JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Hi John, after two preseason games there are a lot of questions about the edge rush, but how many "true" pin-the-ears-back-and-go passing plays has the first unit seen? Isn't it a little early for hand wringing?
John: You're right that it's a little early for pass-rush handwringing, but isn't hand-wringing kinda, sorta what we who observe the NFL do? As far as how to evaluate the edge rushers, it's true there haven't been many obvious passing situations, and most edge rushers indeed compile a lot of sacks in late-game and short-yardage situations. At the same time, there hasn't been as much push or penetration in the first two preseason games as the team would like. Defensive coordinator Todd Wash talked Wednesday of the need to get rush not just on third down but on first- and second-down situations as well. The talent is there to do it, and the belief is that the pass rush will be disruptive, but it hasn't shown quite enough yet.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
I notice the Pro Football Writers of America does not have an annual award for "Owner of the Year," although Jerry Jones has won Executive of the Year. I guess if you are the owner of the Super Bowl winning team, you win it.
John: When an owner holds the Lombardi Trophy after a Super Bowl, that's indeed the only Owner of the Year Award necessary.
Chad from St. Augustine, FL:
Can we get some info on Sheldon Day? It does not feel like a good situation. He hasn't practiced in quite a while. Is he a possibility for the Physically Unable to Perform list? That would be a shame...
John: Day hasn't practiced since early in training camp, and while you're right that it doesn't feel like a good situation, I haven't heard that this is a season-threatening situation. He is not a candidate for the PUP list because you can't participate in practice and be placed on PUP. He would have to be placed on injured reserve.
Preston from Oakville, CT:
OMan, I like Brandon Allen, but he is not the No. 2 quarterback yet. He very well may be soon, though. Could you see a scenario where we trade Chad Henne before the deadline to a team in need of a quarterback?
John: I don't think Brandon Allen will be the backup quarterback for the Jaguars this season, and I don't think the Jaguars would trade Henne before the trade deadline. I think Henne will be the backup quarterback through this season. After that …
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
It is getting scary out there. Finally, the national media are saying, "The Jaguars are coming." I know we have to live up to it, but I can't wait ...
John: Expectations are high. That's cool. Fans like it.
Sam from Jacksonville:
Do you see Tyson Alualu making the final 53-man roster this year? If not, who would play fullback in short-distance running situations?
John: Tight end Ben Koyack has played quite a bit of fullback in practice, though you could see some defensive players working there Sunday. Either way, I do see Alualu making the final 53 – and this week is a big reason. With Roy Miller and Abry Jones both hurt, Alualu is able to slide over and play nose tackle. He could theoretically do the same if injuries hit the three-technique spot. He also can play strong-side end. That's three positions. As I tell myself whenever Mark Lamping has me cleaning out the dumpsters outside the South End Zone, "the more you can do …"
Michael from Jacksonville:
James Sample was expected to compete for the starting strong safety job. Now, I don't know if he will make the team. Which safeties do you think we will keep, starting and backup?
John: I think Johnathan Cyprien had a fairly strong hold on strong safety much of the offseason, but Sample's extended absence with a shoulder injury absolutely solidified it. I still think Sample makes the team with Tashaun Gipson starting at free safety alongside Cyprien and Peyton Thompson and Sample backing them up.
Michael from Tucker:
Hi John, I have a few questions. Last year, I suggested Neal Sterling would pull an Allen Hurns; he did not. Is he on the bubble of not making the team this year? It seems we can't stop the run recently unless both Roy Miller and Paul Posluszny are in the game at the same time; is there any newbie that can change that dynamic? Lastly, with Luke Joeckel being hot, is it fair to put Kelvin Beachum in at left tackle? Due to the structure of his contract, if Kelvin doesn't play LT, will he even make the roster?
John: Michael, I have a few answers. Yes, Sterling is on the roster bubble, but I believe he will be on the practice squad if he doesn't make the roster. Yes, Miller and Posluszny are critical to the run game … and although there are other good run players, I don't know that anyone else on the interior of the Jaguars' defense is on their level. Lastly, I don't know how fair it is, but Beachum is going to start at left tackle Sunday if healthy. After that, the team will have to figure out if Joeckel's two-game performance is enough to start him at left tackle. Personally, I believe it will be a tough decision organizationally to start Beachum because if Joeckel has turned the corner … well, don't you want to see if that's real? As far as what happens if Beachum doesn't play left tackle this season … yes, he would play guard. Whoever doesn't win the left tackle job between Joeckel and Beachum almost certainly will slide there and start. That's the way it has been for a long, long time and that hasn't changed.
Garrett from Albany, NY:
O-man guy: We sure did luck out with the draft and Joey Bosa not falling to us huh? Do you think he'd be doing the same with any team in the Top 5 of the draft? Jags rule Chargers drool!
John: I don't cover the San Diego Chargers, so I don't know enough of the details of the Joey Bosa situation to know exactly what has gone wrong. From following the situation from a distance, it seems safe to say he would not necessarily be unsigned right now had he been drafted by another team.
Graham from Dundee, Scotland:
O! With everyone heaping praise on the receivers this preseason (rightly so), how overlooked are our tight ends? And especially Marcedes Lewis? Remember: both him and Julius Thomas have posted high touchdown numbers at some point within their careers? Can the focus of defenses on Allen Robinson and the run game open up more chances for these two to increase in touchdowns again?
John: The Jaguars' tight ends indeed have been overlooked during the preseason. That's true of fans and media discussing the team, but it's true that the Jaguars' offense has sort of overlooked them, too. The first-team offense has been very productive, but the unit has played just five preseason series. That's a relatively limited run – and there haven't been many opportunities during that time for Lewis and Thomas. In no way do I expect that to be a trend lasting into the regular season. This offense has a lot of weapons, more than it has had in some time. Not everyone is going to get a ton of opportunities in every game. That includes the tight ends, but there are going to be a lot of games in which they get opportunities, too.
Jay from Jacksonville:
Do you see Greg Olson being a head coach in the NFL in 2017?
John: He has a chance. I say it that way because a lot of things have to happen for an assistant coach to get a head-coaching opportunity – and getting an opportunity doesn't always depend on your ability. For Olson to get a look, the Jaguars' offense probably will have to perform better than it did last season and the team probably will have to win more games. If those things happen then Olson will have overseen some significantly steady improvement that resulted in the overall improvement of a rising, young team. That should be enough to get him in the conversation as a head coach. He's also well-respected and well-connected around the league. I don't know for sure if he will be a head coach in 2017, but I believe he is qualified and I believe it will happen eventually.
CanAm Jags Fan from Acworth:
I'm going to the Jags-Falcons game (preseason) here in Atlanta. I hate that the fourth game will be missing most of the starters. Even the Falcons will be sitting all their best, too. Let's hope there are some position battles still that will let me see some of the first-team players from both squads on the field. Who do you feel may play during that game from the ones?
O-Zone: Just the truth
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL: