Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Scrimmage is real

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

Steve from Jacksonville:
The Times-Union reports that the Jags have sold 43,300 non-premium seats and are close to their goal of 45,000 non-premium seats sold. Does this mean the blackouts will be lifted if the goal of 45,000 non-premium seat sales is reached? What about premium seats?

Vic: Premium seats don't count toward the TV blackout figure, which is just under 50,000 for Jaguars home games. The Jaguars currently have 1,700 non-premium seats remaining to be sold on a season-ticket basis. When they sell those tickets, they will have reached 45,000 non-premium seats sold for each game this season. That will leave them with about 5,000 non-premium seats to sell per game to guarantee this season's home games will be shown on local TV. Those 5,000 tickets were set aside to be sold as part of a "group sales" program and for some games they are almost gone, but a lot of group-sales tickets remain unsold for other games, such as for the opener against Seattle. That's what the ticket department's focus is on right now; the Seattle game. It's starting to look pretty good. Jaguars fans have rallied behind the team during the last couple of weeks. There are still, however, tickets to be sold to get the Seattle game on local TV.

James from Jacksonville:
Which is the better choice to get my football fix, the Friday night scrimmage or the mock game on Saturday?

Vic: The scrimmage.

Dana from Jacksonville:
You always mention coaches "stopping by your office." Where is your office?

Vic: It's in the hallway between the coaches' suite and the locker room. I see all.

Bob from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Where are we the thinnest, as far as capable backups? Who are our most advanced "jars on the shelf" that may be ready to put on the table?

Vic: All teams are thin at left offensive tackle. There are just so many guys who can play that position, and if your top guy goes down, you're immediately thin. The Jaguars may be in the process of developing some depth at defensive end. We have to keep a watch on that. Fred Taylor's absence in the preseason will tell us a lot about the depth at running back. That's an area of interest. Right cornerback probably qualifies as the position of greatest concern. The Jaguars have a lot of contenders for the starting job, but until someone steps up and takes the job in a legitimate two-man competition, you can't say there's depth. Linebacker is another position where I think the team needs a couple of guys to step up. As for "jars on the shelf," I think this team is loaded with guys whose skills have been developed and are ready to make major contributions. My idea of "jars on the shelf" players are guys such as George Wrighster and Brian Jones. They both look real good and give the Jaguars definite depth at tight end. Anthony Maddox is a "jar on the shelf" guy. Bobby McCray, Quinn Gray and Deke Cooper are good examples of developmental players. Cortez Hankton is a guy I would definitely put into that category, although Hankton's development in this training camp has been halted by a sprained ankle. This roster is full of guys on the rise who will make contributions. What about LaBrandon Toefield? He'll have a big opportunity this summer. I think Gerald Sensabaugh is a major "jar" candidate.

Brian from Richmond, KY:
I must say that did an excellent job with the video highlights of the "Oklahoma" drill in camp. This is definitely one way to get the fans fired up and ready to buy some tickets.

Vic: Dan Gadd, Steve Hall and Dan Champagne have done a wonderful job of streaming video in this training camp. I take no credit for it. I just write words.

Bryan from Austin, TX:
At what point in training camp do the helmet stickers go on? Might there be a process where rookies and hopeful veterans earn their Jaguars helmet stickers?

Vic: This isn't Notre Dame. There is no night-before-the-game helmet-painting ceremony and there are no real gold flakes in the Jaguars' helmet paint. The helmet stickers go on when it's time for the Jaguars to play a game, which means the stickers will go on without fanfare for the Aug. 13 preseason opener against Miami. Now, let me call your attention to a true professional football ceremony. It's called payday. Stay with me because I'm not trying to be funny. Put yourself in the place of a rookie who's just played his first NFL game. A couple of days later, you're walking down the hallway to the business office, where you are handed your check. You're a professional football player. You are one of the very few who are good enough to be paid to play this game. It feels pretty good, doesn't it? What would you rather have, a helmet sticker or a paycheck that validates your worth as a professional?

John from Jacksonville:
I read an article about more play-action passing in store for the Jags. Are there a lot of dynamics to play-action or is it as simple as it appears? I need educated.

Vic: It's as simple as it appears. Play-action is the simple act of the quarterback faking to a running back. The intent is to freeze the linebackers and safeties for a split second. I listen to people refer to play-action and, in most cases, they use the term as a metaphor for anything they want it to be. In the majority of those cases, they use the term "play-action" to refer to a quarterback scrambling. That's not it.

Mike from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
The quarterback generally receives the next play through a receiver mounted in his helmet. Does communication continue after the play starts, or is the microphone closed after the huddle?

Vic: The system that allows for the sideline to communicate with the quarterback is turned off at the snap of the ball or with 15 seconds remaining on the play clock, whichever comes first.

Derek from Rio Rancho, NM:
Do you think the Jaguars are facing the toughest cut since they have come into the league?

Vic: If you're trying to say the Jaguars may have the deepest roster in their history, I agree. This team has never been deeper with young talent. I don't, however, believe any team is facing an especially tough cut in today's game. After they're done putting people on all of the various lists and assign eight guys to a practice squad, their roster isn't a whole lot different from what they took to camp. It's not like the "old days," when regular-season rosters were at 40, there was no practice squad and you could take as many guys to training camp as you wanted. That's when cuts were tough. Teams would take 150 guys to camp and cut 10 after the first week. I'll never forget the competitive atmosphere in those training camps and I can remember doing a story on a wide receiver named Johnny Dirden who always kept his dorm room door slightly ajar and his room dark because he wanted to see who was at his door and if it was the "Turk" he wanted him to think nobody was home. "They can't cut you if they can't find you," Dirden said. In those days, they cut guys so often that if you could stay out of sight they might miss you and you'd get a few more days in camp and maybe somebody at your position would get hurt and that would buy you more time. I'm sorry, but I don't see the cuts in today's game as being very tough.

Buzzy from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Matt Jones! What a great young man. If he plays anywhere near as well as the way he came across in your interview on Jaguars This Week last night, all of Jacksonville should have tons of fun watching this newest Jaguar develop and grow over the next several years. He could become one of the NFL's very special stars. Let's hope so. Only time will tell.

Vic: I experienced the same thoughts as we were interviewing him on the show. Matt came to the radio studio directly from the practice field. He sat with us in full uniform and I thought he was extremely candid with his answers. My greatest concern for him is the ridiculous expectations people have for him. I think it's fair to expect him to catch touchdown passes and to develop into a quality wide receiver, but this stuff about playing quarterback and running back and H-back is putting Jones in a tough spot. He's going to have his hands full learning how to play wide receiver and I'm concerned that these wild expectations could hurt him. Anyhow, I was really impressed by the way Jones answered questions about those expectations and I loved how he conducted himself during the interview. I felt as though I was actually communicating with someone, as opposed to some kind of mechanical exchange.

Stanley from Ripley, WV:
What is the difference between the scrimmage and mock game that are listed in the Jaguars practice schedule?

Vic: The scrimmage is the real thing. It's an evaluation tool. The mock game is a rehearsal that puts everybody in their proper places for a real game. The players will line up for the national anthem, somebody will sing, etc. It's also a chance to try out sideline communications equipment and practice the art of sending plays into the huddle. If you like two-hand tag, the mock game is just for you. If you like real football, be at the scrimmage.

Mark from King of Prussia, PA:
Since the Navy has taken me out of Jacksonville, I decided to visit the Eagles training camp. I now have a different perspective on die-hard fans. It seemed to me there were more people watching practice than we had in the stands for the Texans game last year, not to mention the crowd noise. How has our fan support been at camp this year? How does it compare to last year?

Vic: The Jaguars think they'll set a new training camp attendance record this summer.

Carson from Tampa, FL:
This may be a remedial question, but can a local TV station broadcast scrimmages if the team is OK with it?

Vic: Yes.

Daniel from Jacksonville:
From watching the practices, what is your opinion on the progress of cornerback David Richardson? Do you think he's progressed enough to start at that right cornerback position.

Vic: He hasn't stood out in early practices. Scott Starks and Kenny Wright have. It can happen for Richardson at any time. I'll watch for it.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content