Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Jay from Los Angeles, CA:
What is the purpose of the Pro Bowl? Do the players actually take this game serious?
Vic: The purpose of the Pro Bowl is to identify the best players in the game. Obviously, they don't play the game as they would a regular-season or postseason game. I offer you this story from 20 years ago. Jack Lambert was playing in one of his final Pro Bowls; Jim Haslett was playing in his first. Haslett idolized Lambert, befriended him, and the two players cut a wide swath in Honolulu. The night before the game, they were out on the town when Haslett suggested they call it a night; after all, it was going to be hot the next day and Pro Bowl games do tend to last long. Lambert said there was no need to worry. He had been in lots of Pro Bowls, nobody really tried too hard and, of course, there were two players for every position; they'd split the load. Haslett decided to listen to Lambert, and the two stayed out all night. Haslett was Lambert's backup for the game, and on the first play of the game Lambert grabbed his hamstring and retired to the bench for the remainder of the day, leaving Haslett to play every play the rest of the way. By game's end, Haslett was barely able to stand.
Nick from Tampa, FL:
Vic, your column is absolutely awesome. Has Del Rio decided if he's going to make any changes? I heard a report that said WR coach Larry Kirksey was let go.
Vic: Jack Del Rio has made three changes to his coaching staff. Special teams coordinator Bill Bates and assistant special teams coach Paul McCord, and wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey will not be with the team in 2004.
George from Jacksonville:
Could the Jaguars try to trade Mark Brunell, or Fernando Bryant, for some draft picks? It may be difficult, but even getting a third or fifth-rounder would be better than releasing Brunell.
Vic: We've been over this and over this; one more time: This is a no-trade time of the year. Teams are not permitted to trade until the first day of the league calendar year, March 1. That is also the first day of free agency, and the day teams must be under the new year's salary cap. In other words, they all coincide. In Mark Brunell's case, he is due a $2 million roster bonus on the first day of the league calendar year. Here's what it all means: In the case of Brunell, before the Jaguars could attempt to trade him, they would have to give him another $2 million, and that's not going to happen. Beyond that, what team would trade for a player who is certain to be cut? As far as Fernando Bryant is concerned, he will become an unrestricted free agent on March 1, and you can't trade what you no longer own.
Emory from Marion, NC:
Is Joe Gibbs the only person to coach the same team twice?
Vic: In the "old" days, it happened several times. Walt Kiesling coached the Steelers on three separate occasions. In the modern age, Bud Grant came out of retirement to coach the Vikings in 1985. That may be the most prominent example in modern NFL history. I'm not going to look them all up, for the obvious reason.
Wryn from Auburn, AL:
With Peyton Manning being an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, do you see him playing somewhere other than Indy next year, and if so, where?
Vic: I think there's definite potential for that happening. Arizona certainly has the salary cap room to give Peyton Manning the kind of money he wants.
Don from Jacksonville:
I read on ESPN that Nick Saban had interviewed for the Jaguars coaching job last year. Do you know if he was actually offered the job of Jaguars head coach?
Vic: He was not offered the job.
Ryan from Atlanta, GA:
In a previous response you said this could be Tennessee's last shot at the Super Bowl. Can you expand on your reasoning for that?
Vic: The Titans are $20 million over the salary cap for 2004; the worst cap situation in the league. And they still have to re-sign Jevon Kearse.
Justin from Palatka, FL:
Do teams get paid more money if they win playoff games?
Vic: Players get paid more money if they win playoff games; and for even losing playoff games. In the wild-card round of the playoffs, division title winners earn $18,000 per player; wild-card teams are paid $15,000 per man. In the divisional round of the playoffs, each player receives $18,000. In the conference title games, each player earns $36,500. Each player on the Super Bowl champion is paid $68,000; the losers get $36,500.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
How many 100-yard rushing games does Fred Taylor have in his playoff career?
John from Neptune Beach, FL:
Jeff Fisher was a DB for USC. Was he a teammate of Jack Del Rio's? If so, I find his comments last week about the Jags to be even more bush league than they are on the surface. Maybe I have a twisted outlook, but I find it incredibly rewarding to watch him consistently lose the big game.
Vic: They were not teammates at USC.
Matt from Gainesville, FL:
During the end of the Green Bay/ Philly game, one of the Fox announcers said Favre had cost Green Bay the game with his overtime interception. I personally believe the fourth-and-26 Philly got in the final seconds of regulation was the key factor in the game. How much, or do you, get annoyed by the ridiculous things commentators say during games?
Vic: I don't consider Cris Collinsworth's remark about Brett Favre's intercepted pass to be ridiculous. The overtime pass Favre threw that was intercepted may be the worst postseason pass I have ever seen. It was a reckless effort and carried it with a degree of surrender.
Thiago from Madrid, Spain:
After watching the Colts-Chiefs game, I noticed (again) that every time Manning changed the play while the offensive linemen were in their positions, they moved and pointed around. Why isn't that considered a false start?
Vic: Because they hadn't assumed their three-point stances.
Justin from Jacksonville:
Well, Vic, I was wrong. I went 3-1 instead of 4-0 with my playoff picks. I was close but close doesn't count. Thanks, Vic, for answering my last few posts. Keep up the good work. Can I still get a hat or picture in the mail?
Vic: Is that what you want, Justin? A booby prize? Come on, have a little more dignity than that.