JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Zac from Austin, Tejas
It has been well-established that Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence is just *different* than others. But I know all year I heard about how Joe Burrow and Tua were going to change the league. For obvious reasons it didn't happen, but it's why I am really trying to throttle myself. Maybe I should just let go and hope for a good season, though. I don't know.
Your nervousness is understandable. It's the fear of being disappointed by something you believe will be awesome. I was going to compare it to waiting for weeks to get Mattel Electronic Football (handheld) for Christmas in 1978 and then being disappointed, but who am I kidding? Electronic Football was awesome! Either way, I honestly never heard anyone talking about Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa last offseason in anything remotely the same vein as analysts discuss Lawrence; he was good, but not that level of good. I suppose the talk about Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was in a vein sort of close to Lawrence last offseason, but certainly not to this degree. But look … there are no guarantees with any young quarterback, even one so highly regarded as Lawrence. The draft is a percentage game, and the percentage chances of Lawrence being very good in the NFL are very high. That's the best you can hope for at this point. And that's OK. The reason is it's OK is it's sports. It's not your retirement fund. It's not life and death. Enjoy the hope. And play Electronic Football if you can find it. It's still awesome.
Nick from Annapolis, MD
What are your thoughts on the 5-feet-7 receiver out of Purdue, Rondale Moore? Is 5-7 too small to be drafted in the first round? Seems like the type of playmaker Meyer wants to add to the mix.
Moore, projected by most analysts in Round 1 or 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft, indeed is 5-7. And that's small for an NFL receiver. But he is an electric playmaker – incredibly quick and dynamic. And he does seem to have the explosive elements Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer wants to add to the offense. Many teams have certain measurables that are hard and fast enough that a team won't draft a player if the player doesn't reach those measurables. In that sense, it wouldn't be surprising if some NFL teams have Moore off their draft boards because he's 5-7. The Jaguars haven't shared such information because why would they? Personally, I would have a tough time selecting Moore because the height would scare me. That doesn't mean that's how the Jaguars are thinking and it doesn't mean my fear is merited.
Big on Blake from Philly
If Boselli is a nemesis, is your ardent support of his Hall-of-Fame bid more a ploy to increase your value by proxy? You'd have to be a pretty bad dude if your nemesis is a Pro Football Hall of Famer. Or does your support of the Jags supersede your rivalry with Boselli?
Former Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli should be in the Hall of Fame. He was undoubtedly one of the best left tackles ever to play in the NFL, and I believe he will be elected to the Hall next February. I believe his election is long overdue. When that happens, I will write about it and talk about it on Jaguars media channels. I will congratulate him on a well-deserved honor and a fine career. I will praise Boselli's play on the field. None of this means I have to be his friend.
Seamus from Vancouver, BC
Uncle John, can you tell us the story again about how you and Uncle Tony B became nemesises? Nememeses? Nemeses??
No. The civil case is still pending.
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville
Invited to the Bos home for game night? Dude, what are you waiting for? That would be so much fun, he seems like a generally great guy and I imagine fun to hang out with. You rub elbows with greatness daily, it must be incredible being you.
Oh, yes … being me is awesome. I'm told being around me is a real treat, too.
Jason from North Pole, AK
"Cullen's biggest emphasis throughout the conversation was that the scheme will be aggressive – and that generally speaking, how much it gears toward a traditional '3-4' or '4-3' will depend largely upon the Jaguars' personnel." This is music to my ears! It has historically felt like we have drafted players to fit scheme – which I think caused us to reach for players in the draft that can play the Otto or Leo, for example. Do you feel like matching scheme to personnel allows you to draft more effectively?
You're referencing what Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen told me recently about the Jaguars' defense – that scheme would be dictated by personnel. That's in line with what Cullen, Meyer and assistant head coach/linebackers Charlie Strong have said since their mid-January hirings. Your question implies what many readers seem to believe – that the previous defensive coaches tried too much to fit players into scheme. I understand this was the perception, but the previous coaches used personnel in various looks based on situations. The base look was a 4-3, but it was essentially a hybrid scheme. The scheme moving forward will be more of a 3-4 base with a lot of 4-3 looks in other situations – i.e., it is essentially a hybrid scheme. But yes … having a scheme that depends on the strengths of the personnel is the best approach. And that's certainly the approach the Jaguars will use moving forward with Cullen as defensive coordinator and Meyer as head coach.
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
Johnny O: Re Aaron Rodgers, on his first night as guest host, one contestant didn't know the correct question for Final Jeopardy, so he asked, "Who's idea was it to kick that field goal?" Aaron hung his head and said, "That's a really good question."
Rodgers is cool. People like him.
David from Orlando, FL
Zone – Jump ball in the endzone, receiver catches the ball, but before he comes down in bounds, the cornerback catches him and carries him five yards and dumps him out of bounds. Catch or no catch?
No catch. This once would have been a touchdown under the league's old "force-out" rule, but the league changed the rule to allow just the sort of defensive play to which you refer. The spirit of the change was to remove as much judgment as possible for the official, with the belief that you could better make a "clear-and-obvious" ruling by eliminating the force-out rule. I liked the force-out rule. It seemed fairer. But that's just me. No one cares what I like. No one.
Connor from Atlanta, GA
After watching Florida's Pro Day last week, I think it's fair to say tight end Kyle Pitts is well out of reach for a trade. But another Florida prospect has really caught my eye. I think wide receiver Kadarius Toney at No. 33, or even at No. 25, would be a steal for us as he's now undoubtedly one of the Top Four wide receivers in the class. So, what are your thoughts on Lawrence at No. 1, Texas Christian safety Trevon Moehrig at No. 25, Toney at No. 33, and Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth OR Miami tight end Brevin Jordan at No. 45? That would make it our best draft class EVER, don't you think?
If they're all as good as people believe, yes … absolutely.
Gero from Wenden
Hello, John. After you had an interview with Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, how great do you estimate the possibility of using the new coaching staff to train more trick plays in addition to the "normal" offense. The roster is very young with one or two years of experience and additional free agents who are eager to learn. Also: a clever, down-to-earth quarterback with Trevor Lawrence will probably be drafted to make these moves. Because of the complete restructuring, I could imagine that many teams will underestimate the Jaguars and expect them to play with a basics-oriented offense.
I expect the Jaguars' offense to be dynamic and creative, with a lot of concepts that Meyer liked and used at the college level – combined with a lot of the concepts used by Bevell and passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer at their previous NFL stops. I don't quite know what "trick plays" means in your question. Will they be running the old Emory and Henry or the 23 Skiddoo? Will they make the center eligible? Rarely. But I don't think this is going to be run the running back straight into the line twice and throw it up for grabs on third down, either.
Cliff from Callahan, FL
Can we just call it a 3.5-3.5 and be done with it?
But what would we talk about in July?