Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

It was a brand-new ball

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

Michael from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I work up here in New Jersey. The Philly media is "killing" Jacksonville, especially regarding the Eagles' practice facilities. What is going on down there? The Eagles were forced to practice in a gym?

Vic: Wednesday, Andy Reid praised the facilities at the University of North Florida; said all UNF needed was a football team. I don't know what the Philly media's complaint is. I'll tell you this, the weather has been horrible, and that's not an exaggeration. Wednesday was the worst; cold and rain. Reid spoke Wednesday morning about possibly moving into a gym. Did the media expect the NFL to build practice "bubbles" for the two teams?

Tri from Jacksonville:
Another thing about those two Super Bowl Broncos teams: They were found to have cheated on the salary cap, which makes the Pats' salary cap-era Super Bowls even more distinct, unless it turns out they cheated, too.

Vic: You're right, Tri; good catch. Not only weren't the Broncos salary cap born and bred, they didn't even play by the rules. As far as I'm concerned, the cheating strips them of their titles.

Chris from Pass Christian, MS:
Both the Pats and Eagles have made hard choices. For example, the Eagles let Trotter go a few years ago to protect the cap. The Pats dumped Milloy in the same way. The Eagles let both starting CBs go and turned it over to the backups, and they did great. The Pats did the same (via injury) to their CB crew. How is it a team that lost the AFC title game three years in a row and a team that picked dead last have that kind of talent lying around? I know New England got some extra picks, but is their scouting that much better?

Vic: That's why I say you've got to have "jars on the shelf." The Patriots and Eagles have done great jobs in salary cap management and player development. It's not just scouting.

Jim from Tampa, FL:
Do most players have bonus clauses in their contracts that pay them extra for being selected to the Pro Bowl? What if he is added after the first two or three players selected decline to play due to injury, does he still get the bonus?

Vic: Most players do not have incentives in their contracts for making the Pro Bowl because most players are not Pro Bowl-caliber. An agent isn't going to include among his demands an incentive that's not likely to be achieved. A player who does have a Pro Bowl incentive would, in fact, receive that money if he plays in the game due to injury to players who had been voted in, but only if the incentive is written that way. The contract language for Pro Bowl incentives usually distinguishes between being voted in or playing as a result of injury.

Todd from Toledo, OH:
Gotta hand it to you,Vic, on another great column. Referring to Jacksonville as the "Cleveland of the south" made my day. I'm a Cleveland native and you're right, we are a tough bunch. We like the criticism of our city; it makes us tougher. I'm a Jags fan, too, and you other Jags fans should be the same way. You have to develop a reputation; a tough, hated attitude always works. Look at Steelers fans. Your thoughts, Vic?

Vic: The thing I was trying to get across in that column is that my roots aren't such that I can't appreciate what Jacksonville has to offer, and most of the sportswriters I know come from a similarly humble background. You have to be awfully spoiled to think a week in Jacksonville is hard time. So why write that it is? Because it's an easy story and it gets attention. The citizens of Jacksonville are learning that lesson this week. What city hasn't been the butt of jokes? Cleveland became a belly laugh when the Cuyahoga River caught fire. When Pittsburgh's river valleys were ablaze with steel manufacturing it was described as "hell with the lid off." Boston has long been recognized as one of the most racially divided cities in America. Philadelphia boos Santa Claus. Detroit is already catching flak for being the host of next year's Super Bowl. This week, Jacksonville joined the crowd. So what?

Eric from Tallahassee, FL:
I read that the 49ers are planning to have a predraft mini-camp. Do the Jags plan on having anything similar, with a new offensive coordinator coming in?

Vic: The NFL grants an extra mini-camp to teams that have new head coaches. A new offensive coordinator doesn't get you an extra mini-camp.

Heather from Jacksonville:
Vic, as a representative of this web site, I hope your one swing on Tuesday at the 17th hole at the TPC was one of the 101 that hit the green out of 1,650 shots taken. Tell me you did us proud.

Vic: I'm sorry, Heather, but I dumped it into the water. I knew I was in trouble when I walked up to the mat and the attendant said a six-iron was the longest iron he had. It was about 9:30 at night, it was extremely cold and the wind was in my face. I didn't even bother to take my coat off. It was a brand-new ball, too. That's what really bothered me. If they would've let me keep the ball, I would've left without taking the shot. The ball never had a chance. I felt bad for it. This was its destiny? To be handed to a man attempting to hit it onto the 17th green at the TPC on a cold, windy February night with a club 20 years too short? I gave it a good rip; hit it real good. For a moment, I thought it had a chance because it was straight and crisp with a little draw. Then it seemed to stop dead, as though it was facing the Texans in week 16. Plop! Right in front of the bulkhead. By the way, the number on my ball was 2,357, I believe. Just think of how many balls are in that lake. And they're all brand-new. It makes me sick to think about it.

Eddie from Port St John, FL:
I'm sorry to beat a dead horse but I still can't get over the Jags' loss to the Texans at home. It seemed Denver absolutely did not belong in the playoffs in place of the Jags. If the Jaguars would have won the Houston game, how far do you believe they might have gone in the playoffs given their talent level as compared to the Broncos?

Vic: That really is a dead horse, Eddie. Let me put your mind at ease: I don't think the Jaguars would've gone very far. Frankly, I don't think they would've won in Indianapolis. The offense was really struggling at the end of the season and it wouldn't have had Fred Taylor, either. I think it's time to bury that horse.

Tim from Glennallen, AK:
What are your thoughts on the Donovin Darius situation? Should we let him go, tag him or sign him to a long contract?

Vic: If the Jaguars can get Donovin Darius to agree to a contract, go ahead and do it. That's the key. It has to be a deal the Jaguars believe is in line with what they believe a safety is worth and it has to fit the team's salary cap plan. As far as putting the "franchise" tag on him, I think that's worn out its usefulness. It's not what Darius wants and, frankly, $5 million is a lot of money to pay a safety. If they can get a deal done, fine. If they can't, it may be time to move on. That's my opinion. The team may feel differently.

Tim from Fruit Cove, FL:
What is wrong with Bill Belichick? Last year he complained about the practice site in Houston, and this year at Bartram Trail High School. I am a student at Bartram and with all the things the school has done for him he still finds things to complain about. Is this just a Belichick thing or does he feel the pressure of the Eagles breathing down his neck? As for me, it's T.O., McNabb and Roethlisberger jerseys for the rest of the week.

Vic: I don't blame you. I'm getting real tired of the complaining, too. This has become the "Complaint (substitute the other word, please) Bowl." Bill Belichick can be really weird. When he was the coach at Cleveland, he was possibly the most miserable man I have ever interviewed. He's undergone a personality change as coach of the Patriots, but he can still get weird. I'm beginning to grow weary of his genius.

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