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OK, let's get it all out

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

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Mike Singletary knows what he is doing. He wants his team to know how he feels about playing poorly. I do agree with you about praise in public, scold in private, but Mike is a very smart guy and I think you will see a noticeable difference in the performance of his team. The guy looks like he could still play. I think he will make a great coach.Vic: I don't think he'll make a great coach because he appears to lack the one ingredient common to all great coaches: stability. People who pull their pants down to motivate others are not stable. People who want to embarrass others in public are not stable. People who want to put on dramatic displays in press conferences are not stable. Imagine Vince Lombardi pulling down his pants to deliver a message to his team. Greatness isn't won in the flash and drama of a moment. It's achieved from a lifetime of success and I don't see Singletary's ways passing the test of time. I hope, for his sake, he changes. By the way, whether or not he can still play has nothing to do with his ability to coach.

Don from Macclenny, FL:
What now? Barring a miracle, the season is over. Half, if not more, of the games will be blacked out. Who is to blame?

Vic: I'm to blame. Blame me for inflating your expectations. I saw the age on the defensive line, I talked about it for two years and then I chose to ignore it. I saw the need to build depth on both lines, probably even talked about it, then ignored it and cheered like everyone else the trade-ups that cost the team five draft picks to acquire two players I ventured might put this team over the top, even though years and years of acquired logic should've told me not to count on two rookies to be the difference-makers. It's my fault. I took the easy way out. I told everyone back in 1999 that the Jags were in deep salary cap trouble and that the future was bleak, and I was sternly rebuked and ridiculed for my position, which turned out to be the truth. Somewhere between then and now, I went soft. There is no such thing as "this is their year." It's a philosophy that is diametrically opposed to everything in which I believe.

Dan from Honolulu, HI:
Your blog is like the Jags defense; both suck pretty bad. You have to step up, Vic.

Vic: I do the best I can. I probably just lack the skill to perform up to your expectations.

William from Jacksonville:
Is it time to look toward next season now or do we wait until the Jags are mathematically eliminated?

Vic: I think the rule is that you have to wait until a team is mathematically eliminated before you can look forward to next season. Hang in there. Eventually you'll be able to quit.

Jaymin from Jacksonville:
Oh, I get it. The Jaguars are losing so they can draft Michael Crabtree. I don't blame them after watching what he did to the Longhorns.

Vic: Yeah, just what the Jaguars need, another wide receiver.

J.D. from Jacksonville:
The body language of this team in the first half seemed lethargic. How do you come out lethargic when your season is on the line? Several players just seemed to be going through the motions. Is that a fair assessment?

Vic: I don't think it is because body language, in my opinion, is the result of what's happening on the field, and not vice versa. I was watching the Auburn at West Virginia game a couple of weeks ago and I was laughing at Auburn's swagger. West Virginia scored 30-some unanswered points to win that game but, based on Auburn's body language, you would've thought Auburn was blowing out West Virginia. Auburn's players celebrated every West Virginia gain. It was ridiculous. I agree that a player has to display positive body language, but I think you're looking for something more than what is necessary. The Jaguars were ready to play. They just got beat.

John from San Antonio, TX:
That's it for me, Vic. I'm hanging up my jersey for the season and I'll catch up with you again in the offseason in 2009. Thanks for all your hard work this year. It's a shame it's ended like this.

Vic: Isn't this a little silly, John? It's not that you're the only one who's written to me in such a way. I've gotten hundreds of such I-quit e-mails, but isn't it a little silly? What does it accomplish? Where's your dignity? Nobody is above losing; not even the Dallas Cowboys. It happens and life goes on.

Mark from Richmond, VA:
Pass, pass, holding, pass, slant, pass, slant, holding, slant, run, slant, pass, pass, slant, pass, holding; this is not Jaguars football. What are your thoughts on this, Vic?

Vic: You're missing two more slants.

Mullarkey from Jacksonville:
I've reached the level of acceptance a prior reader talked about. Prior to the weeks going into the "easy" part of the schedule, I wrote to you that the Jags were a 7-9 team.

Vic: Then you clearly know more than I do and you should stop reading "Ask Vic" immediately.

Holer from Bad Vilbel, Germany:
I think you knew it was coming. I sensed that right away when you talked about expectations for the game in your blog. You said you expected the Jaguars to be at .500 after the game but you didn't mean by that that it was coming. Did you see something during warmups?

Vic: The scouting report I got said Ryan Fitzpatrick gets streaky-hot. I didn't like the matchups against the Bengals wide receivers, who are very talented. I especially didn't like those matchups because the Jaguars aren't getting pressure on the quarterback, plus, I was told Fitzpatrick was a mobile quarterback. The concern that you detected at the start of my blog was that this might be one of those streaky-hot days for Fitzpatrick. It was.

Adam from Gainesville, FL:
I have lost respect for Henderson after his actions on Sunday. Not only for what he did during the play but for smiling and mocking Bengals fans as he walked off the field. What are your thoughts?

Vic: Football is an emotional game and our emotions often make us do embarrassing things when we lose control of them.

Joni from Jacksonville:
So after the loss to the Bengals, what now?

Vic: You go to Detroit. That's all. The league doesn't stop playing until the Jaguars solve their problems. So many of the e-mails I've received are from people who are incredulous. They didn't expect this to happen so they don't know how to react. I'm rather stunned by the naiveté but, go ahead, blame me because I certainly jumped on the offseason bandwagon. I was right there with Peter King and everybody else, bangin' the drum and leading the parade. I apologize. I won't do it again. My perspective will be more measured and guarded from now on, which is as it should be. I got careless.

Steve from Maitland, FL:
I know you won't condone what happened with Henderson, but after that skirmish the Jags got some life in them that I hadn't seen all game.

Vic: You're right. I don't condone what happened.

Mark from Big Lake, MN:
Do you think the mostly lackluster play of the Jags can be traced all the way back to the preseason when they went up against a Miami team that took them to task?

Vic: Very rarely will I ever use a preseason game to make a point, but there were red flags that night and we all saw them.

Stephen from Jacksonville:
You are eating the Jaguars' hot dogs (paycheck) and your first column after this debacle is how the Bengals are not a bad team. If you are 31st in the almighty Vic's power rankings, you cannot possibly be as good as the "Jags fall to the Bengals" column said they were. If you are true to your Ethics of Journalism class, you would tell us, the fans, what we already know: we aren't a good football team.

Vic: I don't have a clue what you mean. There is no "Jags fall to the Bengals" column. There's a "Bengals drop Jaguars to 3-5" game story and there's a "Jaguars season turning murky" column that, upon further review, makes no mention of the Bengals not being a bad team. Here's an excerpt from the column: "When John Henderson went into a rage that caused him to be ejected from the game, he was symbolically pouring out the frustrations of a team and its fans. The Jaguars were on their way to becoming the Cincinnati Bengals' first victim of the season. It was too much to endure." Frankly, I don't think you know what you mean, but I welcome the hate. It makes me feel alive. Plus, I got paid last Friday and that always makes me feel good for a week.

Norm from Nampa, ID:
Would you consider the loss to the Bengals one of the worst losses in Jaguars history?

Vic: No, I wouldn't, and I would consider anyone who believes that to be true to be overly dramatic and lacking perspective.

Jim from Jacksonville:
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Georgia fans who dumped water (I hope) on us from the top of a parking garage on Saturday. You sure know how to protect your house.

Vic: We are an angry people. I hold out hope that we might change.

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