Let's get to it . . .
John from Hopkins:
After reading the questions you asked Derek Cox, what is his ceiling if he ever reaches it? Top 10? Top 5?
John: Cox has the size, athleticism and speed to be a Pro Bowl-level cornerback, and when I say Pro Bowl-level, I mean one of the best four-to-six players at his position in the NFL. He played at a higher level than many realized when healthy last season and appears to still be improving, so I'd say he's still approaching the "ceiling" of which you speak, but this is certainly a season when he should start getting pretty close to it. It's Year Four. That's about when that happens.
Ben from Slime City:
I probably should have worded the question regarding the offense in relation to the Colts a little better. Were the Colts' offseasons filled with nonstop highlights and great passes and catches? With what they accomplished on the field in full pads, is it safe to say they looked even more dangerous without? Are you seeing enough good things out of the Jags offense this offseason that you believe will change this team from a 13-points-a-game, great-defensive team to a more offensive-minded scoring machine in the making? I know not to compare Gabbert to Manning. I was just curious to how the offenses compared being that you've seen both teams during offseasons.
John: The Colts' offense always looked very efficient in the offseason. I started covering them a few seasons into Peyton Manning's time as quarterback, so at the time it was an offense in its prime, and a lot of the team's efficiency in the regular season came from efficient, productive work in the offseason. By the end of my time covering them, passes in the offseason and training camp rarely hit the ground, which – again – makes sense, because you had talented, veteran players running plays they had run together for years. The Jaguars' practices this offseason aren't on that level of efficiency, nor should they be. It is an offense of players learning a system and learning each other. The group essentially has worked together about two months. That said, I believe what we saw in the offseason is a team that improved significantly during its time together and one that can continue improving offensively and be showing significant progress at some point in the regular season. But I'm not going to predict an offensive machine in Week 1. Offensive efficiency takes time, and the Jaguars' offense in comparison to most teams hasn't put in a great deal of it yet.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
Is D'Anthony Smith at full-go in practice? I'm hoping he makes an impact this year.
John: He was 100 percent throughout the offseason and the team likes what they saw in organized team activities and minicamps. He showed a lot of potential with the pads on in 2010 before tearing his Achilles and there's optimism he'll be part of the tackle rotation this season. This training camp is big for him. He'll be an important storyline.
Gigantor from Jacksonville:
Stay golden pony boy.
John: That's gold. Keep it that way.
Alex from San Diego, CA:
In their prime, who would you rather have, LaDainian Tomlinson or Fred Taylor?
John: That's a little like asking, "Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?" As a pure runner, I'd take Taylor because of superior speed and power. As far as a guy who could beat you out of the backfield and as a runner, I'd take Tomlinson. If really pressed, I'd take Tomlinson, but you're talking by a nose – and you're talking about a guy in Tomlinson who in his prime ran off seven consecutive seasons with double-digit touchdowns and at least 1,100 yards rushing. That's all-time, history-making stuff. I think both belong in the Hall of Fame. Tomlinson will get in easily. Taylor will have a longer road.
Brian from Section 409:
Do you think our roster is at a point barring injuries that we will see a decline in in-season roster moves?
John: I think it reached that point last season. There weren't a lot of in-season moves last season that didn't come about because of injuries, though it was admittedly hard to keep track of much of anything in that area with all the players on injured reserve in November and December.
Biff from Jacksonville:
We all love Fred Taylor, but with LT retiring it really puts in perspective what a Hall of Fame running back is. Do you think Fred laments his situation, knowing he had the talent to put up the numbers or is he at a place where he is grateful to have played?
John: I do not think Taylor laments his situation. I've talked with him about this on and off the record. While he perhaps could have had bigger numbers or more playoff success somewhere else, he honestly believes had he gone elsewhere he might not have been as appreciated as much by the fans, and that he might have steered off course off the field. Taylor is a very centered person. He doesn't seem to be a guy who lives with much regret, and I don't get the idea he does on this subject, either.
Mark from Section 227 and Danville, IN:
Regarding Mike Freeman's comments, let's remember he "guaranteed" Byron Leftwich would be "a ten-year All-Pro" and said the idea of David Garrard taking the starting job was "ludicrous." With his track record about our quarterbacks, I'd say his negativity about Gabbert should be treated as a good omen.
John: It's neither good nor bad. It's a national media guy throwing a line about Gabbert into a story as a way to make a point. He had something to write that day. He'll find something to write this week, too. In terms of Gabbert's career, it means as much as what others say about him, which is to say nothing.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
I see a lot of questions about who will be the Jaguars' No. 1 receiver, who will be the biggest threat, etc. Why is a No. 1 considered to be more important than a bunch of solid but average guys who can strike from anywhere when it is not expected?
John: Honestly? Because people like talking about No. 1 or 2 receivers. That's about all that means. There indeed have been teams that have been very effective with a group solid guys at receiver. And a really good quarterback. The Saints in recent seasons come to mind, and clearly, that model can work. There have, after all, been plenty of teams to win Super Bowls without Pro Bowl, elite level receivers.
James from Lawaii, HI:
Did I see you sporting a UH visor in one of the videos last week? If so please elaborate on how you got it or why you were wearing it, thanks and Aloha!!!
John: I bought it at the University of Hawaii while covering the Pro Bowl a few years back. I was wearing it during OTAs and minicamp because the sun was bright and it's a good idea to protect yourself from the sun in Florida.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
Who was the best all-time second round pick for Jags, Meester or Mojo?
John: Jones-Drew, though obviously if every second-round selection – or first-round selection, for that matter – worked out as well as either of those players, you'd be playing in conference championship games most seasons. The Jaguars have had a few other notable second-rounders as well, like Tony Brackens, Rashean Mathis, Daryl Smith and Greg Jones.
Dave from Jacksonville:
Do you think Mularkey will use four defensive ends on the line at the same time any this year such as the Giants did or will it always be two and two with a linebacker coming up occasionally on blitz packages?
John: That will be more about what Joe Cullen and Mel Tucker choose to do than a philosophy of Mularkey's. He has seemed pretty willing to let Tucker and Cullen continue what was going on last season. Because of that, I don't know that you'll see a lot of four-defensive end stuff. I do think you'll see ends move inside at times on passing situations, but mostly, you'll see a variety of packages based on what's working and who's playing well. Cullen isn't as much about specific positions as he is about playing who will get to the quarterback.
Willis from Jacksonville:
Just saw this future power ranking in Popular Science that said the 2190 Jags won't even make the playoffs? Thoughts?
John: I think the list you saw is probably about as pertinent as all the ones we're all seeing.
Terrance from Jacksonville:
I think I speak for a vast majority of the fans when I say the most disheartening thing about the Mojo holdout is potentially being forced to move on without our favorite player. He's been a great player for us, and literally shouldered the offense last season. I just wouldn't feel right being moving towards success without our most deserving player.
John: We're a ways from that at this point. It's sort of up to Jones-Drew. There are indeed good things happening, and if he wants to be a part of what's going moving forward, well, that's what the Jaguars want, too.
Good things happening
Let's get to it . . .
John from Hopkins: