Quitting won't work

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

Keith from Jacksonville:
Mo Williams needs to be replaced. He might be the real weak link on the offensive line. Watch the tape. Put the next guy in.

Vic: That's the kind of knee-jerk reaction that ruins teams and the progress they've made. After having the NFL for 11 seasons, I would like to think Jaguars fans are savvy enough to know the importance of patience. Nothing good comes from changes born of frustration. Success is usually a product of virtues such as patience, perseverance, faith, trust, etc. Successful teams have faith in their players, trust their evaluations, are patient with their progress and persevere in the face of adversity. Success is seldom the result of quitting.

Shyne from Jacksonville:
Carolina looks pretty good. Do you see any glaring weaknesses in their squad once Steve Smith gets back?

Vic: Jake Delhomme is an impressive quarterback but he throws a lot of interceptions and I can see why. He was nearly intercepted on a couple of occasions on Saturday night, one of them after getting the Panthers inside the Jaguars six-yard line. Delhomme needs to avoid forcing passes into coverage and become a more efficient, veteran passer. I love his command of the action and his pace of play. Now he must avoid the kind of meltdown he had in Seattle in last season's NFC title game.

Matt from Jacksonville:
When is the deadline for teams to begin cutting down their rosters?

Vic: Rosters must be cut to 75 by Tuesday, Aug. 29, and to 53 by Saturday, Sept. 2.

Mike from St. Augustine:
How much does it hurt Marcedes Lewis to miss this practice time? Assuming he can't come back until the regular season, has he learned enough to come right in and play a significant number of snaps or does the coaching staff have to plan as though it will be midseason before he can be a significant contributor?

Vic: While he's recovering from his ankle sprain, Marcedes Lewis is attending all of the team's meetings. He's involved in all of the preparation except on-the-field practices. It's not as though he's back at UCLA waiting for graduation day, as was the case last spring. He should be able to fit right back into the action when his ankle allows.

Kevin from Navesink, NJ::
Are there going to be any big-name wide receivers up for free agency at the end of the year that the Jags could go after?

Vic: Maybe T.O.

James from Jacksonville:
There is big talk now about new stadiums and which cities can get them and which need them. I hear that Indy is now getting a new stadium with a retractable roof. I feel that is what the Jaguars need to keep a sold out stadium, with so many games starting at one o'clock and the heat pouring down. I have seen in the last few years many of good Jaguars fans almost pass out in the heat and have to take it to the house. So many people would love to go to the game but just can't stand the pure heat. Tell me what you think and if this is something that could happen down the road.

Vic: I know what you mean. It got real stuffy in the press box on Saturday night. I was just, you know, uncomfortable. The hot dogs weren't very good either. What we need is a stadium with a retractable roof and a really good hot dog-maker. I like those kinds where the hot dogs stick in there and turn around until they're cooked. It gives them a good orange look. What could a domed stadium and good hot dog-maker cost, right?

Peter from Norcross, GA:
Is the preseason ticket revenue included in the gross revenue included in the salary cap?

Vic: The current CBA provides for a "Total Football Revenue" model. That means the players take 60 percent of all revenue generated by the Jaguars, including concessions, parking, merchandise sales, ticket sales, signage sponsorship, naming rights, etc.

Chris from Jacksonville:
The Jets traded a draft pick for Kevin Barlow. The Jaguars are going to cut a pretty good running back before the regular season. Why didn't the Jets wait it out and save a draft pick?

Vic: One answer is they thought they had to trade to get him. They may have had reason to believe somebody else would've traded for him if they didn't. The other answer is that the Jets are desperate at running back. Barlow would've become an unrestricted free agent had he been cut, which means he wouldn't have been subject to the waiver-wire order or a claim. He would've been free to sign with any team he chose. By trading for him, the Jets eliminated the possibility of not getting him. I think it's ironic that the Jets would trade for another guy from Pitt, as though this one's going to be just as good as the other one has been. Teams can get weird like that. Barlow's not without credentials. He rushed for 1,024 yards in 2003 and has averaged more than 30 catches a year for the last three seasons. The real problem with trading for Barlow is the salary you're taking on. His salary is supposed to be $2.5 million this year. My first instinct is that he agreed to take a lesser amount, but maybe he didn't. Maybe the Jets are that desperate at running back. This is the kind of trade I would never make. The Jets are trying to catch lightning in the bottle and it's going to cost them on their salary cap and in the draft. They are not seeing the big picture.

Michael from Virginia Beach, VA:
With you praising the Patriots as one of the best teams in the league who are great salary cap managers and who can replace players and still win, what do you think about the Junior Seau signing? I find it a reach and very uncharacteristic of the Patriots.

Vic: It's a no-risk, one-year deal. Seau would earn a $1 million salary, of which $250,000 is guaranteed. He'd get another $500,000 in play-time incentives. Does he have anything left in the tank? The Patriots are going to spend $250,000 to find out. I don't have a problem with that.

Laura from Jacksonville:
On NFL.com it listed Brent Hawkins as having two kickoff returns for an average of 12.5 yards. Did he return two kickoffs that were short kicks, or is this just a mistake by NFL.com?

Vic: It's just a mistake. Now that I've corrected that terrible error and put the world's mind at ease again, I would like to ask you a question. What happened this past weekend to cause the worst Monday questions I have ever had? It was as though somebody had poisoned the air with some kind of mind-numbing gas. Was the whole quarterback controversy issue so emotionally taxing that people suffered some kind of dementia? I'm wondering if the thought of not having a quarterback controversy has created a sense of loss that has fans in an emotional tailspin.

Adam from Jacksonville:
What about Brent Hawkins? Is this guy a speed-rusher or what? He was on Delhomme so fast; talk about a flash. That was their first team left tackle he beat, right?

Vic: Yes, Hawkins is a speed-rusher, not a kick-returner, but don't get carried away with the sack against Carolina. Hawkins and linebacker Brian Iwuh came off the corner together, which caused confusion in the Carolina blocking scheme. It's what I call a scheme sack. Yes, that was the Panthers' starting left tackle.

Ben from Jacksonville:
How long do you think Byron Leftwich will play this Saturday against the Bucs?

Vic: If his shoulder's OK, I would expect him to play into the second half.

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
What is the status of Mike Williams? When will he be back and what do you think his chances are of making the team now?

Vic: Jack Del Rio admitted yesterday that Mike Williams' back injury is a problem. With cuts looming, Williams might be a candidate for injured reserve.

Chris from Malvern, AR:
Would it be harder for defenses to prepare if the Jags do not name a number one receiver? Would there be more single coverage? Who would get doubled? Would there be more blitzes?

Vic: The Jaguars aren't going to name a number one receiver. Why is this so difficult to understand? The Jaguars are going to name two starting wide receivers. One of them may or may not distinguish himself as the "number one" or "go-to" receiver, based on his performance. There is no "number one receiver" distinction on the depth chart. It's on the stats sheet.

Ryan from Orange Park, FL:
What exactly is a "50" defense?

Vic: It's a five-man front. College teams play a lot of five-man fronts or "50" defenses. A "53" is a common college defense; a nose guard, two tackles, two standup ends and three linebackers.

Joni from Jacksonville:
I was reading an article on ESPN.com about Bryant Gumbel's comments directed at Roger Goodell, in which Gumbel said: "Have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash. By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor has kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch." What are your thoughts about Gumbel's comment?

Vic: Apparently he hasn't studied the current CBA. Whatever "leash" Upshaw was on, he broke loose last March.

Pulin from Jacksonville:
Being in Atlanta, I could only follow the preseason game with your blog (thanks by the way) and nfl.com. I was hoping you could clarify the injury to Marcus Stroud.

Vic: It's a heel injury. It's being represented as minor. Stroud's foot is in a protective boot.

Jonathon from Wichita, KS:
I hear a lot about the offense struggling, but if memory serves me right, didn't the offense look worse last year after two preseason games, then turn out to be good enough in the regular season?

Vic: The situation was the same last preseason, then the Jaguars scored 26 points against Seattle in the opener and ran some trick plays with Matt Jones and everybody was giddy. The Jaguars offense was up and down through the first half of last season. It came to life at midseason, hitting the 30-point mark in consecutive games, but then Byron Leftwich got hurt and the Jaguars slowly gave back their gains.

Mac from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Did you see Dallas last night? Looks like they will clean our clock in week one. Jack says not to worry. I say it's going to be a long season. Say goodbye to the waiting list.

Vic: Nothing beats supportive fans.

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