Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Who's going to stand out?

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

Alpha from Raleigh, NC:
Now that the OTA's are finished, what WR stood out? Who is trying to step up?

Vic: I didn't see one guy who, with his performance in the spring, said "I'm the man." That's not to say they didn't perform well, it's just to say that I don't think any one receiver stood above the rest. We'll watch for that in training camp and in the preseason. At stake is Jimmy Smith's number one receiver job. To really have a number one, somebody has to rise above the others.

Todd from Charlotte, NC:
What do you think of the Brady/Manning petition that got the owners to agree to a new rule regarding away teams and the handling of their own footballs?

Vic: The new rule doesn't significantly change anything. The worry is always going to be about doctoring balls. I covered a game in 1973 that was dubbed the "Dirty Tricks Game." Deflated balls and even a ball with obscene language made it into the game. I'm OK with the new rule. The old rule had the home team supply the balls. They were inspected by the officials, of course, before kickoff. The new rule will have each team provide its own footballs and, of course, they will be inspected. I don't worry about the balls, I worry about the ball boys because they will continue to be provided by the home team. Each ball will have its team's name stamped on it, but who's to say a "dirty tricks" team won't find a way to stamp the visiting team's name on some bad balls and have their ball boys put them into play at the right times? The league has never failed to legislate in favor of offense. If letting each team supply its own footballs will produce more points, then the league is going to be all for it. How do I like this new rule? It's just another example of why the quarterback must go down, and the quarterback must go down hard. He's the trophy. Get the quarterback.

Brian from Jacksonville:
Another "money player," Adam Vinatieri?

Vic: Absolutely; probably the best "money kicker" in NFL history. The kick he made against Oakland in those cold, snowy, windy conditions was the most eye-popping field goal I have ever seen.

Travis from Jacksonville:
All-time money players; no Roger Staubach?

Vic: I said there are lots of "money players" and Roger Staubach is one of them. He stepped into that category on Dec. 23, 1972, when he came off the bench and rallied the Cowboys to a 30-28 playoff win in San Francisco.

Fester from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I am moving to Albany, Ga., in the fall and I have decided to hang onto my season tickets because I may come back here to retire in a few years and I want to be able to see the Jags play. That's what a waiting list does.

Vic: You get it.

Steve from El Dorado, AR:
I couldn't disagree with you more. As a parent, I am more concerned about how they live, not how they play. As professional athletes, they take on two roles; athletes and role models. I want my son to have both a great athlete who excels on the field and off it. Is that too much to ask?

Vic: In my opinion, yes, it's too much to ask any person to live their life according to your standards.

Henry from Daytona Beach, FL:
Welcome back! The two days without any "Ask Vic" or front page action created a horrible emptiness in my life and I don't think I could go another day without it.

Vic: I missed you, too, Henry.

Neil from Jacksonville:
On ESPN, they had a rank of the ultimate quarterback depth chart mainly based on the starting QB. They had the Jaguars ranked at number 17. What are your opinions of where our depth chart ranks and where Byron ranks?

Vic: I'm amazed at how people get turned on and even angry about these stupid rankings and ratings, but I don't see anything wrong with it because it's the "Dead Zone" and there's nothing wrong with creating some fun and entertainment, so, I'll play along. I was asked to rank Byron Leftwich last fall and, if I remember correctly, I think I had him a few notches above the middle of the pack. Based on last season's performance, I think he moved up a notch or two more and, with a strong performance this season, he will move into the top third. David Garrard is solid depth and he nudges the Jaguars up in the rankings. In my rankings, with number 32 being the worst and number one being the best, I think the Jaguars are about 13 or 14.

Brian from Durham, NC:
I agree, parents should be role models, but aren't most NFL players also parents?

Vic: No, these are young men who, in many cases, are still struggling with the experiences of life and the tough decisions we all must learn to make. Only 26 of the 85 players currently on the Jaguars roster are fathers. If you believe a player is worthy of role-model status, go ahead, promote the player and your child's imitation of him, but don't expect every 22-year-old kid on an NFL roster to be capable of providing a blueprint for your child's development. Most of these players are still in the development stage of their lives and are also looking for role models.

