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Run-defense is key

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

Luis from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Do you think that the disappointing ticket sales are due in part to the heat-injured players? I think that fans interpret this as a lack of commitment by the players, since this didn't happen before.

Vic: I thought it was Tom Coughlin's fault.

Patrick from Pittsburgh, PA:
What was the Jags defense ranked last season? What ranking do you see for the defense this season?

Vic: The Jaguars defense was ranked 20th overall; 25th against the run and 13th against the pass. If they can just improve their run-defense to respectability, they'll move up significantly. I expect a team that has drafted defensive tackles with the 13th and ninth picks of two of the last three drafts, and which spent a $4 million signing bonus on a middle linebacker this past offseason, to be much better than 25th in the league against the run.

Paul from Alpharetta, GA:
Please explain why I am constantly fending off Miami fans with regards to this season and who is the better team. Yes, I know Miami's defense is very good, and I know they have a great running back, but I honestly feel we will give Miami a run for their money this season. Do you?

Vic: Don't take any crap from them. Just keep reminding them about 62-7.

Mike from Albany, NY:
How many players can be signed to the practice squad and are there rules regarding the number of seasons a player can remain on it? Also, do you see anyone with enough potential to hold onto who is a good candidate for it, yet?

Vic: Five players may be signed to the practice squad. A player may be assigned to the practice squad for two seasons. Three weeks on the practice squad in any season constitutes a season on the practice squad. Yes, there are lots of candidates for the Jaguars practice squad, but they are currently competing to make the final active roster.

Josh from Woodville, OH:
How many first-round draft picks still have not signed?

Vic: Byron Leftwich of the Jaguars and Willis McGahee of the Bills are the only two unsigned first-round picks.

Wayne from Cocoa, FL:
What will it take, in your opinion, to get Byron Leftwich signed and into camp? If he was drafted to be the superstar that this franchise builds around, then why is he still not under the center? What are your thoughts on the subject?

Vic: You know the answer: It'll take a lot of money and a lot of negotiating to get this done. I think the real question is: Why is it taking so long to do that negotiating? In my opinion, it's the fact that there's no real incentive for Byron Leftwich's agent, Tom Condon, to rush negotiations. Realistically, Leftwich would not be competing for a starting job, therefore, Condon may feel as though he can wait-out the Jags. If there was a real chance for Leftwich to grab the starting job, the Jaguars could probably dangle that "carrot" and get this thing done. Don't get emotional about this stuff. This is professional football. It is very definitely about money. If that bothers you, this may not be your game.

Skeeter from Jacksonville:
I understand from reading an article in the Times-Union that Mike Smith, the Jaguars defensive coordinator, will be in the coaches booth during games. Where will offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave be stationed?

Vic: Bill Musgrave will be on the sideline.

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