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Win low-scoring games

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

Judy from Jacksonville:
I heard about David Richardson going down in practice with an ankle injury. Do we know what his condition is and will it hinder him from competing for the starting cornerback position?

Vic: David Richardson sprained his ankle in Monday evening's practice and is out of action indefinitely. It's a shame that Richardson was injured because he was in the competition for the starting job at right cornerback. Hopefully, he can recover in time to rejoin the job battle.

Sharon from Jacksonville:
In answer to Jim's request for tickets to the Pittsburgh game, have him get in contact with the booster club at for info on tickets.

Vic: Jim, you should get in contact with the booster club at for info on tickets.

Steve from Jacksonville:
I understand the Jaguars defense has been growing together for a while now, and that the offense is full of new talent trying to learn a new offensive playbook. It's also common for most teams to have the offense lag behind the defense at this time of year, but why such a drop in productivity between mini-camps and week one of training camp? Does having the pads on and actually hitting in training camp really compromise the new offensive scheme that much?

Vic: You can't play defense without being physical. That's what putting the pads on and hitting does for the defense; it allows it to be physical. Spring practice is touch football. That's why I say over and over that it's next to meaningless. I got questions every day in the spring from people who wanted to know how Reggie Hayward looked and I don't think I answered one of them because it would've been a worthless answer. You can't form judgments on contact-position players in underwear practices, which don't tell you anything except who can catch the football. Real football is about blocking and tackling. It's about sustaining and shedding blocks, pressuring the quarterback, jamming the receiver, etc. It's not so much that hitting in the summer compromises the offense as much as not hitting in the spring compromises the defense. What we're seeing now is real football. The defense is playing physically, aggressively and it's installing the sexy schemes it will use against opposing offenses this fall. Have you considered the possibility the Jaguars defense is so good that it would make most offenses look bad right now?

William from Jacksonville:
I know we have to probably cut a receiver or two. What would be the condition if Matt Jones is put on the roster as a tight end? Do we have enough space for that?

Vic: You're just moving your peas around the plate, but you can't fool your mother. You know what I mean? The Jaguars will have to make roster decisions at the end of the preseason. One of the most difficult cuts will be at wide receiver. What good would it do to call a wide receiver a tight end? All that would mean is that you'd have to cut a true tight end, and I like what I see at that position. Kyle Brady is a top-notch blocker; a durable veteran on whom you can depend. George Wrighster and Brian Jones are really making gains and will be valuable to this team in the passing game. Todd Yoder is a special teams star. Tight end could represent some tense cutdown moments, but that's when you know you have a good football team; when you have difficult decisions to make. Let's not forget about the eight-man practice squad. Jack Del Rio and James Harris will find a way to massage and manipulate their roster and keep players who represent "jars on the shelf."

Tom from Nashville, TN:
Your answer yesterday disturbed me. If the offense is only attempting to establish its grasp, is it going to be able to score enough points to win early in the season?

Vic: I think we should expect the Jaguars to win low-scoring games early in the season. With a new offensive coordinator installing a new offensive system, why would you expect anything else? The Jaguars' playbook is brand new. All of the plays were drawn up and named in the offseason. We have to be fair to Carl Smith and his players. Learning requires time. Fortunately, the Jaguars have a defense that allowed 17.5 points per game last season and was 7-1 in games in which it held its opponent to 17 points. That's the age-old formula for success: Hold the other guy to 17 points. When you do that, you usually win in this league. One of the things I've learned about Jack Del Rio is that he's a traditionalist. He has built his team on time-honored philosophies of winning football, and nothing has held true more firmly than the 17-point rule.

Daniel from Orlando, FL:
In your article yesterday, you said Chad Owens has been the most impressive pass-catcher so far. Is he the most impressive because he's doing better than anyone expected of him, or do you mean he's the most impressive because he's out-playing the veterans?

Vic: Since mini-camp, in my opinion, Chad Owens has been the most impressive wide receiver on the Jaguars roster. Remember, of course, that reporters were only permitted to witness one practice a week in the spring, fortunately, so it's possible I just kept seeing Owens on good days. But I don't think so.

Leigh from Jacksonville:
I am starting to think Cortez Hankton might be the odd man out in the Jaguars' plans at wide receiver. What happens if he's cut? Could we retain him on our practice squad or is there likelihood he will be picked up by another team? Will we be losing a good "jar on the shelf?"

Vic: Hankton's ankle injury just after the start of training camp cost him valuable time. It's the third consecutive training camp in which he's been injured and that's been the thing that's held him back. He's on the field now and he needs to begin hitting "home runs" to jump back into the competition. He's got his back to the wall and he's not eligible to be put on the practice squad. I think Hankton is a talent and I'd hate to see the Jaguars lose him, but the injury has made him somewhat of a forgotten man in this training camp and he's got to announce his presence in a big way real soon.

Rob from Jacksonville:
You know that game in three days? You know the start of all we've been anticipating and what not? That won't be blacked out, will it?

Vic: The 72-hour TV blackout deadline is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available.

Gary from Orange Park, FL:
I keep reading/hearing in the press that depth charts have been released but I do not see one posted on the Jaguars site. When will one be posted?

Vic: We'll post a new one today. Please understand that this is the training camp time of the year, which is all about competition. Deciding the outcome of those competitions now would be counter-productive. In other words, this is not a depth-chart time of the year. We'll post one, but don't put too much stock into it.

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