Bruce from Jacksonville:
I'm a long-time reader of "Jaguars Inside Report" and this website. I'm happy that we have what seems to be many Jaguar fans all over the country and world, but I have an issue with the poll questions, and our Jags fans' responses, especially the latest poll. Don't get me wrong, it's great to support your team, but we have to stop with the blinder type answers to every question. What makes 40 percent of the fans that answered the latest poll question think the Jags are the AFC favorite for this year, when Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl in 2005, Indy won 13 games straight, Denver beat us at home and we lost to New England in the first round of playoffs? Yes, we are a contender, but a favorite? We're not even a favorite to win our division. Jags fans, let's be realistic with ourselves. If it happens, it happens, but don't set yourself up for a letdown. It's step by step, consistency, steady improvement, become a permanent fixture in the playoffs. Then when it all comes together, we celebrate.

Vic: You make very good points. I applaud your ability to think.

Duane from Jacksonville:
I have never missed a Jaguar home game (preseason or regular season). I was curious how many other fans have done this and do you consider this an accomplishment?

Vic: I consider it to be a fantastic accomplishment. I'm really impressed. I don't know how many other people can make the same claim. I can't.

Ryan from Jacksonville:
At halftime, one team is blowing the other team out pretty badly, but before they can hit the field for the second half, a thunderstorm starts and it's pretty bad. Do the teams still play out the game or what happens?

Vic: The commissioner is the only person who can halt a game before it's concluded and Commissioner Paul Tagliabue didn't halt the game in Cleveland in 2001. He ordered both teams back onto the field to finish it, even in a downpour of beer bottles.

Pat from Point Edward, Ontario:
If you had to pick one defensive back in the league to build your defense around, who would it be?

Vic: I can't force myself to pick a safety. I imagine everyone else would say Troy Polamalu because he truly is a big-play guy and he's got a great head for the game, but I just can't force myself to pick a safety, so I started ticking off the best cornerbacks in the game and I was amazed at what an uninspiring crop of cornerbacks the game currently has. Champ Bailey is probably the best but he's not physical enough for my tastes and, even as a cover guy, I wouldn't put him in the Ty Law, Rod Woodson, Deion Sanders and Darrell Green category. Maybe it is Polamalu, but I can't force myself to say that. He's a safety! They're a dime a dozen. Frankly, I don't think there's a defensive back in the game today who I would consider a cornerstone player. Law, Woodson, Sanders and Green were.

Ben from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
In your opinion, where should Jacksonville be rated on ESPN's Ultimate NFL depth chart for pass-rush and rush-defenses?

Vic: I could say look at last season's final rankings, but I don't think the stats tell the whole story. The Jaguars were 14th in the league in run-defense, but they were so confident in their ability to stop the run that they often overplayed the pass, which allowed them to finish seventh against the pass. Was their secondary as talented last season as their defensive line? No way. With the two defensive tackles the Jaguars have, I would put them in the top five of the league's run-defenses. The Jaguars were number one in the league in sacks per pass play, but I'm not ready to crown the Jaguars the league's most potent pass-rush team. The Jaguars played a lot of teams last season that had trouble protecting the quarterback. Houston was 32, San Francisco was 31, the Jets were 30. That's four games against the league's three-worst pass-blocking teams. The Jaguars have a good pass-rush and if either Jorge Cordova or Brent Hawkins becomes a true pass-rush specialist, the Jaguars' pass-rush could be powerful this season. I'd rank the Jaguars' pass-rush somewhere between fifth and 10th. Seventh might be an accurate rank.

Thomas from Jacksonville:
Of the last 10 Super Bowl champions, which, in your opinion, performed the greatest accomplishment by making it to the top? I was fascinated by both the Pats' upset of the Rams and the most recent sixth-seeded run of the Steelers, but I'm interested in your opinion.

Vic: Those would be the two. The Steelers did something that had never been accomplished in NFL history. Not only did they win three on the road and then win the Super Bowl, they beat four teams with a combined record of 51-13. That's pretty strong.

Charlie from Toledo, OH:
What three teams have the best pass-defenses going into the season, in your opinion?

Vic: Depending on Donovin Darius' recovery, I think the Jaguars could have a killer secondary this year. Right now, I would put the Jaguars secondary right around number five.

Dan from New York, NY:
In your opinion, who will be the most important player on the Jaguars this season?

Vic: The quarterback is the most important player on every team.

Jesse from Tallahassee, FL:
I like Ed Reed as a player. He is a superb safety, however, a six-year deal averaging over $6 million a year? Is any safety worth that kind of cap hit? What is your take on it?

Vic: The Ravens got caught on this one. When the Redskins overpaid for Adam Archuleta and the Titans overpaid for Chris Hope, the Ravens were sunk on Reed. There was really nothing they could do. Ed Reed is just too good of a football player to let go. The Ravens have done some curious things, but any team would've done the same to re-sign Reed.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content