Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Don from Jacksonville:
After watching the Jaguars lose their first four games under Del Rio, I don't think I like his "plan." Has the media been completely informed of the new "plan" yet?
Vic: We asked coach Del Rio yesterday what his "plan" is and he said it's to "chop wood."
Tom from Jacksonville:
After four losses and no end in sight, I think it's time to realize this is not a very good football team and that this is a true rebuilding season. If Brunell had been released before the season started, I think the message would have been easier to take. Having Brunell as the starting quarterback gave the impression we had a shot, but in reality we are rebuilding and need to look forward to next year or even the next. Your thoughts?
Vic: Tom, please don't take offense to this, but how could you have not known? Thirteen rookies and 24 new faces on the opening-day roster? Three consecutive losing seasons and a shrinking core of players who are in the twilight years of their careers? At any time, did I mislead you? Coach Jack Del Rio and the new era in Jaguars football are in the midst of a rebuilding campaign, the centerpiece of which is Byron Leftwich. If you check history, you'll see that the majority of teams who enjoyed great stretches of winning began those runs with the same type of rebuilding projects. Hopefully, the Jaguars will realize the same results. Until we know that, we can either be patient and enjoy being witness to the construction of something from the ground up, or we can whine and cry like a bunch of babies.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Which game are we going to win?
Vic: If it doesn't happen in the next two games, I may do something drastic during the bye week. Stick with me.
Brian from Orange Park, FL:
Was Leftwich the best pick? It seems that with the short life of contracts and cap restrictions, winning teams around the league are not drafting star quarterbacks who it will take a season or two to get up to speed with the NFL. They are drafting star players in positions where they can start from day one and become a factor. Would it make more sense to let another team take the quarterback through his learning years, then acquire him once he's been in the league for 6-7 years? Is it better to have an OK quarterback on a great team, or a great quarterback on an OK team?
Vic: The question you're presenting is being pondered by every team in the league, so, it's not likely I'm going to be able to answer it. There are clearly examples of each. The best I can offer is an examination of last year's playoff teams. Of the 12 playoff teams, six were quarterbacked by players who qualify as re-treads (Tommy Maddox, Kelly Holcomb, Rich Gannon, Jeff Garcia, Kerry Collins and Brad Johnson), and six were led by quarterbacks who qualify as franchise-type players (Chad Pennington, Peyton Manning, Steve McNair, Michael Vick, Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb). I know Favre was originally drafted by Atlanta (1991), but he was traded to Green Bay after his rookie season and has been the Packers' starter ever since. I think the answer to your question is this: If a franchise-type quarterback falls to you in the draft without having to give up too much to get him, you'd regret not drafting him. Otherwise, you may have to look around for a re-tread, and that may not be such a bad thing. You do what you can.
Roger from Ardmore, OK:
I don't understand the rule for the ball crossing the plane of the goal. A few years ago Jacksonville was in a game and the ball crossed the plane of the goal and came out. Was the rule added after that game?
Vic: There's nothing new about the goal line rule. It's real simple: The moment -- the millisecond, that flicker-of-light period in time that is first perceptible to the human eye -- the ball is judged to have broken the plane of the goal, the man in possession of the ball has scored and the play is over. That's it. End of story. No but what if?
Richard from Houston, TX:
What do you think should be done to Redmond with his illegal hit to Moses on Sunday? It was a totally unnecessary hit. I'm surprised the Texans did not defend their teammate.
Vic: I didn't like it and I really didn't like Jimmy Redmond's postgame explanation. Remember Samari Rolle's sideline hit on Mark Brunell last year? Well, we can't scream about one and not acknowledge the other. Just as the league dealt with the Rolle-Brunell matter, I'm sure it will rule on the Redmond-Moses play. I tip my cap to Dom Capers and the Texans for not retaliating.
Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA:
It's not, yet, time to pass the Kool-Aid on this season, however, it's getting to be very painful to watch these late-game losses. How many times in the last three years have the Jags lost a lead and the game late?
Vic: By my definition and count, 11 times. That's since the start of the 2001 season, which means 11 times in 36 games. That has to say something about the defense.
Jay from Jacksonville:
Why is the organization torturing the fans? Whether it's "win now" with Mark or "playing for the future" with Byron, isn't it time to put the debate to rest and commit to something?
Jessica from McPherson, KS:
I know Troy Edwards couldn't make it with Pittsburgh and St. Louis and is known to have a chip on his shoulder, but how many NFL receivers could unseat the Steelers' Plaxico Burress and Hines Ward and the Rams' Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce? If he can check his attitude at the door and pick up Bill Musgrave's system, could the Jaguars hit the gold mine with Troy?
Vic: They could. Troy Edwards wasn't just a first-round pick. He was the 13th player chosen in the 1999 draft. He was a need pick by the Steelers and that's not their normal philosophy of drafting, but Kevin Gilbride was their new offensive coordinator and they wanted to give him someone, and their receiving corps was horrible at the time. Edwards had a solid rookie year, but Hines Ward was developing into a great receiver and the Steelers returned to their best-available philosophy in the following draft and selected Plaxico Burress. I heard nothing about attitude problems in Pittsburgh. What caused the Steelers to trade Edwards to the Rams was the emergence of Antwaan Randle El in the 2002 training camp. Randle El was the Steelers' second-round choice. Here's how delicate NFL personnel decisions are: The Steelers were poised to draft Ryan Denney in the second round in 2002. They already had him on the phone when the team ahead of them, San Francisco, traded with Buffalo, who then drafted Denney. If that hadn't happened, Denney would've gone to Pittsburgh and Edwards may still be there. Edwards may be one of those players who has slipped through the cracks and is ready to emerge as a star player with the Jaguars.
Taylor from Westminster, CA:
What's your view on the play-calling by Musgrave?
Vic: I'm not a big play-calling guy, but I do look at the run-pass ratio at the end of the game and draw conclusions from that. I think Bill Musgrave is a talented guy who is in the process of re-establishing his NFL career. I can't wait to see what he can do with a top-flight receiving corps. But I don't like the Jaguars' run-pass ratio so far this season; not enough runs. I think that was especially true in Houston, where a quarterback making his first-ever start threw the ball 36 times, while the team's best player ran with it only 19 times. Thirty rushing attempts appear to be the line between winning and losing, and the Jaguars haven't hit the 30-carry mark yet this season.
Carter from Jacksonville:
You know, I've written to you two times before and have yet to have a question answered. You publish Jaxson de Ville and the rookie girl from Texas, and it's kind of disgusting. It makes me wonder why I continue to read your column. Maybe you are what's wrong with the Jags. Is that possible?