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Titans more physical

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

Gamble from Jacksonville:
Is it me or has this offseason been exhausting? With the CBA, T.O., "Big Ben's" spill and everything else NFL in the news, how great does training camp being just around the corner sound? Are you ready for some football, Vic?

Vic: I am ready to start. Usually at this time of the year, I'm lamenting the start of training camp because it means six months of a heightened work load and, more importantly, it's goodbye golf. This year, however, I'm looking forward to camp. I don't know why but I am. I think part of the reason is that my wife can't wait for me to start working long hours and be away from home every other weekend again. Too much time together can be bad for a relationship.

Timmay from Jacksonville:
July's issue of "Playboy" has the Jags winning the division and the Colts going in as a wild card. What chance do you really believe in that happening?

Vic: The secret to this year's division title race will be which team is most capable of holding up against the physical kind of teams the AFC South has to play. When you play against defenses such as the Cowboys', Steelers', Patriots', Redskins' and Dolphins', you're going to get beat up. I think the Jaguars are a more physical team than the Colts, so, I don't think it's ridiculous to believe the Jaguars could win the division.

Charles from Jacksonville:
Several of our young players have talked about the Jaguars winning a Super Bowl. I'd be most happy if we just get to one. Which teams have never been to a Super Bowl?

Vic: The Browns, Lions, Cardinals, Saints and Texans are the other teams that haven't been to a Super Bowl. Believe me, you don't want to just get there. Losing a Super Bowl is the worst.

Howard from Atlanta, GA:
You mentioned why you think Bill Belichick is a great coach. Using the same criteria, where do you see Jack Del Rio at this point in his career? Where is he strong and where does he still need to develop in your opinion?

Vic: Jack Del Rio, in my opinion, is one postseason away from joining the league's elite coaches. If he won a Super Bowl, he'd move to the head of the class. Greatness for coaches must be achieved in the postseason. At this point, Del Rio has established his candidacy on the basis of the Jaguars' rise from 5-11 to 12-4. The postseason is the next hurdle. As far as his strengths, I think the one that has never been mentioned is his ability to evaluate talent. I think that's his greatest strength. He is an outstanding evaluator of talent. His greatest weakness? He's still young. Experience will change that.

Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
Since Byron's first three years were very similar to Mark's first three years, let's assume Byron's fourth will be similar to Mark's fourth. How did Mark's fourth year go and can we expect more or less from Byron?

Vic: In Mark Brunell's fourth season with the Jaguars, he led them to the division title and a postseason win over the Patriots. The Jaguars lost in the next round of the playoffs, to the Jets. Let's not forget that, in the playoffs, Brunell was playing on a significant high-ankle sprain. It was one of the most courageous acts I've ever seen. Jack Del Rio has already said the goal this season is to win in the postseason. That's the expectation.

Evan from Hull, Quebec:
So why exactly did the owners fold to the current CBA we have now? I thought we all learned in the past that the league can still survive with replacement players. Did everyone forget that lesson?

Vic: If they forgot, I have no doubt they will remember between now and 2010, when the owners can void the current CBA. Why did they fold? Because they want labor peace. Nobody wants a strike. Nobody wants to fight. In my opinion, however, they should've been more willing to fight.

Pulin from Jacksonville:
I was wondering who you thought the most prominent NFL players were from Jacksonville. I can only recall Brian Dawkins and Rashean Mathis. Rod Gardner's name is in my head, too, but I don't know many players outside of this generation.

Vic: Harold Carmichael and Boobie Clark were Jacksonville guys.

Stefano from Cairo, GA:
You said the Rams were the last sissy team to win it all, but I think you overlooked two things: 1. They were a much better defensive team that year than they had been before or since. 2. They were the more physical team on that night. Remember how the game ended? If Dyson could have toughed out half a yard, Tennessee wins it.

Vic: Whoa! The Rams were the more physical team? No way. After the Rams got out to a 16-0 lead, the Titans started pounding away with Eddie George, who took control of the game in the second half. Titans finished with 159 yards rushing; the Rams had 29 yards rushing. When the game ended, the Rams were holding on by the skin of their horns. Had there been one more play, the Titans would've won. The Titans were the better team and if they had played again, there's no doubt in my mind they would've won. I think Jeff Fisher and his defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, bear some blame for not having been able to defend against the Rams' passing game, especially after the Titans had beaten the Rams earlier in the season.

Marji from Jacksonville:
What's the "Air Coryell" offense?

Vic: It was named for their coach, Don Coryell, who had Dan Fouts at quarterback, Kellen Winslow at tight end and John Jefferson and Charlie Joiner at wide receiver. In 1985 (Jefferson had been replaced by Wes Chandler by then), the Chargers threw for over 5,000 yards. The problem with "Air Coryell" was that it struggled in the postseason. Fouts threw 16 interceptions in postseason play. He was one of the worst postseason quarterbacks in history. In my opinion, he does not belong in the Hall of Fame.

Kelvin from Warwick, UK:
Will you be watching the British Open this week for who chokes and who doesn't?

Vic: I love the British Open. I love links golf courses. I'll be watching to see who makes the clutch shots and putts with the championship on the line. You betcha. It's all about doing it at crunch time.

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