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News bad for Jones

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

David from Los Angeles, CA:
I was beginning to think Toefield was on the outside looking in with roster cuts approaching, but his second half performance against the Bucs has changed my mind. He ran ferociously. Was that the result of a man desperate to keep his job? He sure looked like he wanted it.

Vic: LaBrandon Toefield is a lock to make the team. The news on Greg Jones is bad. It's his ACL. He's done for the year.

Zoltan from Budapest, Hungary:
It's me again, the Hungarian student who sometimes writes to you. A good news for me, the first match from the new season will be cover here in Hungary is the Jags against Dallas live, so I can see to how the team can handle T.O. and the Cowboys. I watch how the team prepare so far to the season, and my thoughts are that the offense still cannot play at the high level continually. I really hope that the team can show to everyone, that the Jaguars is not anymore a team who have an excellent defense and at best average offense, because if this will be true in this season to the Jags, then I think because of the very difficult schedule we will not clinch the playoff this time. How much are you sure that we can make the playoff this time, based on what so far you saw?

Vic: They'll be all right.

Carter from San Jose, CA:
Who in your opinion are the winners and losers in the recent three-team trade between Atlanta, Denver and Washington that sent Ashley Lelie to Atlanta and T.J. Duckett to Washington?

Vic: Rule of thumb is that draft picks are more valuable than players, so, I'm inclined to think Denver got the best of that situation. Atlanta and Washington got players who had been judged by other teams to be not good enough. Denver got draft picks it'll use to select players who might be good enough. Not all players-for-picks trades turn out bad for the teams getting the players. There have been a few very good player acquisitions, such as Jerome Bettis and Marshall Faulk. The preponderance of those types of trades, however, favor the teams getting the picks.

John from Jacksonville:
Do you know if coaches ever play their team to lose in the preseason, just to show a weakness that isn't there?

Vic: I only know of one instance in which a coach confessed to playing to lose in the preseason. In a rather weak Bill Parcells autobiography I read some years ago, Parcells said he gave his team a game plan for defeat for a preseason game in the late 1980's. Parcells said his team had become complacent and overconfident and it needed to be taken down a peg, so he called plays and devised strategy that would cause them to lose. After I read that, I never took another preseason game seriously.

Bryan from Jacksonville:
Have you seen enough flashes in the preseason?

Vic: No, I haven't. I need to see more from the wide receivers. They are not getting separation and they are not doing special things. Falling down on third-and-six after a five-yard catch on a "skinny post" isn't the kind of flash I wanna see. I wanna see run after the catch.

Johnny from Memphis, TN:
What NFL QB besides Joe Ferguson of the Bills started in the first game of his rookie season? Did Dan Marino or Ken Stabler?

Vic: Marino didn't and neither did Stabler. I'm not going to go to the history books for this answer because it'll take too much time. I'm just going to use my memory and throw some at you. First of all, James Harris was a starter in his first-ever game, in 1969, when he was a rookie quarterback who beat out Jack Kemp and Tom Flores in training camp for the starting job in Buffalo. Terry Bradshaw and John Elway were starters in their first-ever games and they were horrible. Elway had to be benched at halftime; that's how bad it was. He was so overwhelmed he couldn't function. Bradshaw was kind of the same way. He took a ridiculous safety in his first-ever game. I'm sure there are tons of these stories. Those are just two.

Brad from Rocklin, CA:
You can tell John from Albany, NY, that I guess it was the media screaming at offensive coordinator Greg Knapp on the sidelines during a game in Terrell Owens' last season in San Francisco. Give me a break. Terrell Owens is a distraction because he wants to be a distraction. Wearing the biking jersey on the sideline during practice was a request for media attention, as is pretty much anything he says. I am ecstatic we didn't pursue that line of thinking this offseason. Owens is the type of player that ruins teams. He's two-for-two so far. Let's see how long it takes to bring down Dallas.

Vic: I kneel at the feet of your great intellect.

William from Albany, NY:
With all of this talk about run vs. pass, I recently noticed a very interesting quote. After a Vikings preseason game, Vikings coach Brad Childress said: "It's not the quality of the rush, it's the quantity of the rush. It's not the quantity of the pass, it's the quality of the pass." I just thought that quote perfectly fit what has been discussed on "Ask Vic" last week.

