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Just get me the sacks

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

Justin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I came out to training camp Friday night and was very impressed with Aaron Kampman's leadership. He led the entire team in a warm-up cheer to kick things off. He was encouraging the other defensive linemen during their group drills and he kept the entire defensive line group behind after practice. It's those intangibles that separate the good from the great.

Vic: Sacks separate the good from the great. All of that intangible stuff is nice, but I can live with just the sacks. I can tell you this for sure: All of the intangibles in the world are meaningless without the sacks. Get me the sacks and I'll leave the warm-up cheer for you.

Dave from Jacksonville:
How does Green Bay never have financial issues? I mean, I understand all the tradition and everything, but isn't a full stadium around 50,000 people? Also, they've never had a stadium naming rights deal, for obvious reasons. If Jacksonville continued with the path like last year (45-50K fans and no stadium name), our days in Jacksonville would be numbered.

Vic: Lambeau Field seats 72,928, the Packers are about to add 10,000 seats and they never play to anything but a full house. The vast majority of the seats in Lambeau Field, by the way, are bench seats. I wonder if anyone complains. As I said last week, ticket sales represent, by far, the greatest percentage of a team's local revenue. The advantage teams such as the Packers have is that they always know what their ticket revenue is going to be and they can budget accordingly. The Packers never have to worry about the effects of a downward trend in the economy or in the fortunes of the team. Ticket revenue for the Packers is a constant and it's what makes the Packers one of the most stable franchises in all of professional sports. Somewhere along the line, Jaguars fans got the idea that ticket revenue wasn't that big of a deal and that TV picked up the tab for everything. That is way off the mark.

Sam from Jacksonville:
Many of us die-hard fans know that in addition to seeing a well-played game, the right music played in the stadium can really make a difference in the level of emotion. How would you feel about the song "Feel the Heat" being a key theme? What songs would you choose?

Vic: I checked my Sinatra and Tony Bennett CDs and I couldn't find "Feel the Heat," but I like this Sinatra duet and I think it would be a good song to play following a sack. Sing it, Frankie.

Tom from Jacksonville:
With the emphasis on getting to the QB (Harvey lighter, signing a true rush end in Kampman and drafting a three-technique DT), should we be a little concerned with the defensive line being able to stop the run? By the way, Vic, thanks for all the weekend work; we certainly appreciate it.

Vic: The pass-rush was so bad last year that the Jaguars decided to exaggerate their efforts at improving it; that's how important a pass-rush is in today's game. Sometimes you have to force yourself to hit a hook so you can stop slicing. After you hit a couple of hooks, then you can weaken your grip a little bit. The same goes for the Jaguars defense. Once they know they can sack the quarterback, then they can start picking their spots to tee off on the quarterback. I wouldn't worry about stopping the run. They've got guys that can do that and under Jack Del Rio the Jaguars will never get too far from stopping the run. The big question is: Can they rush the passer? My opinion is that we're going to see a major improvement in their pass-rush this year, but it's not a question you can answer with opinion. It has to be answered on the field and until the Jaguars actually start sacking the quarterback, it remains the number one question confronting this team: Can it sack the quarterback? The answer to that question will probably determine how many games the Jaguars win this season.

Jodi from Fleming Island, FL:
What are your impressions of Joe Cullen so far?

Vic: In interviewing Derrick Harvey on Sunday, he referred to having a "great coach" a couple of times. Strength coach Luke Richesson praised Cullen's work when I interviewed Luke. Coach Cullen is one of the early stars of training camp. Some guys are hyper and some guys are intense. There's a difference; one gets on your nerves while the other ignites your spirit. Make no mistake, Cullen is intense and his personality is having a positive influence on the Jaguars' spirit. As for me, I'm delighted that coach Del Rio hired Cullen because he's been extremely cooperative in availing himself for interviews and in explaining what he's trying to get done up front. What a shame it would've been had this man been lost to the game. His reemergence in the NFL is good for the Jaguars, the league and the game.

Chris from Colorado Springs, CO:
I have watched Austen Lane film. I have watched him in the Oklahoma drill and I am more impressed every time I see him. Will he turn out to be the steal of the draft?

Vic: He doesn't have to be the steal of the draft, just a contributing member of the defensive line who promises to develop into a long-term roster fixture. Based on what I saw of him in Sunday night's Oklahoma, I believe Lane will do that. I was impressed with his ability to get his pads down and play with leverage, which isn't something you naturally expect of a high-cut lineman. I love his energy. Most of all, I love the ground he covers. His quickness and long arms allow him to cover the gaps immediately to his right and left with a minimum of movement. I'm biased, of course, because this was a pick for which I started campaigning in the third round on draft day. He's a big head guy and I love players with big heads.

Luke from Calais, ME:
What do you think of the teal shorts, Vic? They seem to be giving the whole team a magic boost.

Vic: I can't believe what I'm about to say, mostly because I don't normally care about uniform fashion, but seeing the Jaguars in teal shorts in practice makes me believe the team should go to teal pants instead of black pants for their road uniforms. I've never liked that "First Holy Communion" road-uniform look because it lacks teal, so teal pants would be the perfect complement.

Dan from St. Augustine, FL:
There is something in the air, Vic. It's a buzz that I haven't felt in quite a long time. It's the goose-bump tingle of anticipation of what this group of young men may bring to this great city of ours and a tingle that will start to spread through the community like a cool autumn breeze conjuring up those feelings of nostalgia and pride.

Vic: I sense the buzz, too, but we have to find out if it's a manufactured buzz or a genuine instinct that good times are on the way. We'll start finding out soon.

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