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It's a tough life

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

Johan from Gothenburg, Sweden:
Do you have any info on Akin Ayodele and his future for the Jaguars? Do you think the Jaguars will re-sign him for next season?

Vic: Akin Ayodele will be a restricted free agent when the free agency period begins. I expect the team will use the process to their advantage, which means they will tender Ayodele in such a manner that would require a team signing him to compensate the Jaguars with the equal of the pick that was used to draft him, which was a third-round choice. History would indicate teams are reluctant to sign free agents who require compensation. History would also suggest Ayodele will sign the one-year tender, putting himself in a position to have a big year that will catapult him into unrestricted free agency. That's the process and it works for both sides.

Eric from Jacksonville:
Can you compare McNabb's stats with Brady's in the regular season and in the playoffs this year?

Vic: In the regular season, Tom Brady completed 288 of 474 passes (60.8 percent) for 3,692 yards, 28 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 92.6 passer rating. In the postseason, Brady has completed 32 of 48 passes (66.7 percent) for 351 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 108.9 passer rating. Donovan McNabb, in the regular season, completed 300 of 469 passes (64.0 percent) for 3,875 yards, 31 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 104.7 passer rating. In the postseason, McNabb has completed 38 of 59 passes (64.4 percent) for 466 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 111.3 passer rating.

Joey from Eliot, ME:
I'm watching ESPN and I'm getting the impression Jacksonville is an unlivable hell hole. Is it as bad as I've heard?

Vic: It can get really bad, Joey. On windy days, you can have a ball blown 20 feet off line. You have to be able to hit knock-down shots if you're going to score at all, especially on the ocean holes.

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA:
Personally, I liked the John Riggins Super Bowl touchdown run because my wife to be and I were there to witness it. What would be a realistic expectation for the Jags offense under Smith's direction? More points as well as a different approach?

Vic: You're a hopeless romantic, Bruce. As for your affection for the Jaguars offense, I think it would be safe to say the expectation for it under Carl Smith is that it will score more points. That's the primary goal of any offense, but there are other important goals, too. For one, under Smith the Jaguars are going to be more committed to the running game. Secondly, they're going to be more committed to the vertical passing game. One massages the other. You tighten the defense by pounding at it at the line of scrimmage, then you stretch the defense by throwing over the top of it. I think that's what you're going to see in the way of approach. That doesn't mean that every pass is going to be launched 60 yards, it just means that you're going to see more deep-ball attempts.

Jim from Greenville, NC:
The last couple of weeks the news is full of team signings to fill-out rosters. What goes on here?

Vic: These are players who are leftovers from the season. They spent time in a camp or on a roster or on a practice squad and they have been deemed worthy of an offseason roster. It's just another one of the pools for which pro personnel scouting departments are responsible. When the season ends teams have roster availabilities based on the number of players they have under contract. Offseason roster size increases to 80 which allows more of these players to be signed. Teams in the playoffs must maintain their 53-man active-roster limit, but they may sign these leftover players to "future" contracts. The offseason process is under way. Free agency is soon to begin, then comes the draft and spring mini-camps and the focus shifts to next season. The NFL is a yearly exercise in roster regeneration.

Dwayne from Jacksonville:
Maybe this question will qualify me for the "Ask Vic" Hall of Fame, but I don't understand how decreasing the size of the stadium is going to help in the short term. If blackouts are less likely, won't more fans be tempted to save the dough and not buy season tickets?

Vic: In other words, you subscribe to the Yogi Berra theory: "Nobody goes there any more; it's too crowded."

Brian from Fredericksburg, VA:
I would like to say that being a Jags fan since the day they got the franchise, we, as fans, have to support our team better. I think that after the year that Jacksonville has had the fans will show up next year, but even in 1998 and '99 I remember having some games then that did not sell out, even with those records. It is the market in Jacksonville, but with at least one million in population we should fill a 77,000 seat stadium. I wish the fans of Jacksonville would be like the fans of Pittsburgh. They are everywhere and when we had the black and gold in our home stadium there were more gold towels than teal and black. I know you won't print this but I think you will agree.

Vic: I don't agree that a one-million market should necessarily be expected to fill a 77,000-seat stadium. Green Bay is a unique situation. I do believe, however, that a one-million market that has only one major league pro sports team should be able to fill a 67,000-seat stadium. Next season will define Jacksonville as a football town.

Brad from Rocklin, CA:
Would it be possible to create an "Ask Vic" search function? The reason I'm asking is because I know you answered the question of when players can begin signing with other teams, but I don't really want to go clicking on every column in the archive until I find it.

Vic: That's a great idea and I will ask the IT boys if it can be done. It would sure help me avoid questions that have been previously answered. Right off the bat I can think of one question it would answer: When will the schedule be announced? I think I get at least one of those a day.

Max from Brooklyn, NY:
How long until you think the Jags become a Super Bowl contender?

Vic: I expect them to be playoff contenders next season. Would that make them Super Bowl contenders?

Ben from Phoenix, AZ:
If Norm Chow was interested in the Jaguars job, why didn't Del Rio ever ask him if he wanted it? Was he concerned Chow would bolt in a year for a head coaching job?

Vic: I can't answer this question definitively. I know Jack Del Rio and Norm Chow spoke. I know the subject was broached and my information is that Chow sidestepped the issue. My information is that Del Rio got the impression Chow was not interested in the job. If I was a head coach, one of my concerns would be for the upward mobility of the coordinators I hire. That would be especially true on the side of the ball opposite from the head coach's expertise. In Del Rio's case, that would be offense. It's important to keep a staff together. The Patriots have had Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel as their coordinators through their Super Bowl run. They'll lose both guys for next season. Will that help them? Carl Smith is not likely to bolt for another job. That means that if he's successful Byron Leftwich will be working with the same guy and in the same offense for however long that relationship is productive. That's a very attractive proposition.

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