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Taylor needs a big game on Sunday

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions. Vic: I got an official interpretation from the league on Thursday about the Wes Welker play, in which Welker stepped out of bounds as he caught a Jaguars kickoff in last Sunday's game. Welker had one foot in bounds and put the other foot down as he caught the ball. The kickoff was ruled to have been out of bounds and the ball was spotted at the Miami 40-yard line. According to a league official in the officiating department, Welker's out-of-bounds foot had to have been down out of bounds before he touched the ball, for the kickoff to have been ruled out of bounds. "The play on Sunday was very tight, but I felt Welker touched it first and then touched the sideline, so it should have been Miami ball at the two," the league official said.

Casey from Richmond, VA:
Why do you suppose Jim Mora Sr. left the radio show after making what would seem to be truthful comments about Michael Vick's ability to make good coaches look bad and his inability to pass the ball?

Vic: I would imagine it's because his son is Vick's coach. The media business is tough enough without having conflicting interests. One of the things I don't like about today's TV media, and that especially pertains to NFL Network, is that they have too many former players serving as media people. I don't like players reporting on players. In this case, it was a former coach reporting on a team coached by his son. Those are the types of conflicts of interest credible news agencies avoid. There's a fine line between news reporting and entertainment. I don't mind former players and coaches serving as entertainers, but I tend not to trust their reporting skills.

Sol from Atlantic Beach, FL:
For the benefit of Jaguars fans who might be tempted to leave the stadium early on Sunday, would you please confirm that Alltel has been coated with alien repellent?

Vic: There won't be any aliens at Sunday's game. The place is going to be full, it's predicted the weather will be beautiful, and the game is likely to rivet people to their seats.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
If we punt it to the five-yard line and touch it there, and then the ball bounces to the 10 and we stop it there, the receiving team actually gets it on the 10. If it was the other way around – we touch at the 10 and then stop it at the five – they get it at the 10. So that rule is just there to benefit the receiving team, huh?

Vic: That's correct. It's the spot of first touching or downing, whichever is most forward.

David from Northridge, CA:
Why is Kyle Brady on the Pro-Bowl ballot when George Wrighster is having the better season?

Vic: Because Brady is the Jaguars' official starting tight end. Now, about your claim that Wrighster is having the better season: Brady is blocking better than he had at any previous time in his career. He's the best blocking tight end in the game, period. The problem is that fans such as yourself only judge tight ends by their pass receptions. In my mind, tight ends are first and foremost blockers. I think it's a bonus if they can catch passes, too, but I've got wide receivers who can do that. The thing that's really tough to find is a player big enough and strong enough to be a dominant in-line blocker, yet, mobile enough to be a threat in the passing game. That's what I want in a tight end: A blocker who's a threat to catch a pass.

Tim from Jacksonville:
With the way Willie Parker played on Thursday, it seems Fred Taylor has missed another Pro-Bowl.

Vic: Parker had a big night; 223 yards on 32 carries. Cris Collinsworth said Parker could've broken the NFL single-game rushing record had he been allowed to play in the fourth quarter and I agree with Collinsworth. Parker is a sensational back, especially when you consider that he was undrafted and wasn't even a starter at North Carolina. What a find. Don't count Fred Taylor out of the race, yet, because Taylor is very capable of turning in the same kind of a performance against the 32nd-ranked Colts run-defense. Parker is at 1,199 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He's got the same yards-per-carry average as Taylor, 4.5. Taylor is at 952 yards rushing and four touchdowns, but Taylor will have one major advantage over Parker when the voting turns to the players and coaches: Taylor will have a sentimentality edge. This is Taylor's ninth year in the league and he has never made it into the Pro Bowl. In my opinion, some players and coaches will see that as an injustice and they might favor Taylor, but he'll have to be close to Parker for that to happen. Taylor needs a Parker-like game this Sunday.

Max from Rochester, NY:
Who is it we Jag fans need to pull for on Sunday to help us out?

