JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL:
One contributor questioned whether Paul Posluszny would regret retiring if the Jaguars win the Super Bowl. Only Paul knows for sure, but I suspect he would have no regrets. He apparently retired because he no longer believed he could perform at a high enough level to meet his own very high bar. And because he was ready for family time. He knows the team has younger, faster, talented linebackers. He would be happy for them, and for the entire team. I suspect this because Poz is a class act.
John: I imagine Posluszny might somewhere deep down be disappointed if the Jaguars were to win the Super Bowl in 2018 – not because his former teammates were successful, of course … but having played so long, to miss such an experience by a single season … well, human nature would dictate at least some level of disappointment. But you're right that he is a class act – and I doubt seriously Posluszny would "regret" his decision. As you said, Posluszny believed he could no longer play to his standard. This was reflected in a story Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone told during the recent NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando. Marrone said Posluszny told him upon informing him of his decision last month that he couldn't live with himself if he looked at tape next season and saw himself missing a play he previously could have made. Marrone correctly pointed out that many players wouldn't have made the same decision, particularly given the money that can be made by a player in even one NFL season. The Jaguars believed that Posluszny could have contributed in a significant way next season, and there's little doubt that was the case. But Posluszny had a different standard – and he used that standard to make his decision. Given that, it indeed is doubtful he will regret his decision – no matter what happens for the Jaguars next season.
Susan from Duval:
So, who gets the dog, John?
John: It's the dog's choice. Therefore, I would get the dog. I'm the one who walks it. The dog isn't brilliant, but it knows this.
Robert from Oneonta:
You recently hit upon a subject on which I am sure many of your readers would love insight; did Paul Posluszny make the decision to retire completely on his own, or did the Jags help him out the door? Please excuse my cynical question, but it is interesting he retires the year the Jags have their best shot at a title. Unless there are issues the public is unaware – if so, please forgive – he was holding down the 30 percent linebacker spot very well last year. They continue to need a quality middle linebacker. Sorry: Myles Jack is far better suited at strong side. Additionally, the Jags have that penny-wise, pound-foolish appearance in this year's free agency. It just begs the question, why now?
John: I'm not clever enough to know what you mean by penny-wise, pound foolish when it comes to the Jaguars' free-agency spending this offseason. I do know they spent big on offensive line, and tried to be prudent when it came to wide receiver Allen Robinson and to a degree cornerback Aaron Colvin. Anyway: Posluszny indeed retired for the reasons I outlined in the previous answer – and we'll see if you're correct regarding Jack. I don't know that you're accurate that he's that much more suited to the strong side than the middle. If anything, he's best suited to the weak side. I believe Jack is going to play middle linebacker next season and I believe he'll ascend dramatically – perhaps to a Pro Bowl level. I suppose we'll find out.
Sameer from Orlando, FL:
Colvin seemed to click with our locker room and enjoy his time in Jacksonville. I know he had to leave to earn what he deserved and get a chance to play on the outside. Do you believe Colvin went to a division rival because they offered him the most money or because of the chance to play on the outside? I know it's a little of both, but other teams probably offered him something, too. Which of these reasons made him go to a division rival?
John: I don't think the division-rival aspect of the Houston Texans caused Colvin to want to go there. I think the NFL is a business and that money was the major factor in his decision. As it should have been.
Steven from Jacksonville:
Would you be surprised if the Jaguars used their first three draft selections on a combination of a defensive lineman, linebacker and defensive back? The team used free agency largely to address areas of concern on their offense and it's widely speculated that the continued improvement of the offense will be the Jaguars' 2018 draft focus. Still, it's no secret that this team's future success will be highly dependent upon the play of their defense. Hence, adding players who can improve the defense's talent baseline, add depth/contribute on special teams or allow the starters to be more rested later in games and throughout the season would probably prove to be worthy selections in the long run.
John: I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Jaguars selected a defensive player early in the 2018 NFL Draft. I would be stunned if they selected a defensive player in each of the first three rounds.
Mac from Jacksonville:
I wouldn't dismiss us winning five championships in a row so quickly. It honestly could happen. We were rigged officiating away from winning the AFC Championship game and you know we'd be all up in Nick Foles' grill like it was a 4th of July cookout in the Super Bowl. If Blake Bortles continues to improve, and we keep our defense stout by resigning Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue, and I see no reason why we shouldn't expect at least another five Super Bowls in the next five years or so.
John: You were right. I was wrong. My bad.
Gary from Fleming Island, FL:
Dear Abby, Dear Abby … My fountain pen leaks, my wife hollers at me and my kids are all freaks. Every side I get up on is the wrong side of bed. If it weren't so expensive I'd wish I were dead. Signed unhappy - John Prine
John: Prine actually is one of the few things that actually tests my belief that happiness is a myth. He's that good. Actually, he's better than that good.
Jeff from Mayport:
I had the pleasure of meeting your mom recently at an event I was working. I talked to her for about 20 minutes and can say that she is a very nice lady who is very proud of her son. One fer Mama O!
John: That wasn't her.
Ryan from Section 410:
From players with drug/drinking problems such as Justin Blackmon, to other criminal issues such as Reuben Foster, it seems off-the-field issues can derail an NFL player as fast or faster than medical concerns. To that point, have you noticed any procedural differences in how this staff evaluates potential off-field issues pre-draft that perhaps were not in place during the Blackmon draft? is there any contractual way a team can financially safeguard themselves against this type of bust?
John: Teams have taken off-field issues seriously for the two-plus decades I have been around the NFL, but the procedures for evaluating such issues haven't changed significantly. You talk to people around the player, investigate red flags thoroughly and remove players from consideration when the red flags become too troublesome to make the reward worth the risk. How a team handles this is completely dependent on the people in charge. A team can financially safeguard themselves against such a player by having clauses in contract to recoup bonus money, etc., but the player must agree to the clauses and the money actually must be recouped. Neither of those happenings is guaranteed.
Charles from Duvaaaaall!:
Can we talk about the draft-day hat? That may be the worst hat I have ever seen. Who green-lighted that thing and have they been demoted yet? I hope the jerseys come out a lot better. Go Jags!
John: It's a hat. Breathe, Charles. Breathe.
William from Jacksonville:
John, why all the fuss over preseason schedules/game? Most of us just want to get them over with.
John: I was aware that the NFL announced its preseason "schedule" Wednesday, so I was aware that the Jaguars and all other teams now know the order and sites of their 2018 preseason games. I was unaware of a "fuss."
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, other than your mock draft, most I see seem somewhat frivolous. After the fact, is there a centralized registry publishing how correct the experts actually were? Oh, is it true Tom, Dave, and Doug keep a laminated copy of your final mock in their wallets on Draft Day?
John: Few people check how correct the "experts" were in projecting the draft; thankfully, few people care enough to undertake so frivolous an endeavor. Speaking of which … I'm offended, Otto; I assure you my mock draft is absolutely as frivolous as anyone's – probably more so.
O-Zone: Gettin' frivolous
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL: