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The Madden curse is real

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

Ralph from Jacksonville:
Isn't the new show on ESPN called "Playmakers" going to give the NFL a worse image? From what I've seen so far from previews, it shows the negative parts of the NFL. Do you agree, Vic?

Vic: There have plenty of books and movies in the past that have featured the dark side of professional football, yet, the sport has grown.

David from San Diego, CA:
The Jags have a lot of good acquisitions this year, including Byron Leftwich. However, I am most excited about the signing of free agent J.J. Stokes. What do you think he can bring to the Jacksonville passing attack?

Vic: Height, soft hands and veteran know-how, all of which should make him a productive red-zone receiver.

Alex from Los Angeles, CA:
Love the article. Living in LA leaves me high and dry with respect to Jaguar news, so you are a great source of information. My question concerns Brett Romberg. I have heard nothing about him during training camp. How is he progressing? He wasn't cut, so does that say that he is somewhat promising?

Vic: Brett Romberg was outstanding in the Miami game, and that shot his stock up considerably. He is a legitimate candidate to make this team.

James from Vancouver, British Columbia:
I agree that stopping the run is important to a team's success. But last year the weakness of the NFL's best defense was stopping the run, but they were the best pass-defense in the league and eventually won the Super Bowl. With every down now considered a passing down, shouldn't teams be focused on stopping the pass?

Vic: Stopping the pass is good, and Tampa Bay was number one in the league against the pass, but the Bucs' run-defense was hardly a weakness. The Bucs were fifth in the league against the run. The bottom line is that if you don't stop the run, you won't have to stop the pass.

Kevin from Colorado Springs, CO:
I know it takes the entire team to win a game, but it appears it only takes one player to lose. It appears to me George Wrighster did all one player could to see that his team would lose the game. Has he shown you anything in practice to show you he was worthy of a fourth-round pick?

Vic: In mini-camp right after the draft, he was horrible, but he's acquitted himself in training camp. I'm not saying I expect him to be the next John Mackey, but Wrighster has some upside. He's stylish-looking at catching the football; smooth, graceful and powerful. And he's a hands-catcher. On the downside, he doesn't appear to have any special athletic qualities, so, his ability to block is likely to determine his future in the game.

Eddie from Jacksonville:
My question concerns Matthew Hachette and his attitude. He made two nice receptions, which will obviously help him win the battle at wide receiver. But after his 37-yard reception (against the Bucs), he got up and, even though you could see in his eyes he was fired up, he just went back to the huddle; no dancing or anything. Do you think this business-like, I-can-make-that-play-any-time-I-want attitude can also help him in the eyes of his coaches, or do you think they don't care as long as he makes plays? I found it refreshing in this look-at-me era.

Vic: I can't say I noticed, so, I'm glad you brought it up. I'll watch Hatchette after his next big catch. If he plays it cool, I'm sure he'll score points with Jack Del Rio, but the bottom line is always "making plays."

Alan from Jacksonville:
With all of the discussion about the need for improvement on the Jaguars run-defense, it got me thinking: How can we have a Pro-Bowler and two first-round draft picks making up three-quarters of the defensive line and still have a poor run-defense?

Vic: How about a Pro-Bowler and two first-round draft picks on the defensive line, and a $4 million middle linebacker? I can't answer your question; only acknowledge the validity of your concern.

Pierre from Orange Park, FL:
How many rookies do you think will make the 53-man roster? Right now, I can see nine or 10.

Vic: I can see as many as 13 or 14.

Dan from Thousand Oaks, CA:
ESPN's Chris Mortenson reports the Jags were shopping around Mark Brunell on Monday, but the Jets, Cowboys and Ravens all said they weren't interested. Even if the Jags can't trade Brunell, is it looking like Garrard or Leftwich will start?

Vic: Obviously, if the Jaguars release Brunell the starting job will fall to either Garrard or Leftwich. I don't think it's an issue of trading Brunell. His $6.75 million salary will make it very difficult to find a team willing to pay that kind of money at this late date. It's a matter of whether the Jaguars want to pay that kind of money, or move into their future.

Jordan from Lincoln, NE:
Are there different committees in the NFL that owners and coaches are a part of? If so, what are the different ones and if the name doesn't explain it could you?

Vic: Competition committee (rules), Hall of Fame committee, Super Bowl ring committee, Finance committee, Broadcasting committee, Business Ventures committee (ancillary businesses, such as, Audit committee, etc.

Kelly from Jacksonville:
Are you aware of the "Madden Curse?" It's said that any players who appear on the cover of the Madden video games are cursed for that year. Dating from 2001 up to now, those players have been Eddie George, Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk and this year it's Michael Vick. Care to weigh in?

Vic: The evidence is overwhelming. It's John Madden's revenge for the "Immaculate Reception."

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