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Patience key for Titans

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

Sid from Richmond Hill, GA:
My question is about television coverage of preseason games outside of the Jacksonville market. Will folks up here be able to watch the games? Also, will the blackout rule apply during preseason?

Vic: The same TV blackout rules that apply to regular season games govern the telecast of preseason games. Savannah, Ga., is in the Jacksonville extended TV market. WSAV-TV, Channel 3 in Savannah is a member of the Jaguars TV network and will telecast the Jaguars' two road preseason games; at Minnesota and at Tampa Bay. If the Jaguars' two home preseason games -- Miami and Washington -- are televised, they will also be shown on WSAV-TV.

William from Jacksonville:
I was wondering if perhaps Del Rio may have tipped his hand to next year's draft. He said to the media: "Can you tell I like tall receivers?" I believe two or three of the college wide receivers coming out in the 2004 draft are not only qualified but around 6-2 to 6-4. One such player, I believe, is Texas WR Roy Williams (6-4). If he has a good season this year, do you see the Jags taking him (or another qualified tall WR) in the first round next season?

Vic: What if the Jaguars win the Super Bowl and draft last? It's too early to speculate on next year's draft.

Dave from Providence, RI:
I was hoping you could give me a Tom Coughlin update. What has Tom been up to, as far as staying in the loop for a head coaching job for next year? Has he had any contact with the Jags or their players that you know? And if you put together a list of head coach candidates, do you feel he would be at the top? I do.

Vic: Tom Coughlin is not the type of person who would try to sabotage a program by hanging around. He pulled out of Alltel Stadium on Monday, Dec. 30, 2002. As far as I know, he hasn't been back. Coughlin has moved on with his life and his career. He attended the Indianapolis scouting combine. He was in Houston recently to watch the Texans practice. He watches film and stays up to date with schemes and personnel in the league. Yes, I believe he will be one of the first names that surfaces when an NFL head job comes open.

Keith from Jacksonville:
Now that training camp starts this month, how many of the Jags draft class this year will make the team? Coach Coughlin was infamous for cutting half of the draft picks. Will coach Del Rio be that aggressive?

Vic: The Jaguars made nine picks in the 2002 draft. Only one of those picks, wide receiver Kendall Newson (seventh round), was not with the team on opening day. Hayden Epstein was the only other '02 draft pick who wasn't with the Jaguars when the season ended. I expect the averages to be much the same this year.

George from Memphis, TN:
Are all the preseason games really necessary? I know coaches need to evaluate their players and live action is the best way to do so, but I'm sure fans would rather see games that count and owners would realize more ticket sales. Welcome back! Your column is a joy.

Vic: For the first several years I covered the NFL, preseason games were six and the regular season didn't begin until the middle of September. When the league went from six to four preseason games and from 14 to 16 regular season games, everybody cheered. Sixteen to 18? It may not be that far off.

Jim from Interlachen, FL:
I have the feeling the Titans are headed down the slippery slope into salary cap hell beginning this season. What do you think?

Vic: It should've started last season. Yes, the Titans have major salary cap problems, but they've done a great job of overcoming those problems by being patient in developing their draft choices. Two examples are Keith Bulluck and Andre Dyson. They both appeared to be high-round busts, but the Titans were patient with Bulluck and Dyson and now they're returning dividends. Bulluck made Randall Godfrey expendable and Dyson allowed the Titans to let Denard Walker go in free agency. But the Titans aren't out of the woods. Truth be known, without Steve McNair turning in the best season of his career last year, the Titans wouldn't have been a very good team.

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