JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Bo from Dresden, NC:
I know you can't "report" on OTAs, but here goes. On a scale of 1 to 5, with one being good, what is your opinion on how Blake looks?
John: I'd say two or two and a half. I can't say one, because in your question one seems to imply a big-time level. Blake Bortles isn't there yet – and he wasn't expected to be there right now. He doesn't go through entire team drills without the ball hitting the ground and the offense isn't as smooth in practice as would be ideal. But you know what? We're talking about a second-year quarterback who's working on a lot of things in an offense that he's learning, so if he was "there yet" it would be pretty amazing and surprising. Bortles is looking good and he's certainly better than he was this time last year. That's what the Jaguars wanted from Bortles this offseason.
Eric from Yulee, FL:
Are all players Dave Caldwell drafted still on the roster in some capacity? If so, do you see any of them not being here at the beginning of the season?
John: Yes, all of the players drafted in the last three drafts are on the roster in some capacity. I expect wide receiver Ace Sanders and cornerback Jeremy Harris will need to play better in training camp than they have in previous seasons to make the roster. So far, Sanders has played very well in the offseason and the coaches have recently talked positively about Harris.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
Will there be competition for Luke Joeckel at left tackle? I understand he was the No. 2 pick, but he shouldn't be handed the position based off of his production.
John: There is competition at every position, but if you're asking if there is a player who will make a serious push for the left offensive tackle position ahead of Joeckel, I would seriously doubt it. It's not a matter of being "handed" the position; it's a matter of the Jaguars believing he's the best player at the position on the roster – and them believing he's the best option on or off the roster.
Roger from Jacksonville:
Former PGA Tour professional and current golf analyst Brandel Chamblee asserts—wisely, I believe—that Tiger Woods wrecked his golf game by endlessly tinkering with his swing (i.e., "mechanics"). It's hard not to be skeptical when every mention of Blake Bortles this offseason inevitably includes a reference to how he is "working on his mechanics:" forefinger launch; thumb position; tight spiral; ball velocity: aren't these things rudimentary to throwing a football? If Bortles is still "working on his mechanics" after cellar-dwelling passer ratings midway through the season next fall, I'm going to wonder why we ever took a quarterback with such poor mechanics third in the draft.
John: You certainly have the right to wonder what you want. I would expect Bortles' fundamentals and mechanics to still be a topic for a while because getting such things exactly where you want them takes time – and because he appears willing to discuss the matter. I only follow golf from a distance, so I don't know the details of Woods' swing adjustments. I do know that Bortles isn't "endlessly tinkering" with his mechanics. He entered the NFL knowing there were areas he needed to improve to reach elite status, and when given the opportunity to work on those areas, he has aggressively and diligently done so. As for taking Bortles third in the draft, many quarterbacks have been selected in the Top 10 over the years and a lot of those players have had areas they needed to improve. A lot didn't and a lot have failed. I'm sure many have addressed things and gone on to success. Bortles' willingness to discuss the process has made it a more high-profile topic than perhaps it needed to be, but there's certainly not a negative in him working in the offseason to improve.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
I was having a debate with some people about who was better out this group of wide receivers: Marvin Harrison, Jimmy Smith, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne. Seeing that you have covered all of these guys during their careers, how would you rank these guys 1-4?
John: Wow. First, I should note that while I did cover Smith, Wayne and Harrison I never covered Johnson on a week-to-week basis. Second, I'll note that you're absolutely splitting hairs here, because I see all four as Hall-of-Fame level receivers. Let's go with Smith, Johnson, Wayne and Harrison as 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d. I give Smith and Johnson the nod because they never played with Hall of Fame quarterbacks, and I give Wayne the nod over Harrison because he made more big plays at big moments – by a nose.
Chris from San Marco:
It's not a very difficult premise to understand...the OTA reporting, that is. You can report and say Bortles footwork and mechanics look better, but not that he has improved throwing the fly route on the seam.
John: You're right. It's not that complex.
Robert from Richmond, VA:
John, Brother Billy got both guns drawn ... He ain't been right since Vietnam … Just sayin' ...
John: Turn the speakers up full blast.
Otto from Ponte Vedra, FL:
John, as a team leader I don't know what message Chris Clemons is sending to his teammates, especially his defensive-line colleagues. It seems to me Gus and Dave are taking a bit of a wishy-washy stance on this. If he is not here during OTAs for personal reasons then the Jags should say that without saying what it is. Is it a $$ play since Dante Fowler is out? Can you add anything to this sad situation?
John: First off, I don't know that I'd call Chris Clemons a "team leader." He's a good player and a valuable player. He's a player who's very necessary to the pass rush. But a team leader probably would go out of his way to be at organized team activities, which Clemons clearly has not. And that's entirely OK. Some players lead; some players just play. I also don't know that I'd call Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell "wishy-washy" on this stance for the simple reason that there is no stance to take. OTAs are VOLUNTARY and the voluntary part is real. Players do not have to be here. It's not a money play and it's not sad. Unless Clemons opts to not attend the team's mandatory minicamp next week he has done nothing more this offseason than follow the rules.
Mike from Eberton, GA:
Would Storm Johnson still have practice-squad eligibility if he doesn't beat out Bernard Pierce? Also, do you think the Jags might carry three quarterbacks or are Stephen Morris and Jeff Tuel fighting for a spot on the practice squad? (assuming they still have eligibility as well).
John: Yes, Johnson has practice-squad eligibility remaining. I doubt the Jaguars will carry three quarterbacks on the active roster, so it's probably accurate that Morris and Tuel are competing for a practice-squad spot.
Steve from Denver:
O- Best Zevon song is " Lawyers, guns and money " even tone deaf J.P. knows that !
John: Lawyers, Guns and Money was a great Zevon song. Was it the best? Frankly, I don't know how you determine that. There are too many to count.
Joshua from Duval:
In response to people who antagonize you for spelling out acronyms and abbreviations (at least early in an article), perhaps they just don't know the rule that when you first bring up said acronyms, as well as names, you write the entire phrase/name out first before you can abbreviate them later in the article. For example, in your recent article about James Sample, you started out with his full name and were then allowed to simply write 'Sample' later in the article.
John: I don't expect everyone to be aware of the reasons for everything I do. I also don't expect people to like everything I do. Being liked is overrated anyway. I tried it for a while and figured out I wasn't very good at it. Go figure.
Rob from Brunswick, GA:
Does Scobee do things at practice that don't involve an iPad? Always wondered what a kicker does when the rest of the gang is working.
John: I asked Josh Scobee this during our Jaguars.com LIVE broadcast from the Jaguars Golf Classic on Wednesday. This was shortly after Scobee barged into our shot. I'd tell you in detail what Scobee said when I asked him the question, but I wasn't listening.
O-Zone: All ears
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Bo from Dresden, NC: