Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Jonathan from Orange Park, FL:
I have to say I was disappointed that your column on April 3 was so short? Were you in a hurry to do something else? In the future, if you could make the column longer, I would appreciate it.
Vic: You know what I would appreciate? I would appreciate it if people stopped asking questions about why the Jaguars named Byron Leftwich their starting quarterback. That's why Tuesday's column was shorter than usual. I guess everybody ran out of legitimate questions so they decided to go back and beat the Leftwich horse to death a little more. There's nothing left to say. I've stated my opinion on the matter and I'm not going to keep doing it. I was asked during the winter what I would've done and I gave a very specific answer. If somebody wants to know what that answer is, do a search or read the column daily because I'm not going to answer the same Leftwich questions over and over. It is what it is. Deal with it or go talk to a therapist about it. Until there's new information, I'm done with the Leftwich questions.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
Could you explain how they do the divisions and how they divide all the teams up? Doesn't make sense to me.
Vic: The realignment of divisions for the 2002 season was mostly according to tradition and geography. There are a number of "holy alliances" in the league that are going to be honored. For example, the four teams in the AFC East have a "blood oath" to stay together, from their days in the AFL. Cleveland and Pittsburgh will forever be linked and Cleveland and Cincinnati wanted to be with each other and Pittsburgh and Baltimore wanted to be with each other so that made the AFC North easy to do. The four teams in the AFC West are another "blood oath" quartet from their days in the AFL. That left Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Houston in the AFC and they formed the AFC South. The same kind of logic applied to realignment in the NFC. After you gather the "blood oath" teams, such as Washington and Dallas, Chicago and Green Bay, Philadelphia and the Giants, etc., you end up with some leftovers that were put into the same division. In the NFC, Seattle, St. Louis, Arizona and San Francisco are the leftovers. In time, the leftovers develop their own tradition.
Jo from Jacksonville:
What do you think about Brunell coming back to Jacksonville in the preseason?
Vic: I think it's a nice touch. I'm not going to cry or have an emotional experience, but I think it'll add some spice to an otherwise ordinary preseason game.
Thom from Jacksonville:
In my opinion, preseason games are really about evaluating talent and seeing how some aspects of your game plan matches up against players who don't see it every day in practice. I know fans dislike paying full price for games that don't count and coaches don't want to risk injuries for the same reason. Look into your crystal ball for me. Do you foresee the NFL changing to a two-game preseason and an 18-game regular season eventually? Not anytime soon, but say in 15 years if the league expands?
Vic: First of all, the league won't expand. I don't see that in the future any time during my lifetime. As far as an 18/2 plan, I think it bears merit and at some time may happen, but before that occurs, I expect to see the league use an extra bye week to lengthen its regular season for TV. What an extra bye week would do, of course, is give TV an extra week of broadcasting, which, of course, would add value to the TV contract. The players union isn't likely to go for the 18-game idea, and considering the mountain the owners will have to climb in the next negotiations, an 18-game regular season isn't likely to be proposed.
Kyle from Jacksonville:
Even as a lifelong Jaguars fan who would be devastated by the Jags leaving town, I find your condescending tone about ticket sales very offensive. It's not that we aren't "stepping up to the plate" or that the collective will of the people of Jacksonville to keep the Jaguars is weak. It is simply an economic reality that we lack the number of corporations and high-income individuals necessary to sell out premium tickets. I believe that it is the NFL that needs to "step up to the plate," to use your favorite hackneyed sports cliche, and invest some patience in a region that is obviously growing and that the NFL needs.
Vic: The stadium has been sized to fit the market, and it's the only city in the NFL (if you put Milwaukee in the Green Bay market) that doesn't have another major league franchise. No excuses.
Glenn from Palatka, FL:
Since there's a priority to sell tickets in Jacksonville, it would make sense to me to select players on draft day based on their skills and on their college's proximity to Jacksonville. The local talent would help draw their relatives and friends to the stadium. This could be a tie-breaker consideration. I'm thinking of Reggie Nelson, for example. What do you think?
Vic: This is the kind of backward thinking that is hurting this franchise's development.
Steve from Harlem, NY:
Is it likely the Jags will draft a quarterback in one of the first three rounds.
Vic: It wouldn't shock me. Quarterback is the most valuable position on the field and I wouldn't categorize the Jaguars' future at the position especially stable or settled. If a quarterback fit where the Jaguars were picking, I would expect them to draft one.
Jim from Jacksonville:
I love football. I love going to Jags games but I don't give a rip about the gameday experience; all the peripheral stuff besides the game. Would the Jags save a lot of money if they got rid of all that (bands at the gate, NFL Experience, expensive halftime shows, etc.)? Or would they lose too many non-purist fans?
Vic: The first time I heard the term "gameday experience," I honestly didn't know what it meant. I had always thought that the game was the gameday experience. It's all I need and it's all I ever remember my dad, his friends and my friends ever needing. Wayne Weaver is big on the gameday experience thing, however, and that's where I think he has his finger on the pulse of Jacksonville fans because I've come to see that Jacksonville people want the extra stuff. Is it especially expensive? I don't think it is. I know that those fly-overs are free; the Navy does them for promotional purposes. Whatever cost the Jaguars put into gameday things is more than justified. This is where it's good that I don't own the team because my team's gameday experience would consist of four quarters of football and a trip to the bathroom at halftime. In my opinion, the Jaguars special events department has done an excellent job with the gameday experience stuff: pregame and halftime entertainment, Pepsi Plaza, military ceremonies, Drum-Line, cheerleaders, mascot, etc.
Kerry from Orange Park, FL:
How dare you doubt the dominance of southern football players (SEC and some ACC schools; not BC or Duke or Maryland, but true southern schools like Miami, FSU, Clemson, etc.). Nobody can argue that the vast majority of great players at the speed and size impact positions (LB and DE) come from the south, can they? Of the 19 players who made the 2006 Pro Bowl at those positions, check out this breakdown: SEC two, ACC three, Pac-Ten five, Big Ten three, Big 12 one. Add one Southern Miss and one Troy State to the southern region and one Southern Illinois and one Akron to the northern and you get conclusive proof that, oops! Good football being played all over the country. Big schools, small schools, north, south; get over it people. Good football players come from all over the country.
Vic: One of my favorite lines, which I stole from someone who said it to me 30 years ago, is: You find football players where you find football players. By the way, did any of those three ACC players actually play in the Big East?
Jordan from Lincoln, NE:
Drafting a guy in the supplemental draft means you must forfeit a pick in the next year's college draft. So what happens to the forfeited pick?
Vic: It's subtracted from the draft.
Daniel from Jacksonville:
When I become a billionaire, how about coaching my NFL team?
Vic: I'd love to coach your team. Here's what we'll do. We'll build through the draft by selecting the best players available and developing our low-round picks as "jars on the shelf" ready to step into the lineup when their time arrives. We'll stay young, avoid expensive free agency and maintain a healthy salary cap by aggressively prepaying whenever possible. We'll run the ball, stop the run and always, always win the battle of the hitting.