Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Justin from Jacksonville:
Would you consider bringing back the season-ending team player awards you spoke of in yesterday's "Ask Vic?" I respect your opinion and think it would be appreciated by your fans.
Vic: We can bring them back as polls on jaguars.com.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Will Knighton and Alualu be as good as Stroud and Henderson were?
Vic: They have the potential to be as good or better. Just as Stroud and Henderson were the foundation on which the Jaguars defense was built when Jack Del Rio was hired to be the team's head coach, Knighton and Alualu are the foundation of the rebuild under Del Rio.
Andruw from Indianapolis, IN:
Jets or Colts?
Vic: I'm going to pick the Jets, but I mean no disrespect to the Colts and it wouldn't surprise me if the Colts won that game. I am very respectful of what the Colts have done this year with a roster that's been ravaged by injury and, frankly, is a shadow of Colts rosters of the past. They are the top-ranked defense in the AFC South and that's why they won the division. I'm picking the Jets because they have the kind of defense that's built to play the Colts, which is to say a defense that can rush and cover.
Walter from Orange Park, FL:
From everything I have heard, the Panthers are refusing to even discuss trading their first pick because of Andrew Luck. In your opinion, what would a prospect like him warrant in return for the first overall pick?
Vic: That question can't be answered until after the scouting combine. Can he make all of the throws? It appears he can but you have to be sure of that before you invest a first-overall pick in a guy. The other factor is this: If the scouting combine confirms what we think we already know, which is to say this year's draft will be loaded with top quarterback prospects, then supply and demand would favor not trading up for Luck because the guy you need might fit right where you're picking.
Jonathan from Ebensburg, PA:
Do you know where Jack Del Rio got that amazing suit jacket?
Vic: You're talking about the one he wore at his Tuesday press conference. Yeah, I liked it, too. That was right out of the Dan Reeves' collection of tasteful blends and tweeds. I remember having told Jack a few years ago that I thought Reeves was the best-dressed coach of all time. That goes back, of course, to the days when coaches didn't have to wear NFL-approved apparel. Reeves wore the best-looking collection of sports coats I've ever seen. As soon as Jack walked into the room on Tuesday, I thought to myself: He got that jacket from Reeves.
David from Jacksonville:
In an "Ask Vic" from April of 2010, you were asked how you felt about our first-round pick and you said "Alualu is going to make Smith famous." Now that his first season is coming to a close, I wondered if you still felt the same way.
Vic: Did he not perform up to your expectations? Did I miss something? I'm not sure what you want here. Should I have said: I believe the selection of Tyson Alualu displays wisdom and I believe Alualu will confirm that opinion with his play in his rookie season."? Do you want me to bore-down my commentary? Frankly, I still do believe the selection of Alualu will make Smith famous and has already distinguished him. He made an off-the-wall pick. Those are the ones people remember.
Mitch from St. Augustine, FL:
My prediction for 2011 season is 6-10 with six total blackouts. Don't blame the fans. We've been patient enough.
Vic: What if they're 10-6 with six total blackouts? The Bucs were 10-6 with eight total blackouts. Blame the Bucs?
Nathan from Vancouver, BC:
How does Blaine Gabbert declaring for the draft affect the Jaguars?
Vic: It adds another quality quarterback prospect to an already deep crop of quarterbacks, which means it's even more likely a quarterback will fit where the Jaguars are drafting in the first two rounds.
John from Jacksonville:
As we begin to look ahead to the 2011 draft in the coming months and the addition of more quality players for our future, what key players do we stand to possibly lose due to free agency that will create even more holes to fill?
Vic: Marcedes Lewis' contract is scheduled to expire. If the Jaguars can't get a deal done with him, I would think it would be a no-brainer to franchise him. Mike Sims-Walker's contract is also scheduled to expire. A decision has to be made there. I found it curious that Wayne Weaver went out of his way on Monday to mention the likelihood of drafting a wide receiver. Justin Durant, Kirk Morrison, Sean Considine, Luke McCown, Trent Edwards, Todd Bouman, Jeremy Cain, Adam Podlesh, Jason Hill and David Jones all have contracts that are scheduled to expire. The number of players whose contracts are to expire is high around the league because a lot of restricted free agents last year were tendered one-year deals because of the uncertainty of the labor landscape.
Alex from Jacksonville:
Is the draft philosophy in the first two rounds this year to take the best available defensive players regardless of position?
Vic: Yes, of course. Gene Smith will soon be announcing that new draft philosophy: BADP (best available defensive player). I will soon be announcing a therapy program for people who lie awake at night attempting to understand and reshape the mind-boggling concept of selecting the best player available in the entire draft. We got an early start on it this year. I'm even thinking about offering affordably-priced "Ask Vic" drool bibs for those readers who just can't understand the concept of draft the best available player or trade to where the player who fits your need is the best available player.
Dan from St. Augustine, FL:
Well, you told us a year or so ago that Cameron Heyward was a talent and after that Sugar Bowl performance it looks like you were right. He's not your flashy speed-rusher but he looks like a high-motor guy, a lot like Alualu, but with more mass for the push.
Vic: Heyward is more than a try-hard guy. He is a dominant physical talent. He has some lateral skills I don't think Suh has and I think Heyward may have more upside because his body isn't nearly as developed as Suh's. Suh is your classic bull defensive tackle. He just flattens people. Heyward doesn't have that kind of strength but his ability to maneuver through traffic is extraordinary. He's a dream come true for a defensive coordinator who likes to employ line stunts.
Gabe from Jacksonville:
With the defensive play-calling moving back to Mel Tucker, will the Jaguars continue using the 4-3?
Derrick from Johnstown, NY:
"The roster Gene Smith inherited in 2009 was worse than expansion-like." Pretty easy to say that now, but I'll bet if I go back to your 2009 articles, you were talking about how promising the Jaguars were. I highly doubt you'll be referring to them as "worse than expansion-like." Sounds pretty hypocritical to me.
Vic: I went back to my 2009 archives, randomly selected a column from Oct. 1 of that year and this was in it: "I've been giving you a serious answer, but apparently you won't accept it. This is rebuilding. That's the answer. It's the answer to everything. GM Gene isn't making these moves because it's fun to do. He's making these moves because he was handed a roster that needed a complete overhaul, and that's what he's doing, he's overhauling the roster. These are moves that are born of necessity. Major voids are necessitating constant attention. This isn't a trend. This is reality."
Andrew from Gainesville, FL:
Would you say it's fair to say you dislike football video games?
Vic: No, it's not. I think video games are fine. My objection is for trying to compare video games to real football. My objection is for the people who, because they can call plays that win a video game, think they know football. If you don't know blocking and tackling, you know nothing about football. If you don't know the pain and strain that goes with playing a football game, or the courage and endurance that's required and the shivers one player will send up the back of a lesser player and how all of that pertains to how a game should be managed, then I feel sorry for you because you know nothing about football and you'll never fully appreciate the deep sense of triumph it affords. Video games are deluding their players into believing they know football, and that's what I don't like. The two must be separated. There's football and there are video games. There's no connection between the two.
Adrian from Inglewood, CA:
Which change is more difficult for a coach, college to pro or pro to college?
Vic: I think it's pro to college, due to compliance issues, recruiting and only having 20 hours a week to teach your players how to play the game.
Mike from Dale City, VA:
What hope do we have as fans that the team will be better?
Vic: The hope is in the development of the young talent on the team and the acquisition of new talent. You couldn't figure that out?
Mike from Gallitzin, PA:
Mallett really impressed me. What do you perceive as his weaknesses?
Vic: I like him a lot. I think he has strong upside. The one part of his game that needs to change, and I think Bob Petrino has done a lot to change it, is Mallett's propensity for holding onto the ball too long. Because of his Roethlisberger-like size, I think he fashions himself to be a Roethlisberger-like extend-the-play guy. The problem is he doesn't have Roethlisberger's strength, mobility or skill for extending the play. Mallett needs to continue to work on getting the ball out quicker. I see that as a good thing. I want a quarterback who isn't afraid to hold the ball. I want a guy who wants to make plays. The habit of holding the ball too long can be broken. The habit of getting it out too quickly, if you know what I mean, can't ever be fixed.