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The genius is in the preparation

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

Ryan from Jacksonville:
I have a few questions. How much more money does a team make for participating in a nationally-televised game versus one that is regionally televised? How much money does a team lose if their game is blacked out? Also, is every team in the league entitled to at least one nationally-televised game (Sunday night or Monday night) to ensure equal opportunities for getting revenue from the game?

Vic: Ryan, this isn't college football. In the NFL, all teams share the television revenue equally. They each get one check before the season begins and it's really, really big. A team that has no Monday night games get as much as a team that has three Monday night games. Stop and consider that. Jaguars fans are very quick to complain that because Jacksonville is a small market the Jaguars don't receive as much television exposure as the Giants, Jets or any large-market team. But they receive every bit as much money as those teams, though Jacksonville offers only a fraction of the number of televisions as big-market teams do. That's a pretty good deal, isn't it? It's called sharing the revenue and it's what allows small markets like Jacksonville and Green Bay to be able to compete with big-market teams. Baseball doesn't have that arrangement and that's why we see the Yankees in the postseason every year. It's not the pinstripes, it's the money.

Jon-Michael from Starke, FL:
Do teams have personnel scouts who specialize in scouting non-college players: free agents in Europe, minor leagues, Arena Football, guys like Kurt Warner, Tommy Maddox, etc.?

Vic: Absolutely; you're describing the pro personnel scouting department, which is responsible for scouting football talent in all of the professional leagues other than the NFL.

Bharat from Jacksonville:
Vic, after reading your report on the bye week, I was struck by one of Jack Del Rio's comments. He said, "The management of the game is where my responsibility is on gameday." I feel Del Rio isn't a great gameday coach thus far. What do you think?

Vic: I've always believed gameday or bench coaching is way overrated and much too scrutinized. Heck, you or I could decide whether to go for it or not on fourth-and-one. Just pick one. It's the players who make it work. In my opinion, the real genius rests with the coaching that transpires during the week leading up to the game, especially on Tuesdays, when coaches often remain at work until the wee hours of the morning putting together their gameplans. Preparing a team is about devising a gameplan and coaching players to execute that gameplan. The best coaches are the best preparers. Bill Parcells is a very boring bench coach. He makes logical decisions and his players make it work because they have been superbly coached to do so. Ron Erhardt was Parcells' offensive coordinator with the Giants and Erhardt told me there would be times in the game when the Giants would have their opponents set up for a pass play that might break their backs, and sensing Erhardt was anxious to let it fly Parcells would walk behind Erhardt and say, "Run it, run it, run it." Genius? Or is it just great adherence to the gameplan and the preparation. It's too early to judge Jack Del Rio. Time will do that.

Stephen from Belfast, Northern Ireland:
As you can imagine, the website is the only way I get info on the Jags. I was wondering what your take is on the whole Dante Hall for MVP thing. Do you think a guy who really only contributes on special teams can be an MVP?

Vic: When he makes the kind of impact Dante Hall has, yes. Special teams have really become a major player in the outcome of games, and I think that's for the good of the game. I had previously thought their importance was overrated, but I have changed my mind. One of the reasons I don't like the college overtime system is because it takes the return game out of the action, and players such as Hall have proven that the return game is very much a part of football.

Brad from Franklin, TN:
This is a response to my question yesterday about the salary cap. What if after adding those years on the contract that player retires instead of being cut. Is the team still responsible for paying him his remaining amortization?

Vic: Brad, you gotta go to "Salary Cap 101." Keep working at it, but your questions are way beyond your grasp right now. Amortization is money already paid. It's bonus money that was paid and remains to appear on a team's salary cap. One more time: You pay it, you claim it. It's as simple as that. Let that be your guide.

Shaun from Melbourne, FL:
It's almost halfway through the season and you've had enough time to evaluate our new players, so who has been the best value and who was a waste of money (or draft pick).

Vic: You want me to put the hammer down on a guy after just six games, but when sportswriters do that the fans criticize them for being negative. Who's been a waste of money? That's easy: The guys whose production doesn't equal their salary. Go to the top of the payscale, of any team, and the candidates are many. As far as best value, that's just as easy. Go to the bottom of the payscale, of any team, and the candidates are also many. Troy Edwards would be an obvious one. Is there a point to all of this? I think so: Don't pay too many guys a lot of money.

Raj from Lake City, FL:
Before the season started we all thought Tony Brackens might be done with his NFL career. What are your thoughts about how he is playing?

Vic: I thought keeping Tony Brackens around was a waste of time and that it was becoming a distraction. I voiced that opinion and I believed it. I don't want to jinx Brackens, but to this point in the season it would appear I was wrong. I didn't think he could give the Jaguars nearly as much playing time as he has. And that's the real issue; playing time. The more he can play, the more hope there is he's recovering from his knee surgery and fits into the Jaguars' future plans.

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