Let's get to it . . .
Tom from Kalamazoo, MI:
I'm fairly sick of this "business side" of the NFL. As a Jaguars fan, this has been a rough year. Our very classy quarterback of a few years was cut in a very classless manner, for questionable reasons. Now two of our best and favorite players are in contract disputes and say they don't want to be at camp. Do you know of anything in the works to help put an end to teams and players ripping up contracts? It would seem so far they did a good job with the rookies. Can we get a better system for everyone else now?
John: Not for at least nine years. That's how much longer the current Collective Bargaining Agreement runs. I fear, though, that your frustration likely will extend past that because the system is pretty much the system. Unfortunately the business side of the NFL is a reality that's not going away. The good news is in a lot of cases "business" issues turn out to be offseason storylines that matter little come fall. I suspect the contracts of Maurice Jones-Drew and Josh Scobee could fall into this category. As for players getting released, I am aware that hurts. I can vividly remember visiting friends in Washington, D.C., in August of 1978, and reading the Washington Post. It was Jack Pardee's first training camp with the team, and he was releasing players from George Allen's Over the Hill Gang seemingly by the day. I was angry and full of disbelief each morning. My anger subsided a bit when the team started 6-0. My point: the game is good enough and the passion of the fans is strong enough that when the season starts an awful lot is forgiven.
Logan from Jacksonville:
National media has us stinking and local media is hype'n us up big time. Everything I see locally has us being much better. What happens if we put up another 5-11 record? This city is going to be mad.
John: Well, yeah.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
I haven't really seen much of Mr. Khan out in the public eye in recent months. Is he in Jacksonville, or out of town? Is he keeping a low-profile, or will he plan on being more in the public eye once training camp starts? I really enjoy seeing him engage the fan base.
John: Khan enjoys engaging the fan base, too, and that's a good thing because he's quite good at it. He has been in Jacksonville periodically and is very involved in what's going on with the franchise. He also is involved in running his other businesses, and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. Khan since buying the franchise has been pretty up front about his approach – that while he certainly will speak on issues and engage the fan base he also doesn't plan to be out front on every issue nor does he plan to be speaking publicly on a non-stop basis. The fan base is important to Khan, and I'm sure he'll engage it when appropriate. So far, he has done just that.
Laurie from Neptune Beach, FL:
These fans who want the Jaguars to just pay Scobee and MoJo whatever they're asking are a car dealer's dream come true. That's the sticker price, Rube. You want the car? Don't worry about what it's worth. We'll set you up with a monthly payment that's just right for you. So what if you'll still be paying for it when it's no longer worth half what you still owe on it? Just sign here. You still owe money on your trade-in? Don't worry about it. We'll pay that loan off for you and just roll it into the price of the new car. No worries at all.
John: You know what, Laurie? That's about the best synopsis of this situation I've heard yet.
Dustin from Jacksonville :
I don't see not having Scobee signed as a failure. We could throw Manning or Brees money at him and have him signed in 10 minutes...and be the laughing stock of the league. Signing them is easy and any fool can do it. Signing them at a price that makes sense to the viability of the franchise is not and it takes skill and patience.
John: Laurie? Is this Laurie? It is Laurie, isn't it?
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Tyson Alualu continues to be treated like a bust by the fans and the national media. What are they watching? The guy played at a Pro-Bowl level on one leg. I could see it if he was getting pushed around but nobody pushed him around. I see him as rising star with a long NFL career!
John: That's the way the Jaguars see him, too. I can't honestly say Alualu has played at a Pro Bowl level yet, but I do believe he has been important to the team's defensive success and I expect him to get better as his knee improves.
Tony from Palm Coast, FL:
I was on vacation on a cruise last week. Of this year's draft, who has been signed and who still needs to be signed?
John: Justin Blackmon and Bryan Anger are the only two draft selections from the Jaguars' 2012 NFL Draft unsigned. I expect them to be signed before training camp.
William from Brunswick, GA:
After reading the Rackley article, I was wondering if you think our rookies last year, and rookies around the league in general, are better football players for having endured such a difficult and chaotic year? After all, what doesn't kill you is supposed to make you stronger.
John: I'm sure it will help them in some ways to have gone through what they did. However, I'm a big believer that NFL players improve the most by having offseasons in which to train, study and prepare. I believe any Jaguars rookie last year would have been better served being around EverBank, and it's my guess you will see a jump from some of those players this year because they had a full offseason.
Jeremy from Navarre, FL:
There's no debating that MJD is the Jags' lone star player. Who do you think will be the next Jags player to be classified as a star? Do you think there will be more than 1-2 stars on this team in the next year or two? Remember, we're talking players that the opposing team must plan and account for in their game planning.
John: Under your definition of a star, I think there already a few because I think teams generally have to game plan for Paul Posluszny and Daryl Smith. To hear Mike Mularkey tell it, the Falcons' offense saw Tyson Alualu as such a player when the teams played last season. By that definition, I think those three players will continue to be stars, with Derek Cox not far behind. Will Blaine Gabbert, Laurent Robinson and/or Justin Blackmon develop to that level? That's the hope, and that's the question.
Eric from Yulee, FL:
All I keep hearing you talk about is depth on our roster. More depth than people think. I just want to know when you say deep what exactly are we so deep in? With all joking aside, can you tell me which players you think we have picked up after the end of last season that will be contributing at the beginning of this one? Because we had the worst offense in the league last year. The worst quarterback. Some would say a subpar pass-blocking offensive line too. I notice more depth with the coaches than with the players.
John: Really? That's all you've heard me talk about? I've mentioned a few times this off-season that I believe the Jaguars are deeper than many believe. If you go through the roster, there are solid starters and young players at nearly every position, with experienced players backing them up. I expect the offensive line to be better with the return of Eben Britton and while many fans love to hammer on Guy Whimper, he's a backup with experience and if he wasn't there, fans would be worried about having a young, inexperienced player there. The Jaguars' roster isn't perfect. There are areas that could improve, and there are areas that will be weaker if beset by injuries. That's the story with most rosters in the NFL, and I challenge you to find a fan base that believes its roster is deep. The key to the Jaguars' season is getting consistency out of the passing offense, better play in key moments at the end of games and improving the pass rush. If they do that, they're plenty deep enough to withstand a reasonable number of injuries.
Andre from Ocala, FL:
"Fired?" Is that the correct terminology for a player being cut?
John: I'd imagine the feeling is pretty similar.
Jason from Section 149:
Pro Football Talk puts the Jags 30th in their preseason rankings!!! Only above the Browns and the Colts!! This is getting a bit ridiculous at this point, agreed?
John: Oh, I think we've been there a while.
Let's get to it . . .
Tom from Kalamazoo, MI: