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Beware the Gjallarhorn

Let's get to it . . . Rick from Jacksonville:
How many plays are "scripted" for the offense to start the game? How closely do they typically follow it?
John: Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said he and Offensive Coordinator Bob Bratkowski typically will script about the first 10-to-15 plays in a given game. Usually, a team will deviate from a script if it is facing goal-line situations or if it is in the shadow of its own goal posts. The script obviously will be pretty important Sunday, with the Jaguars trying to get quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the offense early confidence with a quick start. I'm not sure we've really seen Bratkowski and Mularkey game-plan on a hard-core level yet. That makes Sunday pretty fascinating.
Tom from Orlando, FL:
No raise for the O-man? That is unacceptable. After playing hardball and winning against MJD, Shad Khan saved millions! He should share the wealth and give the senior writer a 10k bump.
John: Thanks, Dad.
Aaron from Chehalis, WA:
So after his holdout, how much did the Jaguars end up fining MJD? Full amount? Partial? No fine at all? Fill us in, Oehser.
John: Mike Mularkey has been pretty clear that the fine is an internal matter. I doubt we'll hear much about it, because to Mularkey internal means internal.
Ryan from Syracuse, NY:
I'm reviewing the depth chart on the site. I can't help but be surprised that Terrance Knighton is listed as a backup to C.J. Mosley. Is there any information you can provide for why this is the case? I understand that C.J. is a good player, but I was under the impression that this was supposed to be the year that Terrance was supposed to push himself into the upper echelon tier of 4-3 defensive tackles.
John: About the only information I can provide is that Mosley has played really, really well and that because he has, the Jaguars have at least three really good defensive tackles. The tackles during the preseason appeared to play really well and for the most part, the team defended the run pretty well. I haven't heard that Knighton is doing any less than what was expected; I have heard that Mosley is doing really well.
Joe from Pontypridd, Wales, UK:
Do you see some of the veterans coming into the final year of their contract being signed to extensions during the season, or do we face the nervous wait to see whether they test the open market, a la Jeremy Mincey?
John: This will be an interesting storyline to follow throughout the season. There are teams who believe in reupping players during the season in the final year of their contracts, but there are also those who believe in reassessing following the season. There is certainly time to do so after the season, because a lot of contracts don't get done until after the deadline anyway. It likely will be case by case, but we'll see. One thing to remember on this front: sometimes, it's the player who wants to play it out and see what he can get on the open market. And that's OK. That's why it's free agency.
Andre from Ocala, FL:
When a team says they pump in noise during practice to prepare for loud environments what type of "noise" are they using? Is it the sound of cheering fans?
John: Yes.
Jim from Gainesville, FL:
Two of our three best defenders are out for Sunday. Should we go into panic mode yet?
John: I wouldn't panic, but there's no question not having Derek Cox and not having Daryl Smith isn't ideal. The entire starting defensive line will start, and that group needs to play well to generate pass rush and keep pressure off the secondary. The Jaguars also will have Paul Posluszny at middle linebacker, and it's always better for a defense to have him than not. I think playing without Smith is the biggest factor. Focus will be on Kyle Bosworth, with the Jaguars needing to get the Vikings' run offense stopped.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
Well, now that Smith is out for the game, using your logic, I expect the defense to continue to play slow. Yeah, and that's why they will lose to the miserable Vikings. This team is full of excuses. You're full of excuses.
John: I'm sorry this free website fell short of your lofty expectations.
Paul from Section 146:
O Man! Thanks for getting us ready. Here we go.....
John: You're welcome. Put in a good word with Kevin for me.
Sean from Jacksonville:
Do you think they'll ever move to put an NFL game on Friday nights? They've obviously capitalized on putting games on Thursday nights, and with so many NFL games being unwatched (meaning we can only watch 2-4 on Sundays unless with a package), there's an untapped primetime market that's not being used. I would love to watch a game tonight that I'm probably not going to be able to watch on Sunday you know.
John: I never say never when it comes to the NFL and money, but the league historically has kept games off Friday and Saturday to avoid conflict with high school and college, respectively. I also think the NFL needs to be careful to not completely oversaturate the market. There are indeed fans who will watch any NFL game any time, but it's not a bad thing to maintain a feeling that seeing an NFL game makes for a special night.
Alan from Pasadena, CA:
I've thought about a lot and I think the Vikings free-agent acquisition of Jared Allen is the best in the last decade. Can you think of any FA acquisitions that have worked out better?
John: I can think of a lot, but that's because the Vikings traded for Allen.
Marjorie from Jacksonville:
"To get the big numbers, you have to have star quality." I couldn't agree with your statement more. For me, at least, I wish our team had more stars. Star quality is not only good for television numbers, but I think helps ticket numbers too. A reason so many Tebow fans wanted him here - so they could actually watch him. One reason for me that I wanted the Jags to give MoJo a new contract; I wanted insurance our only star would stay by paying him like the star he had become.
John: The more you win, the more people know who you are and the bigger your star quality. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the Tebow thing, except that I don't know how big a star he was going to be here as a reserve quarterback and special teams player. Finally, as for Jones-Drew, there was really no danger of him leaving. If he was going to play football, he was going to play it here. The Jaguars ensured that when they signed him to a five-year contract in 2009.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
If the left tackle is so important and valuable, why are arguably the two best left tackles on arguably the two worst teams, the Dolphins and the Browns?
John: In the case of the Dolphins and Browns, it's because they had poor seasons and drafted early. More often than not, you need to be picking in the Top 10 to get an elite offensive tackle. With those early selections, they selected Jake Long and Joe Thomas, respectively. Those teams have struggled since the selections of those players, but it doesn't mean they're bad players. Remember, this is a team sport and one player aside from the quarterback rarely can completely turn around a team.
Hunter from Duval, FL:
Johann: Did you just make a "Princess Bride" reference in your column? That's inconceivable! Do you fence right or lefty?
John: Good eye. Righty.
Dom from Jacksonville:
Do you remember if there was ever a game like this for Boselli – going into a game against a great DE and just showing that he had become the MAN? Or was it more of a progression over a season?
John: Boselli faced Sean Jones of Green Bay in his first NFL game. This was early in the 1995 season, when Jones was one of the NFL's better pass rushers. Boselli held Jones pretty much in check – without a sack, at the least. That certainly gained him some notice among NFL insiders. His breakout game was a postseason game the following season against Bruce Smith. Boselli shut down Smith in Buffalo, and although he already had been acknowledged as a big-time player, that pretty much solidified the reputation.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Mojo and I, bro. Not "Mojo and Me." C'mon, O. You're better than that.
John: Not according to Kevin, I'm not.
Joseph from Redondo Beach, CA:
Hey O-Man, I'm 25 and I'm going to my first Jags game this Sunday. The next generation of Jags fans are out there! Do you have any stories or opinions about the Dome you could share with this out of state fan?
John: Beware the Gjallarhorn. That is all.

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