Let's get to it . . . Steven from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I don't want to beat this dead horse, but with regards to center, the question on some of readers' minds is whether or not Brewster is good enough to take Estes' spot and if Estes is good enough to take Meester's spot on the roster. We all love Meester and would be sad to see him go, but it is a young man's game.
John: I'm not sure how many more ways to say this, but confusion seems to remain, so I'll try one more time. Meester is the starting center, and I've heard nothing to indicate that won't be the case next season. He is entering his 13th season, so at some point relatively soon he will retire. It may be next off-season or it may not. It will be a question asked every year until that happens, and while the Jaguars would welcome him to play as long as he is effective, they are trying to plan for the future, too. Brewster will compete with Estes this off-season and one of the two almost certainly will be the backup center. If both are good, both likely will be on the roster in some capacity. Is Estes good enough? They think he has a chance to be. Is Brewster good enough? I don't know that anyone is supposed to know yet. He was an undrafted free agent and has practiced four times with the Jaguars, so no one is carving out Ring of Honor letters yet, but it is thought he might have potential to develop. That's about where we are on the backup center/Meester/Brewster/Estes issue. You can't predict the future before it happens, and as far as the center position, we're waiting for it to happen.
Frank from St. Augustine, FL:
What's the latest on Tony Boselli's shoulders? Will he be healthy enough to give Eugene Monroe a run for his money during camp?
John: I suppose I bring it on myself, but yes, we got plenty of these in response to a question Tuesday from Mike from Jacksonville about David Garrard possibly being the backup next year. Yes, they were all terrifically clever. Yes, I laughed at all of them. Yes, they were all variations on this theme.
Tucker from New York, NY:
A lot of the skepticism surrounding the Anger pick stems from the draft in which Adam Podlesh was picked in the third round. Although he's still in the league, he certainly didn't turn out the way the Jaguars hoped. I'm curious how Anger compares to Podlesh when he was drafted, and how this selection was justifiable enough to erase our memory of the failed Podlesh experiment.
John: Anger is considered significantly better than Podlesh when the latter was coming out of college as a fourth-round selection. I don't know that Podlesh failed. He punted well for the Jaguars during his time here, then got a really good offer from the Bears. The Jaguars were willing to pay Podlesh to a certain point, then his salary offer from the Bears exceeded what the Jaguars believed he was worth. I'm not sure that's as much of a failed experiment as a player playing well for a while, then signing with another team. That happens in the NFL. As far as erasing the memory of Podlesh, the Jaguars weren't trying to do that when they selected Anger. They were trying to select a really good player who would make them better.
Bob from Jacksonville:
Who makes the decision on how many players to keep? For example: two or three quarterbacks – is this Gene's or the coaches' choice?
John: Gene Smith has final say on roster decisions, but those choices are made after consultation with coaches. Sometimes, when the words "final say" are used, it sound as if there are huge arguments and disagreements and one party storms from the office of another with the "winner" gloating over "final say." In well-functioning organizations – which I believe the Jaguars now are – it's far more often a conversation that goes like this: "Should we keep three quarterbacks?" "Yes, I believe it's important." "You're right, and these three makes some sense. We'll keep evaluating, but this is what we'll do for now." Boring? Undramatic? Yes, but when philosophies line up, roster decisions aren't usually dramatic or complex.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
How is Peyton Manning's neck doing? Is there any chance for him to beat out Andrew Luck for the starting job?
John: All right. Moving on.
Brad from Hampton, VA:
How much power do team owners have when it comes to their NFL team? Say someone buys an NFL team and makes themselves GM similar to Jerry Jones, then makes terrible team decisions and is a shady character with run-ins with the law and whatnot. Can the NFL step in and force a change at all as long as that owner isn't blatantly breaking NFL rules?
John: Run-ins with the law would be dealt with by the Commissioner, and there are certainly suspensions and the like that could be handed down. Forcing a change would be very difficult. As far as terrible team decisions, that's awfully hard to legislate and judging by the goings on of some NFL franchises in the last decade, it doesn't appear the Commissioner would be quick at all to step in. Basically, when you own something it's yours do with what you wish. That's true even in the NFL.
Scott from Section 240:
Speaking of injuries, I'm wondering if we can start the year off with a guy or two on the PUP list, with the thought that they will be healthy two months into the season.
John: NFL teams can place as many players as they like on the Physically Unable to Perform list with the limitation being that active players, practice squad players, players on injured reserve and players placed on PUP cannot total more than 80. Players on PUP must sit out the first six games of the season, after which they have a three-week window in which they can begin practicing. From the day they begin practicing, the team then has three weeks to decide whether to activate the player. If the player is not activated, he remains on PUP for the remainder of the season. I don't get the idea the Jaguars are planning to start any of the injured players on PUP. It is a list that only can be used if a player does not practice at all during training camp.
Cliff from Las Vegas, NV:
Do you think there will ever be a successful player who can do both kick and punt? The Saints tried it with Russell Erxleben, Redskins with Sammy Baugh and Cowboys with Danny White, all of which were not elite.
John: The Saints indeed did try it with Erxleben, selecting him in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft. New Orleans hoped to have him do both, but he mostly punted and never made the Pro Bowl at the position. White and Baugh were quarterbacks who also punted, but neither were placekickers. As for Baugh, if you're arguing that he wasn't an elite kicker, that's fine, but he was perhaps the greatest two-position player in NFL history, being named All-Pro seven times as a quarterback and leading the league in punting four times. He also was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As for whether I think a player will be successful both punting and kicking, I'd be surprised if it happened. Although both skills are done with the leg, they require very different motions and I've been told by more than one specialist at each position that it's very hard to train the muscles in a leg to do both.
Brian from Alabaster, AL:
I read where you said that the coaches really liked LeFevour. What did they see in Palmer?
John: I wrote that the team liked LeFevour as a developmental option. Palmer is a veteran who looked good in mini-camp and could be a really good influence on Blaine Gabbert in the locker room. He also played under Jaguars offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski from 2008-2010 in Cincinnati and knows the offense. The Jaguars didn't sign Palmer hoping he would beat out Gabbert for a starting position, but he's a decent option if forced into the lineup.
Jack from Jacksonville:
Kuharsky brought up a good point. What's the rush to release Coleman? Given the Jags injury woes in the secondary why not wait until closer to the start of the season to cut one of our more productive free agent signings? What happens if Aaron Ross trips down some stairs tomorrow? We have no insurance now.
John: The Jaguars do have insurance. They have 12 cornerbacks on the roster. The Jaguars only considered Coleman a nickel back. He clearly was not considered insurance at the corner position, because the Jaguars did not use him there last year despite a slew of injuries at the spot. You could consider him nickel back depth, but the Jaguars believe the corners they have on the roster can play nickel better than Coleman. Remember, just because we have heard of a player and are familiar with his name doesn't make him better than unfamiliar players.
Brian from Santa Rosa, FL:
"The Jaguars are 1st-and-goal at the opposing team's 10-yard line. In 2011, Blaine Gabbert as often as not attempted one pass into the end zone or handed the ball off to MJD, who failed to make it across the line. Result: three points instead of seven." At least we didn't get in punt formation on first down.....
John: Oh, I get it. A punter joke. Suh-weet.
No drama needed
Let's get to it . . . Steven from Ponte Vedra, FL: