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Stats say Week 4 bye is great!

I see balance; I don’t see easy

Pat from Port Washington, WI

Vic, I've been to high school games in Wisconsin early in the season when the heat and humidity were so high the refs would call timeouts so the players could rehydrate. Ever see anything like that in your time in Jacksonville, or do TV timeouts provide enough opportunities?

Late in a 2002 game on a brutally hot and steamy day, I saw Donovan McNabb step out from center, vomit, and then step back under center and continue the play. Does that count?

Dan from Chautauqua, NY

Vic, after work Friday I mowed my lawn for the first time this year. I, too, have always found mowing the lawn therapeutic and reflective. I was surprised my mower started right up after sitting all winter. Take care of your mower and it will take care of you.

Ready mower, ready man.

Dave from East Burke, VT

How much of a disadvantage is it to have the bye on the fourth week?

It's devastating. The season is lost.

Davey from Chicago, IL

What side of the field is Green Bay's in Jacksonville?

The east side.

Kyle from San Francisco, CA

Vic, please let the people know the Carolina Panthers had their bye in Week 4 last year.

That's probably why they lost the Super Bowl.

Bryan from Stuart, FL

Why do you think hockey is not more popular than it is in this country?

One big thing is holding hockey back: the ice.

Kurt from Everett, MA

An analysis of bye-week winning percentage from 1994-2011. Best winning percentage? Weeks 3, 7 and 4. Worst bye weeks? Weeks 9, 5, 6, 8.

It's easily explained: The best teams tended to have bye weeks in Weeks 3, 7 and 4. The worst teams tended to have bye weeks in Weeks 9, 5, 6 and 8. The bye week mania that exploded in my inbox following the release of the schedule is one of the most insane reactions I've ever experienced in the 16 years I've done this column.

Eric from Mequon, WI

It seems a lot easier to prepare a team to play in the cold, but how does a coach prepare a team for playing in the heat?

The first thing a coach does is make sure he has a lot of good big guys on the defensive line, because he needs to rotate them and keep them fresh.

Jeff from Henderson, NV

I just started perusing the various mock drafts. It appears Noah Spence likely will be on the board when we pick. If so, isn't he the perfect example of need meeting value?

He won't be there. Spence is this year's Bruce Irvin.

Andy from Brookfield, WI

Vic, how is strength of schedule calculated? Is it the record of the previous season or the current one?

It's the combined previous-season records of a team's current-year opponents. It can be sensibly used as an indicator of the strength or weakness of a team's schedule, but teams change and that needs to be acknowledged. Were the Packers the same team without Jordy Nelson? Some teams mature under a young quarterback, as the Vikings did last season. What about the way a schedule arranges the order of opponents? Does traveling to play on the West Coast following a Monday night game make an opponent more difficult? I look at the Packers' schedule and I see balance; I don't see easy.

Cliff from Jacksonville, FL

As a Jaguars fan, I can't wait until the day teams and their fans (and senior writers) are more concerned with actually playing our team than what the weather's going to be.

Then here's some advice: Get your team to stop making early-season visiting teams wear dark jerseys. When I covered your team, I never liked that dark-jersey baloney. I complimented Jack Del Rio for his decision to wear teal at home all of the time, but the fans had a fit about it and the decision was reversed. A tough, run-the-ball, hit-you-hard football team in Jacksonville shouldn't be afraid of the weather they practice in every day. It's their identity. Play to it.

Gunnar from Green Bay, WI

Vic, you stated Matt Jones' position switch clouded his first-round selection. In many articles, writers talk about Braxton Miller going in the first round. Do you have the same opinion of Braxton Miller as you did Matt Jones?

Miller made the switch for his last season at Ohio State. There's tape of him playing the position. You can see the growth and get an idea of where he is and how far he has to go. Jones didn't make the position switch until the Senior Bowl. He made a couple of one-handed caches and a star was born. That didn't sit right with me.

Scott from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Being a resident of Jax Beach for the past 16 years (I miss hearing your feisty voice with Boselli on "Jaguars This Week"), I've already had four people back out of coming to stay at my house for the game due to it kicking off in September. I believe the Jags won't get the sellout they think they will, as Midwesterners will choose to stay home and enjoy the great weather vs. coming to the First Coast at the peak of hurricane season. It's a bad move by the NFL.

They'll be there. The stores in Jacksonville will set records for sales of sunblock.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Vic, aren't the Week 4 bye complaints about the fans'  perception players need a mental and physical break late in the season?

No, it's about an irrational fear of losing. They're already looking for something to blame.

Merriman from San Diego, CA

Vic, enough with the grass cutting. To answer your question, though, all you have in this world is your time. You sell your time to earn money so you can pay for things you don't want to spend time doing. I don't want to build myself a bed, I want to buy one. At a point, the time I have remaining outside my job is more valuable than paying someone to cut my grass.

I'll give you the Pittsburgh version of that: "If the grass isn't cut by the time I get home from work, the only ballfield you'll see this weekend will be in your dreams."

Scott from Livermore, CA

Why can't you answer a simple question like who would you take in the first round if you were in the Rams' position? Your answer was just like the meaningless answers coaches and athletes give all the time. Sometimes the reader just wants your opinion. No reasonable person will hold you to the fire or even care six months from now. Key word reasonable. You don't have to post this. It's just my opinion and I'm not afraid to give it. Love the column, Vic.


Samuel from Milwaukee, WI

That photograph of Greene holding Swann in his arms is poignant. Was Swann knocked out?

He staggered and then collapsed. Yes, I assume he was out. It's the defining picture of the NFL of the 1970s. That's the culture that had to be changed. It has.

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