Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Sol from Atlantic Beach, FL:
The Rams started a quarterback from Harvard. The Jaguars may start a center from Princeton. What is happening to the NFL? What's next? Will "Ask Vic" be replaced by William F. Buckley and Derek Bok debating "The Effect of Proper Football Inflation on US Economic Policy?"
Vic: We need a little more Ivy League in the NFL. If Dennis Norman is a big hit at center, I'm thinking about doing a weekly video with Dennis in which we're sitting in front of a fireplace, wearing sweaters, smoking pipes and discussing the intricacies of interior line play.
Fred from Portland, OR:
Vic, your crystal ball amazes me at times. Early in the season you stated this year's Jaguars are to the Colts what the 1999 Titans were to the '99 Jaguars. I continue to notice the similarities. At this point in the season in '99 the Jaguars were 11-1 and the Titans were 9-3, thinking they'd probably be the top wild card. Would you be surprised if the playoffs work out in a similar fashion as '99?
Vic: The difference is that in '99 the top wild-card team was the number four seed, which meant it got homefield for the wild-card round playoff game. That's not the case any longer. If there's going to be a miracle, it won't be in River City.
Kris from Rockledge, FL:
Who does Jacksonville play next year?
Vic: The Jaguars will host the Patriots, Jets, Cowboys, Giants and probably the Steelers. The Jaguars will travel to the Bills, Dolphins, Eagles, Redskins and to either Denver, San Diego or Kansas City, depending on which team finishes second in the AFC West. Those games are in addition to the Jaguars' six AFC South games.
Marty from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I love the column and never miss a day. Your insight and humor are great. I was sad to hear of the passing of Bud Carson. I would love to hear your thoughts on him.
Vic: He was a great guy. He made himself available to the media and he went out of his way to explain the game. I refer to him as the "Father of the cover two defense," because it was the defense he used in Pittsburgh, where Bud taught it to a young safety named Tony Dungy. Dungy, of course, later used that defense as head coach in Tampa, where Bud's "cover two" became known as Tony's "Tampa two." My enduring memory of Bud is of walking past his training camp dorm room, to which the door was usually open, the room was dark and Bud was sitting inside behind a projector with a cigarette in his hand. It was a long time ago and I was very young. The thought of it all brings a tear to my eye. It's one of those memories you wish you could step back into. I have no doubt that Tony is feeling the same way today.
Keith from Jacksonville:
OK, you've mentioned your all-time greatest offense and defense. Who would win a matchup of the 1976 Steelers and the 1984 49ers?
Vic: Those teams were divided by the rules changes of 1978, which were necessitated by the '76 Steelers, who allowed only 28 points and scored five shutouts in their final nine games. If the game is played in '76, the Steelers would win; if it is played in '84, the 49ers would win.
Kelvin from Atlanta, GA:
What is the attitude of the fans, the city of Jacksonville and the overall mentality of everyone about the huge game this weekend? I'm driving down on Saturday but want to know because I can hardly contain myself here in Atlanta.
Vic: It's like a scene from "Night of the Living Dead." People are walking through the streets with a glazed look on their faces. I've never seen anything like this. Maybe you should bring some people with you from the Center for Disease Control. I fear for the Colts.
Tommy for Jacksonville:
What measures are in place to prevent tapping into another team's headset frequencies?
Vic: If you tap into the Colts' frequency, you get a recording of Peyton Manning saying, "hut, hut, hut, hut." If you tap into the Jaguars', you get a recording of Jack Del Rio saying, "We just want to continue to improve as a football team."
Keith from Montgomery, PA:
How much money did Mr. Weaver lose out on this weekend by covering seats and allowing local citizens the right to sit at home and watch games? I surely hope his willingness to do so is recognized.
Vic: About $360,000. Now that really brings a tear to my eye.
Mike from Indianapolis, IN:
Get your facts straight before you accuse the Colts of piping in fake crowd noise. Those extra microphones were not for recording and replaying crowd noise, it was for HDTV broadcasts. Quit your crying.
Vic: Oh, is that what those were for? I sure had that wrong. Thanks for correcting me.
Steve from Tampa, FL:
I know the Patriots had great personnel and the weather always played a factor, but what schemes did the Pats run against Manning to be so successful in the past?
Vic: In the 2003 AFC title game, the Patriots jammed the Colts receivers, which disrupted the rhythm of the Colts' passing game and allowed the pass-rush to get to Manning and chase him out of the pocket. Manning threw four interceptions. In the '04 divisional round playoff game, with the "major point of emphasis" on the chuck rule forbidding the Patriots from jamming the Colts' receivers, the Patriots flooded the passing lanes with defensive backs in soft zone coverages. The Colts' receivers were merely passed from one stationary defensive back to the next and Manning had difficulty fitting the ball between the defenders. Who will show the way this year?
