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Uniform should be sustainable

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

Jeeves from Tampa, FL:
You keep referencing the Jags passing on Roethlisberger as some huge mistake. It seems convenient to forget that he came into a situation with a coach who had been to the Super Bowl, star wide-outs and one of the best defenses in the league. Obviously, that has a lot to do with his development and his success. You can't just disregard those factors. Say the Jags draft him; what convinces you he plays well here?

Vic: I'm going to assume you're just being argumentative and that you're not really condoning the selection of Reggie Williams over Roethlisberger because if you are, well, the people in the white wagon would start driving around Tampa looking for a guy named Jeeves. Here's one for you: Say the Jags draft him; what convinces you that with the great defense and great running game they had they wouldn't have won a Super Bowl?

Dom from Harrisburg, PA:
I stumbled across something called "The Cradle of Coaches." I was shocked to see so many great coaches get their start at Miami of Ohio. Do you have any insight of that?

Vic: I can remember when I first became aware of the phenomenon. As a student at Kent State, which is a member of the Mid-American Conference along with Miami, I was sitting in a hamburger joint in Oxford, Ohio, that had its walls full of pictures of coaches: Woody Hayes, Paul Brown, Ara Parseghian, Sid Gillman, Bo Schembechler, Weeb Ewbank, Bill Arnsparger, Paul Dietzel, Carmen Cozza, Red Blaik. I kept looking at the pictures and wondering why they were up on the wall. After all, they weren't the coach at Miami; I think Dick Crum was the coach there at the time. Then I found out they had all passed through Miami. It is a truly amazing tradition that is worth researching because there are more names than just the ones I've mentioned. Why has Miami produced so many great coaches? I think it's because it's a stepping-stone school. Schools such as Ohio State and Michigan don't have a lot of churn on their coaching staffs. Schools in the Mid-American Conference do have a lot of churn. My alma mater has produced some top coaches, including Nick Saban, Dom Capers, Don James and Lou Holtz. Look at Bowling Green, which produced Urban Meyer. It's not just Miami, it's the whole MAC and it's because the MAC is used as a launch pad for coaching careers.

Dave from Jacksonville:
You made a statement on "Jaguars This Week" that really hit home. It was about not having to hit a home run in the top 10 picks; just don't strike out. Wiser words were never said.

Vic: That's not exactly what I said or intended to say. You want to hit a home run in the top 10 because you're going to pay top-10 money to whoever you draft, but you absolutely must make sure you don't strike out in the top 10 because that devastates a team and ends up getting people fired. Robert Gallery is considered a bust because he was the second pick of his draft and he failed at tackle and had to be moved inside to guard. That's not what the Raiders had in mind when they drafted him, but Gallery is a starter for them and that helps ease the pain. Charles Rogers is another story. He was the second pick the previous year, was a complete bust and it devastated the Lions to the point that it caused them to be obsessed with drafting wide receivers.

Raymo from Jacksonville:
It takes a real man to put his opinion out there first and take the heat one way or the other. It takes a coward to complain about another's opinion without offering a rationale.

Vic: Oh, I'm out there, baby. I'm way out there.

Kevin from St. Augustine, FL:
Why is it that in every discussion I see about the new uniforms everyone is bashing teal? I think people need to realize that teal is the Jags' color; it's what makes the Jaguars the Jaguars. We are the only team in the league that uses a color like that. I believe Mr. Weaver is doing the right thing by trying to clean up the uniforms and give us more of an identity. Jags fans need to remember: all day, all night, all teal.

Vic: Teal is a funny kind of color. It's an eye-shadow kind of color and, frankly, I think NFL Properties goofed in branding two teams that came into the league together so similarly. Carolina and Jacksonville each got an eye-shadow and black color scheme and each got a cat as a mascot. All these years later, however, it is what it is. Yes, the Jaguars' main color is teal and, yes, the Jaguars are identified as such. What the Jaguars are going to do when they present their uniform changes is make it clear what their uniform colors are and what you can expect the team to wear at home and away without fail. That goes directly to tradition and I think everyone knows how much I value tradition.

Mike from Elk City, OK:
With the schedule being released on Tuesday, what team would you like for the Jags to open with?

Vic: I don't like openers against division foes and I wish the league wouldn't do that. In my opinion, those games are too important to be played that early in the season, therefore, I would prefer the Jaguars not play against the Colts, Titans or Texans in week one. If you're looking for drama, opening in New England would be a good choice, considering the Fred factor. I'd rather the Jaguars play late in the season in New England, however, because I prefer those giant, hot pretzels on a snowy day. I think I'd like to see the Jags open in Cleveland. The Browns kind of ruined the Jaguars' season last year, or at least that's when it turned sour, so I still have some feel for that game and I think the Browns would be a good week-one opponent in that they have a new coach and will undoubtedly be in change mode, too.

Charly from Córdoba, Argentina:
What do you think of Angel Cabrera winning in Augusta? It was a great tournament with a lot of excitement. Did you enjoy it?

Vic: Yeah, I did enjoy it. The Masters is a great spectacle and the golf was fantastic. I muted the sound when they played the music because it makes me sad. That's the only criticism I have of the tournament; that song is awful. Here are some other observations: Tiger Woods is the greatest putter in history. The funny thing is that when he burst onto the scene it was his length off the tee that was his trademark. The fact of the matter now is that he's not only being outdriven, as he was routinely on Sunday by Phil Mickelson, but Tiger's driver is costing him strokes. It cost him several strokes and maybe even the win on Sunday. If he ever loses his touch on and around the greens, he'll have trouble winning. Mickelson was an even more tragic figure than Kenny Perry on Sunday, but we've come to expect it from Mickelson. Did anyone doubt that he was going to miss those putts on 15 and 17? I really wanted Perry to win but I saw indications of trouble ahead beginning with his approach at 15. When a right-to-left guy starts to get tired, the left arm slows down, the right hand speeds up and look out left. He nearly dunked it at 15 and as dramatic as his shot at 16 was, I have to believe he was aiming right of where the ball landed. Then, at 17, the hooks started costing him strokes and the title. Angel Cabrera is a magnificent talent. Let's not forget that he held off Woods at Oakmont two years ago. Chad Campbell is a guy I talked about in this column a year ago. He has a unique, old-school swing and it came close to winning the Masters.

Steve from Orlando, FL:
I wanna start by saying I agree with the opinion that receivers are a dime a dozen and you can find them in the later rounds. Now, after reading your take on the new rule changes, does this change your opinion of a guy like Crabtree, a guy that can live between the hashes? Does his lack of a timed 40 matter anymore?

Vic: OK, I'll do this one more time. I want this to stand as my on-the-record opinion of Michael Crabtree: I think he's an outstanding receiver. My reluctance for him is all about his injury; that's all.

Greg from Jacksonville:
Do you believe the uniform is that significant in defining a team's image and, if so, do you have any suggestions/wish list for uniform changes for the Jaguars?

Vic: Yes, I think a sustainable uniform design is significant in defining a team's image because the players have to be changed but the uniforms can stay the same. They're the constant. Bart Starr and Brett Favre are linked by the uniform they wore. My suggestion would be to avoid state-of-the-art fashion and seek a more classic look because the uniform design has to be sustainable. If you get too wild with it, it's inevitable that more changes will be made. Pick and stick.

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