Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Deanna from Houston, TX:
I have a friend who is really into football. The Jags are his favorite team. But I am a football virgin. Is there a book you can recommend that would help me learn more about the game? Not that I am trying to impress him (wink, wink), but it can't hurt, right? And, in your opinion, do guys think it's "cool" if a girl knows about football? Oh, and by the way, I have really enjoyed reading your column each day.
Vic: Deanna, this is a different kind of question than to which I am accustomed. It certainly stretches the limits of my football knowledge, so don't accept what I say as gospel. When it comes to relationships, I have been known to be wrong. But I say, go for it. The next time you're sitting with your boyfriend while he's watching a game, let loose with a, "Come on, hit somebody." A couple of minutes later, blurt out, "The left tackle couldn't block a toilet seat." I'm sure he'll think you're really cool. I know I would.
George from Memphis, TN:
Who is your choice for Fred's back-up, or is it too early to tell?
Vic: Fourth-round pick LaBrandon Toefield appears to be the guy.
Ricky from Jacksonville:
Would it be a good idea if the Jaguars hired a person like Dan Marino, John Elway or Boomer Esiason to be the quarterback coach next year?
David from Jacksonville:
I like your column and love the Jags, but I have a question about the past NFL playoffs. I was watching something on the undefeated 1972 Dolphins and I noticed that when they reached the AFC championship game that year they played Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. Miami was undefeated, so how did they not have homefield advantage? Were you covering the Steelers back then?
Vic: That was my first year. Back then, the playoffs system was such that homefield was decided by a rotation system. That season, the AFC Central was at the top of the rotation, which meant the AFC Central champ, in this case the Steelers, had homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The week before the Steelers hosted the Dolphins in the 1972 AFC title game, the Steelers hosted the Raiders in the game that produced the "Immaculate Reception." The postseason homefield rotation system was junked for the 1975 playoffs, when the NFL went to the best-record system that exists today. Here are a couple of other notes from the '72 playoffs: There were only four playoff teams in each conference (three division champs and one wild card), and the hosting cities were blacked out. So, if anyone from Pittsburgh tells you he remembers watching the "Immaculate Reception" on TV at home, he's lying. The following summer produced the Act of Congress that provided for lifting blackouts in the home market if the game was sold out 72 hours in advance of kickoff.
Kelly from Santa Rosa, CA:
Do you ever get tired of answering everyone's speculation?
Vic: No; I love talking about football. But I must admit, the endless stream of e-mails I received from people who wanted the Jaguars to trade Byron Leftwich's rights became very tedious to read.
Stephen from Kensington, MD:
How important do you think it is that players get used to full contact before they step out for that first regular season game? I ask this in reference to Freddy Taylor, as I don't believe he's participated in full-contact drills of any sort.
Vic: I not only consider hitting to be important in the football training camp process, I consider it to be imperative. Good teams hit; bad teams don't. You raise a very valid concern about Fred Taylor. He needs some contact time before the regular season begins.