Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Nate from Tampa, FL:
On Fred Taylor's first fumble, I could see him holding the ball out there. As soon as I said, "two arms, Fred," he was stripped. This seems to happen often; the jumping around without securing the ball with two arms. Is it me or is Fred Taylor's fumbling problem hugely overlooked? And how many times has he fumbled in his career?
Vic: Fred Taylor has fumbled four times this season and has lost three of those. In his career, he has fumbled 15 times and lost 10. I don't think those numbers qualify him to be termed a "fumbler," but they clearly indicate he will put the ball on the ground every now and then and that will cause teams to make "strip the ball" part of their gameplan. Taylor's running style incorporates a lot of twists, turns and cutbacks, and that probably means the ball is moving away from his body at times and is vulnerable to being stripped. I think that's a risk you have to accept with a big-play running back who is not in the traditional pads-down, tucked position that's associated with ball-secured pounders. You can't expect Fred to cover the ball with two arms and still be Fred.
Don from Amelia Island, FL:
Can you explain the rules and reasoning behind the third-string QB? Why do they have to be designated? Why can't the first or second-string QBs play once the third-string QB has entered the game?
Vic: You're confusing the generic definition of "third quarterback" with the one that is specific to inactive players. A team is not required to designate a "third quarterback." If it doesn't, then none of that team's quarterbacks are subject to the rules that govern the specific definition of the term, "inactive third quarterback." The term applies only to a quarterback a team wishes to designate as such for the purpose of having him not count against the team's 45-man active roster that day. It's an advantage the rules are offering, but if you choose to use it, you must also abide by the rules that go with using it. Those rules stipulate that if the "third quarterback" enters the game before the fourth quarter, the team's other two designated quarterbacks may not enter or re-enter the game. All of the quarterbacks may play if the inactive third quarterback initially enters the game in the fourth quarter or overtime period.
Andy from Chicago, IL:
While Leftwich is no Vick or McNair, does he scramble the way Elway did, with that bit of elusiveness, or did Miami's defense just break down during certain plays?
Vic: Byron Leftwich will never be described as a scrambler. His mobility is very limited. My concern is for your very low opinion of John Elway's scrambling ability. You're treating him as though he was Neil O'Donnell. Elway had more than a "bit of elusiveness." He was a great scrambler who has more rushing attempts (774) than any quarterback in NFL history. He's the fourth-leading all-time rusher among quarterbacks with 3,407 yards and is second to Fran Tarkenton in rushing touchdowns with 33. Michael Vick is in a category all his own, but the next group down is headed by Elway.
Frank from Clinton, MD:
Do you think if the Jags moved T.J. Slaughter to the middle linebacker spot and moved Peterson to the OLB position it would better Peterson's production?
Vic: Not really.
Jason from Jacksonville:
The Jags had a couple of really big third-and-one situations and never put in our pounder, Fu (vowel rationing). I think you run the ball down their throats in those situations. Your thoughts?
Vic: Thank you for conserving vowels, and I agree with you completely.
Todd from Toledo, OH:
I think Leftwich is a great quarterback for a rookie. He has amazing potential, however, he seems to have problems holding onto the football. The fumble against the Texans in the fourth quarter isn't his only fumble. I also believe if the Jags could get a few talented wide receivers outside of Jimmy over the offseason, he could definitely do some things. Your thoughts?
Vic: Not fumbling is good and the Jaguars very definitely need a few talented wide receivers.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Is the glass half full or half empty? How would you describe the Jaguars after six games: Bad teams find a way to lose and this team is finding different ways to lose each Sunday, or they are only a couple of players away from being a competitive team?
Vic: I don't think either explanation fits this team. The situation is much simpler and distinct. This team is in rebuilding. I am urging everyone to embrace that fact. Accept it, deal with it, understand what it means and cling to the hope it offers. This is not a bad team finding ways to lose. This is an under-manned team short on the kind of talent it takes to find ways to win. It's not about being a couple of players away, it's about finding players with whom you might go forward. I believe this team is doing that. It's in addition, not subtraction, and that's the hope about which I speak. But it's going to require the addition of several more players before this team can become the consistent winner we all want it to be, and the addition of those players will require at least one more full offseason, probably two. That's my evaluation of where this team's at six games into this season. Now, here's my question to you: Do you have the stamina and patience to endure that kind of long-term project?