JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Justin from Hampton:
Do you feel this is a year for great turnaround? I feel the one thing that held us back was our discipline. That is a reflection of the head coach. With Gus Bradley gone, is it easy to say that we will win more games with that change alone?
John: This is a central Jaguars topic this offseason, and many share your view that Bradley being replaced by the disciplined, old-school approach of Head Coach Doug Marrone (and Tom Coughlin) will cure all that ailed this team last season. I understand the sentiment, and there no doubt were discipline issues last season. Dante Fowler Jr. and others committed avoidable penalties, and the special teams certainly seemed undisciplined at times. Still, it's simplistic and unrealistic to say discipline was the "one thing" holding the Jaguars back last season. There were issues such as quarterback play, lack of pass rush at key times, inability to create enough takeaways, etc., etc., etc., that were as troublesome as discipline. So, yes, it's easy to say the Jaguars will win more games because Bradley is gone – easy enough, in fact, that many observers and fans have said it a lot. And I do think you'll see a greater focus on discipline under Marrone. But while that change alone won't hurt, neither will it make all of the difference.
Roger from Houston, TX:
There is a very simple answer to all of the silly questions about fairness in NFL players' contracts: the team is the employer; the player is the employee. It's not a symmetric relationship.
John: Oh, yeah.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Maybe you can provide some insight. Big Cat Country posted an article wondering why we let Kelvin Beachum go. I never really thought about it, but now it has me wondering why the Jags let him go. Was it money? Bad locker-room guy? Seems he could have given our offensive line some nice depth since he can play the guard and tackle spots. Your thoughts?
John: This has been treated as a mystery, but the answer is simple. The Jaguars entered this offseason wanting to improve the offensive line. They wanted to improve the running game. After reviewing the 2016 season, they thought they could take a step toward doing those things by moving in a different direction at left tackle. Many fans and observers thought Beachum was OK last season. He indeed was fine in pass blocking, though not quite as good run blocking. As far as keeping him for depth at guard and tackle, the Jaguars would have had to pay Beachum way too much this season for that.
Richard from Jacksonville:
Any thoughts on the possibility of Hunter Dimick contributing at defensive end this year? It seemed he has the college stats to support the possibility. I didn't follow Utah football but did see his highlights video after I learned he was signed. Looked pretty impressive.
John: There's a decent chance Dimick makes the Jaguars' practice squad this season. Considering the depth and numbers on the defensive line, it would be a surprise if an undrafted rookie makes a significant contribution until/if attrition forces him into the rotation.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
A few thoughts about the whole "Cam-Robinson-starting-at-guard" controversy. First off, don't you want all of your linemen – especially the starters – having at least a basic understanding of all the o-line positions? Seems like this would give you max flexibility in both rest and injury situations. Second, I think Cam could handle learning two positions that really aren't too dramatically different from each other. It's not like they're asking him to play cornerback! I mean, a left tackle is probably going to have a pretty good idea of what the left guard does by the end of training camp anyway, being that they play next to each other on every snap and all.
John: Oh, yeah.
Steven from Jacksonville:
The short guy who writes articles about the Jaguars for a four-letter network mentioned Paul Posluszny as a veteran who might end up being traded or cut before next season. Bless his heart. I know anything is possible in the NFL since it's a business, but that one is pretty far out in left field. What do you think? Is the man legitimately crazy or could he be on to something?
John: You're right that the NFL is a business and anything's possible. The difference between possible and probable in this case is significant.
Steve from Section 215:
It seems like a lot of people think it is unfair if a team releases a player before his contract is up. Was it fair to the team when they pre-paid him through the signing bonus? The length of a contract is all about managing the cap.
John: Yes, and in the NFL, the guarantees are in the signing bonus.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
I think Branden Albert gets it about as well as Chris Clemons got it when Clemons showed up out of shape for training camp. Do you remember watching Clemons during training camp jogging up and down the field while the team practiced behind him because he was so out of shape? I do not share your confidence about Albert in thinking that he will be more than a tub of goo. To prepare for each season, Jerry Rice ran the hills of San Francisco, Walter Payton ran the sand dunes of Mississippi creeks in army boots, and J.J. Watt literally lived in the weight room at Houston. All Albert has done this offseason so far is prove he is lazy and primarily motivated by collecting a paycheck. I hope you're right and I'm wrong about him. A lot of players have come to Jacksonville and then dogged it. If he is one of those, I truly hope that Cam Robinson wins the competition so that Albert can go back to the sedentary life-style that he is growing so accustomed to.
John: Chris Clemons is not Branden Albert and Albert is not Clemons. All Albert has proven thus far in his time with the Jaguars is he understands that voluntary means … voluntary. I have no idea if Albert will show up to training camp in shape or not. He said he will. Perhaps he won't. It's entirely possible. If that happens, then he's in the wrong and that's on him. I'm not sure it's fair to assume he won't, but hey … life ain't fair.
Dave from Sectionless:
Why are you being so mean to Logan from Wichita?
John: For my amusement. Why else?
Sean from Jax:
Without using Google, what was the very first video on MTV? Hint? It was an apropos song title.
John: "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles – no Google necessary. I had the Buggles' second album, the one without "Video Killed the Radio Star," so you're going to bring a faster fastball that that, Sean.
Matt from Bartow, FL:
What is a grit anyway?
Ted from Section 129:
Do Jag fans not remember December 18, 2016 when Tom Savage threw for 260 yards in two-and-a-half quarters to rally the Texans to a 21-20 victory at NRG? Overall it was one of the more complete games we played all year, including a Marqise Lee kickoff return for touchdown, Jason Myers 50 yard field goal, and only one Bortles interception for the day. Yet, Tom Savage came off the bench down two scores and absolutely lit our secondary up, concluding his day with a crunch time game defining third down pass to Hopkins against a smothering Jalen. Is there really even a question as to who fans would rather see Week 1? If you're thinking you'd rather the Texans start Savage... be careful what you're wishing for.
John: The Jaguars had 150 yards total offense in that game, and Blake Bortles completed 12 of 28 passes for 92 yards. This doesn't say much about the merits of Savage versus Deshaun Watson, but it does raise the question of the completeness of the Jaguars' play that day.
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John: Call Shadrick on this one. He handles all advertising.
Andy from Jacksonville:
The only Bangles song to sing along with in the car on the way to work … "Walk Like an Egyptian." The only Bangles song to admit to your wife that you like … "Eternal Flame." The only Bangles video to watch … "Going Down to Liverpool," because Leonard Nimoy is in it. … and I just realized I know way too much about the Bangles #canikeepmymancard
John: There's nothing wrong with the Bangles, and they were actually a groundbreaking band during their time. As such, my belief is there is no shame in having knowledge of the Bangles. It also can be accurately said that you're testing the boundaries of that belief.
O-Zone: A little shame
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Justin from Hampton: