INDIANAPOLIS – Let's get to it … Kyle from Ohio:
With free agency looming, it is interesting to look at last offseason and terrifying to think we will be "big-time spenders" this offseason. It is amazing to see how many big names from last year did not turn out at all. Dez Bryant: Injuries and bad year. Demaryius Thomas: Horrible year. Randall Cobb: Horrible year. Ndamukuong Suh: Horrible year. DeMarco Murray: Really horrible year. Byron Maxwell: Horrible year. I really hope Dave doesn't let the pressure to field a winner this year reach too far into free agency, or I hope that this is a season where the top free agents then go on to play like top free agents (at least the ones we sign.)
John: Your email captures the concern around building through free agency. There are certainly exceptions to the trend you cite, and there are examples every year of free agents who fare well. But overall … eh. Wise teams approach free agency as a way to supplement rosters rather than build them. Wise teams also focus on finding correct fits as often as possible. The nature of free agency makes that difficult and also causes teams to overspend. The nature of changing teams and schemes often makes the first year with a new team difficult for teams and players. So, what does that mean as the Jaguars look forward to what likely will be an active, expensive 2016 free-agency period? It means these are an important few weeks for Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell and the franchise – that's what it means.
Bill from Folkston, GA:
I saw the video of Dante Fowler Jr. Realizing each person will interpret it in their own way, I have to say there are some portions where it seems to me he is encouraging the fight. Not to say that is what is happening, just how it appears to me. I think he has damaged his image for a portion of the fans. I have noted in your replies you always say, he did nothing wrong. Sorry, but it is coming across as a party line put out by the team. If you weren't there or haven't been given additional information, how would you know?
John: Believe what you want about me; no one has told me how to think on the Dante Fowler Jr. issue – or any other issue, for that matter. People on the team don't want to get that close to what goes on in my head. If you want to add your own interpretation to this situation, you can interpret the video in many ways. Based on what is in the video, Dante Fowler Jr. did nothing wrong.
Nate from Dillsburg, PA:
I agree Fowler did nothing wrong. And at one point he DID break up the fight from the looks of it. What's the big deal? He himself did nothing wrong. I think the next jersey I buy will be Dante Fowler.
John: I'm close to done with this topic unless something happens to merit re-mention, but yeah …
Kyle from Ohio:
I can add more to your commentary to Chad about Joey Bosa. While Joey Bosa's numbers are not eye-popping, he most certainly had a lot of impact this year. I watched almost every Ohio State game this past season and Bosa was double-teamed on almost every single play. His destructive level was so high he was actually triple teamed on about five-to-10 percent of the plays this past season.
John: College statistics are a very poor barometer for how a player will fare in the NFL – so poor, in fact, that you rarely hear them mentioned when NFL types talk among themselves about college prospects.
The Lonely Jaguars Fan from Winston-Salem, NC:
Hey O, I have lived in North Carolina for a long while. For that reason, I have seen a lot of Panthers games. That said, I know how disruptive that Greg Hardy guy can be if he wants to. I am not saying we should make any efforts to sign the guy, but I want to see what your insights are there. Teams can sign players and put very strict guidelines in their contracts, right? Do you think a guy like him would be looking for a second chance? And would he would be willing to hop on the Gus Bus and have a positive attitude? I guess it all comes down to how much disruption are you willing to put up with in the locker room to get some disruption on the field.
John: Greg Hardy can be disruptive in a lot of ways. I'd be very surprised if the Jaguars offer him an opportunity to be on the Gus Bus.
Chad from Sinking Spring, MD:
Zone, last year Blake was ranked seventh in the NFL in overall quarterback performance. Why is it we aren't hearing his name more nationally? He had better stats than Cam, Wilson, and the other two quarterbacks taken in the first round the year he was drafted, but you hear more about them than him. I understand winning has something to do with it but I think it's time he is noticed. How many other quarterbacks in their second year put up the stats he did?
John: You'll hear more about Blake Bortles on a national level when the Jaguars start winning more and when he reduces his interceptions by a bit. The first is a far bigger factor than the latter.
Robert from Moorpark, CA:
Do you have a feeling Noah Spence falls to the second round? Or is he too good to pass up and teams take the risk as a top 15 selection?
John: I wouldn't be stunned to see Spence taken after the Top 15. I would be stunned to see him fall to the second round.
Max from Wyckoff, NJ:
In my opinion, Joey Bosa is overrated. I know Noah Spence has gotten in to a lot of trouble, but that was a year ago and he has said that stuff like that will never happen again and he is completely over that. If he impresses at the combine, I don't see why we don't trade back, get a few extra picks, and grab Noah Spence, who in the end, could be better than Joey Bosa.
John: A few thoughts on your thoughts. First, maybe Bosa is overrated; we'll see. Second, while I would tend to look past Spence's off-field stuff easier than a lot of general managers, evaluating whether to take him isn't quite so simple as saying, "Well, as long as he said it won't happen again …" Third, trading back is more complex than you portray it, too; if you're trading back, you need to be sure you have several players you like available because you don't want to be stuck if the player you want is gone. Also, trading back isn't always a given. You have to find some team that wants to trade up. That's not as easy in real life as it is in Madden.
Brent from Dubuque, IA:
Whenever I discuss Jags football with anyone, they always bring up Justin Blackmon. I'm of the impression that he'll never be in the NFL again. What are your thoughts?
John: My thoughts are you're discussing the Jaguars with a lot of people who aren't paying attention, and that's OK. I'm also under the impression that Blackmon probably won't play again. That's too bad – I may be wrong and hope I am – but that's my impression.
PK from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Hey O, I noticed people are down on Ramsey as a potential draft selection for the Jaguars at No. 5 because of his low interception rate in college. I know you're not big on collegiate stats; with this specific stat, you're wise not to be. Ramsey was a multi-year starter and a massive talent. Darrelle Revis never leads the NFL in interceptions, but he routinely removes a team's best wide receiver from the game. Ramsey generally did the same at Florida State at corner. It's hard to get interceptions when quarterbacks are scared to throw your way. I'd say that's a talent I'd want at No. 5 if he's available unless there's a can't-miss talent at pass rusher available. How about you?
John: I say interceptions are rarely a good measure of a good defensive back for exactly the reasons you cite. Not only do quarterbacks often throw away from the best defensive backs, it's also true that even the best defensive backs rarely make interceptions on good plays by the offense. The phrase, "There's no defense for the perfect pass" is true. Defensive backs must take advantage of mistakes by the offense; if quarterbacks don't often throw their way that leaves fewer mistakes on which to capitalize.
Michael from Jackson de ville, FL:
John, so now you're being compared to Kanye? That's impressive my man! Keep it up!
John: I've had my own issues with Taylor, too. I prefer not to discuss them here.
O-Zone: Best left unsaid
INDIANAPOLIS – Let's get to it … Kyle from Ohio: