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Respect is a good thing

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

John from Tallahassee, FL:
Is there any chance of McCree moving to strong safety this season despite Darius? If Mathis is the ball-hawk he sounds like he should be, wouldn't it be better just to get Darius out of there?

Vic: When the Jaguars put the "franchise" tag on Donovin Darius, they guaranteed the $3 million salary that goes with it. It's unlikely the Jaguars will cut or bench a player to whom they must pay $3 million. That situation will change when the season is over and the "franchise" designation expires. I expect Marlon McCree to settle into strong safety on a permanent basis at that time.

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA:
It seems to me your recent comments indicate a more positive outlook for the Jags this year. I know you don't make predictions, but are you encouraged with the progress of the Jags to date?

Vic: Thank you for noticing a cheeriness in me most people miss. Yes, I am encouraged by their progress. I like what I've seen on the practice field and I think this team will give a great effort this season and, in the process, develop a foundation for its future. But that's as far as I'll go. Being the incredibly optimistic person I am, I have to guard against letting my expectations get too high.

Jason from Jacksonville:
What do you think was the reason for Brunell playing so late into the second quarter in Minnesota? Is Garrard going to start a different game and be allowed to play until halftime? I don't think it's fair to make him play with the second string all preseason.

Vic: Mark Brunell played nearly all of the first half this past Saturday because he needs playing time in a new offense. Jack Del Rio has said on at least a couple of occasions he'll give David Garrard a starting assignment in one of the preseason games. Del Rio hasn't said what game that will be.

Zen from Santa Rosa, CA:
David Garrard put up some pretty weak numbers in the Vikings game. Was the Minnesota defense throwing in a lot of blitz packages or did he just struggle in the face of a second-string defense?

Vic: David Garrard was under a heavy rush. He had a rusher in his face before he was able to set up in the pocket on nearly every passing down. To his credit, he eluded that rusher every time. He needs some time with the first-team offense before we can judge where he is in his development. You may not like his numbers from the Minnesota game, but his performance was not without merit.

Billy from Lewisville, TX:
I love the column. I was wondering why is it more defensive coordinators sit in the booth than stand on the sideline? Is it so they can get a better view up there than on the field?

Vic: Frankly, I can't image why any coordinator -- especially if he's calling the plays -- wouldn't want to be in the booth. Up there, you've got a decidedly better view of the field and, maybe even more importantly, you're alone with your thoughts in a controlled and peaceful environment where you have your notes spread out on a table in front of you. But some guys prefer to be where the action is. It's a matter of preference.

Ben from Jacksonville:
It seems to me fans are turning against Byron Leftwich in this holdout. "First Coast News" is running a poll on who's to blame for the holdout and Leftwich alone has a six percent lead over both parties, and even bigger over the Jags alone. How much of this apparent backlash against Leftwich is warranted and how much of it is just fans who've never really experienced a true draft-pick holdout before?

Vic: How can you blame the kid? He's entrusted his future to an esteemed agent to reach an agreement with a team that expressed great enthusiasm for Byron Leftwich when they made him the seventh pick of the draft. Shouldn't that give him every confidence the deal will get done?

Philip from Woodmere, NY:
In past negotiations, such as Kyle Brady's contract re-structuring and others, I found myself well-informed of the asking and offering prices of the team and players involved. How come I know nothing about what the Jaguars are offering Byron Leftwich and how much his agent is requesting? Is this information just not being released? I think it should; that way the pressure from the public can at least help one side to cave in.

Vic: Byron Leftwich's agent, Tom Condon, and Jaguars lead negotiator Paul Vance have maintained silence to the media during these negotiations. They've done that out of respect for each other and the process, and that's a healthy approach. If that changes, this could get messy.

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