Chad from Jacksonville:
What are you saying, that you don't want us fans to support our teams by making too much noise?
Vic: Please tell me that's not what you got out of Wednesday's editorial. Please tell me that you're smarter than that. Please tell me that you understand that domed stadiums have become impossible places for visiting teams to play and that you acknowledge that the game should not be allowed to be disrupted by crowd noise.
Kasey from Indianapolis, IN:
I think you do a nice job, Vic. I wondered why it's such a big deal about the noise? Every team has home games and away games so everyone has to deal with it. It seems like a level field.
Vic: Kasey, it's not a level field for teams in domed stadiums. They enjoy a major competitive advantage. Once upon a time, crowd noise was a healthy and spontaneous indicator of the enthusiasm the crowd had for the action. It dressed up the game. Now it has become an obstacle to the game, especially in domed stadiums. In the outdoor stadiums, the players are still able to deal with the noise. Indoors, it's nearly impossible. I have no problem with a loud crowd, but I believe the noise has to be controlled during the snap count. After the ball is hiked, let it rip; but not during the snap count. My interest is for seeing players play, not fans yell. Noise is something the NFL could control very easily and I think it's time the league starts making the effort.
Patrick from Venice, FL:
Don't you think promoting a healthy rivalry between the Colts and the Jags would be best for the AFC South?
Vic: Sure it would.
Stanley from Bakersfield, CA:
I want to commend you on your "Let's do it the old way" article. Do you think the Colts will study what the Jaguars did to Peyton Manning in the first meeting and adjust to overcome it?
Vic: I have no doubt they have done that and I have no doubt that they know the Jaguars are putting in new stuff for this Sunday's game. I can't wait to see what it is.
Alex from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Do you think the Jags could win against the Pats in Foxboro?
Vic: Mystiques die hard. These are not the Patriots of the past few years. They are 29th in the league in overall defense; 31st against the pass. They are 27th in the league in rushing. That's not Bill Belichick football. Yes, I believe the Jaguars could win in New England, but they would still have to contend with Tom Brady. He's the best postseason quarterback in the game today; maybe of all-time.
Bryan from Pittsford, NY:
I was under the impression Coughlin's "green zone" was his name for the "red zone" because he believes the color red implies stop.
Vic: Maybe it is. I'll ask him the next time I talk to him. The Jaguars' "green zone" is the area from their goal line to their 20 because, as Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith explained, that's the "money" part of the field for the defense.
Evan from Sioux Falls, SD:
I must admit as a Colts fan that I really do enjoy reading your stuff. Keep ignoring the ignorant Colts fans who immediately bash anyone who has an opinion different than their own. I'll be attending my second Colts game ever on Sunday and I'm sure the Jags fans will treat me with more respect than your average Colts fan. Hope to see a classic.
Vic: You will be treated very respectfully. Jacksonville fans are pleasant people.
Scott from McGuire AFB, NJ:
What do you think is going to happen now that Garrard is starting the game against the Colts?
Vic: That's a good question. What affect will David Garrard's mobility have on Dwight Freeney and the Colts pass-rush, and how will that impact the Colts defense overall? That's something we have to watch and note.
Eric from Sacramento, CA:
How are the Jags looking against the cap next year? Do they have enough room to make a big splash like they did last year with Hayward and, if so, what position do you think they would identify to go after?
Vic: The Jaguars' salary cap is very healthy but don't expect a lot of big splashes league-wide in free agency next year, if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement isn't reached. Spending is going to get real tight in 2006 if there isn't a new CBA. The cap is going to go up to $92 million or more but there are going to be a lot of rules put into place that are going to forbid teams from spending, if there's not a new CBA.
Zoltan from Budapest, Hungary:
I'm a very big fan of the Jaguars. I hope they can beat the Colts on Sunday. Here in Hungary, this week will be the first time to show the Jaguars. It's a huge thing, in my opinion. I think here becomes the Jaguars respect. Otherwise, the Hungarian experts thinking the Jags will be the team who will beat the Colts. My question is to you about the wild-card match. If Byron Leftwich still doesn't recover, can David Garrard lead the team to victory at New England or Cincinnati?
Vic: After what I saw in Cleveland, I believe Garrard could.
Arnold from Palatka, FL:
Is Matt Jones, freshman wide receiver, potentially a better quarterback than Leftwich or Garrard?
Vic: Arnold, even the guy in Budapest knows Matt Jones isn't a quarterback. And by the way, he's not a freshman, he's a rookie.