think a lot of people deluded themselves into believing that because they watched the game on TV, the Jaguars were making money. The truth of the matter is that, yes, the NFL subsists mainly on its television revenue and, yes, the television revenue is tied to ratings and, yes, blackouts are bad for ratings and should there be too many of them the television networks will complain that they're paying too much money, and that's when the NFL might start thinking that it would be a good idea for your team to move to a town where they will buy the tickets and allow the game to be shown on TV. The two are directly linked. Sellouts are good for TV ratings.
Charles from Jacksonville:
When a team buys tickets to lift a blackout, don't they buy those tickets from themselves? Not that it's minor, but is the tax on the ticket the only cost to the team besides loss of more ticket sales that the blackout would have caused?
Vic: We really don't understand this stuff and it's time we do. Forty percent of the cost of a ticket is the visiting team's share and that money is put into what's called a visitors pool. In other words, if a team purchases 1,000 tickets at $100 each for the purpose of lifting the blackout, then its loss is $40,000 and that money goes to its competitors.
Scott from Jacksonville:
What could stop a team from knowing in advance their starting QB was hurt and would not play, to not list him on their injury report and him somehow get a pregame warmup injury? Would that be something the league would look into?
Vic: The league would investigate the matter and if they found the team guilty of deceit, it might cost them as much as a second-round draft pick.
Mike from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
The chokers of the world just won't get it. They are the ones that have learned to enjoy 56-0 halftime leads as major college powers run up the score on undermanned teams. The average NFL score is 21-17 and a larger percentage of games are decided in the fourth quarter than the first. Many times on telecasts they'll talk about how many fourth-quarter comebacks a quarterback has had. I've never once heard it mentioned how many first-quarter leads a quarterback has led his team to.
Vic: That's funny, but not to the chokers. The chokers do everything they can to deflect the emphasis from crunch time to another time because they know they can't handle the pressure of crunch time and they'll choke. It's in their DNA. It's what they do. They choke.
Rashaad from Jacksonville:
Do you think the Jags season could be shot if they lose to the Colts on opening weekend? I really think that game as early as it is could be a make or break for the team mentally. Your thoughts?
Vic: The Jaguars would undoubtedly fall hard in the AP poll if they lost the first game of the season, and they'd be facing a hard climb back up the rankings, but I would expect them to rebound against Charleston Southern, which is down a little this year, and put themselves right back in the hunt for a New Year's Day game.
Craig from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
As one of the 17,000 who did not renew season tickets this year and can say it was not because of financial reasons, do you think upper management conveys to the coaching staff the importance or sense of urgency of getting off to a quick start and the financial ramifications in doing so? Simply put, if the Jags win and win early, I will find my way back to the stadium.
Vic: I just heard someone say this morning, "We need to win one for the Craiger."
Travis from Jacksonville:
I saw Underwood make a couple of nice catches deep downfield and Marcedes Lewis and Dillard just catch everything. Cox, the rookie CB, also ripped and deflected some passes. Who has impressed you in these early days of camp?
Vic: There'll be plenty of time in the preseason to see what the receivers can do. Training camp affords an opportunity for an up-close look at the linemen. You can judge their footwork and hand technique. For example, Eben Britton is a guy who was said to have heavy feet, but I don't see that at all. I've watched him up close and I think he's light on his feet and athletic. When he gets up to speed with the playbook, he's gonna play faster and you're gonna see that footwork. I watched Brad Meester and I'm not gonna tell you that his feet are what they were, but he knows what to do with his hands and that's more valuable to an interior lineman than foot speed. I watched Terrance Knighton on the thump machine and I can tell you that he's got a powerful two-hand punch. When you come to camp, look for the little things. The big things can be seen in the games.
Austin from Jacksonville:
Is there a reason you never answer my questions? Mine are actually important compared to the others.
Vic: That's probably what it is then.
Steve from Waycross, GA:
What's to keep the TV network from buying up the unsold tickets so they can televise the game?
Vic: This is getting too funny. You want TV to spend money to televise a game they've already bought the rights to televise. Why would they do that? They're going to show another game in place of the blacked out Jaguars game and they'll recoup a portion of the ratings they lost. Here's a question I have: What's to stop the fans from buying up the unsold tickets? Oh, wait, I know: The lawn care service took their money. You guys aren't getting it. The F in NFL doesn't stand for free. Neither this league nor this franchise is built on the premise of unsold tickets. I guess Yogi Berra was right: "If people don't want to come out to the ballpark, nobody's gonna stop 'em."
Shane from Jacksonville:
Who were you most impressed with during the Oklahoma drills? Who shocked you the most?
Vic: Nobody shocked me. Everybody represented themselves well and nobody dominated to the point that they became an Oklahoma legend. It was a spirited Oklahoma drill, but I wouldn't call it memorable. Oklahoma's are all about matchups. When you can send up to the bags a Tony Boselli vs. a Tony Brackens or a Jack Lambert vs. a Mike Webster, then you're going to have a memorable Oklahoma. It's about the eighth-pick-of-the-draft offensive tackle vs. the eighth-pick-of-the-draft defensive end. Unfortunately, the eighth-pick-of-the-draft offensive tackle isn't in camp. This Jaguars team doesn't have a Boselli or a Brackens to put against a hotshot rookie who wants to make a name for himself by taking the measure of the star player. In time, that'll happen, but we didn't have that last night. What I saw was good enough for now. As far as singling out somebody other than the obvious highlights, the guy I would mention is Tim Shaw. He's the quiet man. I forgot all about him, but he caught my attention last night with two textbook thumps. The Oklahoma is a thump drill. It's not about run and hit, it's about step up and thump and Shaw stepped up, dropped his hips, squared his shoulders and got into the chest plate of rookie tight end Zach Miller who, by the way, didn't shy away from the contact. If you like thumps, and I very much like thumps, Shaw-Miller was the best Oklahoma of the bunch.