Let's get to it . . . Kenney from Jacksonville:
I think the age of the RB can return. Just cause you're run dominant doesn't mean you have a slacker for a QB. Look back to the Cowboys of the 90's. Everyone knew Emmitt was the central theme but when called upon Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin made more than their share of plays. The post from yesterday is correct that once a team does it, everyone else will latch on, especially against the smaller quicker defenses of the day.
John: We're not going to spend days cycling through this topic, but the more I read some responses on this the more I believe what I said Friday – that while there certainly will be a team with a dominant running game win the Super Bowl, you won't see a trend toward run-dominated teams over pass-dominated teams. Too many games are decided by four points or less, and in those games, converting third downs is key. A big-time quarterback with a productive passing offense can overcome two bad plays early in a series and turn 3rd-and-8 into a first down; a big-time running back turns 3rd-and-8 into 4th-and-3 and a punt – or worse, a subpar quarterback turns it into an interception. Incidentally, Smith was great for those Dallas teams, but take Aikman off no way they win three Super Bowls. They may not have won one.
Chris from Jacksonville:
A follow-up to John's question from yesterday. If the offense gets a fumble or interception returned for a touchdown, that counts as points allowed on the defense?
John: It counts as points allowed for the team, which typically is cited as a statistic when referring to a defense. The point I was making was that the NFL is very difficult to analyze statistically, and the fact that teams can give up points through no fault of the defense is just one more reason.
Bernard from the Great Sandbox:
I read people's negative comments about ALL of the coaching hires, and I can't help but disagree. I believe we have "stolen" some great coaches from other teams. What's your take?
John: I guess I haven't been monitoring the comments. I haven't gotten a vibe of negativity about the coaches. Actually, the feedback I've gotten mostly has been positive. Perhaps I've again made the mistake of speaking to people who know the NFL.
Tim from Jacksonville:
Of the free agent WRs, who do you think would be the best fit for the Jaguars?
John: I'm starting to like the idea of Vincent Jackson, because it sounds as if he'll be available, and I also suspect Pierre Garcon of the Colts may be a guy who fits the profile – i.e., young, available and very capable of making big plays. As I've stated before, I'm familiar with Reggie Wayne of the Colts and believe he would bring a lot, but entering his 12th season, he's probably no longer a No. 1.
David from Soon to be Section 214:
What chance is there that Kampman is back this season to playing at the level he played in his first season with the Jaguars?
John: Kampman has sustained an ACL tear since playing effectively his first season with the Jaguars, 2010. He also will have aged two seasons since then. I believe there's a good chance Kampman is on the roster at the start of training camp, and it would be great to see him return to full effectiveness. If anyone can do it, he can. He approaches the game the right way and will do whatever it takes to return to full strength, but age is a cruel thing for a football player. We'll see what happens.
Luke from Whiteman AF, MO:
Am I the only one that is looking forward to a bright future I see in the Jaguars?
Mark from Jacksonville and Section 223:
Any word on new uniforms for the Jags? I've read that Mr. Khan wants the team to wear black home uniforms. I've seen sketches on the internet from Nike showing black uniforms. Do you have any inside info?
John: Here's what we know for now: the Jaguars almost certainly will wear a black jersey in 2012 for one or two games. A re-designed uniform by Nike is almost a certainty for 2013. As for the obvious issue of wearing black at home in the September heat, there is every likelihood that the team would wear white during the early weeks of the season at home.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Just for nostalgia sake, who were the Original 10?
John: Randy Jordan, Ernie Logan, Jason Simmons, Greg Huntington, Ferric Collons, Shannon Butler, Chris Williams, Ricky Sutton, Rickie Shaw, Hillary Butler.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
Do you think if Coples releases a YouTube video of himself doing backflips, it will increase his draft stock? It worked for Pierre-Paul!
John: I wouldn't argue that the back-flips increased Pierre-Paul's profile among draftniks. I would argue that it didn't raise his stock among those actually doing the drafting.
Peter from Kingston, ON:
I love people saying that Bradshaw should've taken the TD because of all these one-in-1,000 scenarios like missing an extra point or fumbling a snap. You know what's not one in 1000? Tom Brady marching down the field for a TD with a minute left. Which chance would you rather take?
John: I agree that the Giants percentagewise probably should have taken the knee, but I'd actually argue that the chances of Brady moving the Patriots the entire length of the field were lower than many believed. Had the Patriots needed to move for a field goal then a minute would have been plenty of time. Needing a touchdown and having only one timeout, it essentially meant that one negative play – i.e., a sacked quarterback staying in bounds – made it all but impossible to win without a miracle. On that front, at least, Brady's reputation for Super Bowl heroics is a touch overblown. When the Patriots won in 2001 and 2003, he drove them into field-goal range with the score tied. He got it done, and deservedly receives credit as a clutch player, but what he had to do Sunday with a minute remaining is a task on an entirely different scale.
Kenny from San Diego, CA:
A response to Jesse from Anaheim's question: Yes, it is POSSIBLE to fumble the snap on the next play, or for your kicker to miss a chip-shot field goal or have it blocked. But it's a whole lot more likely that the opposing team can take that time and score a game-winning touchdown.
John: It's a good thing it's Saturday, because here's another topic on which it's time to close the book. As I've said before, I'm no Belichick worshipper, but I believe he's done what a coach can do – i.e., create an environment in which talented players can get the most from their ability. That doesn't always happen – even when that talent is Tom Brady. What I do like about Belichick is a willingness to think for himself and to make gutsy calls at the risk of being second-guessed. I didn't agree with his decision to go for it on 4th-and-2 against Indianapolis in 2009, but I admired that he was willing to do the unconventional knowing – and not caring – about the inevitable criticism. He did the same thing Sunday. In this case, Belichick played the percentages and what he did increased the Patriots' chances. It didn't work, but that doesn't mean it wasn't the right move.
Christopher from Jacksonville:
All off season you have touted the defense for being a top 10 unit. It's not. Come on, man.
John: I'm not sure how much touting I've done. I've been pretty clear I'm not a huge stat guy. I use the Top 10 ranking as a reference point, but I gauge a defense more on how comfortable I feel it's going to make a stop when it matters. At the end of the season there's no doubt it struggled against high-powered passing offenses, but my guess is most teams with their top three cornerbacks out might have done the same. Was the Jaguars' defense perfect before that? No. The unit allowed a huge first-half to Pittsburgh and had other tough stretches. Bottom line: most defenses – even the best ones – have tough stretches from time to time. The Baltimore Ravens' 2000 defense was one of the best of all-time and in Week 2, a Jaguars receiver named Jimmy Smith had nearly 300 yards receiving against the Ravens. In the NFL these days, defenses are going to have bad patches, but for the most part the Jaguars' defense played well enough to keep the team in games had the offense been even mediocre. Was it a Top 10 defense? If not, it wasn't far off.
E-Hustle from Jacksonville:
I'm on to you. I've noticed you've been making article title from the last comment. Care to change it up a bit?
John: I have no idea what you're talking about.
No change-up today
Let's get to it . . . Kenney from Jacksonville: