Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Jim from Jacksonville:
Thought you'd be interested in knowing that Ed Bouchette said on Pittsburgh radio that if he could do it again he would've just boycotted the DROY vote.
Vic: I talked to Ed yesterday and he explained that the AP didn't allow for much thought on the re-vote. They wanted it done quickly and Ed's first reaction was that he didn't like the re-vote, so he voted with a degree of angry protest. Had he been given time to rationally think about a re-vote, he would've elected to abstain from voting. Hey, who needs the aggravation, right? Ed's point in all of this is that he belongs to the school of thought that reporters should report the news, not make the news. Apparently, Ed likes to watch, too. I have a feeling the AP may have just lost Ed as a contributing voter.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
So now golf gets to find out what Actovegin has provided to the record books. An era gone bad where cheating is accepted and records are tainted. I think with wood-headed clubs, Jack Nicklaus records are safe with me.
Vic: Me, too. Nicklaus also played in an era that was bookended by Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, with Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Johnny Miller in between. If there's one thing we know for sure about "Fat Jack," it's that he didn't take steroids or HGH.
Tom from Valkaria, FL:
Could you tell this reader exactly what HGH does for a player?
Vic: It makes their head look big and funny. They start to look like a cartoon character.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
With all of the new faces on the team, players and coaches alike, and a question mark at safety, will this year be the year the Jaguars define who they are?
Vic: So, you only define who you are when you're at your best? Wrong. You define who you are every time you step foot onto the field. Golf handicaps are the example here. You don't just turn in your best scores or your worst scores, you turn in all of your scores and a handicap is assigned from the average of every round of golf you've played. It's no different in football. Your reputation is cumulative.
Ryan from Hilliard, FL:
I just got back from Wrigley Field in Chicago. As a lifetime Cubs fan, it was amazing. The trip was a bucket list item for me, even though I am a young man. I went ahead and got it out of the way. The Cubs played your team, the Pirates, and beat them for the first time this season. Has there ever been a stadium or sporting event that you went to that gave you goosebumps just to be there?
Vic: My first ballpark exposure came at a very young age. My dad took me to Forbes Field to see the Pirates play the Phillies. We sat in the bleachers, which were 50-cent seats back then. It was OK, but it didn't give me goosebumps. I may have been too young for that. I saw the Steelers and Giants play there at a very young age, too, but Forbes Field just wasn't a goosebumps-type of ballpark, and it was absolutely horrible for football. It was the first time that I walked through the portal and into Pitt Stadium that a stadium gave me goosebumps. Pitt Stadium was a big, old bowl on top of a hill. Pitt and Michigan State were playing that day; Mike Ditka was playing for Pitt. I looked down at the green grass and Michigan State's white uniforms and green helmets and Pitt's blue and gold and I knew right away that this was for me. I think I was eight years old, maybe nine, but there was no doubt in my mind that this is what I would spend my life doing. That game ended in a tie. I don't remember much more about it than the goosebumps when I first walked into that stadium and that the game ended in a tie, but it left a mark on me forever.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Why isn't Jim Plunkett in the Hall of Fame? In your opinion, should he be a Hall of Famer?
Vic: If they were to vote him in, I wouldn't complain. Plunkett was a money player who saved his best for the postseason and I like that a lot, but I acknowledge that he lacks the kind of regular-season stats that are usually associated with Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks. I wish the selection committee had applied that same standard to at least one Hall-of-Fame quarterback's postseason performance.
Damon from Torrance, CA:
Last week you talked about Zach Miller and how he could theoretically become the team's number two receiver because of the mismatches he could create, but what about Lewis? He came on strong towards the middle of the season and started playing like a first-round pick. Will he be featured more this year as well?
Vic: Marcedes Lewis is a true tight end, which means he blocks and catches, and true tight ends aren't usually featured in the passing game. Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates and tight ends of that genre, which is to say wide receivers who line up as tight ends – or you might say tight ends that can't block – are the hybrid types that are featured in the passing game. Miller is that type of a tight end. Lewis plays the position the way it's supposed to be played.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
Can you win with a mediocre QB?
Vic: The Ravens did with Trent Dilfer and the Bucs did with Brad Johnson, but those days ended with the major point of emphasis on the chuck rule. The passing game has been propped up by the league to the point that I doubt you could win a championship these days with a mediocre quarterback.
Riley from Jacksonville:
I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida who has been going to Jaguars games with my dad since 1995. Today, I stood on my own two feet and bought my own season ticket. My generation is for professional football and we're coming.
Vic: You da man.
Veruschka from Moscow, Russia:
In my country, if a player did not attend practice, he would not play. I believe Jacksonville should trade Rashean Mathis for at least a high third but preferably a second-rounder. He has missed many games in the past three seasons. His frame is too small. Jacksonville needs some big, brutish Russians at cornerback.
Vic: I can see it now: the "Iron Curtain Defense."
Cole from Jacksonville:
If the Jaguars don't trade up to take Christian Ponder next year, I will wear a Ponder jersey to the first game of the 2011 season.
Vic: I've decided that I'm going to wear khakis to this year's opener. It was an easy decision.
Chris from Colorado Springs, CO:
If you could make a Mt. Rushmore in Jacksonville, who would you put on it?
Vic: I'd have Tony Boselli and Tim Tebow on the right, and Fred Taylor and Byron Leftwich on the left, and Leftwich would be sticking out his tongue.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
I've got a baseball question for you. If there's a force out to end an inning, but the runner crosses home plate before the out is recorded, does the run count?
Vic: Not unless the batter reaches first base safely before he's tagged out, say, trying to go to second or having made a move toward second and then was tagged out trying to get back to first. With two outs, the batter has to reach first base safely for a runner ahead of him to score.
Talmadge from Crossville, TN:
The Titans are using the 30-percent rule as an excuse not to sign Chris Johnson to a new contract. Does the 30-percent rule include roster bonuses?
Vic: Yes, it includes salary and roster bonuses, but not signing bonuses. The Titans could get it done if they wanted but sometimes you just have to play hardball. Johnson is only in year three of a five-year contract. There's no incentive for the Titans to do a new deal and if I was them, I'd make it very clear that there will be no new contract.
Nate from Jacksonville:
What kind of factors determine the right stadium size for a market? I'm guessing there's more to it than just population.
Vic: There are two main factors: the size of the market and the drain on the entertainment dollar. In a city that has the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NHL and the NBA, you're talking about 200 home dates a year and that's a major drain on that economy's entertainment dollar and it should result in the stadium being sized accordingly. In a place that has only 10 home dates a year, as Jacksonville does, the competition for the entertainment dollar isn't nearly as intense and that should result in the expectation for being able to support a larger-than-normal stadium for that size of market. In my opinion, when the tarps were put on 10,000 seats in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, it was sized perfectly for the size of the Jacksonville market and for the number of home events it hosts.
Bill from Jacksonville:
I suspect the NFL is mostly a league of carnivores, but have you ever covered any players that are vegetarians?
Vic: Yeah, I covered a guy way back in the beginning, a wide receiver named Glenn Scolnik, who was a vegetarian.
Nick from Toronto, ON:
How does Terrance Knighton look? I've heard some things I don't like regarding his weight.
Vic: He's lost 15 pounds since mini-camp.