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Stamina required to stay the course

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

Michael from Jacksonville:
I am a season ticket holder and make every game no matter the weather condition. I tell you, this Sunday was the worst but, the last quarter of a close game at home, our team can use our support. It is embarrassing to have other team fans become louder than our own fans when the game is 17-16.

Vic: Disappointment can send people to their cars late in the game. When my dad took me to games when I was a kid, I lived in fear of the inevitable late-game, "Let's go." I understand that thinking and make allowances for it. What I don't understand is the alien abductions at halftime. If I'm going to buy a ticket and go to the trouble of driving, parking, finding my seat, etc., I'm not gonna leave at halftime. That one I can't figure out. It has to be aliens.

Gary from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Does bulletin board material really play into the pro game? I am watching the Jaguars show and Paul Spicer agrees with his TV host that the Colts today are not the Colts of the last few years. I will agree with that but do you really want to stick your foot in your mouth like these guys?

Vic: Bulletin board material is overrated. What effect did the asterisk have on the Jaguars-Patriots playoff game? None.

Kyle from Orlando, FL:
"I have a bold prediction: Jack Del Rio will have the Jacksonville defense on a rampage this week at Indy, one unlike the Colts have ever seen." – Peter King

Vic: I'm beginning to worry about Peter. Has he been kidnapped by the Jaguars booster club? Is someone from the message board writing his copy?

Marcus from Jacksonville:
I noticed arm-tackling is appearing in the secondary again. Is this becoming the standard in the league just to prolong one's career? How come I never see Bob Sanders or Troy Polamalu use just the hands?

Vic: Yes, it has become a standard in the league and I've explained why. This is no longer a game of blocking and tackling. It's a game of run and jump. Sanders and Polamalu are just extraordinary players. Polamalu's performance Sunday night against the Browns justified his status among the elite defenders in the league.

John from Springfield, GA:
My company's total gross sales were down 16 percent from August, 2007 to August, 2008. My employees all need raises to compensate for cost of living increases. My 401(k) and other investments are in the toilet and the overall economy doesn't look to rebound any time soon, not to mention we have men and women in harm's way, but I got to spend a wonderful Sunday with my son at a competitive NFL game. I love watching football and I love this team. I want them to win every game but I refuse to worry about something I have no control over. I'd rather just enjoy the game.

Vic: Life is good. Who needs change?

Chris from Jacksonville:
I followed your advice with regards to my six-year-old. The loss to the Bills would have normally deflated me and put me in a foul mood, but not this time. My son and I had a great time and it was truly a special day, regardless of the outcome. You pegged it.

Vic: You mean you didn't lose control of your emotions? Are you telling me you acted responsibly and didn't protect this house? Good for you. Your son now has a template for proper behavior.

Steve from Tallahassee, FL:
Maybe the recent Wall Street crisis will help put the Jaguars recent losses into perspective.

Vic: Here's the difference: On Sunday, I felt bad. On Monday, I cried.

Fred from Buffalo, NY:
What do you think of Trent Edwards as a quarterback?

Vic: I was wildly impressed. His pocket presence is fantastic. I saw some Tom Brady in him. The Bills may be on the verge of an extended run of good football.

Jamie from Tampa, FL:
What exactly happens when you push the panic button?

Vic: You fret and sweat until you become so fatigued that you stop caring. It's self-induced. It's for people who are afraid to lose. They just don't have the stamina to stay the course.

James from Jacksonville:
As I watch T.O. catch a 72-yard TD pass from Romo, it really drives home how bad the Jags need that deep threat and really just how much more exciting a game can be.

Vic: What do you think Monday night's game is going to do to the game plans of the teams that are going to play against the Cowboys and Eagles this Sunday? Do you think they'll sell out to stop the run, or do you think they might drop defenders away from the line of scrimmage and protect against the deep ball?

Jeremy from Salisbury, MD:
After reading your response yesterday to Greg from Largo, I began to wonder why teams don't play the Titans the same way.

Vic: I think that's exactly what's going to happen, unless the Titans find a big-play receiver. The Titans currently appear to lack a big-play receiver and I think you're going to see teams start crowding the line of scrimmage and concentrating on stopping Chris Johnson. The lack of a big-play receiver is the Titans' weakness, too, and I think that will become very evident in time.

B.J. from Clermont, FL:
I think we are not trying to throw the ball down the field. I have stopped blaming the receivers. Doesn't it seem like the game has changed to this vertical style and we are behind the times?

Vic: I believe in the dog theory.

Shon from Bryan, TX:
Do you think the team has reached the point where it's time to dink and dunk, in order to move the offense down the field, which might open up the running game?

Vic: Yeah, that'll work.

Ryan from Las Vegas, NV:
What are your thoughts on the Broncos-Chargers game?

Vic: Poor Ed. It's going to make those weights especially heavy this week.

Don from Richmond, KY:
Which 0-2 AFC contender should be most concerned two games into the season: Jacksonville, San Diego or Cleveland?

Vic: A common thread runs through all three of those teams: They have each lost to the team that is leading their division. The difference is the Jaguars and Chargers lost to that team on the road; the Browns lost to that team at home. I think that puts the Browns at a greater disadvantage.

Jason from North Pole, AK:
What is it with people and their love for offensive shootouts? I just don't see the heart of the players displayed like it is in a physical, run-the-ball, defensive battle. Touchdowns are more precious and harder to earn in those games. The defense was terrible and the scoring grew tiresome on Monday night.

Vic: It's a personal preference. I prefer the low-scoring games because years ago sportswriters used to do something called "How they scored." It was laborious work in which you had to do a play-by-play of every scoring drive. As you might imagine, my favorite game was 7-0 with a one-play drive. Shootouts were a nightmare. Seriously, though, I do prefer the kind of game the Bills and Jaguars played on Sunday. I feel a greater appreciation for each score and for the important defensive plays in the game.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I believe the spread offense is ruining college football. There was nothing worse than watching Auburn, an I-formation power running school, going spread.

Vic: I couldn't agree more. The spread is a cheap, gimmicky offense that allows coaches to pencil-whip their opponents. It's a kind of backyard, drop-back-and-run game. I, too, believe it is ruining college football, but the rules are such that it favors that style of play. It's tough to teach blocking technique and perfect a ball-control offense when you're limited to 20 hours of preparation a week. That's why you see those kinds of teams struggle early in the season but come on strong late in the year. Look at Michigan early last season. Was that the same team that beat Florida in the bowl game? Too bad, but those are the rules of the game and coaches are going to do whatever the rules favor.

Gene from Jacksonville:
When we were leaving the game on Sunday, we were waiting in a line of traffic when my friend said, "I bet Wayne Weaver doesn't have to deal with this. He probably has a chauffeur or something." He didn't get it out of his mouth when I looked to my left and there were Mr. and Mrs. Weaver sitting in traffic right beside us. It wasn't long after the game, either. I waved and smiled and they waved back and smiled and said we'll get 'em next time. He's just like us; dealing with the results. I appreciate that in an owner.

Vic: Who had the better car?

Eddie Anne from Orange Park, FL:
Am I wrong or were both the offense and defense a little bit off on Sunday? Before I had the heat stroke, at the beginning of the second quarter, I saw a lot of missed tackles and there was no blocking for the running backs. I know I don't know much about football but, come on, in the private sector, if you can't do the job, then replace them with someone who can.

Vic: It got better after your heat stroke.

Jarret from Crosby, ND:
Could you please tell us how you injured your neck playing football in high school?

Vic: I fell off the bench.

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