Vic: You'd like for all of the other 7-5 teams to lose, but I wouldn't expect that to happen. Denver is at San Diego. I think you can root for the Chargers with some assurance that you'll get help from them. The other team that could provide help is Baltimore, which plays at Kansas City. Buffalo is at the Jets, and I think there's a reasonable chance Buffalo could win that game, but I don't see any reason to expect help from Oakland in Cincinnati. I like scoreboard-watching. I think it's great fun for the fans.

Alex from Fairfax, VA:
Even if the Jaguars were to beat the Colts this weekend, shouldn't we still hope the Colts beat the Bengals next week?

Vic: Absolutely. After the Colts leave here on Sunday, they will be of no consequence to the Jaguars until the two teams play again, whether it be in the playoffs or next season. The Jaguars are in a competition with all of the wild-card chasers. You want them to lose.

John from Tallahassee, FL:
Have I missed your commentary on the bogus Dolphins touchdown that was clearly one of those painful non-calls by the officials? The ball was snapped well after the play clock went to zero, but it was not reviewable. How absurd. Why can't they just take a look at what everybody else saw on their televisions and march off the five yards?

Vic: NFL Director of Officiating Mike Pereira talked about two clock situations from last Sunday's game, during last night's pregame show on NFL Network. Pereira first addressed the clock in the Kansas City-Cleveland game, then he detailed the Jacksonville-Miami play-clock situation. Pereira used video of the game in describing what happened and, yes, the play clock did expire before the ball was snapped, but you had to slow the video way down to make the distinction. It was not "well after the play clock went to zero," as you've described. It was so close it was almost indistinguishable. Put yourself in the back judge's position. You have to look at the ball and at the clock. What Pereira was saying is that the difference between the snap of the ball and the play-clock going to zero was the time it took the official to move his eyes from the ball to the play clock. Why is it not reviewable? I don't know the answer to that question other than to say the league wants to limit reviewable infractions. The idea of replay review is to use it for big-play circumstances, and not every ticky-tacky thing. Hey, the Jaguars defense was set. It was ready to play, so play.

Scott from Newtown, PA:
If you beat a team that has the same record as you, but they have a better conference record, you get in the playoffs, correct? All of the standings show the Jets ahead of the Jaguars, even though they lost to the Jags, 41-0.

Vic: I wish NFL Network wouldn't do the "if the season ended today" routine. It's got everybody screwed up and I'm getting a ton of e-mail asking me why the Jaguars are behind the Jets, even though the Jaguars beat the Jets. First of all, the season doesn't end now and even if it did, the league would have to develop some kind of new tie-breaking criterion because the criterion in place demands equal circumstances and the circumstances are not equal. For example, the Jets are ahead of the Jaguars because the Jets have a better AFC record; 5-4 to the Jaguars' 4-4. As you can see, they haven't played the same number of AFC games, but they will have by the end of the season. This is the second time I've explained this, so try to understand this and then forget about all of this "if the season ended today" garbage. Yes, the Jaguars have the head-to-head tie-breaker over the Jets, but head to head can only be applied when one team has a sweep of the others. If it was just the Jaguars and the Jets tied right now, the Jaguars would be above the Jets. There are five teams tied, however, and they haven't all played each other, therefore, you use the second criterion, which is AFC record. On Dec. 17, the Jets play at Minnesota and the Jaguars play at Tennessee. At that point, the Jets and Jaguars will have played the same number of AFC games.

Markus from Fort Smith AR:
Being an Arkansas local, I can say the tornado thing is a little out of control. Just catch the ball, baby. You agree?

Vic: Yes, I agree. I think we've had enough fun with the tornado story. Frankly, I don't care if he slept through the detonation of a nuclear warhead. I'm not into this hero-worship stuff. My only interest in Matt Jones is as a football player.

Jacob from Tampa, FL:
Have the baseball owners lost their minds? They are spending absurd amounts of money on marginal players. With the NFL salary cap increasing substantially next year, what words of wisdom can you put forth to help us understand the madness?

Vic: The NFL owners should concern themselves with their own madness. They've just approved G-3 stadium funding for the Giants and Jets. It's a huge mistake. It's going to further threaten the financial well-being of small and mid-size markets throughout the league. Revenue-sharing is now more important than ever.

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