JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Andy from Atlantic Beach, FL
John, offseason work obviously has become so important for Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles – too important, in my humble opinion. A great quarterback shouldn't need to relearn it every year. What, if anything, is he doing this offseason to improve?
Offseason routine indeed has become a major storyline for Bortles, and the good news for him is he seems to have found a formula he likes. Bortles last offseason spent time in California working with his throwing coaches – Tom House and Adam Dedeaux – before the team's official April-June voluntary offseason program, and he followed that up with a month of work in late June and early July shortly before training camp. His fundamentals seemed to hold through last season better than in any of his previous three NFL seasons. And it's neither good nor bad that he finds it necessary to work on fundamentals every offseason. Here's what it is: normal. Most quarterbacks need to focus regularly on fundamentals to keep from slipping into bad habits; the need for this is what caused NFL teams in the 1980s and early 1990s to add quarterback coaches, which at one point was a role usually handled by offensive coordinators. As far as what he is doing this offseason, Bortles followed the same early offseason routine earlier this year and planned to return to California in late June and early July. He has found the approach that works for him and he's sticking to it. That's all you can ask of him at this point.
Prison Mike from Scranton, PA
Yo, Prison Mike here and I was just wondering. Is the worst part about the O-Zone the dementors?
No. That's not the worst part.
Tyler from Jacksonville
Another one for you. Who wins a game of basketball? The wide receiver group or the defensive backs? You wouldn't dare say receivers and look Jalen in the eye, would you?
My gut tells me to go with the defensive backs on this one – and not just because of this. Either way, Jalen knows where to find me. I ain't scared …
Robert from Oneonta
John, I watched/listened to your podcast with Giants.com. As you are well aware, I do not always agree with you. I thought you did a great job. Thanks!
I agree with you.
Roger from London, UK
Sir O: Notwithstanding the much-improved roster this forthcoming season, if free to choose, which position would you most like to strengthen between now and kickoff day in September? I would go for another power running back to take some of the burden off Leonard Fournette, but where would you look to strengthen if you could?
Backup running back would be an option, but remember: the Jaguars released backup Chris Ivory this offseason and opted to not address the position in free agency or the draft by choice. The reason was that Ivory couldn't get on the field late last season or in the postseason because the Jaguars had found their ideal running back rotation in Fournette, T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant. I suppose in the ideal world the Jaguars would strengthen the right side of the offensive line, making guard A.J. Cann more consistent and right tackle Jermey Parnell a few years younger. And they might sign an All-Pro wide receiver or tight end if one were available on the cheap. Here's the issue there: they're not.
Steve from Denver, CO
JO: Family friend's K9 " Felipo" requests a portrait of game-day villain be rolled out in the dog park. Can you get J.P. to sign off on the pooch request?
I never know what's going on.
_ Greg from London, UK_
Wimbledon starts Monday. Who do you like?
I like Petra Kvitova in the women's draw; she's always good on grass. And Roger Federer in the men's. I don't feel overly great about Federer, though. I fear age may be catching up just enough to negate the edge he has on this surface.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL
How many NFL players (active or retired) live in Ponte Vedra versus … let's say, Fruit Cove?
I have no dog in this fight. What I can tell you is if you're listing things that make a place a great place to live, the presence of most NFL players I've known would rank pretty low.
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL
Hi John, winning in the NFL is hard. Teams don't win by overlooking their opponents. That's why I don't buy into the theory that the Jags "snuck up" on our opponents last year. I think the Jags were supposed to be good and were good. We didn't surprise our opponents. We beat them.
Absolutely. The Jaguars began the 2018 season by blowing out not only the Houston Texans, but the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers in the first five games. People within the NFL knew this team was good. There was no sneaking up or surprising.
_ Mark from Prescott, AZ_
Re: Eleven on eleven, Fred Taylor. Having read the article, it came to mind that this man would make a great official of some kind on the team's staff. Maybe assistant head coach or some such with the objective of being an ever-present team mentor day-in and day-out. Any thoughts on such a thing?
I have little doubt that Taylor would excel as either a head coach, or in a mentor/player-relations role. From speaking with Taylor over the years, I get the idea that he someday might like to try such a role. As for now, he is living in South Florida and is successful in other areas, too – though he is involved with the Jaguars as a game-day analyst.
Chris from Jacksonville
I'd mention how much I've been enjoying the features on the ROAR calendar on the main page, but ... I'd wager you'd have no idea what I'm talking about.
I have no idea what you're talking about.
Nelson from Jacksonville
O'man. I have been reading the complaints about the ads, and although having to scroll down a couple of inches can be both difficult and tiresome for some, I have to say that my right index finger is looking pretty good these days. All the extra scrolling has made it a little buff.
Way to fight through it, Nelson. As I used to tell my son when he finished his weekly chore, overcoming adversity is good for you. Builds character.
Roger from Valdosta, GA
Are you going to the Poison concert Saturday night?
Can I just go for the opening act? Because the Dream Police they live in side of my head …
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, I thought Myles Jack was already one of the best players, and he wasn't down.
Jack was a good player last season, but I don't know that too many observers would have said he was one of the Jaguars' best four of five players for the entire season. Most people would have had at least cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, ends Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell and defensive tackle Malik Jackson above him – and perhaps a handful more. I believe there's a very good chance that by the end of the 2018 season Jack will be among the two or three players people mention first when listing the Jaguars' really good players.
Lewis from San Marco
So, I think what you meant with your answer to Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL when he asked was it the defensive line or the defensive backs was the Jags have the old Double Whammy on defense. Is that right?
Jaguars 2018 Training Camp begins Thursday, July 26. Veterans report Wednesday, July 25.
Julio from Southern Cal
O, Since there are now ads on your daily column, I hope you get a piece of the action from ad revenue. After all, these ads are being seen because people are logging in to your column. Just saying.
I did approach Jaguars President Mark Lamping a few weeks back about a so-called "piece of the action." I outlined what I believed to be sound reasoning in detail, using a deft combination of power point and video with Shadrick narrating. I passionately made my point, which isn't surprising. I'm a man of words, after all, practiced and experienced in the art of using language to illuminate and sway. Lamping didn't act like he was all that impressed, though, and he seemed oddly surprised to find me in his office upon awakening. But he knew. Yes, he definitely knew.
_ Sandy from Fruit Cove_
O-Funkadelic One: please don't buy into the stuffy, elitist propaganda perpetuated by the patrician Ponte Vedra populace. Sure, they may have their fancy golf courses, hoity-toity resorts and million-dollar homes along the ocean, BUT here in the 32259 we have Northeast Florida's original big cats: the Jaguars of Julington Creek Elementary! AND a Gators Dockside! HEY BEACH BUMS: TAKE A SHOWER, YOU SMELL LIKE LOW TIDE!
Oh no you didn't …