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Three basic pass-coverage looks

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

Stuart from St Louis, MO:
Is it just sad about American sports that we spend so much time worrying about the Terrell Owens and Chad Johnsons and not celebrate the real good guys of the league? Warrick Dunn buys and furnishes houses for single mothers.

Vic: I don't think we ignore good deeds. Dunn's deeds, obviously, haven't been ignored. I'm assuming you learned of his philanthropy through the media. What we're all guilty of, and I include the media, is obsessing on particular topics. We become wired into the fabric of certain stories and we can't leave them. We need constant updates. We've made the mistake, in my opinion, of turning news into entertainment, and that's a dangerous cross-over. The thing in Aruba is the perfect example. It wouldn't go away but we seldom got a credible piece of new information. All of a sudden, the tragic disappearance of a beautiful young girl became a nightly variety show. That's what I call sad.

Chris from Jacksonville:
I agree that the college bowl system needs a lot of work. In your opinion, with the lack of parity between divisions and the difference in schedules, what would be the best way to set up the postseason?

Vic: The same way they do it in all of the other divisions. Setting it up isn't the problem. Don't let anyone sell you on that ridiculous notion. When I hear the excuses, I laugh. Do Division I-AA's players need less time to study for their final exams? Are Division II's stadiums more capable of hosting late-season games? Are the Division III teams more capable of travel? There's only one thing blocking a playoff system in Division I and that's the antiquated bowl system that still exists.

Nick from Rutland, VT:
I'd like to be able to recognize pass-coverages on the field. Is there an easy way to do so?

Vic: Defenses do everything in their power to disguise coverages, but try these basic looks: If you see two safeties deep on the hashes, that's probably "cover two," which is five underneath and two deep defenders (safeties). If you see a single-high safety in the middle of the field, it's probably either cover three or man-to-man. Cover three is four under and three deep. Those are the three most basic and most widely-used pass-coverage schemes. After those three, you get into coverages such as quarter-quarter-halves, which is more difficult to identify in pre-snap. Stick with the first three for now.

Scott from Jacksonville:
I think we can be more effective if we're willing to use both of our quarterbacks. Leftwich is the clear number one and should be. If the offensive line does its job, Leftwich can and will be very effective. If the line is getting beat, Garrard is clearly more effective. What would be wrong with subbing Garrard in those games when our line is not doing its job?

Vic: What if you put Garrard in the game and the line starts playing well? Do you take him out?

Josh from Green Cove Springs, FL:
The average ticket price for the Jaguars is $45.08 and the highest is New England at $90.89, while the average for the NFL is $62.38. Do you ever think the Jaguars will come close to the average? I believe I pay a great price at $47.00 per game in section 149. I can only hope the Jaguars reach the average one day. That would mean they are doing very well.

Vic: Your logic is indisputable and unselfish, too. Wayne Weaver said on "Jaguars This Week" this summer that one of the franchise's long-term goals is to get ticket prices up to the league average. It was one of the two main reasons seats were covered, the other being to end local TV blackouts of Jaguars home games. By lowering Alltel Stadium's seating capacity, the Jaguars hoped to create a supply and demand balance of available tickets that would favor the demand side and, of course, we know that as demand increases, so does the price of tickets. Yes, it's manipulative, but it's something that has to be done for the Jaguars to be able to compete with the big-money teams in the league. As you so capably stated, getting the average price of a Jaguars ticket up to the league average would stabilize the future of the NFL in Jacksonville. Based on ticket sales since the seats were covered, it appears the strategy is working and it will allow the Jaguars, in time, to move their average ticket price toward the league average. As it stands right now, it is dangerously low. I know that's not something fans want to hear and it bothers me to say it. It is, nonetheless, a fact of today's game.

Scott from Woodbridge, VA:
Could you specify for some of us, again, the differences between being labeled "probable" and "questionable" and the chances of playing?

Vic: A player listed as "probable" on the injury report is 75 percent likely to play on Sunday. A "questionable" player has a 50 percent chance. "Doubtful" is 25 percent and "out" means the player is too injured for the coach to play games with on the injury report.

Jon from Belle Chasse, LA:
The Steelers would have definitely gone to a bowl game. They were over .500 and they travel well. Just bring your money, baby.

Vic: You're right, they would've done a lot better than the Bowl because they travel so well. They probably would've gotten a bid from the Gator Bowl, which has always had a clause in its contract with the Big East that if a team other than West Virginia has rightfully earned a bid to the Gator Bowl, the Gator Bowl can replace them with a team that travels better. After all, it's not how you play, it's how you travel. I know people from Morgantown who think Jacksonville is the capitol of West Virginia.

Jack from Jacksonville:
Del Rio and Leftwich keep saying judge the offense during the season. Does the clock start ticking for both of them if the Jags get off to a slow start?

Vic: The clock is always ticking. You're proof of that.

Goran from Jacksonville:
Why haven't the Jaguars signed a true fullback? Wimbush is good but he may not be able to take the beating since he is only 213 pounds.

Vic: Derrick Wimbush is 6-1, 233, and he's as powerful as any running back the Jaguars have ever had. He's learning to play the fullback position, which means he's learning how to block and catch. He knows how to run; trust me on that one. Wimbush is one of the most intriguing players I've ever covered. I have seen him break tackles with such ease that all I could do was scratch my head and wonder why was this guy undrafted? At first, I figured he must not have had much of a career at Fort Valley State, but I was wrong. He started all 11 games in his senior season and he rushed for 1,907 yards, 22 touchdowns and was named conference player of the year. Fort Valley State, by the way, plays pretty good football and has turned out some players: Rayfield Wright, Greg Lloyd and Tyrone Poole, to name three. So I still don't get it. What's wrong with Wimbush? Well, I think we're going to get a good look at him this season and we'll either find out what's wrong with him or what's wrong with the scouts who scouted him. Maybe they were the same scouts who thought Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick.

Jason from St. Augustine, FL:
Good news! My wife said I'm allowed to go to an away game this year. I've never been to another NFL stadium. Any suggestions?

Vic: I'm so glad your wife is going to let you come out and play this year. My wife complained to me that I didn't tell her I was going to Atlanta in the middle of the week. I just stared at her, then I pointed to the new schedule magnet I got her for the refrigerator door. She apologized. Anyhow, if I could only go to one game, I would go to the one in Philadelphia. I've heard nothing but great things about "The Linc" and I'm looking forward to seeing it. Plus, I always like to go to the zoo at least once a year.

Alon from Malibu, CA:
I see Clint Ingram third on the depth chart at OLB behind Pat Thomas. Has he been a disappointment so far?

Vic: When he was drafted by the Jaguars, I studied his background at Oklahoma and the one thing that jumped out at me was that Clint Ingram was a late-bloomer. I think I've shared that in this column and on the radio. I believe very firmly in track records and when I saw that Ingram was a late-bloomer in college, I decided he should be afforded time to develop his skills in the NFL. If you expected him to be a starter, you're disappointed. I'll be disappointed if he's not a starter two years from now.

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