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This is not college football

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

Justin from Jacksonville:
Since blackouts are going to be the norm this year, why doesn't the NFL or the Jags show the game on tape delay like how Sunshine shows all the Gator and Seminole games during the following week, or like how they tape-delayed the Jaguars training camp show?

Vic: At some point in time we have to begin understanding the NFL can not be compared to college football. The NFL is a premium product that has its own TV network. The NFL protects its product and the exclusivity of those who've partnered with the league to broadcast its games. It is a very expensive partnership that is beyond the means of most local TV outlets.

Jordan from Kill Buck, NY:
My question is if a player picks up a fumble does he have to have both feet in bounds before he goes out of bounds? Can he be forced out of bounds before he gets two feet down?

Vic: "A fumble is legally recovered or caught in bounds by a player if the player had both feet in bounds prior to the recovery or catch … a loose ball (is) recovered if the player inbounds would have landed inbounds with both feet but is carried or pushed out of bounds while in possession of the ball in the air or before the second foot touches the ground inbounds by an opponent. The player must maintain possession of the ball when he lands out of bounds." That's how the rules governing fumble recoveries read in the "2004 Official Playing Rules of the National Football League."

Tom from Jacksonville:
Is it true we are allowing Denver to wear white jerseys instead of dark? I read a comment that Jack doesn't see a difference in color because of the Buffalo game last year. Why would we not exploit our climate as much as possible, just as northern outdoor stadium teams exploit the cold? Has he never noticed a difference in wearing a black shirt vs. a white shirt in the sun? Even if they are only a few degrees hotter, why not?

Vic: Yes, Denver will wear white this Sunday. That's the result of new uniform policy instituted by coach Jack Del Rio during the offseason. Buffalo kind of stuck that dark jersey stuff in the Jaguars' ear last season and that bothered Del Rio. You win football games with shoulder pads, not jersey color. That white-shirt crap is for sissy teams. By the way, how do northern teams exploit the cold? Do dark jerseys keep you warmer when it's 10 degrees?

Don from Lake Mary, FL:
As a Jax native and season ticket holder from the get-go in 1995, I appreciate your efforts in explaining standard NFL QB development to the uninformed Jags fans (sorry). Is there a time in the future when you can fairly judge that Byron has what it takes to win consistently, he's average at best, or he's a seventh-overall-pick bust?

Vic: You bet there will be a time. You don't get a free ride in this league, and pressure to produce is relative to the size of a player's contract. It's understood that young players need time to develop, and that is most true at the quarterback position. What I need to see in Byron Leftwich is consistent development. By midseason of this year, I need to see that he is limiting his turnovers and improving his game-management skills. Toward the end of this season, I need to know that he has the ability to get hot and carry this team. I don't expect to see that on a weekly basis, but I need to see evidence that he can be that kind of quarterback. The real pressure comes in year three. By midseason of 2005, it'll be expected of Leftwich that he play as an almost-fully-developed, productive and proficient NFL quarterback. At that point in time, if it's not happening, you begin to worry. As for right now, it's not even a thought. In my opinion, you commit to at least three years of dedicated development when you pick a quarterback high in the draft.

Steve from Jacksonville:
In the first week the Jags defense ranked tied for 22nd in third-down conversions allowed. Do you think this will become a serious issue? We're ranked fifth in overall yards allowed. I'll take fifth overall but what about that third-down conversion number?

Vic: Don't get too hot on league rankings early in the season. They're like batting averages in April; they fluctuate excessively. After four games, we can begin looking at the rankings and feel as though they are accurately portraying the Jaguars' strengths and weaknesses. Remember, after week one of last season, the Jaguars were 23rd in the league against the run. That sure didn't tell us much, did it?

Mike from Jacksonville:
Is the city of Jacksonville in danger of losing its franchise? Ticket sales have been slow for some time now and the team is still pretty new. If it takes a Super Bowl caliber team to sell out the stadium, then where does that leave this franchise? Teams of that caliber don't come around very often so what is your take on the fan situation?

Vic: Jacksonville is not in danger of losing its franchise. Wayne Weaver is deeply rooted in the Jacksonville community. There is, however, a growing concern for this team's attendance problem. It's looking as though all eight home games could be blacked out, and that is not a good thing. What's the reason? It depends on what excuse you like best. I'm tired of analyzing it. It is what it is.

Jordan from Syosset, NY:
I live in New York and have "Sunday Ticket." Will I be able to watch the game?

Vic: Yes, because you are not in the Jacksonville primary television market or one of its secondary markets.

Jim from Jacksonville:
What exactly is a cut-block?

Vic: It's a technique by which a blocker throws himself at a defender's knees for the purpose of taking the defender off his feet. It's commonly associated with the Denver Broncos' run-blocking scheme. Cut-blocking is permitted, chop-blocking is not. A blocker is ruled to have committed a chop-block when he blocks a defender in the area of the thigh or lower while, at the same time, the defender is engaged with another blocker.

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