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Let your heart be your guide

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

George Young from Brunswick, GA:
First of all, let me apologize for my previous post. I did not mean to start a feud about megaphones. I simply found it funny that the Jaguars would send an ad with somebody using one. I don't need a megaphone. I am very loud at games. I usually can't talk for a day or two after one. Now, my question: What advice would you give the Jaguars fans to help us keep the intensity levels up for the players? I am from Cincinnati and if the fans there can show up and be loud year in and year out, so can Jaguars fans.
Vic: The best kind of fan support is a genuine enthusiasm for the game and a spontaneous reaction to the game's circumstances. You obviously have what it takes. Have a good time and everything else will take care of itself.

Jim Pounder from Sigonella, Sicily:
I'm stationed in Sicily and don't always get to watch the Jaguars games on TV. Last year, I was able to listen to most of the games I couldn't watch, via the internet radio broadcast. Will this be available again this year? Also, will it be available for the preseason games?
Vic: The preseason and regular-season radio broadcasts of Jaguars games can be accessed on again this season. By the way, I love your last name.

Brian Sadowski from Orange Park, FL:
How are the practice-squad members paid, meaning are they under contract, and does their salary count against the cap once the final roster cuts are made? Also, how much, if any, game-planning goes on before a preseason game?
Vic: Practice-squad players are under contract to their various teams. They are each paid $4,000 a week; $68,000 for a full season. Multiply that times five practice-squad players and that's $340,000, which is the practice squad's hit on a team's salary cap. As far as preseason game-planning, coaches make sure their players know the basic offensive and defensive designs their opponents will employ, and maybe even a few bread-and-butter plays and schemes, however, little else is done in the way of opponent preparation. Most preseason game plans involve playing time and groupings of a team's own personnel.

Jay Strong from Jacksonville:
If memory serves, this is the second season in the last three where the opening day of the NFL falls on the second Sunday in September. What is the reason for the week delay and skipping the traditional Labor Day start, and is this going to become permanent?
Vic: The NFL announced last season that it would no longer begin regular-season play on Labor Day weekend. The reason given was that the league wanted to give fans an opportunity to complete their vacations before beginning the season. In recent years, TV ratings had dipped for Labor Day weekend openers. The NFL and the TV networks felt its audience had been reduced due to vacationing on Labor Day weekend.

Bill Guiffre from Jacksonville:
Since we hear so much about how professional football is a business (the entertainment business), why don't teams look to draft and acquire players just to sell tickets. Don't you think if the Jaguars had more Gators and Seminoles on the roster that they would sell more season tickets? I'm sure when Fred Taylor was drafted some folks bought season tickets just to see Fred. I'm not saying draft and keep a chump just because he went to UF, but with things being about equal, well, it would seem it should have some weight in the draft room and in free-agent signings.
Vic: I'll yield to your logic, because college football is supposed to be king in northern Florida, but if that's true, then why weren't the TV ratings in Jacksonville for last year's Florida-Florida State game among the top three TV shows of its week? There are inconsistencies in the information. What I can give you is a better reason to draft more kids from Florida and Florida State: They're real good football players.

Justin Murphy from Callahan, FL:
There has been a lot of attention paid by the media to the right side of the offensive line, as well there should be with how thin and unproven the team is there. There is always the Boselli coverage with his popularity and greatness, but I haven't heard a word on Jeff Smith and Brad Meester. Is this a case of no news is good news? Just wondering how they were looking.
Vic: Brad Meester and Jeff Smith are having outstanding camps and are reliable fixtures on the Jaguars offensive line. I've attempted to make that point in my training camp reports on several occasions. Meester was especially effective in the combined practices against the Saints.

Esteban Tavarez from Rio Piedras, PR:
Looks like the injury bug is hitting the Jaguars again this season. Though the injuries seem to be only a week or so lay-off from practice, those lost days for all these veteran starters may affect the rest of the season and the team. Do you see a replay of last year's Jaguars? They are also thin with rookies at vital positions. I can't see much of any improvement, let alone any predictions on any type of postseason hopes. Rebuilding should have started this season and not no run at the Super Bowl.
Vic: : In my opinion, rebuilding has started, however, the Jaguars have several star players at key positions, and that gives this team and its fans hope that this season can be better than last year's.

Gavin Aiston from Ottawa, Canada:
How are the Jaguars planning to use Fred Taylor during the preseason games? Considering he got hurt on his only carry last year during the preseason, should the Jags consider giving him a severely limited role or even possibly sit him out for the entire preseason, with the exception of maybe one game.
Vic: I don't expect he'll play much. By the way, Fred Taylor carried the ball three times in last year's preseason.

Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.

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