Without question, the two most interesting moves the Jaguars made in the off-season were the free-agent signings of Tra Thomas and Torry Holt.
From my point of view, getting Thomas and Holt seemed to go against the grain as far as new GM Gene Smith's philosophy was concerned. He seemed intent on jettisoning veterans who he believed were past their prime, like Fred Taylor and Mike Peterson. At the same time, he cut ties with players who showed poor judgment and a tendency to run afoul of the law (Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, Gerald Sensabaugh).
When I stopped to think about it, signing Holt and Thomas actually made a great deal of sense. The two free agents play positions that are in a state of flux right now, and a steadying veteran presence will certainly help the younger guys who are trying to find their way in the NFL. At the same time, both guys—especially Holt—are good in the locker room and, most importantly for this franchise, stay out of trouble.
Here are some questions I would like to ask the duo:
For Tra Thomas
2. What makes Donovan McNabb an effective leader? Which of those traits do you see in David Garrard?
3. You blocked for one of the best all-purpose backs in the NFL in Brian Westbrook. Jacksonville has its own great all-around RB in Maurice Jones-Drew. What are the similarities between the two, and what are the differences?
4. What was your reaction when you saw the Jaguars draft two offensive tackles with their first two picks?
For Torry Holt
1. A lot of pundits are saying that you are on the downside of your career and have no business being a No. 1 receiver. How do you see your role on this team?
2. You had the lowest production in terms of receptions, yards and touchdowns since your rookie year? What reasons, if any, can you pinpoint for the dip?
3. On the Super Bowl champion team you played on, what was the chemistry like? In your opinion, how important is chemistry to a team's success?
4. For years, you played alongside Isaac Bruce, but he departed for San Francisco in free agency. How strange was it to take the field with another receiver and what was it like to see him with a division rival?
1. A major problem for last year's team was a lack of chemistry in the locker room. In the time that you've been here, what are your observations about this team's chemistry?
2. As experienced veterans, how important is it to take the rookies—especially the ones at your position—under your wing? When you came into the league, who was your mentor?
3. You have only played for one team your entire career. How difficult was it for you to join a new team after so much time in one place?
4. How would you like people to remember you once you retire?
If anyone has any obvious questions you think I left out, or any questions you would like to see asked, I'd love to hear from you.
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