Vic: Thank you for supplying that quote. Coach Childress is confirming what I said last week, that a lot of people believe it's not about yards, it's about carries. What coach Childress is saying is that you move the ball with your passing game and you control the clock and the attitude of the game with your running game. I agree.

Omar from Jacksonville:
Which game or games did the Jaguars send film of for Dallas to study?

Vic: The Cowboys will get tape of the Jaguars' four preseason games. They already have tape of every game the Jaguars played last season.

Thomas from Livingstone, Zambia:
I'm going to be living in Africa during part of the season. I'm trying to find a way to view the games through the internet. How can I do this?

Vic: They won't be on the internet. You'll either have to get "NFL Sunday Ticket" or climb into your pickup truck with the door the rhinoceros dented and drive to the nearest sports bar.

Clyde from Mandarin, FL:
You said you wanted to see "brush strokes" against Tampa Bay, and as I sat through the rain at halftime and pondered the first half, I came to the conclusion that I didn't see any meaningful "brush strokes" in the first half. However, when Tampa played its second string, then I saw some "brush strokes" in the running and passing game. Did you come to the same conclusion and would you still play the first team offense more than a couple of series in the last game against Atlanta?

Vic: I saw "brush strokes" in the first half. I saw Fred Taylor run well behind an offensive line that came off the ball with a nice surge against a top defensive line. I saw a whole bunch of "brush strokes" by the defense, which played the whole first quarter on its side of the field and limited the Bucs to 12 yards rushing in the first half. What I didn't see were enough "brush strokes" in the passing game and there's a tendency by fans to judge everything according to what the passing game does. The passing game was not effective. Byron Leftwich didn't get adequate pass-protection, his receivers didn't get separation and Leftwich too often was wild with his throws. Fortunately, it was a preseason game.

Mac from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I am a loyal Jag fan and always will be, but this team will never make the playoffs. It is what it is. The defense will at least keep it respectable, I hope. The offense needs so much help everywhere. Are you worried now? Just a little?

Vic: Hey, everybody, "Manic Mac" is back. Did you feel that chill in the air? Did your skies suddenly darken, too? Mac, I worry about a lot of things. I worry about my kids. I worry about my 401(k). I worry that no one has taken the dogs out and one of them will wet in the closet on the carpet next to my shoes, again. Some kind of insect is eating my lawn and I am very worried about that. My car has more than 70,000 miles on it and I still have a year's worth of payments to make and I worry that the car will expire before the payments do. I have to go to the doctor every three months and I worry that one time I'll go there and he'll say don't worry about that other stuff. I never, however, worry about a preseason football game. You probably just need some kids, a couple of dogs and an old car to help ease your mind.

Bryan from Jacksonville:
Our pass protection on the offensive line needs to improve. I was really disappointed on how they played. What can they do to improve? Do you think they should move Khalif Barnes over to right tackle and let Richard Collier start at left tackle?

Vic: I'd probably wait until at least the second game of the regular season before I'd blow everything up. At that point, I mean, come on, how much more can we take?

Phil from Woodmere, NY:
Three times we had second-and-two and not once did we have a run up the middle. Also, what is the point of establishing the run if we're not going to use the play-action pass? Is it time to question the play-calling, yet, or should we suffer through this for another season?

Vic: The preseason isn't the time to judge coordinators on their play-calling. Good coordinators are intentionally bad play-callers in the preseason.

Andrew from Jacksonville:
How much time should a good offensive line be giving a quarterback to make a play and how does our offensive line compare to this standard, if there is one?

Vic: It's not all about time. It's about room, too. Leftwich needs to be given time and room.

J.T. from Jacksonville:
In Saturday's game, a Bucs player stripped the ball away from Darius during the two-point conversion attempt. I thought that once the ball was in our possession it was a dead ball. What's the caveat?

Vic: Donovin Darius did not demonstrate possession.

Mike from London, Canada:
I've seen a hip pointer injury reported on several occasions, but have no idea what it is. Can you fill me in?

Vic: You have one on each side, at about belt level. Put your hand in that area and feel for a bone. If you hit it with a hammer, it will hurt for a long time.

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