JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Dave from Jacksonville:
Why don't you just answer all your questions with, "When the Jags find their quarterback all will be better?" Not too much else matters, at least not compared to finding that guy. The quarterback can make everyone's job easy/easier. And as for this infamous No. 33 pick, I'm sure there will be more than one guy who "slides," and if we don't trade out, you sure better pick the right player. That pick to me is almost more important than our first. Let's go for the home runs this year. I'm tired of base hits. They're boring and so is their play. Look at the Braves this year. #peachclobber
John: I probably won’t start answering every question your way – “When the Jags find their quarterback . . .” –but if you look back, I have included some variation of “and of course you have to find a quarterback” in answers for a long, long time now. Finding a quarterback is critical, and you must keep trying to find one until you succeed. At the same time, you can’t neglect the rest of your roster and you must build a sound structure around that guy. As for your final thought, “Let’s go for home runs,” I’ll say again that I’d caution against thinking Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell is going to be a riverboat gambler on draft day going for home run after home run. Will there be a time for that? Sure. But for the most part, you build an NFL roster by scouting well and drafting players in the first round who have a high percentage chance of being good players for a long time.
Eric from Treasure Valley, Idaho:
I take it you've heard the "Seniorwritis" joke/ question before. (Hence, your failure to answer . . .)
John: No, I just didn’t think it was funny. Now, making fun of it not being funny – *that’s funny.*
Steve from Denver, CO:
O, has Gene Smith found work? Most people rate the Jags as having the worst talent in the league. Won't you admit he did a lousy job and has left the team in horrible shape?
John: Smith hasn’t yet joined another team, but I expect that to happen sometime after the draft. While teams hire general managers shortly after the season, the time for hiring and making other changes in front offices is after the draft. That makes sense because teams’ scouting staffs spend their entire calendar year preparing for drafts and new general managers typically keep staffs intact until that process is complete. As far as the Jaguars’ talent, yes, I suppose people “rate” them that way, and yes, the Jaguars could be in better shape there. I’m not into black-and-white rulings like this guy or that guy did a “lousy” or “great” job when it comes to building an NFL roster. As I’ve stated often, there are many, many factors that come into play – injuries, how players develop, coaches. Besides, the facts are out there: the Jaguars struggled during Smith’s final two seasons here and he lost his job because of it. I’m not sure what there is to gain from piling on the man now.
Erich from Orlando, FL:
Should we be worried that Gus will push Jags personnel too hard this offseason and risk serious injury?
John: Not *this* Jaguars personnel, that’s for sure.
Robert from Moorpark, CA:
Who was Seattle’s "Leo" dude last season? Will we see the same 4-3 defensive scheme?
John: Chris Clemons played the Leo role for Seattle last season. You’ll see a version of what the Seahawks ran when the Jaguars are on defense next season. Realistically, it may take a year or so to get the right personnel to play Gus Bradley’s ideal defense, but eventually, you’ll see something of a hybrid 4-3/3-4 scheme. For this year, it probably will be mostly a 4-3 scheme.
Anthony from Madison, WI:
This isn't largely Jaguars-related, but it's interesting. The 49ers have 13 draft picks. Do you think with their talent they could make an unprecedented leap from No. 31 all the way up to high enough for either Kenny Vaccaro or even into the Top 10 to grab Sharrif Floyd? With such few needs, will they aim for depth or to win now? Would it absolutely shock you to see them move up 20 spots? How much do you think they'd have to give up? If they offered the Jaguars their first, next year's first, their second, and maybe a couple other mid-round picks, would the Jaguars consider taking it or do we need to pick inside the top 15 this year? Look, it's Jaguars related now.
John: Wow. A lot of questions. I doubt the 49ers will make move drastic enough to get up to No. 2. While they are talented, the biggest mistake teams make is thinking they’re a player or two away and giving up drafts – i.e., their future – to obtain those players. I see the 49ers maybe moving up into the high teens if there’s a player they want, but to get up to No. 2 a couple of things need to happen – there needs to be a player the 49ers covet that much and they need to be willing to give up a lot. That seems unlikely.
Aaron from Jacksonville:
Has Gabbert's shoulder healed 100 percent? And I love our two opening games - KC and Oakland - we'll start 2-0!
John: Yes. And YES!!!!!
Terrance from Jacksonville and currently in the North Arabian Gulf:
Oh, Mr. Oehser, there you go talking about how good Gabbert looked in practice in your What We Learned article. To quote the great Allen Iverson, “Were talking about practice; not a game, but practice.” He looked good last year in practice. However, when the proverbial bullets started to fly he didn’t look so good any more. Yes, he has the tools to be a decent quarterback, but can he do it in a game, not just practice?
John: I figured I’d get some pushback for saying/writing that. All I can do here on jaguars.com is try to give the reader information that’s pertinent. Fans couldn’t see the minicamp practices this week, and there obviously is interest in how the quarterbacks played. As might be expected, both Henne and Gabbert had stops and starts the first two days as they worked through the plays of a new offense for the first time. I thought Gabbert looked significantly better Thursday. That’s not *remotely* saying he’ll be better next season, and it’s not saying anything about what happened last year. It’s also not a prediction. I simply said he practiced well one day. The questions about the future will be answered . . . well, in the future.
Jim from Section 124:
I'm pretty sure I heard the Murphy’s during the regular season last year -- they're a great stadium fit.
John: And a great fit for driving, for jogging, for resting, for . . .
Dan from Tallahassee:
The last Jacksonville Jaguars game I attended was on November 11th, 2001. We gave a pretty good licking to the Bengals, 30-13. I was eight years old and my father, 38 years, and I were blissfully unaware of what lay ahead for the Jaguars in the coming decade, having just come off our second near Super Bowl run in five years two seasons before. The team was slipping, but as far as we knew, the Jaguars would be in the capable hands of Coach Coughlin for years to come. Now we are quickly approaching the 2013-14 season, and I am 20 years old. My father, a Jacksonville native, hasn't been back to see a game since that day either, but he and I are so pleased with the new management, new face, and new brand of the Jacksonville Jaguars that we will be making our respective three-hour drives to see a home game, myself from Tallahassee and he from Orlando, and to stand united with our team regardless of the outcome. Just wanted to share!
John: Glad you did.
Charlie from Dayton, OH:
If Geno Smith doesn't go in the first round like a few NFL reporters say, what are the chances that we will grab him at No. 33 overall?
John: A little less than 42.67 percent.
Cory from North Bay, Ontario:
Do you think that Chance Warmack could be one of the two players? He might be a guard but he’s a need, and maybe one of the best players in this draft.
John: I do not think Warmack is one of the two players. I believe he could maybe, maybe be a possibility if the Jaguars trade down, but No. 2 is too high for a guard. That’s the belief here, anyway.
Kevin from Section 241:
Going off of AceAlleyne's intro, what music would you want playing if you ever had to do a flashy running through the tunnel and into the smoke entrance?
John: I’m Only Sleeping, by the Beatles.