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Leave the hat off

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

Alon from Peru, NY:
Who is Barabas?

Vic: He was one of the first soccer-style kickers; played for the Saints.

Jared from Gainesville, FL:
Now that Cordova is lost for the season, does he really have to be waived like Marler before being put on IR? What team wouldn't grab our third-round pick for free?

Vic: Seth Marler was waived before being put on injured reserve because doing that would allow the Jaguars to preserve a roster spot. In Jorge Cordova's case, the Jaguars won't waive him for the purpose of putting him on injured reserve because they would expect another team to claim him. They'll lose the roster spot, but they're nearing the cut to 65 anyhow. The roster spot would only be lost until the cut to 65.

Roland from Jacksonville:
I'll take you up on your offer. How is the receiver competition shaping up?

Vic: Jimmy Smith is still this team's best wide receiver; no doubt about it. Reggie Williams is supposed to be this team's next Jimmy Smith. Ernest Wilford is great value in round four and it must be remembered that he comes out of a great Virginia Tech special teams tradition and has already displayed his special teams ability by blocking a punt in the Miami preseason game. Those three guys have this team made. Troy Edwards has been the number two wide receiver all summer and Cortez Hankton has come on strong late in camp. I consider those five players to be the front-runners at wide receiver.

Eddie from Jacksonville:
Thanks for all your hard work. You provide a plethora of info for Jaguars fans everywhere. My question concerns field graphics. Does the NFL give teams guidelines to what can or cannot go on the field? Years ago, the Jags would have a Santa hat on the Jaguar head at midfield, but not anymore. Is that something the NFL does not want on the field, or is that the Jaguars' decision? Similarly, some teams put the NFL logo at midfield instead of their mascot. What gives?

Vic: Any field markings not included in the NFL official playing rules must be approved by the league. The Jaguars were mildly reprimanded for the Santa hat because they had not sought the league's approval. Frankly, I'm not a Santa hat kind of guy. I thought it looked ridiculous. If you're going to run the ball and stop the run, you can't have a Santa hat painted on your field.

Rob from Jacksonville, FL:
Wasn't Baltimore Colts kicker Jim O'Brien a rookie when he kicked the winning field goal against Dallas in Super Bowl V?

Vic: Yes, he was. Jim O'Brien was a third-round draft choice of the Colts in 1970.

Keith from Neptune Beach, FL:
What's your handicap?

Vic: I have a bad back.

Matt from Jacksonville:
I love the column. It's a must read everyday. I was wondering what were some of your favorite NFL teams/players growing up?

Vic: I grew up watching the Steelers. They were a very poor team during my childhood, so we didn't have much in the way of wins or star players. The one player who qualified as a favorite was Bobby Layne. He and Tommy McDonald were the last of the no-facemask guys. I'll never forget the sight of Layne coming to the line of scrimmage, blood from his nose running down his mouth and chin, then wiping it on his right sleeve before stepping under center. He was a dramatic player whose best years were spent in Detroit. Layne was one of the tough guys who defined the game in those days. One of the great stories from his career is of having set a Steelers passing-yardage record after having spent the night out on the town. Layne wore number 22 and he also did the placekicking. In today's game, he would've been popular beyond anything we have ever known.

Alan from Orange Park, FL:
Do you think the Jags might consider using David Garrard for, maybe, two offensive series per game? It would seem to force defensive coordinators to prepare for a pocket passer as well as a running quarterback.

Vic: The problem is the offensive coordinator only has a few days to prepare his quarterback for the other team's defense. The two-quarterback system doesn't work because there's not enough time in the week to prepare two guys. There are other reasons, but preparation time is the big one. The last two-quarterback system that was successful was in 1971, when Craig Morton and Roger Staubach shared time at the position for the Cowboys. Dallas won the Super Bowl that year, so I guess the strategy was a success, but everyone complained about it and the Cowboys were a team built on defense so it really didn't matter who played quarterback. It wasn't until the Cowboys settled on Staubach as their starter that their offense became the equal of their defense.

Mark from Cincinnati, OH:
Thanks for being my lifeline to Jaguars football up here in Ohio. My question is about the (apparent) touchdown by Jimmy Smith that was overturned because he lost possession out of bounds. What is the rule on that situation? I thought as long as you possess the ball in bounds for two steps in the end zone it's a touchdown. What's the real deal?

Vic: A receiver must demonstrate control of the ball for it to be ruled a catch. The ruling was that Jimmy Smith did not display control. It's a judgment call.

Lee from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Again, many thanks for hosting the "Ask Vic" convention. Two questions: One, with a bevy of receivers, who do you see as the "gunners" this year? Two, and I'm not being facetious, might the team look to the Canadian Football League as another possible pool of talent to address our kicking woes?

Vic: If by "gunners" you mean special teams coverage guys, then I can tell you this team has a full arsenal. Tommy Hendricks is going to be a special teams star. Ernest Wilford comes out of a great special teams tradition at Virginia Tech. He has the upbringing and the attitude to excel on special teams. There is no doubt in my mind that special teams is going to be a major weapon for the Jaguars. As for fixing the kicking thing, you find football players where you find football players. It may be in the CFL or the arena leagues. There are intriguing prospects in Washington and in Kansas City who could come free.

Wil from Jacksonville:
Thanks, again, for the convention; it was a great start to the weekend and the season. I have been to camp a couple of times and went to the preseason game and I have noticed that the few times Reggie Williams has caught a ball it does not look clean. When he catches the ball it appears to roll around his chest or he bobbles it for a moment before he puts it away. Am I over analyzing his few preseason catches?

Vic: He started to come on last week. Give him time.

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