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The day Del Rio took control

Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Joe from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:
Vic, sorry for the bother, but when is the draft this year and is ESPN covering the whole thing?

Vic: The draft is scheduled for April 24-25, and I expect ESPN will offer its usual outstanding coverage.

David from Port Orange, FL:
Hey, Vic, I love your insight and great opinions that you put into each column. Can you please answer this question? In your opinion, what was the worst performance of the season and do you think this coaching staff and players have worked out all of the mishaps from that game? In other words, have they learned their lesson and what lesson did they learn?

Vic: The Jaguars' worst performance of the 2003 season was, undoubtedly, their 30-17 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 26. The following week, in Baltimore, the Jaguars took on the look of a different team. From that point on, they were a physical, stop-the-run defense and a physical, run-the-ball offense. They played everybody tough the rest of the season, and physically beat up the Titans in Tennessee in a 10-3 loss three weeks after the Titans knocked the Jaguars around Alltel Stadium. Whatever happened in that first game against the Titans, it obviously had a major impact on the Jaguars. With Jack Del Rio's biting postgame remarks, the Jaguars learned their coach wasn't going to tolerate such performances. That was the day Jack Del Rio took control of this football team.

Vince from Jacksonville:
I know you said no more offside questions, but your answer brought to mind a play that used to be legal and I was wondering if it still was. I am speaking about "the Dallas Flex," where the linemen would all be crouched with their elbows on their knees. At the first sound they would all stand straight up and then go into their three-point stance. Thank you for your answer and a great column.

Vic: The Dallas "Flex Defense" had nothing to do with the manner in which the offensive linemen set themselves. The "Flex Defense" was a defensive strategy in which the defensive linemen positioned themselves a yard off the ball. What you're describing is a simple "set" technique that was a trademark of Dallas offensive lines when Tom Landry was coach. It had nothing to do with the rules. It was just a way of getting everyone set and alert at the same time; like everybody clapping their hands in unison as they break the huddle.

Matthew from Melbourne, Australia:
What is a "pancake?"

Vic: "Pancake" is football terminology for a block that results in the offensive lineman having put a defender flat on his back. If memory serves me correct, it was a PR creation to help promote Bill Fralic when he was the dominant offensive lineman in college football in the early 1980s.

Will from Naples, FL:
Hey, Vic, what are the chances we'll see Peyton Manning in a Colts uniform next year? And is franchising him even an option, considering quite a few teams would be more than willing to give up two first-round choices for a player of his caliber?

Vic: Franchising Peyton Manning isn't an option because the Colts would have to pay Manning at 120 percent of his previous year's salary cap number, which would put him at $18 million.

Gary from St. Marys, GA:
If wide receivers are so easy to find, then why has our wide receiver corps been lacking for so long?

Vic: Since the Jaguars released Keenan McCardell in a salary cap move following the 2001 season, the Jaguars have only drafted one wide receiver, Kendall Newson in the seventh round of the 2002 draft. The Jaguars have clearly been in reconstruction, and you don't rebuild your roster by focusing on wide receiver. They've focused on rebuilding their two lines – they've drafted Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Maurice Williams and Mike Pearson in the first and second rounds of the last two drafts – and the results are clearly reflected by the Jaguars' number two run-defense and number eight rush-offense last season. The Jaguars also set a team record for fewest sacks allowed in a season last year.

Trip from Jacksonville:
Of all the "big guys" you listed from the 2001 draft, which team got the best value for the pick? I would say it would be Kris Jenkins (round 2, pick 44).

Vic: The 2001 draft was clearly the "big guys" draft. Eleven offensive and defensive linemen were selected in the first round and nine were picked in the second round. Kris Jenkins was absolutely great value, and the same could be said for Maurice Williams, who was selected with the 43rd pick of that draft. Tom Coughlin was a confessed "needs" drafter, and he was determined to spend his first two picks on linemen. His decision came down to this: Marcus Stroud in the first and Williams in the second, or Kenyatta Walker in the first and Jenkins in the second. Stroud-Williams would seem to have been the right call.

Donna from Jacksonville:
Why do teams wait until March to release players everyone knows will be released? It seems players are held back to negotiate for a new team, even though it's a known fact.

Vic: Teams are not permitted to release players until Feb. 24.

Josh from San Bernardino, CA:
Since the 14-2 season, I think we've all noticed the inability to score points on the offensive side of the ball. One thing I wanted to see this year was my Jaguars score over 30 points, and we all know we can move the ball, but it didn't happen. I hope we can correct our red-zone offense next year, but I wanted to know, since that great season of ours, how many games have we gone over 30 points?

Vic: Six times; none since a 33-3 win in Minnesota on Dec. 23, 2001.

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