Let's get to it . . . Gary from Clark, NJ:
Skip Bayless said "Jacksonville made the worst mistake in franchise history by not drafting Tebow and by missing out on another chance." He also called Tyson Alualu, "Tyson OhNoOhNo," implying that he is a bust and Tebow should have been the pick. I respect Skip's analysis usually, but definitely not this time. What are your thoughts?
John: Skip Bayless' job is to offer opinions to get people talking. It's a talent, and he's one of the best. I'm not sure analysis is a word I'd use when talking about his work.
ExJagFan from Jacksonville:
John, have you ever lived in L.A.? Is it tough to stay loyal to the Jags? We know you get paid, but still, it's gotta be tough. It's gotta be tough to write positive articles about a team that the management lies to the fans.
John: I'm not going to get sucked into name-calling and baiting. It's not tough to stay loyal and it's not tough to stay positive when you believe in what the team is doing and you believe in the people doing it. I don't see management having lied. Management has long said it's doing its best to build a winner and that's what it continues to do. Just because it doesn't make every move fans want doesn't mean that's not true.
Michael from Kentwood, MI:
Does the wrist surgery for Claiborne help the chances of him falling into our laps at No. 7?
John: I don't see the surgery doing much to Claiborne's draft stratus. I do think there's a chance Claiborne falls to the Jaguars because the Rams and the Buccaneers – the teams immediately ahead of the Jaguars in the draft – have acquired cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan and Eric Wright in free agency, respectively. With Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson and Matt Kalil expected to go in the top four or five selections in April, that helps increase the chances of Claiborne being there at No. 7.
Robin from Orlando, FL:
Around what percentage of questions that start off "I'm sure you won't post this but..." actually make it to the O-Zone? PS: if my post does not make it I know what to do next time.
John: Very, very few. It actually diminishes the chances pretty significantly. I included a few this week because I felt obligated to try to address the Tebow issue even with fans who were very angry and threatening, but in a normal circumstance, I have been known to delete an email for no other reason that it begins with that juvenile, meaningless threat.
James from Starkville, MS:
One of the things I have seen as criticism of the rookie Gabbert – who had literally no offseason – was that he looked scared in the pocket. I have two questions: is this true (I can't see the players faces during plays, so I'm not certain), and if so, how do the coaches coach him out of it?
John: I thought the scared-in-the-pocket thing was overrated with Gabbert last season. It was something that got mentioned on national television one week, then after that, every time there was anything that looked like Gabbert might have been moving away from the pass rush people said it was fear. I'm not a big believer that many NFL players are scared, and I've seen Gabbert do some tough things that make me doubt that fear, as they say, is a factor. Gabbert has some issues in his drop that the coaches will work on in the off-season and I suspect as that improves this idea of Gabbert being scared in the pocket will go away.
Scott from Jacksonville:
I didn't really think that Mora's meltdown was that big of a deal when it happened, to be honest. What struck me about it was that the team really stunk for the rest of the season. It definitely wasn't the best motivational speech I've ever heard.
John: Yeah, the team did stink the rest of the season. It had been sliding before that, too, so one didn't have much to do with the other.
Greg from Section 122, the Bank, Jacksonville:
An observation and question John. The perception and statement made about Jaguar attendance is that winning will solve that problem. Well question? 1. The Sharks won the Championship last year? Why are they still having attendance issues? 2. The Suns won the Championship two years in a row. Still having attendance issues. I am not sure even winning will help the Jaguars attendance issues. It certainly hasn't for the other Jacksonville teams.
John: I mean this in no way as a slight to the Sharks or Suns, but you really can't compare minor-league sports with the NFL. I'm a big minor-league baseball guy, but people go to minor-league baseball games to enjoy the experience, not with the idea that the team is building for a championship.
Brian from Jacksonville and Section 230:
John, what are some appropriate things to yell at you if I see you in public? I saw you across the room at the Evening With the Coaches event and was going to yell to get your attention but I had one beer too many to be able to come up with something clever and one beer too few to yell across a crowded room. BTW, I thought you looked you great.
John: You might try this.
Greg from Neptune Beach, FL:
I'm getting a little tired of "too smart for the room" fans trying to call out other fans for wanting to sign big-name free agents. They claim that all us dummies "want to sign every and all big name over the hill free agents that were cut for a reason by their other team." Fans such as myself don't want that. But we DO want to sign ONE big name player (who's not over the hill). Just once. These guys get "big names" for a reason. They're usually pretty darn good at what they do. We have consistently put together a sub-par team (well below the salary cap) because we only have one big-name player who plays a position that is becoming less and less relevant. We don't need EVERY big name player. But every year some guys get cut because of salary cap reasons that are big names and still have a lot of years left in the tank. And the Jags are never in the mix. All I ask is one Vincent Jackson or Mario Williams or Peyton Manning or Dwight Freeney to root for and help us get better.
John: You won't like this answer, but I just don't see pursuit of big names in free agency as a way to build a winner. The way to build a winner is to draft a franchise quarterback, let him develop and draft around him to improve. The Jaguars drafted Blaine Gabbert last off-season and the focus remains on developing him into a franchise quarterback. Can a big name fit occasionally? Sure. But the reality is there's always a reason a guy's available and a lot of times that reason is he's not worth what he's asking.
Daniel from Section 242:
Johnny boy...Any chance we start Douzable at DE. He filled in last year and was very disruptive. I was very impressed with his work ethic.
John: I was impressed, too, but I don't think he will start. He's a free agent, and he hasn't been re-signed. At this point, I don't think he will be.
John from Kingsland, GA:
In response to Bill's question about his "fan-ness", if you enjoy the Jaguars you're a fan, and no one can tell you otherwise. I hate the Gators, and I'm still glad to have you aboard.
John: I feel the same way. How it got to where people feel otherwise, I'm not sure.
Lee from Duval County, FL:
I guess the real question is was Gregg Williams a great coach that motivated his players or was that motivation based on monetary gain?
John: I don't know that I consider Williams a great coach, necessarily. I don't think he was bad, necessarily, either. I thought he was a good coach when he had good players and not so good when he didn't. I guess I thought he was a pretty good defensive coordinator, but not more than that.
Curry from Jacksonville:
I know I nag you about free agency, but have you heard ANYTHING about those receivers we were looking at?? I can't find anything other than Lee Evans came and left without a contract.
John: That's about where we stand. Evans came and left without a contract. Sometimes free agent visits are just that – visits.
Ron from Jacksonville:
I've often wondered, why wouldn't the prototypical nickelback have the body type of say a strong safety? It seems like they are usually smaller guys who can't play the run but cover well and while that makes sense on the surface, the guys that they'd cover over the middle of the field would be big bodied WRs or TEs. I'd rather have a guy that won't get out muscled over the middle than a little guy. The big corners that get burned by speedy wideouts on the outside seem like a better fit to me. They could deal much better with the Dwayne Bowes of the NFL who seem to feast on nickelbacks.
John: I see your point, but because their roles are usually coverage, they're usually smaller cover guys and not strong safeties.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 234:
O-John, I am starting to show signs of PTSD. Can we please have a T-free day or week? I'm not seeking a banned-for-life situation, just a few days to recover from the onslaught.
John: You have been heard. I'm tired, too. We're taking the week off from T. Starting now.
I'm tired, too
Let's get to it . . . Gary from Clark, NJ: