Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
James from Jacksonville:
Any scoop on what kind of initiation process our rookies are going through? Has anyone been duct-taped to the field goal posts yet?
Vic: I haven't detected any hazing ceremonies, yet. I suspect the veterans will do the tired, old shave-the-head thing. I hate it. I hate hazing, period, and I wish one of the rookies from this class would stand up and say no, and I wish the rest of the rookie class would then say no, too. I fear for Pete Ittersagen's head of thick, curly hair. I'm afraid he might have a Samson thing going on there and that if they shave his head he'll lose his quickness. In my opinion, rookies are going to dominate this roster and their importance to the success of this year's team will be undeniable. In my opinion, it's time to change the culture. It's time to start treating rookies as the men they have to be for this team to win, therefore, I am appealing to the veteran leaders of this team, the David Garrards and Maurice Jones-Drews, to end this demeaning ritual. Degradation makes no one better.
Wade from Jacksonville:
Thanks for explaining the spread formation to us. What was the "Zero" formation Coughlin used to run occasionally with five linemen, five receivers and Brunell alone in the backfield?
Vic: It's popularly known as "five-wide." That's all. Coaches love to attach cutesy names to formations because it makes it sound as though they invented it. I used to do a Q&A with Tom Coughlin for "Jaguars Inside Report," which was the team newspaper from 1995 until its death following the 2003 season. I would go into Coughlin's office every Thursday to do the Q&A and I can remember these deep conversations he would initiate about the five-wide look the Steelers were using in 1995. The "Slash" thing the Steelers were doing with Kordell Stewart didn't interest Coughlin nearly as much as five-wide. He loved it. He was infatuated by it and all of the creativity it allowed. Sure enough, the Jaguars started doing a lot of five-wide in '96, once they found enough guys who could catch a football. My enduring memory of the Jaguars' use of five-wide comes from a game in Pittsburgh in '96, when the Jaguars were down on the Steelers' goal line in the third quarter and appearing as though they would cut the Steelers' lead to 14-10. The Jaguars lined up in five-wide and the Steelers saw an opportunity to blitz against an empty backfield. Carnell Lake shot through the left side of the Jaguars' line, sacked Mark Brunell, stripped him of the ball and then picked it up and ran 85 yards for a touchdown. Game over. The Jaguars' use of five-wide decreased following that game.
DaMillion from Compton, CA:
I'm shocked this hasn't been asked yet. Wouldn't Tebow fit the mold of the "thick, muscular, hard-body guy who could take a hit and dish 'em out, too?" Plus, he's not a bad passer.
Vic: He absolutely would. If anybody could run the spread-option in the NFL, it's Tim Tebow, but what happens if he gets hurt? Do you have another guy like him? Remember, if you're going to run the spread-option, you've got to commit to it in terms of personnel. You need more wide receivers and fewer tight ends. You need smaller and more mobile offensive linemen, and running backs who can catch and run in the open field, as opposed to between-the-tackle pounders. If you can find three Tebows, go ahead and make the commitment. I think that's what you'll need. I think you'll need three Tebows to get through a season.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
Why not just cover another 6-8K seats and get gameday capacity where it really should be for a market our size? I'm not making excuses; I have my season tickets. I just have not heard any mention of this as a possibility to help the blackout issue and didn't know if maybe there was a league rule against it or something?
Vic: You need more covers.
Daniel from Tallahassee, FL:
You've explained the spread many times in many ways over the years. The explanation you gave on Wednesday finally allowed me to get it. Thanks for your persistence in helping us better understand the game.
Vic: College football is wonderful. I watch it and I love it but I understand that it is not to be compared to what I cover. To fully appreciate college and pro football equally, you must separate the two. What works in college football won't necessarily work in the NFL and college fans struggle with that fact. They see the college teams moving the ball up and down the field and they don't understand why it can't be done in the NFL. They don't understand why NFL teams get conservative with a lead, whereas college teams pour it on. I'm not gonna say the spread-option won't work in the NFL because that would be to close my mind to innovation and I think low-revenue teams will need to be open to change and creativity in the future to remain competitive. Maybe someone will find a way to extract the value from the crop of spread-option quarterbacks college football is dumping on the NFL. If I was a head coach or a GM, I'd put a lot of thought into how I could utilize those types of players, especially that quarterback at Appalachian State. I love to watch that kid play. As the NFL game stands right now, however, I don't see the spread-option as a viable offense. It's a college offense and if a quarterback can't make the transition from the college spread-option to pro pocket-passer, he'll probably need to find a new position.
Daniel from Tallahassee, FL:
What is the difference between a player's contract being terminated and a player being waived?
Vic: As far as I'm concerned, there is no difference, that's why I like to use the word "cut." Everybody understands what that means.
Brian from Jacksonville:
All those out there who think Stallworth got off easy didn't hear the whole deal. He's gonna be on house arrest for two years, on probation (no alcohol, no staying out late) for 10 years, and his driver's license is suspended forever. Maybe he didn't get much jail time, but wouldn't you agree that he's still getting punished?
Vic: No beer for 10 years! You've got to be kidding me. Why play golf if you can't have a beer afterward? I'm not even gonna get into the harder stuff that helps get us through life's little travails that involve she who must be obeyed, as David Feherty likes to call her. I would never agree to those terms. I'd take more jail time.
Jeff from Fullerton, CA:
As an Ohio State fan, I was curious as to your thoughts on Todd Boeckman. Do you believe he has the talent to make any sort of noise in training camp?
Vic: When I saw him as a junior, I considered him a draft prospect for the following year. Then came the meltdown against USC and losing the job to Terrelle Pryor. Honestly, Boeckman never had a chance against Pryor. I have to believe the job was promised to Pryor as part of his recruitment. I'm gonna watch Boeckman at practice today. I'll be able to let you know more tomorrow.
Sean from San Bernardino, CA:
I asked Torry Holt on Twitter what WR (rookie or veteran) had caught his eye in OTAs and who he thought had the most potential. All he said was to keep an eye on Mike Thomas. Are you guys seeing the same thing?
Vic: My eye is on Tiquan Underwood.