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Plans are underway

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

Will from Temple, GA:
Just wondering what is the record that a single player has ever counted against the cap in one year?

Vic: I don't know of a record book for that kind of stuff, but I'd have to think Peyton Manning's $15.4 million hit in 2003 would be at the top of the list.

Dana from Jacksonville:
I just read that Anaheim, Calif., could be the site for a new NFL franchise as early as 2008. If this is to be a brand-new franchise and not a relocated one, how would it fit into the NFC or AFC? It would be unbalanced, wouldn't it?

Vic: I don't think it'll be a new franchise. Some poor city is going to lose its team.

Ed from Kansas City, MO:
Vic, personal freedoms are not protected when you voluntarily associate with a private organization. Almost all personal freedoms can be waived through contract, except those that would result in criminal behavior. The concept of personal freedoms (concerns) those things the government cannot deny its citizens. I don't think Nolan has any real standing here and is caught between the business decisions of the league and its sponsors. With that said, why can't this be an opportunity for the league's apparel sponsors to diversify and start creating more formally-designed products?

Vic: Thanks for the information. The real issue in all of this, however, isn't whether or not Mike Nolan should be allowed to wear a coat and tie on the sideline. The real issue is that the NFL, in my opinion, has become over-sold. Coaches shouldn't be fashion models. They represent the image and esteem of their franchises and their profession. If they wish to express an air of distinction, they should have that right. The Lombardi-era coaches believed very firmly that their image was most important in selling their programs to their players. They wanted to be perceived as men of example. That doesn't mean that all great coaches dressed in coats and ties. Halas, Lombardi, Brown and Landry did. Shula did when he was the coach of the Colts, but went casual with the Dolphins. Noll was not a coat-and-tie coach and neither was Walsh. It's a personal choice I think a coach should be allowed because it goes to the personality and flavor of the program he's attempting to establish. As far as your question is concerned, I have no doubt the wheels are already turning.

David from Jacksonville:
I know we have a Super Bowl-caliber defense. My question, though, is about the offense. It was 29th in the league last year. Is it really going to be better this year. Reggie is a question. Matt Jones is a question. The new offensive system is a big question. Please tell me what to expect this year because I don't.

Vic: I don't know what to expect, either. I expect Byron Leftwich to continue to grow as a quarterback and leader, and I expect the wide receiver corps and the offensive line to be improved, but Fred Taylor's knee is an issue and the Jaguars are in the process of installing a new offense and I don't think anyone can say they can envision what the Jaguars will be on offense this year. I do, however, like the suspense.

Rik from Destin, FL:
From the world of random questions that you are supposed to have an answer for: Where do I get a Jaguars screen-saver?

Vic: We don't offer screen-savers, but we do offer wallpaper. On the far left of the home page, go to "Fanzone," then click on "Wallpaper."

Robert from Cincinnati, OH:
Fifty-five PAT compared to 21 PAT. It's amazing the Chargers scored that many more touchdowns. Wow! Nice research, Vic.

Vic: That says it all, doesn't it?

James from Ashcroft, BC:
Please don't tell me you've been getting Freddie Mitchell questions?

Vic: I was flooded with them. Fortunately, ESPN started the rumor about Eddie George, which caused a flood of George questions. Now, the Ravens have cut Peter Boulware, so I was flooded with Boulware questions today. Doesn't everyone understand that J.J. Stokes is still available?

Lee Ann from Cocoa Beach, FL:
I missed out on your get-together last August and I was wondering if you were going to put one together this year? I am crossing my fingers.

Vic: Plans are underway for the second annual "Ask Vic" golf outing and preseason game. We'll announce tentative plans in the next day or two. The fine details and registration form will be presented in June.

Vince from Greensboro, NC:
I am glad to see "Tyrant" Owens' struggle to get a new deal in Philly. What would be the cap hit if he continued to hold out, or they cut him? Would the Eagles have to count his salary, or just a portion of the bonus he has already received?

Vic: Terrell Owens' signing bonus proration on the Eagles' 2005 salary cap is $383,000. His salary this year is $3.5 million. If he held out all year, the Eagles would be credited back his salary. If the Eagles cut him after June 1, they would take a $383,000 hit this year and a $1.5 million next year. That's all of the amortization left from the signing bonus of the contract he signed last year. The Eagles made $6.2 million of that signing bonus roster bonus, which meant it all went on the Eagles' 2004 cap. They're the best. Nobody has done the cap like the Eagles have. Nobody holds them hostage; not even Owens.

Jimmie from Niceville, FL:
I know the push for the NFL to return to Los Angeles is because of the market size and the amount of revenue to be made. Can you explain why anyone would take a business to a place that has failed so many times before? To a place where the people have shown and said that if the team isn't winning there are so many other things to do? Why isn't this talked about when the drums start beating to take another team from some other city?

Vic: You answered your own questions. It's about market size. Los Angeles is the second-largest market in the country, with about 5.5 million TV households. By comparison, the Jacksonville market has about 600,000 TV households. It's becoming increasingly difficult for the NFL to negotiate TV contracts without having a team in Los Angeles. It just doesn't make sense that the most successful professional sports league in the world wouldn't have a team in the second-largest city in that league's market.

Mike from Orlando, FL:
I'm not saying the Jaguars could use Freddie Mitchell, but why isn't a single team interested in him?

Vic: Because J.J. Stokes is still available.

Daniel from Orlando, FL:
Way back when I was young, I remember that my favorite running back was Tony Dorsett. I don't really remember any specifics as to why I thought he was so great, I just remember that as a kid he was my favorite. Could you provide some specifics on what made him a great running back, and compare him to any current running backs who are of similar style or effectiveness?

Vic: Tony Dorsett was one of the greatest long-run running backs in football history. He was also one of the fastest. Every time I see the tape of his 99-yard run against the Vikings, I think they're going to push him out of bounds. What most people didn't appreciate about Dorsett was his power between the tackles for a smallish guy. He was a pads-down runner when he needed to be, and he knocked back defensive linemen and linebackers. Another thing about him was that he could've been a great defensive back; he was a high school All-America defensive back. I can remember that when the Cowboys threw an interception, Dorsett was the guy who made the tackle, and I can remember on one occasion Dorsett nailin' a guy on the tackle. His bent-at-the-waist style of running was unique. There wasn't a lot of movement in his body. His moves were very subtle. He was the fastest runner through a hole I have ever seen. Through the hole, one move, bye-bye; that's how I remember him. At times, Warrick Dunn has reminded me of Dorsett, but Dorsett was a much more powerful runner. Dorsett was an every-downs back with scatback skills.

Brian from Jacksonville:
Do you see any potential coaches from current players or recently retired players? Do you think Jimmy Smith would make a good WR coach, or Tony Brackens a good DL coach?

Vic: I've always thought Jeff Lageman would be a real good coach. I think Jeff has all of the skills for the job: He knows his stuff; he communicates his thoughts well; he's respected and treats others with respect; he's understanding, yet, demanding; he has a passion for the game. Jeff's problem is he doesn't need the money, which means he doesn't have to sacrifice his family life and his outdoors interests to take on the lifestyle of a football coach. During the season, coaches work incredibly long hours. Tuesdays, alone, are no less than 18 hours of game-planning. I don't see Jimmy Smith or Tony Brackens in the mold of assistant coaches. It's not for everyone. In fact, it's for very few guys. I always thought Tony Boselli had the right stuff for the job, too, but I don't see him walking out of a football stadium at midnight, either. I could see Keenan McCardell doing it; maybe, maybe not. He's a football junkie.

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