Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Jason from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
At what point do Garrard's passing stats start to buy him some respect with the opposing team's defensive schemes and potentially start opening the running game?
Vic: You have to get deep for that to happen. You have to back linebackers and defensive backs away from the line of scrimmage for the pass to open up the running game.
Nathan from Richmond, VA:
Regarding the "Rooney Rule," I used to be firmly against it, thinking that all it did was delay a team from hiring the guy it really wanted. That was until Del Rio got hired. I know that he was not a minority candidate, but I felt like in the spirit of that rule team owners felt compelled to interview more than just the guy they have their sights on. Del Rio reportedly swept Wayne Weaver off his feet once he was given an opportunity to interview and the rest is history. Is opening up someone's eyes to different possibilities really all that bad of a thing?
Vic: You make a very good point. The "Rooney Rule" has increased the number of candidates and interviews and the thoroughness of the interview process across the board. The classic example of the "Rooney Rule" working is the hiring of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. No one gave him a chance. He was considered to be just a token minority interview candidate. After all, the Steelers had two candidates from within, Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm. Given the chance, however, Tomlin swept Dan Rooney off his feet.
Anthony from Jacksonville:
I don't buy the theory that the coach will light a fire to get his players to play better. If they can't look at themselves in the mirror and do it on their own, they should not be playing. JDR's words will have no impact on the heart of the player.
Vic: This is great debate stuff and I'm glad you brought it up. When I first started covering the league, Chuck Noll was the coach I covered and Chuck believed very strongly that motivation had to come from within. He would say that pep talks last only until the first time you get knocked on your you know what. Noll's mantra to his players was, "Be professional." Then, toward the end of Noll's great career, I started hearing that the "new" players were different; that they didn't possess the same inner drive and had to be motivated and manipulated by their coaches. Bill Cowher was the next coach I covered and he was a pep talk guy who seemed to make pep talks work. Then I covered Tom Coughlin and Tom has never let a word go unsaid. Jack Del Rio? He's a motivator, too. So what's the answer? Hey, whatever it takes. You know who said that? Chuck Noll.
Tim from Murray, KY:
Why doesn't the "Rooney Rule" apply in situations such as Seattle or Indianapolis, where they already have a coach in waiting?
Vic: First of all, the Colts' coach in waiting, so to speak, is a minority candidate, Jim Caldwell. In Seattle, Jim Mora is considered to be the coach in waiting but that's just hearsay. Apparently, he doesn't have a contract that stipulates that he is the coach in waiting or it would be nullified, as Jim Haslett's was. The Seahawks will have to go through the minority interview process before they officially hire a new coach.
Jonathon from Washington, DC:
To paraphrase a classic Vic mantra: Players, not press-conferences. I'm glad coach Del Rio took the tone he did in that press conference, but I don't necessarily think that's going to take care of the problems the Jags have.
Vic: You can't talk your way into winning. The right words can clear the air and set a proper tone, but they're meaningless unless they are backed by action.
Sean from Jacksonville:
I have no intense feelings about Matt Jones' off-the-field actions one way or the other … but playing devil's advocate, why do many people, including you, Vic, assume Matt has made a mistake and now has turned his life around? He is having a decent season, but as far as any of us, including you, know, he may be doing drugs every day and just hasn't been caught, yet. How do we know he has turned his life around and deserves a break?
Vic: What do you want me to do, look into his windows? Do you want me to stalk him? For a person who professes to have no intense feelings one way or the other, you sound awfully angry. Matt is subject to NFL drug-testing. The league has a drug policy that includes a process for detecting violations and players must comply with that process. Other than for that process, we don't know what any player is doing with his life and it's really none of your business.
Forrest from Jacksonville:
You say it's a reporter's responsibility to get the story right, but what about the whole story? Many of today's reporters factually report part of a story and ignore another in order to further the liberal agenda of the mainstream media.
Vic: Yeah, liberals will do that.
Jeffery from Jacksonville:
I've come to notice that whenever Randy Cross is one of the commentators for our games on CBS, he seems to have a bias against the Jaguars. Is there some history behind this?
Vic: He's probably a liberal.
Julie from Land O Lakes, FL:
You've constantly stated in your column that football is a tough game. Tough games require tough fans. I always protect the Jags house and it doesn't have to be with profanity, but it needs protecting. This is not tennis or golf, it's football, for goodness sakes.
Vic: I'll protect the press box.
Jonathan from Jacksonville:
I attended a wedding in Philadelphia a couple of weekends ago. After the guest sat down in the dining room at the reception, we were given towels with the Phillies' emblem on it. As the newly weds walked in the room, every guest waved the towel. It further proved the fact that certain towns' fans truly are fans.
Vic: Have you ever seen the movie "Diner?"
Mark from Jacksonville:
If Singletary were allowed to have a Haslett-like performance clause and the contract wasn't invalidated, then a lawsuit surely would follow. It's really not about the "Rooney Rule," but rather about fairness across the board. Of course, this is hypothetical, but somehow I have a feeling Haslett will be the Rams' coach if he does, indeed, win six, and deservedly so – wink, wink, nudge, nudge – invalidated contract or not.
Vic: Based on the barrage of disdainful e-mails I've received on the subject, I would agree with you that this really isn't about the "Rooney Rule," but I think the "fairness" of which you speak is a metaphor for something else. I think we're done with conversation about the "Rooney Rule" because I don't like the e-mails I'm receiving.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I find it interesting to read Colts President Bill Polian's interviews after the Colts lose a game. Usually he is ranting and filled with anger, which I find comical. This week he seemed objective and reasonable after their loss to the Titans. Has he had to come back to earth this season?
Vic: Nobody likes to lose. When you are passionate in your pursuit of victory and you fail to achieve your goal, you run the gauntlet of emotions. What is it the psychologists' say? First comes anger, then comes denial, followed by acceptance, or something like that. Polian is a bright man. He knows that neither anger nor denial will fix the problem. Repair can't begin until there's acceptance. It's that way for every team. The sooner you accept that you have a problem that must be fixed, the sooner you'll fix the problem.