Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Greg from Orange Park, FL:
"Gutting your roster isn't rebuilding?" Not if the new players are better than the ones gutted. Prognostication is necessary for the fans, but I think we'll know if we're rebuilding once we're deemed in/out of the playoffs. The Falcons were rebuilding last year during training camp.
Vic: I don't think you know the definition of the word rebuilding. It means to reconstruct, as in the reconstruction of the roster. It doesn't mean you have to lose, though that is often the result of rebuilding. Making or missing the playoffs does not define rebuilding. Only roster turnover defines rebuilding and I expect significant roster turnover. Let's wait until the final roster is determined, and then tell me if the Jaguars are rebuilding.
Max from Albuquerque, NM:
Would you care to expand on the Yogi story? What about a table of cold cuts makes you think of Yogi?
Vic: Nobody got it. I'm stunned. I thought there would be several people who read the book and remembered the visual Jim Bouton created of Yogi Berra in the locker room standing over a table of cold cuts. Please, somebody tell me they remember the story. It's too funny for me to be the only person to have remembered it. Here's a hint: He was scratching something.
Brewer from Jacksonville:
What's a reasonable expectation for the amount of undrafted rookies that will make the 53-man roster?
Vic: Teams commonly average 6-7 rookies on their 53. The Jaguars had six rookies on their 53 on opening day last year; seven in '07 and eight in '06. The Ravens once had 19 rookies on their opening-day 53. That's an extreme number. It was a rebuilding year for a Ravens team that had significant salary cap problems. The Titans were loaded with rookies a few years ago as they were coming out of cap problems and rebuilding their roster. It wouldn't shock me if the Jaguars had 11-13 rookies on their 53 on opening day this year. That number, of course, would have to include some undrafted guys. Jack Del Rio has kept 12 undrafted rookies on his final 53 on opening day in the Jaguars' previous six seasons.
Michael from Columbus, OH:
Just about 24 hours after Michael Vick was reinstated by the NFL, Brett Favre decided to stay retired. Something fishy is going on.
Vic: Favre was no longer needed as a "Dead Zone" diversion. He was replaced by Michael Vick. Now we can focus all of our insanity on Vick.
Maxwell from Jacksonville:
The Jaguars are in search of an identity. Given all the unknowns, don't you think that it'll work to our advantage as far as scouting is concerned, since we are essentially an unknown quantity?
Vic: Yeah, the Jaguars could sneak up on some teams early in the year. The rookie receivers could give the Jaguars' passing game an element of surprise. One guy in particular, tight end Zach Miller, may surprise opponents with his speed and athletic ability. New Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker will no doubt offer a scheme personality the Colts haven't seen from the Jaguars in past years. In the Jaguars' case, no identity is a good thing, for awhile.
Charles from Rockledge, FL:
What's the deal on the new no smoking policy?
Vic: What's new is that they're going to enforce it. By and large, it's the same policy the team has had. To view the policy on jaguars.com, click on "tickets" and go to "my jaguars account," which will take you to a page where you should click on "game day changes." There you will find "smoking policy-new!"
Thrill from Jacksonville:
My wife is eight months pregnant. She's due around the time of the "Ask Vic" golf tournament, however, I will still be in attendance.
Vic: What happens if you're on the last hole, tied for the lead, all of your partners have hit their shots out of bounds, they're counting on you to save the day and your cell phone rings? It's your wife and she says, "It's time." Do you do what they'd do on the PGA Tour and walk off the course immediately? Or do you finish the round, claim your prize and grab some BBQ to eat in the car on the way to the hospital? What I can't figure out is why we're so important. I remember being there when my sons were born and the nurses just kept pushing me out of the way. I felt useless, and I was.
Brian from Greenwood, IN:
After downloading the "Jack Del Rio Show" from your website in MP3 format, I almost laughed out loud while listening to it during a flight on my most recent business trip. JDR said that he had to "consult with you first, before naming the Oklahoma drill participants." Since you have that power, how about letting the "Ask Vic" readers determine the matchups? An online vote would work. Personally, I would like to see Eugene Monroe vs. Terrance Knighton.
Vic: Sorry, but the requests have already been made. I met with Coach Del Rio yesterday afternoon and he was very accommodating, as he always has been since he agreed to make the Oklahoma drill a first-full-pads-practice staple. I think it's fantastic that Coach Del Rio has been so agreeable to the Oklahoma idea. The fans love it, he knows it and the fact that he's made it a training camp tradition should say everything about his respect for the team's fans. Anyhow, the Oklahoma appears to be on the schedule for next Wednesday evening's practice, and my headline request is for a matchup between Monroe and Derrick Harvey. It's all about storylines and Monroe-Harvey would pit the eighth picks of the last two drafts against each other. It's a natural and I had no trouble selling Coach Del Rio on it. Monroe, of course, has to come to contract terms with the Jaguars for this to happen, so I am now appealing to Eugene to get it done, even if it's a one-day contract. My number two request is for Eben Britton vs. Quentin Groves, which would be a battle of second-rounders. I sensed that Coach Del Rio was just OK with that one. A contingency request, should Monroe not be in camp by next Wednesday, would pit Britton against Harvey. I also requested Mo Williams or Uche Nwaneri vs. Knighton, and I sensed a twinkle in Coach Del Rio's eyes when I offered undrafted rookie Julius Williams vs. Tony Pashos.
Robert from Las Vegas, NV:
Would you rather face a stretch of tough opponents at the beginning of the season or at the end?
Vic: I'd rather face them at the end because that's how you build momentum for the playoffs. I think the win in Pittsburgh late in the 2007 season is the game that got the Jaguars on a roll. Looking at recent Super Bowl champions, it appears big games late in the year got them peaking for the postseason. Last year, the Steelers played these games in succession: at New England, Dallas, at Baltimore and at Tennessee. They went 3-1 in those games and it made them a hot team going into the playoffs. In '07, the Giants had that monster game against the undefeated Patriots on the final week of the season. The Giants lost, 38-35, but it looked like and felt like a win and I don't think the Giants would've beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl had they not played against them in that regular-season finale. It's what you do in December that counts. I've always believed that. It's about crunch time. It does no good to ease into the playoffs.