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Third jerseys and golf shirts

Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

David from Gainesville, FL:
Will the Jaguars be able to wear their black jerseys at will this year, or do they have to have special permission from the league?

Vic: Any team that has permission to wear a third jersey may do so only once in a season. The Jaguars' black jersey is officially the team's third jersey and it will make an appearance once in 2003. The Jaguars' black pants are the team's second pants and may be worn at any time. Personally, I like khaki and olive green. Those are the only color of pants I have and I wear them all of the time. I have a red golf shirt that is my third golf shirt.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
What is the difference of weakside and strongside linebackers?

Vic: The strongside linebacker plays to the side that is the strength of the offensive formation; usually to the tight end side. The weakside linebacker plays to the weak side of the offensive formation; usually to the side opposite the tight end. OK, I know, what if the offensive formation is balanced? Then the strongside linebacker is the one who bench-presses the most weight.

Hank from Jacksonville:
What is the most critical position, besides quarterback, in the NFL? My first guess is cornerback, because they are hard to find. What do you think?

Vic: Cornerback is a good candidate, especially last season when passing-game statistics markedly increased. You could make a point for left offensive tackle and blind-side pass-rusher. All but a few of the starting left tackles in the league last season were first-round draft choices, and pass-rush stars have traditionally been the highest-paid players on defense. But I believe the old baseball axiom that good defenses are strong up the middle also applies to football. Give me a dominant defensive tackle who will stop the run and collapse the pocket and everybody else on defense will look a lot better.

Robye from Bladensburg, MD:
If Rashean Mathis works out, which I have no doubt he will, do you think the Jags and other NFL teams will progress in drafting black-college players in earlier rounds?

Vic: NFL scouts will go where the talent is, period. If you can run a 4.4 40, they'll come to scout you.

Bharat from Jacksonville:
I'll put you on the spot here. Since you began covering the Jaguars, who would you rate as your top interview? Who is your favorite player to speak with/interview on a regular basis and why?

Vic: This has been a great team to cover. Mark Brunell, Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell, Fred Taylor, and on and on, have all been great interviews. I loved interviewing Leon Searcy. Seth Payne was always accommodating and honest in his comments. Jeff Lageman shot from the hip, and he still does. Ben Coleman would always give you what you needed and was always willing to get into think-piece conversations. Fernando Bryant distinguished himself last season and I consider him to be a breath of fresh air. But I must admit that Tony Boselli was and always will be my personal favorite. Tony's locker is where I went to get the truth. I always felt as though I could talk to Tony, maybe even argue a little bit, and come away with a better understanding of the subject matter. Tony was and I'm sure still is a fan of football. I like that.

Dan from Orlando, FL:
Can you tell us some big-name free agents for next year?

Vic: You gotta be kiddin'. I haven't even taken my vacation, yet, this year.

Greg from Pikeville, KY:
How is Byron Leftwich progressing and is he on course to take the second position by the start of the season?

Vic: Even in the limited field work Byron Leftwich has had since he was drafted, it's very obvious he's making progress. I saw that yesterday in practice when, while making his calls at the line of scrimmage, Leftwich stopped Johnnie Mitchell from going into motion and re-positioned Mitchell. That was very impressive command of the offense for a rookie quarterback in just his ninth mini-camp practice. But, Greg, you're forgetting David Garrard, who has played well enough this spring to make people believe he might challenge Mark Brunell. Quarterback is the strongest position on this team. It will evolve naturally.

Carl from Ware, MA:
Do you respond to all questions? If so, do you send them an e-mail with a response, besides posting it?

Vic: And I'll wash and wax your car, too.

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