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Media out to get the Jaguars?

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



Marcus Spiker from Rockledge, FL:
Do you think that mainstream sports media (the TV networks) has it in for Jacksonville? I personally believe that over the last four years the major media outlets have gone out of their way in ignoring the Jaguars. I believe that it's deliberate and reflects the exact same liberal bias that plagues our media as a whole. Tom Coughlin is a no-nonsense coach who is certainly one of the best in the league, if not in all of football. There is rarely any objective analysis and they continue to only cover the major markets. I would like your take on this issue. You might not agree, but many people I know agree with this viewpoint.

Vic: Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you. Sorry, Marcus, I couldn't resist. To answer your question: You're right, I don't agree, but I don't think anything I can say will change your mind. I have a feeling you listen to a lot of Rush Limbaugh. Mainstream media is biased only toward money, and the major markets offer the big ratings that produce the big money. If you're a small market and you want publicity, your team better win. In 1999, when the Jaguars were 14-2, they got loads of attention. At 7-9, it isn't going to happen.



Rick Kitchens from Honolulu, HI:
We sometimes see trades where a player is traded for a conditional draft pick. Would you elaborate on exactly what "conditional draft pick" means and how it works to determine the draft choice to be provided as compensation? Are the conditions normally based on the traded player's performance or on either team's final records, or are the conditions based on other factors?

Vic: Usually the "condition" involves the performance of the player traded. For example, there may be a "starter" clause, which was the case last season when the Jaguars traded with the Chiefs for guard Brenden Stai. When Stai satisfied the "starter" condition, the Chiefs' compensation went from a sixth-round pick to a fourth-round pick.

John Denver from Trenton, FL:
With all this talk about Marcus Stroud, Jimmy Smith, etc., I haven't heard anything mentioned about Sean Dawkins' role at camp so far. Does he look like he's worth the money?

Vic: Sean Dawkins has been impressive in camp, in as much as he would appear to be just what the Jaguars need. He's a veteran with solid skills, and he allows Jimmy Smith the time he needs to recover from last spring's surgical procedures.

Doug Barrows from Orange Park, FL:
John Wade is on the unable to play list. Why would the Jags keep him? Is there any penalty for doing so? Can he be brought in when he is well?

Vic: John Wade is on the "active/physically unable to perform" list. By final cuts, he must either be put on the active roster or on "reserve/PUP." If it's the latter, he must miss the first six weeks. Between week six and week nine, the Jaguars must make a decision to either put Wade on the active roster or on injured reserve. At this point in time, there would be no caps savings from cutting Wade.

David Nelson from Jacksonville:
I heard Leon Searcy was injured again in training camp. I don't know what the injury is, but I heard he'll be out for around three months. This turn of events both saddens and worries me. Do you think that some of the players in the NFL try too hard too early to get back on the field? Is Leon one of them? If so, what about Lake, Nickerson and Jimmy Smith?

Vic: Players probably do try too hard too early to recover from major injuries, but this is a young man's game and time waits for no one. Bodies wear out. Earl Campbell was over the hill at the age of 29. Leon Searcy, Carnell Lake and Hardy Nickerson have each had long and productive careers that began with the Steelers in 1992, 1989 and 1987 respectively. They understand the toll this game takes. Jimmy Smith's injury, however, is not football related.


James Wunschel from Atlantic Beach, FL:**
Will we be able to see preseason games on TV? If so, on what channel?

Vic: Three of the four preseason games will be shown on WJXT-TV, Channel 4. Sam Kouvaris will do the play-by-play, Jeff Lageman will provide color analysis, and Dave Widell will be the sideline reporter. Widell and Jennifer Candelino will provide a 30-minute pregame show. The Aug. 16th game at the Giants will be telecast by ESPN.

Ben Corby from Jacksonville:
While most of our draft picks have looked good so far, the special teams acquisitions concern me. Randy Chevrier is reportedly having trouble with the long and short-snapping duties. San Diego is expected to release long-snapper David Binn, as LB Zeke Moreno is capable of the task. Any chance we'll see Chevrier on waivers and Binn in a Jaguars uniform later on? As far as the punter goes, David Leaverton has been a disappointment so far, failing to kick off well, hold for field goals well, and the fifth-round pick is even being out-punted by free agent Aron Langley. What are the chances of Langley winning the job, and is Langley capable of kicking off, or does cutting Leaverton mean keeping Jim Tarle?

Vic: I have no information that Randy Chevrier has struggled in any way. David Leaverton has punted much better in recent days, but his competition with Aron Langley will be decided in the preseason games, which will also determine the outcome of the Leaverton vs. Jim Tarle battle for the kickoff job.


Jim Fulmer from Jacksonville:**
What is the status of Carnell Lake's foot? Some news articles indicate he's basically healed from the surgery but I've heard and read otherwise. Is it just his hamstring keeping him out now or did he reinjure the foot, also?

Vic: Carnell Lake has pronounced his foot healed. I'll take him for his word.

Scott Cooper from Waycross, GA:
I appreciate "Ask Vic" because I'm turning into a Jags information junkie. I'd like to know how to get more info. Is our limit set by economics, the amount of time sportswriters have, the space news sources allow and the agenda of the writers, or are there any limits imposed by team management? I've heard very little about Fred Taylor or Mark Brunell on the field, etc. There are 91 players and we want to know who we can count on to get as clear a view of this season's potential.

Vic: Fred Taylor and Mark Brunell are performing as you would expect; no problems. There are no reporting restraints. Anything and everything of note is being reported. You need to relax.

Sam Agha from Atlanta, GA:
How do you feel the Jaguars are preparing for the Panthers in their first preseason game? Are you with the idea that the Jaguars should deal with their next preseason games as regular-season games and play to win and not to practice and warm up. I feel if the Jags play hard in the preseason, it will help them measure the success they will have in the regular season. I'm a big Jags fan and I want a run for the Super Bowl.

Vic: In my opinion, the preseason is all about evaluating young players. I never use the preseason as a measuring stick for the regular season.

Durand Pierre from Jacksonville:
I have never seen two players have the same number on the same team. How come Jaguars guard Leshun Daniels and defensive end Radell Lockhart both have number 75? Also, defensive tackle Donald Broomfield and offensive lineman Patrick Venzke wear number 70.

Vic: Those players are sharing numbers because linemen are not permitted to wear numbers lower than 50. They ran out of numbers, Durand. 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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