Let's get to it . . .
Scott from Jacksonville:
With all of the cornerbacks going down, why is it that Drew Coleman – a guy who has proven he can make plays – doesn't start at one of the corner positions? Do his skill sets really only allow him to play in the middle as a nickel back?
John: A couple of reasons. First, Coleman's strength is indeed coverage in passing situations. He certainly can play corner, but the Jaguars signed him to play nickel and opposing teams are in passing situations enough where that's really a full-time job these days. Also, to move Coleman to the outside moves him to a different position and also moves a player accustomed to playing base corner to the nickel, thereby creating a situation in which two players are playing new positions rather than one.
Brad from Orange Park, FL:
How is it that a running back's season is overlooked when he is one of the few backs in the chase for the rushing title? The same way Fred Taylor has relegated chances of making the Hall of Fame, even with ridiculous numbers at his side: national disdain for Jacksonville. Not a "we're the victim comment," but I think it should be pointed out that covered seats and slow ticket sales are the main source from which that ridicule feeds. If we hope to have any shot at keeping this team then we're going to want to put these wack, paper-thin excuses down and get on the bus.
John: I don't know that the perception now of Jacksonville hurts Taylor's Hall chances as much as the fact that the Jaguars were only in the national spotlight consistently during his first couple of seasons. Also, as I've written often, Taylor not having many seasons when he was clearly the best back in the NFL doesn't help his chances, either. I think he should be a Hall of Famer, but those circumstances and others certainly have combined to make it a more difficult sell to the voters. As for your bigger point – absolutely, the bus has to be loaded. With a new owner and new coach on the horizon, this is a starting-point moment. Now is certainly the time.
Geraldo from Callahan, FL:
The biggest problem around here is the Gator fans. They constantly talk about how bad the Jaguars are while making excuses for the Gators (Brantley's injured so they have a freshman quarterback...blah, blah, blah). Seeing them wearing Denver jerseys is absolutely disgusting. I believe they want the Jaguars gone because the Jags take away attention from their beloved Gators. They are ignorant to the enormous economic impact the Jaguars have on our area. I hope these folks are the first to go if the Jags leave and jobs are lost.
John: Maybe I'm naïve, but can't you like both? The reality is the Jaguars have made two playoff appearances since 1999. That and the economy caused a drop in season ticket sales that has been well-documented, but the NFL is a runaway freight train that most often dominates its market if the circumstances are right. When I got to Indianapolis in 2001, the Colts had trouble filling the RCA Dome and when I went to the mall, Indiana, Purdue and Pacers clothing far outnumbered the Colts. A few exciting seasons later that was reversed dramatically. That can happen here. The energy is starting to move in the right direction.
Roger from Jacksonville:
Can we please officially term Aaron Kampman a bust – $20 million for mentoring? Pleaaaseee, he needs to refund his contract.
John: This is a peeve of mine. I never have understood the term "bust" to discuss a player who is injured – or, at the very least, I never have understood blaming the player. Now, has Kampman contributed as much as he or the Jaguars expected? Absolutely not. But if you see Kampman around the facility – the effort he puts into rehab and into trying to get back on the field – there's no questioning his desire. He's injured and that doesn't mean he stinks ; it means he's injured. Now, should the Jaguars have signed a player his age who was coming off a torn ACL? That's a different question, but Kampman made it back from the first ACL and was playing at a high level last season. The reality is players get injured. That's the risk of free agency and the same fans and readers calling Kampman a bust will be clamoring for the Jaguars to go all-in in three months for every veteran wide receiver with five career touchdowns and a recognizable name.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
I believe we really KHAN do it. When the news first hit I was very upset, thought the timing was horrible when we were surely going to have a blackout on Monday night and let the national media destroy us and in turn make it easy for Khan to pack up and leave for greener pastures, but no this town stepped up and bought the tickets again avoided a blackout between two teams ESPN can't even spin it to look good. GREAT JOB JACKSONVILLE, very proud of this city and its fans for showing we will not go down without a fight. I hope the KHAN man is paying attention we have embraced him and we will not be denied---WE ARE JAGUARS.
John: A lot of people had the same trepidation – at first. It seems that a lot of people such as yourself have calmed and realized that Khan didn't just take a call from Weaver, think about it a few minutes and decide, 'Hey, why not? I'll buy a team.' He didn't make his money by making split-second decisions and he undoubtedly knew the intricacies of the Jaguars' situation. Translation: one game good, bad or indifferent wasn't going to cause him to move the team. Let's look at the bigger picture of this and get things going in the right direction. This is a fresh start, a new time. Let's see it that way.
Kaml from Novi, MI:
I know you keep answering that Garrard was not playing at an acceptable level in camp this season. But if the Jaguars got the same level of play at the quarterback position as they did last year, regardless of who provided it, would they not be leading the division right now?
John: It's very possible. The issue in the preseason was not how Garrard played last season.
Fred from Jacksonville:
You've been very positive on Mel Tucker. Can you share what in his resume, in his past experience (ex. coaches he has coached for) and the results he has achieved that would make him a head coaching candidate? I think this year's defense is a result of last year's draft and free agents and this year's free agents (players not plays). When he was the defensive backs coach, they played as poorly as the receivers now. The move to DC was noncompetitive. There are coaches available that have taken teams to the Super Bowl and managed difficult circumstances during the game. Mel doesn't have that experience. If Mel is selected are we going the draft and develop route with the head coach because of potential seen by those in the know?
John: I've been positive on Tucker because I like what I have seen from him as both a coordinator and a head coach. He has coached with Nick Saban, Barry Alverez, Romeo Crennel and other coaches with solid backgrounds, but I've never been one to think that who a guy has been with is necessarily the best gauge of future success. Coaching trees don't mean that much to me. Either a guy takes the information and his experience and knows how to channel that into being a leader of men, or he doesn't, but just because a guy worked for Bill Walsh doesn't mean he's Bill Walsh. Some guys are head coaches and some are assistants and some aren't either. The biggest thing to be cautious of in your email is the idea that a coach who has taken a team to a Super Bowl is automatically the best coach to lead your team. Previous Super Bowl success rarely translates into being able to take another team there. Not that coaching in a Super Bowl or two makes a guy a bad coach, but it's not the end-all line on a resume that many believe. Getting the right coach is about doing the right research, looking for the right attributes and finding the right fit for the situation. I don't know that Tucker will get the job and I wouldn't say he's necessarily the leading candidate. I do think he's very capable.
Corey from Orange Park, FL:
On FOX they asked the following "If the Jaguars had drafted Tebow would he be fired?" and Howie Long and everyone else decided to say "No. The covers would be off of the seats." This isn't a question. This is me apologizing for any fan that believes this to be true. I'm sorry.
John: It's easy for the Fox guys to say that, and certainly if Tebow was in Jacksonville and had led the Jaguars to however many victories the Broncos have had there would be excitement. Had it not worked out and they hadn't had success there would be less excitement. If he didn't work out and didn't develop into a professional-level quarterback over the long haul, there would be no excitement. It's hard for the Fox guys to say that. It takes some insight and it's hard to say in a sound bite.
Andrew from Statesboro, GA:
May the stache be with you . . .
John: And also with you.
Moving in the right direction
Let's get to it . . .
Scott from Jacksonville: