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Love those golden retrievers

Posted Jan 21, 2012

Let's get to it . . .

Tom from Charleston, SC:
Can Blaine hire a quarterback coach to work with in the off season like many of the players hire conditioning trainers? Also, how much of a problem do you see with the Jags being productive in the free-agent receiver market considering Blaine’s slow development?
John: Sure, he can, and to answer the next question, I don’t know that he has plans to do so. I don’t know how much it’s needed, to be honest, and unlike some readers, I won’t be terribly upset if he doesn’t and I won’t take it as some sign of lack of caring or immaturity if he doesn’t. The off-season program will start in April. At that point, Gabbert will sit down with quarterbacks coach Greg Olson, offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski and head coach Mike Mularkey and begin in earnest the process of learning the offense and improving the areas he needs to improve. Those areas will be determined by the three aforementioned coaches. Some of those areas will be ones we have discussed endlessly in the O-Zone in recent months. Some won’t be. The coaches will see different things than many of us saw. They also will see some of the same things, but whatever they see, the process begins in April. How much Gabbert opts to do before then is up to him, but the stuff that really, really matters – and the stuff he will be judged on – begins then. As far as free agent wide receivers, don’t worry about it: a little money goes a long way, and Shad Khan has more than a little.
Ron from Orlando, FL:
Gabbert can't begin working with coaches until April? Is that a joke? Why would he not be working on his footwork and pocket issues immediately? I have to believe that true quarterback that wants to become an elite quarterback would be working to correct his deficiencies immediately.
John: The off-season program begins in April. NFL rules prohibit him from working with coaches until then.
Jonathon from Jacksonville:
You could also make a case for them going after Harry Douglas as he has been in Mularkey’s system and as far as I can tell has been largely underused and underrated in his time in Atlanta.
John: Yes, you can. My answer Friday focused on so-called “high-profile” guys, but without question Douglas’ connection with Mularkey and Bratkowski makes him a logical target. He is a guy a lot of people in the NFL like and who some believe has yet to reach his potential. That’s often a good formula for a free-agent signing.
Fabian from Jacksonville:
Do you think the Jaguars will get a defensive player in the first round of this year's draft?
John: Either that or an offensive player.
Nathan from Springville, UT:
Would the league ever go to no overtime in the regular season?
John: I can’t imagine it. The league had no overtime until 1974, and there got to be such a distaste for the blah feeling of a tie that overtime was instituted. There always is debate about the best structure for overtime, but I’ve rarely heard anyone in favor of more ties.
Daniel from Johnston, IA:
Of the names you listed as candidates for the Jags’ need at WR, how concerned are you that Reggie Wayne's production looked merely pedestrian without Manning throwing to him? Take away his two best games and he averaged 50 yards and .14 touchdowns per game. I'd rather pursue Johnson or Bowe; they've been productive with far lesser talent at quarterback. Gabbert might never be Manning, but he could at least be Fitzpatrick.
John: It wouldn’t concern me a bit. I admit I’m biased, because I covered Wayne closely for a long time, but he had nearly 1,000 yards receiving this season with Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky at quarterback. I wouldn’t advocate Wayne as a long-term answer, or as the No. 1 receiver, but as a guy who could help your team and give a young wide receiver group leadership while also remaining productive – yes, I believe Wayne very capable of still doing that.
Lewis from Knoxville, TN:
You're GM. What free agency acquisitions would you target for the Jaguars? Mario Williams? Vincent or DeShaun Jackson? Another? None. We want YOUR opinion. Mainly because it probably has at least a little insight.
John: The operative word is little, at least in part because the Jaguars are still very much in the mode of roster evaluation and hiring a coaching staff. Once that is complete, the minds that make such decisions will focus on free agency. That said, if the Texans opt to not retain Mario Williams he makes a lot of sense for the Jaguars. He has had trouble staying healthy in recent seasons, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will have that trouble in the future and he would be a good fit at defensive end. I don’t have a strong opinion on which receiver, mainly because there are so many and we’re so far from knowing who actually will be available when free agency opens. I think Marques Colston and Stevie Johnson make sense.
Jason from Jacksonville:
How high would the bidding go for MJD on the trade block? Just sayin’. Teams must consider all their options.
John: Not high as high as you think. He almost certainly would not yield a first-round selection, and perhaps much lower. That’s not a knock whatsoever on Jones-Drew, but positions other than quarterback rarely yield what fans of that player’s team expect they would in a trade. Jones-Drew’s best value to the Jaguars is on the field.
Josh from Bowling Green, OH:
Regarding Mel Tucker returning as our defensive coordinator. Do you think this will be his last season as a coach with the Jaguars? As in, will he be a hot name for head coaching positions next off season?
John: I do believe he will be a “hot” name in head coaching circles next season. That’s often how it works in the NFL – that an assistant needs something to happen one year to raise his profile, after which his name is mentioned by the Talking Heads the following season. By the end of the next season, he is mentioned when people talk about potential head coaching candidates, and after that he begins getting in the door for interviews. At that point, it is up to the candidate to interview well. I have little doubt Tucker will interview well. Just how long it will take for Tucker to find the right fit – whether that’s next season or soon thereafter – I can’t predict, but I have no doubt he’ll be a head coach soon.
Albert from Memphis, TN:
Super Bowl prediction? I say Pats and Giants epic rematch.
John: I’m thinking Ravens-Giants.
Mickey from Section 217, Row Y:
While following all the coaching news around the league, I have heard the term "Quality Control Coach" a few times. What responsibilities does this position have and who runs it for the Jaguars?
John: The Jaguars don’t yet have an offensive or defensive quality control coach. It often is a younger coach trying to break into the league or someone the head coach believes would be an asset to the team, but who coaches a position where the team already has a coach. Often, these coaches break down film of future opponents in addition to on-field coaching.
David from West Lafayette, IN:
Why do fans think they can question Coach Mularkey's decisions? The man hasn't even coached a Jaguar game yet. I'm a clinical researcher - it's what I was educated to do and I'm really good at it. But someone had to give me a career chance first. Why can't people relax and give Coach Mularkey a chance?
John: Fans question everything, and there’s not much to do between now and the regular season except question things. It’s part of the gig, and coaches get it. By the way, this is awkward, but I just talked you your boss. That part about being a good clinical researcher . . .
Stephen from Jacksonville:
The Jags playing a home game in London any time soon is obviously out of the question now with the announcement that the Rams will be playing there as the home team the next three seasons. However do you think Shad Khan will still pursue getting the Jags to play there as the away team in 2013 when we are slated to play the Rams?
John: I do, and though there obviously is a long way to go before then, I would be surprised if the Jaguars aren’t that team. Khan is very much on record wanting to be involved in overseas games, and because many teams shy away from involvement, it would be unusual if the Jaguars aren’t playing against St. Louis in London that season.
Keith from Deleon Springs, FL:
What if your golden retriever’s name happens to be Boselli?
John: Who says it’s not?

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