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Hoping for the best

Let's get to it . . . Mike from Bridgeport, CT:
Any news on Pot Roast's eye injury? Jag Nation will be wishing him the best and really hoping it's nothing serious.
John: Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton was involved in an incident early Sunday morning and underwent eye surgery later that day. He went home later Sunday. There's not much detail beyond that, and while I hope, too, that it's nothing serious I'm afraid it could be. Eye surgery is by its nature serious and I get the idea this will be a long road for Knighton. Until we know a few more facts there doesn't seem much point in speculating beyond that. Sometimes things are wait-and-see and this is one of those times. We'll have plenty of time to dig into the football ramifications of this, but the first concern is for Knighton. He's one of the good guys in a locker room full of them, and here's hoping the best for him while he gets through this.
Frank from Verdigris, OK:
What is your opinion on North Carolina Defensive End Quinton Coples? Watching some film on him, I think he'd be better off to move to left defensive end instead of staying at right defensive end, where he played most of last year and where most of the criticism of him comes from. I think that if he did move to left defensive end that he could have a career similar to Justin Tuck. Am I way off with this type of thinking?
John: I have heard the Tuck comparison a lot lately and all of that's fine. It also all will depend on Coples, which is the great unknown. Most of the criticism of Coples comes not based on where he played but the effort he appeared to put forth while playing at North Carolina. Few doubt that he has the ability to be a big-time NFL pass rusher. Many have doubts beyond that, and that's more important as the draft approaches for Coples than which end of the line he plays.
Matt from State College, PA:
I thought for sure the first O-Zone free day would be Easter. But no, you have proved your dedication to the Jags and to us once again. Hope your Easter Sunday went well. Now, go take a well-deserved nap.
John: If a bunny can work, so can I.
Paulette from Jacksonville:
John, what no workout with Floyd, and no draft talk about Blackmon? How serious is this new owner? We must get a great WR. What have you heard?
John: Don't make the mistake of associating a pre-draft visit with an indication of whether or not a team will take a player. One has almost nothing to do with the other, and in fact, teams as often as not will not schedule a visit with a player with whom they are interested early in the draft. As for the "talk" about Blackmon, that's even less of a concern. The Jaguars are serious about upgrading the passing offense and the production at wide receiver. But that being said, it's very important to not draft a player you don't believe in just because you need to upgrade the receiving corps. If a player isn't destined to be a big-time player you having a need at the spot doesn't change that.
Wilson from Las Vegas, NV:
Do you accept bribes?
John: Whaddya got?
Radley from Orange Park, FL:
You've solicited previously that the extent of the Saints' punishment by Goodell was due to their refusal to stop the bounty-system practice after being told the NFL was keen on it. That would insinuate that the league had substantiated proof of it occurring, but turned its back to it for a moderate amount of time until, again, blowing the whistle on it and finally punishing the Saints to ensure it was brought to a halt. Williams' speech obviously validated all of the allegations against the Saints in convincing fashion, but I was astonished to learn of the level that this bounty-system was being deployed at. That being said, your saying that the league essentially knew of Saints players being instructed in that manner without stopping it the first go around, or did what was heard on that tape shatter previous interpretations by the league offices of how extreme this whole thing really was, like it has for most others? The reinstatement of Gregg Williams, in my opinion, at any point, in any fashion would be a sad, sad day for the NFL.
John: I don't know that the league knew the Saints were running the bounty system after the first investigation. I am saying the league must have had pretty strong suspicions or it wouldn't have done the investigation in the first place. Once the league investigated and backed off, the Saints clearly continued the practice. To me, that's essentially the same thing as continuing to do it when told to stop. However you interpret that detail, it's obvious the Saints were very brazen in the face of the league office. I don't think that will be the case anymore. As far as your last point, I agree that the more we learn, the more difficult a reentry becomes for Williams. I do think he'll get back in, though. I'd envision a year suspension with a very closely monitored reentry. He likely then would start as a position coach for a certain amount of time under, say, a Jeff Fisher, with whom Williams is close. I think Williams will get another shot. We're a society that loves to praise and tear down, but we also believe in forgiveness when enough time has passed.
