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This one is on us

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

Tim from Fleming Island, FL:
I see the salary cap for 2009 just went up by $12 million. How is this determined? Does this mean that the owners are not as bad off financially as they say they are?

Vic: It's the result of something called CAM (Cash Adjustment Mechanism), which is a process for adjusting the salary cap according to real-cash spending. In the last few years, teams have spent below the CAM threshold and the CBA provides for an adjustment upward in that event.

Bill from Jacksonville:
The Colts play an NFL schedule, too, and in the last 10 years they have averaged 11.4 wins and 4.6 losses. The Jags have averaged 8.3 wins and 7.7 losses. Are fans asking too much for the Jags to match the Colts' level of success?

Vic: Yeah, I think that is asking too much. What you've described is one of the greatest 10-year runs in NFL history. Frankly, I think it would be asking too much for any team's fans to expect that kind of success. An 11.4-4.6 record every year for 10 years is extraordinary, yet, you talk about it as though it's commonplace. I'd be interested to know how many teams in NFL history have been 11.4-4.6 in a 10-year period. The truth is that 8.3-7.7 isn't all that bad.

Josiah from Spring Hill, KS:
The draft went well for us, polling shows that the fans expect a better season, chemistry issues have been dealt with, and the coaches, players, and yourself seem optimistic about the coming season. Do you see anything that would indicate trouble for the team outside of the rebuilding situation?

Vic: The stadium is the big concern because it doesn't have a name on it and there are empty seats in it.

Jeff from Indianapolis, IN:
Given the draft and the loss of the head coach, all three coordinators, the offensive line coach, etc., do you think the Colts' streak of making the playoffs is in serious jeopardy?

Vic: It's going to be difficult for the Colts to overcome their losses and make the transition they're facing. The stability Peyton Manning provides has never been more important. It's all on his shoulders.

Travis from Columbus, OH:
To place a question on the Jaguars site just to make fun of someone for forgetting the "D" in crowd is ridiculous. Show some class for the Jaguars organization, Vic. I think the organization should know about you using their site for comments like these.

Vic: I'll tell them. You're right. This is all very serious. Attempts at humor must not be tolerated.

Mike from Melbourne, FL:
In 2008, the Jags had a lot of home opponents that traveled well. I know the Bills will bring a bunch of Canadians again, but what other teams in 2009 do you think we can count on to help us avoid blackouts?

Vic: We're on our own this year and, hopefully, the Jaguars will bring a lot of Floridians to their games at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. I know Jaguars fans resent all those yellow towels that invade Jacksonville when the Steelers play here, but we sure could use them this year. They buy seats and they get the game on TV for the local fans. It's unfortunate the Jaguars play in a division that doesn't travel well. The Bills may bring a few people, but they're not going to significantly ease the ticket burden. The 2006 home schedule was the "travel team" schedule. The Cowboys, Steelers, Giants and Patriots put a lot of fans in the Jacksonville seats. This year's home schedule is the exact opposite of the '06 version. The Cardinals, Rams and Chiefs aren't going to bring many fans. The Dolphins still have some fans in north Florida from the days before the Jaguars' emergence, and that'll help sell tickets, but that's about it for expecting help. This one is on us.

Johnny from Hastings, FL:
Do you know why the NHL gets it? Because the players went on strike and for years no one came to their lousy, boring games, so they made the rules better, the game more fun and, most important, the NHL and its players embraced the fans. I love the NFL, it has been a part of my life as long as I can remember (I will always hate the Patriots for clearing the snow before that field goal), but it seems to me the NFL players are getting more interested in Sportscenter than sportsmanship and fans. A strike over money would be catastrophic. Your thoughts?

Vic: NHL players got it long before the recent one-year lockout. NHL players have always been respectful of the game and an intensely loyal bond between the players and fans has always existed in hockey. I have never, ever seen a hockey player direct attention to himself following a goal – or at any time, for that matter – as football players do following as minor an accomplishment as making a tackle. If hockey was football, they'd have to stop the game after every hard check so the players could get in each other's face for awhile and show everybody how angry they are. As far as a strike over money, that's not the issue. Should we have a work-stoppage in 2011, it would be the result of a lockout, not a strike. Would it be catastrophic? Well, you seem to think it worked for the NHL.

Charles from Orange Park, FL:
Would the NFL be flexible enough to allow home games in September to start at four p.m. or six p.m., to offset the heat factor? I certainly think this would add to ticket sales.

Vic: I don't agree. I don't think it would help sell more tickets. I think it's just another excuse.

Jason from Brooklyn, NY:
Can you briefly but thoroughly explain what the "Air Coryell" offense is? I have heard it in various football discussions I have taken part in, but have no idea what it is.

Vic: "Air Coryell" is nothing more than the "West Coast" offense Bill Walsh would later install as head coach of the 49ers, because Walsh was the offensive coordinator of the Chargers who transformed Dan Fouts from a struggling quarterback to an accomplished passer, and that laid the foundation of what would become "Air Coryell." It's all quick-throw stuff meant to flood the passing lanes with receivers and throw to the first guy who gets open.

Gil from Atlantic Beach, FL:
The season ticket holders "from day one" are the base the organization should focus on. Just like in politics, you can't overlook your base. I'd love to see rewards, benefits or just plain recognition be given to those who've carried the ticket sale load. I'm grateful for their efforts and sacrifices, and would love to see it be worth something for them.

Vic: They have my gratitude and, in my opinion, their reward would be a healthy, sustainable future for the Jaguars in Jacksonville. If that happens, I'll spearhead a movement to construct a monument to all the fans who've had season tickets for every Jaguars season.

Nick from Jacksonville:
Will you be making the OTA videos this year? That really helped pass the time last year.

Vic: Yes, I'll be doing that, and I'll start by doing one today, which is to be the first of 12 OTA practices.

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