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James, Faulk have the stats

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

Matt Schnake from Orange Park, FL:
Would you rate Fred Taylor as one of the top two backs in pro football?

Vic: Edgerrin James and Marshall Faulk are probably considered to be the two-best running backs in the league. I consider Fred Taylor to be a better pure runner than James and Faulk, however, James and Faulk have the stats to back up their claims to the top two spots.

Lee Fields from St. Marys, GA:
How come it seems like things get worse and worse for the Jags? Injuries, suspended players, cap problems, all kinds of stuff.

Vic: You might be surprised to find out how many teams have and are experiencing the same difficulties. Teams can't control injuries and off-the-field problems. Every team has them and has to find ways to deal with them. However, the cap problem was self-inflicted, and it remains the Jaguars' greatest liability and regret.

Matt Kochan from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
In the wake of the Ravens' Super Bowl victory, a lot of teams have become interested in mimicking the Ravens' powerhouse defense. It seems to me, though, that it's not the team that most closely mimics the previous Super Bowl champs, but rather the team that has a new strength that the NFL has never seen before, like the Ravens defense last year or the passing attack of the Rams the year before. Might it be in the best interest of the Jaguars to create their own strength rather than copying the Ravens' strong defense?

Vic: There's nothing new about strong defense or a potent passing attack. The Ravens are an imitation of the "Steel Curtain" defense of the 1970s, and the Rams are a copy of the "Air Coryell" Chargers of the early '80s. Finding your own identity is important, and I believe the Jaguars have done that. They have been one of the best and most consistent offenses in the league since 1996. The only thing that separates the Jaguars from the Ravens and the Rams is two more wins; the AFC title game and the Super Bowl. The Ravens and the Rams won the games that matter most.

Dave Stetson from Santa Maria, CA:
Last year the special teams were impacted by injuries. As a result, the special teams were a disappointment. With the loss of Bryan Barker and several other key players, what do you think is the biggest challenge the coaching staff will have this season?

Vic: I do not consider special teams to be coach Tom Coughlin's greatest challenge. Look at the roster. It lacks overall strength and depth, and I put great stock in quality of roster. In my opinion, the greatest challenge this coaching staff will face this season is the matter of reconstructing a 53-man roster that has been decimated by careless manipulation of the salary cap.

Lou Nussbaum from Jacksonville:
I caught the first half of Jonathan Quinn's NFL Europe game last week and he looked pretty impressive. Considering the level of competition, does this performance mean anything and what do you see as the prognosis for Quinn?

Vic: The Jaguars have to feel good about what Quinn is doing in Europe. His performance, to this point, has validated their opinion of his talent. I believe Europe is the first true step in Quinn's ascent to the backup quarterback job, and may be the kick-start to a career as a legitimate, long-term NFL quarterback.

Brian Skelding from Mobile, AL:
Who has the best shot at making the fullback position out of the ones from mini-camp, or will the Jaguars go with someone else on the market?


The Jaguars would like a proven fullback to surface who they might be able to afford. Two fullbacks who were starters last season, Daimon Shelton and Sam Gash, are still unsigned. There are certain positions at which teams can not afford to pay much more than minimum wage. Fullback is one of those positions, if he is going to be used exclusively as a blocker. There are three fullbacks currently on the Jaguars' roster: Kevin Clemens, Patrick Washington and Dustin McClintock. Until they put the pads on and start blocking, no evaluations can be made.

Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.

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