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Trust your fellow man

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

Howard from Homestead, FL:
Do you honestly believe there have been no scouts present at Jaguars practices simply because they are free? How do we know that some guy wearing a Matt Jones jersey really isn't a Cowboys scout? You're assuming a level of honesty I don't think should be expected of teams who hire and cut players the week of a certain opponent just to get insider information.

Vic: Howard, I'm shocked that a man of the cloth would have such little trust in his fellow man. I can't help but worry that your pessimistic view of life might be showing in your sermons. The NFL employs men of honor and it trusts that its rules are being obeyed. Of course, should it be discovered that its trust has been betrayed, then, the quarterback must go down and the quarterback must go down hard. Or maybe the wide receiver must go down and the wide receiver must go down hard.

Paul from Jacksonville:
In your opinion, who is emerging as the leader to fill the designated pass-rusher spot?

Vic: All indications are that Brent Hawkins is the "leader out on the course."

Jon from Durham, NC:
Do you believe the Jaguars have developed adequate depth across all of the positions on the field to be able to overcome the eventual loss of someone to injury?

Vic: The Jaguars have depth just about everywhere, except wide receiver. I see depth at quarterback, running back, tight end, the offensive and defensive lines and in the secondary. If there's one place on the offensive line where the Jaguars are vulnerable, it would be at left tackle. The Jaguars can't afford to lose Khalif Barnes, but they have impressive depth at the other line positions. I don't see a lot of depth at linebacker but I see enough depth to overcome a short-term loss due to injury. At wide receiver, however, the ranks are thin. The Jaguars have to stay healthy at wide receiver.

Mike from Jacksonville:
How is it decided in a 4-3 which defensive tackle lines up on the right of the center and on the left of the center? Are there different responsibilities between the tackles?

Vic: In most cases, it doesn't matter; they're interchangeable. If one was right-handed and the other was left-handed, then it would matter because they'd have a preference as to which hand they'd want to put on the ground. The real issue isn't right and left as much as it is "over" and "under." I'm getting into some technical stuff here, but I hope you'll bear with me because it might help you understand what broadcast analysts mean when they refer to an "over" or "under" tackle or an "over" or "under" scheme. In an "over" defensive scheme, one tackle is aligned on the center and shaded to the open side of the formation (away from the tight end), and the other tackle is lined up on the guard on the tight end side. In an "under" defense, a tackle is lined up on the center and shaded to the tight end side, and the other tackle is lined up on the guard on the side away from the tight end.

Gary from Jacksonville:
You're obviously a fan of smash-mouth, physical football. Who do you think the most physical teams in the league are right now and where do you think the Jaguars rank?

Vic: The Jaguars rank in the upper echelon of physical teams. I would put the Jaguars right up there with the Patriots, Steelers, Chargers, Cowboys, Redskins, Panthers and Bears.

Beth from Orange Park, FL:
Comparing where the team was last year at this time with now, is the improvement greater, less or is everything about equal?

Vic: This is a much better roster now than it was a year ago at this time. The emergence of David Garrard at the end of last season is big. The additions of Brian Williams and Marcedes Lewis are major, I believe. I see upgrades in a lot of places and I only see one position of legitimate concern, wide receiver, which I have to consider weakened by the surprise retirement of Jimmy Smith. That's the big challenge this team faces in this training camp and preseason. It has to develop a wide receiving corps that can overcome the loss of Smith.

Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico:
I just wanted to congratulate you on the coverage of the Jaguars training camp. If I lived in Jacksonville, I would be there every chance I got. Do you attend training sessions during the season? Is the public allowed in there also? I would think not, but it would be fun to have this type of coverage from you when the season starts.

Vic: As of Aug. 21, the Jaguars will be on a regular-season practice schedule, which means practice is limited for the media. Practice is closed to the general public after Aug. 11.

Nick from Hanover, NH:
Mark Brunell said yesterday that he believes this year's Redskins are more talented than the 1999 Jaguars were. How much do you believe that?

Vic: Mark has always been a company man.

Rick from Houston, TX:
Tough to hear that Dan Connolly injured his hand and will probably have surgery. What options do the Jaguars have for Connolly if he has to miss most of training camp. Has he proven himself enough to earn a spot on the roster?

Vic: The logical options are to either keep him on the roster or put him on injured reserve. It would depend on whether or not he requires surgery and how long his recovery would be. I don't know what his medical status is. Jack Del Rio will provide us with that information when he has it. If Connolly is able to recover in a reasonable amount of time, I would expect him to be kept on the roster. I like the kid a lot. I think he's a real player; a real "jar on the shelf" kind of player. He does not qualify for the PUP (physically unable to perform) list because that's for injuries prior to the start of camp.

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