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Monday morning blues

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

Rick from Jacksonville:
I like David Garrard, but I do not think he is the guy for the future? Any thoughts?

Vic: Until he's replaced, he's the guy for the future. You don't make these judgments and then go to the quarterback tree. You go to the quarterback tree and then you make these judgments.

Lawrence from Beech Grove, VA:
The defense is definitely getting better, but I saw five turnstiles on the offensive line yesterday. Britton completely whiffed on at least two key blocks. I don't see how any quarterback could have overcome the pressure that was on Garrard. Should we be worried about this for next year?

Vic: Garrard did not get nearly as much time to throw as Chad Henne did – I don't think Henne was touched by a rusher in the first half – but I don't agree with your characterization of the Jaguars' offensive line play. The final stats show the Dolphins with three sacks and five quarterback hurries. The Jaguars had two and three. It must also be acknowledged that Garrard scrambled away from the rush several times, but on a few of those occasions he ran out of time in the pocket because he couldn't find a receiver open downfield. The Jaguars' offensive line play wasn't the equal of Miami's, but it was good enough to win a game that was being handed to the Jaguars in the second half. Garrard had a bad game. He admitted it. There's no other way to color it.

Mike from Jacksonville:
Another Monday morning when I anxiously anticipate the "Ask Vic" message board after a loss. Kind of like rubber-necking on the highway. You know you don't need to look but find yourself unable to avoid the carnage.

Vic: You're right, Monday mornings after a loss does give "Ask Vic" a message board feel. I'm Dr. Vic. Hey, everybody, come on in and dump your anger. You can do that without losing your dignity because you don't have to identify yourself. Just spew your hate and cleanse your soul. Come on in and tell me who sucks. Everybody sucks, of course.

Jon from Lincoln, NE:
I was watching the ESPN documentary about the University of Miami football team and couldn't help but notice that they won three of their first four national titles when they played their bowl game in their home stadium. What a joke to have a system like that.

Vic: You're right. Imagine how the teams down here would whine and cry if they had to go up there and play a bowl game for the national title. I know one "The U" didn't win that was played away from home.

Joel from Hull, IA:
According to, the Jaguars are still considered to have the final wild card spot. Don't the Dolphins own the head-to-head and, therefore, the final spot? Also, the Jaguars don't actually have to win-out, correct?

Vic: Forget about who has the spot now. Now means nothing. The Jags have it now because four teams have the same record and a head-to-head sweep wouldn't apply so conference record would be the tiebreaker. If it was a two-way tie between the Jags and Dolphins, however, the Dolphins would be in. That's what the Jags lost yesterday. Do the Jags HAVE to win-out to make it into the playoffs? Not if the other teams lose. What I do know is that Elias Sports Bureau, which is the authority on these matters, informed the league last evening that the Jaguars were still in control of their own destiny. At this point, the Jaguars HAVE to win-out to remain in control of their own destiny. That will immediately change, however, as other wild-card contenders lose.

Wes from Houston, TX:
People can say whatever they want about Maurice Jones-Drew, Dirk Koetter or Jack Del Rio, but I have become convinced that this team rises or falls on the shoulders of David Garrard. If he plays well, they win; if he doesn't, they lose.

Vic: That's the way it is in today's game. More than ever before, it's about the quarterback and, at playoff time, you better have a hot one.

Greg from Jacksonville:
Let's not start with that win-out and we are in stuff. It was a good run, but this team is not winning both Thursday and then at New England.

Vic: I just give you the facts and let you put them into your own perspective. It's a fact that if the Jags win-out, they're in. Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Yes. I'll be there for all three games and I'll watch with interest and enjoyment because I like to watch. Regardless of the result, I'll maintain my sense of balance. I don't need to hide the truth from myself. I seek the truth.

Greg from Largo, FL:
Were the Jags home or away?

Vic: There were a lot of Dolphins fans at the game and most of them were probably from Jacksonville. That's a fact of life for an expansion team. Loyalties for other teams were established here before the Jaguars started playing. I respect loyalty.

Josh from Jacksonville:
Is conference record more important than head to head?

Vic: Nothing is more important than head to head, but you don't see a lot of head-to-head sweeps in tiebreakers involving three or more teams. When it doesn't apply, you go to the next tiebreaker, which is conference record for a wild-card tiebreaker involving three or more teams. This thing could come down to the Pittsburgh at Miami game on the final day of the season.

Craig from Daytona, FL:
BAP or not, this team needs a QB of the future.

Vic: Every team with a quarterback 30 or older needs a quarterback of the future. Yes, the Jaguars need to draft one. I've been saying that since the Brady Quinn draft, so why are you telling me this as though it's some kind of revelation? I begged for this team to draft Chad Henne. I campaigned for them to draft that guy. Well, yesterday they got an up-close look at him. The Jaguars haven't drafted a quarterback since 2003. I promise you GM Gene desperately wanted to draft a quarterback last spring, but you can't make chicken salad out of chicken feathers, right? That guy wasn't there, so he took the best available player in every round and it appears to have produced a winner of a draft class. Go back and look at the draft round by round, pick by pick. Find me the quarterback the Jags should've picked instead of the player they did pick. Would you have picked Josh Freeman over Eugene Monroe? I wouldn't have. Pat White over Eben Britton? Stephen McGee over Derek Cox or Terrance Knighton? Rhett Bomar over Mike Thomas? Keith Null or Curtis Painter over Zach Miller? There wasn't even a quarterback taken in round seven. Hey, it is what it is. This draft's quarterback crop was more chicken feathers than chicken salad. Next year's crop is expected to be the opposite. BAP is for smart, patient people. Gotta have it is for those who lack self-control.

Cedrick from Jacksonville:
I was fortunate enough to receive terrace seats from a friend so I could attend my first game of the season yesterday. I just can't help but say how right you are about how fan-friendly our stadium is. I parked in the lot by Gate One and was still able to leave downtown in under 15 minutes. I was glad to see so many people there today and, hopefully, there'll be just as many when I attend the Colts game on Thursday.

Vic: What? No anger? No angst? You come here with this on a Monday morning after a loss? What kind of fan are you?

Josh from Jacksonville:
My friend asked me the other day how teams traveled to play each other when professional football first started. I told him probably a bus or plane, just like now, but he doesn't believe me so please clear this up for him, he's getting on my nerves.

Vic: It was by train in the early years. That's one of the reasons the teams were huddled in the northeast. That's where the people and the railroad lines were.

Daniel from Jacksonville:
What sort of schedule does the team follow on a short week like this?

Vic: Today is a Monday/Tuesday, tomorrow is a Wednesday, Wednesday is a Saturday, Thursday is a Sunday and Friday is Monday. There's no Thursday or Friday this week. I hope that explains it.

Mikey from Lake City, FL:
I think Eddie crushed a package of light bulbs. Or maybe it was the Steelers' playoff hopes?

Vic: You're right about the package of light bulbs, but you better take a rain check on the Steelers' playoff hopes, Art. The Jaguars' loss to Miami reopened the door for the Steelers, though only slightly.

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