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Opener a yin-yang game

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

Sharon from Port Charlotte, FL:
What is your assessment of our team from what you have seen this preseason? Have our draft picks been up to par? Is Tyson Alualu playing well?

Vic: It's another good draft class. I just wish D'Anthony Smith hadn't gotten injured. I like everything else about the class and I think the young defensive linemen that define it are going to emerge as the season goes on. Alualu, of course, is the prize of that class and I've seen nothing to contradict that expectation. It's on defense, however, that I still have concern. Chris Redman was very effective throwing the ball last night. He may not have gotten the Falcons into the end zone, but he moved the ball through the air with too much ease and, of course, Redman is a backup quarterback, just as Josh Johnson is. I think the offense has a chance to be very good and special teams could turn out to be the best in the game. If the defense can steadily improve, I think the Jaguars will have a chance to surprise people this year. Remember, we didn't see the starting front seven on the field together at any time in the preseason.

Alex from New York, NY:
Jaguars roster quality: 2009, Julius Williams in game-day 45; 2010, Julius Williams not in final 75. I don't think you mentioned his name once this summer. Did he not flash at all?

Vic: You're a very good reader.

George from Jacksonville:
Better believe Denver is going to trot Tebow out on first and goal. I 'm sure we will be ready. Oh, the drama that will unfold. Anyway, I will be cheering, either way. Vic, do you think the Jags expect that to happen?

Vic: Frankly, I don't think they've even thought about it to this point. Being run over by the quarterback in short yardage isn't something NFL defenses usually fear. When they start game-planning for the opener, I have no doubt the Jaguars coaching staff will consider the potential that Denver will use Tim Tebow in creative ways. I hope they do. It'll be fun to watch.

Vincent from Jacksonville:
Peyton Manning complains to the league and now the umpire is back in his old position for the last five minutes of the game. How can we allow such blatant favoritism of one player?

Vic: It was done for last night's games and it'll be reevaluated for the start of the regular season. Hey, it's been Manning's league for a long time, but whining and crying about it isn't gonna change anything. The quarterback must go down and the quarterback must go down hard. That's what works, in any era.

Josh from Jacksonville:
A certain analyst for ESPN just ranked all of the NFL's quarterbacks. Of the 33 he listed, the top 14 he considered to be elite. Am I the only one who thinks this term is getting thrown around a bit loosely?

Vic: No, I do, too, but it's not just quarterbacks, it's players at all positions. Everybody who does something has seemingly done something great. The most recent anything is the greatest. The current generation of fans and media are poised to anoint anything or anyone of any significance as the greatest ever. It's nauseating. There are five or six quarterbacks in the league who qualify as elite, and most of them have championships to go with their stats. In a field of 33, 42 percent of the quarterbacks can't be considered elite. That's nonsensical. So why would most fans agree that there are 14 elite quarterbacks in the league? Because we have two standards. We've always had the standard of winning championships, and now we have the fantasy football standard of statistics mania. We are now anointing players based on their stats.

Al from Orange Park, FL:
"These guys are bigger, stronger, faster and smarter." And they get hurt every 20 minutes.

Vic: If a reporter had written that Dick Butkus had a soft tissue injury, Butkus might have bit him.

Lane from Longwood, FL:
If it were illegal for the quarterback to make a tackle after throwing an interception, Ben Roethlisberger's tackle against the Colts a few years ago would've been penalized and NFL fans would've been robbed of one of the greatest and gutsiest plays a quarterback has ever made.

Vic: I don't know who suggested such ridiculousness, but your example is a perfect rebuttal. Roethlisberger made the tackle and, in the process, won the game, not with his stats, but with his tackle. Manning, of course, whiffed and lost. That's the difference. The quarterback is not an impartial bystander. He is a player in the game and he can make a difference in ways other than as a passer.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
What do you think about 600,000-plus people showing up for Glenn Beck's restoring honor rally in D.C. on 8/28? It was about the sixth-largest gathering at the Washington Monument ever, a little more than Reagan's inauguration there. This is amazing stuff for a TV host. Do you believe in things like faith, hope, charity and honor? If so, you would've loved it.

Vic: I'm thinking about booking the Lincoln Memorial for next year's "Ask Vic" golf tournament's post-golf reception.

Jeremy from Long Island, NY:
I proposed to my girlfriend last night and she said yes. Any advice?

Vic: It's too late for advice now.

Lyle from Kingsland, GA:
The NFL is taking a tough situation and making it better with the rule change for the umpire positioning. Moving to the offensive side of the ball protects the umpire, puts him in better position for his responsibility for holding calls, eliminates the growing tendency to use him as a pick.

Vic: It does not put him in better position for his responsibility. That's the big problem. It'll be much more difficult from his new position in the offensive backfield to see hands to the face by the defense. Moving the umpire is clearly going to favor defense, but I'm not gonna cry for the offense because they caused this by using the umpire as a blocker.

Brad from Jacksonville:
Sitting in the stadium tonight I was excited. There was a good feeling that built as the game went on. All the talk was about next week. Everyone knows what's on the line. It was silent, but you could feel it. I think this town has a football heartbeat again. It will build all week and I have no doubt next week will be intense.

Vic: I feel it, too. I think everyone knows what's at stake next week against Denver. It's a yin-yang game as it pertains to the football culture in Jacksonville. One culture will be there to fully support the Jaguars. The other culture will be wearing Tebow jerseys. The visual will make the clash of these two cultures undeniable. It might be a case of winner take all.

David from Charlotte, NC:
Sixty-one thousand-plus tickets distributed for the last meaningless preseason game. I can't imagine there were many single-game tickets sold, so, if we haven't cleared the blackout number, how do you explain so many tickets distributed?

Vic: I don't understand your reference to the blackout number. Sixty-one thousand isn't a sellout. Obviously, there are tickets remaining to be sold in the general bowl because they aren't 6,000 short in the clubs. Half packs, I think, are the stimulus for so many tickets having been sold for last night's game, which was included in both half packs.

Shane from Macy, IN:
What did you think of Trevor Harris against the Falcons?

Vic: Every team needs three quarterbacks in practice and I think Harris played well enough to earn a spot on the practice squad. You can see that he knows what he's doing. He had a nice night. He proved that he could get his offense in and out of the huddle and function in an orderly and efficient manner, and he proved that he could move the ball down the field and make plays in the passing game.

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