Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Mark from Jacksonville:
What happens at halftime? Does the team break up into units of offense and defense?
Vic: That's exactly what happens. Offense goes off with its coaches and defense does the same. Before the team goes back onto the field, they come together and Jack Del Rio gives them a pep talk.
Tim from Crescent City, FL:
I would like to address the non-fanatic who made that appalling comment about Jaxson de Ville. I've been to several football games and Jaxson de Ville is the funniest mascot I've ever seen. I don't know what this person is talking about. This is an outrage to attack the team mascot when they don't understand the Jags are in a rebuilding year. We're supposed to support the team through winning and losing, not jump on and off the bandwagon.
Vic: Yours is just one of several letters I've received in defense of Jaxson de Ville.
David from Jacksonville:
What is wrong with Hugh Douglas? Is it the scheme, a new team, an injury or his desire? His performance has him on track to be a total bust. How much would the Jaguars lose or gain if he is cut next year?
Vic: David, I'm going to hold off on those figures at this time for two reasons: 1) It's too early to quit on Hugh Douglas, and to start talking about remaining amortization figures would be disrespectful and unfair to a player of long-standing esteem. 2) The salary cap hit would be such that there's almost no chance of it happening. The Jaguars need for Hugh Douglas to be worth the money they're paying him. Every effort should be made toward that end, including scheme-change considerations; anything that'll get him to the quarterback.
Joe from Jacksonville:
It's great to start talking about X's and O's, now that the season has started, instead of hammering on about the salary cap and other "administrative" issues. On a technical comparison between Mark and Byron, Leftwich hangs in the pocket longer than Brunell because he is taller and releases the ball over the linemen. I've noticed that almost all shorter quarterbacks in the NFL have mobility to compensate for their lack of height, in order to get a better throwing lane: Vick, Flutie, Garcia. Now that Mark has lost a lot of his speed, he is a regular quarterback. Do you agree with this one point?
Vic: Mark Brunell's sensational scrambling ability early in his career accounted for at least 50 percent of his rise to stardom. The knee injury he sustained in the 1997 preseason cost him that ability to make plays with his feet. It was a major setback that accelerated the loss of mobility beyond the normal rate of aging. I tend to agree with your assessment of the situation, and if I could eliminate one play from the Jaguars' nine-seasons history, it would be Jesse Armstead's low hit on Brunell in Giants Stadium on Aug. 9, 1997.
Scott from Jacksonville:
I believe Jags fans would have had greater patience (and filled more seats this year) if the organization had firmly committed to the city that this was a rebuilding year. If the organization had told us they were young, were rebuilding and were full of youth and spirit, patience would have been the slogan of the season. But this schizophrenic win-now-and-build-for-the-future approach is painful. Are we just prolonging the agony by this schizophrenia? Your thoughts?
Vic: It's no secret that I banged the drum over and over for blow it up and rebuild, and I suspect the team wishes it had taken that route. But I won't hold the team responsible for having misled its fans. Would you expect a car salesman to say he didn't have good cars? Would you expect a shoes salesman to tell you he didn't have good shoes? Why would you expect a football team to tell its potential ticket-buyers it didn't expect to have a good team? Scott, teams act in a way they believe will cause them to win. Then it's up to the fans to use their own instincts and knowledge of the game to form their own expectations. Truth be known, my "blow it up" philosophy was harshly rebuked by fans who, instead, wanted to talk about the Jaguars being a playoff contender this year.
Joey from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Troy Edwards looks like a replacement for Jermaine Lewis, but with even more potential to be something big. It's nice to have Jimmy back, but looking ahead at this rebuilding era, do you think that next year, having Hatchette, Hankton and Edwards as our key receivers, it would be nice to have a first-round, big-time wide receiver? I'm thinking that with one really good receiver, we could have a very decent group.
Vic: I think you've just uncovered one part of the "plan."
Trevor from Jacksonville:
Just curious in watching old-time football highlights; all of the linemen always used full-sized forearm gear. Were these banned because players were able to be more physical with them, or were they just phased out?
Vic: If old-time football means before 1978, then you're talking about a period in time when offensive linemen were not permitted to use their hands to block. If you got your hands the least little bit away from your body it was holding, and the penalty was 15 yards, not 10. Back then, offensive linemen grabbed the fronts of their jerseys with their hands and blocked with their shoulders and forearms, thus, the full-length forearm pads. I can still see them. Amazing!
Robert from Chicago, IL:
Just wanted to say your promise of "doing something drastic" in the bye week has me intrigued. Will you be suiting up as Jaxson de Ville?
Vic: That's not it.
John from Jacksonville:
Close defeats are tough but I find them much more exciting than a blowout loss. At least we were entertained last week. My question is which team had the last perfect record; a perfect losing record that is?
Vic: In the 16-game era, it has never been done. There have been several 1-15 seasons, but never an 0-16. The 16-game era began in 1978.