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O-Zone: Men being men

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . . Eric from Yulee, FL:
I'm one fer building the other position groups and having them in place before drafting another quarterback in the first round. The linebacker, defensive line and offensive line still need work– at the very least, the offensive line. Why draft our "franchise" quarterback just to put him behind a struggling offensive line with the possibility of getting injured? I'm all for seeing if a quarterback falls to one of the later rounds and picking him up.
John: This is a storyline that will shake out in the coming weeks and months, and it's unlikely that the Jaguars made too much progress toward finding an answer at the Senior Bowl. That's because the quarterbacks in Mobile, Ala., for the event aren't yet in that upper-tier of potential Top 3 or Top 5 quarterbacks. I completely agree that if there's no franchise quarterback available you don't take a quarterback in the Top 3. You don't want to take a quarterback at No. 3 just to take a quarterback if you don't think the player is elite. If you do that, you're hurting your team once instead of twice. But as for seeing if a quarterback falls and picking him up, that's fine; I just don't know that it's a very high-percentage way of finding your guy.
Richard from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I will be very favorably impressed if David Caldwell chooses to strengthen the line and get a quarterback with great potential later on. The specter of a highly-hyped quarterback failing to live up to the hype is too terrible to contemplate.
John: Well, I tend to think of things such as floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and other various natural disasters as being "too terrible to contemplate." Certain human strife such as famine and plague might fit into this category, too. A highly-hyped quarterback not playing as well as fans would like? That would suck, but it wouldn't suck on "plague level."
Joseph from Jacksonville:
I have been all about Manziel, but I have been getting intrigued by Garoppolo. It's not just the media bringing it up; it's seeing his quick-zip throwing mechanics and reading about how he is always wanting to absorb information and good at picking up things quick. He seems more poised compared to the others at the Senior Bowl. If the Jags pick defensive end in first and get Jimmy in the second, I'd definitely be fer-Jimmy as well.
John: Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be an intriguing story to watch in the coming months. He's the hot quarterback now, and after a solid Senior Bowl week, he's likely going to be the subject of a lot of pre-draft buzz. He likely will rise quickly in the eyes of some and reach heights few imagined he would. That will lead ultimately to getting picked apart some, too. As of right now, I like what I have seen of Garoppolo. His mechanics seem good, as does his poise, and he seems to not be overwhelmed by playing with top college talent. It does little good to predict draft selections right now, so I'll refrain from doing that, but defensive end with a Jimmy pick added in in the second round is as good a thing as any to be fer right now.
Quentin from Amsterdam:
You say more injuries occur on kickoff returns than on punt returns, so punt returns most likely will stay. I think more injuries happen on punt returns than on PATs. So if It is All For player safety, lose the punt returns rather than The PAT.
John: Come on, Quentin, now you're just being argumentative. The next thing I'll hear is, "Eliminate everything!!!!" The NFL obviously doesn't want to eliminate everything, and it wants to do what it can to make the game safer without taking away the essence of the game. People can and do criticize Roger Goodell, but he's not a dim man. He knows the NFL is wildly popular because people like the violence and the contact. He also knows that the league must find a balance to make it safer. The decisions toward that end won't always be popular, but a balance must be found.
Tim from Jacksonville:
Negative points should not be a part of any professional sport. Here's how it should work: six points for a touchdown, two points for successful conversion. If there is no conversion attempt, then the kicker gets his one extra point following the kickoff. Much simpler, and keeps everything closer to the current system. The stats system status quo is also preserved.
John: Hey, hey, hey … ho, ho, ho!!! All for the … status quo!!!!
Michael from Wiesbaden:
O man, I am stationed in Germany, currently in Morocco to run a marathon this Sunday, and who do I run into? Another Jaguar Fan. He noticed my large sticker on my computer while wait our flight from Spain. It was a joy to talk Jaguars Football with another fan. #standunited
John: #Standunited
Steve from Denver, CO:
Will our general manager talk with Luke (Joeckel) about teammates' opinion about Manziel? Will he ask Ace how Clowney behaved off the field? We can't afford another R.J.Soward. I don't how much the Jags paid to do a background check, but clearly they dropped the ball (no pun intended).
John: Wow, the legacy of R.J. Soward lives on. Look, there's no such thing as a foolproof scouting system or a perfect background. Even if there were, there's no way to know for certain a person's future. Many, many college football players have imperfect backgrounds. These are 20-to-23-year old human beings we're discussing, and many have partaken at various levels in the things that 20-to-23-year human beings – particularly college-attending human beings – do. When determining whether to draft a player, all you can do is what many businesses do when determining such things. You talk to the person. You check background. You talk to people around him. You get as good a feel as you can for the person, and then you decide you want him. You pick and hope like heck you were right.
Maurice from North Potomac, MD:
Dee Ford was an absolute beast in the Senior Bowl and I feel Kyle van Noy played pretty well, too. It seems like the coaching staff likes both of them. What do you think the chances are we actually draft them? Would it be unrealistic to rule out drafting back-to-back pass rushers in Rounds 2 and 3 if they're around?
John: There's a chance the Jaguars draft those players. There's also a chance the 31 other teams scouting players who were at the Senior Bowl draft those players, too. Again, let's not overestimate the Senior Bowl. Just because the Jaguars coached the South team doesn't up the chances a player will be available when the Jaguars select. The benefits of being there this week are that the Jaguars coaches will have a clearer picture of a lot of mid-to-late-round draft choices, but the events of the past week likely won't dictate the Jaguars' entire draft-day strategy.
Jason from North Pole, AK:
Some buddies and I were kicking around the idea of the Patriots trading Brady to the 49ers in exchange for Kaepernick. Obviously, this is purely hypothetical but the question is who would be getting the better end of the deal? With each team's current situation do you think either would be willing to make that trade?
John: Neither team probably would want that deal. The 49ers would shy from it because their offense is built around Kaepernick's speed and because Kaepernick has yet to reach his prime and has more good years left than Brady. The Patriots would shy from it, because he is the franchise and has proven that he is elite and can lead an offense with good players around him. If the Patriots had a chance to make the trade, they probably consider it because of Kaepernick's youth, but I doubt they make it.
Greg from Jacksonville:
Would a coach or scout have more say when it comes to drafting a player participating in this week's Senior Bowl event? It seems like a coach would have a better idea of what a players potential would truly be since the coach sees how the player plays/practices compared to how an NFL player should play/practice? But on the other hand, a scout has spent much time on researching a player's history.
John: Remember, scouting isn't done in a vacuum. Decisions aren't, either. When David Caldwell and the scouting staff are considering draftable players, they'll undoubtedly take coaches' input into consideration. That's absolutely true for players who were in the Senior Bowl. Ultimately, David Caldwell makes a decision based on all of the information he has gathered. In this case, he may have a bit more information gathered on the Senior Bowl players than others.
Nathan from St. Augustine:
Hey O-man, any word on how Luke Joeckel is doing in his recovery? Is he expected to be full speed by training camp?
John: He is doing well and as of early in the offseason, he was expected to be ready to participate in the Jaguars' offseason conditioning program. He absolutely is expected to be ready for training camp.
Stephen from North Haven, CT:
Player safety, player safety, player safety... Why is it hanging around with a bunch of friends and 99 percent of them would be willing to take some irrational painful beating for $100,000, but we are worried about people making absurd amounts more money getting a concussion while wearing pads. I didn't see lawyers or representatives going to war over my $50,000-a-year job when I broke my ankle. Let men be men.
John: Yes, and let's eat some raw meat while we're at it.

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