Join Jaguars Inside Report Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
John from Neptune Beach, FL:
For a typical 53-man roster, how many players are carried by position?
Vic: The numbers will vary, according to team needs and the balance of the strength of the team's roster. For example, a run-and-shoot team doesn't carry any tight ends. A 3-4 team carries fewer defensive linemen and more linebackers. On a 4-3 team with a standard offense, the numbers may look something like this: Nine offensive linemen, three tight ends, five wide receivers, four running backs, one fullback, three quarterbacks, nine defensive linemen, six linebackers, five cornerbacks, five safeties, a kicker, a punter and a long-snapper.
Pete from South Riding, VA:
Who invented the zone-blitz? If my memory serves me, it was Bill Cowher, and the Steelers defense was called "Blitzburgh."
Vic: The Steelers took the zone-blitz to its highest level of use and popularity, but Bill Cowher did not invent it.
Mike from London, Canada:
Dom Capers invented the zone-blitz, and I think it was while he was our defensive coordinator, wasn't it?
Vic: Nope on both counts.
Tammy from Waycross, GA:
"Furthermore, the Bills made a mammoth addition to their defensive brainpower by making former Bengals coach Dick LeBeau the assistant head coach on Gregg Williams' staff. LeBeau's mastery of the zone-blitz, which he invented, will allow the Bills to take full advantage of Spikes, Posey and the rest of their new and incumbent players on defense." I found this answer to your question in an article from some other Vic.
Vic: The other Vic is wrong, too. The answer to yesterday's trivia question is John Rosenberg. Who is John Rosenberg? Well, Rosenberg was a defensive backs coach on Jim Mora's USFL Philadelphia Stars coaching staff in 1987. Vic Fangio, Dom Capers and former Jaguars defensive line coach and defensive coordinator John Pease were also on that staff, and Pease is the authenticator of this story. Well, as the story goes, the Stars' defensive coaching staff was looking for some new wrinkles they could use, when Rosenberg came forth with a strategy he employed as an assistant coach under Joe Paterno at Penn State. In the 1986 national college football championship game, Penn State used a strategy we now know as the zone-blitz to intercept Vinny Testaverde five times and upset Jimmy Johnson and the Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl. No one's quite sure if Rosenberg singularly invented that strategy at Penn State, but Rosenberg gets credit for bringing the zone-blitz to the NFL. Mora became the head coach of the New Orleans Saints and Fangio, Capers and Pease went with Mora to New Orleans. A few years later, Capers left New Orleans to become Bill Cowher's defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, where Dick LeBeau was the defensive backs coach. Capers brought the zone-blitz with him and he, Cowher and LeBeau combined to take the zone-blitz to its greatest heights. So, whatever happened to Rosenberg, a Harvard graduate? Well, he went from the Stars to become the head coach at Paterno's alma mater, Brown University, where Rosenberg faded into anonymity. Now, who is Pete Giftopoulos?
Jim from Vancouver, WA:
Are Warren Sapp's best playing days behind him? How much of a difference will he and Ted Washington make for the Raiders? How do they compare to the Jaguars' defensive tackle tandem?
Vic: Obviously, Warren Sapp's best days are behind him. We're talking about one of the great defensive linemen in NFL history. In my opinion, he's a certain Hall of Famer, but he's 32 years old and in the last couple of years we've seen a lot of offensive linemen rise to acclaim by having dominated him in games. Vince Manuwai did it last year. Ted Washington is 36 but is playing at the highest level of his career. I think that is largely attributable to the fact teams are using him in a specific role, as a hold-the-point, run-stuffing, two-down defensive tackle. At 6-5, 365, he can do that with a minimum of movement. But that's not Sapp's game. Sapp's game has always been disruption. He needs to create movement to be effective, therefore, the demands and expectations on Sapp are much greater than those on Washington. Sapp and Washington will help the Raiders if the Raiders can plug them into specific roles that compliment each other. Otherwise, they are merely two rapidly aging guys who are nearing the ends of their careers. In the case of the Jaguars' Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, they are young guys on the rise. That's what you want.
Nick from Jacksonville, FL:
Gary Anderson was 27 of 31, but he also didn't make any kicks longer than 43 yards last year. The Titans didn't trust him enough to have him kick 45 yards or more. They had Craig Hentrich do those. Just like players cut on June 2, players on the waiver-wire in midseason are there for a reason.
Vic: I agree with you, but kickers are a different story. Most of them began their careers by coming off the waiver wire. Gary Anderson is the leading scorer in NFL history but he was cut by Buffalo as a rookie. By the way, would you take 27 of 31 from 43 and in right now?
David from Oviedo, FL:
What do you predict might happen if a serious game was played between the Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots and the national champions of college football, LSU or USC?
Vic: I think you know what my answer would be, so allow me to give you a little historical perspective. In 1930, the New York Giants played a team of Notre Dame all-stars coached by Knute Rockne. The game benefited families suffering the effects of the Great Depression and was played at the Polo Grounds in front of 55,000 fans. In those days, football was the college game and professional football got little or no respect. Expectations were that the Notre Dame all-stars would roll over the Giants. Final score, Giants 22, Notre Dame All-Stars 0.
J-Po from Jacksonville:
As a long-time resident of this great city, I am offended by your comment: "Alltel Stadium doesn't fit the size of the city." How do you justify that? This city is growing faster than any other NFL city. Pittsburgh, for example, has a stadium that fits its city. When they built Heinz Field, Pittsburgh barely had 500,000 people in its metro area. Jax has over 1.1 million and is growing fast. Our problem is that the NFL thought Jacksonville had a fan base, but what it really has is one million spoiled crybabies. Why couldn't you tell the truth, Vic?
Vic: Your facts are way off. As of last season, Nielsen listed Pittsburgh as the 22nd-largest market in the country with 1,175,410 TV households. Jacksonville was the nation's 52nd-largest market with 598,700 TV households. Yet, Heinz Field seats about 65,000 while the "NFL Record and Fact Book" lists Alltel Stadium's seating capacity to be 76,877. If you include Milwaukee in the Green Bay market, Alltel Stadium represents, by far, the greatest seats-per-population average in the league. That's the truth.
Rob from St. Augustine, FL:
Yesterday I bought two magazines; one predicted the Jags to finish third and it's still Indy's and Tennessee's division, and the other said we'll finish last, just making it tough for the rest of the division. How many people know about the Tennessee/Indianapolis salary cap mess, and when will the Jaguars 2004 media guide be out and where can I get it?
Vic: Predictions are meaningless and the Jaguars 2004 media guide will be in circulation by the start of training camp and may be purchased through the ticket department.
David from Jacksonville:
I always hear about a baseball player not hitting a home run in a park or few or something like that. What stadiums has Jimmy Smith not scored a touchdown in? Bet you can't answer that one.
Vic: There have been too many stadium changes in Jimmy Smith's career to list all of the places where he didn't score a touchdown. These are the stadiums in which he has scored touchdowns: Alltel Stadium, Mile High Stadium, Foxboro Stadium, Riverfront Stadium, Paul Brown Stadium, Ralph Wilson Stadium, Memorial Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium, Texas Stadium, Soldier Field, Three Rivers Stadium, Giants Stadium, Georgia Dome, Cleveland Browns Stadium, RCA Dome, Arrowhead Stadium and Reliant Stadium. Of course, the names of some of those stadiums have been changed, while others have been abandoned. I find it of particular note that Smith has never scored a touchdown in Tennessee; not in the Liberty Bowl, Vanderbilt or the Titans current stadium.
Joey from Jacksonville:
Do we have a "slash" on the roster that can play multiple positions?
Vic: Troy Edwards has "slash" capabilities.