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No crying in football

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

Rajesh from Jacksonville:
Besides Stroud, are there any Jaguars first-round picks that made it to the Pro-Bowl?

Vic: Tony Boselli, Kevin Hardy and John Henderson are Jaguars first-round picks who also played in the Pro Bowl.

Tim from Jacksonville:
What do you think of quarterbacks that are way past their primes and are still not hanging it up? Quarterbacks like Drew Bledsoe.

Vic: Professional football is about the money. As long as there's a market for a quarterback's services, he's going to play. There's too much money involved to turn it down. What I don't understand is why teams are reluctant to move on at the position. Eventually, you have to go through the growing pains of developing a young quarterback. Why delay? New England didn't delay. Neither did Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Jacksonville and a lot of other teams that are happy now they moved on at the position. If you're going to develop anything lasting at that position, you gotta pull the trigger on a young guy who has talent worthy of investment. Cincinnati waited a year with Carson Palmer and, in my opinion, it was a wasted year. Would you rather have Dallas' situation? Denver's? Not every young quarterback, of course, turns out to be "The Man." Tim Couch and Akili Smith failed, and Joey Harrington and Kyle Boller may not be the right guys either, but you better find out as soon as possible because those guys are making a lot of money. Get 'em good or get 'em gone.

Cannon from Jacksonville:
I was wondering when training camp officially begins. More importantly, when will the practices be open to the public?

Vic: The first practice of training camp will be on July 30. It will be open to the public. A formal schedule of training camp practices and fan attendance will be announced in late June. That schedule will come directly from Jack Del Rio.

Nicholas from Jacksonville:
Do you think a more polarized revenue sharing agreement would really drive the cap up? It seems like teams would be constrained by the cap and that just because their profits are higher they wouldn't be able to circumvent the cap constraints. How would it drive up future caps?

Vic: The annual salary cap figure, which is $85 million this year, is determined by a percentage of the league's defined gross revenues. This year, the players will receive 65.5 percent of the league's defined gross revenues. As those revenues increase, so does the cap figure. The fear is that if large-market teams are unbridled in their revenue-generating efforts, the cap will eventually go too high for small-market teams to afford. Don't forget, there's a minimum cap, too. Just in the 10 years of the Jaguars' existence, the cap has gone from about $35 million to $85 million. Obviously, if the league continues to push the revenue envelope as it has over the past 10 years, the cap figure for 2015 could become a major obstacle for franchises in places such as Jacksonville to remain competitive with the big-market teams.

Andrew from New York, NY:
Which would be more beneficial for a small-market team such as the Steelers? To build a bigger stadium to hold more fans and increase ticket sales? I know they just built one but they seem to have a huge fan base and the stadium is still packed! Why can't they generate more revenue? Where are they falling short? LA has tried and failed so many times. Why is there still such allure?

Vic: The advantage big-market teams have in revenue potential isn't represented best by general-seating ticket sales. It's best represented by ancillary income items, such as preseason TV rights, radio rights, sponsorship, signage, luxury suites and club seats. Only the price of the ticket is shared. Most of the cost of luxury suites and club seats are represented by the ownership or membership fee, which the home team retains completely. The Jaguars, for example, have 90 luxury suites. The Cowboys, by comparison, have 400. On a $100,000 luxury suite, only about $25,000 is shared. Do the math on 310 extra suites at $75,000; more than a $23 million advantage for the Cowboys, huh? The Steelers have a rather unique situation. They are a small-market team with some big-market features. As you mentioned, for example, they have a huge fan base and they are sold out all of the time. Pittsburgh also has a huge corporate representation, with companies such as Heinz, Westinghouse, USX, Rolling Rock, Alcoa, PPG, PNC and 84 Lumber calling Pittsburgh home. They give the Steelers great sponsorship, signage and luxury-suite potential. So why have the Steelers aligned themselves so firmly with the small-market faction? Because that's what Pittsburgh is, a small market, just as Jacksonville is. No matter how many built-in advantages a market has, it still comes down to a numbers game, and when you crunch the numbers in places such as Jacksonville and Pittsburgh, they pale in comparison to places such as Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, etc. You might notice that Dan Rooney took extra care to get the Steelers into a division in which all four teams are from cities of similar size. Jacksonville is comparable in size to Indianapolis and Nashville, but Houston has the potential to blow the division away with sheer volume.

Will from Jacksonville:
I recently learned that my six-month-old, who isn't able to occupy a seat, would have to have a full ticket charged to her. Man, if she's in my lap, why the full ticket price? Please give me some kind of answer. This whole thing just stopped me from buying season tickets.

Vic: I'm sympathetic to your situation, but it's not as easily solved as you seem to think it is. There are a few teams in the league who offer a child-priced ticket. Stipulations are that the kid be 23 months or younger, or less than a certain height. I hope for your sake the Jaguars adopt a similar policy. Here's the problem I would have, however, if I was a full-price season ticket holder who just happened to be sitting next to you. I am not exactly what you would describe as a "kids kind of guy." So, if I'm sitting next to you, and your kid goes into a crying "jag," I'm going to have a bad day. I can't help but think a football stadium – golf courses, too – should be a place men (and women, though they won't admit it) can get away from the mind-numbing wails of a baby.

Newt from Jacksonville:
Is there anywhere to find out who the daily winners of the "Road Warriors" are? Also, I know I entered this, but how can I confirm my name is actually in the hat?

Vic: Go to Access will be made easier and more easily understood later today. You should have received a confirmation when you registered. If you did, don't sweat it.

James from Jacksonville:
Are the Jags still going to try and run the ball even though we are looking to have a stronger passing attack?

Vic: Yes.

Dave from Gainesville, FL:
When do the Jaguars come back to practice? Do they have practice until training camp starts, or do they get some time off?

Vic: The Jaguars will conduct a passing camp on June 7-9, then veteran camps on June 14-16 and June 21-22. These are the remaining eight practices of the OTA (organized team activities) schedule. As of the final OTA, vacation begins, as players (and senior editors, too) take time off before the start of training camp. Players will report for the start of training camp on July 29.

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