JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jeremy from South Korea:
I'm as hopeful as any Jags fan that the team is much improved this year. I keep hearing how the players had another offseason to get better and have more experience. This is also true of the 31 other teams in the NFL, nearly all of which had better rosters to begin with. Here's to hoping Dave Caldwell is a better general manager than those general managers of other teams. If his players pan out better, then we are indeed on the right track.
John: Well, yeah – if Caldwell signs and drafts better players than other general managers … sure, the Jaguars will improve. You say the other 31 teams also had an offseason to improve and gain experience, and this is true, too. This is also a concern I have heard often throughout the offseason. The thing to remember is that young players typically improve and gel as a team in their second and third seasons. This is a sport where maturity and continuity matter a great deal. The Jaguars, particularly on offense, were strikingly young and that inexperience had a lot to do with some of their struggles last season. That's not "excusing" their 3-13 record last season, but it is pointing out that the Jaguars should have more players with the possibility of making larger jumps than a lot of the other 31 teams.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I am amazed at the extent of Patriots fans, including the owner, to badmouth the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell; why can't people accept punishment and go on? If there was no wrongdoing in the first place, why try to negotiate punishment? Kraft was a disgrace to the rest of the NFL fans; I hope for their sake the Patriots remain a powerhouse, otherwise they will be the butt of a joke for a long time.
John: Fans gonna fan whether it's in Jacksonville or New England or Miami or Tampa or Tennessee or …
James from Jacksonville:
Sir John Of Zone. Really glad Sen is progressing better than expected and can't wait to see him back at full speed. But I think I may need to throttle down my expectations on him for at least a few games. Since he has been rehabbing, he hasn't had time for strength and conditioning correct?
John: That's correct and you're correct to throttle down expectations. Marks may or may not be back for Week 1 of the regular season but the chances of him being full strength immediately are very, very, very slim.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
"Pip-pip, cheerio and Bob's your uncle." Please let Stu from Hemel, UK, know that we feel him over here, and if he ever wants to fly in for a game at EverBank, he can stay at my house. Our English fans rock, and I'm sure we can overcome the language barrier—I'll talk Jags with him anytime.
John: You just told him. #DTWD.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, I've just about had it with the Chris-Clemons-I'm-here-I'm-not-here ongoing drama. It's time to move on from him. Let's give Ryan Davis and Andre Branch their real shot to lead the D. I'd rather have 53 players who want to be here.
John: Your view is understandable, but let's back up a touch. First, Clemons reported on Friday morning and therefore did not miss a training camp practice. Even if he had missed a day or two, this was not a dispute or a legal issue, and there was nothing to indicate that it was a matter of Clemons not wanting to be here. He was dealing with a personal issue. Also, let's not forget that this is the first time Clemons has missed a mandatory event; all of his offseason absences the past two seasons were from voluntary workouts and there's nothing that requires Clemons to attend those. I'm not saying Clemons has exhibited great leadership and I'm not saying that you would want all 53 of your players behaving as he did, but right now this isn't something extreme enough to release a player. Also, let's be realistic: Clemons is still the best, most-proven edge rusher on the defense. You don't part ways with him unless it's something pretty dramatic or unless you believe Branch and Davis are better. Right now, those two haven't shown that to be the case.
Ian from Detroit, MI:
What's up with all this I hear about Chris Clemons? I know back at OTAs the answer was, "This is typical for Clemons and veterans alike." That's understandable. The Leo position just seems to be a big committee approach, but with some money left to spend this year, would the Jags think about giving a one-year deal to a guy that needs an opportunity to redeem themselves? Say Junior Galette?
John: This story never reached that point – and if it had, I don't see the Jaguars pursuing Junior Galette.
DaddyZone! DaddyZone! DaddyZone! Buy me some cotton candy. And a funnel cake. And a ride on the WhirlnGag.
John: Get out in the middle of the street while I start the car.
Dino from Jacksonville and Section 122:
I feel a tingling from my finger tips to my toes; my heart is racing, is it really here?! I feel giddy as a school girl, dancing with anticipation! I will be attending Saturday's practice, and would like to know which position battles I should focus on. Or, should I just sit back and enjoy the football and try not to melt? PS – I will promise not to weep tears of joy in public, but once in my vehicle, I will not promise anything.
John: Weep where you want to weep, and if you're coming to practice Saturday, watch the cornerbacks versus the receivers. That way you get to watch Marqise Lee/Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns versus Aaron Colvin/Davon House/Demetrius McCray. That won't decide starting spots, necessarily, but you'll get a glimpse of two position groups that should be much-improved this season. Wait until the pads go on to watch the center/right guard positions on the offensive line. That's Wednesday. (You can cry then, too, incidentally.)
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, I'm aware of and agree with your position regarding the national media's lack of respect for the Jags. Still, I'm sick and tired of lazy national analysts who won't, or more likely can't, give an explanation beyond last year's records for their dismissive prediction that the Jags cannot beat the Patriots. So, let's hear from O Wise One: Assuming Brady is suspended Week 3, can the Jags beat the Patriots this season? Why or why not? Please don't give the anything can happen on any given Sunday answer here.
John: Why do you have to assume Brady is suspended?
Bobby from Dellwood:
One of the most exciting positions this season is tight end. Sure, it is odd without a fullback, but we seem to have a ton of talent in more players than we will keep. In your EXPERT opinion, how many will be keep, and who are the finalists? #disisdayear2win
John: First off, I'm not sure how odd it is to not have a fullback in this era of the NFL; it's actually fairly common. As far as how many tight ends will be kept, I think it could be as many as five: Julius Thomas, Marcedes Lewis, Clay Harbor, Ben Koyack and Nic Jacobs.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
My "thing" with the underinflated balls isn't the outcome of the game where they got caught. It's the week before when they didn't get caught, when it may have affected the outcome of the game. No room for cheating in the NFL!
John: It's about the integrity of the game. Roger Goodell's job is to protect that.
Dwayne from Jacksonville:
Was invited to lunch by my Members Relations Team Member at the stadium. Was in line getting lunch at the all-you-can-eat taco bar and was cut off. #shadricksighting.
Steven from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I am stoked about the Jags offensive line. The upgrade in quality, depth and experience, to me, is the biggest game-changer in years. Do you think that the impact of the O-Line will be more apparent in the run game, or the passing game?
John: I think it will be more apparent in the passing game – at least at first. One reason is if there is any improvement at all it will be very noticeable because the Jaguars allowed 71 sacks last season. The second is it's a little easier to reduce sacks from such a large number than it is to establish a dominant running game.
Steve from St. Augustine, FL:
John, how can the Jaguars advertise that they have the No. 1 game experience in the NFL?
John: Because an NFL Voice of the Fan survey late last season said they do.
Trae from Jacksonville:
John, which training camp practices will be open to the public?
John: August 1, August 2, August 3 (at Mandarin High School), August 5, August 6, August 7, August 8 (scrimmage at EverBank Field), August 10, August 11 and August 12.
Eric from Jacksonville:
Did somebody say #MOODACHAY?
John: Wait. What?
O-Zone: Blast from the past
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jeremy from South Korea: