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Two reasons for staying

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

Mike from Pittsburgh, PA:
I'm a Jacksonville transplant to Pittsburgh but continue to watch all of the games and read your column every day. I have always appreciated your objectivity. You're scaring me with the LA to Jacksonville comparisons. Let's be honest, there's a real threat the Jaguars could be an LA target. Please tell me I'm wrong.

Vic: I think you're wrong, Mike, for two reasons: Wayne Weaver and Jacksonville. Weaver is "married" to this city and its surrounding region. He is the father of professional football in Jacksonville and it's an identity I believe he cherishes. He is Jacksonville's greatest promoter of this city's up-and-coming image, and league opinion is that he and Jacksonville are inexorably linked. As a result of that "marriage," I don't think Weaver has the potential to become a Robert Irsay, Art Modell or Bud Adams. All three of those men became public enemy number one in the towns from which they moved their franchises. They are hated, forever, and, in my opinion, Weaver would never risk that happening to him. Then there's Jacksonville, a city in a growth explosion. New people move into this town every day and every one of these new arrivals is a potential Jaguars fan. What it means, simply put, is the Jaguars' fan base is in steady growth, too. The TV ratings for Jaguars football are outstanding. They dwarf college football ratings in Jacksonville, which continues to be wrongly dubbed a college football town. The NFL is happening in Jacksonville. It's happening a little slower than everybody would like but it's happening. Hopefully, the new seat-covering strategy will resolve the fundamental mistake that has caused all of this scrutiny: too many seats.

Joe from Orange Park, FL:
Regarding your question from Brian about current players becoming coaches: No offense to our current coach but it seems as though the "stars" of the game don't go into coaching; it's more of the grinder type of player who becomes a coach. Perhaps Mike Ditka breaks that theory, but who else would you consider a star and went on to coach at the pro level?

Vic: Tom Landry was a very good player with the Giants. He wasn't a star, as Frank Gifford and Kyle Rote were on those Giants teams, but Landry was a top defensive back. Otto Graham gave coaching a try but wasn't successful at it. Bart Starr coached the Packers, unsuccessfully. Dan Reeves wasn't a star, but he was an accomplished player who played in some very high-profile games and Reeves had success as an NFL coach. Herman Edwards wasn't a star but was a very good player and he's been successful as Jets head coach. Jim Ringo was a star center who flopped as the Bills' coach. Ray Berry coached the Patriots to the Super Bowl. Don't forget Sammy Baugh, who coached the infamous New York Titans. Joe Schmidt, Mike McCormack and Norm Van Brocklin are Hall of Fame players who became head coaches. There are a lot of coaches who were good but not great players; Jeff Fisher, Jim Haslett, Tony Dungy, Marty Schottenheimer, Chuck Noll, Ted Marchibroda, Tom Flores.

Tom from Nashville, TN:
Steve Walters has been hired from Tennessee, where Drew Bennett and Derrick Mason became very good receivers. Has Walters begun working with our young receivers and who do you think will benefit the most from his coaching?

Vic: He's been working with them for a couple of months now and Reggie Williams showed signs of real gain during the recent mini-camp. Most people expect Walters to have his greatest impact on Matt Jones, because of the acclaim Walters received for his work with Bennett, a tall receiver who was also a quarterback in college. I don't think we should limit Walters' impact to Jones, however. The Jaguars have young receivers such as Williams, Ernest Wilford and Cortez Hankton who have a lot of potential Walters can be expected to tap and develop. Early indications are Williams may make the greatest strides during Walters' first year with the Jaguars.

Chris from Jacksonville:
Can you explain the references to J.J. Stokes and what he represents in your answers?

Vic: In the spring of 2003, J.J. Stokes was the subject of more "Ask Vic" questions than I have ever received on any player in a similar period of time. I called it "J.J. mania." It was as though he was the "missing link." Everybody knew he was going to be cut in June and Jaguars fans, who wanted the team to address its wide receiver corps, became obsessed with signing Stokes. Well, the Jaguars did sign Stokes, right before the start of training camp. The results, however, were not as stunning as the "mania" suggested they would be. I don't know what it was about the guy – maybe it's because his name sounds so cool – but he became a June-cuts cult figure. I can't ever think of a June-cuts guy without thinking of Stokes. Forgive me for my unexplained references to him in yesterday's column. As you can see, they were very tongue in cheek.

Kevin from Morrilton, AR:
Have you ever heard of the song "Along Came Jones?" You will be playing it in your car and home after this season with Matt Jones.

Vic: You guys crack me up.

Chris from Middleburg, FL:
OK, my curiosity has been tweaked. What happens on the 16th and who or what are the "road warriors?"

Vic: You're referring to a box at the bottom of the home page. It refers to a promotion. Unfortunately, the announcement of that promotion is being delayed. Hang in there. You won't want to miss it.

Rob from Tallahassee, FL:
Shoulders, knees and toes. Shoulders, knees and toes. Let's sign Boulware and start the injury woes. Shoulders, knees and toes.

Vic: You get it.

Wade from Gainesville, FL:
Will the "Ask Vic" golf outing and preseason game be open to everyone or will it be by invitation only? Sure hope they keep it affordable for college students.

Vic: Let's put it this way: Everybody's invited. We'll do our best to keep it affordable.

Betty from Jacksonville:
Could you please update us on the number of season tickets left to be sold to avoid blackouts again this year?

Vic: Less than 4,000 non-premium-seat season tickets remain to be sold to reach the Jaguars goal of 45,000 non-premium-seat season tickets. The other 5,000 non-premium seats are being reserved for group sales. Availability is extremely limited in both upper decks and in the north and south end zone 100 levels. The remainder of Alltel Stadium's seating capacity is comprised of premium seating that does not count toward the TV blackout.

Ben from Pulaski, VA:
I was just wondering how many players are currently on the Jaguars roster and when does the NFL require them to begin to cut some?

Vic: There are currently 87 players on the Jaguars roster. The Jaguars have eight NFL Europe exemptions, which means the team may carry 88 players (who are under contract) until the first mandatory cutdown date in August. The Jaguars could sign an 89th guy to their training camp roster, provided he played in NFL Europe.

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