Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Brett from Olive Branch, MI:
I just read on FoxSports that Rashad Jennings claims to have never had a sip of alcohol in his life. Is this true?
Vic: I wasn't aware of that. I guess we just take for granted what we have. I'll make sure he gets a cold one.
Robert from Arlington, VA:
I'm sure you're sick of this question, as I'm equally sure it's on many Jags fans' minds this week, but what do you think the holdup is with some of our contract signings?
Vic: This is the way business is done. It's been like this forever. Patience is required. I don't understand why our fans can't understand that about signing draft picks. We go through this every year and every year there's a barrage of signings just before camp opens. We've been at this long enough now to have some savvy about signing draft picks. The Jaguars had the eighth pick of last year's draft, too, and we should know what that means. As I said a couple of times on "Jaguars This Week," we had to wait for the Jason Smith deal to get done before we could have a realistic expectation of Eugene Monroe getting signed. The Smith deal is now done and, as I predicted on Wednesday's JTW show, it's the equivalent of the Jake Long deal from last year, and that's not going to make signing Monroe any easier. Please, be patient.
Justin from Jacksonville:
I am in my 20's and not a big baseball fan so when I think of cold cuts and Yogi, I'm thinking of Yogi Bear, not Yogi Berra. Expound some knowledge of the greatest catcher of all-time.
Vic: He was one of the greatest catchers of all-time. I think Johnny Bench is the greatest catcher of all-time. What people forget about Berra is that he was also an outstanding outfielder. He was good at everything. He hit for average and for power. He was a clutch hitter and drove in the big runs, and he may be the most durable player in baseball history, once catching every inning of a 22-inning, seven-hour marathon. The unfortunate thing is that Berra's image is that of a somewhat comical figure, due to his penchant for malapropism. There was nothing comical about his play. He is a true Hall of Fame player.
Frank from Charlotte, NC:
I just heard Vick signed with the Cleveland Browns. He said he couldn't resist their theme song, "Who let the dogs out!"
Vic: I love the humor. Just think of the possibilities. He's perfect for the "Dawg Pound." Think of all those people in dog masks barking. That's too funny.
Jeff from Richmondale, PA:
What do you think separates a team like the Patriots from the Jaguars, who seem to move in cycles of being good and bad, and what separates the Jags from teams like the Lions and Bengals, who seem to never win?
Vic: What separates the Patriots from everybody? The answer should be obvious: Tom Brady. Take Brady off the Patriots and there are no rings. Without Brady last year, the Patriots didn't make the playoffs, despite having the easiest schedule in the league. Why didn't they make the playoffs? Because they couldn't win the big games and that's because they didn't have Brady. Their season came down to a game against the Steelers in Foxboro on Nov. 30 and it was a game they lost because the Steelers forced Matt Cassel into mistake after mistake. It was a game Brady had always won. He always beat the Steelers in big games. Go to the game against New England the Jaguars had to win in 2006 to make the playoffs. Why did the Patriots win that game? The answer is obvious: Brady. Why did the Patriots beat the Jaguars the following year in the playoffs? The answer is the same, Brady. As far as the Lions and Bengals, the differences require deeper analysis. The Bengals were poised for a long run of winning when Carson Palmer suffered a knee injury. He hasn't been the same since. The Lions were coming off a decade of dominance when they traded Bobby Layne, and they haven't been the same since.
Lee from Stuart, FL:
It seems like it's taking longer for draft picks to sign this year.
Vic: There were some crazy deals last year and I think those deals have widened the opening gap. It's also possible that there's some hesitation due to the uncertainty about the 2011 season. The major factor, however, may be that eight of the first 19 picks are represented by the same agency, CAA, and CAA wants to make sure their top guys come in high because that will filter on down to their other clients. It'll all get done.
Dave from Panama City, FL:
Can you describe the process of rebuilding an NFL team? You cut dead wood, then add rookies, etc. What comes next and how long do you expect it to be before the Jags (or any rebuilding team) could legitimately expect to contend for a division title again?
Vic: It never changes. Young players replace old players. It should be that way every year. When fewer young players are replacing fewer old players, you're heading toward a crash and that will likely require a massive wave of young players replacing old players, and that's what we call rebuilding. When you reach that point, you're probably going to need a couple of draft classes to restock your roster, but there's no standard for that situation. Every situation is different and has to be evaluated as such. If this draft class is as good as I think it is, I would expect the Jaguars to be right back in the playoff picture next year, provided they have another good draft. I think it's safe to say it's going to take two good drafts to replenish the roster. That's my expectation but it doesn't mean they can't surprise me. Atlanta and Miami were clearly in rebuilding last year and they each made the playoffs.
G.W. from Hurricane, WV:
I absolutely love the archived radio programs you guys put up on the site. Any out-of-market fans should definitely check them out, if they don't already. Are there any plans to film the Oklahoma drills this year, to post on the site? It'd be great to see them online, since I can't be there to see them live.
Vic: I expect us to do something similar to what we did last year. I thought the IT guys did a great job with last year's Oklahoma. This has become a training camp tradition, a rite of passage, and I like that a lot. I think the fans like it, too, and Coach Del Rio should get the credit on this one. He sensed that it would be popular with fans and when he saw that it was, he kept it going and participated fully in the reverie. The Oklahoma is a fan-friendly drill and I think it's great marketing. It's the centerpiece to a celebration of the return of football, the real kind of football with shoulder pads.
Justin from Jacksonville:
The arrow is pointing up, Vic. No arrest, no big injuries and the draft picks are signing. I like what I see.
Vic: I do, too. This is the way it should be, but it's going to take time to collect enough of these kinds of players that the sum of the collection process can make a difference. Patience is required.