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The morning after

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

Glenn from Sumter, SC:
Everyone loves to complain about respect on this site. Respect is earned, not given. The Jaguars had their chance to earn respect. They don't deserve it. I'll be a Jags fan until my dying day, but games like this don't help sell tickets. That's reality.

Vic: My message all along has been not to worry about respect. It's meaningless. The national media's respect isn't going to save this franchise. This town perseverates on the respect issue and the rest of the country is sensing it and delighting in piling on the ridicule. I am asking everyone, for our own good, to get off this respect kick. Let it go. It comes with winning. When that happens, respect can no longer be denied. What we need to do, for our own sakes, is to focus on the big picture and stop obsessing about present-tense expectations. If this season turns into something, then we'll treat it as a bonus. Our expectations, however, should be for the future. The Jaguars are in a rebuilding project. I've been saying it and writing it for two years. I have not lied to you. The expectation should be for this team to be built and in the hunt within the next two years. That's where my focus is and that's where I think everyone's focus should be. I'm going to give GM Gene and his boys the time they deserve to fix this. How long? As I said last year, 3-4 years. This is a project. A patch here and there isn't gonna get it done. In the meantime, I think it's fair for everyone to have an expectation that this team will be competitive, which it hasn't been in three of its six games. That's a problem.

Tim from Tucson, AZ:
I'm a players-not-plays guy, but is the Jags' secondary and linebackers really this bad or are they also not grasping something?

Vic: We're six games into the season and the Jaguars are 29th against the pass and 30th in overall defense. The sample is no longer small. It is what it is and the Jaguars are what they are. When an opponent has Chris Johnson in its backfield and it comes out throwing, I think it's telling you all you need to know about an evaluation of your secondary.

Joseph from Jacksonville:
If the two Jags losses (San Diego and Philly) were a fluke, then the last two wins were a fluke. The Jaguars in general are a fluke. All the hype leading up to this game and this is how they play? Is it Garrard or coaching? It absolutely is one or both. No other excuse.

Vic: Forget about excuses. Seek reasons. The reasons are many. The two young offensive tackles didn't play well last night. I saw very little separation between Jaguars receivers and Titans defenders. I could be wrong about that but that's what I saw from the press box. I know I saw a dropped pass on a critical third-down play and I saw a fumble at the Titans' 10-yard line following a reception. I saw Bo Scaife running free in the secondary; I called his shots on two plays. I don't know what it is, but I know the reasons are many and they are shared. It was a dreadful performance and the worst part is that I sensed great energy for this game in the players. This team was emotionally ready to play. What does that say?

Steve from Indianapolis, IN:
I am a big fan of the Jags and tonight is the first night I have been able to read your blog during the game. I noticed the Facebook wall on the side and saw how sad some of the things that are said are. I was just wondering if you have ever read the things that some of the people write. It really saddens me.

Vic: Steve, I have to read the sad things every day. I got home at about 2:30, went to bed and, as usual, stared at the ceiling until just before the sun came up. The night's work is just too intense to be able to turn off like a light switch. As I stared at the ceiling, I was consumed by the thought of all the sadness and anger I would be facing in a few hours. Hey, I saw it pouring into my inbox as I was blogging the game. Trust me when I tell you that I am sad today. I am sad for the Jaguars and Jacksonville. I am sad that so many fans were counting on last night to be the dawn of a new day, and that it turned out the way it did.

Ryan from Tucson, AZ:
Where is our fire when we play on MNF? Flat again, just like 2008 against Houston and 2007 against Indy?

Vic: That is such a hollow reaction. That team was not flat. The Jaguars just didn't play well. Why? I don't know, but the team did not lack energy or desire. It lacked the ability to stop the pass and the ease with which the Titans moved down the field in their first drive dulled whatever edge the Jags brought into the game. Immediately, they knew they had a problem. It had to shake their confidence. It shook mine.

Kerry from Virginia Beach, VA:
It's easy to cheer for a team that is winning, much harder to cheer for a team that is struggling, but a fan is there for both. Time for Jacksonville to grow up; love the team no matter what. They are Jacksonville.

Vic: Jacksonville deserved better than that.

Luis from San Juan, PR:
I'm done. See you next year.

Vic: Folks, please don't litter my inbox with this kind of crap, OK? If you wanna talk football, I'm here for you. If you wanna cry, tell it to your dog or your comb or something. I'm not taking attendance. It's not necessary to tell me you're done.

Eric from Sugar Notch, PA:
We all know the defense has an excuse for the poor showing: They're not very good. What's the offense's?

Vic: Last night, neither one was very good.

Rick from St. Augustine, FL:
The world history teacher is from Pittsburgh, so she gets the idea that every boy in the class is going to be up to midnight (on Monday), whether they're going to the game or not. She let those that wanted to come in early (on Monday) and take the test before school do so. He got a 100 percent. As for your advice with regards to what I should tell my wife, she hasn't stopped laughing long enough to respond.

Vic: Pittsburgh girls know about Monday Night Football. Your son's got a good teacher and you've got a good wife. Tell your kid to hang in there. Better days are ahead.

Jon from Durham, NC:
You had the solution to the helmet-to-helmet hits a year or two ago. No facemask.

Vic: Everybody laughed at me. OK, I'll compromise. Just reduce the facemask to a single-bar limit. No birdcages and Plexiglas allowed, and reduce the size of the helmet, too. Do those things and the helmet-to-helmet hits will end without sacrificing protection to the face. Why doesn't the league seem to understand that the more you pad the head, the more players are going to use their head as a weapon?

Andrew from Ft. Lauderdale, FL:
Why don't they replace the defenseless receiver rule with a strict helmet-to-helmet rule? Or would that be too broad?

Vic: What happens when the ball-carrier drops his head on the defender? Is it the defender's obligation to avoid the ball-carrier's head?

Josie from Jacksonville:
Why were the Jaguars calling multiple times out at the end of the fourth quarter? It was like watching the condemned begging the executioner for his life. It was pitiful.

Vic: If Jack Del Rio hadn't done that, he'd be ripped today for not playing to win. Chuck Noll used to say, "When you win, you're great. When you lose, everything you say and do is wrong."

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