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Vintage Fred Taylor

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

Newt from Jacksonville:
It's simple. Make it so that if you want to see the game you have to buy a ticket. Black 'em all out. Enough said.

Vic: We've advanced from those days, but I think we still understand that the fundamental premise on which professional football was founded is ticket sales. It's a fair agreement between the owners and the fans that once all the tickets are sold, the game will be shown on TV locally. I don't know how anyone can argue with that policy, unless, of course, they're just representing their own selfish interests.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I don't think your column attracts negative fans; it attracts real fans and sometimes your comments are the aspirin to that Monday morning headache after a loss. Now, why Winborn?

Vic: Isn't the answer obvious? The Jaguars must think they need help at linebacker.

Mike from London, Canada:
I was under the impression Winborn had been cut by the 49ers. Why are we giving up draft picks for him?

Vic: Jamie Winborn was not cut. He was acquired by the Jaguars for a seventh-round draft pick.

Ken from Legends, NY:
Is it just me or does everyone who reads this column throw up every time Vic says "sexy?"

Vic: It sounds to me, Ken, like you need to spend some time with Dr. Ruth.

Luis from Green Cove Springs, FL:
You confirmed what I suspected: I am a true fan. Last Sunday night I was sad. Monday, I was hopeful. Today I can't wait for next Sunday.

Vic: "Fan" status carries with it privileges. You're allowed to complain.

John from Jacksonville:
I see a lot of fans insulting your profession. Is that a recent phenomenon or are you used to it by now? I would imagine a lot of it is because people are a lot more tough writing emails than they are face to face.

Vic: Come to think of it, I can't remember anyone coming up to me on the street and criticizing me face to face, but I get lots of e-mails that include the words "idiot" and "moron," preceded, or course, by the obligatory expletive.

Kelly from Rohnert Park, CA:
I read on ESPN that Jamie Winborn's deal with the 49ers is through 2009, with a $3 million base salary each year and $3 million in roster bonuses for each of the next four years. I can't see how the Jaguars would live with those current arrangements.

Vic: Jamie Winborn's contract voids in February and he will become an unrestricted free agent. His salary this year is $1.75 million, of which the Jaguars are responsible for paying $687,000. That's part of the trade agreement.

Fred from Portland, OR:
Why must it always be an undisclosed draft pick? Why can't they just tell us? What's the big secret?

Vic: I'm with you. We're gonna find out sooner or later and, I guarantee, it'll be sooner. You're not gonna keep anything from the media these days.

John from Fayetteville, AR:
I heard on the ESPN2's broadcast of "Cold Pizza" that some in the Jags organization are questioning Matt Jones' work ethic. Is this true and, if so, what is your take on this matter?

Vic: I haven't heard complaints about Matt Jones' work ethic. He's not a high-energy guy and that can get confused with work ethic. He is what he is and he has to make it work. If he does, there'll be no complaints.

Geoff from Clermont, FL:
I read your column almost every day and I've seen the term "g/back" used several times and I don't know what it means. Can you enlighten me?

Vic: It's apparently a new offensive position of which I am not aware. I'm researching the subject and I'll let you know what a g/back is once I find out.

Sandro from El Paso, TX:
Have you heard of Jordan Palmer, Carson's little brother?

Vic: I haven't seen him play but I know he's a quarterback of some renown at UTEP. Your question reminds me of a conversation I had with Rob Johnson's father in a hotel lobby several years ago. Rob's father was a high school coach and he was telling me about this hotshot quarterback he had who was going to be the number one college recruit in the nation. What's his name, I asked. Carson Palmer, he said.

Ray from Denver, CO:
Now that it's obvious the problem isn't the offensive coordinator, who will be fired next?

Vic: You're being a smart alec but you're right, it's about players, not plays, isn't it?

Steve from Little Rock, AR:
Why waste the money and a first-round pick on someone who isn't given a chance to show what he can do? Trade him and let him show his repertoire of super hero talents to someone who appreciates them and knows how to use him.

Vic: It's not that easy. Matt Jones is due a $5.04 million guaranteed option bonus next March. That bonus would become the responsibility of the team trading for him and you might have trouble right now finding someone willing to accept it.

Greg from Orlando, FL:
I was watching the Dolphins game in my area and the station manager came on during the commercial break. He explained to the Dolphins and Bucs fans that he could not broadcast their game against each other next week. He went on to say the Jaguars ballclub was to blame for the incident because our away games are broadcast here. I felt shocked the station would publicly insult our franchise. This is a big game vs. the Steelers this Sunday. How do you feel on the topic and should I write a nasty email?

Vic: Sometimes you just have to take it on the chin. Maybe it's something that'll galvanize Jaguars fans and promote an us-against-the-world attitude.

David from Van Buren, AR:
Why don't they run more plays for Matt Jones? He's a freak of nature and is a mismatch for just about any corner or safety in this league. Give him more plays. He will show he can do it. When will we see Matt more involved?

Vic: Matt needs to stop dropping passes. Ernest Wilford is pushing for more playing time and, at this point, he deserves it.

Thom from Jacksonville:
Do you think Chad Johnson will shut up now? I used to like him as an up and coming player but now I think he's heading too far down the T.O. road. Do you think Marvin Lewis will put up with it much longer?

Vic: I thought Chad Johnson's postgame remarks were borderline detrimental to the team. Marvin Lewis is an outstanding coach. He'll handle it properly.

Ryan from St. Augustine:
How did Khalif Barnes look last night? To a fan watching on TV, I thought he did everything you said he would; have flashes of greatness but still act like a rookie (costly penalties). I was just wondering what your opinion of him was after his first start?

Vic: He gave every reason to believe he can be this team's left tackle of the future. This week, he'll get another chance to re-affirm his new-found status.

Adam from Jacksonville:
The Jags beat Cincinnati, now do they have to beat Pittsburgh, which will be tough, or just show some fight and lose a close one?

Vic: Show some fight and lose a close one? What kind of attitude is that? You go to Pittsburgh with only one attitude: Win!

Clay from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
You said during the pregame radio show that Fred Taylor had lost a step. I agreed until Fred broke that 41-yard run in the beginning, which was negated by a stupid holding penalty. Do you still believe what you said yesterday?

Vic: I was answering the question literally, not figuratively. After eight years in the league and coming off major knee surgery, it's unlikely Fred Taylor hasn't lost a step.

Wade from Winston-Salem, NC:
That was pure Freddy T. He looked fantastic. Were the cutbacks part of the game plan or was it all Fred?

Vic: You're right, those cutbacks were vintage Fred, but when I saw Alvin Pearman make the same cutback move I immediately came of the opinion that they were by design. After the game, I asked Jack Del Rio if the cutbacks were by design and he kind of dodged the question. Coaches, of course, don't like commenting on strategy.

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