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That'll shut him up

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

Christopher from Miami, FL:
I have always been a Dolphins fan and the Jaguars have been number two, but now they're number one for me so I watch them on the dish whenever I get the chance. Do you think the Jags should have gone after Ogunleye?

Vic: I haven't heard or seen much of Adewale Ogunleye. All I know is that he cost the Bears a lot and he has one sack. "Ask Vic" regulars know I was opposed to trading for Ogunleye. Letting one guy hold you up like that just isn't me.

Mark from Kansas City, MO:
In the term "eight men in the box," what is "the box?"

Vic: It's the area where defensive linemen and linebackers are traditionally positioned; in other words, at and just behind the line of scrimmage. The eighth man is usually a safety and defenses attempt to creep him up toward the line of scrimmage on what are believed to be running downs. Of course, the danger of doing that is that you make yourself more vulnerable to the pass. That's why you run the ball. Run it and run it and make them move that safety up into the box. Then, when you have them thinking run, put the ball in, take the ball out and throw it over the top.

Joshua from Jacksonville:
You answered a question referring to Reggie Williams' poor start and how this offense has to let him loose and find that boost to launch his career. Why wouldn't that apply to Byron Leftwich? Everyone knows what his greatest strength is, his arm. Your thoughts?

Vic: Fifty-four passes isn't good enough for you?

Chris from St Augustine, FL:
We have already determined that seats will be covered next season and we all know the bad stigma that comes along with seeing tarps covering seats. Has Wayne Weaver considered covering the seats with something that looks more permanent so it doesn't look so bad? Maybe even sell advertising space to offset the lost ticket sales revenue?

Vic: What do you want him to do, paint "This isn't a cover" on the cover? How about, "There really aren't seats under here, it's a putting green?" Or maybe they could paint pictures of people having a good time. Hey, why not just put dummies in the seats. How would we know, right? I can't help but think why is it necessary to spend all of this money on covers? Why not just take the seats out of service and let them sit there empty? Do we honestly believe the covers are going to hide something?

Pete from South Riding, VA:
Why don't you see more guys that are DTs being used as DEs? Seems to me if you had a four-wide line of DTs that they could just shut that line down, then the linebackers just have to really handle containment. I'm sure there's a good reason. Enlighten me, Vic.

Vic: Yes, there's a very good reason. It's called rushing the passer.

Kevin from Centre Hall, PA:
I am a big Paterno fan, Vic, but I honestly don't think Penn State will be back on the winning track until a successor for Paterno is named. I believe he's hurting recruiting because students are not sure how long he will be the coach. In regards to the Jags and strong finishes to the season, do you have record of what the Jags defense was ranked at this time last year?

Vic: Heading into the week six game against Miami, the Jaguars defense was ranked 15th overall, sixth against the run and 27th against the pass.

Nathan from Richmond, VA:
Since we are having our problems along the defensive line with stopping the run, could you explain the responsibilities and the actions of a defensive tackle as opposed to a defensive end. In other words, why would Tony Brackens and his abilities have been OK at tackle, and John Henderson with his tool kit might not be able to live out on the edge.

Vic: Who said Tony Brackens was equipped to play tackle? He wasn't. Brackens would've been swallowed up by the wave of blockers on the inside. He was never big enough and strong enough to absorb that kind of punishment. Brackens' strong suit was his great athletic ability, and I do mean great. He could run. He had great instincts and movement. He could catch the ball. All of those skills made him perfect to play in space and I always felt Brackens would've been a perfect 3-4 linebacker. John Henderson isn't a play-in-space guy. He doesn't move well enough to play end, in my opinion. He doesn't have the kind of first step an end needs to come off the edge and beat the tackle to the outside. Henderson is a bull-rusher. He's a dominant physical force. He is perfectly-suited to play defensive tackle. Simply put, ends are pass-rushers who are asked to also stuff the run; defensive tackles are run-stuffers who are also asked to rush the passer.

Wade from Winston-Salem, NC:
I read an article about the Giants defensive coordinator. They quoted him and the linebackers coach. Now, I know this isn't necessarily Jags news, but has Coughlin softened the no assistants talking to the media rule?

Vic: This is the Giants' bye week. Tom Coughlin is permitting his assistant coaches to speak to the media during the bye week.

Stevie from Waycross, GA:
I'm in the fifth grade and I really think Leftwich is the best quarterback for the Jags, but my friend Robbin and I disagree. Every day at lunch he says David Garrard is a better quarterback. What can I tell him to really shut him up?

Vic: Obviously, Robbin knows nothing about the salary cap, so give him the facts. Tell him about Leftwich's amortization and paragraph five money. Tell him about Leftwich's escalators and how they're going to impact the Jaguars' future salary caps. Then ask him, how can you justify that kind of investment for a guy sitting on the bench? That should shut him up. If that doesn't work, let me know. I'll give him a call.

Todd from Birmingham, AL:
Is there a limit to the number of players a team can put on injured reserve? If the regular squad is capped at 53 and the practice squad is capped at eight, it would stand to reason that IR would be capped too?

Vic: How do you cap injuries? OK, no one else is allowed to get hurt. If you get hurt, we'll have to cut you. No, Todd, the injured reserve list is not capped. In fact, the 1976 Tampa Bay Bucs own a dubious distinction that involves their injured reserve list. It's something like the only team in history to finish the season with more players on injured reserve than touchdowns scored.

Eric from Jacksonville:
If drafting and developing a player is the way to build, can we trade for a player from another team's practice squad and develop him, or is that not allowed?

Vic: There's no need to trade for a player on another team's practice squad. Just sign him. That's all it takes. All players on the practice squad are free agents that may be signed by any other team at any time, provided that player is immediately assigned to his new team's active roster. It happens quite often. Do you have someone in mind?

Trey from Jacksonville:
It seems like you have studied the AFC South. I'd like to ask you what predictions do you have, if no injuries occur, for the Colts? Any signs of them slowing down?

Vic: I am very impressed by the Colts' fast start. I didn't think they would go 3-1 in the first month of the season. I looked at New England, Tennessee, Green Bay and Jacksonville and I saw nothing better than 2-2. Frankly, I thought 1-3 was possible. Their 4-1 record has them in a very strong position and the next two weeks could go a long way in determining the fate of this division this season. Predicting the Colts' future, however, is all about knowing whether or not Peyton Manning will stay healthy. With him, their outlook is pretty strong. If they should lose him, I don't know how they could win another game. It's a one-man gang in Indianapolis. The Colts are about to enter another testy little stretch of schedule. They will host the Jaguars, play at Kansas City and then host the Vikings.

Ron from Jacksonville:
You said you thought Keenan McCardell was the best free agent the Jaguars have ever acquired, so I was wondering, was Jimmy Smith a free agent or did we make a trade with the Cowboys for him?

Vic: Jimmy Smith was a street free agent, which means he was out of football. He had been cut by Dallas and Philadelphia. The question posed to me yesterday obviously referred to free agents who had gone through the spring process.

Gary from Jacksonville:
When I first saw Byron Leftwich's throwing motion it reminded me of old Steeler quarterback Joe Gilliam. Do you have any info?

Vic: Joe Gilliam had one of the best arms I have ever seen. If you rank the arms of all the quarterbacks the Steelers have ever had, Gilliam is right behind Terry Bradshaw, and I mean right behind. The guy threw darts, but he also carried the ball very low. He would literally bring the ball up from below his waist. I suspect that's what you mean when you compare Byron Leftwich to Gilliam; the ball being away from the body. Quarterbacks back then were more able to get away with that flaw in their delivery because their drops were so much deeper; the rush seldom got behind them. Three-step drops were unheard of and the Steelers were a seven-step team because their quarterbacks had such great arms.

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