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Mind-altering experience

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

Luis from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I was in the stadium last Sunday and I had a blast! Do you feel different after a Jaguars win? I feel this sense of happiness difficult to explain. I see skies are blue.

Vic: Define blast.

Ian from Chesapeake, VA:
Seth Marler has missed a lot of field goals this season and I know the coach said he has potential. I just don't see it. The field goals have been way off. Help me out here, Vic? What potential?

Vic: The Buffalo Bills cut Gary Anderson when he was a rookie. Apparently they didn't see his potential. Cutting a guy because it makes you feel good isn't the answer. The Jaguars did that three times last year. What did it accomplish? All you do is keep getting deeper into the stockpile of rejects.

Kelly from Santa Rosa, CA:
How do you like the performance of LaBrandon Toefield? Do you think he'll be contributing more next year?

Vic: LaBrandon Toefield has been exactly what the Jaguars drafted him to be; Fred Taylor's backup. Toefield is averaging 4.3 yards per carry. He's been dependable in a reserve role and he's given the Jaguars some versatility. He is what he is and I expect him to remain in that role next year.

Jose from Jacksonville:
What is your take on the BCS fiasco?

Vic: I love college football. It's a shame it can't manage itself.

Jordan from Glen Allen, VA:
Could you briefly explain the salary cap?

Vic: Jordan, yours may be the most innocent question I have ever gotten, and here's the answer: The salary cap is a system by which the NFL limits the amount of money each of its 32 teams can spend on player compensation in a given year. How's that? When you're ready for more, let me know.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Great column! What's your patience limit? What happens if one more person asks you if Brunell should come out for the Jags one more time?

Vic: I'm trying to be especially understanding and patient with those fans who are emotionally involved in Mark Brunell's departure. We've all had our sports heroes and it's very important to us that they "reside" in a special place in our memories and in the annals of their team's history. My friend Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union pointed out to me that 12 years after Johnny Unitas was benched, the Colts moved out of Baltimore. Colts fans never embraced the Bert Jones teams as they had the Unitas teams. Something was lost forever in Baltimore when Unitas was benched and allowed to finish his career in San Diego. It was a sacrilege that Unitas played his last game wearing a helmet with lightning bolts on it. I don't know that Brunell has achieved Unitas-like popularity in Jacksonville, but he's certainly the most important figure in the nine-year history of the Jaguars franchise, and I am very sensitive to that. And I am very sensitive to what his fans are feeling.

Thomas from Jacksonville:
After what I have seen these past couple of weeks, I do believe I will be changing back to my three-year season ticket plan instead of the one-year plan. With Fernando Bryant more than likely gone after this season, who are the big names in free agency at the corner position at the end of this season?

Vic: It's too early to throw around names. In my opinion, the good ones get re-signed. Direct your attention to the college crop of cornerbacks; it's another strong group, and each of the "Big Three" Florida schools has a top kid. Then there's Chris Gamble at Ohio State and Deangelo Hall at Virginia Tech, and there's a kid at Oklahoma whose name I can't remember. If you want a top cornerback, the draft is the place to find him. And you won't ruin your salary cap doing it.

Greg from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
If a quarterback throws the ball to a wide receiver and it hits the goalpost, deflects back into play and is caught, is that a legal catch?

Vic: Only if the official isn't watching.

Hugo from Mexico City, Mexico:
Teams that "come out of nowhere" (as termed by the media) are not really teams that are coming out of nowhere. Most playoff teams every year are teams that had good a December. Who do you think are going to be the teams that have a good December and have a run at the playoffs next year. Do you consider the Jaguars one of those teams?

Vic: Hugo, we're only one week into December, so it may be too early to answer your question. San Diego, Tampa Bay and Washington are 1-0 in December, but I don't see them turning it around. Pittsburgh and Atlanta are each 1-0 in December and they could rebound next year. As for the Jaguars, my expectation for them is that they will be a playoff contender in December next year. I'm not saying they will make the playoffs. I'm saying I expect them to be a playoff contender in the final month of the season.

Jimi from Jacksonville:
What exactly are the sticks on the "visiting" sideline used for? They look identical to the 10-yard markers on the "home" side of the field, but the one that apparently denotes the beginning of the drive never moves.

Vic: They mark the starting point of the drive and the spot that must be reached to achieve the next first down. They spend one half of the game on one side of the field, and the other half of the game on the other side of the field.

Andy from Palm Coast, FL:
I love dumb questions, so here's one. Which is the home side of the field?

Vic: Whatever side the home team wants it to be.

John from Brooklyn, NY:
You never answer this question and I am not going to stop asking it. The Jags had a tough schedule this year and they were in almost every single one. Next year, what NFC division are they playing, or can you tell me all the NFC teams they're playing next year? Please answer.

Vic: In 2004, the AFC South teams will play the NFC North teams. The Jaguars will host their three AFC South counterparts, and Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit and the team that finishes in the same position in the AFC North that the Jaguars finish in the AFC South. The Jaguars will travel to their three AFC South counterparts, and Oakland, San Diego, Green Bay, Minnesota and to the team that finishes in the same position in the AFC East that the Jaguars finish in the AFC South.

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