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Success creates security

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

Crook from Akron, OH:
Do you think the Jags will utilize Reggie Williams more in the offense? Do they realize they have a 6-5, 230-pound stallion out there? Just throw it up there, baby.

Vic: You're living in a dream world. They just threw it up there on Sunday and it was intercepted.

Ray from Texarkana, TX:
I read your column nearly daily and have been impressed with the thoroughness of most of your answers. Those in which you mix a bit of sarcasm are also informative as well as entertaining. I have to register as a big Matt Jones fan; not because I am part of the crowd that thinks he is the second coming of someone, but because he appears to be a really good kid that seems to have hit it big. Is Matt Jones as clean and positive a role model as he seems?

Vic: Absolutely, he is. From everything I've seen, he's a conscientious and considerate kid. We did an interview with him on "Jaguars This Week" during training camp and he was a delight.

Jim from Tampa, FL:
Love the column and read it every day. How are ticket sales going for the remaining home games? I plan on coming to Jacksonville for a couple of more games and want to know for which games I can still get good seats.

Vic: The best advice I can give you is to call the ticket office at 904-633-2000 and ask them the questions you need answered. The Baltimore and Indianapolis games are going to be sold out. The Houston game has about 1,500 tickets remaining. The San Francisco and Tennessee games late in the season are potential trouble spots. There are a lot of tickets available for those two games and they pose the threat of being blacked out. There is, of course, a lot of time left to sell those tickets.

Richard from Jacksonville:
This year's quarterbacks are a sixth-round draft choice a dozen. Tim Rattay and A.J. Feeley go for that price, when we got first and fourth-round picks for Rob Johnson in 1997. What does that say about the value the Jaguars place upon David Garrard and the value that GMs now place on draft picks?

Vic: The value placed on draft picks has never been higher. The draft remains the least expensive forum for player acquisition and that's what makes it most attractive. I don't think the value of quarterbacks has decreased. Rattay and Feeley are second-tier guys, so, I don't think they're symbolic of the value of quarterbacks. It's all about having a breakout. Feeley had a breakout in Philadelphia a few years ago and the Eagles traded him to Miami for a second-round pick. Since then, Feeley's stock has fallen. Rattay's future was obvious once the 49ers drafted Alex Smith with the first overall pick. Until David Garrard has a breakout couple of games, his greatest value to the Jaguars is as the team's backup quarterback. You have to have a quality guy behind the starter because injuries are going to happen. The Steelers got caught with their "pants down" on Sunday. Should Garrard have a breakout couple of games, his trade value would shoot up and at that time he would become serious trade bait.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I wanted to get your opinion on a ruling I observed two weeks ago during a Gator game. You probably remember the one. I believe this rule also applies to the NFL and I think it needs to be modified or at least discussed. A player was trying to run for a touchdown and in doing so he dived for the pylon. He lost control of the ball before it crossed the plane of the end zone. The ball ended up crossing the plane of the end zone (the pylon) and then went out of bounds. The ruling on the field was that the offense lost possession of the ball and it was placed on the opponent's 20-yard line. This seams like an extreme penalty for the situation. I know you can't advance a fumble and it went into the end zone, but the other team never recovered the ball so why do they get possession of it? Common sense says the ball should be spotted where the player lost control. What do you think?

Vic: I saw the play. The ball-carrier stretched the ball out to touch the pylon and, in so doing, he kind of threw it at the pylon. The ball struck the pylon then went out of bounds. The moment I saw it happen I said "touchback." The officials spotted it out of bounds at the one-yard line and it looked like they were going to blow the call until the replay man stopped the action, reviewed the play and ruled touchback. Mike, you can't have it both ways. If touching the pylon is a touchdown, then losing control of the ball before it touches the pylon has to be a touchback. Why? Because the pylon is the end zone. What happened to the Florida player is no different than fumbling the ball through the back of the end zone. You will not see the rule regarding the pylon modified.

Edward from Jacksonville:
What happens if a team played all 16 games and each game resulted in a tie?

Vic: An 0-0-16 record is a .500 winning percentage, which might win the NFC North. Here's how it all works. Ties are considered half a win and half a loss. An 0-0-16 record is the equivalent of 8-8, in terms of winning percentage, and winning percentage is used to determine division titles and wild-card playoff berths. A team with an 0-0-16 record, therefore, would win its division if all of the other teams were 7-9 or worse, or would claim a wild-card berth if its winning percentage was one of the two highest of the remaining non-division champions in the conference.

Nick from Vernon, NJ:
You mentioned the tight end play of the Jags as a negative in your editorial. How much blocking are they responsible for on average? Could they be somewhat to blame for the poor offensive line play?

Vic: My reference to the tight ends was regarding their play in the passing game. In the running game, Kyle Brady remains one of the best blockers at his position in the league. Through the Jaguars' troubled times on their offensive line, Brady was a savior. He helped on the left side and that's one of the reasons the tight end disappeared in the passing game; you can't catch passes if you're blocking. Maybe the improvement the Jaguars are now experiencing on their offensive line will allow the tight end to get more involved in the passing game. The Jaguars need that to happen and they need that to happen in the middle of the field.

Vince from Jacksonville:
You didn't answer Ernie's question in full on "Jaguars This Week." Now that we are buying the tickets, what else can the fans do to ensure the long-term stability of the Jags in Jacksonville?

Vic: I did answer Ernie's question in full. Buying tickets is the answer and the fans are doing it. Attendance has increased in each of the first three home games. That's about all that can be expected of any fan base; buy tickets. Do you remember back in the summer when I said the formula for success is winning games and selling tickets? I said the team is responsible for winning games and the fans are responsible for buying tickets and, through the first six games of this season, each is upholding its end of that agreement. There's one other party involved in the formula now. It's the City. Will it do its part in helping stabilize the future of professional football in Jacksonville?

Craig from Brisbane, Australia:
With all the hype about being 4-2 and having a favorable schedule for the second half of the season, if we were to lose against the Rams do you think the environment around this football team would be negative again?

Vic: Attitudes rise and fall with each win or loss. Playoff circumstances also swing with each win or loss. That's why it's so important to keep this run going. Don't look for a cushion. Don't try to find an excuse to lose. Just win, baby, win. I've never been an Al Davis fan, but truer words have never been spoken.

Alan from Orange Park, FL:
The mayor of San Antonio is trying to convince the Saints to move there permanently. Besides being very politically incorrect, what with all the devastation that happened to New Orleans, do you think the NFL would allow this?

Vic: I don't know how the league could prevent it. Los Angeles isn't ready to receive a team. New Orleans isn't ready to take the team back. Is it fair to force Tom Benson into having a vagabond team? I'm guessing your interest in the Saints' future is born of your interest in seeing someone move into Los Angeles and, therefore, eliminate the threat the Jaguars would be that team. My advice is to not think that way. There will always be a town looking to steal another town's team. Jacksonville tried to steal the Colts. Success is the only thing that can give Jacksonville fans the security they seek. Win games, buy tickets, settle the lease issues. That's the formula for success and success will keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

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