Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Thrill from Jacksonville:
Since Jacksonville was awarded the Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins have made the big splash with Jimmy Johnson, Nick Saban and Bill Parcells. Those were the hot names. The fans clamored for them. How has that worked out for the Dolphins?
Vic: Johnson replaced Don Shula for the 1996 season and the Dolphins' home attendance dropped slightly. Saban became head coach in 2005 and attendance dropped by a little over 5,000. Parcells became the team's top personnel executive in 2008 and the Dolphins' home attendance sustained a major decline of nearly 55,000. So much for what the fans want, huh?
Kenny from Jacksonville:
In your opinion, how special was our special teams?
Vic: Jaguars special teams in 2010 were the best special teams I have ever covered.
Gabe from Jacksonville:
I thought I recalled an interview you had with Gene Smith last year in which he described his drafting philosophy as grade the players and then select the player of need within that best available grade. In other words, when it is time to pick, there may be three or four players graded equally, so then he would select the player of need within that grade. I believe this differs from your version of BAP, as you appear to rank the available players 1-250 and then draft the next player on your list. Is this correct or did I misunderstand what Gene was describing?
Vic: I'll send you a bib. You'll love it. They come in four colors: teal, gold, black and the ever-popular white.
Lloyd from Middleburg, FL:
What is with everyone using "sir" before they insult you?
Vic: It's kind of a Jacksonville thing. I think it has something to do with the military presence in Jacksonville. Whenever I see the words "sir" or "Mr.," I know the word "idiot" is right around the corner.
Brandon from Tampa, FL:
The Bucs are a perfect example of your coach/ticket sales answer. Their young, unproven coach has led their young, unproven roster acquired by a young, unproven GM to what may be the best team of the upcoming decade. They also didn't come close to selling out one game this year.
Vic: As I have said for a long time, the teams that don't have to worry about selling tickets are at a tremendous advantage over the teams that have ticket-sales issues. The teams that don't have to sell tickets never have to consider anything but what's best for their football operation when making decisions. It allows them to make intelligent, patient decisions that'll allow for a solid, sensible framework that can grow and develop with time. The teams that have to sell tickets often end up allowing the fans to make the team's decisions for it. Tampa is a team that needs to sell tickets and they've done a nice job of being patient. They also did a nice job holding the line on blackouts. They sent a strong message that they will not give away their product.
Jennifer from Jacksonville:
A little PR birdie needs to tell Del Rio he could win back a lot of fans if he wrote a letter to the Times-Union editor stating he empathizes with our frustrations and is committed to bringing our team a championship. It would be an unexpected salvo that would pay huge positive dividends for him, our team and our city.
Vic: In other words, you want him to beg for your affection.
Johan from Gothenburg, Sweden:
I thought this stat was interesting: The Chargers ended the season ranked as number one on both offense and defense, yet, they are not in the playoffs. Of course, it is the number of wins that puts a team in the playoffs and not the amount of yards gained or defended, but what really made you call their season awful?
Vic: You have the league's number one offense and number one defense but you're not in the playoffs and your season wasn't awful? It was an awful shame; that's what it was. I don't think I've ever seen anything so wasteful. The AFC West wasn't one of the league's power divisions, either. It's unthinkable that the team I saw in week two of the season isn't in the playoffs. I kept waiting all season for them to catch fire, but they never did. As they watch these playoff games this weekend, they've gotta be sick about not being in the postseason.
Ken from Lake Charles, LA:
Vic, the talking heads on TV are always mentioning the coaches' tape. Does this really exist? If so, what makes this product so unique from any other game tape?
Vic: The next time you're watching a game on TV, look for a "box" at the top one of the end zones. You might even see a couple of cameras in it. The guys manning those cameras are employees of each team's video department and they are shooting the end zone view for the "coaches' tape." There are also a couple of cameras in a perch atop one side of the field. Those cameras are capturing the side view for the "coaches' tape." We're talking about a video that is produced according to strict NFL guidelines because a "coaches' tape" of every game is going to be circulated within the league. The "coaches tape" is great for coaches dissecting offense and defense, but not all that great for fan-viewing because it is shot with a wide-angle look.
Kevin from Floral Park, NY:
Do you think Luke Richesson's conditioning program has to be reevaluated now that the season is over?
Vic: I think we're reevaluating too much. We've turned evaluation into entertainment. Wayne Weaver made a point of praising the team's conditioning and nutrition program, which Richesson heads. You wanna evaluate something? Evaluate the game in Indianapolis. That was the season.
Gamble from Jacksonville:
Of course, you take the running back; the need for a player is taken into account when ranking them.
Vic: No, it's not. I'll send you a bib.
Rhett from Old Bridge, NJ:
I always send good questions I would like answered, but you never pick them.
Vic: Do we need to offer an "Ask Vic" baby rattle, too?
Brian from Long Island, NY:
With Del Rio losing the defensive play-calling, what effect do you think this will have, if any? Is this a simple tweak or a move which carries significant ramifications?
Vic: The play-calling responsibility will be passed from one bright defensive mind to another, so the head coach can focus more fully on his broad range of duties. As it pertains to defense, it's not a big deal. As it pertains to the team in general, it could have more significant impact. I like the idea of the head coach being able to think about his next potential go-for-it while his defense is on the field. We all need time to think.
Michael from Columbus, OH:
I completely agree with the Titans' decision to part ways with Vince Young. The head coach is the ultimate authority in the locker room and any attempt by any player to undermine that authority must be dealt with. Do you think another team will take a chance on what appears to be a dysfunctional quarterback in Young? "I didn't quit on my teammates, I quit on you" will follow Young wherever he goes.
Vic: It'll turn off a lot of coaches, but somebody will take a chance on Young. It wouldn't be me.
James from Gainesville, FL:
Do you think the GM can fix what's wrong with the Jaguars in this 2011 NFL draft?
Vic: Yeah, I do, but I don't like the idea of deadlines because that's when patience begins to erode and you begin doing desperate things. I'm a patient man. Gene Smith will build this roster into a championship contender. I'm certain of that and I'm certain it'll happen in a timely fashion.
Kevin from Bakersfield, CA:
I recently noticed that another former player (NBA this time) now works for ESPN as an analyst. Is there even a screening process?
Vic: No, they just have to produce their ex-player card and pass a few verbal tests. I'm not sure what those tests are for NBA broadcasts, but for NFL broadcasts an ex-player is asked to say "cover one, cover two, cover three" three times real fast and if he can do that without stumbling, he gets the job.
Darrick from Jacksonville:
How would you grade the Jags 2010 rookie class?
Vic: I'd give it a "B" right now. Tyson Alualu was a hit in the first round, Austen Lane became a starter and Deji Karim did some nice things in the return game and showed potential as a companion back. The undrafted class produced some jar-on-the-shelf types of players in Kevin Haslam and Daniel Baldridge. If D'Anthony Smith and Scotty McGee hadn't been lost to injury this season, this rookie class might've become an "A" and I think it still has potential to become an "A."
Zach from San Antonio, TX:
What are the Titans going to do at quarterback now? I don't think Collins is the answer.
Vic: The Titans are going to draft a quarterback next spring and begin the development process. They'll probably sign a veteran quarterback in the offseason, too, but Collins might have enough left in the tank to be a short-term bridge at the position. I think we're going to see the Titans go into a little bit of a rebuilding phase. I think Bud Adams made that decision when he cast his lot with Jeff Fisher and not Vince Young. I think Adams got sound advice on that decision. Fisher knows how to rebuild a team. They've got some pieces in place. It won't be a total rebuild.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
I have an idea for improving tackling: tear-away jerseys. That would force defenders to stop grabbing and make real, actual tackles. What do you think?
Vic: Colleges wore tear-aways back in the 1970s. I remember a picture of Tony Dorsett's jersey being stretched over five yards. Dorsett was at the 30 and a piece of his jersey was in the hand of a defender at the 25 as the jersey was being torn off. You're right, that's a great example of what happens when you "grab, grab, grab." You need to "wrap, wrap, wrap." I vaguely remember some tear-away stuff in the NFL from way back when I started covering the league, but it was quickly banned and I don't think we'll see the era of tear-away jerseys return on any level. I kind of miss them. They were cool.
Matt from Kingsland, GA:
I just received my "Ask Vic" coffee mug in the mail and love it. My father watched me open the package and inquired who Vic was and what did all of these sayings on the mug have to do with the Jaguars. I explained to him your role with the team and the column that you faithfully write each and every day. I also explained to him how much perspective and knowledge I have gained from reading this column.
Vic: Did you tell him you can't put it in the dishwasher?
Logan from Big Bear City, CA:
If Jacksonville doesn't take Mallett, would Vince Young be considered?
Vic: I could be totally wrong about this, but I think there's about as much chance of Gene Smith acquiring Young as there is of Smith signing T.O.