JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Chris from Jacksonville:
Barely a mention on the other Allen ... Hurns has been a fearless clutch performer for this team. Why no effort to keep him here?
John: We actually have discussed former Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns quite a bit on this free website since the Jaguars released him and veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis early last week. The reason Hurns was released was he was under contract for $7 million a season next season; the Jaguars believed that was too much considering his expected role. Hurns reportedly declined to take a pay cut, so the sides parted ways. Hurns was a very productive receiver for the Jaguars in 2014 and 2015 and one of the classiest players I've ever covered, but he missed 11 games the past two seasons and wasn't projected to be a starter next season. He also didn't have the speed or explosiveness of Jaguars receivers such as Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, Marqise Lee or Donte Moncrief. When you combined those factors with his salary, it was hard to make a strong case against the Jaguars releasing him.
Ed from Winston-Salem, NC:
What are the odds on Jacksonville ever using Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon in the backfield a la Bo and Marcus Allen of the Raiders?
John: Nine-ninety-nine-point-six to one.
Vince from Jacksonville:
I really enjoyed all the work put in by you and the staff to be able to hear all the info from the NFL Owners Meetings. Listening to it all, it remains evident that they will continue to be a team that wants to run the ball, and play physical and tough on both sides of the ball. I love this, but I have concerns whether this is sustainable in today's NFL. My take is keep building that offensive line in the upcoming draft like Dallas has. Do you think the Jags can continue to win this way or do you think they will be forced to open it up and spread it out to keep defenses from stacking the box? What happens if they get behind by a couple scores?
John: The Jaguars actually overcame three double-digit deficits last season to tie or take the lead -- in losses at the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. They also were able to reduce deficits in a couple of other losses – at Tennessee late in the season and at home against the Los Angeles Rams. This isn't to say that the Jaguars as they are currently built will excel in come-from-behind situations, but it does make the point that all is not necessarily lost when this team gets behind. The reality: the way this team plays – with a strong running game and defense – it's probably not going to rally from a lot of three-score deficits. Then again, playing the style it plays it shouldn't face many such deficits, either.
Mark from Archer, FL:
Honestly, I would be very shocked now if the Jags draft a quarterback unless it is someone they just really fall in love with. I know basically you can look at it like the Jags drafted a quarterback in the seventh round since that was the pick we sent to the Browns. Do you see them drafting another quarterback now?
John: Since the Jaguars extended the contract of quarterback Blake Bortles in February I have thought – and written – that there was little-to-no chance they would select a quarterback early in next month's draft. If they have a high grade on a quarterback later in the draft it would still make sense to take one, but I in no way believe they will enter the draft desperate to do so. Remember: the 2019 seventh-round selection the Jaguars traded this week to the Cleveland Browns for quarterback Cody Kessler was "conditional," meaning Kessler must make the Jaguars' roster for the Browns to get the selection. If he doesn't make the team, he costs the Jaguars nothing; that means there's little risk in the Jaguars drafting a quarterback to compete with him.
Alan from Jacksonville:
I like the Cody Kessler addition. If he makes the roster, there's no quarterback controversy should he be asked to play it will be because Bortles is hurt. Most importantly, he won't be thrust into a game to "Go out and win it" but more likely the instruction will be, "Go out and don't lose it." With his experience and accurate passing, that should be within his skill set. The cap number is another plus.
Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Dude, I feel like half of our team could be ejected any game. Seems like the league is making rules against the way our team was built and plays. Dante Fowler Jr. , Yannick Ngakoue, Myles Jack, Barry Church, Malik Jackson and probably Jalen Ramsey could all potentially be ejected at any time. Does this include running backs and linemen? Or is it more concentrated on defensive backs and linebackers hitting receivers down the field? This seems like a perfect opportunity for the refs to give New England another game against us should we make it to the AFC Championship game: they won't even have to call fake pass-interference penalties; they can just eject each of our best players after they make a tackle ... AWESOME!
John: Dude, breathe … that's it ... breathe. A big part of the NFL's rule change to eliminate players leading with the helmet when tackling will be how the officials interpret and call the rule. That's as of yet unknown. The league also is still working out a lot of the details on this rule. So, dude … breathe. There will be plenty of time to panic.
Daniel from New Jersey:
O-man, do you think anything interesting is happening on April 19?
John: April 19 is the date the Jaguars will hold their annual State of the Franchise event. I expect it to be an eventful day in part because the Jaguars are expected to unveil their new uniforms that day. That will be interesting because the uniforms
Red from the O-Zone comments section:
Cody Kessler? Are you kidding me? That's Tom and Dave's much-ballyhooed plan to address backup quarterback? Just wow!
John: Maybe you should stick to the comments section, Red.
Josh from Albuquerque, NM:
Why wouldn't pass rusher/defensive end be high the Jags' list? We are one Yannick Ngakoue injury from being depleted of one of our few natural pass rushers.
John: It wouldn't be out of the question for the Jaguars to select a pass rusher next month but I wouldn't call it an urgent need. The Jaguars have Fowler behind Ngakoue. I wouldn't put Fowler on Ngakoue's level, but he had double-digit sacks last season including the postseason. That's better depth than many teams have at the position.
Chris from Dallas, TX:
It's kind of funny thinking back to all the hoopla over Blake Bortles' five-interception day in training camp. Little did we know our defense would be the best in the NFL. Poor Blake was probably thinking "Well yea I threw five picks ... it's impossible to throw on them."
John: He also may have been thinking, "Wow, we're still in the earliest stages of installing the offense and Oehser and the rest of those hacks are acting like it's December." Whatever, Blake. Whatever.
Inigo from Fire Swamp, USA:
You keep using the word explosive when referring to Marqise Lee. "I do not think it means what you think it means." Lee being explosive? INCONCEIVABLE! I do seem to recall Allen Hurns making multiple medium-range receptions that he turned into long gains, many for touchdowns - maybe that's what you're thinking of...?
John: No, that's not what I was thinking of.
Nathanael from Grandy, MO:
Mr. O, do you think the NFL will ever look into a rule preventing the defense from making a play on the ball when the offense is in victory formation, or will the new lowering the helmet rule stop that?
John: I doubt the new rule will deter a defense from taking an unnecessary shot in that situation. It's actually a hard thing to legislate from the game. One would think class and sportsmanship would come into play. Sometimes one thinks wrong.
Jim from Jacksonville:
If the league wants to reduce concussions why don't they make the helmets less like a weapon? Rugby players don't wear any helmets and they tackle all the time. The helmets are made like weapons now. They need to make them less weapon-ey so players will not want to lead with their helmet. Novel idea whose time has come?
John: The idea makes sense, but I doubt its time has come. If a player sustained a concussion without a helmet – as certainly would happen – the perception that it was caused because a player wasn't wearing helmet would be enough that I can't imagine the league going that direction.
Alan from Reno, NV:
Now that the catch rule is established, how do we prevent the officials from blowing the play dead every time the Jags' defense covers the ball and start to return it?
John: Fair question.
O-Zone: Just asking
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Chris from Jacksonville: