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Let's look at Chargers' schedule

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

James from Mooresville, IN:
I know we all believe the Jaguars won't be shopping-spree happy in free agency this year and will remain focused on the draft, but do you think the Jags may look at Albert Haynesworth?

Vic: I'm incredulous at the number of these questions I'm receiving. You've got to be kidding. After a year in which the Jaguars spent $22 million in free agency on two players with negative result, I can't imagine the team would try it again, especially with a player whose past is more checkered than a Kansas road map.

Brian from Hernando, MS:
How different do you think the Jaguars season would have been had the Jaguars not suffered any of the injuries they had? Do you think the difference would have been significant?

Vic: They would've won more games and we would've had more fun watching them, but I don't think it would've made the difference. The real problem was on defense, which only lost one starter, Rashean Mathis, and that wasn't until late in the season and after the issue had been decided.

Dave from Los Angeles, CA:
I wanted to say thank you for your work. I'm in college, I don't own a TV and my head is buried in books six days a week, so your game-day blogs are a welcome respite. Excellent work. See you next fall.

Vic: You don't own a TV? You'll go far in life.

Chadwin from Oak Ridge, TN:
After watching the Cowboys have a fast start and a devastating decline, what would you do to get them into the playoffs?

Vic: I would circle Feb. 9 on my calendar so I make sure that I waste no time in cutting a certain wide receiver. He ruined them.

Jim from Jacksonville:
Is there anyone in free agency that could actually help the Jaguars for 2009 and not for outrageous sums of money?

Vic: Sure, there are lots of guys in free agency who address needs without representing a major financial risk. Mewelde Moore is such a player. Carolina got mileage out of Keydrick Vincent and Tyler Braden. Chris Crocker has picked up some slack for Miami. Danny Clark starts for the Giants. Reynaldo Wynn is a rotation guy for the Giants. Byron Leftwich won an important game for the Steelers. You have to find them. You have to find the bargains in free agency, just as you have to find talent in undrafted free agency. If you rely only on the draft and free agency, your roster will lack depth and your salary cap and payroll structure will be a problem.

Jason from Anastasia Island, FL:
Other than Matt Jones, no receiver has really shown me any reason to keep them for next year. Do you think the big receiver experiment is over? I know they are good for blocking, but it seems the ones we have aren't able to catch anything. Do we really need every receiver to be large? Your thoughts?

Vic: There's nothing wrong with having big receivers, provided you haven't sacrificed skill for size. I have a prejudice against heavy-legged receivers. I've never seen a heavy-legged receiver who could run after the catch. The Jaguars have heavy-legged guys and maybe that's why they have such unimpressive YAC (yards after the catch) stats. Jones leads all Jaguars wide receivers in YAC with 71 yards in 65 catches. That's 1.1 yards of run after the catch per catch and that's not gonna work.

Dave from Orange Park, FL:
I've tried to explain to my wife that the Jags' recovery has to start up front with the big guys, the offensive and defensive lines, but she wants to draft a receiver or running back and thinks it's all Jack's fault. How can I bring her over from the dark side?

Vic: Take her in the backyard, give the ball to one of the kids and have him or her stand on a spot five yards behind mom. All right, now rush the kid; mom's job is to block you. I think she'll come around to your thinking.

Bryce from Columbus, GA:
What coaches on the Jaguars staff should be concerned?

Vic: None; Jack Del Rio said on Tuesday that all of his coaches will be retained, provided they don't leave for another job.

Prange from St. Augustine, FL:
In your opinion, who should the Browns hire first, a head coach or a GM?

Vic: That depends on their structure, which should be the first thing they determine. Do they want to hire a general manager who will be given broad powers that include the final say on player acquisition? If they do, then I would hire that person first and allow him input in hiring a new coach. If they want to hire a personnel director who will not have final say on player acquisition but will coordinate with the head coach, who will have final say on personnel, then I would hire the head coach first and allow him to assist in selecting a personnel director.

Susan from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Jack says everyone has to be up here for offseason workouts and spring training. Does that mean Fred Taylor can't continue his south Florida workouts?

Vic: I think that's what it means.

Jon from Jacksonville:
What do you make of Mike Shanahan's firing in Denver?

Vic: Mike Shanahan is a great coach. He's the kind of coach you fear if he's your opponent. Shanahan, however, made the mistake of using his success to acquire total control of the Broncos' football operations. What it means is that when somebody has to be blamed, you're the guy. That's what happened in Denver. It got to the point that somebody had to take the fall and Shanahan was the guy because he picked the team and he coached the team. One voice is a big mistake. I have a friend who likes to say it's not who's right or wrong, it's who gets the blame. There was no one else to blame and the Broncos had reached blame time.

Joe from Jacksonville:
I'm not saying you're right or wrong on San Diego, but at least do readers a favor and look at the whole picture. San Diego played against Buffalo, New Orleans, plus Denver, Oakland and Kansas City each twice.

Vic: All right, let's take a look at the Chargers' schedule. First of all, what makes Buffalo and New Orleans easy outs? The Chargers also played against the Panthers, Jets, Dolphins, Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Falcons and Bucs. That's not a tough schedule? Are you kidding? They also had to travel across the country four times (at Miami, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Tampa), and the game in Pittsburgh was in frigid conditions. I'm not saying you're right, I'm saying you're dead wrong if you're suggesting the Chargers didn't play a challenging schedule. Their 8-8 includes a three-point loss, a two-point loss, two one-point defeats and one that was the direct result of an officiating error. The Chargers, in my opinion, earned the AFC West title and deserve to host a playoff game.

Justin from Jacksonville:
Del Rio said he will have a harder camp this offseason. Does this mean Del Rio will be more strict and into the game more?

Vic: Into the game more? That's so disrespectful and incorrect. Yes, I think coach Del Rio will be stricter with his players in 2009. I think his season-ending press conference on Tuesday drew a line in the sand that all players will interpret as such, but I don't think coach Del Rio will be any more into the game in '09 than he was in '08 because I have no doubt that he has never been anything but completely into any game in which he has ever played or coached in his life.

Ric from Jacksonville:
What exactly is the Jan. 18-23 golf camp?

Vic: Those are the dates of my annual winter golf vacation and they are very important. Happy New Year, everybody.

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