A disturbing memory

Let's get to it . . . Gary from Broken Arrow, OK:
How many owners would tell their fans "It's time to move on"? Shad Khan is a gutsy guy. You have to respect him for that.
John: I agree that Khan is a gutsy guy and obviously more than worthy of respect, and in this case he was stating the obvious and saying what needed to be said. What's done is done. The effort was made. The situation was what it was and it remains what it is. What else is there to do but move on?
Casey from Bismarck, ND:
I'd just like to point out that the Thunder's stadium holds just over 18,000 people. A lot easier to fill an 18,000-person stadium than a 67,000 person stadium, wouldn't you say?
John: Well, yes. There's that, too.
Daniel from Jacksonville:
This team is a couple of good wide receivers away from contending. Why are people so angry about this team?
John: The team went 5-11 and missed the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. Fans get angry in that situation.
Tucker from Jacksonville:
Would a team ever willingly let players go to get more compensatory picks the next year?
John: Not likely. The earliest selections awarded in the compensatory system are third-rounders. To get that, you have to have lost a significant player that probably played and contributed at something at least close to a first-round level. Also, you often hear complaints that the system awarding compensatory selections is a bit arbitrary at times. Because there's no way to know in advance the level of selection you'll get it's not worth it to let players leave for the purpose of gaining selections.
Kamil from Novi, MI:
Why does the league award compensatory selections in the first place? Isn't it a team's fault for not locking up their own quality free agents or managing their cap well?
John: In a sense you could look at it that way, but the system is in place more from a competitive balance viewpoint. The league doesn't reward equal compensation, just enough to allow a team to restock the roster.
Danny from wherever won't get me hit:
John, what is the reaction in the press box when a player goes down and is seriously injured? I've been keeping up to date with Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton soccer player in Europe. Players, announcers and coaches were all incredibly concerned, because who is supposed to die while playing a sport? Along with the reaction in the press box, what's the worst/craziest/most interesting injury you've seen in your career?
John: The reaction in such a case is as you'd expect, and as it should be. Somber. Concerned. No one – not players, not journalists, not most fans – wants any player injured to the extent of which you speak. Fortunately, I haven't been around too many injuries where you were seriously concerned about the player's life. The worst injury I've ever seen in practice was when in the Jaguars' 1995 training camp a rookie running back named Leon Brown sustained a severe ankle dislocation. Players who were there still talk about it as one of the worst moments they were around in football. Brown never played again, though because of the nature of the injury there wasn't concern about his life. My last year covering the Colts wide receiver Austin Collie went down with a concussion after having sustained a pretty serious one earlier in the season, and the reaction was about as concerned as I've ever been around. You never want to see it, because as you say, no one is supposed to die playing a sport.
David from Jacksonville:
Putting the NFL aside for now, what's your prediction on the Final Four? I see the UK Wildcats walking away with the title though. How about you John?
John: Unfortunately, I see that, too. I don't have irrational passionate dislike for most teams anymore, but for Kentucky . . . well, I'll just leave it at that.
Scot from Jacksonville:
Don't you ever get tired of reading and answering dumb questions?
John: Not until just now.
Paul from St. Johns County, FL:
Where does all this "Mike Thomas-will-be-fine-when-he-returns-to-the-slot" love come from? There's no guaranteeing he's going to return to 2010 "form," but even that year he had only 66 catches for 820 yards and four touchdowns. Is that considered good for a slot receiver? I think "M80" is arguably the most overrated Jaguar, and I just don't understand how moving a guy from a WR to the slot suddenly makes him finish routes better, have better hands, and improve his YAC.
John: Moving him to the slot won't make him better by itself. He has to do that himself. But there's every reason to believe that Thomas can get back to at least his 2010 form this season. He's young enough that he should still be on the upswing, so that 2010 season isn't necessarily the best he has in him. If he gets to that form and those numbers, yeah, that's good for a slot receiver.
Andrew from Section 232:
With Blackmon, Floyd, maybe Hill, and possibly Alshon Jeffery going in the first round, I just don't see how the Jaguars can wait until Round 2 for a receiver, but picking one at No. 7 seems a little high as well.
John: That is the dilemma. I will say that although Jeffery ran well at South Carolina's Pro Day Wednesday, I'm still not sure he gets into the first round. Scouts questions Jeffery's ability to separate and they saw that in games. Not to say he can't contribute, but it almost certainly will continue to hurt his draft stock at least somewhat.
Chris from Section 102:
John, I don't recall any team signing a RFA from another team and giving up the draft pick. Has it ever happened? If not, maybe they should adjust that rule.
John: It happens. It's just rare. And why would they adjust the rule? RFA stands for restricted free agent, and because it's rare that a player moves I'd say it's "restricting" things quite nicely.
Jody from Fort Pierce, FL:
Why make power rankings, rate free agent signings, etc. right now? Do people have crystal balls? I don't get it. Also, why do some fans worry what others think of their team? They should only care what they think.
John: People do rankings and ratings in the off-season because it's fun and because people read them. All you have to do to keep from getting upset about them is remember that there's no reason to get upset about them. Easier said than done, perhaps, but that's how to deal with it.
Steve from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Has there been any talk of shifting Rashean Mathis back to free safety while Lowery plays strong safety? I ask because a knee injury could slow him down, and with the acquisition of Ross, the Ross/Cox combo at CB, and the Mathis/Lowery combo at safety would definitely make most QBs think twice about throwing the ball deep...
John: I don't see it. Mathis is a corner. The team sees him that way. He sees himself that way. The Jaguars also have Dwight Lowery and Dawan Landry at safety. NFL teams need three or four good corners now, and the Jaguars consider Mathis in that category.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
I know we don't need a left tackle, but doesn't that go against the best available player philosophy? We didn't need Jonathan Ogden when he came out of college but I bet we would have loved to have him all those years he played. Either pick the best player on your board regardless of need or trade the pick.
John: Yep, and if you can't trade back you pick the best player on the board with the value that makes sense. Players are often, very, very close and if their grades don't create a marked difference you take the player that fits what you're looking for.
Jeremy from Navarre, FL:
You know, the new CBA off-season restrictions are pathetic. What a bunch of friggin sissies!
John: The new CBA rules have proven burdensome, and as it has played out it appears neither players nor coaches are actually that keen on them. They were put in during the negotiations last summer as a way to appease the players' union and as something the owners could give up without giving up anything they cared about that much. What no one took enough into account, apparently, was that it would keep motivated players from taking advantage of this time. It's not going to change, but if the sides had it to do over again I think they probably would have allowed the players to do a bit more if they truly wanted to do so.
Kristian from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil:
Everybody knows who your favourite boy band is - that's why it was never asked until now.
John: I had forgotten about them until now. I'm actually a little disturbed there was a memory there to refresh. I may need to reassess some things.

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