JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
John from Jacksonville Barring a trade, do you think David Caldwell knows who our No. 2 selection will be? Do you think that the upcoming veteran mini-camp will have any relevance on who we take in the draft? Particularly, the QB position?
John: I think David Caldwell has an idea down to two. At No. 2, you have at least two scenarios and I’m sure he has a few more based on trading back a few spots. I doubt the upcoming minicamp will have any bearing in the decision, and it should not. It’s an orientation camp and as much as anything it will be about learning the offense and defense, learning plays and getting ready for training camp. The on-field “results” should be viewed with that in mind.
Casey from Los Osos, CA:
Nice shoes, John, but seriously? Black knee-high socks? What, are you afraid to show off your chicken legs?
John: I have calves like steel rods, thighs like trees and overall, the physique of a young Spaniard, thank you very much. As for the socks, they were NIKE-issued. I rarely wear socks, and I darned sure don’t carry them on my obviously well-conditioned person.
Jayme from Garden City, KS:
What if we swap first-round picks with the Dolphins so they may take the offensive tackle they need and we get the 12th overall pick and both of their second-round picks this year? Does this seem like a realistic trade or is that too much to ask for the No. 2 overall pick? If this sounds like a possibility, who could you see available for us to draft at 12th overall? Would we be trading too far back?
John: I suppose it’s time to start parsing specific draft-day scenarios, something I’ve put off doing for the sake of accuracy and sanity. While there are certainly value charts for the later rounds, trading in the first round usually depends on how much a team wants a particular player. In many seasons, a team might be willing to part with two seconds to move from No. 12 to No. 2 for a left tackle. This year, there’s not perceived to be much difference between Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson, so Miami may not need to give up that much to the Jaguars to get, say, Fisher, when they can give up less to move up to say, No. 6 or 7, and take Johnson. As for who would be available at No. 12, that could be a spot where the Jaguars could take a player such as cornerback Xavier Rhodes or defensive end Barkevious Mingo or, who knows? Even Geno Smith.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
If the Jaguars do make a selection with the No. 2 pick, would he have to be a Pro Bowl caliber player in the near future for him to not be considered a bust?
John: From the public’s perspective, yes. From the team’s perspective, they’d want a core player regardless of whether he made the Pro Bowl or not. But would he have to be really, really good and a difference-maker? Definitely.
Phillip from Lake Mary, FL:
Are the uniforms boring?
John: The new uniforms are cool. I like them.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
First J.Russ, now Garrard and Tebow? Where do you dig up these questions?
John: No digging necessary. I just open up the inbox and there they are. My life’s good that way.
Fred from Naples, FL:
Regarding your secret knowledge of the new uniforms I heard you can be bought. Just tell me how much and where do I send the check?
John: Life-changing money is always welcome here in the O-Zone. I am at heart a sad, unprincipled man with little regard for others. I consider this my best quality.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
There are probably 40 or more players that are slated to be first-round picks if you survey all the experts' websites. That means that the Jags have two first-round picks at two and 33?
John: Sure, that’s what it means. Mainly, the Jaguars have a chance at two really good players. Rather than getting caught up in where the draft analysts have the players the Jaguars select ranked, it’s more important to consider whether or not the guys can play.
Jim from New Home and Section 124:
If there is a home game, I can't imagine not being there. That's why I am a season-ticket holder. My former tailgate crowd, including my lovely wife, couldn’t take it anymore. I don't need a message, or a catchy slogan, or activities during the game. I go. If you don't want to go, I understand. Just win baby.
John: You are among the hardcore fans, and while I haven’t discussed the fans as a group much in the Ozone lately, it should be said that the Jaguars’ fan base continues at its core to be passionate, loyal and supportive. Whatever the perception nationally, this fan base supported a 2-14 last season without blackout or even anything close. It’s impressive to imagine what the support will be when the team gets this turned around.
Dave from Ada, OK:
How many years has it been since you've been penalized for "youthful exuberance"?
John: I was actually penalized for this last week. At least once a month, I try to get to the Avenues and/or Town Center and do my mid-morning “happy dance.” Sometimes, authorities mistake this for exuberance, and sometimes, yes, there is a penalty.
Scott from Section139 and Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Despite all the draft picks, until we get better at the quarterback position – whether he is on the team or not – we will not be improved enough to ever make or go deep into the playoffs. This is a quarterback-driven league. Wouldn't you agree that if we ever want to be a playoff contender we have to either acquire or develop a quarterback?
Tim from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Back in the days of black and white TV, home and visitors uniforms were essential for broadcasting contrast (home in dark, visitor in light). Why can't teams now wear whatever uniform they choose, as long as there's a color contrast?
John: It’s not as much of a broadcasting issue as an on-field issue. The game moves pretty fast and you don’t want a team with dark blue uniforms playing a team with black or a different shade of blue or even a dark uniform. There needs to be a clear contrast so that there’s no confusion. Plus, it wouldn’t be fair to color-blind players. That’s not a joke. There are colorblind players, and it’s really just plain simple to go white and dark at any level of any sport.
Randy from Jacksonville:
In describing the uniforms, can you tell us if you like them?
John: They are cool. I like them. I’m owning this uniform story.
hawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington:
In reference to expectations this season, let's remind the readers every year there are teams that go from 2-14 to 8-8, 9-7 etc., so it remains a possibility for us to be much more competitive as well. By the way, no one has been "heard" in a while.
Paul from Jacksonville:
I'm with you and Deb on mock drafts. I'm also getting tired of every statement by a general manager or reported interest/due diligence regarding a player being labeled a "smoke screen." When draftniks or other commentators use this phrase it just sounds like they're trying to sound as if they know more than they actually do.
John: At this point, you, me, Deb and a whole lot of others are tired of the pre-draft talk. And I’m with you on the smokescreen stuff. We’re overloaded with pre-draft information and it can be a bit much. At the same time, there’s a demand. If you don’t want to hear it, you probably just need to ignore it.
David from Section 123:
Oh no, John, mainstream country music is the worst. Get that boy some Drive-By Truckers, ASAP!
John: Don’t ever say your car is broke.
Tom from Melbourne, FL:
I didn't ask the question about Long Ding. So that means there are two Tom's from Melbourne who are Jags fans and read your column. I am not happy about this. Tell him to meet me at the baseball field after class, two men enter, one man leave. There can be only one.
John: Actually, that’s on me. The Tom from Melbourne who asked about Long Ding was actually from Melbourne, Australia. You can meet him at the cricket field if you want, but watch it, those Aussies are tough. I want them on my side when the rioting starts – and make no mistake: it will start.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
From all the reports, it seems like the Jaguars will be breaking new ground with the new Nike uniforms when they get released in the next few weeks. Besides the new uniforms, do you think the Jaguars will break into the NFL dress code threshold when Coach Bradley wears jeans on the sideline during a game this year? Pretty much every time we see him on a video or public appearance, he is wearing blue jeans and that Black Nike Jaguars jacket. BTW, I think it would be pretty cool if he did coach in blue jeans!
John: Gus Bradley’s jeans are cool. I like them.