Matt Bush from Wadsworth, OH:
Is there a real interest in Charles Johnson? Do we need him?
|Vic: The Jimmy Smith situation and R. Jay Soward's expected four-game suspension have obviously created a need at wide receiver. The Jaguars have to be interested in every wide receiver who is available. Of course, they can't afford to spend much more than minimum wage on anybody.|
Frank Jordon from Jacksonville:
Why are you so down on kickers?
|Vic: In my opinion, a team with as many needs as the Jaguars have -- the most critical of which is the need for overall roster strength -- can't afford to use its first pick of the second day of the draft on a punter. I'm not down on kickers, I'm just down on placing their importance above that of every-downs positions. Are kickers and punters important? Absolutely, but throughout the modern history of the NFL, quality punters and kickers have been acquired from the waiver wire and "off the street." You don't need to spend a lot of money or a high draft choice to get a quality punter or kicker. Mike Hollis may be the best kicker in the league, and he came to the Jaguars in 1995 as a "street" free agent who was considered second to Scott Sisson. Bryan Barker is now with his fourth team. Gary Anderson was cut by Buffalo in his rookie camp and, four teams later, he holds the all-time NFL record for most points scored. For every Ray Guy and Shane Leckler, there are a hundred Todd Sauerbruns, Brad Maynards and Brett Conways. You can usually get adequate punters and kickers on the rebound and at your price, and that's most important in the salary cap era. In my opinion, the Jaguars have much greater and longer-reaching concerns than their kicking game.|
Seamus Mehigan from Maynard, MA:
It has been said by you and others that the salary cap is beginning to work throughout the NFL. I was wondering if you could elaborate on the definition of working. My opinion is that the cap has eliminated the dynasty from existence with no team being able to keep enough talent around long enough to win, say, four titles in a decade. It appears the NFL has created a carousel-type league in which all teams will be able to compete, but none maintain dominance for extended periods of time. I believe this is necessary to avoid a situation like the Yankees in baseball, but could use revision in order to keep fan loyalty, especially with the younger teams that lack tradition. Your opinion?
|Vic: You're right, the salary cap is an obstacle to any team establishing itself as a dynasty and to players developing identity with the fans. That is not the intent of the salary cap, but those are clearly two of its effects. The Steelers won four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period in the 1970s. The last of those Super Bowl-title teams, 1979, did not have on its roster any player who had ever played for any team other than the Steelers. Imagine that. For sure, we will never see that day, again. However, the owners faced a more severe challenge when they negotiated the salary cap system that began in 1993. The challenge was to find a way to regulate salaries, even if it meant discouraging the potential for dynasties. To that end, the cap system is working; it is regulating salaries and we have this year's free agency results as proof. The majority of the teams in the league don't have the salary cap room necessary to spend foolishly. The ticket-buying fan should be the major beneficiary. Revise the system? Maybe, but revision would probably result in putting more money in the players' pockets, and that would certainly mean higher ticket prices. I like the way it is right now.|
Robert Nocito from St. Petersburg, FL:
I am so happy to have you on-line and to be able to be updated on a daily basis about the Jags. Here, in the "Land of Dungy," it is very hard to have anything reported on the local newscasts about the Jags. Can you tell me what radio and TV stations will carry the Jags games this coming season? I get Jags fever every game, but when I can't watch or listen, I go into extreme withdraw.
|Vic: Robert, the two radio stations nearest to Tampa-St. Petersburg that carry the broadcasts of Jaguars games are 1320 AM in Venice, and 740 AM and 540 AM in Orlando. If your withdrawal symptoms worsen, you might consider moving to Jacksonville.|
|Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.|