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Progress not always easy to see

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

Tim from St. Louis, MO:
What will your excuses be for your employers this week? Not enough time to prepare? Young is really a good QB? Mathis got a boo-boo so he couldn't play? Our team is too young? You write week after week how it is the fans' fault that they are more interested in spending their money to see the local college team, the national-champion Gators, versus this embarrassing NFL franchise.

Vic: I was going to rip you, but then I decided to just let it go. The persistent, post-loss harangue has actually become entertaining. It's so childish. It makes me laugh.

B.J. from Winston-Salem, NC:
The bigger shame of Sunday's loss is that the stadium in Jacksonville will be less than half-full come next Sunday. Jacksonville can learn a lot from the fans that showed up to cheer their 0-6 team on in Nashville.

Vic: I was impressed. I was expecting 25,000 no-shows but the place looked kind of full and the fans were enthusiastic and good-natured. I remember that when I first heard the Oilers were moving to Nashville I was incredulous. Nashville? Has Bud Adams lost his mind? Well, I was wrong. Adams is a visionary. Nashville has turned into an outstanding pro football town.

Charlie from Jacksonville:
Is it me or is it really starting to show how much the previous drafts are hurting the Jaguars? I see a very small group of players in their prime years, such as Daryl Smith, Rashean Mathis and Maurice Jones-Drew. That is starting to really stick out.

Vic: Where have you been? I've been preaching it for months and months. There's only one player, Scott Starks, left on the roster from the Jaguars' 2005 draft class. There are only two players left from the 2008 draft class, which began with the Jaguars having 11 picks. You can't strike out in the draft like that and not pay a heavy price.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Please explain, what exactly is rebuilding? When I rebuild a house, I see a little bit of improvement every week, not a collapse of the foundation halfway through.

Vic: Oh, I think you know what rebuilding is, but what you've forgotten about the construction of a house is that when the framing is finished, the house goes through long periods without the appearance of work being done. Progress is being made, but it's difficult to see. The same applies to the reconstruction of a football team. I'm sure that answer won't satisfy you because anger is your dominant emotion right now, but I think you know what I'm saying to be the truth.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
Can we just take Reggie Nelson out to the pasture already?

Vic: Then wadda ya do, go out back and pick a cornerback off the cornerback tree?

Barry from Jacksonville:
Perhaps the perspective of another could help Louis from Jacksonville. My good friend Cliff died Saturday morning. He has had no interest in the last three games and he loved the Jags. He knew what was coming and he said it had just become a game to him.

Vic: Cliff has gone to a better place and he clearly left at the right time.

Vince from Tampa, FL:
I like your "Ask Vic" section and I read every day but, seriously, enough of the rebuilding year stuff. The Jags have been rebuilding for eight years and that word is ridiculous.

Vic: You're right. I've reconsidered and I've decided this is not a rebuilding year. The Jaguars have a great team and the expectation should be for them to win-out all the way to the Super Bowl. I'm so glad you straightened me out.

Steve from Jacksonville:
Is it too soon or too harsh to consider Reggie Nelson a bust as a first-round draft pick?

Vic: If we do that will it help anything? I didn't know official proclamations were necessary. If I make one, what happens then? Does it make us feel better?

Bryan from Jacksonville:
I, for one, am glad we lost Sunday. This is a rebuilding year and all the talk of playoffs was nice but scary. Why get to the playoffs by benefit of the schedule just to get blown out? Keep building, keep maturing and the rest of the NFL can watch out next year.

Vic: That's not really what I had in mind. My idea of the proper perspective was that we should consider this a rebuilding year, though I now see the error in that approach, and hope the Jaguars win but remain emotionally stable enough to brush aside defeat without suffering debilitating angst. I guess you're saying that can't be done, right? You're saying we shouldn't hope the Jaguars win because we're not emotionally stable enough to accept defeat. Now I am depressed.

Wade from Orange Park, FL:
I have played linebacker and defensive line my whole life. I like to hit people and hit them hard. That is why I can't understand how or why the Jaguars don't want to hit anyone. Can you help me understand the "girls" I saw play on Sunday?

Vic: It sounds like the Jaguars need you. You must be very tough.

Chris from Jacksonville:
Good offenses impose their will. They build their game plan around their players and what they do well. If their strength exploits the opponent's weakness, then so be it, however, good teams are of the mindset that we are going to beat you by doing what we do well and you are going to have to stop us. It appears to me that in the coaching staff's efforts to try and pencil-whip the opponents, they are failing to play to the Jaguars' own strengths and weaknesses. The best player on this team is MJD and he needs to be the centerpiece of the game plan every week, no ifs, ands or buts. Do you agree?

Vic: Yeah, I do, but you make it sound so Patton-like. Please, promise you won't slap me if I get battle fatigue.

Tim from Baton Rouge, LA:
You say the Jags defense lacks talent but it seems to me the linebacking crew is solid and the only positions of concern are safety and defensive end.

Vic: I probably don't agree with that. When you're 24th in the league in overall defense, 25th in points allowed per game, last in sacks per pass play, 30th in third-down efficiency, coming off the worst run-defense performance in franchise history and only two of the seven games you've played were against teams in the top half of the offensive rankings, I think you've got more needs than safety and defensive end.

Travis from Ormond Beach, FL:
Where does your in-game blog go once the game is over? It used to be available on the website. As I'm usually at the games or out watching away games, I used to look forward to coming back and reading your take on things, but for the past couple of games I haven't been able to find it.

Vic: You really want to read what I think? Don't you know that I am always wrong? Hasn't someone told you that I am a shill for my employer and that I lie to protect the team from criticism? All right, I'll ask the IT guys to keep it on the front page until it moves into "News" archive.

Ken from Jacksonville:
I was shocked to see the kickoff that either bounced out of bounds or into the end zone was not reviewable. Is there any logic to this rule? Why did the officials take so long in reviewing whether or not it was reviewable?

Vic: Logic? No, which is why it probably took Referee Pete Morelli so long to determine that it wasn't reviewable. If Pete had called me in the press box, I could've told him that kickoffs are like marriage: They are not reviewable.

Brett from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I know you believe in BAP, but what do you do in the next draft when you equally need help in the QB and defensive line area?

Vic: I'd pick the best available player or trade down and recoup the value of the pick. I think it's a better option than picking wide receivers you need but can't play.

Frank from Estero, FL:
Maybe you will respond this time. I am one of the few diehard Jaguars fans in southwest Florida. I don't understand why you won't admit it all starts with coaching.

Vic: Because it doesn't all start with coaching. It all starts with player acquisition, then it turns to coaching. I don't care who the coach is, he ain't winnin' if he ain't got players.

Scot from Jacksonville:
I love it when the fans complain that we run too much, which is boring, and don't throw enough, which is exciting. Then they turn around and complain that we didn't run it enough. No wonder we are in danger of losing the team.

Vic: No more three yards and a cloud of dust, unless dust can score a touchdown, right?

David from Charlotte, NC:
David appeared extremely timid in the Titans game, holding the ball far too long. Were our wide receivers failing to get separation? What did the Titans do differently than the first game when everyone was open?

Vic: They took the slants away.

Michael from Jacksonville:
I know young teams lose. I know we are a young team. I know we drafted bad, but please explain to me why we are running the 3-4 defense?

Vic: Because they can't run the 4-3. That's how depleted the Jaguars are on the defensive line.

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