Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Joe from Orange Park, FL:
We've been talking a lot about what the team will do in big-picture terms (free agency, trades, drafts, etc.). I'm interested in something smaller. Can you give a general rundown of what players do from this point until spring camps begin? For example, how much training, film prep, etc. do players do during these dead months? I've always been curious about how much off-time they spend working toward the next season.
Vic: The next couple of months represent the players' offseason. They're gone from the building and will not return until the offseason conditioning program begins in late March or early April. Following the draft, all teams conduct a mini-camp. That's when the pace starts to quicken. Teams conduct spring OTA (organized team activity) practices that run through the end of June. Then they take most of July off before the start of training camp.
Nick from Las Vegas, NV:
If you were making the pick for the Jags in the first round of the draft would you draft for need or best player available period? Who would you be leaning toward as of right now?
Vic: I would be leaning toward the best available player, whoever that would be. When the best available player is at a position that absolutely won't allow you to select him, then you have to trade out of that spot. The most important thing is to recoup the value of that spot and sometimes that's not possible. Ben Roethlisberger is the perfect example. He was available when the Jaguars picked ninth in 2004 and the Jaguars wanted to trade out of that spot but couldn't swing a deal. It's not a perfect science and sometimes you get trapped but I am a firm believer in drafting the best available player.
Bill from Ware, MA:
Do you believe it would be beneficial to send Matt Jones and Reggie Williams to Europe for more experience?
Vic: You don't risk injury to players who command the kind of salary cap room Jones and Williams will next season. The two combined will represent nearly $12 million in bonus amortization.
Michael from El Paso, TX:
I am curious as to how long until we know who the Jaguars are going to send to NFL Europe. Do you happen to know how many players have improved their skills dramatically by playing in NFL Europe?
Vic: I expect the Jaguars to make their NFL Europe allocations on Monday. Paul Spicer, Quinn Gray, Deke Cooper and Tony Gilbert are Jaguars players who improved their skills in Europe. On a league-wide level, NFL Europe boasts these alumni: Jake Delhomme, Dante Hall, Kurt Warner and Adam Vinatieri.
James from Miami, FL:
What is your take on Rob Meier? Should we re-sign him?
Vic: Absolutely, the Jaguars should re-sign him. He had a great season in 2005. He is playing the best football of his life; better than most people ever thought he was capable of playing. Meier is a proud product of the Jaguars draft-and-develop program. You don't wanna lose those guys.
Sharon from Jacksonville:
How long did it take Elway to get into his groove?
Vic: His rookie season was a disaster. I'm not even going to go into his passer rating and other stats; they were terrible and he had to be benched. In his second year, he made gains and quarterbacked the Broncos to the playoffs but played poorly in the team's first playoff game, a home loss to the Steelers. Elway took a step back in his third year, as his passer rating fell from 76.8 in his second season to 70.0 in his third season. His fourth season began a steady climb to greatness. Don't make the mistake of applying those passer ratings to today's game. It was a different game back then.
Jeff from Erie PA:
Are the two to-be-determined games for next season, at Kansas City and home against Pittsburgh, based on final standings?
Vic: Yes; the second-place team (Jaguars) in the AFC South plays the second-place teams in the AFC West (KC) and AFC North (Pittsburgh).
Rajiv from Simsbury, CT:
Do you think Lendale White would be a good draft choice if he sticks around until the Jags' selection.
Vic: Yeah, he'd probably be a good pick, but I don't see him lasting that long. He's not only a very good player but he has a name people really like to say and that should shoot his stock up.
William from Savannah, GA:
I just saw the news on Carson Palmer and what could be a possible career-ending injury. I read the news flash and got an unsettling feeling in my stomach. As a reporter, are you able to remain unaffected when you read a story like this?
Vic: No way; the news stunned me. I hope Palmer can make it all the way back, not only for his sake but for the Bengals'. That franchise suffered for a long time and they finally found the guy who would lead them to a run of success. I'd hate for it to end just as it was beginning. I also can't help but think of Greg Cook, a Bengals quarterback who had his career ended just as it was beginning. It would be a cruel twist of fate if it happened to Palmer.
Malosi from Valencia, CA:
"If the backup begins playing better than the starter then the roles will be reversed." That seems naive. You don't feel that money invested in a player can sway a decision on a depth chart?
Vic: I think you're being naïve. Money invested absolutely affects decisions teams make on players, especially in the early years after that money is invested. Byron Leftwich, however, is heading into the final two years of his contract and most of his amortization has expired. He will go into next season as the Jaguars' starting quarterback but he knows he has to play well to hold his job. Ask Hugh Douglas how long money invested will protect you.
Ryan from Hamilton, Ontario:
With Donovin Darius being on injured reserve, there hasn't been a lot of talk about his status for next season. I know he wasn't in favor of the franchise tag this year, so do you see him returning to the Jaguars next season?
Vic: He was signed to a long-term contract before last season began.
D.J. from Jacmel, Haiti:
Correction on Pete's comment about winning every game in which we scored 20 points or more. We lost to the Rams, 24-21.
Vic: You're right and your correction serves to make Pete's point more strongly. The Jaguars allowed a punt to be blocked and returned for a touchdown in that game. Take that away and the final score is 21-17 in the Jaguars' favor.