Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Mark from Atlanta, GA:
Given the ongoing dialogue about rebuilding, how do you see the following players fitting into the three-year plan: Jimmy Smith, Kyle Brady, Tony Brackens and Hugh Douglas?
Vic: I don't recall anyone having announced a "three-year plan." I'll assume that's how long you believe it'll take the Jaguars to rebuild, and I won't disagree with you. I think it's smart to take the long approach. But if it's going to take that long, I don't think your "three-year plan" will include the players you mention above. Their contributions have to be realized now.
Nate from Tampa, FL:
What are your thoughts on Troy Edwards? From what I've seen, and looking at his stats, it seems to me like we may have found a real diamond in the rough. Can you see Troy becoming the next Keenan here in Jacksonville?
Vic: He's not a Keenan McCardell-type receiver. I don't see him as a possession guy. I see Troy Edwards as a big-play receiver, and I think he may be finally realizing the talent that made him the 13th pick of the 1999 draft. I don't want to go overboard on this guy, but I think there's a chance he can become the Jaguars' most significant "street" discovery since Jimmy Smith.
J.R. from Orange Park, FL:
I enjoy your experienced insight. It gives data-thirsty fans like me a better understanding about what is really going on with the Jags. I believe a solid winning foundation is built with emphasis on defense. It seemed that way with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Giants and other former champions in the past. With that in mind, would you please give an evaluation of how well the following Jaguars units (defensive line, linebackers, defensive backs) have played up to this point in the season? Which has the most upside and the most downside?
Vic: The defensive line -- specifically defensive tackles Marcus Stroud and John Henderson -- have been the top performers this season. I had doubts about Henderson going into the season, but he has excelled and appears to be a cornerstone player for this team's future. Because of those two players, the defensive line offers the greatest upside for the future. The linebacking corps and defensive backfield, in my opinion, have performed beneath expectations. In my opinion, they will each require attention in the offseason.
Scot from Jacksonville:
I don't hear the term "Plan B free agent" any more. What was that and what happened to it?
Vic: "Plan B free agency" was a pre-salary cap era process that promoted the movement of second-tier free agents to other teams without the signing teams having to pay compensation to the teams losing those players. It was one of the steps toward the free agency system we have today. The reason we don't have "Plan B free agency" any longer is because we have complete free agency. But a lot of personnel guys affectionately refer to the second-tier free agents, the ones who are signed late in the spring at bargain prices, as "Plan B" guys.
Mike from Jacksonville:
I always hear that Jacksonville is the second-smallest market in the NFL. What is the smallest market and what does it mean?
Vic: Market size refers to population. Jacksonville is officially second-smallest, with Green Bay being the smallest. However, I think that's very misleading because the Green Bay market figure does not include Milwaukee, and that's not realistic. If you include Milwaukee in the Green Bay market, and I believe you should, Jacksonville becomes the league's smallest market. By the way, Mike, please release the "caps lock" key on your keyboard. It's easier for me if I don't have to re-type your questions.
Chad from Easley, SC:
Thanks for the "Players have to buy in" article. I have bought in. I am the type who wants to write you or call a sports show and tell everyone how bad we suck. Your article changed that. Now what I tell people is "wait and see" because when we do win the Super Bowl the naysayers won't remember 2003, and neither will I.
Vic: Please don't become so patient that you don't call our "Jaguars This Week" radio show on Wednesdays. We need angry fans, too.
Wilbur from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Since they have committed to Freddie from the "three yards and a cloud of dust era," why do they not make him do 30 carries a game?
Vic: Fred Taylor is not a 30-carries-a-game back. But they got Fu (vowel rationing) and LaBrandon Toefield, and I love a lot of dust.
Peter from Jacksonville:
I sense you really think we are in a rebuilding year. Am I reading too much into your column?
Vic: You sense that I think the Jaguars are in a rebuilding year? I've worn out 10 hammers driving home that point.
Tom from Atlanta, GA:
I view the Jag website daily, as it is the only means by which I can stay informed. I also like to watch all the video clips from the press conferences. It shows me Del Rio will eventually get the job done. Through the obvious disappointment of losing, I see Del Rio as a stand-up guy tackling a tough season with focus, commitment and determination. I have the patience and stamina and I like what I see with Del Rio. You see him more than any of us. Do you like what you see so far? How can he improve?
Vic: I love the fact that Jack Del Rio has made this the league's fifth-best run-defense. Stopping the run is so critical. It's at the center of sound defense. It gives the Jaguars a foundation on which they can build their defenses of the future. As far as improvement, I'd like to see Del Rio develop a better relationship with the media. Just as stopping the run is the foundation of sound defense, media relations is the foundation of a coach's ability to communicate with the team's fans.
Todd from Athens, OH:
I think using vowel rationing for Fu is a good idea, but you render the theory of vowel rationing pointless by putting it in parentheses. What do you think?
Vic: Todd, I have two in college, two in braces and my paychecks are direct-deposited into a checking account that is consumed by direct withdrawals. On top of that, I'm covering a 1-5 football team. For all of those reasons and more, I try to sprinkle a little humor into my life. Humor me, please.
Brad from Franklin, TN:
This question is about the salary cap. Take the Titans and their horrible cap figure next year. Can a team like the Titans extend some of their big-money contracts by adding years to them, but only doing it to players who they know will retire before the contract they negotiate will end? Is this a possible solution to finding cap relief for a team that owes a huge amortization figure to a player? Or does the NFL make that team speed up the amortization and completely pay the salary in full the year that player retires?
Vic: Brad, I applaud your effort to understand this stuff because it is at the core of being a knowledgeable professional football fan, but what you're proposing is convoluted. You're confusing salary with amortization. Salary goes away when the player is cut; amortization accelerates. A team can add "dummy" years and create cap room as much as it wants, but that continues to push amortization into the future while, at the same time, the player moves closer to the end of his career. At some point, the team must replace the player and his remaining amortization becomes "dead money" on the team's cap. It does not go away when you cut him. Just remember this: You pay it, you claim it. I think you can figure out the rest.
Dave from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I understand the theory of wearing the white "road" jerseys in warm weather, but does it really make that much difference? Shouldn't "taking back our house" start with dressing like the home team?
Vic: I can't answer your question but I like your attitude.
Terry from Headland, AL:
Loved your editorial about Noll. Jags should keep their chins up. The job will be done. What part, if any, does the severe summer climate play in the way the Jags are faring now and will fare later in the season?
Vic: Again, I don't have the answer, but some have suggested the warm weather has contributed to the Miami Dolphins' penchant for late-season collapses. Also, years ago when the Chicago Cubs only played day games, it was thought playing in the heat of the day caused the Cubs to wear out late in the season.