Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
David from Woodbridge, VA:
Could you please clear up some confusion I have about the roles of front office personnel? James Harris is now the Jaguars' director of player personnel, but how is that position different from the director of pro personnel job he held with the Ravens? Is this a step up for him? If so, how many such director positions does an NFL team have?
Vic: A director of pro personnel is responsible for the evaluation of players already in the league or those who have had a chance in the league and failed to stick. That was James Harris' role in Baltimore. As director of player personnel with the Jaguars, Harris will be responsible for evaluating all prospects, which most prominently includes those college players who are eligible for the draft. Yes, it is a step up for Harris. Most teams have a pro personnel director, a college scouting director, and some combination or hybrid of a player personnel director, director of football operations and general manager.
Rob from Miami, FL:
What kind of offense did David Garrard play in college? Is that similar to the Jags' "West Coast offense?" If so, who would you think can suit this newly-acquired offense best: Brunell, Garrard or a draft pick? Do you think free agent Hugh Douglass would be a bad pickup this offseason, since the Jags are going to play a faster, up-tempo defense?
Vic: I don't know that the East Carolina offense David Garrard quarterbacked had a name, but it certainly was a wide-open attack. The "West Coast offense" is a specific philosophy. It rewards accuracy over arm strength and absolutely requires the ability to read defenses. In my opinion, Mark Brunell is a perfect "West Coast" quarterback. I don't consider David Garrard to be a "West Coast" type. I see Garrard as more of a classic drop-back quarterback who has the arm strength to make the big throws and the size and strength to hold his ground against the pass-rush. Garrard reminds me of a very young Steve McNair. Due to the experience gap, Brunell would clearly be a better candidate to run Bill Musgrave's "West Coast offense," but Musgrave firmly believes in the necessity of fitting the scheme to the players, and Garrard's potential would certainly be worth "fitting." As far as Hugh Douglass is concerned, if you want to sign him in free agency, you better be prepared to take a significant salary cap risk. I would discourage it.
Rell from Compton, CA:
I have a question about the new coach. I am very confident Jack is going to turn things around for the Jaguars. But I also don't think he's going to turn us into the 13-3 team the Jaguars can be in one year. Now, in saying that, how long is Mr. Weaver willing to give Jack to turn this club around?
Vic: Yeah, I think you can forget about 13-3 next season. We need to be a little more patient than that. In my opinion, Jack Del Rio deserves at least two years to rebuild this team.
Steve from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
You mentioned last year that the Titans would be facing some tough decisions regarding the salary cap this year. I was just curious how bad it's going to be for them. I was also wondering how the other three championship contenders (Eagles, Bucs, Raiders) were doing in regards to the cap. Have these teams capped themselves into a wall or are they looking at a bright cap future?
Vic: Tennessee clearly has salary problems. On top of that, they are old in some key places. But the Titans have done a great job of developing high draft choices who weren't instant hits. All of a sudden, Keith Bulluck and Andre Dyson are big-time players. The Titans have done a great job of displaying patience with their draft choices, and that's the key in developing talent. The Titans may be able to weather the storm of their salary cap problems as a result of their commitment to their draft and develop philosophy. The Eagles are in great cap shape; no problem there. Say goodbye to Oakland for a very long time. They are old and facing the greatest cap overage in history. The Bucs have cap problems, and they are clearly old in places, too, but what's really going to hurt the Bucs are the draft choices they lost as compensation for John Gruden. It's tough to replace your cap losses without having high picks to do it.
Rob from Atlanta, GA:
If the Jags and Vikings ended up with the same record, why do they get to pick in front of us? Does it go by points scored?
Vic: The tie for draft order is broken by "strength of schedule." The Vikings' opponents had a worse record than the Jaguars' opponents. Remember, in the draft order, it's weakest above strongest.
Billy from Jacksonville:
I heard we have to give the Browns a conditional pick for Wali Rainer. If so, what round?
Vic: The Jaguars owe nothing more for Wali Rainer.
Jared from Edison, NJ:
The home page says James Harris is the new vice president of player personnel. Does that mean he is the new GM?
Vic: No; the Jaguars do not offer that title within their hierarchy. Wayne Weaver has structured his front office to be a share-the-responsibility, decision-by-committee configuration. It's implied by title that most general managers have final say in personnel matters, though that doesn't have to be the case. It's all a matter of title logistics. It doesn't really matter. What matters is the definition of job responsibility. Harris is responsible for the evaluation of all player prospects, and for working with coach Jack Del Rio, cap manager Paul Vance and Weaver in making all personnel decisions.