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Monday post-mortem

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Spence from Jacksonville:
Let me get this straight: Rather than just not read your column, she instead wants you stop what you do? She thinks that a differing opinion should be silenced?

Vic: That's not going to happen and here's why: Since Thursday, I have received nearly a thousand e-mails on the subject and not one said I should stop the column. Nearly all of the e-mails were desperate for "Ask Vic" to continue. Most of the e-mails I received were so derisive to the other extreme that I would never publish them. The reader has spoken. That's why I ran Jenna's letter. We needed to check ourselves. As I said in the previous day's column, it's up to you, folks, and you resoundingly reaffirmed your interest in "Ask Vic." I brought this issue to a head because my inbox had become a dreadful place, and that was really starting to bother me because I had always looked forward to reading my mail. When "Ask Vic" was created, the purpose was to give fans a venue for asking salary cap-related questions because, at the time, the Jaguars were going through a major salary cap ordeal. Over the years, the column has grown to the point that I routinely receive 400-500 e-mails a day during the season and, yes, I read them all. That has always been my promise to you and I want it to remain that way, but something has to change because I can't waste time on e-mails that are not intended for posting, only for venting frustration and anger. The irony of Friday's no-column is that it occurred at the same time Browns GM Phil Savage had to apologize to a fan for a profane reply to an angry e-mail. Savage cracked. He couldn't take it any more. I know how he feels and that's why I enacted a cease-fire, because I don't ever want "Ask Vic" to reach the point of regret. So, I will ask again for every one to please use "Ask Vic" responsibly. The IT boys have created a block mechanism for me, but it's not something I want to use. Let's make this a fresh start. Ready, set, go.

John from St. Augustine, FL:
Drawing on your 37 years of experience, what is wrong with the Jags this season? Whom do you hold accountable for what you feel is wrong?

Vic: The simple answer is that the Jaguars' window of opportunity closed at a time when we thought it was opening widest. I think the misread on that falls on us. I intend to write an analysis later this season.

Eddie Anne from Orange Park, FL:
I know I am a frustrated fan with the Jaguars, but times are tough. A lot of fans don't want to fork out all the money it takes for a game and all they get is a lackluster performance by the football team. It seems as though they have just given up. They should try to have fun, but also try to do the job they get paid all those big bucks for, and maybe fans wouldn't be so upset with them.

Vic: I want this to stop being a forum for frustrated fans. I'm looking for fans who are able to cut through their frustrations and seek a higher level of communication and understanding. I can't answer your question because there is no question. You're using me as a therapist and that's not the intent of this column. I want to go back to the original intent, which is that this should be a place for people to ask questions, not a place to tell me how upset they are.

Ricardo from El Paso, TX:
Is it too early to start talking about the offseason? If it's not, I say the Jags need to concentrate on the offensive and defensive lines.

Vic: It's not too early, but I don't think we want to turn our attention to the draft and free agency before we even know who's going to be in it. I think we can start looking at the big picture. In last spring's draft, the Jaguars concentrated their efforts on the defensive line, specifically defensive end. I would think the team would love to be able to concentrate its effort on the offensive line and on defensive tackle, too, in next spring's draft.

Brian from Jacksonville:
If 2010 becomes an uncapped year, can teams still use the franchise tag to prevent a player from going after a bigger deal that they can't match?

Vic: Teams will be able to employ the franchise and transition designations in 2010, even if it's an uncapped year.

Ricky from Melbourne, Australia:
You were right to drop the Titans down a place in your all-important power rankings. They don't seem to be on the same level as the Giants. Do you think this loss may help them come playoff time?

Vic: I don't know how it would help, but I also don't think it's much of an issue either way for the Titans. They're in the driver's seat for AFC homefield advantage and that's all that really matters at this point in the season.

Dave from Rockford, IL:
After the things coach Del Rio had to say during his press conference, do you expect to see some personnel moves next Sunday?

Vic: This isn't the time of year for personnel moves, but I think the way players are used in what remains of this season might give us an indication of what will happen in the offseason. I will be watching closely to see if I can get a read on the player evaluations that are being made. These last five games could provide a preview.

Ron from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
If we did not have the injuries to the offensive line in week one, in your opinion, would we still be in the playoff hunt?

Vic: That's a good question. The big injury, in my opinion, was the one to Vince Manuwai. If Manuwai hadn't been injured and if he was playing up to last year's standard, the Jaguars wouldn't be 18th in the league in rushing. If Manuwai was playing, the Jaguars would likely have a strong running game and I think that would translate into a better record, but what about defense? Where are the injuries there? Are we to believe that Scott Starks would've made the difference? I like Scott a lot, but they may be going a little too far. Give me a healthy Manuwai and Mo Williams and the Jaguars are probably in the chase, but I don't think we can say those two players would've made the difference. There are other issues on this team, and I'm not talking about team chemistry. I'm talking about the failure to produce a big-play wide receiver, the failure to rush the passer and the failure to defend against the pass.

Charles from Orange Park, FL:
Shouldn't the honeymoon with Witherspoon be over? He fumbles way too much and he goes down if somebody just touches him or breathes hard on him. Oh, please don't come back with the potential aspect.

Vic: He needs an offseason in the strength and conditioning program. You don't cut that kind of speed, you develop it.

Jami from Arlington, VA:
Your articles after the game seem to capture a lot what you've been hearing from your readers. Fred mentions the lack of team. Coach Del Rio described the loss as "unacceptable" and "embarrassing." What has changed for them? It seems the fans reached these conclusions weeks ago.

Vic: Well, then, I guess the fans are smarter than everybody else. Is that what you want me to say? OK, I've said it. You were right, but how about during the offseason? Did you see this coming? Did you adjust your expectations downward? I don't recall anyone writing to me and telling me to stop being optimistic because this was going to be a bad year. In fact, I distinctly remember a lot of back-slapping about Peter King picking the Jags to go to the Super Bowl.

Justin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Del Rio draws the line in the sand every season. He has fired coordinators and assistant coaches after every season regardless if the Jags had a winning or losing record. So why should I believe this line in the sand is going to make a difference?

Vic: There's no guarantee. It may not make a difference. If you need a guarantee, then you need to follow the Gators because I could've guaranteed you they would beat The Citadel.

Saud from Marietta, GA:
So what changes need to be made in the offseason? Is there a possibility to end this season strong and keep that momentum going into next season?

Vic: I think it's rare that momentum can be carried from one season into the next. Each team is different. Players come and go and rosters change dramatically from one year to the next. It's too early to say what changes need to be made in the offseason, but several players are in the final years of their contracts and I think it's become obvious they won't be returning. Fans don't want me to say the Jaguars have to rebuild in 2009, so I won't do that, but I'm not gonna tell you it'll be as simple as reloading.

Duran from Rapid City, SD:
On Sunday, it seemed to me that almost every pass attempt to Matt Jones was just off. Is this a result of David's bad throw or Jones' route running?

Vic: I asked wide receivers coach Todd Monken your question and his opinion is that Jones having missed practice time the past two weeks because of a thigh injury caused a lack of timing between Jones and David Garrard on some routes.

Bill from Springfield, VA:
Fred's comment about the mix being wrong I read as a lack of commitment from some. Agree?

Vic: I think that goes without saying, Bill. It doesn't get any more to the point than what Fred Taylor said on Sunday. That's the hammer, Bill. Read into it anything you want. It all applies.

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