Let's get to it . . . Jeff from Jacksonville:
Is there a chance that the Jags could go after Cortland Finnegan and Mario Williams and Pierre Garcon and maybe Reggie Wayne and Lee Evans? Or are there any of these that might be a target for the Jags? Thank you.
John: That's an awful lot of ands. I'd say there's a chance the Jaguars could pursue Garcon and perhaps Wayne, but I don't see it quite as likely that they would pursue Finnegan or Evans. As for Williams, it remains to be seen. He would be a fit here, obviously. Actually, he'd be a fit anywhere. He's that good – i.e., the best player in free agency. He also obviously will command an enormous commitment in terms of the salary cap and real cash. I suspect we'll get a better feel for what the Jaguars might do there in the coming week, but my sense is they will pursue a high-profile free-agent or two at receiver and perhaps not at defensive end.
Levi from Jacksonville:
I can't understand why everyone is in awe over Stephen Hill's workout at the combine. Yes it was very, very good, but he put up good numbers last season and averaged almost 30 yards a catch, which is unheard of! My question is what do you think of Stephen Hill?
John: I didn't know much about him until the combine, but you started to hear some whispers in the days leading to Indianapolis that he was a guy who could impress. He obviously did. What perhaps was most impressive was he did more than just run well. He also performed well in a variety of drills, and reportedly caught the ball smoothly. That's what you want to see from a receiver – not just burning speed. As far as Hill and the Jaguars, I don't see him in the first round, but if he lasts into the second, maybe.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
Here smells a rat with this whole, 'Manning throwing video leaked' garbage. I guess if I had to make a $28 million decision, I'd pay a few bucks to a broke college student to take a video of Manning tossing the ball around a little bit.
Greg from Neptune Beach, FL:
You have mentioned a few times that Blackmon may not be considered a top 10 pick. Which particular skills or abilities of his are scouts starting to question?
John: Honestly? The same ones they questioned all along – size and speed. While fans rightly have been enamored of Blackmon because of a stellar college career, scouts always have been a little concerned about size and speed. Most NFL people will tell you that you absolutely look at a player's tape and college production first, but that there are certain measurables that raise serious red flags. Scouts really want to see what Blackmon runs at his Pro Day, especially when he measured a hair over six feet. Whatever he runs, he'll go in the first round, but if he's slower than scouts expect, it may not be Top 10.
Brad from Orange Park, FL:
That was a pretty definitive answer on Ward getting in the Hall of Fame. Is there a little AFC rival bias to that assessment? If so that's cool, I hate on teams I don't like, too. I'm not a Ward to the Hall advocate or anything. I always thought he was a semi-dirty player in the NFL, and I'm a Bulldogs fan. I don't think he's deserving of a spot on the Jags' roster next season either, but you don't think he's got a Canton argument whatsoever?
John: I don't have bias to other teams one way or the other. I just believe it's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Very, Very Good. I never considered Ward dominant at his position. Critical to the Steelers' Super Bowl teams? Yes. A Legendary Steelers player? Yes. An era-defining player? I just don't think so. That's really not a knock on Hines Ward. I just wouldn't put him in the Hall of Fame.
Kamal from Novi, MI:
I am sure Jerry Sullivan is a great wide receivers coach and very well respected around the league, but we can't expect him to completely turn around everything. He was in San Francisco for three years and you can't exactly say he did wonders with Michael Crabtree and Josh Morgan.
John: When I write that Sullivan is a very good coach and well respected, I never mean to imply that he can do everything – or that he can turn mediocre receivers into Hall of Famers. What I do believe a good position coach can do is get an underachieving group to perform at a generally higher level. That's what I expect to happen with the Jaguars receivers next season. It's pretty much a consensus that the group underachieved and perhaps regressed last season. If the returning players can reverse that and perform closer to their potential, that would mean an improved offense.
Daniel from Johnston, IA:
A receiver who gets a 291-yard receiving game? To quote a now-famous line from a former coach, "Are you kidding me?" I just hope we can get a quarterback who can throw for 291 yards total in a game.
John: That's the first step.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Give Scobee Doo the contract he wants and tag Mincey. Whatever Scobee wants it's not as much as Mincey.
John: Um, of course it's not. Josh Scobee is a kicker and Jeremy Mincey is a defensive end. I'm confident the Jaguars at some point will reach a long-term deal with Scobee, even if they have to use the franchise tag for a while to do it. I'm not as sure that will happen with Mincey. We'll know more in the next week or so, I'm sure.
Daniel from Jacksonville and Section 146 forever:
I'm getting so hooked on the daily O-Zone, I just keep dreading the end of the streak inevitably coming someday. What will it take to get you into the Guinness Book of World Records for this amazing feat of endurance? Please don't stop.... :)
John: Fear not – for now, at least. There's football news on the horizon for the foreseeable future, and as long as that's the case I see little reason to stop.
Radley from Orange Park, FL:
".. we knew it was wrong while we were doing it." So he willfully sought out to have individuals physically harmed and would pay money to whoever successfully carried those actions out, then comes out and acknowledges that he did it while fully aware of his actions? That's maniacal. The league's punishment aside, at what point do you say a criminal investigation should be opened and Greg Williams needs to get some help?
John: Just as what Gregg Williams and the Saints did was inappropriate, I sort of think criminal investigations would be inappropriate, too. Williams seems to have been more guilty of disobeying authority – and perhaps of arrogance – than of criminal intent. As I wrote Saturday, it's not that other teams haven't behaved similarly, but that the Saints seem to have rather brazenly continued a pattern of behavior following direct orders to stop.
Glen from Lake City, FL:
Your thoughts on Greg Williams defense's and the Saints regarding "Bountygate" As well as Tony Dungy piping in, that when he coached, that Williams and the Titans had them on Peyton? I'd think that if you knew about it and cared about players as much as Dungy does, this would have come up before now.
John: It's not surprising that Dungy said that, and it wouldn't be surprising if it were true. You hear about bounties in the NFL, and for the most part, they're seen as an unfortunate thing that sometimes becomes part of the game. It's difficult for another team to prove they're going on, and most teams say nothing of them when they hear about them because it's just something you don't do. In this case, if the Saints had simply stopped when told to stop, we probably wouldn't be hearing about this now. They didn't stop, so now it's something that will alter the perception of that franchise for a long time.
Paul from Jacksonville:
Seems many analysts, both amateur and professional, seem to confuse prognostication with hindsight. As in, "I think JPP might be a good pick" transforming into "I KNEW he was going to be an absolute BEAST!"
John: That's the cruel truth of being a general manager. While general managers bear the burden of being right before the results are in, prognosticators and analysts are able to second-guess and judge after already knowing how things work out. It's nothing new, but it's the way it is.
Mark from Jacksonville 'Not sure what to think'. John, stop thinking. Apparently some people asking questions to this site have stopped thinking, a long time ago. If we were all as good as we see ourselves in the mirrors, Mr. Khan would hire us or we would be Mr. Khan or Mr. Weaver.
John: Some believe I stopped thinking long ago. Others wished I'd stopped writing, too.
Just the way it is
Let's get to it . . . Jeff from Jacksonville: