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Trying to stay positive

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

Jay from Chicago, IL:
No time to panic. I strongly believe the Jags will have a respectable season come January. Fred Taylor will make the Pro Bowl with over 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Brunell will have the highest quarterback rating in 2003. Vic, has any team ever started out 0-2 and finished the season in the Super Bowl? Note: In 1996 I predicted Jacksonville to win it all before the season started, so keep this e-mail.

Vic: Jay, I have no doubt you predicted the Jags would win it all in 1996 … and in 1997, '98, '99, 2000, '01, '02 and '03. You're the Ernie Banks of Chicago Jaguars fans. As far as starting 0-2 and making it to the Super Bowl, yes, the Cowboys did it in 1993 when Emmitt Smith was a holdout at the start of the season. I don't know if any other team has done it and, if you don't mind, I'm not going to look it up because I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon and I'm getting pinched for time.

Kenny from Jacksonville:
The pregame fly-overs pump up the crowd. It gets them ready. What is the cost to the Jaguars for a fly-over?

Vic: It's a free service the Air Force, Navy and National Guard provide to worthy events. They use fly-overs as recruiting tools. But there are some stipulations. First of all, to be considered for a fly-over, an event must be within seven days of a military holiday. The home-opener fly-over corresponded with "POW-MIA Remembrance Day." The team that performed the fly-over did so in A-10 Warthogs from Barksdale, La., Air Force base. They parked their jets at NASJAX and returned to Alltel Stadium to watch the game as the Jaguars' guests. The Jaguars have received approval for a fly-over for the next home game, though it does not correspond with a military holiday. In that event, a mountain of "exception to policy" paperwork must be completed. A local national guard unit will perform the fly-over in their F-15s.

Kevin from Jacksonville:
Just a few observations and a question. The Jaguars have never won a regular-season home game that has been blacked out (0-5) including two losses to Buffalo. Maybe we can end that this season because it appears we will have plenty of opportunities. It looks like the NFL is now announcing paid attendance at their games. I find it very hard to believe there were 72,000 at the Carolina game because there appeared to be a lot of empty seats, but that was the attendance. If we have 54,000 season ticket holders this year, why was preseason attendance announced at 49,000 and 44,000 respectively, if the league counts paid attendance. Do the Jags count butts in the seats and not paid attendance? And, on Sunday, if 67,000 tickets were distributed, why were only 58,000 announced? Or did they count butts in the seats Sunday and not paid?

Vic: Thanks for that great blackout stat; you're right, the Jaguars are 0-5 in blackout games. As far as announced attendance: The league leaves it up to each team, whether it wants to announce the paid figure or the actual figure. The figures the Jaguars have announced have been the actual attendances.

Tommy from Jacksonville:
First of all, I am a huge Brunell fan and I'm going to hate to see him go. You have stated that if a decision was going to be made to start Leftwich over Brunell, it should have been made in August. Well, with the season now started, at what point would you make the switch? When the team is officially eliminated from the playoffs, or would an 0-4 start do it? I am resigned to the fact the team is not very good and the switch will come sooner rather than later. Your thoughts, please.

Vic: If you're thinking about making the switch, you've already made it.

Dick from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Since we never got a clear answer from Jack Del Rio, maybe you can tell me if this is a rebuilding year or are we really trying to win the division? One more thing, what is our all-time record including playoffs?

Vic: I guarantee that if you asked Jack Del Rio that question he would answer, "trying to win the division." The Jaguars' all-time record, including playoff games, is 72-66.

Don from Jacksonville:
Have you tried the barbecue sandwich at the Bud Zone? Fabulous! I'm trying to be positive about my Jaguar experiences this year.

Vic: The press box food was dramatically improved for the home-opener.

Mike from Jacksonville:
Love the column; check it every day for the low-down. I'm a little concerned over the McCree cut. I don't understand what this "new era" is doing, cutting guys who have some talent to bring in guys who were on the 1-15 Panthers (2001). Is that what the coaching staff is trying to duplicate here? I probably won't get a response, but needed to be heard as a season ticket holder for the last five seasons since moving to Jax from New York.

Vic: You have been heard and I will provide my opinion on the matter in "Vic's view," which I will begin writing as soon as I put a period on this answer. I'm going to do it that way, Mike, because I have been flooded with Marlon McCree questions.

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