JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Teddy from Charlotte, NC:
OK, we know Cecil Shorts has looked good in OTAs. Who else?
John: There's a limit to how much we're going to know after OTAs. Head Coach Gus Bradley has said so himself, and emphasized this again Friday. He was talking about the defensive tackle competition and he said it's just really tough to judge the spot until they see the players in pads. That said, rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders drew a lot of praise late in OTAs. The quickness the Jaguars saw on his college video seems to translate to the NFL – at least it translated to the NFL in May and June. Cornerback Dwayne Gratz also appears ready for the starting role he's likely going to play. I thought the quarterbacks looked better as OTAs went on. With those sessions being closed to the public, we can't report much on the specifics, but offensive players were a lot more pleased with how the unit played near the end of OTAs than at the beginning.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
Why are so many people that participate with the O-Zone so enamored with spelling and/or grammar? I understand that mispelling or incorrect grammar are signs of ignorance or laziness and can be quite amusing sometimes, but is this a website about football or language arts? Football is interesting; langage arts-not so much. Is this a site about the Jacksonville Jaguars or a place pseudointellectuals can feel better about themselves by pointing out minor flaws in others?
John: You misspelled mispelling and langage.
Jim from Gainesville, FL:
Who is your favorite Jaguar player to interview?
John: There has been so much turnover I actually had to think about this a while. I always enjoy interviewing Tyson Alualu, and Sen'Derrick Marks seems to be a really good interview. Brad Meester always is interesting and worth the time, but these days, I'd say it's a tossup between Shorts and offensive guard Uche Nwaneri. Each always puts plenty of thought into his answers, and tries to have something worth saying. That's not always the case.
Josh from Afghanistan:
Bobby from Murray, UT:
Sup, O-man. You seem to have spent a lot of time with the players. Who would win a 40-yard dash between Denard Robinson and Ace Sanders? What's your fastest 40 time?
John: I actually cheated on this one. I was riding to the Jaguars Caravan stop in Daytona with Shorts Friday. He says Robinson's faster than Sanders, but that Sanders has phenomenal quickness. In terms of straight-ahead speed, Toney Clemons and Tobais Palmer may be the fastest players on the team. I timed myself in the 40 once. I used a calendar.
Dane from Jacksonville:
I've got another one for you: misuse of the word "literally." Drives me nuts! (Figuratively, of course).
John: I don't care. Literally or figuratively.
Marjorie from Jacksonville:
John, I just saw a picture of Jaxson DeVille on twitter, why did he set his hair on fire?
John: Jaxson, above all else, is a philosopher with an eye for symbolism. He set his hair on fire to represent the pain and suffering and plight of man throughout history, and to honor those whose stories have been lost to time. Actually, now that I think about it, he just photoshopped it.
Camron from Orlando:
My list of top NFL QBs. 10) JaMarcus Russell. 9) Blaine Gabbert. 8) Mark Sanchez. 7) Matt Flynn. 6) Matt Cassel. 5) Chad Henne. 4) Kevin Kolb. 3) Brandon Weeden. 2) Christian Ponder. 1) Tim Tebow. Now, for the real list. 10) Colin Kaepernick. 9) Andrew Luck. 8) RGIII. 7) Joe Flacco. 6)Tom Brady. 5) Matt Schaub. 4) Peyton Manning. 3) Matt Ryan. 2) Aaron Rodgers. 1) Drew Brees.
John: I'll ignore your first list. I don't quite get it, but you seemed to have enjoyed it. As for your Top 10, give me Rodgers, Brady, Manning and Brees and put the rest in a big group.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
Do you think the Jaguars made a mistake by not resigning Daryl Smith?
John: I probably would have signed Smith. I admired him as a player, and I agree with Paul Posluszny that when Smith was healthy, he was the Jaguars' best defensive player the past two seasons. At the same time, I'm not the one running the Jaguars and my vision may be more short-term than that of Gus Bradley and David Caldwell. Bradley and Caldwell focused for the most on younger veterans during free agency, with the exception being the signing of Marcus Trufant, a veteran with experience in Bradley's scheme. Smith almost certainly wasn't going to be part of the franchise over the upcoming five-year period, so in that sense, the move fit with the Jaguars' offseason approach. I like the approach of building for the future as opposed to overfocusing on the present, so in that sense, the move made sense.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Was this you, John: "Now is the time to sign Tebow to beef that QB position up." I laughed out loud. And for the rest of your question, it amazes me that people are that out of touch with our fan base.
John: It was not me. I promise. But as for the rest of the question, it really doesn't amaze me that much. Not anymore.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Who do you think has had a better NBA career: Tim Duncan or Kobe Bryant?
John: Kobe. I respect Tim Duncan and admire him, but Kobe's one of the all-time best players. I don't know that I can put Duncan quite in that group.
Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Forget players defending the city, twitter wars with journalists, etc., buy a ticket and fill the stadium. Problem solved.
John: Well, yes.
Steve from Indianapolis, IN:
Your statement that Gabbert and Henne were statistically similar in 2012 is laughable. Henne threw for over 400 more yards than Gabbert in five fewer games. I have yet to see what anyone sees in Gabbert to make him the starter. I'll take Henne any day – at least there will be some excitement in 2013 with him at the helm.
John: Yes, and Gabbert had a higher passer rating, better touchdown-interception ratio and higher completion percentage. Look, I have no preference who wins the quarterback position. I believe Gabbert will, but Henne looked good enough at times last year that it wouldn't be shocking if it goes the other way. But to try to say that one was significantly better than the other statistically or otherwise is, as you say, laughable.
Brian from Nashua, NH:
My prediction for next season: Gabbert passing for 3,000 yards, 25 touchdowns, rushing for six touchdowns and throwing only four interceptions.
John: You are very bold, Brian. I admire your gumption.
Vince from Charleston, SC:
So at the end of the year, based on what you've been seeing, who do you think will be our stars on both sides of the ball for us? Shorts for the offense and Cyprien for the defense? I think Babin in his more natural position will give a pretty decent run.
John: I whole-heartedly agree with the first choice. Shorts has the look of a player ready to make a significant jump – perhaps to elite status. Health will be the key. I have been as vocal as anyone in saying Johnathan Cyprien looks very, very good, though I always am hesitant to push rookies forward as potential stars. The adjustment process from college to pros is difficult, and true stars as a rookie are rare if they're not playing running back. Babin certainly has a chance, though I would say it's more because of his presence on the roster for the entire season rather than five games.
Jeff from Starke, FL:
I traveled to London last year on business. Soccer came up when I learned one of my London colleagues was a season ticket holder for one of the teams. He was a passionate fan and could tell I was a sports fan as we talked. He showed me pictures of the stadium on game day and it was incredible. Through the conversation he learned I was from Jacksonville, and he already knew about the Jaguars and so did a couple of the others that had joined in the conversation. Believe me, there are knowledgeable sports fans there. They'll have a learning curve when it comes to the NFL but there are some there that are all in.
John: There's no doubt about that. The feedback in the inbox from London and other parts of England has been very positive. I have no idea if that's indicative of the entire country or not, but there are knowledgeable fans ready to embrace the idea of having the Jaguars there once a year. This has a chance to be a unique, positive situation – except, of course, for the accompanying, requisite panic.
Mike from Brunswick, GA and Section 232:
JohnnyBoy, I'm just going to start referring to you as King of Videobombing. You need to invest in some more hats, though.
John: I make Senior Writer money. I haven't yet had time to move funds around for more hats.
O-Zone: Moving money
JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Teddy from Charlotte, NC: