JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Tim from Jacksonville:
I would feel confident and optimistic about this talented team – except for the fact that we have a big fat ol' question mark revolving around the MOST important position on the field. You cannot win games in the NFL without good quarterback play. I really want him to succeed, but I seriously doubt this guy is the guy.
John: Blake Bortles is the unquestioned No. 1 story around the Jaguars. That was the case throughout the offseason – and it is the case in training camp and preseason. It will continue to be the case until he either proves beyond reasonable doubt he is a functioning, winning NFL quarterback – or until the Jaguars decide he's not a functioning, winning NFL quarterback and move in another direction. Bortles thus far this training camp has not done enough to inspire much confidence that he is the former and it's too soon for the Jaguars to do the latter. I believe Bortles will start the regular season as the Jaguars' quarterback and I believe he will remain that way if he can avoid costly turnovers. I don't know if he can do that, and I believe that will decide his Jaguars future. I feel confident this won't be the last Bortles question of the season, the week, the day or the hour, but right now that's where we stand.
Sam from Orlando, FL:
I have no idea what will happen with Blake Bortles. Watching a replay of the UCF-Louisville game a few years back, I noticed that Blake's throwing motion is still nearly the same. I also noticed that despite his intangibles, Blake's game does not translate to the professional game. I will make the bold prediction that Chad Henne will be starting by Week 3, possibly the season opener.
John: See what I mean?
Zac from Orange Park, FL:
Before training camp started, a person within the organization told me that Keelan Cole has a chance to be the best rookie receiver on the team. I thought he was nuts. Not so sure now. Thoughts?
John: Your shadowy "person within the organization" knows his stuff because Cole just might have that chance. That's saying something because rookie Dede Westbrook isn't having a bad camp at all; in fact, Westbrook is having a good camp for a rookie. But Cole has been effective on both intermediate and deep routes, and has shown a knack for coming down with the ball on deep routes. Cole is starting to take on an Allen Hurns 2014 feel. As an undrafted rookie that offseason Hurns kept showing up and making plays, and after a while it became evident it was no fluke. Hurns eventually earned a starting job and you forgot he was an undrafted rookie. Cole has some going to do before he reaches Hurns' 2014 level, but he's off to a good start.
Jason from Falling Waters, WV:
Shout out to Matt Overton. Filed in nicely for Carson Tinker.
John: Hey! One fer Overton.
Mike from Navarre, OH:
Can you refresh our memory on how long starters usually play for the remaining preseason games?
John: Starters typically play for about a quarter and a half in Preseason Week 2, then into the third quarter in Preseason Week 3. They play that long in the third preseason game because the week serves as a dress rehearsal for the regular season; coaches like to have a team go into halftime, make adjustments, then play a series in the second half. Starters rarely play in the fourth preseason game. That last part has changed in the last decade or so. When I began covering the league in the mid-1990s, most starters played a series or so in the last preseason game. More and more teams began playing fewer and fewer starters in that game around the middle part of the 2000s until it reached a point that it is rare any starters played at all in the preseason finale.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
First pass of 11-on-11 was a pick right on Monday? John, how many picks in practice and or game must this guy throw before they realize he is a failure? I knew it after Season 2. Why must they keep treating him like he is untouchable? What has he done to earn the benefit of the doubt? Cut bait and move on already.
John: Ladies and gentlemen … Jerell!!!
Mac from Jacksonville:
So, if Myles Jack plays strong side on base packages and then moves to middle linebacker in nickel packages, does he still wear the helmet with the mic? What if Telvin Smith just wore it since he's on the field all the time as well?
John: Yes, Jack will wear the helmet with the mic/headset because he's a three-down linebacker. He will call the defenses this season. Smith wearing it indeed would be an option, but it's a route the Jaguars haven't taken yet.
Chad from Orange Park, FL:
Yeah, I saw that Brad Allen guy at Home Depot the other day and he's very humble. He hopes to be first-string water boy. I think he has a real chance.
John: Play the kid.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
If I see Bortles in any of the questions, I skip them. I have cut my O-Zone reading in half.
John: I get asked a lot of questions about Bortles. I answer a lot of questions about Bortles. It's the NFL. The quarterback is the overriding issue. When the quarterback has yet to establish himself as a franchise quarterback, the issue takes on a particular import. I imagine I will keep being asked a lot of questions about Bortles for the foreseeable future. I imagine I will keep answering them.
Chris from Mandarin:
I really think Dave Caldwell was just off in his projection for Blake Bortles and it would be best if the Jaguars start Chad Henne ... and that really sucks because Chad Henne really sucks, too. Blake is not developing. He's still throwing the same poorly read pass into the flats, and can't read the middle of the field.
John: I guess we just saved Ed a little time.
Jeremy from Dodge City, KS:
Any way we can get Josh Scobee back?
John: To do what?
Mo from North Potomac:
How do you think Luke Bowanko has done thus far? I heard he's winning a good share of his one on ones – and to me, he looked good Thursday. Any chance he gets a shot at guard or right tackle for some reps?
John: I doubt you will see Bowanko work with the starters at guard or right tackle. I think from what I have seen is having a nice camp and has a chance to be a valuable backup at center and guard.
Bill from Jacksonville:
"It's an easy solution that makes sense." Except it's not, and it doesn't. They made the decision in the offseason to move Jack to middle and Poz to the strong side. Now after one preseason game, that's all changed? Decisions such as this are why this team is mocked by fans and the media. They look like they don't know what they're doing. Thanks! Go Jags!
John: Oh, but the solution is easy – and it does make sense. If the Jaguars determined after a couple of weeks that they are better in their base defense with Paul Posluszny in the middle and Myles Jack at strong-side linebacker, it's quite easy to switch the two back. It's easy because both players are on the roster and all you have to do is say, "Switch." It also makes sense because Posluszny is very good in the middle in base situations and because Jack can still be on the field all three downs while playing strong side in base and staying on the field in the nickel. See? Easy.
Edward from Los Angeles, CA:
John, did you see how big and fast Leonard Fournette looked? I don't think I've watched a running back with that much momentum.
John: When he gets going, he really gets going.
Tom from Charleston, SC:
Jason Myers was horrible his rookie season. Yet, you continued to push the premise that rookies take time to develop. Now, after a rough rookie season you are ready to throw Robert Aguayo out with the garbage. What is it about Aguayo that makes him so much different than Myers?
John: Consider this an example of the difference between what is read and what is written. I never have written anything to the effect of wanting to throw Aguayo "out with the garbage." Because Aguayo never has played with the Jaguars, I have so little opinion on him that it's fair to say I care not one iota about his NFL future. I did write Monday that Jason Myers' statistics are better than those of Aguayo. This is true. I also did write during Myers' rookie season that rookies take time to develop. This is true, particularly of rookie kickers. That's what I wrote. We'll see how people read it.
O-Zone: All the difference in the world
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Tim from Jacksonville: