No. 1 at long last

Let's get to it . . . Tyler from Jacksonville:
So let me see if I get this right.... We signed a top-3 available DE (Mincey), a top-3 available safety (Lowery), arguably top-5 available wide receiver (Robinson) and an arguably a top-5 available quarterback (Henne), yet many fans are screaming that we have done nothing. In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld, "What is the deal with that?"
John: The deal is it's all about perspective – and about not signing Mario Williams or A Big Name Receiver. Many people are upset because the Jaguars didn't sign the most-hyped guys on the market. After months of seeing free agent lists and breathlessly anticipating a "big splash," the Jaguars instead moved prudently in free agency. This would have sat better with fans had the Jaguars been 11-5 last season rather than 5-11, but being 5-11, the natural inclination of fans is to Want Big Action and Want it Now. I understand that fans want that. Everybody around the team understands that fans want that. My expectation is that when people look back in a year or two and break down the Jaguars' moves in recent days the moves will stand up pretty well and my guess is that a lot of the players fans are so upset about losing will be disappointments in other markets. My guess also is that the receiver position and the offense will make strides with Laurent Robinson and at least one more off-season acquisition. Will that be the case? We've got six months to debate it. I'm sure we will.
Pat from Tallahassee, FL:
I get the feeling the Jags are going to pick up another receiver in free agency. I might be crazy, but I think that one of the best options out there could be Hines Ward. I think he would be a decent short-term solution at a low price tag. He is a great possession receiver that is not afraid of contact and has a reputation as an excellent blocker. These are all attributes that would complement a speedster like Laurent Robinson and MJD in the run game. What other options at receiver could the team consider?
John: You said you "might" be crazy. I think you're underestimating yourself when it comes to Hines Ward. I'd be more in favor of a younger receiver along the lines of Anthony Gonzalez of Indianapolis – a guy who has had some injury problems, but who is still young enough to play at a high level when healthy. Steve Smith is interesting, but his injury issues have been significant. Gonzalez's injuries haven't been as debilitating in a long-term, career-threatening sense. A guy like Early Doucet of Arizona also makes some sense in that he's 26, has had some production and certainly isn't on the downside.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
I am a little thrown by the comment from Mularkey about a quarterback competition in camp. This was as boneheaded a statement by MM as was JDR benching Gabbert last season. When you draft a QB that you also move up to get, you give him the time to develop, especially after the supporting cast he was given to work with. Mularkey just lost a bit of my respect. If Henne beats out Gabbert and is the starter in Game 1, they can have my tickets back. Want to have success as a team? Do what it takes to be successful. Being the used car salesmen of the NFL trying to sell junk as Cadillacs to your fans is exactly why our stadium is not full. Here, post this one John.
John: I'll post it, but only to ask if you read all of what Mularkey said or only what you wanted to hear. Here's what Mularkey said of Henne: "He's coming in as a backup, competing for a starting job. Everybody comes in here competing for a starting job, I hope. I hope that's the way it's always going to be. We don't want anybody here who's very comfortable and wants to be in a backup role, and never will. We don't want to be around comfortable players or comfortable coaches. Chad knows his role." I guess Mularkey was supposed to say, "Chad Henne has no chance to start for this team. He should never, ever dream of it and should basically do what John Oehser does – i.e., nap in the mornings, eat lunch, and nap in the afternoons. " I'm fine with what Mularkey said. Gabbert is the starter entering camp and will obviously be the starter if he earns it, but he has to earn it. I mean, of course he does.
Kyle from Jacksonville:
According to reports via NBC Sports, the Jags are interested in trading their first-round pick, due to the rising interest in Ryan Tannehill. Would this be a smart move on the Jaguars' part, or a move that could delay immediate success in drafting a top 10-worthy first rounder?
John: Actually, it was reported locally Thursday by the Times-Union and jaguars.com that the Jaguars would be interested in trading the No. 7 overall selection. Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith said as much Thursday. And yes, this is a year it would make sense to trade down. I believe the Jaguars will go defensive end or wide receiver early, and it appears they can get quality players at those positions outside the Top 10.
Garrett from Drewval, FL:
Do you think the Jets robbed Revis from us? P.S. is it a good thing to admit being lazy in the workplace? If I was Khan I'd consider getting a more professional editor based on some of your articles and responses to questions. Though lucky for you I highly doubt he reads any of this.
John: I think the Jets took Revis when they took him. As for Shad Khan, he's an intelligent man with a highly developed sense of humor. I worry about many, many things. My life is dominated by worry. What I don't worry much about is Shad Khan's ability to grasp a joke.
Chad from Yulee, FL:
I certainly would have loved to see Peyton or Mario come here but that's not happening. I wonder more if Gene made any inquiries about Carl Nicks. That's the superstar I would most have wanted considering our strength is our running and we had protection issues among other problems in the passing game. Do you have any insight there?
John: I'm sure Nicks was considered in the sense that the Jaguars consider every player available. The Jaguars are in pretty good shape on the interior and teams generally try to stay away from huge money signings in free agency on the interior of the offensive line.
Tim from Newtown, PA:
How do you see Laurent Robinson fitting in with the Jags? Is he a No. 1 guy? He's got very good speed, but I'm just wondering if the team views him as "the guy" or an improvement over what they've currently got.
John: He's 26, so the hope is he can develop into The Guy. What he certainly does is make the receivers better and that's the goal for the short term.
Steve from Atlanta, GA:
You assert that the WR position will be better next year. I love your positive outlook but share your thoughts as to exactly why this is true? I hope Robinson turns into a stud but his history indicates he is a solid if a bit injury prone #3. Unfortunately the roster is already filled with that type of guy at WR (West, Dillard, Thomas, etc). How does this make the WR corps better? Or are you expecting a WR in rounds 1-3 of the draft??
John: You're right. I offered an assertion without much explanation. What I'm expecting, at minimum, is that the players on the roster improve under coach Jerry Sullivan. I believe Mike Thomas, with better coaching and a better environment, will return at least to his 2010 level and I believe Cecil Shorts will be a lot closer to the player people – i.e., me – thought he'd be in training camp than the one people saw during the season. Add Robinson and likely at least one more second-tier or early-round receiver and I think you'll see improvement. Will it catapult the Jaguars into the elite receiver corps in the league? Doubtful. But it's rare for that to happen in a year no matter who you sign in free agency.
Justin from Jacksonville Beach and Section 237:
I've been wondering for some time now......How do Shad Khan, Gene Smith, and Mike Mularkey rank in the organization? If you were to assign a value of "1" to the person that is the lowest on the totem pole (i.e., the most entry level position), and a value of "100" to Khan, as the owner of the team, where do Smith and Mularkey rank numerically? Love the column and the articles. Keep up the great work!!
John: Smith would be 99 in football and Mularkey, I guess, would be 98.9999, because it's realistically more of a partnership than anything. As for the senior writer, I've waited a long time to be No. 1 in something, and in your scale, I've found a place where I finally am.

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