JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Shannon from Brunswick, GA:
Is Nathaniel gonna be able to "Hackett?" Seriously, I don't know anything about Coach Hackett. Can you give us some background? Thanks!
John: Nathaniel Hackett is considered a very good young coach in NFL circles. He is the son of Paul Hackett, a longtime college coach and NFL offensive coordinator. He was the Syracuse offensive coordinator under Doug Marrone from 2011-2012 and worked in the same capacity under Marrone in Buffalo the past two seasons. With Marrone now the Jaguars' assistant head coach-offensive/offensive line, it's not a shock or a reach that Hackett is here. During the Jaguars' coordinator search, I liked the idea of Hackett as the offensive coordinator, and I was surprised the Jaguars were able to hire him as quarterbacks coach. I'd imagine Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley was pleasantly surprised as well. As I've said often this offseason, it's awfully hard to pre-judge a coach based on the statistics of his previous team. There are simply too many variables, but the Bills had some success in 2013 when their running backs were healthy and less success this past season. Hackett worked primarily with E.J. Manuel during his time in Buffalo, and while some in Buffalo blame Hackett for Manuel not developing it's my experience that a coach can't fully control how good a player does or doesn't become. He can influence it, but can't control it. The bottom line is Hackett has a good reputation. He's almost certainly going to be a coordinator again soon; until that happens, the Jaguars believe he can have a positive effect on Blake Bortles.
James from Jacksonville:
This is getting ridiculous with Marshawn Lynch. Now the NFL wants to fine him for wearing the wrong hat during his interview? What can the players union do to help?
John: Getting players to follow the rules would be a start. I don't suppose I have a problem with players marching to the beat of their own drums, but the rules are kinda, sorta established and all players kinda, sorta know it.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
John, since you know what you're doing, are you saying that you could get Marshawn Lynch to give you a good answer to a question?
John: At a Super Bowl podium? Probably not.
Justin from Jacksonville:
Do you see a scenario in which we draft Dante Fowler, Jr. at No. 3 – or is that too high? As a Florida Gator fan, I've seen firsthand how disruptive he can be and I think he would make a great fit.
John: Sure, there's a scenario in which Fowler is drafted No. 3. He's one of the top pass rushers in the draft, and I'm on record saying I'll be surprised if the Jaguars don't take a player on the defensive front. Right now, I'd guess Randy Gregory of Nebraska or Leonard Williams of Southern California at No. 3, but it's late January and the draft is in late April. We'll see what happens.
Kyle from Davenport, IA:
Call me crazy, but if I was a final candidate for an offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach position, I would have a long talk with the quarterbacks on the roster about my playbook/style before I was hired and could no longer communicate with them. But hey, maybe that's just me trying to game the system.
John: Conversations certainly take place between potential coordinators and quarterbacks. Some of those conversations do last an extended period of time. Compared to the communication that occurs on a day-in-day-out basis in the regular season or in an offseason program, the on-field benefits of even the most-extended pre-hiring conversations are pretty minimal.
Randy from Jacksonville:
I know who would have made a good Otto in his prime. Daryl Smith.
Shane from Lusby, MD:
Why is it in every article written about Blake Bortles we are reminded every time that he was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft? I think we got it.
John: I do usually refer to Bortles as the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. If you notice, when writing about other players on the Jaguars, I often identify how they were acquired. The internet is a big place and stories on websites are available to literally hundreds of people all over the world for, like, a long time. When I write stories for this website, I do so assuming that not every person reading reads every day.
Austin from Jacksonville:
Since the Jags are notorious for overpaying tight ends, I believe that is where we may make the biggest free agency splash. Who do you see fitting better in the Jaguars offense, Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron?
John: Either would be fine.
Frank from Jacksonville:
Let me start by saying I look forward to seeing what Greg Olson can do with this offense. It sounds like his focus is in the right place with Blake Bortles. I'm curious, though, because after having worked with Olson in Tampa and then coming here as head coach, Gus Bradley decided to not rehire Olson, who was currently employed here in Jacksonville. What do you think made Coach Bradley not want him back then, but decide he was the right fit now?
John: At the time, Bradley wanted to hire Jedd Fisch as offensive coordinator, a hiring he announced quickly after getting the job. Olson then got the coordinator job in Oakland, which was a step up from quarterbacks coach, the position he held in Jacksonville in 2012.
Daniel from Fort Dodge:
Hey, O-Man, I have been and will be a big Bortles fan, but given a choice would you switch Bortles and a second-round pick for Andrew Luck?
John: Of course. Both are young and one is a known quantity while the other is a player with potential who must develop. It's not a knock on Bortles, but the answer is pretty obvious. For now.
Tony from Palm Coast, FL:
Ryan Davis is a bad man. We should get that guy on the field more. Any chances of that or is he going to get buried on the depth chart?
John: This isn't necessarily an either/or question. Davis plays extensively in pass-rush situations as a tackle rushing against interior linemen. That is where he has proven most effective. He doesn't start, but the NFL is a situational game; not starting doesn't mean being buried on the depth chart.
Jeremy from Jacksonville:
John, I thought earlier in the offseason you said when the new coordinator was hired, Blake Bortles would be able to receive the play book immediately. What changed? Seems like the league would allow any player that is changing systems to receive a playbook but keep the contact rule in place. If not, it puts that team at a very big disadvantage. Elaborate please.
John: I asked about this earlier in the offseason and was told that players could receive a playbook from a new coordinator. Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said last week at the Senior Bowl that was not the case. So, apparently I was misinformed. This was a mistake on my part. As I tell my wife when she casually points out something I have done wrong, "Add it to the list."
Earl from Inthemiddleburg:
Oman, I just don't see the reasoning behind keeping Marcedes Lewis around for another year of bashing. With one year left on his contract, surely he would make an enticing draft-pick trade, wouldn't you think? Win-Win!!
John: Ten-year veteran tight ends aren't typically huge trade draws. Lewis may not be the NFL's best tight end, but he's good. Remember: there's nothing wrong with keeping good players.
Daniel from Windsor Heights, IA:
Honestly, I'm not sure if you have an answer for this, but can you explain the Doug Marrone situation? First, he voluntarily vacates an NFL head coaching position … even with some uncertainty of future ownership, how many people do that? Secondly, he doesn't find another head coaching position, not in the NFL and not in college. He doesn't even take an offensive coordinator position; he takes an offensive line position for one of the worst teams in the NFL? How does that make any kind of sense?
John: On the surface, it doesn't make sense. Everyone has reasons for their actions. Doug Marrone certainly had his reasons for what he did. Not knowing him, I don't know what they are.
MC from Jacksonville:
Is it realistic to have one guy kicking and punting for a team? It would save a roster spot, but is it worth the risk/reward if, say, injured or slumping?
John: It's rarely, if ever, realistic – though it's not about injury or slumping. While kicking and punting indeed involve swinging a leg and having a foot hit a ball, they're actually significantly different skills. Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee certainly can punt and Jaguars punt Bryan Anger certainly kick field goals. But Scobee isn't one of the best 32 punters in the world and Anger isn't one of the best 32 kickers in the world, either.
Michael from Jacksonville:
Really, John? The offseason has a sponsor? Give me a break.
John: If you think you're mad, then you should have seen me when Lamping told me my cut of the deal.
O-Zone: My fair share
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Shannon from Brunswick, GA: