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It's nice to be nice

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

Greg from Jacksonville:
I have to admit that I agree with you and your philosophy most of the time, though I also like the fact the team is attempting to upgrade our number of wins while upgrading the roster. I am satisfied with Del Rio and his staff's roster decisions. Now the question: Since you don't want to tell us where "red dog" comes from, how about enlightening us on the history of the term "blitz?"

Vic: It's short for blitzkrieg, which is a sudden, swift, large-scale warfare technique.

Paul from Alpharetta, GA:
What was the year, team, final score and yardage in the only game I can recall one of our fullbacks starting at tailback. I know it was Daimon Shelton, but I do not recall the year or final outcome for both yardage and score. I saw Chicago cut him. If I recall right, Daimon did a great job answering the call.

Vic: I believe the game to which you are referring is Buffalo in 1998, though Daimon Shelton was not the starting running back. James Stewart was lost for the season in the third game of the year, Fred Taylor was out with a shoulder injury and starting running back Tavian Banks injured a foot on the first drive in Buffalo. Shelton moved from fullback to running back and gained 44 yards rushing on 13 carries. Doug Flutie rallied the Bills to a 17-16 win. By the way, I had a hot dog with mustard on it at halftime.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
Did Jack Del Rio keep the psychologist employed by Tom Coughlin?

Vic: Yes; he was covering kicks in Carolina yesterday.

Don from Jacksonville:
Why do you feel the need to be sarcastically mean with some of the answers you give? I understand you are knowledgeable in sports and this is your column, but why be cruel in your responses? This column is called "Ask Vic," not "Ask Vic and be humiliated."

Vic: Advice accepted.

Natalie from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Why won't Wayne Weaver pull an Art Blank and lower ticket prices? It would cure the blackout problem and create a louder Alltel Stadium.

Vic: Natalie, per Don's advice, I'm going to make every effort to be nice. Natalie -- dear, sweet Natalie -- that's a great question, and I'm going to give you a great answer: Wayne Weaver has lowered ticket prices. The $135 upper deck season ticket the Jaguars have had on sale for the past two years is the second-least-expensive in the NFL (Atlanta offers one for $100).

Alan from Jacksonville:
Hey, Vic, I just read your "Vic's view" column and your directions to Charlotte are inaccurate. If you take I-26 east you'll end up in Charleston. You need to take 26 west to run into I-77. Sorry, had to do it; you got me on the escalator clause a few weeks ago.

Vic: Thank you so much, Alan, for correcting my irresponsible error. I apologize for having misled you, and for that insensitive "escalator clause" remark I made previously.

John from Neptune Beach, FL:
Given the total collapse of the defensive line in the second half and the horrible special teams play, are we looking at a team that was not conditioned properly in preseason for the rigors of the NFL game? Maybe camp was a bit too soft? Does a "players coach" avoid doing the tough things necessary to ensure the team is able to play 60 minutes?

Vic: John, I tried it Don's way and I can't do it any longer. Players' coach? Coach's coach? What a great place Jacksonville is to be a player. Everybody else is to blame: the coaches, the owner, the media, the fans. When is it the players' fault?

Jon from Jacksonville:
Vic, what can I say? First the Gators Saturday night, then the Jags not 24 hours later. A very trying weekend for this football fan, to say the least. My question is, I know our run-defense was a huge factor in this loss, but how do we go from "shut-down defense" in the first 30 minutes to "run-over defense" in the last 30 minutes?

Vic: That's a question for the psychologist who was covering kicks.

Terri from Jacksonville:
Someone said this is the biggest deficit from which an opponent has rallied to beat the Jaguars?

Vic: Terri, my preliminary examination this morning would indicate that's true. According to my quick and unofficial research, yesterday's loss represents the greatest margin of comeback in victory by a Jaguars opponent in Jaguars history. It eclipses the Jaguars' 39-36 loss in Baltimore in week two of the 2000 season, when the Jaguars blew a 23-7 halftime lead. I'll try to confirm or correct that information in my daily report story this afternoon.

Andrew from Charlotte, NC:
The teams with losing records lose close games because they don't know how to finish. How do you teach a team to finish a ballgame?

Vic: Experience is the best teacher. The Baltimore Ravens are the perfect example. They had a terrible time finishing games in 1996-99; they blew leads all of the time. But that stopped in 2000, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

David from Jacksonville:
What is it that makes our special teams play so horrible, the athletes we have or the coaching?

Vic: This team had 26 new faces on its roster yesterday (the Jaguars only had 20 new players on their 1996 roster, a year after their inaugural season). These are, for the most part, bottom-of-the-roster players who represent the bulk of your special teams, and they have yet to prove they are of true NFL caliber. Let's give them some time.

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