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Life in my 30s

Let's get to it . . . Andrew from Orange Park, FL:
I was at training camp Saturday and I noticed the receivers struggling. I was wondering if you think it has more to do with new guys, new offense or our defensive backfield showing elite potential?
John: I'd say it was a combination. The Jaguars' receivers indeed struggled early in camp, and when I talked to veteran Lee Evans about it Tuesday, he said while drops aren't something you want they're also not a reason for panic. He said the reason for that is that when receivers are learning a new offense and being coached by a new position coach (Jerry Sullivan), there is a lot to grasp early in practice in terms of knowing just how to run routes and getting to the right spot at the right time. Once those concepts become second-nature Evans said the drops should decrease. Also, as you noted, the Jaguars' secondary has been playing well early in camp. Remember, it's early. We're just getting started.
Jordan from Muncie, IN:
"I'm not as thin as I once was, and I was never fast." -John Oehser. Most depressing quote from 2012.
John: What's more depressing is I wasn't trying to being funny.
Stan from East-Timor:
Hey O-Man, I was out at training camp this weekend and noticed that all the players were much more willing to sign autographs than past training camps I've been to. I got every autograph I wanted except for Greg Jones (I was scared to ask...), I'm just wondering if the Jags are trying to enhance player-fan interaction this training camp?
John: The team is indeed trying to be fan-friendly, but I have to say I was struck by how good the team was in this vein even before this season. I can't speak to your personal experience, but I thought the players were pretty good about stopping and interacting at last year's training camp, too.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
I just wanted to have a question why does the earth rotate to the right and not the left? Thanks in advance for your insight to this phenomenon!!
John: It's Gene Smith's fault.
Big Paul from Fort Lauderdale, FL:
Is it wrong for me to want to boo MJD as soon as I see him on the sidelines again, especially if it is the regular season?
John: It's understandable for fans to be upset. Contract disputes are tough, but remember that while this is a business, Jones-Drew has given a lot to this team. He's still a member of the Jaguars and in time, even fans who are angry will remember that.
Levi from Jacksonville:
How much communication, if any, do you think the Jaguars' front office has with Maurice at this point? Love the column, by the way.
John: Not very much. There's really not much to say. The Jaguars' stance is that Jones-Drew has two years remaining on the contract, and from their view there's nothing to negotiate.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I'm trying to get out of work and go to one of the morning practices. Which day do you suggest I go if I can only make it once?
John: Pretty much any of the morning practices are good viewing for the public. The Jaguars are working through a lot, and there is a lot of live team and seven-on-seven competition in any morning session. One is pretty much as good as the other if you're setting your schedule.
Roger from Section 132:
I want someone to be mad at. Maybe you can point me in the right direction. It seems to me like someone on one side or the other waited too long to get started on Blackmon's negotiation. It seems like there has been plenty of time to get this thing done since the draft, even since his DUI. This was bound to be a tricky contract and it's hard to believe they have been working at it since his DUI. So was it Blackmon's agent or the Jaguars who waited to start on this thing? Please tell me who to address my letter of concern to.
John: This really wasn't tricky until the DUI. Now, it's tricky because the Jaguars want safeguards if Blackmon has off-field issues and Blackmon's representatives apparently want more of a normal rookie contract. The problem is the situation is no longer normal. Had Blackmon had the incident before the draft, his draft status likely would have slipped significantly. Because it happened after the draft and before he signed the contract, his draft status can't slip, but the guaranteed money becomes an issue. As I understand it, there were discussions before the incident, after which they were delayed until around Blackmon's court date. As for whom to be mad at, I don't see how you can blame the Jaguars for wanting safeguards, but that's just the sane guy in me talking.
Andre from Ocala, FL:
Can you tell us more about your sidekick in the training camp videos, JP Shadrick? He does an excellent job. Notice I said he's YOUR sidekick and not the other way around.
John: Shadrick is the new Jaguars' Communications Coordinator. He's doubling at times as the host of Inside the Jaguars, but sidekick . . . yes, that works. And you're right. He's doing an excellent job.
Matt from State College, PA:
Does Jerry Sullivan not like interviews with the media, or does he just not get asked for them? I really want to hear what he has to say about the progress of the receivers as a group and individually.
John: He gets asked, and when he talks, he's usually pretty straightforward. His stance throughout the offseason is that he wants some time to work with these guys once the pads go on before he really gets down to hardcore evaluations. He's taking that time now and I expect he'll address your questions as camp goes on.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Some folks on ESPN said that Blackmon isn't signed because his agent is protecting himself as opposed to Blackmon's best interest. Is there any protection for the players from agents not working to the player's best interest?
John: Yes, the player can tell the agent what he wants to do. While agents advise players, agents work for the players, not vice versa. If any agent acts against a player's best interest, in the end it's on the player.
Steve from Woodbine, GA:
I for one am on MJD's side. I think he definitely deserves at least an open dialogue with the Jags. It seems they are just writing him off. I agree a contract is signed for a reason, but if he had performed badly the past few seasons, I bet the Jags wouldn't think twice about not living up to their end of the deal. At least talk to the man!!
John: The Jaguars' end of the deal was to pay Jones-Drew a signing bonus and a salary until he no longer could make the roster. That is always the team's end of the deal.
Ryan from Boynton Beach, FL:
Having gone to UCF and having to deal with George Selvie at USF for four years causing havoc, how is he looking during camp? Any chance he makes the rotation?
John: I think there is. Selvie was one of those late-season signings that sometimes gets overlooked, but throughout the offseason he has impressed Jaguars coaches. I see Jeremy Mincey, Andre Branch and Austen Lane forming the core of the defensive end rotation, but Selvie certainly has a chance to be the best guy in that mix.
Michael from Columbus, OH:
I'm so tired of the Jaguars getting no love or respect. I've been watching "Inside Training Camp" for almost a week now on the NFL Network and still haven't seen the Jaguars yet. We're disrespected and overlooked!
John: Thanks for bringing this up. I might have missed this angle. So, what you're saying is the Jaguars don't get the attention from national media and are treated unfairly. I'll look into it.
John from Lake Asbury, FL:
You replied to Sonny yesterday the team wants to have three or four quarterbacks on the roster so they don't wear out the arms of the starter or backup. Instead of signing a player to the team to throw the ball during practice, can they hire a coach that can fill the position only during camp with no chance of him making the team? Granted, you wouldn't get the reps for the actual players, but you would save their arms and have an extra roster spot to use for another position.
John: You could do that in theory, but you also need to develop players for emergency situations. While you don't necessarily want to have to use the fourth guy on the roster, in the event that injuries hit the position it's good to have players who have run live reps and who have some idea how to run your offense.
Rashon from Nashville, TN:
Hey, John. Love your sense of humor. Any idea where you get it from?
John: Well, I used to get beat up and chased a lot. But I really don't like to talk about life in my 30s.

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