Chase from Sarasota, FL:
How much of a role does the actual coaching staff play in scouting? Do position coaches watch draft-eligible players' tape at their positions and determine the value with scouts' opinions? What does the head coach watch, especially being new to a team and needing to assess the current roster's film, get the playbook together, etc.? I think people don't understand how much goes in to drafting one player and how many opinions really go in. NOT just Gene Smith.
John: Smith's a big believer in gathering as much information as possible, and he's a believer in having coaches involved with the pre-draft process. Position coaches spent a lot of March on the road, and upon their return, they file reports on the players that Smith takes into consideration. Yes, Mike Mularkey and the coaching staff have been busy with the playbook and the offense, but he and the coaching staff have the respect of the front office and the decisions will be made with the coaching staff's input.
John from Savannah, GA:
The Vikings have posted that they may want to trade their pick. Should we move up for Blackmon?
John: No, and I don't think the Jaguars will. If there was a bonafide, franchise-changing receiver in the Top 3 the answer might be different, but if you're going to give up what's necessary to move up you need an A.J. Green-type player. Most scouts you talk to don't consider Blackmon that.
Tucker from Jacksonville:
Tell Joe not to worry about anything that garbage list says. I had just been reading it and he ranked Matt Flynn at 29 because it was difficult to gauge him with only two starts, yet he ranked him BELOW Luck and Griffin, neither of whom have even played in a game. Can't really listen to what these garbage writers say.
John: Read it for entertainment. Read it if you're bored at work. Read it if you're on your iPhone at your in-laws. Just don't let it stress you out. It's fun. That's all.
Nicholas from New York, NY:
In response to Al from Fruit Cove, my understanding is that the Jaguars create a board prior to the draft on which they rank players in order of one through whatever. Doesn't the very fact that players are ranked in numerical order mean that the Jaguars have distinguished between two players on even the slenderest of margins? So, contrary to Al's characterization, there in fact is almost always a single player perceived to be the best available at any given time during the draft?
John: Yes, there is a ranking, but it's not as if every player is markedly better or worse than the player ranked just above or just below. The rankings are more groupings, and within that grouping, if players are close enough, certainly fitting into the team's situation plays a role.
Richard from Tampa, FL:
I believe Jacksonville will be unable to trade back in the draft because, somehow, three quarterbacks will be gone prior to the seventh pick. Based on value for the seven slot I am also starting to believe our pick will not be a wide receiver or a defensive end. I think this is something the Jaguar fan base needs to hear so that when it happens there will not be a small uprising calling for Mr Smith's head. In my infinite "whizdom" (Note the sarcastic font.) I will call the over-under at 65 percent that our first pick will not be a wide receiver or defensive end (Again this is based on no trade down.) Would you take the over or the under?
John: I'd take the over in that I'd say there's a very good chance the selection would not be a wide receiver or defensive end in your scenario. In your scenario, I think there's a good chance cornerback Morris Claiborne or running back Trent Richardson would be there. Nearly three weeks out – without the benefit of two more weeks of tea leaves to read – I just wonder if the Jaguars would pass on either of those players if they're there.
Austin from Cairo, Egypt:
Has Maurice Jones-Drew been in the facility for workouts? Or is he too good to work out this early in the off-season?
John: Jones-Drew got married shortly before the start of the off-season program. I'm not worried about his ability to keep himself in shape in the off-season or about him being ready for the regular season. I doubt many around the Jaguars are worried, either.
Renee from JaxBeach, FL:
John! Have a wonderful day! I hope the Easter Bunny left you a huge chocolate bunny with BIG ears.
John: Even better. He left me a six pack of Dogfish 60 Minute IPA and an opener with a BIG handle. I wuv da Eadder Bunny.

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