INDIANAPOLIS – Today, questions and answers speak for themselves.
Let's get to it. Paul from Jacksonville:
Why did you present O-Zone boards on Saturdays and Sundays, something Vic hardly ever did before? Any particular reason?
John: NFL Combine editions. I'd advise to not get used to Saturday and Sunday O-Zones on a regular basis. Reader interaction is great, but let's not be ridiculous.
Jon Shockley from Jacksonville:
Christian Ponder. Care to ponder that situation for me? I would be ecstatic if he were to be the Jaguars' second-round selection.
John: I approach each off-season's draft as a learning process, and basically start learning at the Scouting Combine. What has been striking in the last few days is not only the lack of consensus about the top quarterback in the 2011 NFL draft class, but the top five, six, seven or more guys. One minute you hear Ponder being one of a group of four or five after the first tier, and the next, you hear people talking about him as perhaps the top selection. Pondering Ponder specifically, I liked what I heard from him when he spoke to the media at the Combine. He was a guy with a lot of confidence, and seemed comfortable in the situation. He also reportedly had a very good workout. Watching how this quarterback class shakes out could make for one of the most intriguing pre-draft leadups in recent memory.
Rick Foley from Rio Rancho, NM:
"Basketball on Grass" is the descriptive term "Rick" called the current style of NFL football that you seem to be a proponent of with your frequent references to the "QB who must not be named"..... GO JAGS!!
John: I don't know, exactly, what basketball on grass is, but the last three Super Bowl champions – the 2008 Steelers, 2009 Saints and 2010 Packers (fifth in passing, 24th in rushing) were ranked higher in passing than rushing, and the last two have been decidedly pass-oriented teams.
Rell from Philadelphia, PA:
I know GMG drafts for the BAP. But seeing as though he – as well as other teams – knows the defensive end position is deep through the latter rounds, wouldn't it be more sensible to draft a position in the first round that, let's say, is weaker in productivity as the rounds go on and hold off on the d-line knowing good talent will still be there later on?
John: If you're looking for a big-time pass rusher and think you can get one in the first round, take him. They can be found after that, but it gets tougher the further you get outside the Top 10 – shoot, it's tough even in the Top 10. As a rule, I'm not big on counting on late-round pass rushers to make immediate impact. It's tough enough for premium, Top-10 guys to do that.
Austin Sale from Jacksonville:
3-4 or 4-3? And. Great. Job. With. The. Ozone.
John: I'm a 4-3 guy, most likely because the teams I've covered most closely have been 4-3 teams, beginning with the 1995-2000 Jaguars. Schemes are fine, but generally they mean a lot less than the players that play them. I prefer a defense that can pressure with the front four, then play defense behind it, but certainly there are those who believe to their core in the 3-4.
Trey from Jacksonville:
Rick always used to say that receivers are a dime a dozen, and he wasn't a fan of taking one with a high pick. Julio Jones just ran a 4.38, and has had a very productive career with Alabama – a running team. With all the defensive problems the Jags have, can you see Jones being the pick?
John: Sounds like Rick and I agree here, with one caveat: not sure what he meant by high pick. I don't mind a receiver in the first round, but I like them better at the end of the first round than early. I do agree that you should rarely, rarely take them in the Top 10-to-12. Go for defensive ends, defensive tackles, left tackles, quarterbacks and top-level corners there. Anything else and the guy had better be special. Very, very special. Jones may be that, and No. 1 for a premium receiver may be a bit high, but not drastically so.
Steve from Jacksonville:
Hello, John and welcome. Wanted your thoughts on something I have been thinking about a lot recently with all this CBA crap. If an agreement is not in place soon with the greedy owners and players, I suggest a fan boycott of the NFL. I know from a fans' perspective it would be very difficult to give up football. However, for the short term I believe it will help the sides come to some sort of agreement and soon. The last thing they want is to lose fan support. If they do, it won't matter what agreement they come up with. So, in short, I will not be renewing my season tickets until this garbage is over with. If all the fans would follow suit in every NFL city, I bet they come to an agreement rather quickly. No revenue for owners and players due to no fan support would get the job done!! Let's start the movement nation wide.
John: Effective in theory. Difficult to see happening.
Josh from Harrisburg, PA:
We placed a franchise tag on Lewis with the intentions of signing him to a long term. If the latter is achieved can a franchise tag be placed on someone else?
John: Teams may use the franchise tag just once each year.
Marion from Jacksonville:
Dude, if you are going to recommend a basic book about football, try recommending one still in print, available in decent condition at a reasonable price. The Paul Zimmerman Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football was originally published in 1971. It was updated in 1985. That is the best you can do? There has not been a book published in 25 years that you could recommend? I am not going to tell you what is available on E-bay or Amazon.com, but you should be ashamed of putting so little effort into answering a good question.
John: I enjoyed the original, and considered it the best book on football I'd read. I did not enjoy the updated version as much. The reader asked a question. I answered. I wasn't necessarily thinking the reader would have to buy the recommendation. Perhaps I should have thought more carefully.
Vardaan from Jacksonville:
How important is it for a QB to be a winner at the collegiate level? If a QB is not a winner in college, does that mean he has less of a chance to succeed in the NFL?
John: Is it important? Yes. Is it as important as being able to read defenses, make the necessary throws and handle the pressure, scrutiny and responsibility of the most important position in perhaps any sport? Absolutely not.
Ben from Denver, CO:
OK, now Jags to Riches definitely looks like a worthwhile read, but $80 for a book? If it's signed by Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, maybe. Think you could tell your publisher that your cushy new job means your book has found a second wave of popularity, and a second printing or Kindle version would be appreciated? Pretty please? I promise I'll buy it!
John: Let me clarify something: I provided the link to Jags to Riches for humorous purposes only. I get nothing from people purchasing now (and now that we're discussing it, didn't get much then, either). As for $80, I hope it goes without saying there are far better uses. And as for my publisher, as little as we made from the first go-round, don't see a second any time soon.
Jim from Jax:
What's with having a lead in to questions? Just go right to it. Save your lead in for another article. It doesn't add anything to the Q/A.
John: As you may have noticed today, we got right to it. In time, I sense this may be the way to go far more often. We'll see.