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Labor Day 'Ask Vic'

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

Mario from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I do not mean to sound somewhat negative but, based on Thursday night's comments about how well the team was performing, isn't this being a bit too optimistic about the direction the team has taken to this point? Yes, things looked good as the Jaguars' first team worked against the Redskins "water boy" team. I would feel better to have a reserved opinion until after the team has completed at least half of the season. Better, yet, why not wait to evaluate what we've accomplished this year until the end of the season, including any playoff games the team enjoys?

Vic: Because I have a daily column that won't allow me to wait until the end of the season to provide one gigantic and incontrovertible answer to every question I had received for four months. Part of a season's experience is living with its ups and downs. Live it, enjoy it. Don't be afraid to be wrong. By the way, my expectations are very reserved, and I've made that clear several times.

Buddy from Jacksonville:
A young man's game? OK, I'll take Brett Favre, Fred Taylor, Junior Seau, Urlacher, Amani Toomer, Stroud, Henderson, Torry Holt, Tony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison, Grady Jackson and a few other defensive veteran players 35 and above against any team you can muster up.

Vic: Please don't tell people you read "Ask Vic."

Scott from Jacksonville:
So the small-market teams will have to attract the best talent evaluators. That means paying a premium for those guys, but that will still be much less expensive than buying players. Agree?

Vic: Yeah, but you shouldn't have to pay a premium for talent evaluators, either, because there's an ample supply of them, too. Pay the quarterback and your star players and first-round picks. Everybody else is on the cheap.

Tim from Gainesville, FL:
You know nothing about Jacksonville if you don't think it's a college football town.

Vic: Would you like some numbers? OK, here are some Jacksonville TV ratings from the NFL preseason and the first weekend of the college football season. The Jaguars at Dolphins got a 16.9 rating and 27 share. The Jaguars at Eagles got a 20.5 rating and 31 share. Steve Spurrier at North Carolina State last Thursday night got a 5.9 rating and a nine share, and it would appear a lot of fans switched to the radio broadcast of the Jaguars-Redskins game because the Spurrier/N.C. State numbers dipped to a 3.8 rating for the first 15 minutes of the Jaguars game. Later that night, after the Jags game was over, Oregon at Boise State got a 4.0 rating and an eight share. If the Jags game had been televised, it would likely have rated 20 or above and the Spurrier game's ratings would've been significantly lower. Looking at those numbers, can you honestly say this is a college football town?

Ed from Jacksonville:
When Jack Del Rio was referring to the tackle of Jones-Drew, he said it was a UFC. What is a UFC?

Vic: Coach Del Rio was referring to the newest form of pugilism, in which two fighters in a cage are allowed to kick, punch and wrestle each other until one of the two is kneeling on the other's chest and punching him in the face. It's very entertaining.

Paul from Jacksonville:
What are the most outstanding positives from this preseason now that the fourth game is in the books?

Vic: The roster has been cleaned out. It is now a collection of young, ascending players being guided by high-character veterans. It sends a bold message the Jaguars are headed in the right direction and the future is bright.

Steve from Jacksonville:
Jerry Jones, in reference to the Vikings and their stadium issues: "Right now we are subsidizing this market. That will stop. That's going to stop. That's called revenue sharing. That's on its way out." This scares me as much as our ticket sales. Folks like Wellington Mara realized all of the owners sharing revenue is better long term for the league. This gem of a quote tells me the age of leaguethink is dead. Am I overreacting?

Vic: You sure aren't. Jones and his big-market buddies are a threat to the small-market teams in this league. Jones is a free-markets, survival-of-the-fittest kind of guy and that's not the attitude that made the NFL great. This league was built on leaguethink, which is a way of saying all teams thinking and acting as one for the betterment of all. Leaguethink is about pool the revenue and share the wealth.

JAK from Jacksonville:
I see you're at it again. You're building up our receiving corps and we have yet to see them in the regular season. I wish the best for our young group but let's not call them our best receiving corps ever.

Vic: I didn't do that. David Garrard did. Those little things at the beginning and ends of sentences are called quotation marks.

Chris from Daytona Beach, FL:
The Pats sure have brass ones. They are already reloading their draft picks; trading Seymour for what will likely be a top five pick in 2011. It might get expensive to sign that guy, though they will probably trade back and pick up a slew of talent anyway. This is how it's done.

Vic: That's exactly how it's done. Remember the Deion Branch trade and how everybody chided me because I said that's how you do it? So how did that work out for the Seahawks?

Ben from San Diego, CA:
Ten defensive linemen and six linebackers; I guess it's safe to say the Jags are sticking with the 4-3 base, huh?

Vic: Yep. If the Jags were a true 3-4 team, the numbers would be reversed.

Adam from Rowlett, TX:
Now that the roster cuts are in, are there any surprises?

Vic: Nothing Gene Smith did surprised me. My only question was whether or not he was bold enough to do it. Obviously, he's bold enough. The Jags got a winner running the personnel department and he's in the process of leading this team back to the high ground.

Warren from Jacksonville:
Why trade for a QB and not wait for someone off the waiver wire?

Vic: Smith wanted Luke McCown. The pick is low. In effect, the Jaguars drafted McCown with that pick. Smith will get it back. He's a draft guy all the way. He has a plan.

Mike from Jacksonville:
Would an 8-8 record be considered a successful season for our Jaguars? I would say, yes, all things considered. What do you think?

Vic: This team won't be defined by its record. It'll be defined by the progress of its young players. If by season's end the Jaguars rookies have distinguished themselves as being future stars, then this season will have been a howling success, regardless of the record. Having said that, 8-8 wouldn't be bad.

Joe from Statesboro, GA:
It's a game of replacement. Get the big guys early. Wide receivers are a dime a dozen. Take care of the future and the future will take care of the present. Has Gene hit on all of your commandments?

Vic: We're the same guy.

Van from Atlantic Beach, FL:
How many people from last year's practice squad made the team this year?

Vic: Nate Hughes.

Andrew from Jacksonville:
Could we have traded Tony Pashos or Brian Williams?

Vic: Obviously they couldn't.

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