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It's all about TOP

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Bryan from St. Augustine, FL:
How close would the ticket blackout situation be for Wayne Weaver to say we're close to the cut-off but I want the team on TV? A hundred tickets short, 250, 500? Or must every ticket be sold? What's your best guess?

Vic: That's the problem with "white knights." You start to count on them rushing in at the end to save the day. You have a very special owner. He is one of the most generous people I have ever known. Wayne Weaver, in effect, purchased 10,000 tickets when he covered those many seats for this year's games. Even though he couldn't have sold those tickets for Sunday's game against Seattle, he could sell them for the Indy and Baltimore games. Be glad I don't own this team because there would be no "white knights." It would be every ticket sold.

Marge from Jacksonville:
I absolutely love your column. I have learned more from reading it than all the football games I've watched combined. If you were to make an upgrade to any position on the Jaguars, where would it be? My husband says cornerback but I argue linebacker.

Vic: Your husband has targeted a high-profile position and most people would agree with his assessment. I don't think the Jaguars have a screaming need at linebacker, but the one player this team has always seemed to lack is that high-impact, sack-you, strip-you, LT-style linebacker. The Cowboys look like they just found that kind of player in DeMarcus Ware. That's the kind of player who would put the Jaguars defense over the top. The Steelers were able to have the number one defense in the league last year in spite of having very ordinary corners. Why? Because they have play-maker linebackers. I understand your husband's reasoning, but I'm partial to the linebacker position because of its impact and its potential to be used so creatively. Give me a run-and-hit guy any day.

Len from Jacksonville:
Today the wife asked me what the difference is between the designations "injured reserve" and "physically unable to perform." I think she's talking about football but she has a smart mouth and might be talking about me. Can you explain the differences?

Vic: As they pertain to the NFL, a player on the "injured reserve" list is done for the season. He can't play another game or even practice. The team may cut him from IR and do an injury settlement with him and if he's picked up by another team he may play, but not as long as he's on IR. To qualify for the "physically unable to perform" list the player must be put on PUP before training camp begins. Between weeks six and nine of the regular season the team must either put the player on the team's active roster or on its IR. Neither player counts against the 53-man roster while he is on IR or PUP, but he does count against the team's salary cap. If your wife is talking about you and not the NFL, then I think you know what she means.

Jacob from West Palm Beach, FL:
I love the new home page for It's very sharp, as was the performance of the Jags Sunday. If the game against Seattle doesn't give fans something to look forward to, I don't know what will. Can we expect to see more of this?

Vic: Sure.

Bryan from St. Augustine, FL:
The Jaguars got a very good win against Seattle and the Colts made the Ravens look bad in the second half of that game. What do the Jaguars need to do or improve on to get past an all-around impressive Colts team?

Vic: The formula for beating the Colts is very clear and the Jaguars have been very good at executing it, as evidenced by the fact that the Jaguars have beaten the Colts twice in the last three games between the two teams. You beat the Colts by dominating time of possession, which keeps Peyton Manning off the field. The Jaguars had TOP advantages of 11 and nine minutes in last year's two games. Byron Leftwich threw for 300 yards in both games and Fred Taylor rushed for 107 in the second game, which the Jaguars won in Indianapolis. It was the Jaguars' inability to convert in short-yardage situations that was the difference in the first meeting. Had the Jaguars converted in short-yardage, TOP would've gone through the roof and the Jaguars may have won that game going away. In 2003, a 1-7 Jaguars team beat the 7-1 Colts when Taylor ran wild in the second half and the Jaguars dominated TOP. Taylor rushed for 152 yards and flattened Mike Doss on a 32-yard scoring run that was the game-winner. You're not going to win in this league without having a successful passing attack. That's a given, so it's the running game that usually makes the difference. I guarantee that Tony Dungy will tell his team this week that to beat the Jaguars the Colts must stop the run, and I guarantee that Jack Del Rio will tell his team that to beat the Colts the Jaguars must run the ball. I guarantee both.

Mark from Wichita, KS:
Ever since Mike Hollis left, I have been constantly biting my nails whenever the Jags have to kick a field goal, but with the emergence of Josh Scobee I feel a sense of reliability. What about you, Vic?

Vic: I've felt that way ever since Scobee booted the 53-yard game-winner in Indianapolis last season. When a rookie can do that in a noisy dome with 38 seconds to play in the game, you tend to believe in him.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
Do you think it's entirely possible Carl Smith will use Greg Jones as a running back?

Vic: I get this question over and over and I don't know how to answer it other than to say this: You can look at this one of two ways. Either the coaches are really stupid, or they know something we don't. I don't think the coaches are stupid.

Gary from Jacksonville:
Waiting on the you guys are idiots to expect Matt Jones to be used like that apologies. Accepting in advance.

Vic: Don't go accepting any apologies because none are being made. Matt Jones was hardly used in the kind of role "you guys" were demanding. If my memory is correct, "you guys" wanted Jones to become the Jaguars' number three quarterback, and that's when I drew the line and said the kid should be allowed to learn and settle into one position. Everybody knew he was going to be used as a "Slash." That was made clear on draft day. There's a big difference, however, between being a "Slash" and being a number three quarterback. Truth be known, Matt Jones' impact on yesterday's game as a "Slash" was minimal; a three-yard run and a six-yard gain on an option pitch. The end-around is not something I would classify as a "Slash" play. I think you'll see Jones' "Slash" role expanded. I think you'll see him throw a pass or two; a real pass and not just an option pitch that just happened to be forward. He's a great athlete who offers great versatility. I never denied that. I just said he shouldn't be expected to be a number three quarterback. He isn't. And the word "idiot" was never used.

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