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It all begins with talent

Ben Corby from Jacksonville:
A couple of months ago I read on that the league was considering allowing teams to keep six players on the practice squad, as long as one was a quarterback. Do you know if anything came of this? Vic: That idea was discussed but not enacted. Expanding rosters is sensitive subject matter because it deals with an increase in payroll (including the potential for injury settlement) and the delicate balance between veterans and rookies that the union diligently protects.

Jon-Michael Harris from Starke, FL:
Relative to the players in other sports, do you think football players are underpaid?

David Conte from Jacksonville:
I feel the combination of Jimmy and Keenan was too big to let go. Do you think as I do that the Jags would have been better off saving money by letting Brackens go, or at least putting him in the expansion draft? I like all the moves the Jags made in the offseason but that one. Brackens should be gone and Keenan still here. Besides, I think getting rid of Keenan was what finally pushed Jimmy to hold out. His frustration just boiled over at that point. Your thoughts, please. Vic: David, you've got your facts a little confused. For starters, the Jaguars didn't include Tony Brackens in the expansion draft pool because they knew the Texans wouldn't take him. What good would it have done to put him in the pool if he wasn't going to be selected? The Jaguars were desperate to move out amortization, and the only way that was going to be accomplished was by putting players in the expansion pool the Texans would select. Brackens' amortization is such that the Jaguars couldn't move him if they wanted. Trading him or cutting him not only wouldn't represent a savings, it would create an expense the Jaguars' salary cap couldn't possibly endure. As far as Jimmy Smith is concerned, the release of Keenan McCardell has never been mentioned as a reason for Smith's holdout. What are my thoughts? This is a year of salary-cap repair. What's been done had to be done, and more if it will be required.

Mitchell M. Walker, Sr. from Huntsville, AL:
Where does the linebacker position stack up in preseason, as far as what it might look like for the regular season? Envision any trading to better fill the slots? How are the Jaguars compared right now defensively to other teams in their division?

Lynn Cuda from Mandarin, FL:
Despite the inconsistency of performance in Atlanta last week, some players still showed promise. I keep thinking, though, they need to get a sense of being a team, not a group of individuals. With so many new players this year, what veteran players do you see taking a leadership role so this sense of team can be accomplished? Vic: Before the Jaguars can start thinking about cutesy issues such as veteran leadership and team spirit, they'll have to decide on who will make their team. This is a very competitive situation in a roster-reconstruction year. In my opinion, no player should have a lock on a job. In fact, I will be disappointed if the Jaguars don't make a couple of bold personnel moves before the start of the regular season. You don't appoint leaders. Players assume leadership roles as a result of their teammates' admiration. That comes naturally with success. Forget about that stuff for now. The Jaguars need to find players of raw talent. It all begins with talent.

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