"Ask Vic" will not appear next week, so please save your questions until Vic returns from vacation. The next "Ask Vic" will appear on July 5th.
Mike from London, Canada:
Just curious as to whom the tallest receiver in the league is and where does Matt Jones rank in that regard?
Vic: The Jaguars officially list Matt Jones as 6-6 and that makes him the tallest wide receiver in the league. Drew Bennett (Titans), Clarence Moore (Ravens), Aaron Hosack (Vikings), Plaxico Burress (Giants), Joe Jurevicius (Seahawks) and Brian Poli-Dixon (Saints) are each 6-5.
Chris from Pass Christian, MS:
You threw me with the Shanahan has to win on a consistent basis thing. Haven't the Broncos been a perennial playoff team? True, it's been more as a wild-card, but many teams do a free-fall after losing a Hall of Fame running back and quarterback.
Vic: Following the Broncos' consecutive Super Bowl wins, they were 6-10 in 1999, 11-5 in 2000, 8-8 in '01, 9-7 in '02, 10-6 in '03 and 10-6 in '04. They did not win a division title in any of those years. The Broncos made the playoffs in three of those six seasons but were blown out on each occasion. That doesn't fit my definition of consistent winning.
Eric from Jacksonville:
Is the scrimmage on Aug. 5 against another team?
Vic: No, it's an intrasquad scrimmage.
Shawna from Jacksonville:
Let's look at some facts: The Jaguars beat Indianapolis and Denver early last season, they had a better record than St. Louis, better record than Seattle based on the strength of schedule, and played a close game against Pittsburgh. So with those facts in mind, what makes the first half of the schedule so difficult?
Vic: Six of the first seven games are against teams that made the playoffs last season, and four of those games are on the road. I think that qualifies as a difficult opening stretch of schedule.
Sean from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
To quote you, "Don't get hung up on the name. It's not about what he was, it's about what he'll be." That is an absolutely beautiful statement that more NFL fans need to understand.
Vic: Personnel people work in a crystal-ball business. They don't have the luxury of making excuses, such as, how was I supposed to know…? They're supposed to know. They are paid for seeing into the future. Put yourself in the position of a personnel director who has to decide whether or not to persuade the team's owner to cut a check for, say, $10 million. Make a couple of mistakes on those kinds of decisions and you're going to be looking for a job. I think we need to be more understanding of the reluctance for signing a guy who's older or coming off an injury. The personnel guy can't say, "But he used to be a great player." The question is, "What kind of player will he be in the future?" As far as I know, nobody has a crystal ball. That's why it's so important that if a team is going to take a risk with an older player coming off an injury, it better be at the right price.
Bert from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Do you think Alvin Pearman will make an impact on the upcoming season?
Vic: I think Pearman has the potential to be a major contributor as a pass receiver out of the backfield. I think he possesses distinct third-down skills.
Justin from Jacksonville:
I know the Jaguars are covering seats but I wanted to know how many seats do they have to fill up so the games won't be blacked out.
Vic: The Jaguars will have to sell about 49,000 non-premium seats to avoid having the games blacked out. That's one of the smallest blackout numbers in the league.
Brian from Jacksonville:
Which position do you think is most undervalued? I say punter because, although teams don't like to draft them, if your opponent is constantly starting with a short field, you won't win many games.
Vic: I think center is the most undervalued position. He's the guy who makes the line calls and he's the guy who triggers the running game. You can't have a strong inside running game without having a center who can move people off the ball.
Steve from Maitland, FL:
A good chunk of the starters on the Jags are from Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. Is that planned to try to bring in fans from those states or just coincidence?
Vic: It's no coincidence. Those teams have produced a lot of football talent in recent years. They have players on rosters throughout the league.
Nick from Jacksonville:
What do you make of Fred Taylor's comments about his frustration with Tom Coughlin and Jack Del Rio for not reporting his injuries as being serious? I've never thought the strategic rationale was very good for downplaying the seriousness of an injury during the season. Now that Fred has expressed displeasure about the issue, I think it's time the Jags start being more forthright with injury information. They're losing the respect of the most gifted and most loyal player the organization has ever had.
Vic: Fred Taylor was very cruelly dubbed "Fragile Fred" by fans in 2000, when Taylor missed the first three games of the season with a knee injury. He rallied for what was, at that point, the best season of his career. He rushed for 1,399 yards and a 4.8 yards-per-carry average, and gained a Three Rivers Stadium-record 234 yards rushing against the Steelers. Taylor topped the 100-yard mark nine consecutive times that season and he caught 36 passes for 240 yards. In all, he scored 14 touchdowns, but the damage had been done. He was labeled for life and I sympathize with his sensitivity for all of the injury talk he's had to endure. His sensitivity peaked in 2001 when a groin injury in the second game caused him to miss the rest of the year. Unfortunately, the severity of the groin injury wasn't revealed and Fred found himself being used on the weekly injury report as a decoy. That wasn't fair, either. Obviously, he wants the fans to know the details of his most recent knee surgery because after five months of refusing to divulge that information, he cracked this week in a radio interview. I understand why. Nobody wants to be perceived as fragile or soft. Nobody wants to have their courage or toughness challenged. Why would the Jaguars not want information about Taylor's knee surgery revealed? The reason is obvious. No team wants to provide information to its competitors. In this case, however, it involves a guy who's been scarred by that practice. Hey, it's his knee. You want people to know, tell them. He did.