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O-Zone: Dropping fast

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Aaron from Chantilly:
Ozone, I know this doesn't get a lot of attention, but what are your thoughts on our backup quarterbacks? Due to Blake Bortles' tendencies to run, I think we need a better backup than what's currently on our roster. I think Chad Henne gets a chance to compete but we need someone pushing him.
John: This question has come up a few times in recent weeks. It's time to put it down. Chad Henne is the Jaguars' backup quarterback, and there's not much reason to think you'll see that change. I'm not ruling out the possibility of competition, but there are far worse backup-quarterback options in the NFL. Far worse.
Branson from Charlotte, NC:
What's the deal with D-Mac (Demetrius McCray). He upgraded a lot last year and was arguably one of the better corners in the AFC. Do you see him starting in 2015? If so what's in store for Aaron Colvin and Davon House?
John: I do expect McCray to start. I also expect Davon House to start opposite McCray with Aaron Colvin starting at nickel.
Andy from Jacksonville:
On the surface, the signing of Stefen Wisniewski appears to be a smart move. However, I noticed that his contract was for one year and this immediately makes me feel as if the Jags aren't completely sold on the condition of his torn labrum. At 26, why not sign him for three years? Are the Jags just using him as a tutor for Luke Bowanko?
John: There seems to be some disconnect between fan perception of this signing and what it was about. The Jaguars signed Wisniewski to provide competition and roster flexibility. He may start at center. It's far from a guarantee. Perhaps he'll compete at left guard. Perhaps he'll back up both positions. Because he signed a one-year deal, this absolutely is a prove-it-to-me contract, which makes sense because he was unsigned five weeks into unrestricted free agency. If he was assured of starting or if the Jaguars believed beyond doubt he was a long-term solution, he would have been signed sooner. No one's using anyone. Wisniewski is going to be part of the Jaguars' offensive line. In what capacity is something we'll learn in time.
Esko from South Karelia, Finland:
This Stefen Wisniewski's signing … was it just cold calculation from his (and his agent's) part that the combination of familiar offensive coordinator, one of the best offensive line coaches in gridiron football and a fair chance of competing for a starter's job gives him the best chance to get a big contract for 2016 and beyond?
John: That almost certainly played a significant role as far as Wisniewski was concerned.
Seth from Prosper, TX:
Open the floodgates for TebowTalk in 3 … 2 … 1 ... #ChipGonnaChip.
John: The Eagles indeed signed Tim Tebow on Monday. It's a move that makes sense on some level. Maybe he'll find success in that scheme. It will be fascinating to watch … for those who like to watch such things.
Jim from Jacksonville:
O-Zone. Tebow to the Eagles??? What's their angle? #scratchinmyhead
John: Maybe they want to see if a quarterback who is a talented runner can fit in their scheme and make their team better.
Damian from Kudick:
Do you think Brad Meester will be added to the Pride of the Jaguars? Why or why not?
John: I wouldn't mind seeing Meester get in the Pride of the Jaguars, but I doubt it will happen – at least not any time soon. The Pride thus far has been relatively exclusive, with Tony Boselli, Fred Taylor and Mark Brunell inducted. Boselli played in five Pro Bowls, Brunell played in three and Taylor was the franchise's all-time leading rusher who at least belongs in the conversation for the Hall of Fame. Meester was a very good, very popular, very reliable, very professional player. All of those are reasons I wouldn't mind seeing him get in, but there are a whole lot of players I'd have to put in before him. Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell, Tony Brackens, John Henderson, Rashean Mathis, Marcus Stroud … a lot of players come to mind.
John from Jacksonville:
I don't follow the pre-draft much, but as I put some pieces together I can see David Caldwell not wanting to take a chance in losing out on Todd Gurley and taking him early. We have a lot of good fits to make our offense very efficient this season and Gurley would be the final piece to really keep defenses guessing with a rising quarterback who is fast, the Gurley/Robinson combo, a star tight-end combo, promising wide receivers with breakout potential, and a more solid offensive line. Could Gurley be special enough, even though a running back is not typically taken early in Round 1?
John: You seem to be asking if there's a chance Gurley goes No. 3 overall. If Gurley hadn't sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament late last season, maybe, but it would have been a mammoth maybe. Would Gurley go No. 3 now? What's a word for something bigger than mammoth? Mammoth-er?
Keith from Palatka, FL:
At the end of last season, I identified 10 positions that needed an upgrade because they were manned by players who were below-average starters in the NFL and the reason we were 3-13. Dave Caldwell has done an amazing job of filling seven of the 10 holes. He still has three holes left to fill (running back, edge rusher and receiver), which he will do in the draft. We will be better next year and we will win more games. I believe, John, do you?
John: I'm sure Caldwell appreciated your list; it's fortunate he didn't misplace it while at the Senior Bowl in January. It's probably just coincidental that a lot of the players he signed were on his own list. I've long believed that the Jaguars would be better next season. I'm not talking playoffs or pushing for double-digit victories, but the roster for a second consecutive season is improved and there should be steps forward. That's as much because of the improvement I expect from the young players already on the roster, but whatever … improvement is improvement ,right?
Chris from Columbia, MO:
Looking at the potential players at No. 3, I only see one guy that is going to clearly make the Jags better right away and that's Amari Cooper. Yes, it would be nice to get a great edge rusher but I trust Gus' ability to coach up a player chosen in the later rounds of a draft that is filled with pass rushers. Cooper gives the team the best receiver they have had since Jimmy Smith and a huge weapon for Bortles. I guess when it comes down to it I believe our defense is closer to getting it all together with the current players than our offense. Do you think Dave could surprise some people and take Cooper?
John: Remember, the draft isn't necessarily about getting better right away. Improving quickly certainly is an objective, but that has to be balanced with building the strongest possible foundation for the long term. The player who provides the quickest impact might not be the player who makes you strongest for the long haul. I'd seriously consider Cooper. I'm sure Caldwell will seriously consider Cooper. I also expect he will go pass rusher early.
Ron from Asheville, NC:
How would you interpret Dave Caldwell saying the signing of Wisniewski gives us greater flexibility in the draft? Would that mean signing him eliminates a need and allows the Jags more range in drafting BAP instead of reaching for one to fill a need?
John: Yes.
Rob from Brunswick, GA:
Will Stefen Wisniewski have to play significantly better than Bowanko to win the starting job at center since Luke is three years younger and isn't on a one-year contract? Seems that it would be better to leave him at center if he's younger (and therefore may have a higher ceiling) and there's every chance he could be forced to do it again next year anyway.
John: There's time for this to sort itself out, but the best players will play. That likely will mean the best combination of five. The addition of Jermey Parnell and Wisniewski gives the Jaguars a chance to have a deeper, more-veteran best five than last season. That's what we know now, and the details will play out over the next few months.
Daniel from Jacksonville:
I'm excited about the Wisniewski signing. In my mind, it leaves us just two players shy of "completing" the offense for 2015. Just give me Amari Cooper and a feature running back in the draft, and let's see what we can do. I love Fat Tony, but he's adamant about a defensive-line guy at No. 3. Which way would you go if you were Dave Caldwell?
John: I'd probably go defensive lineman because I'd feel like I needed a premier, elite-level defensive lineman at some point and those guys are hard to find outside the Top 10. I'd have a hard time passing on Amari Cooper; it's hard to imagine him busting and easy to imagine him being productive for a long time. I expect Caldwell to go defensive line, if he can't find a way to trade back. As far as Boselli, I've seen him the last few weeks; he actually has dropped some weight.

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