Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Wow! A 1,000-plus ticket jump. That's a pretty solid week, eh, Vic?
Vic: Yeah, that's a nice bump. Let's take a moment to pat ourselves on the back. OK, back to work now.
Kyle from Orange Park, FL:
Let's talk about all those great players drafted by the Jags from the SEC that aren't on the team or are considered busts: Matt Jones, Quentin Groves, etc. As far as I can tell, the only good players from big schools on our team are the UCLA duo, but according to Rose, they were West Coast no-name players. I guess ignorance really is bliss.
Vic: When you do a little research on this subject, it would appear the Jaguars have done very well in acquiring talent from the western United States. Mark Brunell and Tony Boselli are West Coast products. Keenan McCardell is from UNLV. Maurice Jones-Drew and Marcedes Lewis, of course, are from the Pac-10. Eben Britton is from Arizona and I think Eben is going to be a fixture at tackle for this team for a long time. If the Jaguars hit a home run with Tyson Alualu, I don't think anyone can criticize the team for scouting the West Coast.
Chris from Jacksonville:
I'd remind Chris from Ponte Vedra Beach that Kent State had two players in last year's Pro Bowl. Talent is where you find it.
Vic: Actually, it was three: James Harrison, Antonio Gates and Josh Cribbs. Let's go Flashes.
Mario from Zapata, TX:
The NBA has Sam Bouie over Michael Jordan as the biggest draft-day mistake of all time. What, in your opinion, is the NFL's biggest draft-day mistake?
Vic: I'd say it's every team in the league passing on Tom Brady until the 33rd pick of the sixth round of the 2000 draft. It boggles my mind to look at some of the players drafted ahead of Brady. The Jaguars selected a wide receiver from Arkansas named Emanuel Smith in the sixth round, three picks ahead of Brady. Cleveland picked quarterback Spergon Wynn of S.W. Texas State in the sixth round ahead of Brady. The crazy part is that it wasn't a good quarterback draft, so you'd think a guy who would go on to win three Super Bowls would at least stick out in a bad crop. It's mind-boggling to think that the best evaluators of football talent in the world missed on a guy of Brady's talent and potential. One of the raps on him was that he didn't have a great arm. Yeah, so why was Chad Pennington the first quarterback picked that year? So much for the arm strength defense.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
Broncogator.com: You need to get yourself some gear before the first regular season game.
Vic: Yet, another example of the cultural divide.
Renee from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
He probably has a soccer ball not on his back window but over the gas tank cover.
Vic: You're right; that's the trendy place to put your soccer ball sticker. What does that sticker mean? Does it mean you belong to the soccer cult? Does it mean, "Danger, soccer players on board?" Or does it mean, "My children play soccer and I'm proud of it?" Why don't we have a football sticker?
James from Augusta, GA:
Why do the fans in Jacksonville have to familiarize themselves to a particular player in order to be fans of the Jaguars, like the comment made yesterday about players from the West Coast? I thought being a fan of the Jaguars meant being a fan of the team, not a particular player.
Vic: That was an excuse, not a complaint. It was merely another example of the cultural divide and of a faction that uses a failure to draft Florida players as an excuse for not buying tickets. The truth of the matter is that the Jaguars have had more players on their roster from the University of Florida than from any other college or university. The truth of the matter is that the top two schools for producing Jaguars players are SEC schools. The truth of the matter is that the Jaguars have selected more Florida players in the first round of the draft than they have from any other school. All of that, however, is now being thrown in their face, for the obvious reason, and it's being used as the reason that cult of fans won't buy tickets this season. Hey, they don't buy tickets in any season. The truth of the matter is that these complaints are really nothing more than an exercise in expressing their real loyalty, which is for the Gators or the Seminoles or for whatever college team they love. The truth of the matter is that the future of professional football in Jacksonville is being entrusted to the other side of this cultural divide, and that for the four days immediately following and including the first day of this year's draft, after the Jaguars passed on Tim Tebow, the team might have sold more season tickets over a four-day period, other than for when the franchise was awarded, than they ever had previously in their history.
Donnie from Jacksonville:
So after a blown call that caused a pitcher a perfect game, the same players and same umpires all stepped onto the same field the very next day and nothing but class and great sportsmanship was shown. It was quite refreshing to see such a display when so many times we have seen quite the opposite in similar circumstances. We don't need replay. Mistakes happen and we move on.
Vic: Well-stated. Football had so distinguished itself in the past, too, in the 1977 AFC title game. Rob Lytle fumbled. The play should not have been blown dead. The Broncos should not have scored. The wrong team went to the Super Bowl. How many people even remember or know about this? Had it happened in today's game, there would be a Senate investigation. Replay has been bad for us. It's eroded our self-control and sapped our inner strength.
Patrick from Dixon, CA:
What rookies can we expect to be in the starting lineup for the first preseason game?
Vic: Tyson Alualu has been running with the ones since mini-camp. I think you can pencil him in.
Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
Is it really that hard to understand that college success does not equal NFL success?
Vic: The filter from college to the NFL is much more exacting than the filter from high school to college. College programs sign up every five-star kid they can find. It's all about the stars. High school video tape isn't of a high quality and it's difficult to judge players relative to the level of competition they're facing because there's no national cross-over of those levels of competition. As a result, a kid such as Dion Lewis gets hidden in a think-tank prep school league. That doesn't happen a lot in the NFL. The NFL releases an army of scouts onto the college football scene every year. If a kid can play, they'll find him, regardless of where he's playing. Undrafted rookie defensive tackle Kommonyan Quaye of South Dakota is a perfect example. Quaye can play, baby. This is a 307-pound man who can run, yet, he was completely ignored by the major colleges coming out of high school. Why? He didn't have enough stars next to his name. By the way, wide receiver coach Todd Monken gave me a breakdown of first-round picks in the 2009 draft and the number of stars they had coming out of high school, and the preponderance of those players were two-star and no-star guys.
Adam from South Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Alienated fan base? Vic, what do these people want? Purchase a ticket and then see how alienated you feel. So far this year, since I purchased tickets, I have watched "March Madness" with the head coach and, like, half the roster at the stadium. I have partied at the beach and watched the draft with some of the best players on the team. I have watched a movie with our top wideout and he even paid. Maurice Jones-Drew announces a free camp for the kids in our community because he cares about their futures and people feel alienated?
Vic: Ignore it. The fans that are the real support mechanism of this team don't feel alienated. As I said, it's just an excuse the other side of the cultural divide uses for not buying tickets and for sticking out their chest and expressing their love for their particular college team.