JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Vince from Jacksonville:
I believe Doug Marrone would like to employ a two-tight-end formation to help a predominantly running team. It would also help Blake Bortles to have that safety net over the middle and in the flat. My question is if you start Austin Seferian-Jenkins on one side – who is more of a receiver than run blocker – who do you think the Jags would prefer their tight end to be like on the other side? A better blocker than receiver or vice versa?
John: A few thoughts on your thoughts and questions. First, I agree that Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett would love to utilize a two-tight-end offense extensively – just as many, many NFL head coaches/coordinators would love to do so. This is not so much because it helps run-oriented offenses, but because a two tight-end, two-receiver offense is perhaps the most-balanced offense in terms of not tipping the defense on whether the offense will run or pass. There are coordinators who would work from the scheme on the vast majority of plays if they had the right personnel to do so. As for Seferian-Jenkins, it may not be accurate to completely pigeonhole him as a receiving tight end; part of the reason the Jaguars felt comfortable parting ways with longtime tight end Marcedes Lewis earlier this week was they feel Seferian-Jenkins can run block effectively. Still, the guess here is that the Jaguars will look for a tight end in the first three rounds of the draft next month; they'll want someone as multidimensional as possible, but I would imagine receiving skills would be the priority.
Asley from Duval:
I know fans will fan, but WOW! How are so many people seriously still crying about offseason moves that beefed up our offensive line and special teams, and added depth? Moves made, by the way, by the same guys who got us one half away from a Super Bowl. I don't know much, but I do know this: bad defensive line and offensive line in years past got us four and five wins. Being great on both sides last year got us in the AFC Championship game. RELAX everyone I think these guys know what they're doing! #dtwd
John: I have been struck by the level of angst over the Jaguars' offseason moves. In particular, I was struck by the outcry over the release of wide receiver Allen Hurns and tight end Lewis this week; while I understand the disappointment for sentimental reasons – and while I liked both players very much – it's hard to argue that the loss of either player will dramatically chip away at the team's core. That argument, in fact, can be made regarding all of the players the team lost in recent weeks – with the thought here being that loss of cornerback Aaron Colvin likely will impact the team the most. One thought on your thought: while you call the Jaguars' offensive and defensive lines last season great, the team didn't agree with your assessment of the offensive line. It was a good unit that clearly needed to get better, which was why the Jaguars spent big on free-agent guard Andrew Norwell. The team believes he will be a major upgrade. If that indeed is the case, then the offensive line could take a step toward being as good next season as you believed it was last season.
Chase from Jacksonville:
The word on the street is the Jaguars sent a scout to a private Johnny Manziel workout Thursday afternoon. Is this just a case of due diligence or do you think he could be a viable backup option? I personally think he didn't get a fair shake the first time around and in the right situation could be a really good QB. What say you John?
John: Here's something sure to shock the shorts off anyone who follows such things: the "word on the street" in this case was a twisted, distant, misrepresented version of what actually happened. As Gomer Pyle (Google it, young 'uns) would say, "Surprise, surprise!!" Manziel threw at the University of San Diego's pro day Thursday. He reportedly had been working out in San Diego with two prospects from USD and there was no other quarterback to throw to the players during the workout. The Jaguars were among 13 teams represented at the workout – and I'm sure all 13 scouts noticed Manziel and took note of how he threw – but this was not a case of the Jaguars breathlessly sending a scout to Southern California in an urgent attempt to weigh Manziel as an option at backup quarterback. Bottom line: don't hold your breath on this one.
Chad from Orange Park, FL:
In response to a previous question having to do with the league terminating a contract if a team goes above the salary cap after a certain date … has that ever happened that you know of or remember?
John: It's possible it has happened, though I don't recall. The league and teams monitor the cap on a daily basis. It would be unusual for a team to make a move that put it over the cap.
Alan from Aurora, IL:
Everything I hear about Andrew Norwell is that he is a fantastic pass blocker; however, it seems pretty obvious we are a run-heavy team. Any concerns with his fit in our offense style?
John: At $66.5 million with $30 million guaranteed, there damned sure better not be.
Cathy from Jacksonville:
John, can you explain how compensatory picks are calculated? Will the Jags be eligible to receive compensatory picks in the next draft?
John: Compensatory draft selections are awarded based on unrestricted free agency gains and losses from the previous offseason. The league's exact formula is unknown, but the essence is this: if the league determines a team lost more than it gained in free agency, the team will get compensatory selections commensurate with the losses; if the league determines a team has gained more than it lost, it will not get compensatory selections. A couple of notes on the selections: they are awarded in the draft for free agency the previous offseason, so the Jaguars would not receive any compensatory selections for this offseason's free agency until the 2019 NFL Draft. Also: players released are not considered free agents lost, so while Colvin and wide receiver Allen Robinson will count in the league's calculations, Lewis and Hurns – who were released this week – will not. I wouldn't expect the Jaguars to receive a compensatory selection next offseason. Remember: while they lost Colvin, Robinson, guard Patrick Omameh and quarterback Chad Henne, they also signed eight players including an All-Pro player in Norwell. It's quite likely the league will determine the Jaguars gained more than they lost.
Mark from Archer, FL:
So what kind of potential does Donte Moncrief have? If he stays healthy does he have the potential to be a top-level receiver or just a solid No. 2?
John: He has a lot of potential, and there are those who believe his potential isn't that much different than that of Robinson. If he stays healthy – and that's a big if – he seems that he could be a very good No. 2.
Jacqueline from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Dear O: I have been sort of surprised as more info has surfaced about A-Rob and his negativity regarding Blake Bortles – like the comments at training camp and such. I realize the players are all professionals and should be able to work with teammates they aren't best friends with, but they're only human. I can't help but think Blake doesn't need his top target expressing doubt in him and his abilities and calling him out in front of other players. I for one am actually glad A-Rob has moved on for this reason. Last year without A-Rob playing Blake made some major progress and I think Blake needs to move forward with the guys in the locker room firmly behind him. Am I way off base in thinking these emotional factors can play in?
John: Emotional factors matter, but in this case I think emotions had little to do with the Jaguars' decision to not retain Robinson – or Robinson's decision to take the Chicago Bears' offer over that of the Jaguars. I think guaranteed money had more to do with it than anything.
Steve from the Sunroom Couch:
"I understand the disconnect here, but that disconnect doesn't mean negligence on the part of the team." Dear John, While this may hold true for you ,what exactly have the Jaguars done to improve the quarterback position since the David Garrard era?
John: The Jaguars have twice in the last seven NFL drafts used Top 10 selections on quarterbacks. Whatever your opinion on the players selected, it's incorrect to say the team has not addressed the position.
Paul from Duuvall:
"I actually liked Kornheiser on MNF, too – but I have a soft spot for aging, camera-challenged, irascible sports writers. I have no idea why." Gene Frenette is holding on line 1.
John: I'm not here.
O-Zone: Leave a message, maybe I'll call
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Vince from Jacksonville: