Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
John from Napa, CA:
Does it look to you like Eli Manning is a duck-and-cover thrower? Many times I've seen him throw off his back foot and immediately spin around to turn his back to the pass-rush.
Vic: I saw it in the Denver game earlier in the season. I immediately thought to myself, "you got a big problem with your quarterback, Tom." Chuck-and-duck is ugly. Everybody knows what it means. Bad mechanics? A lot of quarterbacks have been successful with bad releases and throwing motions. Sonny Jurgensen, Bernie Kosar and Ken Stabler threw sidearm. Vince Young is the hottest prospect in football and I've never seen a worse throwing motion. I've only known one quarterback, however, who made chuck-and-duck work; Brett Favre. The Jaguars are going to make a major effort to convince Byron Leftwich to get rid of the ball quicker and stop subjecting himself to physical abuse. The Giants have to break Manning of his chuck-and-duck habit before it ruins his career. As it stands, he's sending a message: I don't like being hit. When you send that message, you can count on being hit.
Dylan from Atlanta, GA:
I know most people don't like him, but Terrell Owens is a bona fide touchdown-maker. After what he went through last year, I think he will be grateful this year towards a team that gives him a chance. Any chance the Jags will be that desperate during the offseason?
Vic: He's a touchdown-maker; no question about it. There's also no question about the trouble he has caused. It's a risk/reward situation. Would I accept that risk? No way. I'd look for another touchdown-maker. A lot of people feel differently.
Tim from Jacksonville:
I guess you're feeling that Fred Taylor would have a big day against the Patriots, that he "just had that look in his eye," was a little off, huh? I don't know how you could have been more wrong.
Vic: You're absolutely right. I was way off.
Bobby from Jacksonville:
The 2003 New England Patriots. Who was their play-maker?
Vic: The '03 Patriots didn't have a Shaun Alexander, Larry Johnson, Antonio Gates, etc., type of player. The '03 Patriots had 16 players who scored touchdowns, which includes five interception returns for touchdowns. If the point you're trying to make is that a team doesn't need to have a touchdown-maker to win a Super Bowl, then you could certainly use the '03 Patriots as your example. Make sure you note, however, that Bill Belichick made a point of finding a touchdown-maker before the '04 season began. Belichick traded for Corey Dillon, who scored 13 touchdowns in '04.
Caryn from Jacksonville:
The only time you post questions from females is when they ask or say something stupid. Why?
Vic: Have I really done that? I'm embarrassed. When I review all of the e-mails and select those for publication, I never look at the names of the people who've submitted them. I must have chauvinistic tendencies of which I am not aware. I probably need therapy. Please accept my apology and this peace offering: Tomorrow, Jan. 11, is officially "Ask Vic Ladies' Day." Only questions from women will be selected for publication. If you have a name that might be confused for a guy's name – Billie, Randi, etc. – please put "Ms." in front of your name. In fact, I'd like all women to do that so I can make sure no guys get in tomorrow. Again, Wednesday, Jan. 11, is "Ask Vic Ladies' Day." No questions from men will be accepted.
Patrick from Columbia, SC:
What are your thoughts on Minnesota running back Laurence Maroney?
Vic: Outstanding; love him. He's durable and productive; tough inside runner with open-field skills. He's a touchdown-maker.
Kyle from Charleston, IL:
What was with the Jags-Pats game being at eight o'clock, which made it even colder and all of the other wild-card games were no later than four?
Vic: The eight o'clocker is considered to be the premium game of the weekend. I thought that's what Jaguars fans wanted; prime-time exposure. As far as the cold, it really wasn't that bad. When we stepped off the plane in Jacksonville at four a.m., it was about as cold here as it was in New England.
Robert from Las Vegas, NV:
Why did Del Rio go for the field goal when they were down 28-3?
Vic: Whether the Jaguars scored a touchdown or kicked a field goal, they were still going to have to score three more touchdowns to win the game or send it into overtime. The two-point conversion option would've left the Jaguars with a chance to tie the game with three more touchdowns. On fourth-and-17 from the New England 23, it was absolutely the right decision.
Robert from Amsterdam, The Netherlands:
I do have one thing to say about the media. One of the things I noticed watching the analysis was a lot of these so-called analysts have the ability to turn tail very quickly. One of the things I respect most about you is that when you say something you stand by it. Last Saturday before the game everyone was talking about how we needed to play our best football to even stand a chance of scoring an upset. Then during halftime they suddenly love us, but after the show they say they really hadn't expected anything else. I have just about lost all respect for most of these analysts. Your thoughts?
Vic: If it really bothers you, don't subject yourself to it. Don't let that stuff get to you. Identify those reporters you trust to give you an accurate account and analysis, and those who are just fishing for controversy or ratings, then tune out the latter. You're in control of what you read, hear and see. Discriminate.
Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
Can you think of a quarterback in the past who has been beaten up and forced to end his career early?
Vic: Joe Namath immediately comes to mind. Greg Cook is another one. Cook was going to be a great quarterback.
Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
Of the running backs coming out of college, which would you most like to have on this team, other than Reggie Bush who, of course, we would have no shot at?
Vic: Laurence Maroney, Michael Bush and Brian Calhoun are guys who interest me. I expect DeAngelo Williams will light it up at the combine and in personal workouts. I expect his stock to soar high above where the Jaguars will be picking.
Frank from Oviedo, FL:
We had a chance at a touchdown-maker named Shaun Alexander. Look at the year that MVP had. If we had him, I don't think we would have given up on the run so easily.
Vic: Everybody had a chance to trade for Alexander last summer. What does it say that the Seahawks were willing to trade him? It's about the money. The Seahawks couldn't do a deal with him so they "franchised" him. You want him, you can get him. Are you willing to pay him what he wants? He would represent a major risk at his price. It's a risk no team has been willing to take. He would instantly make your salary cap a problem.
Chris from Jacksonville:
Why do you think it takes us so long to get our offense going?
Vic: In my opinion, it's because the Jaguars offense lacks suddenness, which is another way of saying it doesn't have players who do sudden things; take a hand-off and go the distance or catch the ball and out-run the secondary. The Jaguars' success this season has, in my opinion, mostly been the result of perseverance. They slowly seized control of the game by being fundamentally sound and physical. The credit for that goes to the coaches. In my opinion, the Jaguars wore down their opponents.
Scott from Miami, OK:
I was going to write a question asking if it really mattered on running the ball, but when I looked up the stats I found that not only did every team that won out-rush its opponents, they all broke the 100-yard mark (except the Redskins, 95) and they passed for fewer yards (except the Panthers, 21 more). The difference is that most of them used multiple backs. I guess maybe there is something to this running the football in January thing.
Vic: You bring up a good point about multiple backs. You need fresh legs; you need depth. The Jaguars have that kind of depth at running back. I think that's what Jack Del Rio was citing in his review remarks this past Sunday. Do they have a durable, dependable, carry-the-load feature back? That's my question.
Brian from Ocala, FL:
Can you give me a list of the Jaguars free agents, or the players we could see leave during the offseason?
Vic: Akin Ayodele, Deke Cooper, Terry Cousin, Greg Favors, Rob Meier, Dennis Norman, Mike Pearson, Ephraim Salaam, Marcellus Wiley, Jamie Winborn and Kenny Wright are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 3. Tony Gilbert, Cortez Hankton, Vince Manuwai, LaBrandon Toefield, Tracy White and George Wrighster are scheduled to become restricted free agents.
Stefano from Cairo, GA:
Do you think nine weeks of playing against sub-par competition took a little of the edge or focus away from this team?
Vic: I don't think it took the edge or focus away, but I think a long stretch of games against non-playoff teams hurt the Jaguars because it became the standard of competition they faced. I think it would've been better had the playoff teams on the Jaguars' schedule been spaced out a little better.
Sheel from Deltona, FL:
What are your thoughts on Monday's article written by Mike Freeman? Is there really a split in the locker room on Leftwich and Garrard?
Vic: I don't know if there is or there isn't, but I can tell you where I'd stand on that kind of thing: Players play and coaches coach. If I was the head coach, I'd find out where my players stand and, if necessary, I'd let them know where I stand. I'd let them know that decisions on personnel will continue to be made without their input. I'd make it crystal clear that I pay them to be players, not politicians.
Kevin from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Why did they leave Sensabaugh in the game when he actually missed at least five different situations that cost them the game?
Vic: Cost them the game? That's too harsh. Gerald Sensabaugh was replaced by Deke Cooper. Sensabaugh is a rookie who was making only his third start and it happened to be against the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. He got valuable experience. He's a prospect the Jaguars love. He'll be better for the experience.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
I don't agree with you about being stubborn about running the ball. I think to truly succeed in the NFL you have to be a dynamic team that can pass or run, depending on the circumstances. Once we saw that the Patriots were going to go two-deep to defend against the pass, we should have run. If they stuff eight or nine in the box, then we need to air it out.
Vic: So, in other words, don't bother making a game plan. Wait to see what the Patriots are going to do, then decide. Just like Madden '05, huh?