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Unitas and Montana

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

Justin from Olustee, FL:
Who do you think the best quarterback of all time is and why?

Vic: My answer had always been Johnny Unitas, but in recent years I have decided it's a toss-up between Unitas and Joe Montana. My reasons? Unitas dominated his era and possessed skills that would fit in any era. He was cutting edge; before his time. He gave us the modern game and the way he played is the way they play now. He could've played in any era of the game's history, including right now; especially right now. In this highly-technical era of professional football, I shudder to think how good he would be. The same goes for Montana. He was the most feared quarterback of his day; a magician. One of the things that gets lost about Montana, because he was a finesse quarterback with a slight build, is that he was a great athlete and one of the toughest guys to ever play the game. He rebounded a couple of times from back surgeries that would've ended most players' careers. It is one of the great trademarks Montana and Unitas share: toughness. And they were the ultimate in competitiveness.

Tony from Jacksonville:
Have the Jaguars cut anyone or will they start after Saturday's game? Also, when are the roster-reduction deadlines?

Vic: Teams can release players at any time, but usually wait until the mandatory cut dates, which are Tuesday, Aug. 31, when teams must cut to 65, and Sunday, Sept. 5, when each team must pare to 53 active players. I can't predict when Jack Del Rio will make cuts, but you can rest assured the bulk of his cuts will be made at the mandatory times.

Nick from Jacksonville, FL:
Perhaps this is a dumb question, but why do the Jaguars need a third-down back if Fred Taylor is an every-down back?

Vic: Fred Taylor has proven he can be a force as a pass-catcher, but he's also proven he'll drop a lot of passes. Remember the drop just before halftime in New England last year? I'm not suggesting Taylor will be eliminated from the Jaguars' passing game, but I think it's become apparent the Jaguars need a more sure-handed running back in the role of a third-down specialist. I think that guy is LaBrandon Toefield. I want the ball in Taylor's hands as much as possible, but I'd prefer handing it to him.

Leonard from Bellevue, WA:
Will Rich Alexis make the team? How has his performance been thus far?

Vic: Rich Alexis has been one of the off-the-wall stars of this training camp. He's a high-energy runner with a lot of wiggle. The preseason games are going to provide a great proving ground for him, so let's wait before we say anything more. At this point in time, Alexis is a leading contender to find a place on the practice squad.

Gary from Jacksonville:
In preseason, do the Jaguars need to push for a 4-0 record, or is it just a chance to look at rookies and key positions?

Vic: Record is meaningless. Evaluation is critical. You have to be absolutely sure the personnel decisions you'll make will be the right ones. I encourage fans to watch the preseason games as "Shack" Harris would. Focus on individual players, especially the young guys. Evaluate their performances, then ask yourself: Is he worth keeping? If we keep him, how does he fit on our roster? What would his role be this year and what is his upside for the future? Then apply your evaluations to the team's salary cap. There are a lot of evaluations to be made during preseason games, and they're not limited to rookies. We need to see that Byron Leftwich can be a more efficient quarterback this year, for example. In preseason games, the final score doesn't always reflect those personnel evaluations.

Mike from Jacksonville:
I was wondering if most of the morning practices will be skeleton drills and without pads, as Wednesday's was?

Vic: We've reached a point in training camp at which I think I can safely say the brutal, full-pads contact drills are over. Unfortunately, I missed them, too.

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