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The quarterback must go down softly

Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
The celebrations of NFL players today reminds me of small children who do things for attention. Why do adults do this? Where is the respect for the game? What former or current players would you like to see players emulate? Barry Sanders, Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Jerry Rice?

Vic: How about Larry Fitzgerald?

Brady from Richmond, VA:
Some NFL teams will post their future opponents for upcoming seasons. Is there a way Jaguar fans can check and see the Jaguars future opponents?

Vic: In 2007, the Jaguars will host Oakland, San Diego, Atlanta, Carolina and the team from the AFC East that finishes in the same place in the standings that the Jaguars do in the AFC South. The Jaguars will travel to Denver, Kansas City, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and to the AFC North team in the same place in the standings. Those games are in addition to the Jaguars' six AFC South games.

Ryan from Syracuse, NY:
When was the last time the Jaguars won a game by this many points?

Vic: It's the second-greatest regular-season margin of victory in Jaguars history. The greatest margin of victory is a 48-0 win over the Browns in 2000. The greatest postseason margin of victory, of course, was a 62-7 win over the Dolphins in the 1999 playoffs.

Nathan from Mesa, AZ:
The defense was money. I can't stand the offensive penalties, though. There's still work to be done because other teams in the weeks to come will cash in on those penalties. Your thoughts?

Vic: I didn't think someone could find a negative in a 41-0 win, but you did. You should be a sportswriter.

Brian from Philadelphia, PA:
Are we finally seeing the emergence of Reggie Williams as the primary receiver in this offense? Or do you think Matt Jones is still considered the number one wide receiver?

Vic: Come on, give the guy his due. Reggie Williams is the Jaguars' leading receiver with 24 catches for 297 yards and four touchdowns. No other wide receiver has caught a touchdown pass.

Daniel from Orlando, FL:
I know you have explained it before, but I cannot locate it. Why wasn't the game aired in Orlando?

Vic: The Orlando CBS affiliate must televise Jaguars road games, but the network may choose not to show a Jaguars home game in the Orlando market.

Roger from Jacksonville:
By the end of the first quarter the Jaguars were in complete control and the lead was 28-0 at the half. The game was over. Why did Byron play in the second half? Why did any starters play the second half? I just don't understand that. Can you explain that to me?

Vic: First of all, an NFL roster just doesn't provide the numbers to replace everybody. Secondly, it's a matter of preparedness. A lot of the reserves play on the scout team during practices and spent their time being the opponent. The question you're asking has been asked for years and years. The answer is always the same: You play the players who've gotten the preparation. I can remember the same question being asked about the quarterback 30 years ago. You know, in all of the times I have covered these situations, I don't ever remember the quarterback getting hurt.

Scot from Jacksonville:
I'm with you on the roughing the passer calls against the Jets. If the QB has the ball in his hand, isn't it the job of the defender to sack him?

Vic: The first roughing call was for the defender falling on Byron Leftwich with all of the defender's weight on Leftwich. The second one was for head-to-head contact. The message in those two calls is that defenses must ease up on the quarterback. He's literally not part of the same game. That's difficult to accept, since the quarterback is the centerpiece of the game and most of us grew up with the philosophy that "the quarterback must go down and the quarterback must go down hard." Not any more. These days, the quarterback must go down softly. I don't like it. If you don't want your quarterback hit, run the ball.

Mike from London, Canada:
The Chargers called a fair catch on a kickoff, which I didn't know you could do. If you can call a fair catch on a kickoff, why can't you call for one on an onside kick?

Vic: You can, until the ball hits the ground.

Brian from Boston, MA:
So let me ask you the same question that you asked us: Was that the real Jaguars?

Vic: Jack Del Rio gave his team a short and simple game plan. I think that was smart on his part because it was a way of challenging his players to win the game with simple fundamental football. He made it clear that it's about players, not plays. Was that the real Jaguars? Yeah, I think it was, but the second part of the question was: Are the Jets that bad? I think they are.

Daniel from Jacksonville:
Just wondering what the conventional wisdom among coaches is for handling the bye week. Is it usually a time to give players a full week off from football, or do coaches hold workouts, practices and film sessions to get ready for the opponent after the bye week?

Vic: The bye week is a time of review and correction. The Jaguars will conduct practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

Paul from Jacksonville:
During yesterday's romp of the Jets, I stood in utter disbelief as I saw a fan wearing a number 18 Indianapolis Colts jersey in "The Bud Zone." I quickly extended my finger and let out a loud boo. I followed this creature for about 50 steps, making sure every Jags fan around was aware of the presence of a Manning fan on our soil. I then got back to my friends and the game. Not a punch thrown. No threats. Truthfully, the entire encounter was quite playful. I cite this as an example of how to stand your ground as an NFL fan without the use of violence. It's a lesson that has yet to be learned in many stadiums.

Vic: I don't like what you did. What you did and your justification for doing it is the reason I have taken such a strong stance toward fan behavior.

Cal from Jacksonville:
The Colts have been winning a lot of close games lately. Are the Colts in decline?

Vic: Their record doesn't indicate it, but I think you know what my opinion is.

Pete from Ormond Beach, FL:
Just want to let everyone know that behavior at Alltel isn't the greatest either. After each game I see groups of Jags fans harassing the opposing teams' fans and occasionally a fight breaks out. I guess there are fans who think they are players all throughout the NFL.

Vic: That's the problem. Too many fans think they're players.

Kyle from Crane, TX:
Before the season started, I would have been happy to have a 3-2 record after five games, considering the tough schedule. But so far, only one team that we have played actually has a winning record. Is this a reason to worry about the Jaguars?

Vic: I don't think it's a reason to worry, but you've made an interesting observation and I salute your ability to objectively analyze. That's the kind of fan savvy I respect.

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