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Totally committed to Jacksonville

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

Todd from Atlanta, GA:
The paid attendance at Dallas was over 92,000. That exceeds some Jags games by 50,000. At $75 per ticket, that provides $3,750,000 more revenue in just one game. With no cap, the revenue differential and the ability to buy talent is going to be enormous. How is the revenue allocated in a playoff game?

Vic: Minus expenses, it all goes to the league.

Jason from Jacksonville:
"Tuesday night's speakers were a distinguished lot. Carl Cannon is the former publisher of 'The Florida Times-Union' and one of the original 'Touchdown Jacksonville!' organizers. Weaver, of course, is the team's owner. Gene Smith is the team's general manager. Boselli is the face of the franchise. John Peyton is Jacksonville's mayor, which means the mayor has spoken twice in one month at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on behalf of the movement. Clearly, this is important stuff." Vic, if it was so important, where was Jack? Everyone wants to know but no one has the guts to give a straight answer to the fans.

Vic: I don't think it takes a lot of guts. The answer is Jack Del Rio was talking to the fans on his radio show, "The Jack Del Rio Show," which aired from 6-7 p.m. The rally began at six and ended shortly before seven.

Kenneth from Jacksonville:
Do you agree with USC move to hire Lane Kiffin?

Vic: It might work, but I'm not big on "going home again" types of hires. USC is trying to turn the clock back by bringing Kiffin, Norm Chow and Ed Orgeron back to USC, and that'll do a lot to calm the waters in the wake of Pete Carroll's departure, but Thomas Wolfe said you can never go home again and I believe that to be true. The easy hire is usually a feel-good hire, but I prefer a more thorough, investigative, fresh approach. I know a recruiting class is at stake, but it's only one class and they weren't going to lose them all.

Issak from Washington, IA:
With the Colts giving up and benching the starters, what would have happened back in the day? What would have happened if Coach Noll had gone to Jack Lambert or Mean Joe Greene and the defense and said, "We have to rest you for the playoffs?" Did they do that back then?

Vic: That's exactly what happened in the final regular-season game of 1975. The Steelers were 12-1, had everything clinched and were playing at the Rams in a nationally-televised Saturday night game. Chuck Noll benched the starters two quarters into the game and the Steelers lost. The difference then was that absolutely nothing was at stake for anybody. All four playoff positions were set.

Justin from Jacksonville:
What books are on your reading list this offseason?

Vic: I'm reading "The Godfather's Revenge" right now. I love it. I can't wait to find out how Tom Hagen dies. The Sully Sullenberger book is on deck and I have another book a friend gave me when I was in the hospital but I can't remember the title.

Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
What would have happened to the assistant coaches and their new contracts if Jack Del Rio was dismissed or left for USC?

Vic: If they didn't find another job, they would've been paid in full. If they found another job, the Jaguars would've owed the difference between that job's salary and the salary that would've been paid by the Jaguars.

Steve from North Reading, MA:
You think the NFL is clean from performance-enhancing drugs? No tests for growth hormone? I think the NFL is just as dirty as baseball once was, but no one seems to care.

Vic: The difference is the NFL has long had a drug-testing program that is fully endorsed by the players association. Baseball has not. The pee man sits in the hallway outside my door all season. It is not a token program. It is intense and it is rigidly enforced. Am I naïve enough to think players can't find a way around the testing? No, I'm not that naïve, but I respect the effort by the league and the players association to find, help and, if necessary, punish those who violate the rules of the program.

Alex from Syracuse, NY:
You're so full of yourself it's obnoxious. I hope Tebow gets drafted by some team and is amazing, just so we can all write about how horribly, horribly wrong you were.

Vic: I wouldn't worry about that.

Dee from Jacksonville:
My husband and I have had the good fortune of receiving free tickets from our employer for years. We have come to the realization that this is not helping our team and have made the three-year commitment for season tickets. No excuses here.

Vic: This is revealing and encouraging information. What you're telling us is that business, at least one business, has been picking up the tab for a long time, and now you've decided to graduate to the ranks of season-ticket holders and allow your employer to give "your" tickets to someone else who might become season-ticket holders some day. This is good stuff.

Benji from Yreka, CA:
We have already talked about the need to acquire significantly more talent this offseason. What would you say are the three strongest positions on the Jaguars roster? I would say running back, tight end and linebacker. What do you think?

Vic: I see no position that is so strong, so deep that the Jaguars should pass on a quality player at that position to draft a player of lesser talent at another position. Offensive tackle comes close, but I ascribe to the theory that you can never have enough big guys.

James from London, England:
Does BAP have as much significance in the later rounds?

Vic: That's where I'll back off a little bit. I'll accept going off the board in the late rounds to grab a special teams player who truly has exceptional special teams ability, whether he's a kicker, return man or coverage guy. You have to find those guys, too.

Steve from Crystal River, FL:
How do you create parity, again, in an offensive-minded league?

Vic: I don't like tilting the field in favor of offense and here's why: It favors warm-weather and dome teams. In my opinion, tilting the field toward offense decidedly punishes teams that favor defense, which is to say teams that play cold-weather games late in the season and in the postseason. Maybe that's why three of this weekend's four playoff games will be played in domes and the other one is in San Diego. I think the pendulum has swung too far to the offensive side of the ball, but it's not going to swing back so coaches are going to have to find ways to deal with it. The first thing they have to do is teach their players to tackle better. The tackling in this league has become atrocious. We never saw these many horse-collar tackles when there wasn't a penalty for horse-collar tackles. The best thing the cold-weather teams have going for them is that the move toward the offensive side of the ball may soften the dome and warm-weather teams so much that they won't be able to stop anything.

Todd from Frederick, MD:
Has there ever been a player, in recent years, drafted in the late rounds, that went on to redefine the position he played and made scouts and draft evaluators rethink how players of that position are drafted?

Vic: If Tom Brady didn't, nobody will.

Al from Fruit Cove, FL:
Were you surprised that Wayne Weaver laughingly dismissed the possibility of the Jaguars playing a game in London in 2010?

Vic: I knew Wayne didn't want to play in London. I think his feeling is that it might send the wrong message to Jaguars fans. This is a critical time in this team's history. As I said in my editorial on Wednesday, this is the one and only save the Jaguars campaign. It has to work or else. Wayne doesn't want to send any kind of message that might compromise that effort by giving fans any reason to believe the team isn't totally committed to Jacksonville.

Andrew from Toledo, OH:
Gene Smith will make sure a tackle isn't at the top of his board when he picks. Gene said it himself when he said he puts players that play a position of need higher on his draft board. So, ultimately, need is involved when you choose your board.

Vic: I've never heard him say that. Show it to me in print and I'll ask him to comment. Do you want to position yourself to address need without sacrificing value? Absolutely, you do. What's it gonna take to get through to people like you? Wayne Weaver addressed this very subject on Tuesday. "We haven't always done that," Weaver said of drafting the best available player. "Let's be true to what we've said we're going to do." So that everybody can understand what drafting the best available player means, let me put it in these easy-to-understand terms: You don't draft Reggie Williams when Ben Roethlisberger is available because you need a wide receiver and not a quarterback. Get it?

Mathias from Stockholm, Sweden:
The NFL seems determined to move to an 18-game regular season. How much of an impact will this transition have on the importance of roster depth and at what positions will depth become most important?

Vic: It's just simple logic that if you're going to increase the regular season by two games, you need to either increase the size of the roster or soften the game. Increasing the size of the roster is costly.

James from Knoxville, TN:
Where does Tennessee go from here?

Vic: I don't know what they'll do, but I can tell you what I would do, and this goes for any college football program. I would look for an alumnus or a coach with ties to the area, a guy who views the job as the only job he'd ever want, and I'd hire him and give him every coach and tool he needs to become successful. Losing head coaches to competing schools is devastating. It hurts recruiting, stability, fund-raising, identity, etc. My advice is to find another Johnny Majors.

Carl from Jacksonville:
How big a difference will "team teal" make in ticket sales? Will it have an impact?

Vic: I honestly got a good feeling as I covered the Tuesday night pep rally. I think it has a chance to succeed, but only if the fans in this town embrace the shift in attitude. Complaints and excuses aren't going to get it done. It's about ticket sales; that's all. Mayor John Peyton said it best: "Ticket sales are the measuring stick of viability." I promise you, if this stadium is sold out, the future will be secure. All we have to do is buy the tickets.

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