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Strawberries and cream in Detroit

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

Gary from Nancy, KY:
I'm sorry Vic, but that roughing call on fourth-and-nine in the Monday night game was ridiculous. Helmet to helmet should mean a real hit with the helmet, not just, oh, no, the helmets touched each other.

Vic: In the league's fervor to protect the quarterback, what it doesn't seem to understand is that it is permitting the most minor of infractions to have potential game-changing effect, and it's a real turn-off for fans. The league desperately needs real football men sitting at the top, not attorneys and MBAs.

Sage from Dillon, MT:
How good was Byron Leftwich on Monday night?

Vic: He was just what the doctor ordered. Good for Byron. With that performance on Monday night, he has likely put himself back on the NFL scouting radar.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
I have a recommendation for all the fans that will have nothing to do Sunday now that they have given up on the Jaguars. Read "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. If you can't be entertained, at least you can try for perspective.

Vic: He was a man of true courage.

Jeremy from Jacksonville (Afghanistan now):
When is someone going to hold the coaches accountable? The Jaguars have far too much talent on the team to play the way they have.

Vic: Coaches are always held accountable. Early in the season, I ventured that as many as 10 head jobs could come open in the league this year. We've already had three guys fired. What are you seeking, a public flogging?

Ray from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I'd be interested to know what John Clayton saw, as opposed to Peter King.

Vic: I know exactly what John saw. It was the tape of the Miami preseason game. He called me two nights later, after he had watched the tape, and asked what was going on.

William from Jacksonville:
In turning Atlanta around dramatically, have you heard any reports of Mike Smith dropping his trousers?

Vic: Mike's not a drop-trou kind of guy. His fuse will burn down but his explosions are not destructive.

Benjamin from Jacksonville:
"Daunting challenge in Detroit." Sincerity or sarcasm? I don't know and I'll bet you probably aren't sure, either.

Vic: Oh, I'm sure. The Jaguars will be trying to avoid becoming the first team in NFL history to lose to 0-8 teams in consecutive games. Wouldn't you call that daunting?

Cormac from Cork, Ireland:
I don't think the season is over. I'm looking forward to us crushing Detroit and then handing the Titans their first loss. Does that make me crazy or just naive?

Vic: Do you know what Billy Conn said? Just kidding. Yeah, it can happen.

Jim from Boise, ID:
A new hot dog eatery opened down the street and I got them to name a hot dog after you. It's called the "Press Box Blogger." Sweet!

Vic: I've always wanted to be a hot dog.

Cole from Jacksonville:
Do Steelers, Packers and Redskins fans give up on their teams because they're having a bad season? If we as Jaguars fans want to build a tradition that will live on and become great, we need to support our team though the tough times, don't we, Vic?

Vic: Let's start with the first question: Yes, they do give up on their teams. I covered the Steelers during some lean years in the 1980's and there were a lot of no-shows at those games. The difference between the Steelers and the Jaguars, however, is that those games were all sold out and even though the fans didn't show up, their money did. Yes, great franchises have great fan support, and it starts with the purchase of tickets.

Brad from Dallas, TX:
Will you please stop feeling sorry for yourself? It disgusts me and it's not the Vic I know.

Vic: I would never want to disgust you. By the way, who are you?

Johnny from Jacksonville:
First of all, let me say, Vic, you do a great job and I'm tired of looking at people say otherwise.

Vic: So am I. I think I have great greatness.

Jim from Orange Park, FL:
I will watch again this weekend. I will listen to the different radio shows. I will read your great web site. I will even buy my three season tickets again for next year. I don't understand why fans get so bitterly disappointed.

Vic: I think I know why Jaguars fans are so easily disappointed. It's because they haven't been hardened by defeat. The experience is still new. They haven't lost long enough and hard enough, yet, to be tough enough to take it.

Justin from Jacksonville:
A couple of years ago I wrote in with a comment about how I love the little jabs you take at other teams in your infamous power rankings. Now that the Jags are playing poorly, I don't see any jabs. What's the big idea? Don't think we can take a punch or two ourselves, Vic?

Vic: I kind of don't.

Bryan from Washington, DC:
You used the Jacksonville-Washington preseason game to make a point about the Redskins and you sure were wrong about them.

Vic: Yeah, I was. I thought they would stink bad and they don't, but I'm kind of amazed that you would use this week to make your point, after that dreadful performance they gave against the Steelers on Monday night. If it wasn't for that onside kickoff to start the game by the Steelers, I don't think the Redskins would've scored a point. In fact, the Redskins were so bad in that game that I'm starting to wonder again if I wasn't right in the first place and they really do stink. By the way, nice job on keeping Steelers fans out.

Tim from Tucson, AZ:
I know the messages you respond to are just a tiny percentage that you receive. Just how negative/nasty has your inbox gotten?

Vic: My inbox is a place of great anger.

Todd from Beaufort, SC:
While I appreciate the old Vic and BAP, I have to point out a flaw with your desire to not spend big in free agency. Because of how well we manage our cap, we almost have to spend big in free agency, just to make it to the minimum cap spending level.

Vic: I think the cap is going bye-bye. Even if it doesn't, hard-cap everything and that'll cover the minimum. Outrageous spending wins nothing. It's just a formula for losing money and games.

Drew from Orlando, FL:
What are you looking forward to more this weekend, the hot dogs in the press box or the meal on the flight home?

Vic: I've never covered a game in Ford Field. I covered lots of games at the Silverdome, where the Lions were famous for the strawberries and cream they served in the press box lounge. I'm thinkin' they may have strawberries and cream in Ford Field, too. I'm not supposed to eat strawberries because I have diverticulosis, but what's a little stomach pain once in awhile, huh?

Todd from Atlanta, GA:
When a team is in crunch time and running out of time, is there anything in the rules to prevent a receiver or running back who is about to be tackled from throwing the ball laterally out of bounds to stop the clock?

Vic: Yes; throwing a backward pass out of bounds inside one minute of either half is considered an attempt to conserve time and carries a five-yard penalty and 10-second run-off.

Shaun from Jacksonville:
What do you make of coach Del Rio sending Mike Peterson home on Wednesday?

Vic: The pot boiled over. Mike is in the last year of his contract and wants a new one. It has been a burr in his saddle all season and apparently Mike's body language has been chafing coach Del Rio more and more as the season progressed. The sack celebration turned up the heat, but so did John Henderson's expulsion from the game and exit display, and a postgame locker room outburst of laughter. Coach Del Rio decided that he had enough.

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