Let's get to it . . .
Alex from Jacksonville:
A trade for Tim Tebow appears to be imminent, according to ESPN. IF this happens, are we seriously committed to winning or more concerned about our bottom line as a franchise? I know we're 2-12 but how can picking up a third-string quarterback with clear limitations be an upgrade to our roster? I'll always support the Jags and remain a season-ticket holder, but this is as tough as it gets. We'll have a huge factions of Tebow fans in the stadium there just to see him and they'll be upset if he doesn't play. Are those the type of fans we're really trying to attract? We need Jaguar fans in the stadium not Tebow fans.
John: Chris Mortensen reported Saturday that Tebow to Jacksonville is a "virtual certainty." I don't know who Mortensen talked to for the story, but if he wrote it, he's probably getting it from a solid source. He's a very good reporter -- one of the best, in fact. Now, that doesn't mean it has happened and that doesn't mean it automatically will play out that way. We also don't know if it would mean Tebow coming in as a quarterback, as THE quarterback, as a player with an unidentified role, etc. At the same time, until we know the long-term direction of the franchise - i.e., the future of the general manager position and overall football philosophy -- it's hard to know if Tebow would/could be a part of it. We could go on and on with this answer -- and there are many, many facets to it, without a doubt -- but I get the feeling it's going to be a topic for a while.
Joseph from Statesboro, GA:
I think you keep drafting a quarterback every two years until you find your franchise guy. If you wait for every guy to pan out (four-to-five years), you cut your chances of success in half. If you do happen to have a guy blossom late, you can just trade the other guy to recoup your value. You may say that those picks could fortify other positions on the team, but the Colts are showing us how important the quarterback position really is and how a good one can make up for a lack of talent everywhere else.
John: I agree in theory, and often the results of drafting force teams to follow essentially this pattern. And most teams do take the approach in some capacity that if you don’t have a franchise quarterback you keep looking until you find one. The question becomes, what is the proper approach? Do you draft guys you don’t believe in and just hope something happens and they develop, or do you wait until an opportunity to draft one you firmly believe in? Because of roster management and needs elsewhere, most teams lean toward a more prudent approach . . .
Todd from New York City:
I think we should start drafting at least three quarterbacks per draft until we find a franchise guy. The draft is a crap shoot so why not increase our chances by planning more than one hand?
John: . . . and then there’s Todd’s approach.
Scott from Section 139 and Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Since picking a quarterback in the first round can be risky, especially if he is not a blue-chip player, it would make sense to not try to pick one there if the pick is questionable. It makes more sense to pick the best available player and continue to build the other pieces of your team until you can find an elite-level quarterback. Is it not still possible to win and make the playoffs with just a regular quarterback who can play well with the players around him?
John: It’s possible and teams do achieve success this way. The Ravens and the Buccaneers won Super Bowls in 2000 and 2002 doing it this way, and there are playoff teams each season with quarterbacks many wouldn’t call elite. What’s difficult is achieving year-in, year-out consistency without one. It’s that sort of consistency you want because the best percentage chance to win a Super Bowl is to get there on a yearly basis. When you do that, you have a chance to win it in the years you get to the playoffs healthy with the match-ups falling in your favor.
Jody from Fort Pierce, FL:
Can an offensive line play poorly if, say, they are coached poorly? Can an offensive line look confused if, say, they are coached poorly? Can a player that is good play poorly because of coaching? Ok I'll get to the point: do you think this team would be any better with better coaching? Is it the players we have or the plays? I have heard players over plays but I am thinking you can take a player out of the play with poor play calling.
John: Oh, I think you made your point. When you’re 2-12, many, many things have to go wrong, and just as you can’t point the finger at one player, or one front-office executive, or one anything, you can’t just point it at players, or at coaches, or at position groups. Everyone could have done a better job.
Logan from Dickinson, ND:
Were you surprised at all by the comments made by Bill Belichick stating that the Jaguars were physical inside and are well-coached? He also said that they have played very competitively over the last few weeks. From a fan’s perspective, I think that was a really bold statement.
John: You can see statements like that in one of two ways. One is that with Belichick’s team preparing to play the Jaguars, he is unlikely to say anything but complimentary things. Coaches are usually going to praise their opponent, and for the most part, coaches don’t say many bad things about any other team. Typically, there’s little to be gained by doing so. The other way to see Belichick’s comments is that coaches often see different things on film than fans see on television, and it’s possible Belichick sees the Jaguars playing well in phases that many others miss. Most likely, it’s some combination of these things.
Mark from Tampa, FL:
Not sure if you saw this yet, but on NFL.com they had an article on "fan violence" – they, of course, put a picture of our fans heckling someone. Yet, the article had nothing to do with Jag fans being a problem. It was all about Chargers and Raiders fans stabbing each other over the years. Why can't we ever receive any positive publicity???
John: I hadn’t seen the article until you mentioned it. I don’t see this is as a shot at the Jaguars, and don’t really think it’s a very big deal. Most likely the person editing the story needed a photo to package with it and the Jaguars photo was the first thing he or she found.
John from Jacksonville:
"Truth be told, my time there shadowing [general manager] Gene Smith and his staff, it was great. A lot of people there have been calling for Gene Smith's head because of the record of the team, but I can tell you this, it's not Gene Smith. It's the NFL, number one. Football is tough. You're not going to have a perfect team and fans have to be patient. Gene is dedicated more than anyone would know; he learned under Tom Coughlin, and these people have to give him a break." -On what Fred Taylor said about Gene Smith in an interview with Mike Reiss. I hate to say this, but could we as fans have any more patience? It's been a disappointing year.
John: Taylor likes Smith very much, and as is the case with many who know Smith, Taylor understands that he is a good football man who works hard and who passionately believes in the Jaguars organization. I doubt Taylor meant to imply that fans hadn’t been patient, and I doubt what Taylor said will have much influence either way on the decision Shad Khan must make at the end of the season.
Jon from Jacksonville:
O-man, none of us writing in are football professionals. I'm sure Gene Smith made his personnel choices based on information he had and what he believed. He shouldn't have any regrets that I know of. Of course, it didn't work out, but I hope Gene Smith gets the chance to learn from what went wrong and gets another shot at being general manager if and when the Jaguars let him go. He seems to deserve it.
John: He absolutely deserves it, and as I have written often, I don’t expect Gene Smith to have any trouble getting a job if/when he no longer is with the Jaguars. I doubt he would get an immediate chance to be a general manager, but many personnel people would want him in a prominent position on their staffs.
Tyler from Neptune Beach, FL:
O-Man, do you think it's possible that Rex Ryan isn't starting Tebow these last two games because he fears that if Tebow were to come in and win, it would make him look bad?
John: I can’t pretend to have any insight into what Ryan thinks along the lines of Tebow. My guess is he didn’t play Tebow because he didn’t think Tebow gave the Jets the best chance to win. My guess also is that the Jets have determined that Tebow isn’t their future, and if that’s the case, it’s best to play a quarterback who they believe might be their future. Now, would it give fuel to the Jets’ critics if Tebow were to come in and play well? No question, but I don’t think that’s the main motivation.
Robert from Jacksonville:
Our offensive line hasn't played well since Boselli and Searcy were on the roster. We've been good at run blocking but as far as pass protection goes we haven't been solid in that regard since the late 90s. It’s the same thing every year. "Oh well Cameron Bradfield
has the tools and athleticism to be an elite tackle." Please! Let’s start by actually getting players who didn't come off the street or go to some D3 school. Can we please get some SEC players on the offensive line? CAN WE PLEASE GET SOME SEC PLAYERS ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE??? JOHN I AM FURIOUS!! WE NEED SOME BAMA PLAYERS! I AM SICK OF WATCHING OUR OFFENSIVE LINE BE HORRIBLE EVERY YEAR. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE! HELP!!
John: Boselli and Searcy didn’t play in the SEC.
James from Orange Park, FL:
I know it has been mentioned before, but I want to mention it again. Jeff Lageman does a fantastic job in breaking down film and explaining it to the casual fan. I just wanted to give credit where credit was due.
John: I hadn’t noticed this. I’ll have to check it out, but even before I do, I’ll say what I always say: Lageman is JUST fantastic!!