JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Joe from Charleston, SC:
I really like this Gil Brandt guy now!
John: Gil Brandt without question gained some fans in Jacksonville with his prediction this week that the Jaguars could make the postseason this season. And yes, it’s a good thing for the fans. They have waited a long time to read positive things about the Jaguars from a national perspective. Whether that prediction can come true or not is, of course, another matter, but hey! Sure! One for Brandt!
JT from Jacksonville:
I don't recall them being mentioned, but I'll take Emmitt Smith or LaDainian Tomlinson at the goal line. The stats don't lie, and anybody's eye test will tell you they both had a nose for the end zone.
Eddie from Jacksonville and Section 104:
I saw something disturbing recently. As I was driving home from a long unproductive day at work, I saw some un-athletic old guy "running" down Baymeadows. Training camp is only a week away, Oehser; you need to pick up the pace. I think I saw an 80-year old run right past you!
John: You’re mistaken. Eighty-year-olds don’t pass me when I’m running. Not anymore. Not after what happened last time.
Caleb from Jacksonville:
John, a lot of people talk about the Jags, the excitement, who is in shape, who is ready to play an elite level, but this is about you. I believe I was driving the other day and I look over, and I'm almost positive I saw you putting work on the pavement! John, here is to you getting in shape for the 2014 season!
John: How old was the guy in front of me?
Bo from Dresden, NC:
I was wondering if any of the quarterbacks and wideouts have been working out any the last couple of weeks?
John: Cecil Shorts III
and Mike Brown
worked out at Larry Fitzgerald’s camp at the University of Minnesota the last two weeks. That’s something the two of them did last year as well. I don’t know of any other receivers or quarterbacks who have done anything as organized as that this offseason, but many players work out on their own and in groups without much being said publicly.
James from Atlanta, GA:
John: (Text me about this).
Patrick from Jacksonville:
One day do we see Mojo in the Pride?
John: I would think so, yes. He made three Pro Bowls and was an elite player for six years. He also put forth maximum effort at all times. In this writer’s opinion, he deserves to be in.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
The thing that everyone forgets about Jim Brown, he was a much better actor than Terry Bradshaw
John: I’ll bet Jim didn’t forget.
Seth from Omaha, NE:
How many football reporters and media members play fantasy football? Do they all play? Is it frowned upon? Or is it the same as any? Do you play fantasy football?
John: Many football reporters do play fantasy football, and certainly more play now than when I started covering the league in 1995. As fantasy football has grown in popularity among the “general population,” you have seen more and more media types play. As for me, I don’t play fantasy football, though I am not in any way “anti-fantasy.”
Mike from Section 238:
Have you ever considered you and your parents may have misspelled "Oesher" all these years and we readers are actually right? We have been about everything else written into the column.
John: I considered this, but then I remembered I once had a teacher who told me I was spelling my name wrong, too. I was young – in elementary school – but I knew enough to know she was ridiculous and sad and I know enough about the readers to know (EDITOR DELETED)
Jerry from Yulee, FL:
With all these outlandish sightings of the new video boards I've discovered a problem. On the way to work over the Dames Point Bridge recently, southbound traffic was very slow. As I reached the top of the bridge, I saw the cause. Off to the west, the video boards were being tested. I can't wait for my trips to work on games days. I imagine a wreck or to will be blamed on the boards.
John: Let’s hope not. Drive safe out there, everyone.
GARY FROM HIGH SPRINGS, FL:
PURCHASED MY FIRST JAGS AWAY GAME TICKETS FOR TENNESSEE. ANY RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SATURDAY NIGHT?
John: MOST ANYWHERE IN NASHVILLE IS COOL. IT’S MAYBE MY FAVORITE ROAD CITY. WHY ARE WE SHOUTING?
David from Macclenny, FL:
I just got married for the Fifth time and no live cam to look at. What do I do now?
John: Rethink things. A lot of things.
JOEY FROM JACKSONVILLE:
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR NFL PLAYERS DURING TRAINING CAMP AND PRACTICES DURING SEASON AS FAR AS DOES THE ORGANIZATION CATER FOOD FOR BREAKFAST AND LUNCHES AND SNACKS HEARD THEY EAT VERY WELL ON PLANES ON THE WAY TO A GAME AS FAR AS THEY EAT A LOT OF CANDY AND ICE CREAM WOULD YOU MIND ELABORATING ON THE LAY OUT FOR THE PRO ATHLETE SPREAD AND CARE OF THE GREAT PLAYERS OF THE NFL.
John: NFL PLAYERS EAT VERY WELL AND IT’S USUALLY VERY NUTRITIOUS THERE IS A TRAINING TABLE AVAILABLE FOR PLAYERS FOR BREAKFAST AND LUNCH PRETTY MUCH YEAR ROUND AND YES THE FOOD ON THE PLANE IS VERY GOOD AND OH MY GOODNESS WHY ARE WE STILL YELLING?
Matt from Clemson, SC:
There always seems to be an expectation for first- and second-round round draft picks to contribute on the field immediately. How many of these rookies are truly strong enough to contribute right away? I imagine that most rookie offensive and defensive linemen haven't had much experience playing against some of the strongest athletes. Yet we expect them to be very good right from the beginning of the season.
John: This is one of the most common misconceptions among fans and casual observers of the NFL. Rookies, even highly publicized ones and even ones destined for very good NFL careers, often need parts or all of their rookie seasons to adjust to the NFL. I constantly use the example of Reggie Wayne to illustrate this. Wayne by any measure is one of the best receivers to play in the NFL in the last 15 years, yet he struggled with injury his rookie season and wasn’t anything close to a Pro Bowl player in his second or third seasons. It wasn’t until his fourth season that he started reaching an elite level. The same is sometimes true of linemen, who often need one or two offseasons to physically mature and grow stronger in the weight room before they begin to develop into difference-making players.
Eric from Yulee, FL:
Do you think the reason William "The Fridge" Perry had so few carries because he was always stuck playing behind Walter Payton? You know kinda like Toby Gerhart
stuck behind Adrian Peterson. Or is it because Perry was used more as a fullback on short-yardage or goal line plays?
John: Perry had so few carries because he was a defensive tackle who only carried in short-yardage and only did so for about one season.
Brian from Jacksonville:
Is this the year we finally stop hearing the round Bryan Anger
was drafted in every time he steps on the field, or are we still a year away?
John: I don’t know that we’ll ever stop hearing that so long as Anger is playing for the Jaguars. It was an unusual draft selection and through no fault of Anger’s it has come to symbolize a difficult time for the franchise to many fans. Fortunately for Anger, he’s a strong, confident guy and he’s smart enough to handle the situation.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX:
When a team wins a Super Bowl I know players and coaches get a ring, but do other staff members also get a ring as well?
John: Generally speaking, yes. Teams handle this different ways. Some teams who win a Super Bowl give rings to all employees. A few teams give rings to only certain staffers, while others give different styles of rings to different levels of employees.
Adam from Richmond, KY:
I have read people throw out names about best short-yardage runner and most athletic; I'm curious why I haven't seen O.J.'s name pop up. The man ran for 2,000 yards in 14 games and did it against the famous Dolphins and Steelers' Steel Curtain...where's the love?
John: For clarity’s sake, the Bills and Simpson did not play the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1973 – his 2,003-yard season – and his lowest-yardage game that season was against Miami. The reason Simpson isn’t mentioned in conversations about best short-yardage runners and most athletic players in NFL history is he probably wasn’t the best in either category. Now, if the conversation is about greatest runners in the history of the league, then yes, by all means Simpson is there with Walter Payton and Jim Brown and the rest. He was as good as there was.
Jim from St. Augustine, FL:
I'm starting to feel nostigalic. What do you suggest?