JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Nick from Deltona, FL:
I read a story that the NFL has changed its instant-replay rules in an attempt to cut down on officiating errors. My question: Will this include calls that were considered "non-reviewable judgement calls" such as pass interference?
John: No, it will not – and I doubt that you'll see pass interference included in the NFL's replay system any time soon. To include it would go against the very spirit of the system, which always has been to use it to reverse obvious, definable errors. Those include areas such as ball placement, out-of-bounds calls, scoring plays, etc., -- i.e., plays with clear and theoretically inarguable results. Pass interference is by definition a judgement call, and two officials theoretically could disagree on a pass-interference call and never find common ground. That's far less likely on a break-the-plane or out-of-bounds call. The idea of replay is to correct a missed call that's obvious enough someone watching with no sound in a bar would see it; pass interference doesn't really fit that.
Dallas from Jacksonville:
Jonathan Woodard's injury clearly is not good; now he is out for the season. But do you think this guy was a factor at all? I know he definitely wouldn't have earned a starting role or anything, but do you think he would've gotten cut in the preseason?
John: I have no idea because no one really does. As a seventh-round draft selection Woodard's chances would essentially have been the same as an undrafted free agent. That means it would have been difficult for him to make this roster – especially considering the depth of the defensive line – though the Jaguars wouldn't have drafted him if he didn't have a chance.
MrPadre from Kingsland, GA:
If the rule in place which is keeping Myles Jack from participating in OTAs was collectively bargained at the last meeting … who wanted this rule in place? It doesn't seem to be a rule that Owners/Teams would have wanted in the agreement and it also doesn't seem like the players would have wanted this restriction on their ability to "work" at their job, either. So, who wanted this so badly that it was included? #DTWD
John: The rule keeping Jack out of OTAs hardly is major enough to be a sticking point in collective bargaining, and it's not a rule either side would have particularly wanted. The rule essentially is a concession to colleges, a way for the NFL to show academics are important – and it's not usually intrusive enough for there to be a major move to change the rule. The spirit/intent of the rule actually is fine; there's nothing wrong with being for academics. Does it have the desired effects of helping more players finish school? Perhaps not.
Paul from Gainesville, FL:
One more question about positions, John: Who the heck plays OLEO?
John: I have no idea. I just know they're good with milk.
Neil from Gloucester, UK:
Dear, Mr O: Still learning!! This will probably seem like a stupid question, but it crossed my mind last preseason after Dante Fowler Jr.'s injury, amongst others!. Would it be an idea for all players, apart from kicker and punter, to wear knee braces during OTAs when practices are at a slower – more learning –pace. This might stop these injuries occurring until players are up to speed. Or is this not allowed? Thank you.
John: It's not a terrible idea at all, and I've often wondered why – considering the advances in technology – players don't wear braces not only in practices but in games as a preventative measure. But they don't.
Tom from Orlando, FL:
Do you think the Jaguars regret not drafting a center yet?
John: Why would they?
Arianna from Pooler, GA:
The two Allens, Marqise Lee and Rashad Greene look like locks for the first four wide-receiver roster spots. For fifth and possibly sixth wide receiver, do you see it as a battle between Arrelious Benn, Neal Sterling and Brian Walters, or do think someone else will emerge? If so, who does your gut think that long shot might be? Thank you.
John: I think that battle will come down to Walters and Benn because Sterling has been moved to tight end. I have to go with Walters getting the job because Benn has had trouble staying healthy. We'll see.
Bruce from Reading, PA:
Hey, O-Man big fan. If you had to pick a player from our new defense who will become the cornerstone player for years to come who would it be?
John: Jalen Ramsey.
Brian from New Hampshire:
I'm not really concerned with Blake's interceptions. I actually am more worried he's going to take less risk to keep his interceptions down and that could hurt the offense. I say let the ball fly.
John: I wouldn't worry too much about Bortles not taking risks. He was asked something along these lines earlier this offseason and pretty much laughed it off. If you spend any time around him at all you quickly get the idea that he's not going to stop being aggressive. Remember, though: you can still be aggressive and reduce interceptions. It's about developing enough of a grasp of the offense that you know when you take shots downfield and where to go with the ball to reduce the risk. It's more of a knowledge/experience/processing issue than it is about reducing the amount you go downfield.
Carlos from Calhoun City, MS:
Do you think Tom Brady could win a Super Bowl with our receivers and tight ends?
John: Of course.
Chris from Jac:
Does the Ramsey injury put him in the same boat with Jack with them missing the same amount of practice?
John: If you mean the really-talented-player-who's-going-to-contribute-early-but-might-need-time-to-reach-his-potential-boat, then yeah … probably.
Brett from Canton, MS:
Reading Graham from Scotland's question got me thinking about something. If our draft had gone Ramsey or Jack in the first round, Ngakoue in the second, and Day in the third I think Caldwell (and us fans) would have been very pleased with the first two days of our draft. So even worst case scenario with Ramsey, we still have a first, second and third rounder (as far as quality goes) ready to go from this years draft. Not to mention Fowler.
John: Yes, but if you look it that way you're far less apt to be angry and being angry is fun.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Do you believe life exists on planets other than Earth within the Milky Way galaxy? Furthermore, do you believe intelligent life capable of someday communicating with our planet exists within the same boundary?
John: Right now I'm trying to figure out what to do about the dead spot in my lawn: sod, or let it grow back? I'm thinking let it grow back. It's a price thing.
Brandon from Atlanta, GA:
If Myles Jack ends up playing Sam and Mike linebacker, can we call it the Motto position?
John: I'm afraid we're heading down that road, yes.
Vince from Jacksonville:
You could argue that every other unit on the team (the offensive backfield, receiving corps, defensive front seven and secondary) are young and/or talented and added more youth/talent in the offseason. The O-line? They sign a tackle with less than ideal size coming off an ACL injury and a 30-year old journeyman guard that two teams let walk. And we know the team would've addressed O-line in the draft had Ryan Kelly been available in the 2nd round. Is there any hope O-linemen already on the roster will become good starters? We're fans, so we are sometimes blinded by optimism, but we can also read between the lines to see this will be a problem area for various reasons. (Joeckel not living up to expectations, Beachum coming off injury, Linder moving to center and Bernadeau possibly starting instead of being a depth guy …)
John: Considering the need to address defense in the draft – and considering the market in free agency – the Jaguars did pretty much what made sense in the offseason. It would have been very difficult to not draft Jalen Ramsey at No. 5 and it would have been even more difficult to pass on Myles Jack in the second round even if Kelly had been available. The Jaguars at that point had to go edge rusher in the third round, and after that there wasn't much point in drafting offensive line. I don't know that all of the reasons you list are proof of potential problem areas. First, there's no indication Linder moving to center will be a problem and Beachum's injury doesn't have to preclude him from playing well next season. As far as Bernadeau possibly starting, I doubt that happens unless there is an injury. The feeling in the organization is that experience, the return of Linder and the addition of Beachum will be big plusses. We'll see.
Scotty Jag from Points North:
Always enjoy reading questions from Jags fans in the United Kingdom. I have started to follow their "football" as well, particularly Shad Khan's Fulham. Is there an official O-Zone for that team as well? I picture some guy with a cockney accent who uses phrases like "aye … governor!" and "Pip-pip!". If there isn't one would you mind using these phrases every now and then?
O-Zone: Language barrier
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Nick from Deltona, FL: