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This should be the last time

Posted Dec 27, 2012

Let's get to it . . .

Anthony from Madison, WI:
My question is split. There are two defensive prospects most believe the Jaguars will look at next April: middle linebacker Manti Te'o and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. First, do you believe it's feasible to move either Pozlusnzy or Te'o to OLB effectively? If not, and Jarvis Jones (the best pure pass-rusher in the draft) is potentially our best selection, do you believe his condition (Spinal Stenosis) will prematurely end his career at age 28-to-30, giving him only around four-to-six years of actual NFL play? This is the same condition that ended Peyton Manning's younger brother's career.
John: My answer is split. First, I’m not operating under the assumption that Te’o and/or Jones are the primary options for the Jaguars in the draft, because I’m not operating under any assumption about the draft. April is a long way off, and with no clear-cut guys projected at the top of the first round, my only assumption about the draft is it’s not safe to assume anything. I don’t believe Posluszny would be moved outside and doubt Te’o would, either. As for Jones, I have no idea how long he will be able to play, but reports are that there are concerns about that condition and I expect it to be a major topic in the predraft conversation. We have plenty of time for all of this speculation come the spring. As always, I’m looking forward to it.
Gabe from Jacksonville:
Osi Umenyiora just announced he probably is not going to stay with the Giants for next season. Do you suppose it's feasible we go after him? I think a tandem of him and Babin starting with Branch/Mincey/Selvie rotating in as needed could help our pass rush tremendously.
John: Sure, that tandem could help – and anything’s feasible. I would think it’s highly doubtful, though. The Jaguars at 2-13 are going to be in a position of needing a lot of young players to develop. Umenyiora is a veteran and is going to be very expensive. With the team needing to develop, I don’t know if that kind of expense right now is worth it.
David from Kingsland, GA:
I'm sick of all these fans who think Tim Tebow is worthless as a football player with no evidence of such. He only got one chance to play and he played much better than Kyle Orton and made the playoffs. What evidence do "the fans" have that he isn't any good? Rex Ryan's word for it? Is it because some Jets players said he wasn't any good in practice? I'm not saying he is, but how could they have any more idea how good he is than any other player on another team’s bench?
John: The people who think Tebow is worthless as a football player are those who watched him early in games during much of his stint as a starter in Denver. During those times, he looked very, very bad at times. The people who believe in him are those who look at his ability to win games late, and at the playoff victory over Pittsburgh. During those times, he looked very, very good at times. The people who believe he is bad listen to reports from the Jets that say he has struggled in practice and believe those sorts of things matter very much. The people who believe he is good say such things are ridiculous. He is a polarizing figure.
Miguel from Section 145 and Jacksonville:
Hindsight is always 20-20. NOW people are saying "What about Russell Wilson?" as if everyone knew he was going to be this good. How many other NFL cities, that you know of, are the GM's being criticized to this extent?
John: Hindsight is the bane of any general manager’s existence, because the easiest thing for fans and media to do is to break out the draft list each year and say, “Well, he passed on this guy and could have had that guy.” No general manager grades out well when judged like that, but it comes with the territory. As for how many general managers are criticized the way Smith has been criticized, any general manager who is 2-13 this deep into his tenure is going to get criticized. That comes with the territory, too.
Jim from Meridian, ID:
You mentioned the other day how it's not uncommon for many NFL players to not succeed on one team, get released, and flourish on another. When drafting and looking at free-agents, don't teams look at how a player will fit into their system? (see Bryce Paup).
John: Yes, they look, and while looking, they make every effort to project. However, projecting is one thing and actually putting that player on the field and into your locker room is another. “Fit” is a major part of the NFL, and it probably is gotten wrong as much as any other element of scouting.
Harry from Jonesboro, AR:
Tebow will never be successful here or anyone else if the offensive coordinator simply tries to plug him in to run the offensive coordinator’s offense. Tebow took over a struggling Denver team last year that was all but done, and because of that, they just let him play, his style. Result? Second round of the playoffs. Jacksonville hasn't had a quarterback do that since Brunell.
John: There is, of course, that view (and by the way, they made the second round in 2007) . . .
Paul from Middleburg, FL:
Just a statement. Great football players don't play for three teams in three years. Only career backups and subpar players do that.
John: . . . and then there’s that view.
Damon from Studio City, CA:
Why doesn't Tebow just make a position change and become a tight end in the mold of a Dallas Clark? He'd be a lot more effective there and he'd actually get on the field. He'd be a tough tight end to stop and huge mismatch for most secondaries.
John: My understanding is Tebow wants to play quarterback, and if he can find a team to allow him to do that, he has every right to want that and pursue that. It’s vogue to say Tebow should be a tight end, and maybe he’d be a good one. I don’t know that he would be in the mold of a Dallas Clark, though. Clark had special speed and quickness that made him very difficult to cover in his prime. Tebow has physicality and strength that could make him effective at that position, but perhaps not the quickness of Clark.
Mike from Section 238:
Two thoughts: (1) Put me in the column that will cheer for the Jags whether Timmy comes here or not; and (2) You get more conspiracy theorists writing in on a weekly basis than I could have believed possible.
John: You’d like to think there are a lot people who would agree with your first thought. As for your second thought – you have no idea, Mike; no idea.
Ed from Annapolis, MD:
I was wondering about the draft order. Last year when we ended up with the same record as the Redskins, we alternated positions each round. Would the same be true with us and the Chiefs this year (assuming that we both end the season with losses) or does that only apply to the coin-flip situation?
John: Yes, the teams would alternate positions each round. If the teams finish with the same record, the Chiefs would select first in the first round, with the Jaguars selecting first in the second round and so on.
Ed from Jacksonville:
I don't ever recall Coughlin taking moral victories after a loss in Jacksonville or New York. And I could not imagine his reactions after a train wreck of a season this has been. See one of the differences between a potential hall of fame coach and an afterthought of a coach. This season ticket holder since Day One cannot wait for this season to end and unfortunately not sure I see any reason to be the least bit excited about next. Not much of a question just a general observation.
John: I’ve received a few emails about this, and though a coach at 2-13 is always going to be open to criticism, I don’t think Mularkey’s statements along these lines are indicative of his feelings toward losing. Throughout the year, he has been pleased that the team is staying together and playing with energy and togetherness and whatever else goes into effort and desire. He praises this because Mularkey’s belief is emphasizing the positive and building on that rather than emphasizing the negative and going haywire in news conferences. I spent seven years around Tony Dungy, who had much the same belief. The losing bothers Mularkey and he doesn’t believe in moral victories, either – just because he praises effort doesn’t mean he’s satisfied with effort that falls short. Criticize him for many things, but that approach isn’t a good or bad thing. Like many things, it just looks worse when you’re not winning.
Laurie from Neptune Beach, FL:
I understand your answer to Sean about whether we can win 10 games next year. None of us really have any idea. But, realistically, there is no Andrew Luck in the draft this year.
John: Right.
Casey from Los Osos, CA:
"THE JAGUARS MADE MORE ROSTER MOVES THAN THEY SCORED POINTS IN FRONT OF THE HOME CROWD IN 2012." John, is this an NFL first?
John: I have no idea, but we can certainly hope it’s a franchise last.

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