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Rankings can be misleading

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

Jason from Houston, TX:
I have a question about franchise records. Who holds the franchise records for the old Cleveland Browns team? And why are they called the Browns if their helmets are orange?

Vic: The "old" Cleveland Browns records were left behind for the "new" Cleveland Browns. I'll say this for Art Modell: He created a situation in which it appears the Browns never left Cleveland; just stopped playing for a few years. As for the Browns' name, it comes from their founder, owner and coach, Paul Brown.

Jon from Jacksonville:
Do you think if the Jags had come away victorious in the 1999 AFC championship game that the rivalry with the Titans would be as fierce as it has become? To me, it seems the Jags have always had a "semi-rival" in the Titans/Oilers franchise going back to the Jags inaugural game and our first-ever win, etc. They were always just overshadowed by great games with the Steelers. My friends, however, think the Titans/Oilers were never as big a rival to us as the Steelers or the Ravens, until that championship game.

Vic: I tend to agree with your friends. The first meeting between the two teams in 1999, in Jacksonville, drew only 61,502, and fans offered as an excuse for not attending that the Titans just didn't interest them. But that all changed with the emergence of the Titans as the Jaguars' greatest tormentor and as one of the elite teams in the league. The Titans began interesting Jaguars fans when the Titans began beating the Jaguars. Until then, the Titans had been a tough sell in Jacksonville and, I guess, they still are. This Sunday's game between the two teams is headed for an almost certain TV blackout.

Tom from Malabar, FL:
One of your recent responses reminded me of something that once puzzled me. Back in the ancient days, when a missed field goal resulted in the defense getting the ball at their own 20, what stopped a team from trying an 80-yard field goal and just kicking it out of bounds instead of punting?

Vic: For a missed field goal attempt to be spotted at the other team's 20-yard line, it had to make it into the end zone. Teams didn't attempt field goals beyond their kicker's end zone range because it resulted in a very advantageous spot for the other team. I can't remember if it was the line of scrimmage or the other team's 40-yard line, and I've checked with all of the other old guys in the building and they can't remember, either. Just take my word for it, if your kick didn't reach the end zone, your opponent got a real good spot. And don't forget, missed field goal attempts can also be returned.

Bill from Jacksonville:
When a team signs a guy (I'm talking about bubble players), say, in training camp, typically how much are they paying them? Some of them they only keep for a couple weeks, then they are cut. What would they make for that short stint?

Vic: Rookies get $725 a week during training camp. Veterans get $900 a week plus $200 per game. Salaries aren't drawn until the regular season begins.

Steve from Kensington, MD:
The Titans are ranked 31st in pass-defense. Is this stat misleading, or are the Titans really that bad at stopping the pass?

Vic: It's not uncommon for teams that are really strong against the run -- the Titans are third in the league against the run -- to have a poor ranking against the pass. The reason is obvious: If you can't run against them, you're going to concentrate most of your effort on the passing game. It's also common for a team that has enjoyed big leads late in the game -- the Titans have had four such games -- to give up a lot of passing yards because the other team is desperate to score points quickly and is passing on every down. Pass-defense ranking is often misleading; run-defense ranking is seldom misleading. Miami is number one against the run and 29th against the pass. Would you consider the Dolphins' pass-defense to be the fourth-worst in the league?

Mike from London, Canada:
OK, Vic, I'm sold. I'm ready to learn about how the salary cap works. So where do I go to get info on it? Does the NFL have anything about cap rules on their web site or are there any other postings anywhere for how it works?

Vic: I'm sorry, Mike, but I know of no such sites. Do a search and see what comes up. But I'm thinking that if enough people are interested, maybe we could do some kind of "salary cap 101" thing on when the season is over. I'll throw that out there and see what gets thrown back.

Jim from Naples, FL:
Your theme of "patience" is a good one and certainly appropriate at this point in time. A glaring concern, however, is the quality of play the Jags are exhibiting. The reality that Del Rio professes to dwell on is that in virtually every game his team has executed poorly in multiple facets of the game. This is not a case where fans can rationalize that injuries have been devastating or that the play has been fundamentally sound but the talent just isn't there yet. At some point between six games and, say, three seasons, "patience" as a virtue will converge with "patience" as an excuse. I would think that if the poor execution is still prevalent after 16 games, this point will have been reached with most observing fans. Would you agree or do you see the approach to "patience" differently?

Vic: Jim, I have a feeling you are naturally not a patient person and you're likely to discard anything I say. I think you know what patience is and how it pertains to the Jaguars' situation. This is going to take time; possibly a long time. The real question is, are you willing to accept that?

Devin from Tampa, FL:
Vic, is there a way your average person, like me for example, could find out who all the players are on the "waiver wire?"

Vic: No.

Lonnie from Jacksonville:
Vic, which experiences during your many years of observing the NFL do you most credit with turning you into the curmudgeon you are today?

Vic: I can't remember all of them, but your question is the most recent experience.

Scherer from Lincoln, NE:
When do you think it's a bigger advantage to have your bye week, early on or the last week of the bye weeks?

Vic: The most applicable answer is, whenever your team is most injured. I would think later is usually better than early.

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