Guest for this week's Behind Enemy Lines: Charlie Bernstein, Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com
1 -- What is your take on Paul Spicer's comments about the Patriots and the spygate scandal? Both his original comments and his follow-up interview this week where he didn't take the first comments back.
Charlie Bernstein: I believe that all the bulletin board stuff is severely overrated. If anything, Spicer's comments can be a distraction to New England being that their players have to address it to the media. If a team needs bulletin board material to get hyped for a playoff game, they are probably an ill prepared team. There are many things that can be said about coach Belichick, but his teams are always prepared.
Talk will not determine the outcome of the game, the better team will.
Charlie Bernstein: Immediately after, a lot of people understood the move, but disagreed with the timing. Leftwich was clearly regressing and Garrard was clearly ascending. It would've been more clear if they were both playing against similar competition in the preseason, so that muddied the waters a bit. The timing was the only thing that many people questioned, being that the Jaguars received no trade compensation for their former starting quarterback.
3 -- Do you think the Jaguars would still make the playoffs with Leftwich?
Charlie Bernstein: Good question. Probably not. If Leftwich would've began the season as starting quarterback, he would've likely been hurt early on in the year, so Garrard would've played anyway. The team dynamic wouldn't have been one where the rest of the players knew who their leader is, like they do now with Garrard. There would have been a lot of distractions, and Garrard would likely not have progressed as well as he was able to without looking over his shoulder.
4 -- John Henderson was injured in last week's playoff win over the Steelers. How serious is the injury and how good is the person who will replace him if he can't go against the Patriots?
Charlie Bernstein: The Jaguars are keeping the Henderson injury at a pretty hush level at this moment, and he will likely be a game-time decision. Henderson has had an off year and there hasn't been much of a drop-off in play from his backups -- Grady Jackson, Rob Meier, and Derek Landri. The Jaguars rotate their defensive line possibly more than any other team so the backups have received quite a few snaps in the regular season. Meier and Landri will be in on passing situations, and the combo of Meier and Jackson will play on running situations if Henderson can't go. The loss wont be as severe as in previous years due to Henderson's lower level of play this year.
5 -- Mike Peterson was ruled out for the Patriots game. What is the impact of his absence?
Charlie Bernstein: Peterson broke his hand back on November 18, and the Jaguars inserted rookie Justin Durant to play outside linebacker, and moved Daryl Smith back to his more familiar middle linebacker position. Since Peterson has been out, the Jaguars overall defensive rankings have risen abruptly, from 24th overall to 12th overall, and Durant gives an added dimension of sideline-to-sideline speed from his position. The Jaguars linebacking corps is better now with Durant, Smith, and Ingram, than it was with Peterson, Smith, and Ingram.
Jaguars Guest: Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 with Charlie, as he addresses the specific differences between Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor; the Jaguars' most underrated player; David Garrard's play this season and more.
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