Let's get to it . . .
Jodi from Fleming Island, FL:
Are the five 2013 opening-day starters on the offensive line currently on our roster?
Good question. Some of that question depends on whether the current staff wants veteran center Brad Meester
to return. A replacement needs to be found at that position, but if the team wants to wait on that a year, Meester can likely play effectively for another season. You’d think Uche Nwaneri
, Eugene Monroe
and Will Rackley
have a good chance to start, and the question is what the new staff thinks of right tackle Cameron Bradfield
. He showed potential early last season and didn’t play as well late. My guess is that at least right tackle or center could have a new starter, but that will play itself out over the next few weeks, even months.
Joe from Aurora, IL:
The concern I have with trading Jones-Drew is not so much what can they get in return, but who will they replace him with. Did any of the backs that tried this season look like feature back material to you? There are no jars on the shelf at running back.
John: You are correct about that. I don’t know if Jones-Drew will be traded or not – at this point, I’d guess “not” – but I’d think either way you’ll see a running back selected in the draft.
Craig from Jacksonville:
John, your adoring fans anxiously await your Super Bowl dinner menu including appetizers and choice of beverage. Suggestions for the masses O-Man, your flock need guidance.
John: My ideal Super Bowl menu is just appetizers, and because for some reason chicken nachos have been on my mind, I’ll opt for those in this answer. And as much Sierra Nevada as you can get your hands on.
Jimbo from The Villages, FL:
There’s a perception that the Jags get hosed by the national media and that Jags fans have a chip on their shoulder. There’s a perception that Kansas City has six guys in the Pro Bowl while the Jags have nada. Case closed.
John: I’m afraid you didn’t make much of a point, or maybe I’m just too tired to understand it. The Jaguars do get somewhat overlooked and unfairly criticized at times in the national media – as do their fans. Yes, the fans are somewhat resentful about this. But the Chiefs’ Pro Bowl players had nothing to do with that. I didn’t have a problem with any of the Chiefs' players named to the Pro Bowl, and I would have had a hard time justifying any Jaguars players. One really had nothing to do with the other.
Nick from Macclenny, FL:
Sports Illustrated believes the Jaguars will go 4-12 next year, even with the changes we've made. What's your take on this?
John: My take is it’s too early to get all upset about the national media predictions. Many in the national media picked the Jaguars to go 2-14 last season and I thought they’d be better. So, there’s that, but mainly, I have no idea what Gus Bradley and David Caldwell plan to do in the offseason yet, and they haven’t evaluated the roster yet. Give this question some time.
John from Jacksonville:
I disagree with common statements made about the risk of injury to quarterbacks if they like to run. The injury to most quarterbacks I've seen is from being hit in the pocket either being sacked or after a pass by being hit late. I don't buy the argument about the risk increasing if they run because most of the time they slide or go out of bounds untouched anyway. If anything, they are often safer running.
John: There are few absolutes in the NFL, but I can come pretty close to saying you’re absolutely wrong. The wear and tear a running quarterback takes is significantly greater than a pocket passer. I don’t have the statistics to prove it, and I don’t know that they exist. I do know while quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have missed all or much of one season, for the most part they have been available far more consistently than quarterbacks who tend to run such as, say, Michael Vick.
Josiah from Jacksonville:
John, I love your video segments and Ozone. Great stuff. Wasn't sure if you hear it enough. Hey O’man, do you think the jags would be interested in Darrelle Revis? He is a star, and we could use it at that position.
John: As for your first statement, no, I don’t hear it enough. As for Revis, he is indeed a great player, I just don’t know that this front office is immediately planning to build through high-profile trades.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
If you are going to build through the draft exclusively you need to hit on most of your picks. This team does not have a track record of doing this.
John: In other news, humans breathe air and the sky is blue. But the reality is you don’t have to hit on as many picks as people think. You need to get players worth signing to second contracts in the first round, then get that same sort of player somewhere else in the draft once every two years. After that, if you get players who can contribute for three or four years before signing elsewhere in free agency, you can build a winner that way.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Are you well-respected around the NFL?
John: Yes. The only place I am not respected is in my home. Everyone else, I can fool.
John from St. Johns, FL:
What's the deal with your travel methods, O-Man? The coaches fly in and out, and you and JP "drive back" from Mobile? I can see it now, you two probably rented an old Vega and munched on 7-11 hot dogs, chips and Cokes the whole trip on I-10. What, you're not even good enough for coach? Hilarious.
John: Not to me.
Joey from Middleburg, FL:
John, can you please lay out a timeline for the next few weeks and months as the combine, draft, and free agency approach? Keep up the good work.
John: The next major date on the NFL calendar is the NFL Scouting Combine, held in Indianapolis February 20-26. The free agency period then begins March 12, with the draft scheduled for April 25-27.
Robert from Jacksonville:
If the team-building philosophies of Smith and Caldwell are not that different, we should not expect results that different. The fans were told one thing when it came to the draft and building a team, but an entirely different thing happened. We were told that BAP was going to be our future. Needs-based drafting is what got our team into the mess of today. My question is do you think Caldwell has learned from the prior two general manager’s mistakes? Do you think that this new guy will be wise enough to not repeat them?
John: I don’t think what Caldwell does will be influenced in any way whatsoever by the Jaguars’ last two general managers. I think he will be influenced by his 17 years experience working with the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons. He would have no reason to base his decisions on the Jaguars’ previous successes or failures any more than he would the Chargers or the Ravens.
Robert from Fredericksburg, VA:
I don’t know why everyone is worried about the quarterback situation. Henne is the answer. Think about it. Drew Brees threw for over 5,000 yards in 16 games. Henne threw for over 2,000 in just six games. He also had 11 touchdowns, but 11 interceptions. Now, if Henne can throw for that many yards and touchdowns in just six games with an almost worthless offensive line, just imagine what he can do with a good offensive line and 16 games. I know he has a high sack number... which is why I elaborated by saying useless o-line. Your thoughts, sir.
John: I think you’re very creative with numbers, and I also think it’s hard to say either Henne or Gabbert is the answer based on what we saw last season. Now, one of those two may well end up flourishing in a new system, or behind an improved offensive line. But however the line played, neither Henne nor Gabbert last season played well enough to merit anyone assuming they should be the starter. Should they be allowed to earn a position? Sure, but nothing should be given either player.
Chris from Jacksonville:
If you don't understand coaches being judged by the players they coached (or their performance) then why was Mularkey fired?
John: I guess that’s my mistake. I should have clarified that I meant it’s not always fair to judge position coaches based on players they coach, but in a sense, it can mean head coaches, too. Look, there are very, very few coaches in NFL history who haven’t been fired somewhere. Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin, and Tony Dungy, three of the coaches I respect most, were fired before winning Super Bowls. Sometimes, the fit and time isn’t right and changes must be made.
Mike from Middleburg, FL:
WOW! You answered my question maybe I will play the lottery thanks. Mr. O.
John: It takes very little to make you happy. You are obviously not a member of my immediate family.