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Leftwich at 16-game mark

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

John from Jacksonville:
Since 1999, I can only remember the Jaguars sacking Steve McNair one time. I was wondering if you knew, or how I can check my memory on this.

Vic: In the 1999 AFC title game, they sacked him once for no yards lost; twice for 11 yards lost in 2000; four times for 25 yards lost in 2001; once for eight yards lost in '02; and twice for 16 yards lost in '03.

Andy from Shreveport, LA:
Why do the folks on TV always say the "New York football Giants." They are the only team in New York named the Giants, aren't they? Is this another one of those things that started back when Moses was a baby?

Vic: Once upon a time, there was a baseball team in New York called the Giants. They were quite a team and, before they left the Polo Grounds for San Francisco, one of the Giants' players, a guy named Willie Mays, made a really neat catch in a World Series game. Because the baseball Giants were in New York first, no one called them the "baseball Giants." The distinction between the two franchises was made by calling the football Giants the "football Giants." Moses was their first season ticket holder.

Derrick from Jacksonville, FL:
I'm wondering about something you spoke on during "Jaguars This Week." It was regarding taking what the defense gives you. You said just take what you want. How can that be done if the defense doesn't let you? I was just kind of curious about that statement.

Vic: The best teams have had the most predictable offenses. The Cowboys of the 1990's were going to run the lead draw with Emmitt Smith, and everybody knew it was coming but nobody stopped it. The Steelers of the 1970's were going to run the traps, and everybody knew it was coming but nobody stopped it. The Raiders were going to throw the ball deep, and everybody knew it was coming but nobody stopped. The Packer sweep, the Redskin counter, etc. Those teams weren't going to be forced out of their game plan by defensive strategy. It's 11 on 11; you have enough people to block, so block it. When you take what they give you, you're letting the defense call your plays. You're letting the defense take away your trademark. Good teams, proud teams take what they want. Good teams aren't about schemes, they're about execution. And if you're so good at what you do that the defense has to overload to stop it, you've won the battle. Now you can do anything you want. It's my belief that all offenses have to establish a trademark or personality. By doing that, you make defenses obsess about that one thing you do, and that makes them vulnerable to other things. Then, if you wanna take what they give you, go ahead, but it starts by taking what you want.

Joey from Jacksonville:
Isn't the Jaguars offense supposed to be a form of the west coast offense? But it seems that Byron has rarely thrown to the tight ends or backs. This could get Byron in some sort of a rhythm and open up plays downfield later in the game, right?

Vic: For years, I've asked coaches, what is the west coast offense? What is its intent? How do I know when I'm seeing it? The answer has always come back that the west coast offense is a rhythm passing game that is intended to throw the ball quickly and on time. I smile and say thank you, then walk away muttering to myself. Frankly, I think this west coast offense stuff is a lot of crap. I've never known a passing attack that wasn't based on rhythm, a quick release and timing. Most fans have come to define the west coast offense by the number of passes a team throws. A team that throws 40 or more passes runs the west coast offense. Has anyone considered that having Joe Montana as their quarterback may have had something to do with the 49ers' design of the west coast offense? Is it possible we're not describing a scheme as much as we're describing one particular quarterback's style? No one should ask me anymore west coast offense questions because I don't believe there is such a thing.

Jason from Gainesville, FL:
I have a couple of questions related to the LBs. What was the purpose of deactivating Hendricks for the Denver game? Do you expect the activation of Favors/Hendricks to be a weekly decision or will the injury to Spicer allow all of the LBs to be active, as they seem to be a strength of the defense with quality, depth and versatility?

Vic: Decisions to deactivate particular players are the result of numbers at a position and the scheme that will be used that day. It was explained to me that Tommy Hendricks was deactivated for the game against Denver because Greg Favors would be prominent in the Jaguars' pass-rush scheme. The Jaguars had five linebackers active for the game and, obviously, Jack Del Rio thought that was enough. He can stay at a low number at linebacker because of the versatility of his players.

Chris from Gainesville, FL:
I read that Leftwich has thrown eight touchdown passes and six interceptions and fumbled just once in his last seven games. In that span, he has a 5-2 record. Is it just me, or is that pretty good for a young quarterback?

Vic: Let me give you another stat: Byron Leftwich is 7-8 in the 15 games he's been a starting quarterback. This Sunday's game will mark a full season as a starting quarterback for Leftwich. I wonder what the records are for other quarterbacks in their first 16 games as a starter. I can tell you that Peyton Manning was 3-13, Tom Brady was 13-3 and Donovan McNabb was 7-9.

Bob from Jacksonville:
Who determines the game films teams send to their competitors?

Vic: All teams are responsible for providing video of their last three games to their next opponent. Guidelines for the quality of that video and timeliness of its delivery are very specific. Video is the lifeblood of a coaching staff and there's no playing around with this stuff. It is serious business and the league is steadfast in its management of its policy regarding game video.

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