Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Jim Golder from Jacksonville:
Vic, I really enjoy your column. The Jags have a lot of players on injured reserve. Are all of them expected to be able to compete next year (assuming they are with the Jags), or do some have injuries that will hinder their performance in 2002? Secondly, will the Jags know if Stacey Mack will be offered a large contract with another team before the draft? Lastly, oncethe season ends, will the "Jaguars This Week" radio show continue at the same day and time?
Vic: At this point in time, there is no reason to believe any of the Jaguars' injured reserve players won't make a full recovery for next season. The one who concerns me, of course, is Tony Boselli, because he had surgery on both shoulders, but Boselli says his recovery will be complete before training camp, and he had accurately predicted he would be in the starting lineup on opening day in 2000, following ACL rehab. The Jaguars may or may not know other teams' interest in Stacey Mack prior to next April's draft. The Jaguars are expected to make Mack a "low tender" offer, which means they could keep him by matching another team's offer, but, of course, the Jaguars probably wouldn't be able to match any offer of significance. Given the uncertainty of Mack's situation, I expect the Jaguars to draft a running back. "Jaguars This Week" will be reduced to one hour at some point after the season. The show will remain on Wednesdays, but it hasn't been decided if it will begin at five p.m. or at six p.m.
Ryan Glenn from Atlanta, GA:
Now that the season is coming to a close, can you answer a question that was a hot topic back in September? Did the Jags make a mistake in drafting Marcus Stroud instead of Kenyatta Walker?
Vic: Neither player has set the league on fire this season. If that trends continues, the Jaguars' mistake will have been not drafting Steve Hutchinson. Next season will be the verdict. The Jaguars' salary cap problems are expected to force them to release either Gary Walker or Seth Payne, to make room in the starting lineup for Stroud, who will represent the Jaguars' fifth-highest remaining amortization. He must become a big-time player next season for the Jaguars to consider him to have been worthy of the 13th pick of the draft.
Dave Hevey from St. Louis, MO:
My favorite football player has always been Hardy Nickerson. Is there any chance of him coming back next year? It's hard to find information on him. I heard rumors he might be considering retirement? Have you heard anything on this?
Vic: Hardy Nickerson has offered no indication he might retire. He told me in an interview earlier this season that he'll know when his play has slipped and it's time to retire. This year, he became the first player in Jaguars history to reach the 200-tackle mark. My experiences with Nickerson go back to 1987, when he was a fifth-round draft choice in the Steelers' camp. I was covering the Steelers then. He was a no-nonsense, high-energy guy then, and he still is 15 seasons later. He is one of the game's great players. Will the Jaguars find a way to fit him under their cap? I can't imagine how.
Jake Williams from Jacksonville:
If you ask me, Brunell is the last player we can afford to get rid of nextyear. If we are going to have any chance next year or in future years, we are going to need a quarterback. Our division next year is going to consist of Peyton Manning and Steve McNair, and the Texans will be in primeposition to draft one of the great quarterbacks coming out of college (Joey Harrington, Eric Crouch, David Carr). What do you think the chances are the Jaguars will trade (Brunell), which in my opinion would be a disastrous move for the future of this franchise?
I fully expect the Jaguars to re-structure Mark Brunell's contract this winter. By the way, Eric Crouch?.
Lisa Burden from Surrey, BC, Canada:
Vic, I live in British Columbia but was raised in Jacksonville. Never having my own NFL team until the Jags came along, it's hard for me to know if the Jags' fans and media are harder on our coach and team than other NFL towns and fans. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it seems as though our fans are fair-weathered and get down on the coach and the team very easily. I figured you would have some great insight on this.
Vic: Lisa, have you ever been to Philadelphia?