Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
David from Tallahassee, FL:
With all the depth at receiver, do you think we could open up the offense and run a lot of five-receiver sets?
Vic: I'm not a fan of that kind of offense. When you empty the backfield, you're inviting the pass-rush. I can't help but remember the 1996 game in Pittsburgh. The Jaguars were driving toward a touchdown that would've cut the Steelers' lead to 14-10 midway through the third quarter. You could sense the momentum of the game was clearly changing in the Jaguars' favor. Then the Jaguars line up in five-wide, the Steelers blitz and 85 yards later Carnell Lake is standing in the end zone. Game over! Five-wide sounds sexy, but it's dangerous stuff and should be kept at a minimum. Run the ball, stop the run and win the turnover battle. I sense that Jack Del Rio shares in that belief.
Jeffrey from Elgin, SC:
Not a question, just a plea to the jaguars.com "Ask Vic" nation to please keep David Garrard and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Vic: David Garrard is prepared for the surgery and very anxious to deal with his problem directly. He believes surgery will provide a long-term solution to the Crohn's Disease effects he is currently experiencing.
Randy from Oxford, PA:
I recently moved to Pennsylvania from Jacksonville. I am smack-dab in the middle of Eagles and Ravens territory and cannot handle seeing the Jags only once or twice a year. Two years ago I was able to listen to the games online. Last year they had the same thing, only this time it was for a price. Was this an experiment that hopefully failed miserably or is the NFL going to take every bit of money from us that it can?
Vic: "NFL Field Pass" will include radio broadcasts of every game in the league. It may be purchased on nfl.com beginning in August. This year's version is an expanded package that will include pregame and postgame shows, and video previews and highlights for and from every game.
Pete from Jacksonville:
What are some successful 3-4 teams?
Vic: The Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Falcons and Texans were the 3-4 teams last season. The Falcons are going to the 4-3 this year and the Chargers are switching to the 3-4. Watch for the Raiders and the Jets to install some 3-4 schemes. The 3-4 isn't something new. Denver was the team that brought it to prominence in the "Orange Crush" days of the late-1970s. The Steelers re-ignited interest in the 3-4 during the "Blitzburgh" days of the mid-1990s. The Steelers added their zone-blitz strategy to their 3-4 scheme and "Blitzburgh" became all the rage. The Patriots use the 3-4 as the base defense in a very multiple scheme. To say the Patriots are a true 3-4 team isn't accurate. The 3-4 is their base defense, but the genius of Bill Belichick's defenses is their chameleon-like tendencies. The Patriots use their personnel in so many creative ways that it's difficult to know exactly what their true alignment is. The 3-4 is often a formation designed to disguise the real scheme, and that's the one great advantage the 3-4 offers over the 4-3. The 3-4 offers much greater flexibility, provided you have linebackers capable of the versatility required to make that happen.
Jeff from Dallas, TX:
If a team cuts a player, how do you figure the salary cap figure?
Vic: It's all in "Salary Cap 101," but very simply, money already paid and money guaranteed accelerates into the current year, unless it's after June 1. In that case, what's in the year stays in the year and everything else goes into the next year. Guaranteed money accelerates into the current year, regardless of the June 1 rule. Money not paid or guaranteed, such as salary, is extinguished. Read "Salary Cap 101" – or print it –before we take it down.
Robert from San Diego, CA:
I just answered your poll about where I think the Jaguars should be in a power ranking. Where do you think they should be? I think 6-10.
Vic: I don't need to put my fingers in the nail holes, but I'd like to see some blood before I put the Jaguars in the playoffs. I consider the Jaguars to be middle of the pack. As I've said, I expect them to compete for the division title. That's as far as I can go at this point in time.
Jim from Jacksonville:
Besides winning, what do you think are some keys that will get the Jags back to the AFC championship game?
Vic: The Jaguars must improve their third-down defense. I consider that to be number one on their to-do list. They were next-to-last in the league last season in getting offenses off the field. I consider third down to be the win or lose down, so winning will probably require a dramatic improvement. Turnover margin isn't far behind. The Jaguars were minus-four last year, which was near the bottom of the AFC. That has to change, obviously. Number three is field-goal accuracy. The Jaguars were last in the league in that department, and that's real bad because kicking field goals is about scoring points and you need to score points to win.