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Just one of the dogs

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

Skip from Jacksonville:
Garrard is a good quarterback. Just as good as Leftwich; maybe better. But according to you, he has no chance to start here in Jacksonville no matter how he plays. So why should he stay here?

Vic: One of the prerequisites for acquiring information in this column is the ability to read. You either haven't mastered that skill or you didn't read yesterday's column. I can't put it any more simply. Garrard is competing. His performance is being duly noted. Byron Leftwich must produce or he'll lose his job. All quarterbacks must produce or they'll lose their job. Jack Del Rio will make a change when he believes it's warranted. People like you continue to obsess on this subject and I think it's because you enjoy it. I think you like the argument it produces. Here's the bad part about that: This isn't going to work. Nobody, not even Garrard, can succeed in that kind of environment. David would be facing the same criticism Byron has been facing. I saw evidence of it last season after the 10-9 win over the 49ers. The bulk of the questions I received that week wanted to know when Leftwich would be back. I'm beginning to feel like one of Pavlov's dogs.

Brandon from Jacksonville:
I've reached the point that I don't take a side on the QB issue. Both Leftwich and Garrard are excellent quarterbacks and class acts. Does any team have a better duo at quarterback than the Jags?

Vic: I was intrigued by your question so I got Brian Sexton involved in the research. We went through each team and we decided that Leftwich and Garrard represent the best one-two punch at QB in the league. I like the Michael Vick and Matt Schaub combination in Atlanta, and Brian thinks the Drew Brees and Todd Bauman one-two in New Orleans has possibilities. I can think of other ones I like, such as Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler, but none better than Leftwich and Garrard.

Scott from Woodbridge, VA:
I haven't heard anything on the condition of Marcedes Lewis. Do you know how long he'll be out or how bad the injury is?

Vic: It's a high-ankle sprain and that's a significant injury. I have no hard and fast information but my instincts tell me Lewis is going to be out of action for a significant amount of time.

Mike from Lake Worth, FL:
To follow up on your love for tough players, I was reading an article about Unitas and the Colts in a recent "SI" that mentioned Bednarik. He apparently tackled a player who was out of bounds and slammed him into a table. One of the younger players on the bench asked a vet, "Is this what it's like every week?" The vet responded with, "No, just wait for the regular season." They never saw the young player again.

Vic: I remember an "Oklahoma" drill from a long time ago. A rookie offensive lineman got abused by Ernie Holmes, who had a vicious "club" and "head slap." The kid's head was ringing when he got done. Later, he told the personnel guy he was quitting football and the personnel guy sat down with him and assured the rookie it wouldn't be like this all of the time; that he wouldn't have to do the "Oklahoma" any more. The kid was a third-round pick and the personnel guy didn't want to lose him. The kid said he'd stay and the personnel guy was relieved. That night, the kid slipped out of camp and no one saw him again. He didn't care about cab fare or a plane ticket. All he wanted was to get out. It's a tough game for tough guys.

Jonathan from Maumelle, AR:
If you're expecting Matt Jones to go across the middle, catch the ball and take a big hit consistently, you're probably going to be disappointed. In my opinion, he was drafted for his athleticism, not toughness. He's a big-play receiver, not a possession receiver.

Vic: There have been receivers who've lived on the sideline successfully. Randy Moss is one of them. Willie Gault wouldn't have gone over the middle if the sideline was on fire. The vast majority of receivers, however, can't fulfill their true promise without using the whole field and all of the routes. Don't sell him short. He's learning a new position.

Ben from Jacksonville:
Who is the favorite to go to the Super Bowl for the AFC?

Vic: It's the usual suspects: Patriots and Colts.

Michael from Jacksonville:
Vic, loved your article on Garrard. I am a huge fan of his. I understand Del Rio's message to his QB. What are the chances Del Rio will put Garrard with the first team offense in the preseason?

Vic: Jack Del Rio has said he intends to give Garrard time with the first team offense in the preseason.

Nick from Jacksonville:
While I agree with your assessment of competition at QB, I find it hard to believe that politics don't play a huge role. Coaches could never explain to an owner why they drafted a first-rounder with a $6.3 million cap hit and benched him in favor of a $1.5 million hit. At least not in the first few years. Leftwich wasn't drafted to warm the pine. It's all about the money to the owners, too, isn't it?

Vic: Sure it's about the money, but we're not in the "first few years" any more. Leftwich only has two years remaining on his contract. The burden of proof has never been greater and it's only going to increase. The politics to which you are referring will begin to work against Leftwich as he nears having to do a new deal. You have it wrong.

Robert from Las Vegas, NV:
What do you think of Quinn Gray?

Vic: He's a talented, bright guy. He has a future in this league, but only if he protects the ball. He throws interceptions in practice and that's a major red flag for any coach.

John from Minneapolis, MN:
Why are noise-makers not allowed at NFL games?

Vic: For the same reason that the noise they pipe into games at the Hubert H. Humphrey Dome and the RCA Dome is forbidden. It interferes with the visiting team's ability to perform.

Drew from Jacksonville:
According to the news ticker, the Jaguars are all going to the movies together on Wednesday. Your thoughts?

Vic: The guys went to see the movie "Invincible." Training camp gets old. A morning at the movies can boost morale.

Joe from Boscawen, NH:
Why is Chad Owens not really considered a prominent receiver? This kid has caught everything that has been thrown to him and has a good feel for where the first-down marker is. He showed this last week and in the preseason last year. Your thoughts?

Vic: But he didn't show it in the regular season last year. He had a meltdown in week two and it caused him to be cut. Now he's being given a chance to redeem himself; to prove to his coach that he can get it done. Didn't you read the story I did on Chad a week ago?

Richard from Ormond Beach, FL:
I was watching the Vikings game and saw the play in which Chad Greenway got injured. The name rang a bell because in your pre-draft columns his name was mentioned several times as a possible Jaguars first-round selection. I was really surprised that he was being used to break up the wedge on kickoffs. Is this a good way to utilize the 17th overall draft pick?

Vic: Somebody has to play special teams and rookies are traditional candidates to do it.

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