Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Robert from St. Augustine, FL:
If and when Mark Brunell is released this offseason, will the Jaguars receive any form of compensation, such as additional draft picks in the 2004 NFL draft?
Vic: The Jaguars will receive no compensation for Mark Brunell. To receive consideration for a compensatory draft pick, a team would have to lose a player in free agency whose contract expired before the free agency period began. Brunell will have a year remaining on his Jaguars contract when this season ends, so he won't become a free agent until the Jaguars cut him. Teams do not receive compensatory consideration for players they cut.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Is it my imagination or is Vince Manuwai having a terrific year. Was that bogus penalty he got against the Patriots his first penalty of the year?
Vic: Yes, Vince Manuwai is having a terrific year, but, no, that was not his first penalty of the season. He was flagged for clipping against San Diego. It is his only other penalty.
Shawn from Jacksonville:
Great column; the information you provide does wonders for the readers trying to get the minute details that really make the difference. My question is this: On punts, the receiver can call a fair catch as can a player on a short "pooch" kickoff, without opponents drilling them before the catch. When does a kickoff not become a live ball and can be fair caught?
Vic: Any kickoff can be fair caught before it hits the ground, and the ball doesn't need to travel 10 yards for a player to fair-catch it. But once the ball hits the ground, all bets are off.
Robert from Chicago, IL:
I believe you have written that the Jaguars may have drafted one of the best rookie classes in the league. Would you be able to compare them to the rookies of the Chicago Bears this year? They seem to have rookies making real contributions on the field in Briggs, Tillman, Haynes and, of course, Grossman, but we only have seen one game out of him. That being said, do you think the Jaguars rookies are better than those guys? I've only been able to see two Jaguars games all year, and a slew of Bears games I wish I hadn't, so I'm just trying to get a better feel for the future talent of this team.
Vic: I'm not at all familiar with the Bears, so I asked Jaguars Inside Report talent and draft analyst Tony Pauline to give me a scouting report on the Bears' 2003 draft class. He said it's "solid, but not spectacular." Pauline said the players you mention have the potential to eventually become starters. As far as the Jags' draft class is concerned, their first three picks are already starters and their two fourth-round picks are major contributors. If Byron Leftwich becomes a star quarterback, this will have been the best draft in the league. Leftwich is the key player because he's a top-10 pick.
Troy from Murrieta, CA:
I was just wondering if you can update us on what the Jags defense is ranked.
Vic: The Jaguars defense is sixth overall; second against the run and 15th against the pass.
Greg from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
There goes another year without playoff action for the Jags. Do you anticipate the Jags reaching the playoffs next year and what would be your wish list for the team in the offseason to make it happen?
Vic: I expect the Jaguars to be a legitimate playoff contender into the final month of next season. If they are anything less than that, I will consider next year to be a disappointment. In my opinion, this team's needs are for a touchdown-making receiver, a big-play cornerback and a pass-rushing defensive end who is not a pass-rush specialist.
John from Orange Park, FL:
Can you give a grade to this organization's personnel moves since opening day? Troy Edwards and Kevin Johnson seem to be very nice moves? What moves do you like and what grade do the Jags get. Or do you believe if they were really that good they would not have been available?
Vic: When you deal with waiver-wire players, it's understood there's a reason they were available, and you tailor your expectations accordingly. The Jaguars' in-season moves have been outstanding. Troy Edwards, Deke Cooper, Nick Sorensen and Kevin Johnson have been outstanding acquisitions. And I've already gone on record as saying the Jaguars may have the best draft class in the league. As far as expensive free agency, everybody knows where I stand on that. In my opinion, you seldom get your money's worth in March. Fortunately, it appears they did get their money's worth in Mike Peterson.
Wilbur from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
What is the NFL rule about an inactive quarterback being on the field doing the coin toss that is usually done by a playing captain. It seems like a fair penalty would be to give the other team the ball on the one-yard line, first-and-goal with no kickoff.
Vic: Neither Rule 5 nor Rule 18, which provide guidelines for captains in the 2003 Official Playing Rules of the National Football League, makes mention of captains having to be selected from the ranks of "active" players. The rules do stipulate, however, that a maximum of six players may be designated as captains for a game. Wow, Wilbur, that penalty's a little harsh, isn't it? It's not like the Jaguars are trying to send Saddam Hussein out for the coin toss.