Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Dustin from Kissimmee, FL:
How do you deal with press conference hot heads, the guys like Dennis Green who stomp in, cuss up a storm and leave without giving any good information?
Vic: I write it. How else can you deal with it? The coach comes in there knowing that what he says is going to be reported. When a coach goes off like that, he makes my job easier.
Donnie from St. Augustine, FL:
You're always quick to point out how football has changed since you started covering the sport and how it's become basketball on grass, but what you don't usually say on the subject is how it makes you feel. Do you like the changes?
Vic: When I was young, football represented something more to me than just a game. I attached a degree of nobleness to it. It was a game of courage and toughness, and I liked that about it because it provided a way to measure myself. I just finished an excellent read on Paul Brown. It took me back and recalled a lot of old feelings I had for the way the game was played. I miss those feelings. I miss that sense of importance the game represented to me. The coach was inviolable. He was the person you most wanted to please. Any compliment from him was gold. I can still remember the least little "good job" comments. Some of that feeling has been lost for me, not only because I've done this for a long time, but also because the coach isn't the revered figure he once was and the game isn't as noble. Why has that happened? I believe it's happened because we've overemphasized football as entertainment, rather than as an athletic competition. There's a difference. One is frivolous, the other is not. In the haste to sell the game, damage has occurred. Vince Lombardi could not have achieved the level of esteem in today's game that he did in his. Today's mania for entertainment will not allow it; we critique too much. I still love the game and, as entertainment, it's never been better. The most recent Super Bowl is the shining example of that. I miss, however, the old game. I guess that's how I see football. For me, there's an old game and a new game and I love them both, but the old one meant more because, to me, it was about more. By the way, basketball on grass isn't new stuff. Paul Brown invented it. He invented the West Coast offense. Bill Walsh, who coached under Brown, even admitted it.
Scott from Ormond Beach, FL:
I'm going to buy a lawn mower this weekend. My kid wants to see the Jags. He'll cut the grass. Great idea.
Vic: Get ready for the excuses.
Sean from Philadelphia, PA:
Do you think this year's offense is better than the offense the Jaguars had in 2007?
Vic: I think this year's offense has a chance to be really good. The 2007 offense was led by a strong offensive line, a deep crop of running backs and a quarterback who played lights out. All three of those ingredients offer the potential to be present in the '09 offense, plus, there's no doubt in my mind that this year's receiving corps will be superior to the '07 group. My hesitation in saying this year's offense will be better is the result of one missing ingredient, Fred Taylor. The '07 season was Fred's farewell tour. It was his moment in the sun, so to speak. It's when we all realized that he truly is a great running back. When Fred wasn't in the sun, Maurice Jones-Drew was. To duplicate that one-two punch this year, Maurice has to be Fred and somebody else has to be Maurice. That's a taller order than most people think.
Rob from Atlanta, GA:
What do you feel has to go right for the Texans to make the playoffs this season? I think they have a wealth of talent but they seem to have a significant drop-off at running back after Steve Slaton.
Vic: First of all, Matt Schaub has to stay healthy. Everything hinges on that and you might say, to that end, everything hinges on better line play because that's what it's gonna take to keep Schaub upright. The Texans will be a playoff contender if Schaub stays healthy and they get better line play on both sides of the ball.
Cedrick from Jacksonville:
Why would the Vikings be challenged? Adrian Peterson alone puts on such a great show that you'd think they'd be lined up to buy a ticket. Is their problem the same as ours?
Vic: The Vikings' problem is not the same as the Jaguars'. First of all, it's not as deep a problem. Secondly, it's not a problem born of a small market or a lack of fans. The Vikings' problem is the result of stadium issues and a tremendous strain on the entertainment dollar in the Twin Cities. Jacksonville has eight major league events a year. Minneapolis has 81 Major League Baseball games and however many NBA and NHL games are played, and the University of Minnesota is right in downtown Minneapolis. The competition for the entertainment dollar in Minneapolis is intense.
Ken from Summerville, SC:
Speaking football only and not PR, what teams would be a nice fit for Michael Vick?
Vic: I think he'd be a good fit on a team looking for a weapon that might put the team over the top, so to speak. He's the "Slash" package. He'd make any formidable offense better. Put him in the Ravens offense. It would instantly be better. He would fit on most teams, I just don't think he's a good fit on a team such as the Jaguars, which is to say a team building for the future. Vick is going to have his greatest impact on a team that is built for the present.
Daniel from Tallahassee, FL:
I'm leaving today on my motorcycle for a 2,000-mile trip to Sturgis, SD. With very little room to spare, I am bringing my laptop so I can read your column while I'm on the road. Have I lost my mind?
Vic: Absolutely you've lost your mind. Where are you gonna put your golf clubs?
Nick from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I realize that until a certain question is asked you don't reveal certain things to readers. What I enjoy is that you wait for the exact question that deserves space in your column and you relay your knowledge to the readers. I guess what I'm saying is you're excellent at keeping the fans and non-fans of the Jags interested and I appreciate the way you conduct your column.
Vic: This is a great forum for touching all the bases. That's what I love most about it. It gives me an opportunity to touch on everything, without having to write a separate story about every little news item. I've never enjoyed writing more than I do right now, and it's because of this column.
Michael from Orange Park, FL:
They are planning on stretching the NFL draft out over three days. What are your thoughts: ridiculous grab for ratings or good for business?
Vic: Ratings are good for business. They always have been and always will be. Professional football is about the money. I say it over and over because I want to make sure I never mislead you. This is a game for people who can accept that fact and still find heart in the game. I can.
Tom from St. Augustine, FL:
Vick over Favre? Drinking early on the job is not good for your 401(k) plan. Please explain Vick over Favre. I feel you are alone on this one.
Vic: How could you be a reader of this column and need that explained? It's a young man's game because it's a physical game. Vick is a young man with rested legs. Favre is an old man with a sore arm.