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Jaguars were in superior condition

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

Keith from Montgomery, PA:
Just wondering if you think the Steelers will have a QB controversy for the days leading up to the Monday night game with the Jags.

Vic: The real issue is whether or not Ben Roethlisberger is going to play against the Jaguars. The Steelers are very fortunate to have a backup quarterback such as Charlie Batch. He's satisfied to be a backup and has no illusions of being anything more. You couldn't play a whole season with him, but he gave the Steelers what they needed for one game against Miami and he did it twice last season, too. In my opinion, the Steelers wouldn't have even made it into the playoffs last season had it not been for Batch. Now, what about Roethlisberger? That's going to be the question of the week.

Paul from Herndon, VA:
I realized my ability to dictate what my own eyes see on TV about five years ago and I have not seen a single episode of "Sportscenter" since. I wish more would follow in my footsteps so that maybe ESPN would be forced to actually produce quality programming.

Vic: Be the master of your eyes. I think we should turn it into a campaign.

Tim from Bella Vista, AR:
Your 50-14 comment; ouch! You're heartless in your comments. I knew a guy once that ribbed people about their imperfections. I guess he had low self-esteem. Are you cruel or do you have low self-esteem?

Vic: I don't know, just don't hate me, please.

Danny from Alma, AR:
Obsessing about 50-14. I laughed my you know what off. Has Jacksonville ever had a player besides Matt Jones that the entire state or college he came from has been obsessed with? With that being said, I am now a Jags and a Vic fan. Thanks for keeping us country folk informed.

Vic: Chad Owens is the other guy. Hawaii has a game coming up at Boise State. I'm going to keep an eye out for that score. The week after that game might be a bad time for someone from Hawaii to ask me when Owens is going to get a chance to be a number one receiver.

David from Ponca City, FL:
I can't believe you blogged that Anthony Henry had a near interception and then said the receivers are not getting open. If Byron Leftwich throws in front instead of way behind it's a completion. Way to go, Byron homer.

Vic: How did you like Leftwich on Sunday? He passed for 237 yards and a touchdown, and completed 10 consecutive passes. He also ran for a touchdown. Pretty good, huh?

James from Sierra Vista, AZ:
The victory over the Cowboys made me remember last year's opening-day victory over the Seahawks, when the Jags made them look bad. Do you think the Cowboys' ineptitude is because they are a bad team, or because the Jaguars are that good?

Vic: The Cowboys have a good team. They are going to contend for a playoff spot. The Jaguars scored 24 points (and missed a field goal attempt) against a very good defense. I think the Cowboys are going to have pass-protection problems, however, and that's especially bad for a team with an immobile quarterback. That's the fly in the ointment for the Cowboys. I don't know how they're going to overcome that combination. If they can, then they have the skill-position players to be scintillating on offense. In my opinion, the reason the Jaguars beat the Cowboys is because the Jaguars were the superior conditioned team. The Cowboys absolutely melted in the Jacksonville heat and humidity. I give a lot of credit to Jack Del Rio and his conditioning coach, Mark Asanovich, for having their players in tip-top shape to play football on an oppressively humid day.

Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Any comments on the two calls that were overturned by the replay official?

Vic: The Matt Jones reversal was easy. I had no doubt they'd overrule the catch. The NFL is adamant about controlling the ball through contact with the ground. The reversal on the Brian Williams interception was, in my opinion, improper. I saw no evidence of the ball striking the ground. Maybe referee Gerry Austin had a different view than what we were given by television. Maybe Austin had something closer up. If he didn't, however, then I think he may have been guilty of trying to find something, instead of calling it as he saw it. I saw a catch.

Jani from Boston, MA:
I haven't heard anything about Bobby McCray. Did he make the team? I would think his role would expand now with the injury to Reggie Hayward.

Vic: Bobby McCray was "inactive" for Sunday's game, but you can bet he'll be very active from now on. Losing Reggie Hayward is a terrible blow. Reggie is one of the truly great guys in that locker room. There isn't a more likeable player in the league. He was also on his way to becoming one of the premier defensive ends in the league. I really thought this was a year that would accomplish that for him. McCray will be an important player for the Jaguars now. They need him to help pick up the pass-rush slack. I would imagine Rob Meier will get playing time at end, too, especially when Marcus Stroud is fully recovered from his ankle sprain. Marcellus Wiley becomes an important player, as do pass-rush specialists Jorge Cordova and Brent Hawkins. McCray and Cordova are classic "jars on the shelf." You have to have those guys for times like these.

Jason from St. Augustine, FL:
You've got to be happy with the receivers stepping up. No dropping balls. Winning jump balls with height and strength. How are you feeling about this step towards replacing the great Jimmy Smith?

Vic: Ernest Wilford, Reggie Williams and Matt Jones each made strides forward on Sunday. They combined for 14 catches, 176 yards and a touchdown. Early in the game, I didn't think they got separation from the Cowboys defensive backs but, in the second half, the Cowboys couldn't cover Wilford, Williams and Jones. That's the best half of production I've seen from that trio. Jack Del Rio has been firm in his commitment to them. They rewarded their coach's faith on Sunday.

Greg from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
After reading your in-game blog, you really felt like the whole Cowboy team wilted in the heat and humidity. Can you explain to me why a team from Dallas wouldn't be in better shape? A Parcells team, no less.

Vic: I asked myself that same question. I covered a preseason game in Dallas every August for years and years and it was always horribly hot and humid. In my in-game blog, I asked the question, how could a team from Dallas not be able to deal with the heat and humidity of Jacksonville? When I got back to my office, I checked to see where the Cowboys had training camp. It was in Oxnard, Calif., which is not a hot and humid place. The Cowboys went for comfort in training camp and I think it cost them.

Brad from Fort Worth, TX:
What are your thoughts on the horrible officiating performance around the league in week one?

Vic: It wasn't a horrible performance, but it was a performance that included some horrible calls. Let's start with the Trent Green injury. Robert Geathers wasn't penalized for his hit on Green. That was a big miss. The officiating crew swallowed its whistle on that play. How about the elbowing call on the Giants receiver? I guarantee that call cost Tom Coughlin to lose sleep last night. What I saw in week one were officials who missed the obvious in some cases, and looked too hard in other situations. In my opinion, replay review continues to be a flawed system. We were treated to an obvious example of pass interference in the Thursday night game, but, of course, nothing could be done about it because pass interference is not reviewable. Then, when we had a play for which replay is expressly intended, we didn't have a system in place for employing it. I was asked a question in our pregame radio show on Sunday. The question was: What would you do if you were commissioner for a day? I would like to change my answer to: Get rid of replay.

Jessica from Starke, FL:
What does a player's day usually look like for a home game? What time do they get to the stadium, what time do they eat, start warming up, etc.?

Vic: Both teams stay in hotels the night before the game, so their schedules are similar. For a one o'clock game, wake up is usually about seven a.m., meetings at 7:30 a.m., pregame meal is nine a.m., with arrival at the stadium about three hours prior to kickoff. Players then tape, dress, etc., and formal pregame warm-ups begin about an hour before kickoff.

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