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Uniforms, Nickerson and bed-wetters

The Jaguars are considering a third jersey, which would be black with white numbers outlined in teal and gold. The team is also considering an alternate pair of pants, which would be teal with white, black and gold stripes down the leg. As for the salary cap, yes, "big people" constitute big cap hits, but there is no way to extinguish those hits. In fact, cutting or trading those "big people" would only accelerate their amortizations and increase their cap hits.  

Terrence Murphy from Deptford, NJ:
I noticed you pulled no punches in regard to the Bryce Paup signing a couple of years ago. Would you put Hardy Nickerson in the same category; a washed-up, high-priced acquisition? Are the Jaguars going to get rid of Nickerson or would it cost too much in the salary cap? Vic: It's too early to make a call on Nickerson. Prior to getting injured on Oct. 1 against the Steelers last season, Nickerson had been very productive. He was one of the stars of training camp. The question now is: Can he make a full recovery from knee surgery at the age of 36? The answer will determine to what degree Nickerson was or was not a smart free-agent acquisition. Getting rid of him is not an option, since he would be a monster cap hit.  

Matt Carroll from Sarasota, FL:
Who in the world are they going to get to replace Leon Searcy? I don't feel that Mark Brunell's health can afford a bed-wetter on the right side of the line.

David Pratt from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I'm a bit confused by the Jaguars changing stance on renegotiating contracts this year. Last year, you interviewed Wayne Weaver and he mentioned the Jaguars had strayed from the game plan for developing a winning franchise. You then stated that Wayne Weaver mentioned the "R" word, rebuilding. Mr. Weaver intimated the Jaguars had learned their lessons about pushing the cap hits into the future, and were going to rebuild this year. Does my memory serve me? What happened that triggered a franchise change of heart? Vic: You have a good memory. Yes, Wayne Weaver used the word rebuilding, and I think he would still tell you rebuilding is the best way to describe what is going to happen with this team over the next three years. Why wasn't there a wholesale housecleaning of the roster this winter? There are two simple answers: 1.) The Jaguars couldn't do it and make it under the cap. The accelerated amortizations on their high-priced veterans forbid "gutting" the roster. Restructuring contracts was the only way to make it under the cap. 2.) Weaver, Tom Coughlin, etc., still believe the core of this team is good enough for the Jaguars to be a playoff contender in 2001. Why not take one more swing? Not everyone would agree with that philosophy, however.  

John Philips from Hemingway, SC:
In a recent article you stated negotiations with Kevin Hardy had become "adversarial." Can you shed any light on just how adversarial they really are? Vic: It's similar to the tension in any negotiations in which the team is offering less than the player is asking. That's life in the NFL and it's not something new. There were holdouts back in the 1970's. In Hardy's case, the situation seemed to intensify because the Jaguars had to make negotiations with Mark Brunell a priority. That put Hardy on the back burner, which probably bruised his pride. The crux of the matter is that Hardy would seem to be the last guy in line. The Jaguars are out of cap room and Hardy would offer a $2.2 million cap savings, if he was traded. That has to be a consideration.  

Eddie Coleman from Orange Park, FL:
How will the addition of Gary Moeller affect the defense? Will the team still run the zone-blitz, or will the defense change its basic package? Vic:
I'm expecting more of a fundamental approach to defense, with a definite emphasis on being physically tougher. That's Moeller's style: Stop the run and bloody the other guy's nose. All defensive coordinators have to find ways to get pressure on the passer, and every team uses the zone-blitz to some extent, but I'm not expecting the Jaguars to be a blitz team. For starters, I don't think they have the personnel for it.  

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