Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Paul Boucher from Jacksonville:
Since this season is now over for the Jaguars, I would like to see them play the younger players more to give them experience and for the Jaguars to find out more about them. Do you think we will see some of this?
Vic: Every team in the league owes it to the game and its competitive balance to put its best players on the field each week. Green Bay and Chicago are battling for the NFC Central title and the Jaguars will face each of those teams in the final six games. It is the Jaguars' responsibility that their effort in each of those games be complete. Tryouts are for the preseason.
David Pratt from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Michael Huyghue stated that he does not think that the Jags 2002 cap situation will be as bad as originally thought, due to incentives not being reached due to injuries or poor performances. He also said that by renegotiating Brunell and Boselli the Jags can reduce the cap further for 2002. Isn't this the strategy that got the Jags into the cap straightjacket they now wear? Has the team's management learned from their cap woes? If they have learned, why would they want to delay the inevitable any longer? I see conflicting signs from Jaguars management.
Vic: Wayne Weaver has given me every indication he has learned from the team's past salary cap mistakes and that he will not permit them to happen again. I refer you to this past Tuesday's Q&A with Weaver.
Stanley Boss from Jacksonville:
With all the finger-pointing this year and losses do you think Tom Coughlin's job is on the hot seat?
Vic: Again, I cite Wayne Weaver's response in this past Tuesday's Q&A, in which he provided an unsolicited vote of confidence for Coughlin.
Kevin Gardner from Jacksonville:
On to the AFC South. I like our chances of avoiding a critical meltdown while we rebuild. If we went to the AFC East, the Jets, Patriots and Dolphins are all in much better shape for the next few seasons. The AFC North is going to be the powerhouse next year with Baltimore slipping and Pittsburgh and Cleveland going strong. What is the salary cap situation of the Indianapolis Colts? Are they in a similar situation as the Jaguars and Titans? If Charley Casserly of the Texans can make smart moves in the expansion draft and college entry draft they could be the third two-year expansion success. What do you think?
Vic: The Colts' salary cap problems are right around the corner, which means the Colts, Jaguars and Titans are all going to be in the same boat. It does not appear as though the AFC South will be a very strong division initially, which will give all four teams hope of being competitive. Houston could get there very quickly, but Casserly knows that would be a formula for short-term gain and long-term pain.
Jason Greenfield from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I am a season ticket holder and a huge fan, even at 3-7. I love the defense of the team this season, but what is up with the soft, mushy prevent that we try to run at the end of games? It is killing us. Why do we let up pressure at the end of a ballgame? We have lost four fourth-quarter leads. Our prevent prevents us from winning. Do you agree?
Vic: I'm sympathetic to what you're saying, but my reporter's instincts tell me that blaming the scheme is too easy of an excuse. Baltimore scored its game-winning touchdown against a six-man rush. Almost every team in the league uses a three-man rush and eight pass-defenders when protecting a lead. The Steelers' Chad Scott intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in that same defense, as the Steelers were protecting a three-point lead in the final three minutes of their game in Tennessee. The Bucs beat the Rams by playing zone defense exclusively. In my opinion, we need to look deeper.
Mark Bailey from St. Augustine, FL:
I was listening to your radio broadcast the other day and heard you say that no matter what you should draft a QB. Do you think the Jaguars will do that next year?
Vic: Actually, it was Cole Pepper who espoused that theory. I don't think there's any doubt the Jaguars will draft a quarterback next spring.
Randy Musselwhite from Lexington, SC:
I hate to say this at the risk of sounding like a whiner, but, in my opinion, the officiating in the NFL is atrocious and has gotten progressively worse over the past three or four years. I see it not only at Jaguars games but others, too. What should be done in the future by the NFL to upgrade the officiating?
I honestly don't know what can be done to improve the officiating, but I do think we need to lessen our expectations of the officiating. You won't like this answer, but in my opinion we have become obsessed with getting the call right. Even after a lengthy replay review, we still debate the ruling. I don't like replay review and I despise the concept of officials having to make speeches of explanation to the crowd following each penalty. I would prefer that we all just learn to live with the mistakes, just as we have in other sports. Make the call and let's move on.
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