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Norv says he'll play in Jax

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

Jon from Tallahassee, FL:
Why do people hate sportswriters?

Vic: Because they write what they think, instead of what the reader thinks.

John from Jacksonville:
If you look back on the Broncos game, were there any changes in the offensive scheme or play-calling that could be attributed to the absence of Kennedy Pola or Mike Tice? Did you think Dirk Koetter called a good game?

Vic: Now that you mention it, the play-calling was what I would expect from Pola or Tice. That was a run-the-ball, control-the-clock game plan. I thought the balance between run and pass was very effective.

Mike from Cincinnati, OH:
With Miller, Potter and Lewis filling the roles of catching, blocking and all-around tight ends respectively, what exactly will Wilford's role be on this team?

Vic: Ernest Wilford is a Miller-type of tight end, but Wilford spent much of his career as a wide receiver with the Jaguars, so he gives the Jaguars insurance at tight end and at wide receiver. He's a utility man; that's his particular role on the team. He may have actually created something that'll keep him in the league a long time. As Chuck always said: "The more things you can do…"

Kevin from Boston, MA:
Does the Jaguars coaching staff try to get any Chargers intel out of Kassim Osgood this week? Is there anything like a confidentiality agreement that a player signs if he gets traded?

Vic: Confidentiality agreement? That's funny. No, there's no such agreement and, yes, I'm sure the Jaguars have asked Osgood questions about the Chargers.

Bill from St. Petersburg, FL:
I live in St. Pete and I'm making the trek up there for the Colts game. Hey, Vic, what do you think of the Tampa Bay Rays stadium situation down here? Have you been to a game at the Trop? If so, what do you think?

Vic: I haven't been inside the place but the last time I drove past it I couldn't stop laughing. It looks like somebody dropped it. I've talked to people who've been inside and they've told me they needed to up the dosage of their anti-depressants before the game got to the seventh-inning stretch. It's like playing a baseball game in an underground parking garage. It's a great ballpark if you like bad ballparks. Did they ever get the architect that did that?

Wes from Jacksonville:
Bringing Wilford back and waiving Matthews, which I expect will result in him being on the practice squad, is another example of why GM Gene has my respect. As a long-time season-ticket holder, it's refreshing to see sensibility and logic returning to the team's personnel decisions.

Vic: Shaping a roster efficiently requires that a personnel director weigh all the circumstances. It's not just about cutting players. It's about finding ways to keep the players you cut. Miller and Wilford are perfect examples. If you cut Miller, you're gonna lose him. If you cut Wilford, you'll probably be able to get him back in a pinch, and he'll probably be sitting at home in Jacksonville waiting for the call. Payroll also has to be a consideration when cutting a roster. Keeping a vested veteran for the start of the regular season means having to guarantee his salary for the whole year. If you cut him and keep a rookie for the start of the season, you can bring back the vested veteran later and not be on the hook for the whole season. That's another reason why it's a young man's game. It's what a good GM does. He considers all of the circumstances and all of the options and he makes moves that maximize value and maneuverability. Clearly, GM Gene handled the situation at tight end with the utmost efficiency. As it turned out, he kept them all.

David from Orange Park, FL:
Do you know what the television ratings were in Jacksonville for the Jaguars-Broncos game this past Sunday?

Vic: The Jaguars got a 32.1 household rating and a 55 share in Jacksonville. That means that of all the TV sets in Jacksonville that were turned on while the game was being played, more were tuned to the Jaguars-Broncos game than all other programming combined.

Brian from Jacksonville:
Were there questions about Philip River's throwing motion coming out of college? It looks really awkward.

Vic: Yes, there were concerns. It's low and pushy. There were concerns P. Rivers -- I keep forgetting how many "L's" there are in his first name so I'll just call him P.; it's kind of like S. Merriman – might not have enough arm strength to make all of the throws. He's silenced his critics, but I think he's done that mostly with his toughness and aptitude for the game. Rivers gets it done with guile more than he does with talent, in my opinion. He's struggled in the wind and cold. That's not the kind of arm you want under center in the Northeast or Midwest in January, but there's nothing wrong with that head or heart. Between the ears and in his chest, he's got all the game you need your quarterback to have. I don't expect it to be windy or cold in San Diego on Sunday.

Adrian from Jacksonville:
What did Jack Del Rio mean when he said Derek Cox lost his confidence? Was that literal or did it mean something more?

Vic: It means that when a cornerback gets beat deep a couple of times, he starts to become tentative, and that won't work. How does a cornerback regain his confidence? By making a play.

Hill from Northridge, CA:
Thank you for the story on Bradshaw; I greatly appreciated it. Also, your last response made me laugh out loud pretty hard. I was in San Diego on Christmas Eve of 2007 for the last regular season game on MNF against Cutler and the Broncos, and it was an absolute blast. San Diego is anything but a bad football town. I am a life-long Jaguars fan. I will be going back down this weekend to see my dad and go to our first Jags game and I am absolutely looking forward to it. Do you have any good stories relating to San Diego through the years?

Vic: San Diego always was a great football town and it can be again. Maybe it's because Qualcomm Stadium is the only open-air press box in the league, but there was a time when I thought old "Jack Murphy Stadium" (it was named for a sportswriter) was the loudest place in the league. I can remember one particular game I covered in 1979; Fred Dean and Louie Kelcher knocked Terry Bradshaw down all day and the noise in that stadium was as loud as I have heard anywhere. I really thought the Chargers were going to go to the Super Bowl that year, but Dan Fouts did one of his infamous postseason gag jobs against the Oilers, who were playing without Earl Campbell and Dan Pastorini. The San Diego airport back then had a curfew; nothing landed or took off after midnight, or something like that. I covered a Monday night game there one year and apparently the airport agreed to give the charter flight out a post-curfew window, if the plane was ready to roll by a certain time. Oh, we rolled all right, and then the take-off was aborted due to some mechanical problem. Off went the runway lights, airport closed. Well, I remember the pilot and the traveling secretary standing under the wing arguing with the tower and the next thing I know, we're rollin' down the runway, a runway with no lights on. I asked the airline rep later, "Won't the airline get fined?" He said it would, but that the fine would cost a lot less than having to put the team up in a hotel. So I had that going for me, which was nice.

Aaron from Jacksonville:
What do you think of Russell Wilson from N.C. State? He looks pretty sharp.

Vic: He's a great athlete but he's a little on the small side. Baseball might be his best option. He's only a junior. We'll see.

Dustin from Jacksonville:
Surely you understand why so many people are asking travel questions. Last year, we were off to a decent start, barely missing against the Colts and beating both the Texans and Titans soundly with only the Cards handing us a lopsided defeat. Then we travel to Seattle and we got blasted. Once again, we're off to a good start with a solid victory over the Broncos and now we're headed out west again. It seems that at least some fans are trying to cope with last year's drubbing and, though I'm not one of them, I understand where they are coming from and don't fault them for feeling anxious about the game Sunday. If football truly is a game of inches, it would seem that traveling thousands of miles might make those inches just a little longer for the away team.

Vic: Wait a minute, I'll call the Chargers. "Hello, Norv? Yeah, you really needed Osgood on Monday. Say, listen, Norv. Our fans are very upset about the team having to go so far to play a football game and I was wondering if you could bring the Chargers to Jacksonville for Sunday's game. No, it's not hot at all. The humidity has dropped. Your guys will love it. You will? Hey, that's great. Our fans will be really happy about that, and so will our media. They've been very concerned about going so far away from home, too. Bye, Norv." There you go, Dustin. All fixed. Tell the Jaguars fans they don't have to worry about the team going so far away from home to play a game. Of course, I know you weren't one of the ones worrying.

Mike from Jacksonville:
Can you tell me how it is that female reporters are allowed in a pro team locker room but a male reporter would never get away with going into a female locker room? Double standard, if you ask me. I think the answer should be no reporter, regardless of gender, should be allowed in any locker room where nudity is prevalent.

Vic: What if the male reporters demanded that the WNBA made their players put their clothes on before the media entered the room? Would the women be offended?

Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
Why do teams have to list a description of the injury in the injury report? If an opponent knows where a guy is hurting, then it seems like they might use that information for slightly sinister purposes.

Vic: This is the transparency era, right?

Will from Jacksonville:
What's your feeling regarding female sports reporters being allowed in the locker room?

Vic: I'm fine with it. I don't hear any players complaining about it. The only complaints I'm hearing are from the fans. What's the big deal?

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