JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Tim from Jacksonville:
John: I received this admittedly long-winded, meandering email shortly after the Jaguars' 2017 schedule was released, so I can only assume it's a request to predict … wait for it: the Jaguars' 2017 record! And yeah, I actually think 7-9 is about right. I could see 8-8, but it's tough to predict a five-game turnaround for a team that finished 3-13 the previous season and hasn't finished .500 or better since 2010. I wrote and said Thursday I believed this schedule very manageable if the Jaguars are really improved. Much will hinge on the ability of the quarterback position to be more efficient and to dramatically reduce mistakes. Once we get a better feel for that area, we'll have a far better feel for the team's outlook for 2017.
Alan from Ellington, CT:
How does a trade work? What would happen if on draft day when the clock is ticking two general managers make a trade for picks and a veteran player? Later that day, one general manager says he didn't trade the player, just the pick. Who else would know?
John: All trades must be documented with and cleared through the league office.
Travis from High Springs, FL:
Hi John, Poz has been my favorite player since we acquired him, and I think possibly our best. Do you think that there should have at least been a competition in training camp for the position? I'm just a fan, so I don't even pretend to know or understand everything about the NFL. But I find it strange to just move a player that's been statistically close to the top every year at his position without even having a competition.
John: I don't know that there was much point in a training-camp competition between Myles Jack and Paul Posluszny. Posluszny has a longstanding body of work and I don't think anyone around the Jaguars – particularly defensive coordinator Todd Wash – is remotely uncertain about what Posluszny can do at middle linebacker. To have a competition would mean sharing reps, which in turn would mean fewer reps for Jack – and Jack obviously needs as many reps as possible at the new spot. The only way Jack won't start is if he proves unready or incapable – or if he is injured. If any of those things happen, Posluszny is a phenomenal choice for a backup – and there's no doubt he would be ready to start.
Mike from Section 238:
Dante Fowler Jr.'s sacks total compares with the sacks total for Khalil Mack, J.J. Watt, Vic Beasley and Jadeveon Clowney during their first year playing. It might be a little early to label Dante a bust.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
Why does everyone seem to think drafting a quarterback this year will fix the team? All quarterbacks in this year's class are rated poorly. How can we possibly take a huge risk on a quarterback at No. 4 and then suffer him being worse or the same as Blake Bortles? That would be a huge waste! If we want a good quarterback, how about we fix the offensive line and then think long and hard about a quarterback next year if Bortles doesn't pan out?
John: The quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft are rated at numerous levels, but I've come to believe more and more the word "risk" for the most part is pretty near meaningless when it comes to drafting quarterbacks. The risk is enormous when selecting any quarterback, and there have been few players at the position with consensus "high" ratings in recent drafts: Andrew Luck and to a far lesser degree Jameis Winston, and … well, the list of can't-miss guys runs out pretty fast. If the Jaguars love a quarterback and passionately believe he's a big-time player, then they should take him at No. 4. If they do, then they'll learn when he begins playing if he was worth the risk. Until then, you just don't know.
Scot from Aurora, IL:
I don't care about the schedule. This is the NFL and you have to beat good teams. Just win baby. Also, gimme one for Poz. He's a consummate professional and flat-out balls on the gridiron.
John: Hey, one fer just winning and one fer Poz!
Travis from St. Louis, MO:
Brett Favre had only one season in which he didn't throw over 10 interceptions. Peyton Manning had two 20-interception seasons in his first four seasons. I'm not trying to compare Bortles to them, but his performance in my opinion has had more to do with a bad offensive line and no help from the running game. When you have to throw 40 times in a game, you are more than likely going to throw more picks. I'm not trying to give him excuses – he needs to improve decision making and pre-snap reads – but I feel his ability to extend plays and his toughness is something that can't be overlooked. This is a make-or-break season for sure, and I can't wait to watch him torch the league. I'll be back at the end of the season to gloat.
John: Bortles without question has been under too much pressure in his career, and he without question is a tough, resilient player. What are and will continue to be in question are his decision-making, pocket awareness, accuracy and pre-snap reads; some of those issues have had to do with protection and some haven't. I think Bortles will get the opportunity to perform in what essentially in many ways will be a fresh start this season. That could benefit him and lead to the strides he needs to make. We'll see.
Brad from Section 115:
Hi, John, I am one of the people disappointed at no prime-time games. Don't they have flex scheduling in the second half of the season? Could the Jags get a prime-time game if they are relevant or play someone else that becomes relevant?
Michael from Section 122:
Why can't you refer to the London game as the moneymaker or something else? It is a home game in name only. As fans, we get only seven in-season home games. The owner can call it a home game, but we don't. Every time I see you write, it lowers my respect for your journalistic reputation.
John: I refer to the Jaguars' game in London as what it is under NFL rules: one of eight home games. It is also very much a home game in the sense that the Jaguars receive significant local revenue from the game that they do not receive from a road game. In that sense, the London home game is a critical piece of what makes the Jaguars sustainable for the long-term in Jacksonville. Fans can call the London game what they like, and I have written often that I understand that there is a large group of fans who never will like the idea of the home game in London. That's fine, because intrinsically it is a tough thing to accept. Still, accepted or not, it is by definition a home game and one that is important to the franchise.
Frankie from London, UK:
Mr O! As we move closer to the NFL draft, the leading candidates for the Jaguars' No. 4 overall pick appear to be Leonard Fournette, Jonathan Allen and Solomon Thomas. I'd be satisfied with any of them. That's a good thing ... right?
John: Sure, but as it moves closer this feels more and like a draft in which the unpredictable happens. I've been leaning Fournette/Allen all along. Now, I'm not remotely sure.
John from Starke, FL:
Good day, John: I haven't written since last year; I've been in hibernation. I had big hopes for 2016, but we won more games in 1995 – our first year. I don't care about free agency, I don't care about the draft, and I don't care about the schedule. The only concern for 2017 is BB5. He is on the hot seat – and he and he alone will dictate the season. So, all of the offseason stuff doesn't count unless the team produces more W's. Now, wake me up when the season starts, John. Can you do that for me? It's back to hibernation.
John: It's all about the quarterback. Sleep tight.
Nate from York, PA:
Al talks about MJD and Josh Scobee playing for other teams in their career, but if I remember correctly, Fred Taylor also played with the Patriots towards the end of his career.
John: Yes, he did. That's why when Al asked about the greatest player in franchise history to only play for the Jaguars the answer was not "Fred Taylor."
Johnathan from New York:
John, I don't always diet and exercise, but when I do, I expect the results to be instant, dramatic and spectacular.
John: I don't always diet – and I exercise in my own sad, desperate, lunging way. I gave up hoping for spectacular results a while back. Then again, I gave up hope on pretty much all fronts a while back, too.
O-Zone: Diet and exercise
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Tim from Jacksonville: