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No player worth the trouble

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

James from Augusta, GA:
I have been a Jags fan as long as the team has been in Jacksonville. I don't get a chance to see any games because Georgia shows all the other teams in the NFL. I just want to know is Jimmy Smith getting double-teamed all game and do you think it was necessary for the Jags to pick up Kevin Johnson and will he help with the missing pieces of the puzzle?

Vic: My radio partner, Jeff Lageman, spends his Wednesdays watching tape of the last game. I asked him yesterday afternoon what he saw in the tape that would explain why Jimmy Smith got just one catch for five yards. He said there was no specific reason. I asked him if Smith was being double-teamed all day. Jeff said no. I asked Jeff if it was an oversimplification to say the Titans corners just did a great job on Smith, and Jeff said it would be an oversimplification. As you can see, I am unable to answer your question. As far as Kevin Johnson is concerned, 15 other teams put in a claim for him, so, half the league considers him to be a worthy player. The Jaguars took advantage of being at the top of the waiver claims process.

Jimmie from Ft. Walton Beach, FL:
The New England Patriots signed former Jaguar J.J. Stokes. Do the Jaguars save any salary cap money now that he's being paid by the Patriots?

Vic: The Jaguars will receive no salary cap relief for the Patriots having signed J.J. Stokes because Stokes wasn't claimed off waivers. Had he been claimed off waivers the Patriots would've also had to claim Stokes' Jaguars contract, and that would've resulted in the Jaguars getting relief from that portion of Stokes salary the Patriots would've paid. But Stokes cleared waivers and the Patriots signed him to a new deal. The Jaguars must take the full salary hit on Stokes, $655,000.

David from Orlando, FL:
During Tom Coughlin's reign as coach, he put a gag order on the players. With the recent rash of bone-headed comments from players around the league, do you think the gag order is a good or bad idea?

Vic: The player gag order to which you are referring involved injuries. Tom Coughlin forbid his players to offer information about their injuries to the media. Coughlin was diligent in restricting medical information to his opponents and any player offering that kind of information was fined. I had no problem with that policy. I'm old-school and that's the way it was when I started covering the league. Chuck Noll was very communicative with the media, but he was very careful not to divulge information to an upcoming opponent. He would jokingly refer to his media policy as the "mushroom theory:" Keep them in the dark and feed them a lot of (manure). Beyond Coughlin's gag order concerning injury information, players were not restricted in their conversations with the media. In fact, the language of Coughlin's daily schedule obligated players to make themselves available to the media. This team had a lot of engaging personalities; players such as Tony Boselli, Leon Searcy, Ben Coleman, Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell, Mark Brunell, Dave Widell, Jeff Lageman, Tom McManus, Seth Payne, Kevin Hardy and a lot more were very cooperative with the media. They made me feel as though they enjoyed the give and take with reporters. I understand the need to protect information critical to a team's preparation, but I would not be in favor of otherwise "gagging" players because a few have spoken disruptively. This is America. We are about freedom, and it begins with freedom of speech.

Jimi from Jacksonville:
I have a question regarding NFL Europe. Who exactly do you think will be going over there for development, and how many players can be sent to Europe? Surely, Byron and some of the other rookies would be good choices based on their play so far. I feel Byron is going to be an excellent quarterback, he just needs time to learn the game in the pros.

Vic: Jimi, there's no chance Jack Del Rio is going to send Byron Leftwich to play in NFL Europe. Leftwich represents $12 million in signing bonus and they're not going to risk injury for the sake of a win over the Scottish Claymores. What players are sent to NFL Europe? Bottom of the roster players who might further their careers with playing time they're not likely to get in the NFL. There is no limit as to how many players a team may offer for allocation to NFL Europe, but it must offer a minimum of three. Roster exemptions are granted according to the players allocated.

John from Jacksonville:
What is a contusion? I hear them all the time, like a foot contusion. Could you fill me in, please?

Vic: It's a boo-boo.

Mike from Jacksonville:
You might point out to Todd and to other readers that has a good explanation of how the first-down line system works.

Vic: I was right the first time, wasn't I? It's invisible paint.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
Has it occurred to anyone but me that writing out "Fu" (vowel rationing) requires more letters (and thus typing) than Fuamatu-Ma'afala?

Vic: Howard, please tell me you're retired.

Hicham from Dubai, UAE:
I have to say I loved your verbal thrashing of Keyshawn Johnson. Are there any players in the league who you think are worth the trouble they carry with them?

Vic: No player is worth the destruction of the team. I don't care how good he is or what his salary cap number is, any player who is a threat to a team's chemistry and sense of purpose must be removed.

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