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The obvious about Jax

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

John from St. Augustine, FL:
With rumors surrounding the possibility of dealing David Garrard wouldn't Dallas seem like a good fit considering they have two first-round picks and the oldest starting QB in the league?

Vic: Drew Henson is the Cowboys' quarterback of the future, and I expect the Cowboys to step into their "future" very soon.

Jason from Macclenny, FL:
How come some teams don't get a chance to play on Monday Night Football, yet, the Eagles play three times on Monday night this season?

Vic: That's not uncommon. The Eagles are a high-profile team from a big market. That'll get you on MNF.

Susan from Seattle, WA:
As always, we are cheering the Jags on from rainy Seattle. What feeling do you get from the fans at this point in the season? Seeing that another game is blacked out really surprises and disappoints me. Why are the fans not showing up to support such a great team?

Vic: You've asked the big question. We all want to know where the Jaguars are in establishing a fan base. At one point, I got tired of the debate and started to answer the question, "It is what it is." But that's a little flippant for such an important issue, and believe me, this is a very important issue. It is critical to the future of this franchise. Sellouts are good; blackouts are bad. Anyhow, this is the feeling I get from Jaguars fans: There is a faction of passionate Jaguars fans on whom the team can depend. They are the typical NFL fan, which is to say they have made this team and the game of professional football an integral part of their lives. They are no different from the fans in Pittsburgh, Green Bay or anywhere else in the league, but there aren't enough of them to fill Alltel Stadium. That's obvious. As a result, the Jaguars are going to decrease the seating capacity of Alltel Stadium next season. That should result in sellouts that will end the blackouts. So, we will wait until next season when that seating adjustment is made. That's when the gloves come off. No more excuses then.

Mario from Sao Paolo, Brazil:
In your "Salary Cap 101" series you did a great job of explaining how the cap applies to teams, but what I would like to know is how the amount of the cap is determined. Does it increase the same amount every year or is the amount based on other factors?

Vic: The players get two-thirds of the league's defined gross revenue. Take two-thirds of the defined gross revenue for that season, subtract the benefits amount and divide by 32 (the total number of teams in the league) and that amount is each team's salary cap for that season.

Jesse from Vancouver, B.C. :
What do you think the key will be for Jacksonville, coming down the stretch this year?

Vic: Late-season football is all about defense. You better be playing your best football of the season on the defensive side of the ball if you want to have any chance of making the playoffs and/or winning in the playoffs. The Jaguars' defense has fallen to 21st in the league and that has to change. In my opinion, for the Jaguars to make the playoffs this year, they have to get back to playing the kind of defense they did in the first month of the season.

Travis from Live Oak, FL:
It's obvious the first thing the Jaguars have to take care of in the offseason is the situation at defensive end. What area do you think they will focus on after they take care of defensive end?

Vic: Yes, the need at defensive end is obvious. The other clear need is at cornerback. This team has a rush and cover problem that must be fixed if it's to be a true Super Bowl contender. How the Jaguars address those needs, however, is the real issue. You shouldn't draft people out of order because they happen to play a position at which you have a need. Senseless need drafting will ruin a team's roster and salary cap. For a team to address its needs and still maintain the integrity of its draft board, it must massage the entire personnel-acquisition process. There has to be a marrying of free agency with the draft, player development and the salary cap. In other words, if there's a defensive end you like and you think he fits about where you're picking, then don't spend for a guy at that position in free agency. Target the draft pick and go get him. But if there's not a defensive end who appears to fit where you're picking in the draft, then you better find a guy or two in free agency who have legitimate talent and who are not significant cap risks. That's what I mean by massaging. I never liked the idea of signing Leon Searcy when it was obvious the Jaguars could've drafted Jonathan Ogden.

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