Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

It's the face of youth

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

Tom from Jacksonville:
Now that St. Louis is said to be for sale to bidders outside of their area, the LA rumors crank up. Why? This city has no stadium and they were unable to keep the Raiders and the Rams. What makes the NFL feel this market is such a great idea?

Vic: People, that's what attracts the NFL and any other business. I get this question over and over and I don't understand why. It's all about people and Los Angeles has lots of them. Los Angeles has 5.5 million TV homes. You have to know what that means in negotiating TV contracts. All of the NFL's problems in Los Angeles have been the result of stadium deficiencies. That's why there isn't a team in Los Angeles; it doesn't have an NFL-caliber stadium and that's why it lost the Rams and Raiders. In 1994, I covered a game in the LA Coliseum from a makeshift press box in the end zone because the regular press box was deemed unfit for use. When Los Angeles builds an NFL-caliber stadium, it'll get an NFL team; no stadium, no team.

Andrew from Toledo, OH:
Which rookie this year has to make the biggest impact for this team to be successful?

Vic: Eugene Monroe.

Justin from Bethesda, MD:
Have you seen any glimmers of hope that would differentiate the spring play of this year's young wide receivers, such as Tiquan Underwood, from previous spring sensations, such as Chad Owens? Or is this something that we really won't know about until training camp and the pads come on?

Vic: We can't know until the regular season begins. The Underwear League is one thing, training camp is another thing, and then the real games are the ultimate thing. Owens didn't fade away in training camp. He was productive through camp and the preseason. His troubles began when the lights went on. I love the bunch of young receivers the Jaguars have. I'm fully aware that they could all fade away once the pads go on, but I don't think that's going to happen. Underwood continues to flash speed and athletic ability. In my opinion, if and when he adds some meat to his bones, he could be a big-time receiver. Mike Thomas is going to be a delight to watch. In my opinion, he's going to be the run-after-the-catch receiver the Jaguars haven't had for a long time. Jarett Dillard, in my opinion, had his best day of the spring on Monday. He hadn't flashed for me until yesterday. Nate Hughes has been steady and Todd Peterson, an undrafted player from Nebraska, continues to make catch after catch. At 6-4, he's the Matt Jones type of player the Jaguars didn't have to use a first-round pick to acquire. Again, I know it's only OTAs and all of these young receivers could wilt in August, but I don't think they will. I think the Jaguars have fixed their wide receiver problem. I know it's risky to say that but what's the worst that could happen, I'd be wrong? I've been wrong lots of times; it would be nothing new.

Brandon from Waukesha, WI:
What did you want to be when you were a little kid? I bet not an article writer.

Vic: I wanted to be a major league ballplayer. I became an article writer when I found out I probably wasn't going to be a major league ballplayer. I considered becoming a doctor, but they don't get free hot dogs and article writers do.

Jaymin from Jacksonville:
Speaking of team of the decade, what is your opinion on sport dynasties? Are dynasty teams good for the sport?

Vic: Nobody wants them but they are how we define the eras of the games' histories. Yeah, I think they're good for sports because they represent standards of excellence.

Jesse from Key Largo, FL:
You mean you want to watch a player who not only is remarkable on the field/court/ice, but handles himself in a remarkable way you would want your kids to emulate off the field/court/ice? Aren't those days over? People are too busy being angry. Some even want their kids to be angry. I like staying on my island where people like being polite, friendly and happy.

Vic: I don't believe athletes should be saddled with the responsibility of being role models, but I think they should be expected to act as professionals. I appreciate players who know where the field ends and real life begins.

Al from Amelia Island, FL:
Are the Jags going to stick to a hard blackout this year? What I mean is, if the game is not sold out by one p.m. on the Thursday before a one p.m. Sunday game, there will be no extensions to buy tickets to avoid the blackout? As a 10-year season ticket holder, I am all for this.

Vic: That's my expectation, Al. I think the extensions and TV give-aways are over.

Steve from Stevensville, MD:
I was at game seven between the Caps and Pens and it was a remarkable sight. Everyone in the arena was dejected, but the players saluted us for being fans and we saluted them for being men. That's what the games are supposed to be about.

Vic: It reminded me of a scene from the Jaguars' inaugural season when the fans gave the Jaguars a standing ovation as they left the field following a narrow loss to the Chicago Bears. It was really cool to see. I wish I could see it again.

Terry from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How much preparation do you do for a five-minute OTA video to make it interesting?

Vic: The answer is either none or a lot, depending on what you consider to be preparation. I write no script and have no idea what I'm going to say when we begin taping the video. I just let the words come out. We start taping near the end of practice so I think all of the practice I've observed up to that point qualifies as preparation. I consider everything I do as preparation.

Manuel from Jacksonville:
What skills does a coach look for in special teams guys?

Vic: You look for courage and its requisite traits.

Jamie from Oxford, England:
I'm a huge fan of the NHL, and particularly the way the players conduct themselves both on and off the ice, and I totally agree the NFL could learn a lot of lessons from it, but not everything you've said is completely true. You said a few weeks ago that you've never seen a player direct attention to himself after a goal, but Ovechkin had a pre-planned celebration doing just that after his 50th goal.

Vic: I didn't see it, therefore, what I said continues to be completely true. Others have told me about Ovechkin's celebration skit. Nobody has mentioned another player having done the same. That's pretty impressive.

Ryan from Las Vegas, NV:
What position do you think is the most open to competition?

Vic: Wide receiver and safety are going to be positions of intense competition. I'd like to think the same will be true on the two lines.

Ben from Pasco, WA:
The San Francisco Giants are experimenting with dynamic pricing; the price goes up and down according to various conditions. It's how airlines sell tickets. What do you think about it?

Vic: In other words, the team stinks and the price goes down, or the team is great and the price goes up. Hey, regardless of the price, the airlines are pretty much guaranteeing that you'll get to your destination. In the Giants' case, it sounds to me like a drop in price is pretty much guaranteeing you'll see a loss, which is not the destination most fans seek. The thing about that kind of variable pricing that bothers me is the penalty winning causes. I've always viewed the relationship between fan and team as one of loyalty. The fan buys a ticket based on its trust that the team will do its best to win. In good times, the fan's loyalty is rewarded. In the variable-pricing concept, there is no reward for the fan's loyalty.

Rob from Deltona, FL:
Maybe if the journalists in Jacksonville would stop telling fans that P is for patience and not playoffs, we could sell out the stadium. Why shouldn't we have high expectations for our team? If you buy a car, don't you expect it to perform well? I purchased my season tickets and I expect the Jaguars to win more than eight games.

Vic: Come on, blame it on the media is old stuff. You can do better than that.

Dave from Ormond Beach, FL:
I'm always intrigued by your insights. Last week you said you expected there would be a "new face" for the Jags by late in the year. That naturally got me thinking of who that could be. Any hints as to who you think the new face will be?

Vic: The new face of this team, in my opinion, will be its roster of young and ascending players.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
Maurice Drew was absolutely fabulous in his press conference on Monday after practice. I can clearly see his growth and maturity level as a player and professional. I am more and more impressed each time I see this fine young man speak publicly. He truly seems like a consummate professional. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinion on this, Vic.

Vic: He's a reporter's dream because he doesn't sulk. You can banter with him. If he doesn't like something you've written, he'll take a little jab at you, but he knows how to take a punch, too, and that's what I like. I like players who possess media toughness. He has it.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content