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Passion must happen now

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

Cary from Montreal, Quebec:
Knowing as much as you do about football, I was wondering what your opinion of the CFL is? You ever watch any of it?

Vic: Yeah, I've watched it. It's OK. I don't think it compares to the NFL in quality of product, but I'll say this for the CFL: It always has been what the NFL is becoming, a pass-happy league.

Carter from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I know that with the exception of OTAs, drafted players aren't allowed to participate in organized team practices such as training camp until they sign a contract. What are the rules on having them work in the conditioning program?

Vic: Drafted players who have yet to sign a contract may participate in the conditioning program. The start of training camp is the drop-dead date for all players to have signed a contract, if they wish to continue their participation.

Bryan from Jacksonville:
"Pro personnel department, not the college scouting department." Thank you for even more learning. I always assumed everyone was found by the scouts.

Vic: Pro personnel is a scouting department that employs scouts who evaluate players who have gone through the draft system and are either in or out of professional football. College scouting is a department that employs scouts who evaluate prospects for the draft.

Renzo from Katy, TX:
Who was the last quarterback from the Big 12 to have a decent career in the NFL?

Vic: I don't know. How about Steve Grogan? He was a pretty good quarterback at a time when it was tough to play quarterback in the NFL. He played in the Big Eight, but it's the same thing as the Big 12. I won't accept quarterbacks who played at a current Big 12 school when it was still in the Southwest Conference. Bobby Layne, for example, is not a Big 12 quarterback.

John from Jacksonville:
I just want to say right up front that I am about the biggest Gator homer alive and I have a very strong feeling about the way you have treated Tim Tebow. I think you have been inordinately fair. One thing that I have been stressing to all sides of the debate is exactly as you have pointed out, that he has another year to refine the natural talent that he already has and at that point you evaluate the complete body of work.

Vic: I'm a very patient man. I can wait.

Mike from St. Mary's, GA:
The AFC South doesn't look like it's getting any easier. Just from looking at present rosters, who do you think is poised to have a better season, the Titans or Texans?

Vic: I'll say Titans but I won't stand on it. I wasn't sold on them last season and I think they're vulnerable at quarterback. What I like best about the Titans is their draft. It's pretty good. The Texans are a playoff contender but I still question how good they are up front on both sides of the ball, and can Matt Schaub stay healthy? I don't see the AFC South as nearly as strong heading into this season as it has been in the past. Frankly, I don't think it was very strong last year, which is an opinion that was supported by no playoff victories.

Sean from Philadelphia, PA:
I think that a lot of the offense's success this year hinges upon how well Torry Holt can perform. If he plays well and forces teams to double-team him, the Jaguars will be able to run easier and throw to whoever may be across the field from Torry. What do you think needs to happen for the offense to have success?

Vic: Control the line of scrimmage.

Chris from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
It has seemed like Paul Spicer and Mike Peterson were the leaders on our defense. Now that they are gone, who do you see emerging in that role?

Vic: The most productive and consistent players are the leaders on every team. What a coach hopes is that those players also possess the character traits to lead in a positive way. Rashean Mathis has those traits. If I were a young defensive back on this team, I would try to play up to his standards on the field and in the locker room. Daryl Smith performs at a leadership level and he, too, possesses positive character traits. I think Justin Durant can do the same and if Clint Ingram settles in at his position like I think he can, he has the kind of infectious personality that can become the soul of a defense. Up front, if a young defensive lineman is looking for professionalism to emulate, he need only follow Reggie Hayward's lead. The Jaguars are not lacking for players with positive leadership traits. The problem last year was that they had too many negative leaders.

Cedrick from Jacksonville:
Perhaps it's a bit early for me to be this critical, but I was shocked to see that anyone selected "Super Bowl" as their expectations in the new poll. After last season, it astounds me that anyone would expect that quick a turnaround. Is this why it's so hard for the Jags to sell tickets, because there are people that will be only be fans when they're winning?

Vic: I'm actually encouraged by the results of the poll. As I answer this question, 75 percent of the poll respondents answered "playoff contenders" or "better than last season," which would indicate that 75 percent of readers have a brain, and that might lead all NFL team sites.

Chester from Scranton, PA:
You mentioned Pat Devlin as a possible sleeper quarterback in next year's draft. You also said you should judge a quarterback from last year's stats, and Devlin sat on the bench the past two. What have you seen in him to make him a good quarterback?

Vic: I haven't seen anything in him and nobody else has, either, but we're expecting to see something this season, as Devlin tries to do the Joe Flacco thing at Delaware. It's almost an identical situation to Flacco's, which is the reason I threw it out there. In other words, it's worthy of interest because one quarterback has already blazed that trail and it worked for him. The other thing that makes it worthy of interest is that Devlin was a big-time recruit coming out of high school. He elected to go to Miami but quickly decided it was a mistake, which caused Devlin to transfer to Penn State. While he was waiting for his turn at Penn State, however, the offense was changed to the spread formation and that's not Devlin's thing. He's a drop-back guy. Does he still have the arm and the classic drop-back tools that made him a nationally-renown recruit? That's what we're going to find out this season. If he lights it up, he could zip up boards. It worked for Flacco.

Eric from Jacksonville:
On "Jaguars This Week," (Brian) warned us that the only way we'll get to see this team play is if we buy tickets. As a season ticket holder, I cannot express enough how upsetting it is to live in a city that cannot support its only major sports team, an NFL team at that. I've come to accept that the Jaguars should move to London or L.A. and have a chance to have fans that will support them. The locals will then realize what this team means to them. I just wish they could realize it before it's too late (which may be sooner than later).

Vic: That would be tragic. I think we all need to understand that we have reached the crossroads. The development of a passionate fan base must happen now. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium has one of the smallest blackout numbers in the league, about 50,000, yet, the threat of blackouts this year is real. This is no joking matter and excuses may make you feel good, but they help nothing. I wish I could give you one of those feel-good speeches about kids being born Jaguars fans and it being just a matter of time before those kids are old enough to buy tickets, but that would be flippant on my part. These franchises are driven by revenue. Sellouts are good, blackouts are bad.

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