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Time to re-hash the game

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

Todd from Birmingham, AL:
Whatever happened to those minimum-wage, veteran one-year contracts that were all the craze a few years ago?

Vic: They're still there. It's just that it's not a big deal for the Jaguars to sign those guys because the team no longer has a salary cap problem. Joe Zelenka is the Jaguars' only "beneficial salary program" player.

Eric from New Haven, IN:
The Jags have a tough first part of the season. What record do you think they need in the first half of the season to make the playoffs?

Vic: You're right, the schedule in the first half of the season appears to be considerably more difficult than the schedule in the second half of the season. It's especially favorable that the Jaguars play at home five times in the second half of the season. In my opinion, the Jaguars need to be nothing worse than 4-4 at midseason to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. Even though the second-half schedule is favorable, games in Minnesota and Green Bay could mean the Jaguars would have to win-out at home and win in Oakland on the final Sunday of the season to have a shot at the playoffs. I still believe 10 wins could win the AFC South.

Al from Jacksonville:
I have an "Instant Replay" question. Does the referee have access to more camera angles when it's a nationally-televised game or a Monday night game?

Vic: Yes.

Debbie from Jacksonville:
I know we've pinned our hopes on Byron as our big-time QB, but when Quinn Gray is so much more poised and doing such a better job, why not cut our losses and go with him?

Vic: Please stop.

Rafi from Jacksonville:
It was relieving to finally win a game, especially in the season-opener on the road. There needs to be changes made as far as play-calling. Byron Leftwich had a horrible outing, referring to his mechanics and decisions. What are your thoughts on our overall production against the Bills, and what changes need to be made?

Vic: The offense needs to improve, but improvement is not about change, it's about growth. This is not the offseason. The roster is what it is. As Chuck Noll would say, "Help is not on the way." Work at it; improve.

Corey from San Francisco, CA:
I saw the highlights. It wasn't a pretty game offensively, but I respect Byron for his determination and getting it done in the end. What did you get from the performance of the offense?

Vic: One of the negatives of resting your stars during the preseason, to protect them from injury, is that they're often not ready to go when the regular season begins. I think that was largely the case with Fred Taylor in Buffalo. It was a warm day on artificial turf and after a preseason in which Taylor carried the ball a total of six times, it wasn't reasonable to expect him to give the Jaguars much more than 15 quality runs, and that hurt the Jaguars on offense because Taylor wasn't Taylor. Yesterday became his preseason and I think we'll see a different guy this Sunday against Denver. As far as Byron Leftwich is concerned, his development will be weekly. He requires patience. The same goes for the young wide receivers. I thought Troy Edwards took a step forward. The offensive line was real good, at times. Consistency is usually an issue for offensive lines early in the season. It'll come. My overall view of the offense is that its improvement rests with Leftwich's development and emergence of a solid number two wide receiver.

Mike from Jacksonville:
What a coincidence, the Jags win in the final ticks, as did last year's Cinderella team, Carolina. What are your pros and cons in yesterday's road win against the Bills?

Vic: The pros are that the Jaguars picked up where they left off last season on defense, their kicking game was complete, and they got real pressure from their defensive ends. The lone con is a lack of production by the offense. It particularly bothers me that Buffalo had nearly eight minutes more time of possession.

Jon from Jacksonville:
When Byron Leftwich throws one of the best deep balls in the league, why do we call two-yard outs on third-and-14?

Vic: I doubt if that was the primary receiver. What you're talking about is a young quarterback showing a reluctance to force the ball into coverage. In my opinion, that's the next step in Byron Leftwich's development; avoid interceptions. He threw one yesterday that was clearly the result of forcing the ball into coverage.

Laura from New Smyrna Beach, FL:
I am one of the few Jacksonville fans who supports Byron 100 percent. What do you think it will take for fans to finally give Byron some credit?

Vic: If winning doesn't do it, then there's something really wrong.

G.P. from Savannah, GA:
You must have had one too many Buds at the game, or maybe you were watching the wrong game. Our offense was putrid at best and your heroic closing was pure luck! The preseason lack of scoring by our first string was no aberration. Get some new glasses, drink less beer or watch the same game the rest of us are. More honest reporting would do wonders for the soul.

Vic: Thanks for reading.

James from Los Angeles, CA:
I just wanted to commend you for writing such a great article about Byron's performance in the Bills game. I feel like it was one of your best articles that summed up the situation perfectly. Great job.

Vic: G.P. doesn't agree with you.

Will from Jacksonville:
If a running back/receiver fumbles the ball, are the yards gained prior to the fumble recorded?

Vic: Yes.

Robert from Sicklerville, NJ:
Hey, Vic, how would you rate the Jags' pass-rush in Sunday's game?

Vic: It was outstanding. I take my hat off to Jack Del Rio for having the courage to make the moves he made at defensive end. It's a young man's game. Put your hand on the ground and go get the quarterback. The Jaguars did. As Del Rio promised, they "affected the quarterback."

Christopher from Fruitland Park, FL:
I look forward to reading what you have to say every day. In my opinion, Byron Leftwich didn't play all that bad on Sunday. His first interception jumped off Jimmy's hands, and his second interception came when Jimmy slipped in front of Reese. The offense wasn't in high gear, but I don't believe it was all Leftwich's fault. What do you think?

Vic: I thought he played poorly until the final drive. Call it luck, call it anything you want, but there was a distinct feeling that he was in control in that final drive, and that the Jaguars were going to score.

Tony from Suwanee, GA:
Please help me out on the play where Eric Moulds stepped out of bounds. I thought when a player steps out of bounds the ball is marked where he stepped out. The officials marked the ball where the ball was. Can you please explain the rule on where a ball is marked when a player steps out of bounds?

Vic: It's just like it is at the goal line. It's the ball, not the feet.

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