The suspense could build all week

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

Scott from Ormond Beach, FL:
Nick from Jacksonville is an idiot. He's spending his entertainment money elsewhere but he's still reading your columns.

Vic: I don't want anyone calling anybody but me an idiot in this column. It's disrespectful and I won't tolerate it. I have been assured by the IT boys that we will have an "Is Vic an idiot?" poll in an "Ask Vic" in the near future, per the request of one of my valued readers. At that time, "Ask Vic" readers will decide once and for all if Vic is an idiot. Hopefully, at that time, the need to use that kind of insensitive language will be extinguished. I'm serious, folks. I don't want this column to evolve into another website hangout for crude talk. Sparring is fine, but no name-calling.

Dan from Columbus, NE:
I am interested in going into coaching as a career, but I have the problem of not playing football. I know about Tom Coughlin but, besides him, how many other NFL head coaches never played the game?

Vic: Never played the game? Tom Coughlin was a standout wingback on Ben Schwartzwalder's Syracuse teams in the mid-1960's that included Floyd Little and Larry Csonka. This "never played the game" stuff is something else that needs to stop. All of a sudden, if you've never played in the NFL, you've never played the game. Football is the same at all levels. It's a game of blocking and tackling. If you've played the game at any full-contact level, you've played the game.

Christopher from Williamsburg, VA:
I really don't understand these so-called Jaguars fans. I wonder if the Steelers fans gave up on their team last year? Maybe elite teams need elite fans. Your thoughts?

Vic: I judge fans by ticket sales. Good fans throughout the league complain when their teams lose. A lot of teams with great fan bases have no-shows when their team is having a bad season. Complaining fans and no-shows in bad seasons don't bother me. I judge fan bases on ticket sales. As long as ticket sales are strong, so is a team's future. Ticket sales in Jacksonville right now are strong. That's one of the best things this franchise has going for it. Should that change next season, then so will my opinion of the Jaguars' fan base. This season has had all of the ingredients for strong ticket sales. The team was coming off a 12-4 record and had a home schedule that included several premier opponents. Next season, the home schedule won't be as strong, and what if the team doesn't achieve the same level of success this season that it did last year? What would that combination do to ticket sales in Jacksonville? The answer to that question will determine how strong this fan base is. Good fans' passion for the game is not conditional.

Brian from Orange Park, FL:
I had lunch on Friday with my kids at their elementary school. It was "wear your favorite team's shirt day." I was delighted at all the Jags gear on Georgia-Florida weekend.

Vic: There's no doubt these kids are growing up Jaguars fans. That's where their heart is and if something should happen that this town doesn't keep this team, those kids will have their hearts broken. In my opinion, it's our job to keep this thing alive and healthy for the day when the kids can take over. Maybe that's being too sentimental, but I know what sports meant to me as a kid and I know how important my kids' favorite teams are to them, and I have no doubt it's the same way today for the kids in Jacksonville. This is their team and they've made the leap for life.

Nate from Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Vic, you are wrong again about kickoffs. Whichever team kicks off to start the game will receive the kick to start the second half. This is basic football. How do you not know this? Maybe you were a little too "in the grass." The reason most teams elect to receive the kick is because they want to try and score first, so as to put pressure on the opposing offense to get out of its game plan early.

Vic: OK, Nate, you're the captain of your team. You've won the coin toss and the official asks you what your choice is. You may kick, receive or defend a goal. You may not defer your choice in the NFL. You've decided it would be a better idea to receive to start the second half, so you tell the official you want to kick off to start the game. I hope your coach likes you, Nate, because before the start of the second half the team that lost the opening coin toss is now going to have its choice of whether to kick, receive or defend a goal. Guess what, Nate, they've elected to receive, which means you have now kicked off to start both halves. You're right, Nate, it's pretty basic stuff and you should know it. You pick to start the game, then they pick to start the second half, or vice versa. Each team gets a chance to exercise an option. Don't feel bad, though, because I got an avalanche of e-mails from people who are just as ignorant of the coin toss rules as you are. What amazes me is that the same people who don't even know the rules governing the coin toss think they know everything about play-calling and quarterback mechanics. They couldn't even get the coin toss right, but they wanna tell me what's wrong with Leftwich's mechanics. Here's a little tip, Nate. If you win the coin toss, tell the official, "I want the ball." Here's another tip: Google Abner Haynes.

John from St. Augustine, FL:
Of passes that traveled 21 yards or more in the air, Leftwich is two for 15 for 65 yards, no TDs, two interceptions and a passer rating of 5.6 (ranking 42nd in the league, one spot ahead of Vince Young for last place). To put this in perspective, (prior to this past weekend's games) McNabb was 11 for 33 with four TDs and Eli Manning was 13 for 26 with six TDs. This isn't a one-year problem, either. In 2005, Leftwich's passer rating for this category ranked 40th (17 for 53, three TDs and four interceptions). So basically, the Jags can't throw deep. Your thoughts?

