Let's get to it . . . Mike from Atlanta, GA:
Would the backup running backs on the team be a little excited for MJD to sit out? They'd get more reps in practice with the first team, more playing time, etc. Don't they all want that? It might not be the way they want it, but opportunity is opportunity.
John: I don't know that Rashad Jennings would be "excited," per se, but he certainly would want to take advantage of the opportunity. He did a good job on that front during the offseason program. Absolutely it's a chance for any running back beyond Jennings on the depth chart to get more training camp time. With such chances are careers often started.
Scott from Jacksonville:
I know it's getting old, but I predict MJD will skip six days, 14 hours, and 27 minutes of training camp. Would you agree?
Chad from Jacksonville:
A lot of people like to talk about Jones-Drew's carries compared to the other backs and use that against him. But is it fair to say that over the last few years he really hasn't had more or that many more carries than a lot of the top backs? Considering the Jaguars haven't made it to the playoffs since he has been the starter, he never has had to play those extra games against the best teams that a lot of the other top backs have and constantly do?
John: I wouldn't use Jones-Drew's carries against him. The load he has carried the last three years has been impressive and integral to the team. But however you look at it, there's no question that that workload has been significant, and it's hard to imagine that it won't take some sort of a toll long-term. Logic just says it will.
John from Kingsland, GA:
Man, the Mike Mularkey show began Monday, training camp starts Friday, and in a little over a month I start taking vacation (I scheduled long weekends and some entire weeks off around our home games). I am already stupid excited. We start WINNING?! I don't know what the next level of excitement is, but I think I'll be finding out!
John: Ah, training camp, when a young man's fancy turns to shoulder pads, sweat and sun stroke.
Johnny from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I don't feel that the issue is "enhancing the in-game experience." I feel the issue is a growing number of would-be attendees simply cannot afford to have the "full experience" of going to a game anymore (day long tailgate, parking, food, beers at the game, etc.) And with the improvements in TV coverage and home entertainment systems the opportunity cost of staying home isn't as great as it used to be when our dads were going to games. If you did an analysis of what it costs to have a "GAME DAY" experience with your friends in front of the TV or at the stadium, it's simply a more cost-effective decision to watch the game at home. Just a thought, but I think "enhancing the in-game experience" (whatever that means) will exacerbate the issue. I've never heard a football fan say "you know, I'd go more often if it was more like going to NBA games."
John: The league is well aware that the issue is exactly what you say – that the television coverage and advanced technology is the root of the problem. And in the last three or four years, the economy has caused the cost of attending a game to be an issue. That's quite a one-two combination. The idea of enhancing the in-game experience is to make attending a game better than watching at home. My theory is that right now teams that win fill stadiums because of the "I-was-there" factor. When there is something special going on, or when there is a big game, people want to say "I was there." When a team is perceived to be struggling or there's just not a lot of buzz, it's far easier to watch on television. For the Jaguars, that's part of the task right now – to make the in-game experience so cool by winning and by other factors that more people consider it important to say they were there.
Chris from Section 223:
I got my season tickets in the mail last week, and I smelled them, John. I smelled them.
John: I found an old pair of socks this weekend under my passenger seat and did the same thing.
Kinzie from Asheville, NC:
First of all, I want a "keep the streak alive" O-Zone T-shirt. Thanks for your dedicated diligence. Watching ESPN the other day Cris Carter was interviewing Larry Fitzgerald about how he attacks defenses in the moment. Larry dropped Jerry Sullivan's name when talking about a specific move he taught him. No other names were dropped after that, Just Jerry's. Good to have him on our team. Receiving corps, pay attention!
John: They are. If you watch the receivers in training camp next week, you'll see it's very difficult not to pay attention to Sullivan. He's that good.
Kyle from Jupiter, FL:
I see the Jaguars being like last year's San Francisco 49ers. Both had a tough defense, strong running game, new head coach, and low national expectations. If Blaine Gabbert can play as well as Alex Smith did last year, I think that the Jags could surprise everyone in a similar fashion. Is this too much to ask?
John: I don't think it is. The 49ers won last year the way a team that's turning things around often must win. They played solid defense, won close games, got used to winning and got on a roll. I believe Gabbert can play as well as Smith did last season, and perhaps better. The talent is there, and he had about as good an offseason as he could have. He has to back that up starting late this week.
John from Gloucestershire, England:
In your reply to Dustin from Jacksonville you said that you expected to see improvement immediately from the offense but that it might take a few weeks for that improvement to be consistent. Where do you see the biggest improvement happening this season – the receivers running better routes and getting separation, better blocking up front or a more self-assured quarterback reading the field better and being confident in the pocket?
John: I expect all to be improved and for each area to help with the other, but I think receivers running better routes will help everything else dramatically.
Joel from Yulee, FL:
On the front page of Jaguars.com there is an article that is titled Football only two weeks away. Um, hello, training camp starts in three days. Please don't have Skip Bayless post the articles anymore, he obviously can't do anything right.
John: Um, hello, there also was a date that read July 13. There are dates on most of the jaguars.com stories. Some people use these to see when stories are written.
Rob from Section 228:
When I read comments related to the Jags or Mularkey from Atlanta fans at other websites they are always bashing Mularkey and expressing their pleasure that he is gone. Do you know what he did or didn't do in Atlanta that fans don't like?
John: He didn't win the Super Bowl, and the Falcons' offense didn't set NFL records. A lot of times with NFL coaches, after a few seasons, that's all it takes to get bashed. When teams make the playoffs for a few seasons and don't win the Super Bowl, there tends to be clamoring for blame to be assigned. That usually means a coordinator.
Bryce from Algona, IA:
Mr. Khan has been vocal about a few things ever since his purchase of the franchise. I am curious why he has not been vocal about the MJD situation considering his best player is throwing a monkey wrench into his initial season owning the team. Do you see Mr. Khan interceding in this area between Gene and Mo?
John: I'd think there are a couple of reasons. One is Khan believes in letting people do their jobs, and in this case, it's Smith's job to speak on matters of specific player contracts. Another is while this is seen publicly as a dispute, from the Jaguars' point of view there's really not much of a dispute. Jones-Drew is under contract for two years. Now, as far as Khan interceding between Smith and Jones-Drew, that's a question I've received a few times, and there's indeed a common perception that this is somehow Smith versus Jones-Drew. In this case, though, I don't get the impression Smith just randomly came out in June and decided to tell the world he didn't plan on negotiating with Jones-Drew. Rather, this was a case where Smith was speaking on behalf of the franchise. It was a team stance, not an individual one. More simply put, do I think it surprised Khan when Smith said in June the Jaguars weren't negotiating with Jones-Drew? No, I don't think that for a second.
No individual stance
Let's get to it . . . Mike from Atlanta, GA: