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No trains for me

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

Steve from Glenside, PA:
What was the largest crowd ever at Alltel Stadium? Was it for a Jaguar game?

Vic: The 2004 Florida-Georgia game holds the all-time Alltel Stadium attendance record at 84,753. Super Bowl XXXIX's attendance was 78,125. That figure is a bit misleading, however, because several thousand seats were lost to an auxiliary press box that was constructed in the upper deck, and other such necessary conversions. The largest attendance for a Jaguars game in team history is 76,877, which was the attendance for last year's game against the Steelers. It is the only game in Jaguars history for which every ticket was sold.

Henry from Jacksonville:
How many players do you think there actually are in the league that a team would give up two first-round picks for?

Vic: The two names that immediately come to mind are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, depending on whether your goal is to set records or win the Super Bowl. It would have to be a quarterback, but I can't help but wonder how Manning's contract would affect interest in him. Would you give up two first-round picks for a quarterback whose contract would cause you to lose more players? Brady's contract wouldn't be a problem, but that day is rapidly coming to an end. The combination of the salary cap, free agency and the draft provides an amazing system of checks and balances in the NFL. I take my hat off to the league and to the players association for devising and maintaining the best system of operation in professional sports history. Imagine what it would do for Major League Baseball.

Alan from Gainesville, FL:
Your column is half the reason I follow this team. What are your expectations of Byron this coming year? Will we see more plays called at the line and more variety in the playbook?

Vic: My expectations for Byron Leftwich are for him to convert more third downs, throw more touchdowns and win more games. The first two allow for the third. You win in this league by converting on third down and scoring touchdowns. As far as the playbook and how winning is accomplished, I have no expectations. Just win, baby. But when you talk about variety in the playbook, I think you've misread the situation. If I'm reading Carl Smith's reputation correctly, his playbook isn't going to be about variety. It's going to be about a ball-control running game and a touchdown-scoring deep-passing game. In other words, the Jaguars aren't going to nibble at the wings of the defense, they're going to pound at its middle and take big bites out of it deep. I could be wrong, but that's what I've been led to believe.

Scott from Thunder Bay, Ontario:
You said that you have the play-by-play accounts from every game you've covered. I was wondering if you could possibly make me a tape of the 1999 AFC Divisional playoff game against the Dolphins? I could send you money. I miss not watching that game.

Vic: By play-by-play accounts, I didn't mean TV telecasts. I was referring to the stats package that is provided for every game in the league. It is a booklet that includes a quarter-by-quarter, play-by-play account of the game's progression. For example: Second quarter, 11:23, Jaguars 35, 2-9, Taylor gains five over left tackle. The stats pack also includes the starting lineups, temperature at kickoff, names of officials, final team and individual stats, and a drive chart.

Neil from Arlington, VA:
You said, "If you have the same grade for both guys, always take the left tackle." Doesn't a large chunk of that statement rely on having a right-handed QB, making the LT his blindside protector?

Vic: I don't care where the quarterback's back is turned, the other team's best pass-rusher is usually on the offense's left side, which makes left tackle the more premium of the two tackle positions in the majority of games, and you better have a premium blocker to block that premier pass-rusher. Again, it's about value. Left tackles have greater value than right tackles, so, when facing a decision between which to take, always take the left tackle. Simply put, left tackles make more money. You might as well get your money's worth.

Mario from Zapata, TX:
Boselli or Munoz?

Vic: Anthony Munoz is probably the best offensive tackle who's ever played the game. He played at a higher level for a longer period of time than any tackle I can recall.

Jeremy from Panama City, FL:
Read your column every day without fail. You were asked what one defensive player in the entire league you would take for your team if it were your choice and your answer was a good one, Julius Peppers. My pick would be Ed Reed. How's that for an alternate choice?

Vic: You don't build teams around safeties. How many of them are in the Hall of Fame?

Rick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
The comments about ethics and journalism bring to mind a question. Have you ever done any professional writing besides sportswriting?

Vic: In my first year in the newspaper business, the managing editor decided he wanted me to do a story on Amtrak, which was in the beginning stages of an attempt to revitalize passenger service. I was to ride from Pittsburgh to Chicago to New York and back to Pittsburgh on the Broadway Limited, then do a story on my experience. It was some experience. My first night on the train, I jumped up onto the bunk and noticed a metal door with the word "Shoes" on it. I opened the little door and put my suede shoes in the little box, thinking it was some kind of storage area for shoes. I didn't know the box opened on the outside of the cabin and that it was where you put your shoes if you wanted them to be shined. In the morning, I opened the metal door to get my shoes but they were gone. I couldn't figure it out and I began searching through the tiny cabin for them. Completely befuddled, I decided to look in the metal box again and, this time, my shoes were there, covered in black shoe polish, which left me to spend an eight-hour layover in Union Station looking like some street urchin. Following a long layover in Penn Station, I interviewed one of Amtrak's top executives in the train's impressive dining car and I was prepared to write a story that would feature the aristocratic lure of train travel. A little later, however, my train sideswiped a train going in the opposite direction, causing a loss of all electrical power for the balance of the trip, which meant no lights or air-conditioning. What was I going to write? Well, I got home, sat down at the typewriter and wrote that I would rather walk than ride in a train, found the first sporting event I could cover and I have never covered anything other than sports since.

Craig from Brisbane, Australia:
Will the Jags re-sign Akin Ayodele?

Vic: The Jaguars made a qualifying offer that would pay Akin Ayodele $656,000 this year. He'll sign it. What other option does he have?

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