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Only sensible option?

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

Michael from Orlando, FL:
At first blush I really disagree with the reschedule/relocation of the Saints-Giants game. Now one team gets nine home games and another only gets seven. How is that fair?

Vic: Consider the direness of the circumstances. I don't know all of the dynamics involved but I can imagine the logistical problems that would've been created by moving the game to LSU or San Antonio. Let's start with this: The Giants have a season ticket base that will buy anything extra the team throws at them, and this is professional football. Moving the game to New York was a simple solution. I agree with you that it's not fair that one team should enjoy one more extra home game. The fact that the Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins aren't complaining about it, however, indicates to me that playing the game at Giants Stadium was the NFL's only sensible option.

Fred from Portland, OR:
For a player like Yoder, why not use the PUP list?

Vic: Todd Yoder did not qualify for the "Physically Unable To Perform" list because a player must be assigned to the PUP list before training camp begins. Between weeks six and nine the team must either move the player to its active roster or assign him to the injured reserve list.

Bobby from Jacksonville:
In regards to Corey Simon's contract, that $10 million option bonus is guaranteed? It's not like a roster bonus, where if they cut him prior to that third day of the 2006 league calendar year they wouldn't have to pay it? I know you like to say "you pay, you claim it," but they haven't paid it yet.

Vic: And that's why they're not claiming it right now; they haven't paid it. Yes, that $10 million option bonus is guaranteed. No way out; gotta pay it. If the contract isn't re-structured, and my guess is that it will be before next March, the $10 million option bonus will be amortized over the four remaining years of the contract. That's the trick; that's how you keep the cap hit low in the first year, which the Colts have. The $3 million signing bonus they paid Corey Simon is divided by five years. Next March, the Colts would add the $10 million option bonus to the remaining signing bonus proration and the $10 million option bonus would be divided by four years. It's what the Jaguars did when they signed Tony Brackens to a big deal in 2000. That worked well, didn't it?

Bob from Jacksonville:
The Colts should trade Manning next season to get out of their cap problem. He's the money problem. They need a good, cheap quarterback replacement.

Vic: Come on, Bob, I taught you better than that. If the Colts traded Peyton Manning next season, all of his remaining bonus amortization would accelerate onto the team's 2006 salary cap. That means the Colts would realize a $19 million "dead" money hit on their '06 cap if they traded Manning. His scheduled cap hit next year is $17.8 million, which clearly suggests the Colts will re-structure Manning's contract to lower that cap number. The Colts could not afford to take a $19 million "dead" money hit on next year's cap. Remember, trading doesn't extinguish bonus proration, it accelerates it.

Robby from Jacksonville:
I heard on the news last night that the Superdome is going to be torn down. Does that pretty much solidify New Orleans as the franchise that will be moved to Los Angeles?

Vic: There's another train of thought that believes the demolition of the Superdome will give birth to the construction of a new stadium that will become the centerpiece of New Orleans' reconstruction. The people who ascribe to that thinking believe the construction of a new stadium would put the NFL in a prominent, civic-minded light since the league would no doubt contribute significantly to the construction of a new facility that would become the new home of the Saints and an immediate Super Bowl destination. The people who ascribe to that theory believe the NFL is too smart politically to coldly abandon a city and a region that has become the focus of America's conscience. Some people believe the hurricane will have actually saved New Orleans from losing the Saints.

James from Hernando, MS:
I was wondering if you could tell me something. When Fred Taylor was drafted by the Jaguars, did people think Fred Taylor was drafted too high, too low or just right?

Vic: He fit where he was drafted. He was the ninth player selected and consensus of opinion was that he would be a top 10 pick. The only knock on Fred Taylor coming out of Florida was that he played in a pass-offense that used him almost exclusively as a draw runner. There were concerns that he was too much of a finesse runner. He quickly proved, however, that he could run in any offense.

Jason from Bethesda, MD:
What do you think of the abundance of homer announcers that seem to have become more of the rule rather than the exception? Your buddy Myron Cope who, though hilarious, would openly root for his guys but wouldn't hesitate to rip them either. Basically, I'm sick of the "we" and "they" announcers. I want more of the old-time baseball announcers, who when a major event would happen would get excited without screaming your ear off, and would tell the story of the game without being a total and complete homer. Your thoughts?

Vic: Here's what I want in a hometown broadcaster: I want a guy whose interest and expertise pertain directly to the team whose games he announces. I want to know that he's not just providing details and commentary on any game, he's providing details and commentary on my team's game. In other words, I want the broadcast to be slanted to information on my team. I don't mind if he pats my team on the back, but only if he spanks them from time to time, too. A little cheering is OK, as long as I know the guy is giving it to me straight about my team. There is, of course, a threshold of tolerance I have for cheering. "We" and "they" are unacceptable. They're embarrassing, professionally. Everybody has their own tastes. I understand that a lot of people want their teams' broadcasters to be "cheerleaders." I do not.

Jon from Deridder, LA:
I would like to say as a member of the U.S. Army that I read your article daily to keep up on the Jaguars. I lived in Jacksonville when we were trying to get the team in the early 1990's and wish and hope the same attitude and commitment to the NFL can someday return to the city before it's too late. Here it is a new season and we are again pushing the blackout deadline. How much time do you think the city will have if this trend doesn't change before we do, in fact, lose our Jaguars?

Vic: They're close to avoiding the blackout. I think this one will make it onto TV. Then the Jaguars will have three weeks to get the Denver tickets sold. As trite as this sounds, the ticket office is taking this season one home game at a time. It's just a way of saying that their focus is sharp; it's on selling tickets. How long? I don't know. At this point, I'm encouraged. Tickets are being bought. It may not be at the pace we want, but I think it's happening.

Jackson from Jacksonville:
Are the Jags going to wear black pants at all this year?

Vic: The Jaguars will wear their black pants any time they wear their white shirts – I call it their First Holy Communion outfit – except for this Sunday's game against the Seahawks.

Mark from Regina, Canada:
In reference to a 3-4 defense, we hear different names addressed to defensive tackles. There's defensive tackle, nose tackle and nose guard. Are they actually three separate positions? Could you elaborate on it?

Vic: There's only one kind of tackle in a 3-4 and that's a nose tackle, who plays between the two defensive ends. Nose guard refers to the defensive lineman playing over the center in a 5-3 defense, which would include two defensive tackles and two defensive ends. Defensive tackle is a generic name that applies specifically to the two inside defensive linemen in a 4-3 defense that also includes two defensive ends.

Tanner from Jacksonville:
What's the official word regarding the weather and how it will affect the game on Sunday? I know it's early but what are the possibilities?

Vic: The weather sites I use aren't firm on their forecast for Sunday, but the threat of a tropical storm descending on Jacksonville this weekend has already had an impact on the game. Tuesday was gameplan day for the Jaguars and Seahawks, and the potential for wet and windy conditions was definitely taken into consideration as the two teams prepared their strategies. If Sunday's game is played in wet conditions, the Jaguars might enjoy an advantage because they will have practiced in rain this week.

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