Vic: Those are meaningful statistics. Thank you for providing them. My first reaction is that the Jaguars aren't throwing deep nearly often enough. My second reaction is to ask why not? Here's a third thought: We've praised the Jaguars this season for finding a way to utilize Reggie Williams' talents. What the Jaguars have done is throw the ball short to Williams. I don't think anyone would argue that it's a strategy that's allowed Williams to have success he otherwise would not have enjoyed. So, if we're going to praise the Jaguars for throwing it short, I think it's unfair to criticize them for not throwing it long. In my opinion, and you may not agree, this team doesn't have deep receivers. Whatever the reason is, the lack of deep plays in the passing game is reason for concern.

Seth from Jacksonville:
If you win the toss and elect to kick the ball, you will receive the kickoff after the half. I thought I would correct you.

Vic: Et tu, Brute?

Chris from Pensacola, FL:
To your response to Artie, you're wrong. If the winning coin toss team elects to receive, they will kick off at the start of the second half, whereas if they elect to kick off, they will receive in the second half. I thought everyone knew that.

Vic: A lot of people did.

Christian from Orlando, FL:
I'm not jumping on the David Garrard bandwagon just yet, but I saw a spark that the Jags needed. He adds a new dimension to our team that Byron can't do which is make plays with his feet. I feel confident with either one, but who do you think should start this week?

Vic: It doesn't matter to me. One is a better thrower, the other one is a better runner. Just pick one. I think we've reached the point in this quarterback debate that we all know it has to end. It's ceased to be entertaining and, frankly, I don't see a distinct difference in the results from one quarterback to the other. It's going to stay with this team for the rest of this season, but it has to be resolved in the offseason.

Bo from Jacksonville:
What did you think of Sidney Crosby?

Vic: Wow!

Ray from Middleburg, FL:
I watch the game and listen to Jeff and Brian. On a Philly punt, we took out the punter and the ref said the ball touched the ground; no penalty. Jeff mentioned something about a bobble. Could you explain?

Vic: Review showed that the ball did not hit the ground, but it doesn't matter. Once the punter bobbles the snap or strays from his normal catch-and-kick routine, he's live and the rushers can go after him without risk of roughing him. The Eagles punter bobbled the ball and took a couple of dodge steps before he punted. Those actions constituted a break from routine.

Micheal from Beaufort, SC:
Why aren't cameras allowed in the team boxes (the referees stopped play and made Marcus Stroud put a camera away in the fourth quarter)?

Vic: The NFL doesn't allow cameras in the coaches' box because they don't want coaches using sideline cameras to assist them in devising strategy.

Ross from Halifax, VA:
Was our defense that good or was Philadelphia's offense that bad? Or is it a combination of both?

Vic: The Jaguars defense was outstanding. The defensive line dominated and sacked Donovan McNabb four times. McNabb, however, was really off his game. I don't know if it was the wind or if he just had one of those days when the ball felt like a brick in his hand. Whatever it was, he was wild with his throws and his decision-making. I think Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith deserves a lot of credit for making McNabb wild with his decision-making. I saw McNabb try to dump the ball to a receiver who was being covered by Marcellus Wiley, and on another occasion McNabb tried to lob a ball to a receiver who was tripled-covered and had absolutely no chance of catching the ball. It should've been intercepted. I have never seen McNabb as completely ineffective as he was yesterday.

Keith from Jacksonville:
How do you think Del Rio will respond to the quarterback dilemma? I don't think there is one. Garrard, for the most part, managed the game. Winning is good but he didn't do enough for me.

Vic: I assure you, there is a quarterback controversy and Jack Del Rio knows there is. He came into Sunday's postgame press conference with a prepared response to questions about the position. He asked reporters to wait until later in the week, maybe today but probably Wednesday, before he addressed the situation. What Del Rio does at quarterback will be the news story of the week in Jacksonville. I'll bet you could sell tickets to his Wednesday press conference. His options are: 1.) Return Byron Leftwich to the starting job. 2.) Delay Leftwich's return and keep Garrard in the lineup. Logic tells me Del Rio is likely to tell us on Wednesday that he's going to monitor Leftwich to determine whether his ankle is healed enough for him to play. It could be a game-time decision, which means the suspense will continue to build all week. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that's the way it's going to roll out.

Bryan from Paterson, NJ:
I just got done listening to the highlights on the local station and the reporter said the Eagles lost to the Jaguars at home "surprisingly." I don't see it as a shock like he does. So is it really surprising or is he exaggerating?

Vic: I would describe it as "stunning."

Derek from Fort Dodge, IA:
Living in the heartland, I don't get a lot of chances to watch the Jaguars play on TV. Your blog this year has been a very informative and reliable tool for those days I don't have the means to watch the Jaguars. Sunday, I was able to watch the game and read your blog. I was very surprised to see how fast you update your blogs. Can you elaborate on how you accomplish this?

Vic: They play, I write. That's all.

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