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They'll spread it around

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

Jason from State College, PA:
Can they bounce back?

Vic: Yes, Jason, I believe the Jaguars can bounce back. The season is still early and there are only six teams in the AFC that have a better record than the Jaguars. Bouncing back would best be served by a win this Sunday against Kansas City, but my sights are set on a second-half schedule that is conducive to getting hot at the right time of the year. In my opinion, if the Jaguars can win two of the next three games, they will be perfectly positioned for a stretch run. Now, how about your team? When is Penn State going to bounce back? I send a lot of tuition money there and, frankly, I'd like to see more wins.

Scot from Jacksonville:
With regards to covering seats, one would think they would take away the upper deck, which are the cheapest tickets. This would drive up the average cost of the remaining seats. Is that how you see it shaking out?

Vic: The Jaguars have painstaking decisions to make on what seats they cover. The intent will be to create a new stadium, and that will almost certainly involve new pricing, but that pricing must also be accomplished in a way that is consistent with the needs of the current ticket buyer. The Jaguars are going to do this in a way that will satisfy everyone, and that means it won't be as easy as covering from the top down. One of the major concerns will be the corners of Alltel Stadium. Don't assume anything. This is not a simple project.

Tony from Jacksonville:
Vic, I have read a lot of your comical and icy-wit responses, but none have been as side-splitting as what you wrote about Jeff Lageman. By what you wrote you guys must be good friends (I hope). Anyway, I noticed they are trying to get Reggie going, but it's not coming along as hoped. Does he deserve to be starting when others are outplaying him, or are they trying to save face because he's a first-rounder?

Vic: It's not a matter of saving face; the expectations for a top-10 pick are too high to be able to save face by merely having him in the starting lineup. What the Jaguars are attempting to do is promote and facilitate the development of a player in whom they have made a major investment. They have attempted to provide an environment in which he might excel. Maybe it's time to back off that a bit. Maybe at 21 years of age Reggie Williams needs a more relaxed pace of development. If that's what you're suggesting, then I'm in agreement.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
I can't help but wonder what is the Jaguars personality? The Titians, Steelers, Cowboys, etc. have that distinct personality regardless of which coach is hired. They are what they are and they draft and hire based on that personality. When it doesn't work, they make changes but they remain who they are. In the first 10 years of Jaguars football I still cannot figure out our team. We have had polar opposites as head coaches and on offense Del Rio is compromising the personality he wants to establish. I have to agree with you that the shotgun just doesn't say power football. Isn't that Jack's stamp on this team? Stop the run and run the ball?

Vic: Yes, it is, and the Jaguars have gotten away from it this year. I think your comments are right on. The Jaguars' personality under Jack Del Rio is power football, and in the second half of last season they achieved that style of play. That's why I'm so optimistic about the second half of this season. I have a feeling that strong second-half kicks are also going to be the personality of this team under Del Rio.

Mark from Jacksonville:
How many consecutive games has Byron Leftwich thrown a touchdown pass?

Vic: Ten; the last time he failed to throw a touchdown pass in a game was against the Jets on Nov. 23 of last season.

Pete from Jacksonville:
I totally agree with you on taking the ball and running it down the opponent's throat. The Jags should stick with what they do best, "Run the ball, stop the run." The second half of the season was successful from the mentality of three yards and a cloud of dust. I believe everything else will trickle down like a domino effect. The point production will get better, opposing teams' yardage will be reduced, etc. Is that too far off the mark of what the definition of Jaguars football is?

Vic: Is there an echo in here? Yeah, that's it, Pete. Let's look at this thing in simple black and white: Last year the Jaguars were eighth in rushing and second against the run. So far this season they are 26th in rushing and 20th against the run. What more do we need to know about what has to improve for this season to be a success?

Oot from Silver Spring, MD:
It's evident Reggie Williams is off to a slow start. He has yet to record over 50 receiving yards in a single game. Do you think Jack Del Rio will try to incorporate more plays for Reggie Williams in the game plan to get him more involve? It seems like Leftwich's favorite targets have been Jimmy Smith, Troy Edwards and Ernest Wilford.

Vic: I think the situation would be best served if they found one thing Reggie Williams does well, then let him do it. That's what happened with Ernest Wilford. He began by catching jump balls in the end zone and now his game has grown beyond expectations. Success breeds confidence. It creates enthusiasm. Find one thing at which he can succeed, and that single success could launch Williams' career.

Joshua from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
OK, I know, I know, the solution to our situation at defensive end is in the draft. I promise, I repeat your mantra daily. However, isn't Chad Bratzke sitting around at home watching NFL Network or something? Couldn't we at least rent him for 11 weeks? Surely you admit that it will be difficult at best to be very competitive with our current DE crop.

Vic: One of the reasons I hesitate in answering these types of specific questions is that I'm not a scout. I don't know the specific information about these out-of-football players. My information is that Chad Bratzke's knees are shot, but I don't know that for a fact. What I do know is that the Jaguars haven't signed him. What should that tell us? We have to be logical about this. Just because you recognize the name doesn't mean the guy can play. Players get old. Players wear out. There's a reason no one has signed these guys.

Dave from St. Marys, GA:
Would you care to speculate on which seats might be covered next year?

Vic: My guess is that it'll be spread around: the upper decks, the north end zone, the corners. Obviously, they will cover seats in those areas that are toughest to sell.

Max from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I read that a teammate said to Hugh Douglas that he "stunk up the place," regarding his healthy paycheck/poor performance in Jacksonville. This is aggravating because now he has been picked up by a very successful team. I don't know what went through Douglas' mind but it seemed as if he missed his home and thought that maybe he would play poorly so he could be released from his contract. You're a smarter guy than me so, tell me, how does the league or teams penalize players with large contracts that are suspected of poor playing just to get out of a contract?

Vic: This is America and what you're describing has become our new definition of entrepreneurial spirit, but I'll avoid making a political statement. What can teams do to protect themselves against falling victim to such entrepreneurial schemes? Well, they could provide poor-performance clauses in the contract, but, of course, the player would never go for that. Or they could do this: Don't sign expensive free agents. Stick with the bargain-basement guys. Build through the draft, patch in free agency. That's the formula I like. If you're looking for star players in free agency, you're gonna go broke and get stung. You know, there's an old saying about love affairs: Don't get involved with anyone who has less to lose than you. When you sign an expensive free agent, you're the one who has everything to lose.

Nick from Jacksonville:
Who in your opinion is the best free-agent acquisition the Jaguars have ever had? I'd have to give the nod to Kyle Brady, although Mike Peterson is certainly worthy of consideration, and Deon Grant has the skills to eventually earn that distinction.

Vic: Keenan McCardell.

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