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No candidate for this decade

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

Sonny from Jacksonville:
I am already pumped up for the game next Monday. How big would you rate this game and what are the Jags' chances?

Vic: It's a pick 'em, as far as I'm concerned. It's a game between two teams that like to run the ball. Both teams are strong up front. I expect it to be a super game. As far as its importance, I think you know its importance goes way beyond the division title race. This game, because it'll be on national TV, goes directly to perception. A win in front of a sellout crowd will send the message that pro football is alive and well in Jacksonville.

Dave from Orlando, FL:
Should the Jags sell out against the run to stop Chris Johnson and dare Vince Young to beat us?

Vic: They have to stop Johnson. I think everyone knows a winning game plan begins with that.

Matt from Jacksonville:
On Sunday, the Jaguars didn't punt one time. How many games, if any, in Jaguars history can you remember where we didn't have to punt?

Vic: I don't think they punted in San Diego this season, either. That was, of course, for different reasons.

Jonathon from Lawrence, KS:
The Patriots trade Branch for a first-round pick, then turn around several years later and get him back for a mediocre fourth-round pick. Has there ever been a team that's as slick as the Patriots are?

Vic: You know what I remember? I remember getting tons of e-mail from people asking me what I was smoking and if I was getting senile, because I said the Patriots had just picked Seattle's pocket. I'm tellin' you, I got tons of e-mail from people who were incredulous that New England made that trade. I said wide receivers were a dime a dozen and that really drove them crazy. They called me old and out of touch. They said I didn't get it; the game had changed. So, where are those people today? Dime a dozen, baby, dime a dozen. Get the big guys. Those are the difference-makers.

Micah from Chicago, IL:
Fill in the blank: Steelers of the '70's, 49ers of the '80's, Cowboys of the '90's, Patriots of the '00's and __ of the '10's.

Vic: I don't think there's a clear-cut candidate, plus, I don't expect that we'll see that kind of dominance again. This has become a league of years, not decades. I think it's possible we won't have a team of this decade. By the way, you forgot the Packers of the '60's.

Nate from Pinellas Park, FL:
"A young nucleus that's really the core of our football team as we move forward." If you're a Jaguars fan and hearing this from your coach doesn't get you excited, nothing will. Am I wrong when I say that we haven't had a "young nucleus" since the 1996 season? This is a very exciting time for this organization.

Vic: Jack Del Rio's first edition had a nucleus of young players, led by defensive tackle Marcus Stroud and John Henderson. The problem with that team was that its window was too small and too brief because its first-round picks were busts. That team had depth but lacked stars.

Robert from Chicago, IL:
Watching Brett Favre's Monday night meltdown, I can't help but reflect on how a team with much promise has abandoned all of the fundamentals of building a great NFL team. It's a young man's game and they are flying in the face of that by sticking with a 41-year-old QB who was already well past his prime when they got him. They then traded a good draft pick for a WR whose best years are behind him and is irrelevant because their old QB no longer has the arm to deliver the deep ball he specializes in. Oh, the irony. How has it gotten so ugly so fast for the Vikings? There were rumors of Minnesota losing the team, much like Jacksonville. Is this what happens when that prospect is met with panic rather than calm planning, as the Jags organization seems to have implemented? I mean, it's a shame, they've got quite a defense and one of the best young backs around, and they are going to waste it, aren't they?

Vic: Yeah, it appears that way, which comes as no surprise to me. Instead of drafting, they spent big on other teams' star players, such as Jared Allen and Steve Hutchinson. Instead of using their picks to provide for their future, they mortgaged their future by trading away picks for players who will likely be long gone before the players selected with those picks are out of the prime years of their career. If you want a template for how not to do it, the Vikings are it. I kind of feel sorry for them.

Dan from Jacksonville:
Do you think the team that controls the line of scrimmage wins Monday night at EverBank Field?

Vic: I think that's a given.

Ian from Jacksonville:
I was fortunate enough to make it to Buffalo for the game on Sunday. More than ever, I appreciate what it is like to attend a game here at EverBank Field. We had food, beer, coins and foul language thrown at us the entire game. It was so bad that it was almost intolerable. My girlfriend was being hit with quarters so often that we almost decided to leave.

Vic: Let me guess: You were wearing Jaguars jerseys, right?

Greg from Jacksonville:
No matter how well Garrard appears to be playing this year, I think all Jaguars fans can agree that you either have it or you don't. Garrard doesn't have it. I think it will take an AFC championship appearance for Garrard to maintain his job past week three of next season.

Vic: It saddens me to see this kind of narrow thinking.

Patrick from Orlando, FL:
I know the league is pounding down on excessive celebration, but don't you think fans pay to be entertained as well as to watch a football game? Frankly, I think most fans would be entertained by the weekly antics of some of the league's big characters. I say let fans get their money's worth and enjoy the show. I don't see what the big deal is.

Vic: Yeah, who needs decorum? Why should the league bother with dignity or a code of conduct? The game should be halted until everyone is done dancing. There should be a time out for taunting, to allow players on the team that just scored a touchdown to walk in front of the other team's sideline and ridicule them. We need more showmanship and less sportsmanship. Hey, after all, what's the big deal? The fans should always get what they want. The integrity of the game and the expression of professionalism are meaningless. That's old-school crap.

Darrell from Starke, FL:
For the record, has any member of the Jaguars organization sent you any racy photos and/or text messages?

Vic: Last year, when Florida State played at North Carolina, GM Gene sent me a text message: "Ponder has some talent," it said. That's about as racy as it gets for me. Sometimes my wife sends me photos of our dogs, and my daughter-in-law sends me a lot of pictures of my granddaughter. I think she sent one of her in her bathing suit. I sent a photo from the "Ask Vic" golf tournament to a friend this past summer. I had already used my drink tickets. Does that count?

Sean from Birmingham, AL:
Vic, just wanted to say thank you. Really, as fans following this team, we have an incredible amount of access to everything: fresh content daily, live chats with you and players. I'm so thankful that our team does everything it does for its fans. I know it gets tough sometimes but know there are those of us out here that really appreciate you and everything this team does.

Vic: Thank you for your kind words but you don't have to thank me because I get paid to do this for you. If you wanna do something for me, then please fill those seats. You'll be doing something for yourself and your children, too.

Jason from New Port Richey, FL:
How many times, if ever, has an entire division been 3-2 after five games?

Vic: It's happened twice. The last time it happened was in 1918 when the Pottsville Maroons, Latrobe Brailliers, Greensburg Fiscus' and Jeannette AC each started the season 3-2 in the Anthracite Division. I remember it well.

Ron from Jacksonville:
If I could make one rule change that would invariably liven up the game even more, I would have a kickoff to start each quarter. The change of possession would create additional urgency for offenses, much like what occurs at the halves.

Vic: Why stop there? Here's another idea: Get rid of the downs. Each team has two minutes to score. When it either scores or its time expires, it has to kickoff and its opponent then gets two minutes to score.

Frank from Oviedo, FL:
"You just hope that when the doors open the crowd isn't screaming." Is there a story behind that statement?

Vic: I've had it happen to me a couple of times. In 2004, I was on the elevator as the Steelers had the ball and were driving. I didn't expect Bill Cowher to pull the plug as early as he did. I thought I could get to the field before the kick, but when the elevator doors opened and I heard the crowd screaming, I figured the Jaguars had intercepted a pass. Wrong. Jeff Reed had just kicked the game-winner. The all-time elevator story, however, belongs to Art Rooney, who got on the elevator in the closing seconds of his team's 1972 playoff game against the Raiders. Rooney was going down to console his team on its heartbreaking loss. When the elevator reached the ground floor, the doors opened and Rooney was met with a thunderous sound of fans cheering. It was the "Immaculate Reception" and Rooney was on an elevator in re-entry blackout when it occurred.

Alex from Jacksonville:
Why do the players stand on the field during a TV time out and only huddle after the ref blows the whistle for the play clock to start?

Vic: The viewers can't see them if they do it before then.

Mike from Jacksonville:
In reference to Sam's question from yesterday, which of these quarterbacks, Eli Manning, Schaub, Ryan, McNabb, Flacco and Henne, if offered in trade straight up for Garrard, would you decline?

Vic: That's an esteemed group. I wouldn't decline any of them, which only deepens my appreciation of Garrard's performance through five weeks of the season, especially considering how poorly he played in two of the five games.

Ryan from Harlingen, TX:
You stated that your top three QBs at this point in the season are Brady, Rivers and Peyton Manning. Their combined winning percentage at this point is 57 percent. Doesn't that tell us that even great QBs need a good team behind them to be successful?

Vic: It tells us we're only five weeks into the season and we shouldn't be asking what that tells us. It tells us the answers to such questions change 17 times before we get to the point in the season that we can even begin to answer the question. There's a time for seeking answers and there's a time for accumulating information. This is a time for accumulating information. Relax and enjoy. Watch and listen.

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