JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Mike from Jacksonville:
O, I was looking at some NFL stats from last season about pass rush, and I was hoping you could break this down. Statistically, the Jaguars' pass rush was passable at 36 sacks and 106 quarterback hurries. Two comparisons that intrigue me: We tied with Arizona at 36 sacks and hurried more than the Denver super defense (90 hurries). What I take from this: Like Arizona, you don't need an elite pass rush to be successful – and it seems the problem wasn't so much our pass rush, but how our pass rush meshed with our coverage consistently. Am I missing something here?
John: When used correctly, statistics can and often do provide insight. But they're not always the end all. The statistics you cite miss at least one key point: that a lot of the Jaguars' pressure issue last season wasn't that they didn't get any pressure; rather, it was what they had to do to generate that pressure. Too often the Jaguars needed to blitz to pressure the quarterback. The Jaguars were not a great blitzing team, so while blitzing did generate pressure at times, it also helped opponents generate a lot of game-changing, momentum-altering plays. Whatever the Jaguars' sack statistics last season, the reality was opposing quarterbacks had too much time too often on too many third downs. That ended up defining the defense's season.
Travis from Live Oak, FL:
We know that a London home game makes almost twice as much a standard one, but what would the projected revenue be like for a London away game?
John: Much, much, much less.
David from Oviedo, FL:
Johnny-O, the Jags are riding a wave of optimism this offseason. However, if we play devil's advocate, there's a slight possibility the team doesn't improve or – heaven forbid – regresses. In that scenario, it's likely Shad Khan blows things up – and to some extent, we start over, which would be the organization's and fan base's worst nightmare. This is part of what makes this season so exciting and intriguing. #GOJAGS
John: Well, sure that's part of the intrigue. There are no guarantees in the NFL; this is professional sports, not scripted television. If the Jaguars don't improve, could there be changes? Sure, but it's way too early to know exactly what that will mean.
Colin from Orlando, FL:
What does a reporter mean when referring to "team doctors?" Do NFL teams have full-time doctors on staff, or do they hire doctors with their own private practices on a case-by-case basis?
John: NFL teams have doctors who are hired by the team. They have their own practices, but they are around the team regularly.
Scott from Daytona Beach, FL:
Jalen Ramsey could be there at No. 5. Look at Leonard Hamilton last year. Everyone had him in the Top 3.
John: That's weird, because the same was true about Leonard Williams.
Mark from Jacksonville:
Who is the best schematic fit at the top of the draft for the Jags?
John: Let's say Jalen Ramsey, but that's an easy choice because he plays safety and/or cornerback. Those guys typically fit pretty easily into any scheme.
Geoff from Orlando, FL:
I love Ryan Davis as a person and a player. I thought he added a little more weight and took himself out of the Leo position last season, though. My question ... why is he considered a Leo if he is used to rush from the interior? I was under the impression a Leo was essentially an edge rusher, not interior.
John: Davis is called a Leo because when he plays on early downs he lines up in the Leo "edge position;" his body type and weight would make playing the interior on early downs unrealistic. He then moves inside to rush the passer in passing situations to take advantage of his quickness and athleticism against interior offensive linemen.
Brian from Charlottesville, VA:
The lack of interest in Aldon Smith is shocking. Sure, he's not eligible to play until November 2016 ... but at that point, we'd better be in playoff contention. Adding another pass-rusher to a hopefully much-improved defensive line makes a ton of sense. I understand Smith has had a lot of off-field problems, but he doesn't count against the roster while suspended, right? Three years ago, Smith was easily a top 10 pass rusher. He looked good for the Raiders last year. For a team that has two players who shouldn't make most rosters and is banking on a player who hasn't played a NFL snap to generate a lot of pressure from the LEO spot, I don't follow the logic. We continue to support Justin Blackmon, yet it's a ridiculous concept that we'd sign Smith?
John: Really? People find the Jaguars' lack of interest in Aldon Smith shocking? Nah, I just don't think most people see it this way. Disappointing and frustrating? Maybe, but considering Smith has had a multitude of off-field issues and is suspended until November, it really can't be considered "shocking" that a team wouldn't be interested in signing him. As for the Blackmon, I think you're misinterpreting the situation. He's indefinitely suspended by the commissioner and is listed as such on the Jaguars' roster, but he is not in contact with or being paid by the team. To say the Jaguars are supporting him is just incorrect.
Corey from Orange Park, FL:
I'm all for another away game in London, but if we had an "away" game in London, wouldn't we be the home team considering our presence there? If the NFL would allow it, it would be VERY beneficial for the Jaguars.
John: I expect the Jaguars indeed will feel more and more like a home team in London as time goes on; there was a feeling last season that the fans were starting to embrace the franchise and I anticipate that will only grow stronger. In that sense, you're right that being an away team in London might be beneficial for the Jaguars in an on-field, competitive sense. But in a financial sense – and you can't take the financial sense out of the equation – being an away team in London doesn't benefit the Jaguars significantly.
Seth from Denver, CO:
Whatever happened to James Sample? We hear about how it will be Tashaun Gipson at free safety and Johnathan Cyprien at strong safety. Sample doesn't seem to be in the conversation anymore. What gives?
John: Sample is actually mentioned pretty much whenever most people talk about the Jaguars' strong-safety situation entering the offseason. He didn't play much last season as a rookie because of injuries. I expect he will compete with Cyprien in the offseason for the strong-safety position. I think Cyprien has a good chance to win the job because coaches are optimistic that Gipson's presence will allow Cyprien to play a true "box safety" role and that's where Cyprien has played well … but absolutely Sample has a chance.
John from Cape May, NJ:
I don't understand the Jags' reasoning with the offensive line. They want to take their best lineman and change positions, then potentially move Luke Joeckel inside? What if Joeckel wins the left-tackle job in training camp? Are they gonna move Kelvin Beachum to guard? What about Luke Bowanko? Why isn't he being given the opportunity to start at center? And finally, this is considered a very deep draft for interior lineman, so if the Jags like a prospect more than Bowanko/Linder at center or Joeckel/Beachum at guard shouldn't they take him? Nothing is more important than protecting Blake Bortles, and I feel like right now the Jags are patch-working this offensive line together. I hope Caldwell will invest an early round choice in the interior.
John: I guess I don't see the Jaguars' approach to the offensive line this offseason as all that confusing. They appear likely to be moving the player they consider their best interior offensive lineman – Linder – to center, which they consider the most important interior offensive line position. Jermey Parnell is set at right tackle and A.J. Cann is going to start at a guard position. The uncertainty is at left tackle, where Beachum and Joeckel will compete with the player who doesn't start quite possibly starting at guard. That's not set in stone, but it's certainly not patchwork.
Steve from Denver, CO:
Kif got canned in LA by his own son! He got the pink slip in Dallas after his defense was a disaster. What makes the Jags' brain trust think he will get up to speed with modern offenses? How many years ago did his Bucs win a Super Bowl?
John: You're referring to Monte Kiffin, who recently was hired as a defensive assistant. That's what he is: an assistant. He's not the coordinator. He's not shaping the defense. He's not deciding the scheme. So, please, can we just keep this in perspective?
Ivan from Hollywood:
Over/under on number of players drafted for offense. I'm setting the line at 2.5.
John: I think you're too high.
O-Zone: Just a hunch
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Mike from Jacksonville: