JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Kris from Jacksonville:
I was a season-ticket holder last year. I went to every game and was disappointed with the players’ commitment. I am thinking of buying season tickets next year. What do you think – are they going to be any better this year?
John: Are they going to be better? Yes, I believe the Jaguars will be improved this season. Will they be more committed? I suppose, although I’d say for the most part the whole “lack-of-commitment” theme that some have associated with Jaguars players last season is overrated. People saw a team struggling, and a saw team in a bit of disarray, and people assumed that meant players didn’t care. I didn’t see that, and I’d say that was evidenced by a pretty good effort against New England at home late in the season. Even the following week – in the regular-season finale against Tennessee – the Jaguars competed early before things fell apart. Losing doesn’t always mean that players don’t care, but playing poorly can make it seem that way. Though the team absolutely performed poorly, I didn’t see lack of commitment or caring as an issue. All of that said, I think you’ll see a committed team this season, and considering how the players feel about Gus Bradley and the coaching staff, my gut is you’ll see this team stay together and focused for the whole season as well.
John from Tampa, FL:
Brilliant is in many wayz? Is be. Does. Punctuatoer? Is does number after won spelled different. Good be.
Fred from Naples, FL:
Mandy from Jacksonville might have been referring to "Mikey" for Bianchi as well . . . not Florio . . . Bianchi is another one who doesn't understand what is trying to be accomplished in Jacksonville with the new regime. He still whines about "you know who" not being on the Jaguars roster.
John: I worked with Bianchi for five memorable years at the Florida Times-Union in the late 1990s, and consider him among my best friends in journalism. Both of these things are true even though I usually find his opinions about the Jaguars misinformed and suffering from a lack of knowledge of the organization. I don’t agree with his views on Tim Tebow, something I’m sure wouldn’t bother or surprise him in the least. If I was starting a newspaper staff – which I wouldn’t do, incidentally – he’d be among my first hires. His job is to entertain and entice readers to read. He is exceptionally good at this and is an exceptionally good columnist. That doesn’t mean that I value his opinions on the Jaguars.
Daniel from Arcola, IL:
If someone were to perceive your work and/or jokes to be cheap and somehow artificial, they could call it the Feaux-Zone.
John: Or the Faux-Zone, as it was.
Brooks from Jacksonville:
And if you were a Dutch post-impressionist painter, it could be the Vincent van... Oh we stopped? Rats!
John: I swear: I’ve got nothing to do with this.
Timmothy from Jacksonville:
Realistic question, because he’s young and entering his prime, if Aaron Hernandez is released and subsequently found not guilty, do you see our front office making a move?
John: We’re a long, long way from that, and I’m guessing an awful lot of questions will have to be answered before any team would make a move on Hernandez. Actually, I’m guessing the Patriots have a pretty long list of their own right now.
African Tiger from South Africa:
Actually, there are many tigers in Africa. Not wild tigers mind you, but we are kept in zoos, and as pets. Sometimes we even escape and run around having wacky adventures before being shot full of tranquilizers and put back in our cage. Ah, good times. Let Jaxson know he's welcome to come and party with us any time.
For those of you who took the weekend off from O-Zoning – and really, at this rate, why wouldn’t you? – this stems from J.P. Shadrick’s recent interview with Ace Sanders
in which Shadrick asked Sanders about seeing tigers in Africa. The error here is there evidently are no tigers in Africa. I got an email from Shadrick about this issue: “Had no idea there aren't tigers in Africa, because I've never been there,” it read. I’m guessing we’re a long way from done with this, and I’m guessing it’s a long way from July 26.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Your talk about male thongs got me curious. You think there will be a dress code for the pool? What if I show up to the game in a spotted thong? Would I be allowed in the gate? And just where would I put my ticket while I am swimming?
John: There was more to this email. Me, I stopped reading at “curious.”
Tom from Jacksonville:
John, next time you see Mr. Khan, let him know if he wants to move the team, he is going about it the wrong way.
John: Will do.
Ryan from Clyde, OH:
With the Jaguars freeing up some major cap space with the Joeckel contract, it looks like there is now a very strong possibility we can sign a long-term contract with Eugene Monroe
and lock up both ends long-term. Am I correct in this thinking?
John: No. Not really. Joeckel’s contract was pretty much what was expected under the current rookie salary structure, and doesn’t change the Jaguars’ salary cap situation – which is, in fact, very healthy. Cap space is not a huge problem for the Jaguars right now. General Manager David Caldwell has said the plan is to evaluate all veteran free agents following this season and determine how the team will approach their contracts at that point. Joeckel’s signing doesn’t change that and therefore doesn’t change the Jaguars’ approach with Monroe.
Gator from Gainesville and Section My Couch:
You know if you allowed a certain Heisman winner to play His God-given role as starting quarterback for the Jags, he could also help you answer questions. Tebow-Zone. I don't know what all this talk about speedos and spandex is. When the Pats are in town and I come to see Him play I will be in the pool the same way I go into the pool here at the trailer. Jeans rolled up to my knees, sittin’ on a bucket next to the pool with my feet in it. I take my baths on Saturday. Not sure how all you Heisman haters bathe.
John: The New England Patriots do not play in Jacksonville this season.
Alan from Vernon, CT:
Do rookies get paid anything before the season or do they have to wait for week one to get a check?
John: Rookies get a per diem in the offseason and are provided housing by the team. Drafted rookies and many undrafted ones also receive signing bonuses, but they don’t receive paychecks until the start of the regular season.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
I had an epiphany recently. When the current Jaguars brass watched last season's game film, three things jumped out: the offensive line was so bad that no offense could be run, our defense gave up too many big plays and our offense without MJD did not have many big plays. Enter Joeckel, Cyprien, Gratz, Sanders, Denard, Harris, McCray, and a host of undrafted rookie free agents. Am I oversimplifying, overanalyzing, or somewhere in the ballpark on our recent draft strategy?
John: If you’re asking, “Did the Jaguars' front office try to identify weaknesses and draft to improve those areas?” then yes, I’d say they did that. The Jaguars made it pretty clear after the draft they wanted to shore up areas where they felt the most deficient immediately. That was a reason for selecting Joeckel as well as the five defensive backs.
Marjorie from Jacksonville:
From my view, Mr. Khan is not moving the Jacksonville Jaguars to London. It's more like he's moving London fans to Jacksonville - and sprucing up the place before they get here! Now: a little riverfront property, build and develop some fine condos along with a budding metropolis and we have a city going world class and worldwide – and a “few billion worth” moves up in notches. Yes, I can see it . . . `
John: Shad Khan is doing what he can to enhance the Jaguars as a local and international brand. The London initiative is part of that, as are the stadium improvements. I think it’s more accurate to think of this as a hand-in-hand situation than sprucing up one side of the ocean for the other.
Randy’s Wife Gina from Polangui, Philippines:
I've read many times that people think Luke Joeckel
looks like Tony Boselli. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but Mr. Boselli isn't (and never was) as handsome as Luke! You won't tell Mr. Boselli what I said, will you?
John: Tell him? No, I won’t tell him. Not unless you count texting him, phoning him, directing messaging him on Twitter and running frantically down JTB yelling it to anyone who will listen as telling him. Does that count?