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Mack-Stith feature attraction

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

Mike Cummings from Jacksonville:
First, I'd like to thank you for your efforts in Jaguars Inside Report. I miss the weekly additions this time of year. My question concerns Stith and Mack. In the event only one gets cut due to cap restraints, which would you keep? I think Stith is the better fit for Jacksonville, with his explosive burst and return capabilities.

Vic: It's not an either-or situation right now. Shyrone Stith offers solid return potential on a team that lacks kick-returners. Stacey Mack did not produce as he was expected early last season when Fred Taylor was injured, however, coach Tom Coughlin loves Mack's size and believes he can be coached into becoming a lower-center-of-gravity runner. Coughlin hates to quit on size and speed. The Mack-Stith battle will be one of the featured bouts of training camp, especially if another runner emerges, such as Elvis Joseph, the rookie free agent from Southern.

Mark Bailey from St. Augustine, FL:
After the great job Jonathan Quinn did in Europe, wouldn't he end up as the second QB? My opinion is that the Jags haven't given Quinn a chance. What do you think?

Vic: Jonathan Quinn was given ample opportunity the previous two summers to win the backup job, but he wasn't ready to claim the job, largely because he had very little experience at the position, even in high school and college. The Jaguars were aware of that fact, which is why they've been patiently committed to Quinn. To Quinn's credit, he remained focus and committed to learning while he was riding the bench. Now, fresh off his NFL Europe success, he would seem poised to enjoy the "summer of his life," but he must earn the position in the preseason games. He should be the story of the preseason, which would make him a major story in free agency next winter.

Greg Clements from Titusville, FL:
Do you think there will be a large difference in the Jags' defensive philosophy from Dom Capers to Gary Moeller? Or will Jacksonville be essentially the same defense with much of the same personnel? With Reggie Barlow gone, and with the problems Soward has, who do you see doing all the returns? Still Shyrone Stith? What about punt returns?

Vic: I expect the personality and design of the Jaguars defense to be significantly different this season. Gary Moeller is a hold-the-point-of-attack kind of coach who believes good defense begins with stopping the run. Dom Capers will tell you he believes the same, but the ways in which he would achieve that are different than Moeller's methods. Capers prefers a 3-4 defense, with the spotlight on the linebackers. Moeller is a true 4-3 guy who believes the defensive line is the key. Capers has always been big on strategy; Moeller is big on fundamentals. What will that all mean? Probably less blitzing and fewer occasions when Tony Brackens is dropped into pass-coverage.

Lyle Chapman from Jacksonville:
The Jaguars spent a lot of time and money trying to compete with Pittsburgh when they got into the AFC Central. Now that they are going to the AFC South, will Jacksonville make the decision within the next two years to simply revamp a good portion of this team, meaning: Will Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell, etc., make it past this season as Jaguars, or will Jacksonville imitate Pittsburgh once again and go to a youth movement?

Vic: When the Jaguars began play in 1995, they had an empty salary cap, which allowed them to do anything they wanted in the way of building their team. They immediately focused on Pittsburgh, which was the reigning power in the AFC Central. These days, the Jaguars have no choice but to do whatever it takes to deal with the salary-cap restraints they're facing. The salary cap, not the AFC South, will mostly determine how the Jaguars shape their roster.

Doug Troxtell from Jacksonville:
Tony Brackens has the potential to be a force to be dealt with. The question I have is, with his problems last year -- holdout, overweight and slow start -- how is his progress now?

Vic: There should be no such problems this season. Brackens should and must have a big year.

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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