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You gotta have the goods

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

Johan from Gothenburg, Sweden:
If I remember correctly, you have earlier explained about draft eligibility, but how does it work for non-Americans. I am a player who just finished at a university in Sweden, for example. Am I eligible for the draft?

Vic: You are if you're 6-5, 305 and run a 4.5 40. It works the same for non-Americans, Johan. Three years after you graduate from high school, you are eligible for the draft. There's no need to call. If you can play, they'll find you.

Cole from Jacksonville:
As a season ticket holder and a fan of coach Del Rio, I cannot understand why the Jags brass continues to let this Donovin Darius situation linger. He doesn't want to be here. Cut him! The Jaguars and the Jag fans will be better with him gone. It is very frustrating when a player expresses himself like Darius has about our team but is still on the roster. Move on!

Vic: It's not that easy, Cole. Once Donovin Darius signed the "franchise" tender, the money was guaranteed. You cut him, you pay him. I think even you would have to agree that $5 million is too much for a going-away gift. It's one of the risks that goes with the "franchise" tag. You lose a lot of flexibility when you use it.

Kelly from Santa Rosa, CA:
What's your personal opinion on Jack Del Rio's choices of assistants and the turnover we've already seen?

Vic: No head coach hires assistants with the idea of firing them, but it's a fact of life in the coaching ranks that adjustments are inevitable. All you have to do is look at the resumes of coaches and you'll see that they have been involved in a lot of adjustments. Jack Del Rio was a rookie head coach when the Jaguars hired him. It's not as though he was bringing with him a staff of assistants who had been with him for several years. Two years later, his staff has undergone a couple of remodelings and consensus of opinion is that he pretty much has it where he wants it now. I can tell you that Del Rio is very excited about his staff. I know that because he has initiated conversation about it on several occasions. In the Reggie Hayward press conference recently, Del Rio made a point of commenting on his new staff hires, and he wasn't even asked. I hate to see coaches get fired. I rely on them for information and in the process of acquiring that information I have developed a lot of friendships. Change, however, is one of the risks coaches accept. Del Rio's responsibility is to the team. He is expected to do what's necessary to make the Jaguars a winner. He's made changes he believes are for the good of the team. I respect that.

Danny from Jacksonville:
I heard that Jason White wasn't supposed to be picked in the first round. I know his spot dropped after the championship game, but how come this Heisman Trophy winner isn't high on many draft boards?

Vic: Simply put, Jason White doesn't have NFL-caliber skills. He's got nice size, but that's where it stops. I remember when Mike Ditka drafted Danny Wuerffel. Ditka justified the pick by saying all Wuerffel did was win, as though some people have been blessed with a magical power for winning. That's when I realized Ditka had lost it. You don't win in this league by waving a magic wand. If you're gonna play in this league, you gotta have the goods. Wuerffel was a great college quarterback who didn't have the skills to go to the next level, and most people believe White falls into the same category.

Chip from Jacksonville:
After Darius' misguided efforts to trigger a trade, is there any hope for a trade now and, if not, do you think this will affect team chemistry or do the other players understand that this is just business and not to take it personal?

Vic: That's exactly how his teammates will view it. Professional football players understand the money side of the game. They are very capable of separating the financial side of professional football from the emotional side. The fans may not be able to do that, but Darius' teammates will.

Mark from Yulee, FL:
Courtney Brown has been released by Cleveland. If we were able to ink him, would he fit into our scheme? Is he worth the effort with injury concerns?

Vic: Courtney Brown underwent microfracture surgery a couple of years ago. It is a very sophisticated procedure that attempts to grow cartilage in the knee. Tony Brackens had microfracture surgery. Andre Wadsworth had microfracture surgery. All of the scouts I know believe Brown was going to be a great player. Most believe he tried to come back too soon. What a shame! He might be worth the risk because it wouldn't cost you much. You could look at it that way. Or you could see it as an attempt to catch lightning in a bottle, which isn't likely to happen, and the more prudent decision would be to move on and spend your time developing a young defensive end with healthy knees. Isn't that what the Jaguars decided when they cut Brackens?

Doug from Jacksonville:
When the time comes for the Jags to make another move in free agency, do you know at whom they might be looking?

Vic: I'm thinking it might be a second-tier cornerback.

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