JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Greg from St. Johns, FL:
John, a few questions. The first one is, "Will starters continue to be part of the special teams units? I saw Poz on the kickoff return team and Calais on the field-goal team ... is that their choice or new coaches?" Also, if the "kid" were a high draft pick, we would be saying that he is the first to actually lead our receivers, throw tight spirals, made a bunch of good passes ... but have a few bad decisions. #playthekid.
John: You actually asked two questions. The answer to the first question: "Yes, starters will be on special teams this season." Special teams are a big deal to Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone, and he has made clear he won't hesitate to play starters there." The answer to the second: "It's the coaches' decision, but players such as Paul Posluszny and Calais Campbell are more than willing to play special teams if the coaches want them to do so." As far as the kid's draft status … I get your point, but I'm not feeling it. Now, if Brandon Allen had Blake Bortles' size and physique, and if he had been drafted early, and if he had 45 NFL starts, and if he had practiced better, and if his good performances had come against first-teamers (not under his control, I know), then that might have changed the conversation.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I still have hope for this season for one reason: Leonard Fournette! If he truly turns into the next Adrian Peterson and can make his own holes to spring for big plays, it will bring defenders into the box and allow Bortles to do what he does best: buy time with his legs and throw downfield. One fer 904nette, I believe!
John: Hey! One fer Fournette!
Rob from Jacksonville:
I thought we were expecting big things from Jonathan Woodard this year.
John: The Jaguars liked Woodard very much when they drafted him in 2016. He missed last season with an Achilles injury. It's a very difficult injury from which to return. That and the drafting/emergence of Dawuane Smoot made it difficult to keep Woodard on the 53.
Chris from Goodnight, TX:
With Luke Bowanko being traded and Patrick Omameh and A.J. Cann demonstrating this preseason that they cannot play at the level of an NFL starter, the Jaguars' starting guards Week One should be Alex Boone (just released by the Vikings) and John Greco (just released by the Browns). Pay 'em.
Dave from Duval:
So what do you think is the long-term plan with Brandon Allen?
John: Allen is on the Jaguars' roster to start 2017. I believe he will remain the third quarterback, and that he could potentially play later this season if things go really wrong at the starting position. I doubted that early in the preseason, but his performance in preseason games has me coming around a bit. Whether it gets to that point this season remains to be seen. Beyond 2017? Well, if things go really wrong at the starting position then the entire quarterback position could be different in 2018. Stay tuned.
Greg from Asheville, NC:
Isn't it possible that part of the issue with both of our lines came from a demanding camp schedule and they are still recovering from that?
John: Sure, it's very possible. We'll see if that's the case.
Rob from Orange Park, FL:
A challenge: For your written game wrap ups this year, use a unique way of saying we lost (i.e. 'Jags came up short,' 'Jags fell to,' 'Jags bested by,' etc. Might need to get pretty creative in December, although I certainly hope not ...
John: Nah. I'll probably just write "Jaguars beat," "Jaguars won" or "Jaguars lost." There's no reason to complicate the language unnecessarily. And I don't need another challenge; getting through the day is tough enough.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
Question, I'd like to say how much I appreciate your efforts in answering our questions all year long. Your news articles are also excellent. What is your favorite part of the football year? Draft, game days, or something else?
John: Something else.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
It is becoming more and more obvious to me the Jaguars' coaches and front office give zero cares about how terrible our offensive line is. They did nothing to improve it and then they just give away our only serviceable backup for probably a seventh-round draft pick. We have arguably the worst offensive line in the NFL and we keep compounding how bad it is. I won't say we are in for a 0-16 season ... but I also won't say we aren't.
John: Most backup offensive linemen traded as cut-down day approached are traded for a reason – because they were going to be released, and because their teams believed they were expendable. Bowanko's issues with power and strength at the point of attack made it so the Jaguars believed him expendable. I like Bowanko and wish him well, but if the Jaguars struggle anywhere near the level you anticipate he will be low on the list of reasons.
Mark from Archer, FL:
Ugh, John: it is very depressing to see many good teams making these last-minute trades for offensive lineman and backup quarterbacks. I know that the guys being traded are backups on their old teams. But come on man: our line is horrible and I bet some of these guys are probably better than what we have. Then I read the Patriots just traded their third quarterback – Brissett – to the Colts for a wide receiver. We have enough talent at wide receiver; I would have loved for the Jags to do that kind of trade because that kid looked great in the two games he played last season. Much better than our starting and backup quarterback, at least. But no: We are just sticking with what we have.
John: I think the Jaguars have some talent at receiver, though I don't believe them so talented there that they can give players away willy-nilly. What did you think of Bowanko trade? Logan didn't think much of it, apparently. I was mowing the lawn when the Brissett trade went through, by the way. I looked at my phone and said, "Hmm, I bet I get an email or two – or three – about this." I then toweled off and thought little more of it. (The lawn looks OK by the way; just glad to have it done).
Peter from Jacksonville:
Do you agree that if any team lowered the price of preseason tickets by 50 percent they would just raise the regular-season prices accordingly? They still would have to take in their budgeted amount for the season. Either way, the cost of 10 game season tickets would still cost the same amount. If people want individual preseason cheap tickets, they can readily be found. I get it. It just seems more painful to look at the face value of PS4 but it would still end up the same.
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, the Jaguars must be interested in trying to sign safety T.J. Ward, recently released by the Broncos. Ward would offer either depth or an option for a starter at a thin position group, not to mention leadership. And he has gas in the tank. He was just too expensive for Denver. So, cmon?!
John: Ward almost certainly won't sign somewhere where he is not going to start. As far as your assessment of the Jaguars' safety position, the team sees it differently.
Jim from Middleburg, FL:
Dear John, yada, yada, yada. Let's play football. #GoJags
John: Fair point.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Many times these last few years the Jaguars make roster moves and we fans are left scratching our heads, but you always reply to the question you're asked, 'Well the Jaguars felt.....' or 'Clearly, the Jaguars see something in....' or 'the Jaguars know a little more about this than we do' … well, you get the picture? Most of the time the fans are right and the Jaguars' organization are the ones looking like fools. I know they pay you and you have to be politically correct, so to speak but surely deep down you have to be scratching your head also? ....wait....Don't answer that: don't want you to lose your job. Let's instead create a safe word so whenever you have to respond and lost for words as we are just somewhere in your answer type and we'll know that you are still sane and scratching your head too but have to answer the question correctly.
John: Believe it or not, there are times the Jaguars do know more than the fans. There are times the team makes mistakes when it releases or signs players. There are times when they make moves or don't make moves and I try to explain why. But either way, I won't lose my job for saying I don't understand or don't agree with a move. I do have an obligation to try to be as fair and clear as possible when discussing the team's moves. And I don't need a safe word. How will you know I'm sane? Maybe I'm not. Let's keep this interesting. And don't call me Shirley.
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Greg from St. Johns, FL: