Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Paul from Jacksonville:
I just read on nfl.com that Marques Ogden is on injured reserve in NFL Europe. What is the extent of his injury and how might it impact his chances of making this year's roster?
Vic: It's just a sprained ankle. My understanding is that it's of no long-term concern.
Amanda from Green Cove Springs, FL:
This is really my first year following football, so this is probably a stupid question but I hope you take it. This question relates to Fred Taylor and comparing his running style to those of the past along with comparing Greg Jones. My dad says Fred and Greg remind him of Gayle Sayers and Earl Campbell. Is this accurate? They are before my time, but I hear they were both great. This will be my first year going to the games. I'm 14 and excited about the season.
Vic: You bet they were both great. Gayle Sayers and Earl Campbell are two of the names I always mention when talking about the greatest running backs of all time. How unfortunate it was their careers were relatively short. I remember as a teenager going to see the Bears and Steelers play on opening day and Sayers took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. I covered Campbell in several big games. He was, in my opinion, the ultimate power back. Your dad is saying Fred Taylor has Sayers-like elusiveness and big-play ability and Greg Jones has Campbell-like power, and those comparisons are accurate, but they are also very aggressive. Sayers and Campbell are in the Hall of Fame.
Mike from London, Canada:
Is the tape that must be provided to other teams like what we see on TV? Or is it a more static aerial shot of everything that's happening on the field?
Vic: Game video covers the whole field and is shot from two angles: sideline and end zone. Each angle includes the 22 players on the field and each play includes a sideline and end zone view. It compares in no way to what you see on TV.
Scott from Reynoldsburg, OH:
With the team now old enough to have a fair share of retired players, I was wondering which former Jags you think have the stuff to be an NFL coach? What do you think of Pete Mitchell or Tony Boselli?
Vic: There are a lot of players who have the stuff to be fine assistant coaches. Pete Mitchell and Tony Boselli are two of them. But the vast majority of players don't want to spend the long work hours required of coaches, whose salaries are a fraction of what players earn. Players the caliber of Mitchell and Boselli should finish their careers with lifetime financial security, which includes a very rewarding NFL pension. They usually want to spend their post-football lives enjoying the fruits of their labors by spending time with their families and, in the case of those who can still raise their arms above their shoulders, playing golf. My radio partner, Jeff Lageman, would be an outstanding assistant coach and, in time, a head coach candidate. But Jeff likes to sleep late and kill animals, and that's not part of an assistant coach's job description. Plus, Lageman's got a ton of money.
Russ from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
For the first time in a number of years, the Jags are looking promising, so much so that I am now a season ticket holder for the first time. My question is, do you think we will shore up the offensive line enough to allow our relatively young quarterback time to throw the ball and our running backs to hit holes instead of a wall of defenders?
Vic: What? Russ, the Jaguars set a franchise record last season for fewest sacks allowed in a season, 28. At the same time, Fred Taylor had his best season as a pro and the Jaguars just missed setting a franchise record for yards rushing in a season. The offensive line was, without a doubt, the most accomplished area of the team last season. In my opinion, if they perform this season as they did a year ago, this team will be a division title contender.
Andrew from Ft. Lauderdale, FL:
I know the Jags have a great defense, but do you believe they have enough firepower in their offense to beat teams such as the Chiefs? Or enough skill in their defense to stop the Chiefs? For some reason, most people are predicting that to be a Jags win, but I would assume that will be one of our harder games. I mean, the Chiefs did happen to be 13-3 last year.
Vic: I don't think we can say the Jaguars have a great defense. They had a great run-defense last year, but they were fourth-worst in the league in sacks and they were 31st in third-down defense. Yes, the Chiefs had a great offense last season, but their defensive performance against the Colts in the playoffs was pathetic to the point of humiliation, and performances that soft and cheesy can damage the soul of a team. Frankly, I don't know that the Chiefs will recover from their embarrassing late-season collapses against the Vikings and the Colts. Forget about 13-3. Focus on no punts. As you can tell, I'm down on the Chiefs. I liked them a lot better when they played great defense and struggled on offense.
Malosi from Valencia, CA:
Are there correct answers to the questions you posed in the fourth installment of "Defense 101," or is it that some answers are better than others?
Vic: Some scenarios apply to multiple substitution defenses, while other scenarios should be addressed by one specific defense. Remember, part four of "Defense 101" dealt with substitution defenses, not coverage schemes or blitz packages. Here are the scenarios and the preferred solutions: • Third-and-three/one back, two tight ends, two wide receivers: Play nickel or base. • Second-and-six/two backs, three wide receivers: Play nickel or base. • Third-and-10/four wide receivers, one tight end: Play dime. • Second-and-10/five wide receivers: Play quarter. • Third-and-six/one back, three wide receivers, one tight end: Play nickel or dime. • First-and-goal inside the five-yard line/two backs, two tight ends, one wide receiver: Play 44 or goal-line.
John from Gainesville, FL:
What do you think about the Jaguars current tight end, Kyle Brady? Also, which rookie tight end do you believe will do the best this upcoming year?
Vic: Kyle Brady is an accomplished every-downs tight end. In my opinion, "every-downs" is the critical consideration. In my opinion, if a guy is just a pass-catcher, then he's a wide receiver lined up as a tight end. If he's just a blocker, then he's a tackle playing tight end. Brady can block and catch, which makes him a true, every-downs tight end. I expect Kellen Winslow Jr. to be that kind of player. His dad wasn't.
Ron from Jacksonville:
I think re-signing Tony Brackens would give the Jaguars a very effective pass-rush, provided the ends can stay healthy. Think about it this way: Brackens has had a year to recoup his surgically-repaired knee, which seems to make all the difference with knees, and Hugh Douglas is looking like he's put forth the physical commitment to have a Philadelphia-type year. Between those two and Spice, the Jags should be able to shake things up behind the line of scrimmage. What's your take?
Vic: That's the rose-colored glasses approach. I tend to see life through deeper shades.
Pierre-Jean from Montpellier, France:
Hi, Vic, I really like your column. My question focuses on the role of fullbacks on most of NFL teams. I am quite surprised to see them play solely as run-blockers. The last seasons have shown the importance of versatility, especially with tight ends. Do you have a clue why this is not the same with fullbacks? I so much enjoy seeing players like Mike Alstott.
Vic: Mike Alstott is a running back/fullback hybrid. If you can find that kind of guy, great, but you'll spend a lot of time looking. Reading your comments and question, I can't help but remember a story relayed to me by long-time offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt. Erhardt had a running back, Barry Foster, who was averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and a fullback, Merril Hoge, who was averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Hoge was irritated that he was only getting three or four carries a game, so he went to Erhardt and complained. Erhardt listened to Hoge's reasoning, then Erhardt added some of his own: "Fine," Erhardt said. "When I wanna (sorry, Doc) gain 4.3 yards, I'll give the ball to Foster, and when I wanna gain 3.3 yards, I'll give it to you." Get the point? In most cases, the running back will gain you more yards, running and catching. What the fullback does best is block.