JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . .
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Is next year's Week 1 starting quarterback currently on the roster?
John: Time will tell. If Blaine Gabbert plays better over the final 12 games, then perhaps next year's Week 1 starter is indeed on the roster. If not, then probably not. Actually, if not, then just "not."
David from Maplewood, NJ:
John: Sorry, I do know more than Caldwell and Bradley if the media reports are true that the Jags' interest level in Freeman is "practically zero" – as I have seen. You know what Freeman is? I know it's hard to guess as we haven't seen one around Jacksonville for several years. He's an NFL caliber-quarterback. We do not have one of those on our team currently. We just don't!
John: Maybe you do know more. If that helps you sleep, you go with that.
Tim from Jacksonville:
"They want to try to give him some semblance of consistency at wide receiver and stability in terms of players around him playing for more than a week or two together." That's been the excuse for two years. So, if Cecil gets hurt and misses next week, then Luke Joeckel misses a game the week after that then Blaine is just going to keep getting chances? Injuries happen. Good quarterbacks overcome them. Blaine has clearly shown that he cannot.
John: Perhaps you're right. Perhaps he has shown that. The Jaguars' decision-makers want to see for themselves. And as much as people love to criticize the Jaguars for making "excuses" for Gabbert, maybe it's semantics, but from this view, excuses isn't the right word. Reasons? Maybe that's better. The benefit of the doubt? OK. Remember, Gus Bradley and David Caldwell have nothing to gain by making "excuses" for Gabbert, and neither has said they believe he is playing-out-of-this-world quarterback. But the reality, too, is little has gone right around Gabbert in the two games this season. He got little blocking in the first game and strikingly little help from the receiving corps. Right now, Gabbert is the best option at quarterback and the Jaguars want to give that best option more time. Call it an excuse. Be tired of it. Rail against it. Those things are understandable reactions considering the team's record and performance. No one around the Jaguars will tell you it has been good with Gabbert, but no one will tell you very much else has been good, either. For that reason, they want to give him a chance to prove this isn't an Alex Smith situation, even if many believe it's something unsalvageable.
Steve from Waycross, GA:
How will it be determined what compensatory picks we will get for the players we lost from the 2012-2013 roster?
John: The compensatory selections are determined by the NFL office, which has a formula to calculate compensatory selections. It is based on unrestricted free agents signed and lost, and factors in the contracts signed by the player and the player's performance on the field. The exact details of the formula aren't made public, but the idea is to award teams for free agents lost as a way to maintain competitive balance in the league for the long-term. If a team gains more than it loses in free agency, it usually will not receive compensatory selections.
Keith from Girard, PA:
I'm trying to stay positive, but with the Monroe trade our needs are becoming unreasonable. We need two quarterbacks, two linebackers, a starting running back, two good defensive ends and now, a center, two guards and a tackle – basically, a new offensive line. How many drafts if we are PERFECT in our picks do you see us needing to build through the draft? This team is at least three years from being a .500 team.
John: Your concern is understandable, but Caldwell has been pretty clear that while the team will build primarily through the draft, free agency will be used. I expect that to be the case over the next few offseasons – and for free agency to be utilized this offseason. I can't tell you how quickly the Jaguars will turn into a contender, but I expect fans will have a much clearer picture of the building process next offseason, and a better feeling about it by then, too.
Marcus from Denver, CO:
The Jaguars are done. They will lose every game this year and next and by 2015, the Jaguars will be moved to Los Angeles and no longer be the Jaguars. Khan wins. He drove a team into the dirt and makes money for his next new car.
John: Wow, Marcus. I usually stay far away from calling people ignorant, short-sighted, antagonistic, juvenile, extreme and just, plain ridiculous. Thanks for helping me rethink my stance on this.
Travis from and Section 112:
Why have the Jaguars not tried to do anything about Jason Babin? He's gotten three-plus penalties in every game, including many 15-yarders... Does the organization realize that making him stop getting penalties will help the team as a whole stay disciplined?
John: Jason Babin has six penalties this season. That's not a good number, but it's not three-plus penalties per game. And yes, the situation has been addressed. Babin this week talked about the need to reduce the avoidable penalties – i.e., lining up offsides. In his position, there are going to be some offsides and even an occasional roughness penalty, but you're right – it can't be a pattern. So far, it has been.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
When is the NFL trading deadline and do you think the Jaguars look at trading Dwight Lowery? Cyprien and Evans appear to be the safety tandem of the future for the Jaguars. Why not let the future begin now?
John: The NFL trading deadline is October 29. It wouldn't be a shock to see Dwight Lowery traded, though Caldwell said this week there is nothing in the works for current players. It does make sense for Cyprien and Evans to continue playing. Right now, Lowery remains out after missing two games with a concussion.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
I'm making a bold prediction. Blackmon significantly helps the offense. We score 20 points, MJD comes close to 100 yards on the ground, but we can't close the game out: 27-23, Rams. What do you think O-man?
John: I think Justin Blackmon will significantly help the offense, and I think the Jaguars should have a chance to win. I also think Jones-Drew will have a chance to run well, because I think with Austin Pasztor at right tackle and Luke Joeckel at left, you might see a line more comfortable within the Jaguars' zone-blocking scheme. As far as the final score, we shall see, but the Jaguars will be disappointed if they don't play much better than last week.
Keann from London, UK:
Do you believe that General Manager Dave Caldwell was somewhat naive to trade Eugene Monroe (our most consistent offensive veteran) for draft picks when we most likely would have got compensatory picks if he left us as a free agent?
John: No. David Caldwell has worked in the NFL nearly two decades. He is aware of the rule that a team gets compensatory draft selections. This is not a new rule. It's not one the NFL keeps a secret. The Jaguars received a fourth and a fifth in 2014 for Monroe. The Jaguars likely would have received no more than a fourth- or maybe a third-round -- -round selection for Monroe as a compensatory selection and that would have been in the 2015 draft. Also, you cannot trade compensatory selections, which lessens their value compared to ordinary selections.
Scott from Jacksonville:
A reader asked if there was a limit to the number of picks a team can have in the draft, and you said, "No". Actually there is: 32 teams multiplied by seven rounds is a maximum number of 224 picks. Do you hate it when you get stupid notes like this? :)
John: I love it, actually, but you're wrong. You didn't include compensatory selections.
Allen from Alexandria, LA:
People ask you time and time again why don't they let Robinson play quarterback and you say he is not an NFL quarterback. But Blaine is? Answer that, please.
John: No problem. There are certain throws NFL teams expect a quarterback to be able to make. Gabbert can make all of those throws. Robinson has many strengths as a player. Making all of those throws is not among those strengths.
Kevin from Richland, WA:
I'm currently rebuilding my bathroom. In order to do so I gutted it to the studs, removing the tub, the sink, the wallboards and the tile. I have a plan. In a few months it will slowly start looking like a bathroom again. I know this because I have faith in the plan. I could put the toilet and tub back in right now but my wife is not impressed with 2x4 chic. Gus and David have a plan. Right now, it's not very pretty but soon enough it's going to start turning around. I have faith in the plan.
John: Faith? I'm just hoping you have second bathroom.
O-Zone: Bathroom humor
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . .
Sean from Fleming Island, FL: