Join *Jaguars Inside Report *Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Lance Nizinski from Knoxville, TN:
Could you please update me on Paul Spicer's injury? I read that he had suffered a "season-ending elbow injury" in the loss to the Thunder. According to www.nfleurope.com , Spicer currently ranks first on the team with 3.5 sacks and eighth on the team with 13 tackles. Is this injury serious enough to keep him from playing this NFL season, or are they just being cautious?
Vic: Paul Spicer suffered a slight tear in his elbow, which has ended his NFL Europe season. However, the Jaguars expect him to be recovered for the start of their training camp in late July.
Mark Parrish from Jacksonville:
I have an opinion on how to build and maintain a team. Your top priority should be the offensive and defensive lines. Build those first and well and then fill in with "skill" positions around them. Having said that, how does our offensive and defensive lines look this year?
Vic: Your formula for building and maintaining a competitive football team is shared by many. Big guys are hard to find and you better draft them when you have the chance. They have to be "jars on the shelf" because we've seen how quickly their ranks can be decimated. The Jaguars clearly focused on their two lines in this past draft, which is a strong indication they need help in that area. If Marcus Stroud turns out to be the dominant defensive tackle the Jaguars believe he'll be, the most major of the team's defensive line concerns will have been addressed, but those concerns will have to be addressed again in next year's draft because the ranks are thin at defensive end. On the offensive line, second-round right tackle Maurice Williams holds the key. If he takes the position long-term, the Jaguars' future will be set at the two tackle positions and at left guard. However, the offensive line will also have to be addressed again in the draft. What we are seeing this year are the first steps in laying the foundations of the Jaguars' offensive and defensive lines of the future.
Mark Kroes from Tipton, CA:
Assuming Wayne Weaver keeps his word from the Q&A video session and the Jaguars keep Kevin Hardy, who are expected to be the three starting linebackers and at which linebacker positions? Is it possible the Jaguars will use the "nickel" package as often as they did in the second half of last year?
Vic: At this point in time, the Jaguars' best trio of linebackers would seem to be Kevin Hardy, Hardy Nickerson and T.J. Slaughter. Now, it's a matter of getting them onto the field together. That would seem to begin with Slaughter playing middle linebacker. He is considered to be much better against the run than against the pass. Hardy may move back to strong side linebacker, and Nickerson may take on the role of weak side linebacker. That's one possible combination, however, don't discount the impact third-round pick Eric Westmoreland may have. Westmoreland is adept at pass-coverage and is athletic enough and accomplished enough to have an impact on the situation. I don't think the Jaguars will use their "nickel" defense as much as they did late last season. They used it mostly out of necessity, Mike Logan is gone, and Westmoreland gives the Jaguars coverage capabilities the Jaguars didn't have in reserve at linebacker last season.
Jeffrey Van Haute from Jacksonville:
With the cap being what it is today, do you feel that good, veteran players at the so-called unskilled positions (fullback, kicker, punter) will lose their careers in the NFL because of the cap issue?
Vic: Without a doubt, the minimum wage for veteran players will cause some of those players to be replaced by younger players earlier than those veterans' performances should warrant. At the least, they are likely to be recycled. If there is one major flaw in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that is our salary cap system of today, it's that the minimum wage is often costing role players their professional football careers, and there would seem to be no way of fixing that problem.
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.