JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL:
John, I know Blake Bortles needs to reduce the turnovers during games, but do we really need to sweat out every interception he throws in practice? I mean: it's practice, after all ... and I'd rather they happen there than in a game. Practice is where you learn, so a mistake once in a while shouldn't be that big a deal.
John: This is a fair point, and practice absolutely is the time to test plays and take risks. Still, Bortles' interceptions in practice aren't "nothing," and there's nothing wrong with media reporting them and fans worrying about them. It's also a pretty natural reaction to what has gone on here the past three seasons, because the reality is if Bortles hadn't struggled mightily with interceptions during that time, media and fans wouldn't focus on his practice performances – particularly his interceptions – nearly as much. If this were Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, there would be no furor. But when you have thrown 34 interceptions in two seasons – and when reducing them is a constant topic – it's going cause a Twitter/internet firestorm if you throw five in the first padded practice in training camp.
Dude from Clermont, FL:
Hey Mr. O: Leonard Fournette's progress sounds good. However, any running back can only be as good as the opposition allows. Alabama stifled him in three games. Are Blake and the receiving corps good enough to take advantage?
John: Excellent question.
Brett from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
With Cam Robinson our left tackle now, what do you think of the interior of the line turning into: Brandon Linder, Luke Bowanko and A.J. Cann? Bowanko did pretty well starting for us, and if he is serviceable, then our guards are much better and our best linemen can help out the rookie. Thoughts?
John: I think people continue to want Brandon Linder to move from center to guard and I don't sense any urgency by the Jaguars to do that. He has worked at center every day during training camp, and I doubt that will change. I think the starting line will be Robinson at left tackle, Patrick Omameh at left guard, Linder at center, Cann at right guard and Jermey Parnell at right tackle. I also think Tyler Shatley could make a push at one of the guards.
Hatter from Jacksonville:
JZ (Johnny Zone), in the last 48 hours on radio and articles/tweets around JAX, I have been told: Blake looks really good, Blake cannot be an NFL Quarterback, Blake can't throw interceptions, Blake needs to make sure he doesn't get timid, Blake needs to keep his aggressiveness, Blake needs to take more check downs, Blake needs to still throw deep, Blake needs to raise his completion percentage, Blake needs to feed his top receivers. Blake needs to run more, Blake has had really good moments in two-minute offense, Blake turns it over at exactly the wrong time. I really hope we kick it soon!
John: Welcome to my inbox, Hatter.
Chris from Hamilton:
Why doesn't Brandon Allen get to play with the first-team offense to show what he can do? He has a very strong arm being an Arkansas Razorback supporter and watching his college career. Not that I don't want Blake to succeed, but we have to be extra cautious going into the year at a crucial position. I'm hoping Tom Coughlin will make the right decision come kickoff for this position.
John: Allen isn't working with the first-team offense because right now is he the Jaguars' third-team quarterback. That's because right now – based on practices, meetings and being around all three quarterbacks – Jaguars coaches/decision-makers believe the order of the quarterbacks is Bortles, Chad Henne and Allen. That's going to bother many, many people who want Allen to get a chance with the ones. I would be surprised at this point if those people get what they want, but hey: I've been surprised before. Who knows?
Big Brother from Duval:
O-Man: In all honesty, it's not the losses year after year that have me down. It's not the misses in free agency year after year that have me down. It's not the missed first-round picks, or that the Jags held on too long or not long enough with the last staff that is still on staff. It's the notion that the front office believes that they are making good decision after good decision. It's the arrogance that the organization exudes that has me down.
John: OK. Sure. I guess. Yeah.
Chris from London, England:
Mr. O, it now seems Robinson will be starting at left tackle. I have heard you say in the past that rookie pass rushers rarely hit it out of the park in their first season. For somebody relatively new to the sport, can you confirm if this is also true of a left tackle? Basically, how worried should we be that a rookie is starting at left tackle in the most important season of Bortles career??
John: Starting rookies is rarely ideal regardless of position, but Robinson has the feel of an exception. I like his approach, his confidence and I like his body type for the position. I would be surprised if he gets overwhelmed physically or mentally – even as a rookie. Left tackles historically have been able to come in to the NFL and play well early. It's tougher to find examples of this lately because there hasn't been a run of great left tackles lately, but players such as Taylor Decker of Detroit have done it in recent seasons. Can Robinson come into the league and play well quickly? He will have struggles, but my gut is he can be good early.
Josh from Pensacola, FL:
You defended Branden Albert this offseason when many fans including myself were upset that a 32-year old tackle was skipping voluntary workouts for more money. I think we all understood the "voluntary " part; it's just that it made us question his character and his willingness to compete and win. I said he would be our biggest free-agent bust and it turns out he was what we thought. Did you also question Albert at the time or did you really feel he was going to be valuable to the team?
John: I thought Albert was going to be a valuable to the team. I've covered plenty of veterans who didn't participate in voluntary workouts who played at a high level the following season. Albert turned out not to want to play football anymore. Hey, sometimes some fans are right – and this case, perhaps they were right. And sometimes fans want the team to cut Marqise Lee. Around and around we go.
Henry from Section124:
I'd like to point out that Myles Jack deserves a "tip of the hat" for his interview with the media after practice the other day. We always hear so much about when players make "mistakes," but I haven't seen any recognition for him supporting the family of fallen Marine Joseph Murray. Can I get a "one fer Myles Jack (and Sergeant Murray)?"
Tim from St. Augustine, FL:
What's the time frame for Jalen's return to practice?
John: There's no official time frame for the return of either cornerback Jalen Ramsey or defensive end Calais Campbell. I also don't expect to hear a time frame in the next day or so. That being said, I haven't heard or seen one thing that makes me remotely concerned both players won't be on the field against Houston in Week 1.
Chad from Yulee, FL:
Here's an idea for the NFL, reduce the amount of air time for teams with players that pile up suspensions. I am sick of the Cowboys on this training camp coverage. Since 2014, they have had 15 players suspended for 100 games. That does not count the possibility of Elliot getting suspended this year. How about telling Jerry to clean it up or get the "Jaguar" treatment.
John: The NFL doesn't control what teams get covered by news outlets. The outlets determine that based on fan interest.
Dave from Glass Half Full:
Zone, team speed should not be an issue this year. Would you consider the Jags in the Top 5 in team speed now? I think it has been a point of emphasis while upgrading our roster the past few years. All appears to be working towards that goal.
John: I have no idea if the Jaguars will be in the Top 5 in the NFL in team speed this season. They appear to be faster this season, particularly on defense. Speed should be a strength. A Top 5 team in terms of speed? I'm not sure. Let's see if they look as fast on the field as they do on paper. Then we'll have a better idea where they rank.
Tom from Loughborough, England:
After one week of training camp, how does it look like the defensive line will line up in Week 1?
John: Side-by-side-by-side-by-side in three-point stances.
O-Zone: Down in front
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL: