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Nothing beats logic

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

Adel Yazji from Jacksonville:
I really feel like Alvis Whitted does not get much recognition. I feel like he's coming along really well, and he has excellent speed, so why doesn't anyone give him much respect? I think if he gets some plays for him, his emergence as a third receiver will be very good because, after all, when he did go deep and get thrown to, he caught it every time. What do you think? Vic: He didn't catch it every time; most notably, not in the 1999 AFC title game. That's always been the rap on Whitted, that he doesn't have reliable hands. He's earned great respect for the progress he's made, but it's unlikely he'll ever develop into a possession receiver. At this time, his skills remain suited for the role of a stretch-the-field pass-catcher.  

Phil Noel from Mission Valley, CA:
There has been speculation, should Hardy Nickerson actually be ready to play this year, that Tom Coughlin would consider moving T.J. Slaughter outside. I personally think that's a really bone-head idea. Slaughter is a tough but slow inside guy. He was just beginning to get comfortable playing inside late last year. I say keep him there and let him learn the position, and if Nickerson can play, put him outside. I am extremely skeptical of Nickerson's ability to play a full season. Your thoughts? Vic: Slaughter's forte is run-support; his weakness is pass-coverage. That means he is not presently suited for outside linebacker, unless that role was to be re-defined. Prior to coming to Jacksonville last year, Nickerson had a reputation for being one of the most durable players in the league. If he returns to that form, you can bet he'll be on the field somewhere. It may, in fact, be at an outside position. Much will depend on what the Jaguars do in the draft.  

Aaron Thomas from Jacksonville:
Clearly the AFC Central has the best running backs in the NFL (Fred Taylor, Jerome Bettis, Eddie George, Jamal Lewis and Corey Dillon). Do you think it would be wise for the Jaguars to invest in a run-stuffing defensive tackle?

Glenn Gaynon from Neptune Beach, FL:
I really enjoyed your web cast last week and will listen in the future. I think it's a great idea to have an icon on the web page to be able to listen at your own convenience. Now that the so-called unsignable Brunell is signed to a cap-friendly deal, what do you think about our chances next year? I think we're at least 10-6 and maybe better, barring major injuries. Before you laugh, look at the opponents and the core of this team with a couple of draft-day additions. Do you agree? Vic: I'm more guarded in my optimism. I believe the Jaguars have to have a blockbuster draft to be a playoff contender in 2001. You don't contend for championships with stop-gap measures. I need to know this team has found quality players in the draft who will immediately satisfy the need for overall roster strength, and who might be developed into long-term starters. If and when I see that, I'll share your optimism.  

Javier Bencomo from El Paso, TX:
One of my biggest worries is that with the loss of Leon Searcy and some of the other offensive linemen who were not re-signed, the Jaguars will have to do with a make-shift offensive front once again. So, my question is: Do free agents lose value if they are not signed before the draft and, if so, can the Jaguars afford to sign a veteran lineman to help out? Vic: In many cases remaining free agents do lose value following the draft because the pool of teams that might be interested in those players has been decreased. If a team needs an offensive tackle and they draft one they believe can answer their immediate need, they are less likely to be interested in spending a lot of money on a free-agent tackle. On the flip side, teams that don't answer their needs in the draft will immediately turn to the remaining free agents for help. The draft will definitely have a major impact on where Todd Fordham and Jeff Smith play football this season. What the Jaguars do in the draft will also determine their interest in re-signing Fordham or Smith or both. But don't forget, this team is still very restricted by its salary cap.  

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