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Not a must win but real important

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

Jared from Jacksonville:
What's the difference between a nose tackle and a defensive tackle?

Vic: A nose tackle plays over (or on the nose of the) center. It is specific terminology usually associated with a 3-man defensive front. A defensive tackle is a general term that applies to any interior player on the defensive line.

Phil from Jacksonville:
I just got the number 70 on my middle school football team. Can you tell me what all-time NFL players have worn 70?

Vic: The two that pop into my head are Ernie Stautner and Sam Huff. Stautner was a smallish, relentless defensive lineman for the Steelers in the 1950s and early '60s. He later coached for Tom Landry in Dallas. Stautner is also the only player in Steelers history to have his number retired. Huff was the middle linebacker on those great Giants teams of the late 1950s and early '60s. Both men are in the Hall of Fame. The number 70 was very popular when I was young. My friends who played the line positions all wanted that number.

Daniel from Austin, TX:
Does this week's loss make next week's game vs. Buffalo a must-win game?

Vic: No, it doesn't, but it sure wouldn't hurt to think that it is. This one is real, real big. It's another AFC game and that means it'll go right to the tiebreakers. I'm not going to tell you the second game of the season is a must-win game, but there sure is a sense of urgency attached to it.

Nick from Minneapolis, MN:
Can we assume Garrard throwing two interceptions, getting less than 50 total rushing yards and getting dominated by the Titans overall was primarily the fault of the offensive line? Is that our only really weak point right now?

Vic: If heading into last week I had told you the Jaguars would lose two offensive linemen to injuries and another one would be shot, what chance would you have given the team in Tennessee? I'm not going to take anything away from the Titans, but there are very few teams that could've withstood the run of injuries the Jaguars sustained on their offensive line and even managed to remain competitive. Is it the Jaguars' only weakness? No. I'm still concerned about the lack of a big-play wide receiver. They caught the ball on Sunday, but I need to see more.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
I understand there have been injuries, but did we just spend all offseason focusing on the wrong areas of need?

Vic: The Jaguars identified and addressed their most distinct and immediate needs during the offseason; wide receiver, cornerback, backup quarterback and defensive end primary among those needs. They couldn't know that they would suffer a rash of injuries at one area of the team. If they knew that, I doubt they would've traded away so many draft picks to trade up and target the defensive ends they liked so much. Yes, the picks they traded away could've been used to build depth on the offensive line, but that would've required clairvoyance. All any team can do is make a plan and hope injuries don't occur. Should the Patriots have drafted a quarterback in the first or second round? Unfortunately, the Jaguars have gotten hit hard by injuries. It's a tough spot to be in. If you don't trade up, you get criticized for not addressing your desperate need at defensive end. If you do trade up, you leave yourself vulnerable to injuries. Take your pick.

Rodney from Jacksonville:
Call me crazy but on that long Scaife reception, it looked like the left tackle had a false start.

Vic: He did and I mentioned it in my blog. Michael Roos pulled out just ahead of the snap. I kept waiting for the flag to fly but it never did. You get a no-call in Pittsburgh that helps you; you get a no-call in Tennessee that hurts you.

Derek from Griffith, IN:
I didn't get to see the game, but it seems like Matt Jones had a good game. Did he look like a starter?

Vic: He's doing very well. He's making distinct progress toward becoming what I've always thought should be his niche: possession receiver.

Josh from Bowling Green, OH:
With Tom Brady apparently out for the season, what does this mean for the whole AFC?

Vic: It means the best quarterback in the game is gone and so are the Patriots.

Tammy from Jacksonville:
How was the crowd at the Titans game? On TV it looked like there was a large number of empty seats. Why did the NFL stop posting attendance?

Vic: I saw empty seats but they were no-shows, not unsold seats. No-shows are difficult to judge these days because stadiums offer so many attractions other than the game. The concourse and concession areas always seem to have a lot of people milling about, which I think is the result of TVs being available everywhere. When I was a kid, if you weren't in your seat, you were missing the action. As of a couple of years ago, the Steelers were the only team in the league that reported actual attendance instead of tickets distributed, so Heinz Field was the only place where you could put a number to the no-shows.

Chuck from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
In the third quarter of the Bears-Colts game, John Madden said after a 15-yard completion from Manning to Wayne: "Now that's just like the Peyton Manning of old." Am I missing something? When is he of the old?

Vic: I thought he looked old on Sunday night, but let's not forget that he missed an entire training camp and he's still dealing with his knee issue.

Scott from Aurora, IL:
Are the Pats still the number one team in the AFC East without Tom Brady?

Vic: No; I think the Jets and Bills have pulled up right alongside the Pats. Not having Brady changes everything. We're gonna find out now how much that team concept stuff is really worth.

Paul from Doran, VA:
Do you think this loss was more about the offensive line injuries or the lack of a serious downfield threat?

Vic: It was more about the injuries on the offensive line, but I acknowledge the need for getting the ball down the field. Look at what DeSean Jackson did for the Eagles. He changed everything. All of a sudden, they have an explosive offense. All of a sudden, Donovan McNabb has a home run hitter and Brian Westbrook has somebody who can get defenders away from the line of scrimmage.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Vic is coach of the day. How do you quick fix the depleted offensive line before the next game?

Vic: I play my best people and simplify the game plan: run the ball, play field position and turn the game over to my defense and special teams, which are playing at a fantastic level right now. You're not going to fix this situation overnight. You need to buy time until Brad Meester can return. Defense and special teams must step up and shoulder the load, which is what I would challenge them to do. That would be my plan.

John from Springfield, GA:
Jar on the shelf time, baby.

Vic: Yeah, but some of the jars have already been taken off the shelf and one of the jars is broken. The Jaguars need more jars.

Bob from Palm Coast, FL:
Can't the NFL put small stickers on the helmets of players? The jerseys yesterday had enough patches; what's next, advertising like semi-pro teams?

Vic: I'm with you; too many patches. The uniform should be sacrosanct. It belongs to the team and nobody else, including the league, should determine what is to appear on that uniform.

Michael from Port Orange, FL:
Why do we continue to waste first downs? Everybody in the league knows Jacksonville runs on first down. They also know the run will be inside the tackles. The result is we get little or no yardage, therefore, we are behind the sticks.

Vic: Let's look at the teams that ran the ball pretty well on Sunday, as the Titans did. Atlanta ran it pretty well and they won. Pittsburgh ran it and they slaughtered Houston. Four of the top five rushing teams this past weekend won their games. The bottom 10 rushing teams all lost their games. That doesn't mean you can't win by throwing for a lot of yards, it just means that running the ball affords you a very good chance of winning.

Kevin from Waynesville, NC:
One has to ask if there's something that needs retooling in the preseason work programs to get this team out of the gate with some fire. It's like a horse I own. I can't get him to show any spirit until I kick him in the gut. Is Jaguar camp too soft?

Vic: Waynesville is one of my all-time favorite places and I plan to retire there some day, but not if people in Waynesville kick horses in the gut. No way; I won't live in a place that kicks animals. In all seriousness, Kevin, I don't know the answer to your question. It's an issue with which head coaches around the league wrestle. It would seem the instinct to protect against injuries has won, yet, the injuries happen anyhow, right? Yeah, but I think it's the long-term effect over a long season that is the real issue. If you beat your team up in August, they may not have anything left in December.

Kristin from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
What is a stunt?

Vic: It's a defensive line technique in which, for example, one defensive lineman might loop behind another defensive lineman for the purpose of confusing the pass-blocking assignments. Some people call them "games."

Matt from Raleigh, NC:
I thought Kerry Collins was one of the most promising quarterbacks in the league before his jaw injury. Did he ever get your attention? Do you think the Titans are headed for a quarterback controversy?

Vic: I think Collins is perfect for the Titans. I think he's their guy and I felt that way last year, too. He's the kind of big, strong, veteran pocket-passer that fits Jeff Fisher's conservative style of play. I don't think it was the jaw injury that damaged Collins' career. In my opinion, two things did it: 1.) His bout with alcoholism was strike one. It immediately made him damaged goods. 2.) He hasn't played with strong teams. Even when he took the Giants to the Super Bowl, I think that was largely the result of a late-season rush in which the Giants greatly over-achieved. Just as he's perfect for the Titans, the Titans are perfect for him. This will be the true test of his skill as a quarterback.

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