JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, why are there rules that place so many restrictions on players and coaches talking football in the offseason, working out at the facility, etc.? Such rules make sense in high school and college, but this is what NFL players do for a living.
John: NFL rules limiting offseason on-field work at team's facilities and offseason football conversation between players and coaches were collectively bargained by ownership and the NFL Players Association. There have been rules governing the offseason for a long time, but the current rules came about in the negotiations to end the 2011 lockout. They essentially were put in place to protect players from teams/coaches – and to a lesser degrees, to protect players from themselves. Without rules strictly preventing such workouts and conversations, the theory goes, it would be tempting for coaches to "strongly imply" a player needed to be present at "voluntary" meetings/workouts in January, February and March. It also would be tempting for a player trying to gain an extra advantage to be there. Eventually, the theory goes, offseason workouts would become "encouraged" rather than voluntary and there would be no offseason. So, instead of having murky, implied rules for those months, the owners and players instead opted to mandate that essentially no work or meetings could take place. The negative, of course, is that players who want to put in extra offseason film work with coaches must instead put that work in alone. The system isn't perfect, but few things are.
Ron from Irmo, SC:
I'm a big Jaguars fan, don't get me wrong, but how long do you think it will take the Jaguars to be a threat?
John: To do what?
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
I thought it interesting to find in a report that Jameis Winston scored a 27 on the Wonderlic; it seems according to the article that 28 is the perfect number. That's what Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning scored. I checked: Blake Bortles scored a 28. What do you think of the Wonderlic? Maybe I'm just over overthinking it.
John: You may be overthinking it. What's needed when looking at the issue is perspective. The Wonderlic is like so many other things in the pre-draft process. Its intent is that it be used as a tool and part of an overall picture of a prospect; in practice, it is often overanalyzed and discussed out of context and as a factor to itself. It's silly to move a player up or down a draft board based on any one element – be it a 40-yard-dash time, a pre-draft interview, a Wonderlic test, etc. A low Wonderlic score might raise a red flag, but the wise team uses that information to go back and re-research a player rather than pull him off the board.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
O-man, I want your take on the Blackmon Twitter pics. They are drawing concern from the fan base. Is his weight something to be concerned about? Could it be he has decided life is more important than football and is not going to pursue reinstatement? You would think someone desiring to stay in the NFL would also stay in shape. I really want to hear your thoughts on what might be going on, O-Man.
John: I honestly have no idea what might be going on. I don't pretend to be in Justin Blackmon's mind or to know his thoughts. There indeed appear to be pictures of Blackmon circulating on Twitter, and it's not surprising that the pictures would draw interest from the team's fan base. There is a lot of interest in Blackmon; with little real information currently available, a picture is indeed likely to go viral. At the same time, I don't know any facts about the picture or about Blackmon's current conditioning just as I don't know Blackmon's intentions or plans right now. That means there's not a whole lot to say beyond what has been said for a long time: if it works out that Blackmon can return to the Jaguars, they would welcome him back. But in the last year and a half, there never has been any planning or roster management based on Blackmon's status. In that respect, little has changed.
Mark from Connecticut:
If Leonard Williams, Dante Fowler Jr., and Vic Beasley are all around at No. 3, who would you most likely draft?
John: I would select Southern California defensive end Leonard Williams in your scenario because he's considered the defensive player in this draft most likely to develop into an elite player and the least likely to bust. He perhaps wouldn't be the natural scheme fit that Fowler/Beasley would be, but if he's that good, it's hard to go wrong over the long term if you take him.
Brandon from Louisville, KY:
I keep hearing and seeing the Jags being a dark-horse contender for Adrian Peterson if he gets traded. My concern is what all would the Jags have to give up to get him, and would it be worth the media circus and uncertainty about how the layoff would affect him?
John: All of your concerns are legitimate, but I wouldn't waste too much time worrying about this. I rarely say "never" when discussing these scenarios, because if the Vikings were to suddenly be willing to trade Peterson for very little – and if Peterson were suddenly willing to restructure his contract … well, then maybe. But those are two big ifs. Really, really big.
Steve from Julington Creek:
O, if I understand it correctly, if we draft Williams he would be used often as interior defensive lineman and occasionally as an edge rusher, but Fowler would be primarily an edge rusher. I know both are important, but who would likely get more sacks their rookie year?
John: Williams likely would be used some as an interior defensive lineman, but mostly as five-technique, strong-side defensive end – and yes, Dante Fowler Jr. will be pretty much exclusively an edge rusher in the NFL. If both players live up to their potential, Fowler almost certainly will have more sacks in the NFL as a rookie and over the course of his career. That's not a knock on Williams and it's not necessarily praise of Fowler. The latter is a pure pass rusher while the former is a very good run player and an all-around player. Remember, the NFL isn't all about sacks. They're important, but you can be a good productive player and do other things besides get big sacks numbers.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
Could you please share with us the informal "General Value Chart that dictates a good or bad trade?" It seems a mythical beast, but you refer to it as common knowledge. Could you make one up for us... just for fun?
John: You can find a lot of versions of the chart by searching "Draft Value Chart" on Google, and they're all pretty consistent. To give people a general idea how it works, the No. 1 overall selection is valued at 3,000 with the No. 2 selection valued at 2,600 and the No. 3 selection valued at 2,200. And so on. The first selection of Round 2 is valued at 580. A team wanting to move up with the Jaguars at No. 3 could package something like the No. 12 (1,200) and 19 (875) selections, for example, and have 2,075 points. The team trading the Nos. 12 and 19 selections could then throw in an 80-odd-point fourth-round selection and get in the area to make the trade palpable for both sides.
Brandon from Duval:
O-zone! I heard Boselli was a member of Seal Team Six and actually took out Bin Laden with a vicious pancake block. #trueamerican
Scott from Jacksonville:
Landing the plane on the Hudson? That was nothing... Inventing the light bulb was much more impressive. Boselli should be commended.
Mike from Section 110:
When listing Tony Boselli's accomplishments, how can you not mention his creation of the internet, or publications detailing his extensive research on global warming?! #TrueAmerican
Andrew from Section 410:
At this point are teams and free agents pretty much going to wait until after the draft for signing a new contract, or could there still be a possibility of signings?
John: You might see a free-agent signing or two, but your instinct is right that there's no urgency to do much until after the draft. If a player such as wide receiver Greg Jennings and a team agreed that the fit was perfect, then there might be a signing. At the same time, it would be reasonable for both sides to wait until after the draft when needs/potential playing time was a bit clearer.
Richard from Starke, FL:
What's wrong with old Billy Idol songs?
John: Absolutely nothing.
Josh from Eyota, MN:
Bo Jackson will always be in Tecmo Bowl HoF, and that is all that really matters.
John: Tecmo Hall of Fame? How about the Hall of Unfair?
O-Zone: Bo knew Tecmo
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Brian from Gainesville, FL: