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More talk of conspiracies

Maybe it's because we're in Indianapolis, but the Peyton Manning conspiracy topic dominates the consciousness again today. Consider yourself forewarned.

Let's get to it . . . Jon from Southampton, UK:
MJD & RG3 – doesn't this have a nice ring to it? Imagine our dual-threat running game opening up the backfield for an RG3 game-winning bomb. To me, that sounds pretty cool. Plus, we could start an acronym revolution! All we need to do is draft RG3. I've not given up on Gabbert just yet but this partnership (MJD/RG3) could be the best the NFL has ever seen. Make it happen, O-man!
John: Goodness, I envy your enthusiasm. The chances are so remote I'm not sure where to start, but we can begin with Griffin likely to be selected in the Top 3 and the Jaguars holding the No. 7 selection. Actually, we can pretty much end there, too. The Jaguars aren't drafting Griffin. They're not trading up to get a quarterback. They're just not.
Ken from Jacksonville:
I never thought we'd see the day that we have conspiracy theorists writing into the O-Zone about the NFL.
John: At this point, I'm starting to wonder if we'll see a day when we don't.
Jonathan from Fort Irwin, CA:
I am going to pay close attention during this combine. I don't care one bit about watching the players. I will be looking for pipes in the stadium. If I see just one pipe I will know that my suspicions were justified.
John: And the beat goes on.
Jason from New Richmond, WI:
I keep hearing this is going to be a deep draft class Rounds 1-3 because of the underclassmen entering this year. What do you think?
John: That's certainly the prevailing theory in Indianapolis this week at the combine. Many underclassmen by comparison stayed out of the draft last year because of the lockout, but 65 are in this year's class – and many are projected in the first three rounds. Most people you talk to here at the combine seem to think that will indeed make for a deep draft early.
Albert from Memphis, TN:
Why would Luck opt not to throw at the combine?
John: Players sometimes prefer to throw or run in their own, familiar environments. It used to be very, very common before the days when the NFL Network televised the combine, and these days it's a lot less so. This year, both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III opted to not throw. I sort of subscribe to the notion that if you can throw and you can do whatever else you're going to do at your Pro Day you can do it at the combine, too, but apparently those close to Luck advised him otherwise. For him, it makes little difference. He's almost certainly going No. 1 overall wherever he throws. This will give his Pro Day at Stanford in March a little more oomph, so we'll all just wait until then.
J. Spence from Vernal, UT:
Vincent Jackson & DeSean Jackson in Jacksonville sounds like a match to me. What type of a trade would it take to get DeSean out of Philly considering they will most likely franchise him?
John: It may sound like a match to you, but it's not something we'll likely see next fall. I don't see the Jaguars pursuing two free-agent wide receivers of that stature. More likely, you'll see one big name and one lesser-known name – if there is a big name that works at all. I do see Vincent Jackson being available, but DeSean Jackson falls into that Mike Wallace category in the sense that if you trade for him, you're giving up not only a draft pick but huge free agent money because you're going to have to sign him. I don't see the Jaguars spending double in that fashion when it's not necessary.
Tom from Orlando:
I am with the conspiracy theorists Mr O. Manning is already assured of being in the Hall of Fame. I think he got a fat multi-million dollar check under the table, got to take a year off to spend with his family, maybe got a few minor procedures because he had a pinched nerve or a hangnail as a cover... now they have a scripted tiff about if they are going to bring him back, and they can return to winning the AFC South every year- either with Manning for another year or two with Luck on the bench, or Manning can get ANOTHER big check in free agency at the end of his career. Indy isn't New York- it is a small market, and they need to consistently win to fill the seats. It is more believable than aliens at Area 51.
John: Are you listening to yourself, Tom? Get to take a year off with his family? He's nearing the end of his career, and games and seasons are at a premium. The most striking, silly thing about this topic is the idea that Manning would sacrifice a year of his career for the sake of the Colts. He wouldn't. No player would.
Dennis from Jacksonville and Section 409:
John, in regards to Andy from Columbus, OH question, how did Peyton get hurt? I think what Andy was trying to say, Peyton was playing his best football before he missed the entire 2011 season. At no point in 2010 did he 'show' signs of wear or tear, or what-have-you on his neck. Then, all of a sudden that offseason Peyton is having neck surgery. Our question is, how did he even get to that state? Did he play hurt in 2010? Did something happen in the offseason that caused problems? What's the root of the issue?
John: That is a legitimate question. Manning had had what was thought to be a minor procedure before on his neck, but as you said, there wasn't any real indication at the end of the 2010 season that he was facing this sort of situation. There were rumors and a few internet reports during the 2010 season that there were health concerns, but nothing to indicate this sort of scope. Still, to think that Manning would give up a season of football for anything is to not understand what it takes to reach the level elite quarterbacks and elite athletes of any level reach. It's just not realistic. Is Manning's situation unusual? Yes, but the guy is driven to play. It's who he is.
Jason from Guam:
Hey O-Man. Definitely put my vote in for the 32 days of mock draft also.
John: Apparently, there's not much to do in Guam in March and April.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
Who cares if a head coach talks to players in the offseason? This isn't the NCAA where Roger Goodell is going to put a team on probation (Death Penalty), be banned from the playoffs (Bowl Game Ban) or lose roster spots (Loss of Scholarships). This is the NFL. Just win baby!
John: No, but it is the NFL where Goodell can fine a coach $100,000 for the first violation and $250,000 for the second. Easy to see why Mike Mularkey had the footballs locked up at EverBank. Just win, baby, is great, but in this case, the reward is nowhere close to being worth the risk.
Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
Shouldn't Boselli's dominance over elite pass rushers over his career have a huge count towards hall of fame? Ask Bruce Smith his opinion....
John: Of course it should. Did anyone say it didn't?
Steve from Jacksonville:
When the players run their 40s I always see coaches and scouts lingering with stopwatches checking times manually. I find it hard to believe that the times aren't electronically clocked and shared for each player. Why do coaches and scouts not trust what I imagine is a very precisely gauged 40 time? At a minimum it checks every player evenly and eliminates human error of the stopwatch? Oh and put me down as another vote for the 32-day mock.
John: Yes, the times are electronically timed. Coaches and scouts like to get their own time as well. It may not be entirely necessary, but if they want their own timing, too, it doesn't hurt.
Gigantor from Jacksonville:
What are the thoughts inside the building regarding Alualu's ability to play as a DE? Let's say a DT is the BAP at No. 7 in the draft. You could rotate Alualu between DE and DT and create more depth at both positions.
John: Alualu certainly can play end, but he's a true tackle.
Laurie from Neptune Beach, FL:
Don't try to apply logical thinking to explain how Jaguar fans feel about Manning, sweetie. They hate him for no reason other than him being good at what he does. And there is no end to the evil thoughts they will have about him. Even if it's something that makes no sense like him sitting out an entire season just to benefit the Colts future. It makes no sense and trying to figure it out will only give you a headache.
John: I'm well beyond headache. At this point, everything hurts.

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