Let's get to it . . .
Jamie from Duval, FL:
I've been seeing a lot of articles lately about how the Jags are not going to spend "big" in free agency this year or go deep into it like they did last year, which helped our defense out tremendously, obviously. My question is, if you have an offense that is ranked last and you're somewhere around 45 million under the cap, why wouldn't you go out and get help for Gabbert?? It also seems like (to me) that we are going with a defensive player in Round 1. Again, how do you expect Gabbert to succeed if he has no playmakers around him besides No. 32? He needs a receiver who can make plays and help him out. I thought we learned this last year.
John: I'm not going to devote the entire day to this topic, mainly because I addressed it Wednesday, but because it was a pretty prevalent theme in the in-box, it's apparently on the minds of many. First off, I'm not sure I've seen it written anywhere in stone that the Jaguars won't be trying to improve their offense and their wide receiver position this off-season. In fact, Gene Smith has been pretty up front that he believes they must improve. He has said on several occasions – in a story by Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union shortly after the combine and in a recent story of mine – that the level to which the Jaguars jumped into free agency in 2011 was atypical. He said the Jaguars did not want to be "overly active" in free agency. He did not say they don't plan to be active. I see the Jaguars pursuing one "big name" in free agency, then maybe a less high-profile player or two. Remember, the Jaguars didn't go overboard with high-profile guys last year. They targeted players and filled needs.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
You just cannot go throwing money at free agents. Look at the Redskins. Last year the Jaguars spent well and got the right kind of players. I would think that would still be the plan. If the right player is available and fits, then get him. Keeping a nice balance on cap space allows you to keep your core players. If Mario Williams leaves it's because the Texans do not have the cap space to keep him. That's a bad situation to be in and I do not want to see it happen here AGAIN! One or two good players would be fine.
John: I wish I'd read your email before answering Jamie's question. That pretty much sums it up.
Alan from Jacksonville:
What do you think is the most over-rated combine "measurable" and why?
John: I don't know about overrated, but I for one had an issue with the girl at the hotel bar trying to measure my 23-ounce glass. She kept filling it to 20 or 21, and never could seem to get it right.
J. Spence from Vernal, UT:
Melvin Ingram really impressed me. He seems like the kind of guy were looking for, and a guy Mel Tucker could have some fun with. Moving him all around the front 8 seems very possible.
John: He's impressive, and I have little doubt he'll be an effective NFL player. The question is whether he's worth a Top 10 selection, and that's something that will be kicked around extensively over the next seven weeks.
Billy from Cynthiana, KY:
Is it just me, or does Dontari Poe look like someone Gene Smith would get with the seventh pick?
John: I think it's just you. Poe had a terrific combine, and left Indianapolis as one of the biggest stories of combine weekend. The defensive tackle from Memphis did 44 reps in the bench press and was one of the fastest players at his position. He also was remarkably agile. What he wasn't was overly productive in college, and Smith is very much a guy who pays attention to what he sees on film more than a combine or Pro Day workout.
Wade from Santa Ana, CA:
With the Steelers opting to release Hines Ward, do you see the Jaguars pursuing him for a No. 2 slot?
John: Ah, yes – the Hines Ward question. No, I do not see the Jaguars pursuing him. As a personnel guy I know likes to say, "Father Time is undefeated," and in this case, I think he has beaten Hines Ward.
Tyler from Neptune Beach, FL:
Do you think the No. 7 spot is too early to get Janoris Jenkins? It may be a bit of a reach, but I think he is one of the best corners in the draft. When he was playing at Florida, he was one of the top corners in football. He shut down A.J. Green and Julio Jones! And from what I've read, he seems to be done with drugs and he admits to his mistakes.
John: It's hard not to admit to mistakes when you're a potential first-round draft choice. The NFL knows about them, and the best approach is to admit them, discuss them, explain them and move on. I personally like Jenkins and believe he has a chance to be very good. I think he's a bit of a reach at No. 7, and don't think the Jaguars will take him there. I also think he'll be gone by the second round. The draft is frustrating that way.
Michael from Orange Park, FL:
I've had a good feeling about Stephen Hill, even before he did so well at the combine – 28 catches for 820 yards means he's definitely a deep threat, not to mention that 40 time. Would he be worth a 2nd round selection for the Jags?
John: Hill was one of the standouts at the combine, and after he looked impressive in just about every on-field drill, teams will spend the next couple of months really studying him. His speed makes him very, very intriguing. At this early stage, I'd say yes, he's worth a second-round selection. The question then becomes, "Has he performed himself into the first round?" That's what the next seven weeks are about.
Jeff from Mayport, FL:
Loftur from Columbus earns a spot in the O-Zone HOF. He got the same question in Ask Vic in Green Bay that he did here on the 27th. You and Rick had remarkably similar answers too; it's like deja vu all over again! P.S. - I submitted this to Rick, too. I wonder if I can pull a two-fer?
John: It's either a good way into the O-Zone Hall of Fame, or a good way to get banned. I haven't decided which yet.
Chris from Perris, CA:
What is the point of the 40-yard dash? I've been watching about 40 games a year for 20 years and I can't recall the last time a player lined up with one hand on the ground, his rear end in the air waiting for someone to say go and then run freely for 40 yards. I can understand the drills with bags and cones, but the dash doesn't show football, it shows track.
John: NFL teams gather reams of data on every player, then do whatever possible to get that data into a form with which they can objectively analyze players. The 40 shows speed, and at the combine, it shows speed in a controlled environment that allows teams to accurately compare one prospect to the other. It should not be used as an end-all, but as a tool and a part of a huge picture. For the most part, that's how teams use it.
Jamie from St. Augustine, FL:
Why do I always see David Garrard's input of the Jaguars or Gabbert on the NFL.com?
John: He's a former quarterback for the Jaguars, and on several occasions since leaving last fall, he has been willing to offer his assessment. When he does, there are people at NFL.com who are willing to put those assessments on the web site. It's really about as simple as that.
Greg from Jacksonville:
Do you think Ingram and Upshaw are possibilities for us in the draft? Most have them as 3-4 OLBs, but Mel has experience using both systems. Could they be every-down players for the Jags even though we play the 4-3? One or both could be there at No. 7.
John: They wouldn't be possibilities as linebackers, but each can play end. The question is will they be best available at No. 7? I'd say both are worth considering, and it's questions such as that that the Jaguars are sorting through now.
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
John, I would like to have every "significant" Pro Bowl player under the age of 27 on the Jaguar roster! How does that sound?
John: Like something I hear a lot.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
One reason I listen to Jax sports talk radio less than I used to is all the hype. Free Agency hasn't even started, and already Mr. Khan is "cheap?" Hard reporting is what separates a credible source from one that is merely entertainment (AKA "irritainment"). Radio talent can and will say outrageous, irresponsible things to gain attention; I hold these wags accountable by turning them off. Thanks for the clarification, but the less said about over-reactive local media, the better. Can the great and powerful O-Zone recommend any other good sources for NFL analysis? Who do you like?
John: Gladly. This guy's pretty good.
Good way to get banned
Let's get to it . . .
Jamie from Duval, FL: