QB unique position

Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Keith from Jacksonville:
Aside from the scoreboard, would you consider the Dolphin game a win or loss?

Vic: It was a win but it wasn't decisive. Without the 50-yard touchdown pass from Byron Leftwich to Matt Jones, in which the Dolphins obviously had a blown coverage by a safety, the first team offense would've otherwise had a bad night; there wasn't enough yardage or first downs. That's the lone negative to the evening. The first team offense wasn't as effective as it needs to be.

Paul from Stuart, FL:
A lot of fans are blasting Mo Williams and Brad Meester and the entire starting offensive line after Saturday night. Is there cause for concern about the offensive line or is that fans being fans?

Vic: The Jaguars didn't run the ball enough to get a good feel for how the offensive line played against the Dolphins. A couple of costly penalties in the first preseason game of the year aren't cause for concern. Carolina's bringing in a defense this Saturday that was third overall (fourth against the run and ninth against the pass) last season. This will be a good game to use as a measuring stick for the Jaguars offense.

Don from St Louis, MO:
After Saturday's preseason game, it sort of looks like the Jaguars could become one of those teams that will rely on the big play. As long as the defense remains healthy and dominates, could this combination carry us into the next level of the playoffs?

Vic: Don't come to any conclusion based on what you saw this past Saturday night. Truth be known, it was not a very good football game. Jack Del Rio would love for his offense to have a big-play personality, but I still think this is going to be a field-position team, which means run the ball and play defense, and there's nothing wrong with that. It wins.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
I am very impressed with your knowledge of after six p.m. etiquette. I am recently engaged and you just provided me with the answer to my fiancée's question of why I have to check jaguars.com 10 times a day. It's not just learning more about football, it's learning about why the wedding has to be in the middle of the afternoon. Thanks, now I can dodge that argument.

Vic: I have tried weddings at various times of the day. I'm currently in the sixth year of an after-six event. I chose the always fashionable and forgivable navy blue. She elected to wear a cream-colored gown befitting a woman of her style and grace.

David from Jacksonville:
The owners would only be losing the revenue on one preseason game. Only two of the four are home games.

Vic: That's not leaguethink? You have to think in terms of the whole, not the 32 pieces. The visiting team share (VTS) is 34 percent, which is put into a pool and split 32 ways. The bottom line is that every team has a financial stake in every game played.

Pete from Goshen, NY:
I'm a diehard Giants fan. I have come to notice that Tom Coughlin is starting to wear on some, if not most of the players at their camp. I understand he is a drill sergeant when it comes to football operations, but for someone who followed his entire career with the Jaguars, is this what ultimately led to his firing?

Vic: What led to his firing was an out-of-control salary cap that decimated the Jaguars roster. His "wearing on" effect is grossly overrated. When the team wins, no one talks about how he's wearing on them. They only do that after a loss and the Giants lost their last game, in the playoffs. Tom Coughlin believes football should be played with an edge. He doesn't like to see players walking around the facility with smiles on their faces. He believes there should be a degree of angst at all times. That fine isn't fair. The coach is picking on me. Am I going to be cut? Am I going to play well? What if we don't win? It doesn't bother him when players complain about fines or excessive regimentation or whatever. He likes it when they're irritated because that gives them the edge he thinks they need to be effective. It's old-school stuff. It worked for Vince Lombardi in Green Bay, it worked for Coughlin in Jacksonville and I think it's working for him with the Giants. The salary cap is new-school stuff, and you better not screw it up.

Fergal from Kingston, Ontario:
At the end of last season, Del Rio mentioned that Leftwich had to work on going through his reads faster in order to stay healthy. In your opinion, did he do a good enough job of that on Saturday night?

Vic: I don't know. What I do know is that Matt Jones was Leftwich's third read on that 50-yard touchdown pass, so, if Leftwich had gotten rid of the ball faster, he wouldn't have been able to wait for Jones to come open. All of this technical stuff starts to become contradictory, and that's when I go back to the only thing that really counts. Just win, baby, win. I don't care how you do it, just do it. Get rid of it quick, get rid of it slow or tuck it under and run with it. Do it any way you want, just make it work.

Ken from Charlottesville, VA:
Your answer proved my point. Your only way of dealing with the comment was to question my toughness and, by extension, my masculinity. You are apparently a vicarious consumer of fake bravery, a pseudo-military performance that teaches kids that might makes right. And how about the recent books about the way black athletes are trained to be subservient to white coaches and trainers? Care to think about how the game has become a vehicle for racism? Care to think at all? Or do you just feel satisfied having blown me off? I don't need a tissue, Vic. I think you might need a life.

Vic: I thought you were "saying goodbye." Back so soon?

Cole from Melbourne, FL:
I was a little concerned about having two excessive celebration penalties called on us. Did those only happen because it's preseason or do you see that continuing into the regular season?

Vic: Some coaches like for that stuff to happen – maybe even allow it to happen in the preseason – because it then gives them a chance to go "off;" use it as an example of what not to do. It won't happen in the regular season.

Dane from Jacksonville:
What happens first in the Jaguars' future: The seats are uncovered or the price of tickets gets increased?

Vic: The price of tickets increase. The Jaguars average ticket price is toward the bottom of the league and Wayne Weaver said on "Jaguars This Week" last week that the Jaguars' average ticket price needs to be moved toward the middle of the league. Covering seats levels supply and demand, which should help adjust ticket prices to something closer to the league average.

Eric from Jacksonville:
Do you think we could trade David Garrard for a WR or OL?

Vic: I have no doubt the Jaguars could trade Garrard for another player, but that's not what you want because you'd be getting somebody who is probably not the player Garrard is. Garrard has real value. He offers the potential to return a first-day draft pick to the Jaguars. Any player a team is willing to trade at this point in the season is likely to be a worn-out guy whose career is in decline. Beyond all of that, you have to ask yourself: Are the Jaguars ready to part company with Garrard?

Roland from Jacksonville:
I like Leftwich – really I do – but shouldn't there be open competition at every spot on the team?

Vic: Do you think the coaches discard what they see at practice and in the games? Jack Del Rio watches his every player's every move. He knows everything there is to know about him and Del Rio is a very astute evaluator of talent. In fact, I think it's his strength as a coach. He sizes up opponents very well and that's all about being able to evaluate talent. What you're asking Del Rio to do is make a proclamation, just so you can feel better about the quarterback position. No coach is going to do that. Quarterback is a unique position. It requires special handling. Every team needs a number one guy. A team without a number one quarterback is rudderless. Del Rio made Byron Leftwich their number one quarterback three years ago and Del Rio has seen nothing to date to change his mind. Forget about the preseason. Look at the regular season. Leftwich has improved his performance each season and so have the Jaguars. That's why he's the number one quarterback. To think Del Rio is not observing Garrard, however, is ridiculous. To think Del Rio isn't observing and evaluating and adjusting his evaluation along the way is naïve. He's doing it. You should know that without having to be told. What you're asking him to do is to demote his number one quarterback, open the position and commit what remains of the preseason to a competition at that position. If he did that, the Jaguars would be in no shape to begin the regular season.

Howard from Homestead, FL:
Is it correct to say that even when the first stringers are playing in a preseason game, it matters little what the outcome is because you are game-planning to your weaknesses (in order to get better), not your strengths?

Vic: You got it. In the regular season, you do what you do best. In the preseason, you do what you do worst. We often want coaches to spell it out for us. Well, Jack Del Rio couldn't have spelled it out any more simply than he did last week when he played his first team offense for all but the final 1:49 of the first half and put an emphasis on passing the ball over running it. When a coach does that in the preseason, he's telling you he has concerns about his passing game. After the game, Del Rio told reporters he didn't run the ball as much as he normally would because he feels pretty good about his team's running game. Now put it all together and it's clear the Jaguars spent last Saturday practicing their passing game. If it was a regular season game, the Jaguars would've been running the ball.

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