Let's get to it . . .
Bonnie from Jacksonville:
"I still love the game," Jones-Drew said. "I'm going to play the way I play. Nothing's going to change. You see some guys get paid and they kind of shut it down. That's not how I was raised, that's not how I ever played the game before. I'm going to continue to play and work hard and do everything I can to help this team win." That is MoJo's quote written by John Clayton of ESPN after signing his deal in 2009 and being "over-paid" in the beginning of the contract. No complaints then. I have never been as disappointed in an athlete as I am now. I thought MJD was different. I thought he was a team player. I'm sure you will argue that he is a team player, but how is that possible? You can't be "ALL IN' from Cali. The Blackmon situation is troubling, too. But he is working on a contract....Mojo has one.
John: I won't argue vehemently, and in fact, I won't argue at all. It's obvious Jones-Drew should be in camp. He has a contract, and for the last few years he was the face and core of the franchise. It's frankly hard to call him that now because he has been absent throughout a time when the team is working to reestablish an identity with a new philosophy, new offense and new coaching staff. Perhaps when he returns he will again be as beloved by fans as he was before, and he probably will be, but for now, you're right. It's disappointing, and it gets increasingly so by the day.
Rob from Section 401:
Not a question, but a comment about the national media conspiracy against the city and team. The city is neither big nor important enough to warrant a conspiracy. The team is not relevant (winning) enough for better coverage.
John: Yeah, I believe I've touched on that once or twice. You change how the media writes and talks about you by winning. It's the only way that lasts.
Peter from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I am optimistic about our defense and new coaching staff. However, I strongly disagree that our running game will be fine with or without MJD. This minimizes his extraordinary talent that earned him the rushing title last year. MJD gained yards without a hole to run through, carrying half the defense on his back. There is no substitute for MJD and the running game will not be "fine with or without him."
John: I believe the running game will be fine with or without him. I don't believe it will be as good without him, but I believe the running game can function enough with Rashad Jennings and Jalen Parmalee to allow the passing game to function. This is a good offensive line that can run block and the area will be productive because of that. That's what I mean by "fine" and that's what you need from a running game in the NFL these days.
Cristina from Jacksonville:
When do cuts start occurring? Do football teams have a 90-man roster come first game of the preseason?
John: Yes, teams have 90 players for the first three preseason games. They have a round of cuts to 75 after the third preseason game and another after the fourth to get to the final regular-season number of 53.
Perry from Orange Park, FL:
Training camp is a notoriously grueling event but I'm having trouble seeing what exactly makes it so. I don't mean to slight the process but to my very untrained eye there doesn't seem to be intense conditioning drills taking place. Are these done when the fans aren't around? What is it about training camp that is so intense?
John: A lot of the conditioning in the NFL now takes place in the offseason, though I would say that working as these guys do from 8:30-11 a.m. in the Northeast Florida sun will go a long way to getting them into football shape. Training camp isn't as intense as it used to be, and it became much less so with the new CBA, but I'd say it's still pretty grueling.
Scott from Chelsea, NY:
I keep hearing consternation around whom will be the two starting cornerbacks. Could we not end up in a similar situation as the defensive line, where you rotate players to keep them fresh? Wide receivers rotate in and out all the time to have fresh legs to sprint downfield. It's a nice luxury to have three starting quality cornerbacks, though I see that luxury becoming more a necessity as the league becomes more pass heavy.
John: I doubt you'll see rotation at corner as a rule any time soon. What I do believe you'll see more and more is teams investing in three and even four front-line cornerbacks. They're needed to matchup with teams that can go deep at the receiver position, and there are more and more of those teams each year. The Jaguars have three very good corners in Derek Cox, Aaron Ross and Rashean Mathis, and the addition of Ross is a reason they feel very good about the defense right now.
John from Gloucestershire, England:
I nearly choked on my beer when I read Bucky Brooks' article on the jags on NFL.com. At last, someone in the (oft-criticized) media has woken up to the fact we might have the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Anger could be a very valuable addition to the team and worth a third-round pick and Andre Branch could be a significant factor in pass rush. Could the tide finally be turning? Even Blaine Gabbert's progress received a positive comment!
John: Brooks did a nice job when he was here, and it's not coincidental that he was actually here researching the story. Media members that take the time to come to Jacksonville and watch for themselves have typically come away with positive things to say. If you give an honest assessment, credit must be given to what's going on here.
Ross from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Can you think of a team that would trade for a 27-year old running back who is disgruntled with two years remaining on his contract? Not only does the player get traded, but also the contract.
John: No, I cannot think of one.
Jordan from Edwardsville, IL:
Is it just me or should there be cause for concern for the amount of injuries to potentially key players this early into camp? I may be wrong, but I do not remember this many getting injured so soon.
John: It's not just you, but you and everyone else expressing concern are incorrect. Injuries occur in training camp. It happens to every team ever year. What you worry about is when players get injured and are lost for the season in training camp. Except for cornerback Reggie Corner, the injuries sustained by Jaguars players thus far have been short-term in nature. That's not ideal, but it's also not major.
Mike from Jagsonville:
OK, so anybody who has done a streak like you have can't be lazy. I'm just frustrated not to be able to get any info on the refs situation. How about it O'Dude?
John: I hadn't realized I hadn't answered this, but there's not too much to say from my end. The NFL is in a labor dispute with its officials, and as it stands now, there's a pretty good chance replacement officials will be used. The Jaguars had some of the replacement officials at practice this week and will have some at Friday's scrimmage. That's good work for these guys, but it's absolutely something to keep an eye on in the preseason.
Bryce from Algona, IA:
It has been well-established that the national media doesn't think much of this team. Yes, a lot should be chalked up to lazy reporting, but at the same time we can't ignore that none of the respected reporters are giving the Jags much of any chance. There is optimism and there is blind, false hope. Let's be real Jag Nation, this is a 5-11ish team this year. Am I WAY off base here?
John: C'mon, Bryce. You're better than this. Most of the national media members who give the Jaguars no chance haven't seen this team in person, and don't take into account improvement from within. That happens to be the element that accounts for the most improvement in the NFL. The people who discount the Jaguars this season do so based on last season, and assume that teams can only improve by the draft and free agency when in fact teams that win the offseason are almost never the teams that improve the most the next season.
David from Kingsland, GA:
Is it possible that MJD's holdout is being sanctioned by the NFLPA? I mean, are they advising him to continue to hold out for the good of future contracts and could they be paying, or contributing to, his fine?
John: Anything's possible, but that's not what this is. Jones-Drew is a prideful guy who is unhappy with his contract. He believes he's being treated unfairly. In this case, no more motivation is really needed.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
It seems we have a bunch of glass half-full or empty fans! Which kind are you?
John: I love my glass full. When it isn't, I often ask the guy behind the bar to fill it again. When I do this too often, sometimes I say something out of line. Then, they ask me to leave.
Fill it up again
Let's get to it . . .
Bonnie from Jacksonville: