JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Clyde from Jacksonville:
If Dante Fowler Jr. would have broken the Jags' rookie sack record like Yannick Ngakoue did, wouldn't we be going mad about him and this year? Do you believe Ngakoue will get double-digit sacks this year? Sure seems hungry! Go Jags!
John: I do believe Ngakoue will get double-digit sacks this season; I like the professionalism he brings, and I think he has the work ethic and skill set to be a consistent NFL pass rusher. And you're right: there's no question Ngakoue entering this season is somewhat overlooked because of Fowler. That's because Fowler was the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft whereas Ngakoue was a third-round selection in '16. Is it fair that Ngakoue is overlooked for that reason? Probably not, but the glare of the spotlight isn't always fair. Ngakoue indeed is capable of getting double-digit sacks. If he does, the spotlight will shine his way soon enough.
Jonathan from Yulee, FL:
O, can you fill us in on what to expect from Marquez Williams at fullback? Do you think he will start – and how good can this kid be compared to, say, Greg Jones? I know most teams don't utilize the fullback position. Had this kid been drafted 20 years ago would he have gone earlier, or is he a victim of the times? Either way, I'm excited to see the Jags get back to ground and pound. I just hope our run game looks like the old Greg Jones blocking for Freddy T and Mojo. Williams getting Leonard Fournette into the secondary will be fun to watch for many years if he's that good.
John: It's too early to know if the Jaguars' fullback in 2017 will be Williams or Tommy Bohanon. Williams has yet to participate in a padded NFL practice. When he has participated in a few, we'll have a much better idea of how he will fare in the NFL. He has a long way to go before he is a blocking fullback on the level of Jones. Then again, so do most young fullbacks.
Steve from Jacksonville:
John, Dante Fowler says "I don't have an immaturity problem." Followed by I'll learn and grow so that I don't make stupid decisions in the future. That is the very definition of immaturity and defines Dante's career to date and that of the Jaguars that last few years. When do they reach maturity? Hopefully this year. We'll see.
John: Yes, we will.
Aaron from White Hall, AR:
So, this year I hope to go to my first game at EverBank Field. I want to one day be able to go to every NFL stadium. So my question is outside EverBank, which stadium would you recommend?
John: Media members often are bad people to ask about stadiums. We see press boxes, locker rooms and bowels of stadiums more often than we see the stadium amenities fans enjoy. From my standpoint, I like LP Field in Nashville for its sightlines and ease of access. I also like Lambeau Field in Green Bay for its history.
Bradley from Carson City, NV:
Minimal injuries, at least even on turnover differential, players and coaches being held accountable, Bortles playing like Steve Grogan. Could make playoffs. I'm ready for some football.
John: Why would you want Bortles to play like a 63-year-old … Oh, you mean Steve Grogan when he played for the New England Patriots in the late 1970s and 1980s. Yeah, that actually could work.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Do these players really fear Tom Coughlin, or are the fans thinking too much of how he was as a coach in the past? I would think he's probably more insulated from the players than fans perceive.
John: There's absolutely a respect for Coughlin among players, and there's an awareness of his presence in the building. That's understandable because Coughlin is in charge of football operations and will have significant input over roster decisions and direction of team. But the idea that players' actions on a daily basis are dictated by Coughlin's presence misses the point that Doug Marrone is the head coach of this team. Any discipline and "fear" that players feel on a daily basis is coming from Marrone more than Coughlin.
Bill from Springfield, VA:
Just read a column with NFL predictions; Jags were at 8-8. A far cry from the days of no respect. If the media is starting to notice us, is 8-8 a low prediction, in your opinion?
John: I don't much care what the media says about the Jaguars. I see the Jaguars with a realistic chance to go 7-9 or so. I'd be surprised if they surpass .500, but I've been surprised before. And surprises are cool. I like them.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
Who is the team to beat this year? The Patriots have this guy named Tom Brady who refuses to age. Also, he's a pretty decent quarterback. The Falcons have a great passing game and a few players on defense that look like they have bright futures. The Cowboys looked good though you have to wonder if Dak Prescott will have a sophomore slump. I'm still waiting on Aaron Rodgers to bring the Packers back to the Super Bowl. Who you got?
John: I don't know that I've ever seen a team that seems more the team to beat than the New England Patriots in the AFC this season.
Tom from Loughborough, England:
John. Dede Westbrook was the Biletnikoff award winner and was nominated for the Heisman trophy. Surely, he could be extremely useful to the Jags this year playing in the slot, drawing weaker corners and providing Bortles with a safe pair of hands who can do a hell of a lot after the catch?
John: Westbrook indeed was the Biletnikoff winner and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. That means he played college football last season, which means he will have an adjustment period before we know just how effective he will be in the NFL. For now, the Jaguars' plan is to work Westbrook at outside receiver. He missed much of the offseason program, so I anticipate it will be a few weeks at least before the team feels comfortable moving him around in the offense. And, of course, stop calling me Shirley.
David from Jacksonville:
Ozonator, let's say Branden Albert starts at left tackle and A.J. Cann and Tyler Shatley start at guard. Are you OK with the Jags' second-round selection riding the bench?
John: I'm not going to throw myself off the Coliseum over Cam Robinson starting or not, so I suppose I'll be "OK" with whatever decision the Jaguars make. I would be surprised if Robinson isn't starting somewhere on the Jaguars' offensive line Week 1. Marrone has said the plan is to find and start the best five offensive linemen and I expect Robinson to be among that group.
Cornell from Jacksonville:
We seem to have a possibly good offense around Blake Bortles, and a defense that (if they gel) can make some serious noise. With everything hinging on Blake's performance for our season, would it make sense to bring in some competition to light the quarterback fire? If we have such a good supporting cast, why not bring in someone like Colin Kaepernick to push him to the next level? Competition does bring out the best in players.
John: Bortles is well aware that he must perform well this season. His NFL career may depend on how he plays this season. His financial future may depend on that, too. Bringing in Kaepernick two weeks before the first preseason game will not light his fire any more than it already has been lit.
Scott from Jacksonville:
I just read an article on ESPN about Le'Veon Bell. The comment was that he is not under contract so he is not a hold out or cannot be fined for missing training camp. They also said he can skip games and still be paid. How is this possible if he's not under contract?
John: He is the Pittsburgh Steelers' designated franchise-tag player.
Travis from St. Louis, MO:
When do we get to hear the pads click and clack?
John: The first padded practice of Jaguars 2017 Training Camp is scheduled for Saturday night. It is open to season-ticket members.
Steven from Duval:
What do you think the chances are of Keelan Cole making the team? He has looked really good in training camp.
John: Cole, an undrafted rookie wide receiver from Kentucky Wesleyan, has done exactly what an undrafted rookie wide receiver from Kentucky Wesleyan must do early in training camp. He made an impressive play on Day 1, then stood out with three long receptions on Day 2. He showed the ability to get open deep, then followed that by showing the ability to play and catch the ball. A good practice or two does not guarantee a rookie wide receiver a roster spot, but if he continues as he has started he will have a chance.
Non-trending from Jacksonville:
Do you actually find your sombrero more trendy than a Jaguars cap?
John: I'm not trendy. I'm 51.
O-Zone: A trendy guy
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Clyde from Jacksonville: