MOBILE, Ala. -- Let's get to it . . .
Chris from Jacksonville:
According to the experts, the 2013 NFL Draft is completely void of talent. I realize we can't trade out of our No. 2 spot because RGIII is not sitting there, but shouldn't we be able to accumulate a few future starters?
John: Absolutely the Jaguars will be able to accumulate talent. I was talking to Rob Rang of NFL Draft Scout about this very subject on Monday at Senior Bowl practice. He made a very significant point. The media and many draft analysts tend to analyze a draft by the immediate star power, specifically the top of the first round. By that standard, yes, the 2013 draft is weak, but Rang also said as with any draft, there will be good players available and that the talent after the first part of the first round is actually deeper than many believe. So, yes, just as with any draft, there are good players there. It’s just a matter of drafting and developing.
Breezy from Jacksonville:
Do you think we would trade our No. 2 pick? And who are potential candidates?
John: David Caldwell said Tuesday the Jaguars will be open to pretty much anything when it comes to the draft, and that certainly includes trading the No. 2 selection. That likely will be difficult because to hear just about any draft analyst tell it, there is not a franchise-changing player in the Top 10 of this year’s draft. That means there may not be a team willing to move up. Potential candidates? This far from the draft, that’s hard to say. All of that will play out as we get closer to the draft and teams start targeting players they would consider worthy of moving up.
Jack from Jacksonville:
With the success of Russell Wilson in Seattle and CK in San Francisco, do you see the Jags taking a flier on a young, mobile quarterback like E.J. Manuel in the middle rounds?
John: If they like him and feel he can be an effective NFL player, sure, why not?
Scott from Chelsea, NY:
Any word on the Jaguars keeping any of the assistant position coaches? What's your take on the chances that any of them are asked to stay?
John: Wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan and linebackers coach Mark Duffner are staying. Those two are to this point the lone front-line position coaches being retained.
Dave from Grafton, VA and Section 115:
How did you find out about the secret plan to hire Charlie Rich? No one knows what goes on behind closed doors!
John: When it comes to the Silver Fox, information travels quickly.
Ken from Vero Beach, FL:
Why is it nobody wants to talk about the tight end position? Every good team has a good receiving tight end. Marcedes Lewis
has had years to prove himself and is still at the bottom, and please don't say he is a good blocker. Most of the top tight ends can block when they have to.
John: Yes, they can, but Lewis is well-above average as a blocker. I know fans tire of hearing this, but it’s true and it does make him valuable. Now, as to the point of your question (I think): Yes, the Jaguars need to get better at tight end in terms of pass receiving.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
John, I respectfully disagree with your criteria for what makes a quarterback great. Montana, Bradshaw, Unitas and Elway to name a few are not remembered for their regular-season skills. Legends are forged in the postseason, not based on how slick you are in the regular season. You can give Peyton Manning all the love you want, but he is 9-11 in the postseason. Big Ben and Eli both have more rings than him, yet you fail to mention them. Having a quarterback that gets you in every year is all peachy, but what good is he to you if he chokes once it counts? I’d rather have a guy like Eli. Maybe he doesn't get you in every year, but when he does, he kicks the door down and delivers. Jus' Sayin'.
John: Many agree with you; in fact, most agree with you. That is fine. When I was writing about Brady this week, I wasn’t writing about what makes a quarterback a “legend.” Rather, I was offering my opinion on what I think truly is the measure of a great NFL quarterback. My problem with the issue lies in the whole notion of “choke.” Brady was labeled as a preeminent “clutch” quarterback for years because his team won three Super Bowls. Now, there are those questioning that legacy because “he” has failed to win a Super Bowl in eight seasons. Is he suddenly less clutch now than he was at the beginning of his career? I don’t think so. And I often wonder who those who lauded Brady early for being clutch reconcile his “failure” in recent postseasons. The reality is he’s every bit as great now as he was in 2004. There are many elements out of a quarterback’s control in the postseason and you’re often just, plain playing a team that is better than yours. I have no problem with the quarterbacks you mentioned being remembered as great, but I choose to admire quarterbacks such as Favre, Manning and Brady for their runs of sustained ability to get their teams there as much as I admire Eli Manning and Roethlisberger for being able to bust that door down. As I said, many disagree with that. That really is beside the point.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
John, just an observation but I noticed in yesterday's O-Zone that you didn't answer one Tebow question, nor mention him in any of your answers.
John: My bad.
Dane from Young Harris, GA:
These "no-one-wanted-the-job" questions are ridiculous. Let's not forget that Bradley was on the verge of getting the Eagles job but chose the Jaguars over them.
John: I have a feeling the questions will wane soon enough.
Gary from Vista, CA:
You keep saying our scouts are well-respected around the NFL. What have they done to get this respect?
John: Worked hard, exhibited thoroughness and attention to detail, and shown an ability to evaluate players. The scouting community is a very small one, and scouts and personnel people from one team often know many scouts from other teams. Therefore, the reputation of a single scout or even many in a department can transcend the performance of a team. Scouts gather information and put together draft boards. General managers select talent and piece together rosters. A struggling team doesn’t mean that the scouts don’t know how to grade and evaluate players.
Charles from Midlothian, VA and Section 410:
Is it fair to say that Gene got good advice from his scouts and that they did a good job, but general manager decisions, like spending picks to trade up for need and a bit of luck, had more to do with Gene leaving? So, thus just firing guys to fire them wouldn't do anything to prep us for next season.
John: You’re on the right track, and considering this question and the one from Gary that preceded it are only two of many I’m receiving along these lines, I’ll just say again what I’ve been writing for the past several weeks. There’s no indication there’s going to be massive turnover in the scouting department, and certainly not between now and the draft. I know it’s a hot topic, but don’t hold your breath.
Tim from St. Louis, MO:
I know you just make you answers in your slippers over morning beers, but you really need to review Belichick's career before stating he was nothing before Brady. Just a few highlights include two Super Bowls victories as DC for Giants and already in the Hall of Fame for one of those victories’ defensive game plan.
John: I may have phrased my question wrong. I never meant to say Belichick wasn’t a good coach before Brady. He was, and he actually was as good a defensive coordinator as he was a head coach – something that isn’t always the case. Belichick obviously is a Hall of Fame head coach, and an innovator as a defensive coordinator. As a head coach, though, he had minimal success in Cleveland, and was 5-11 the year before the Patriots won their first Super Bowl with Tom Brady. My point was in no way to state that Belichick wasn’t a great coach, but that he – like most coaches in the history of the league – needed the help of a great quarterback for that ability to translate into championships and a place in history.
Tim from Jacksonville:
Before we do all these back flips for how great Bradley is because of what he did in Seattle, look a little closer. Over the last four years the Jaguars have had 26 draft picks and used them 13/13 offense/defense. During the same four years Seattle had 35 draft picks and used 22 on Defense and 13 Offense. So on the whole, Seahawks had nine more picks, ALL of which were used for defensive players.
John: Sounds like that Bradley guy did a good job coaching good, young players. What a schmuck.