JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jake from Section 124:
Is it realistic to think EverBank Field will become a dome or retractable-dome stadium within the next 10 years?
John: It's realistic to think that EverBank Field will have some sort of covering – and if that happens, I certainly would think it will happen within the next decade. I doubt it will be a domed stadium or a retractable-dome stadium in the exact sense of other existing stadiums. I don't know that a regular or retractable roof could be just plopped onto the existing stadium. I don't know that because I'm not an engineer, though I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Either way, I do believe there's a real possibility of a less traditional covering – something along the lines of a canopy. When the Jaguars showed partners and potential partners at the 2014 Super Bowl a rendering of potential possibilities for EverBank's future, it was a canopy concept that was over the stadium. And obviously when we say "canopy," we're talking a very, very nice luxurious one. Not like the one I've got out back.
Joel from Jacksonville:
A couple of questions … Wasn't all this four-game preseason stuff originally about why are we paying full price for practice games, particularly Game 4, which consists of guys playing in their last NFL game? Then the commissioner morphed this into two preseason games and 18 regular-season games, which no one seems to be interested in. Is anyone going to try to answer the original point? And I forgot the second question.
John: That is sort of at least part of what I sort of kind of remember at least part of what I remember the four-game preseason stuff being about. Kind of. At least partly. Whatever.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
John: Who are the best examples of college quarterbacks that have successfully changed positions in the NFL? I really have no idea. Thank you.
John: There are a few, and I admit to having to Google some. Brad Smith was a quarterback at Missouri before becoming a successful returner with the New York Jets, and Josh Cribbs was a quarterback at Kent State before becoming a successful returner with the Cleveland Browns. Julian Edelman also played quarterback at Kent State before moving to wide receiver/returner with the New England Patriots. Denard Robinson has been relatively successful with the Jaguars as a running back/returner after playing quarterback at Michigan (I didn't need to Google that one). Antwaan Randle-El was a quarterback at Indiana before a successful NFL career as a receiver (that one, either). Brian Mitchell was a quarterback at Southwestern Louisiana before becoming one of the best kick/punt returners in the history of the NFL for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
John, I'm scared of heights, not good in golf and don't live in the state. Do I still have a shot at being the next de Ville?
John: No, but those aren't the reasons.
David from Weston:
I was watching a football life on Reggie White the other day. I remember you saying you were a Redskins fan before the Jaguars. What do you remember about the "body bag" game as the Eagles call it? They said nine Redskins players were injured in that game.
John: The Body Bag game was a Monday Night Football game in November of 1990 in which the Redskins lost starting quarterback Jeff Rutledge and backup Stan Humphries to injuries, along with seven other players. So depleted were the Redskins in this 28-14 Eagles victory at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia that they finished the game with the aforementioned Mitchell – then in his rookie season – at quarterback. During that game, one of the Eagles players reportedly yelled at the Redskins sidelines, "Do you guys need any more body bags?" I was indeed a diehard Redskins fan at the time, not yet having begun covering college or professional sports. That former Redskins fan didn't like the Eagles much and experienced a great deal of joy a month or so later when the Redskins won 20-6 at Philadelphia in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs.
David from Oviedo, FL:
O-man, do you ever get tired of fearing your wife? Sometimes you have to push the boundaries to establish dominance. For example, why don't you give a shout out to your favorite ROAR cheerleaders?
John: After reading about "establishing dominance," I'm just sitting here smiling – just like pretty much any other guy reading this who has been married for more than oh … five or six days. Fight the good fight, Dave … fight on.
Frankie from MidState Office Supply Accountz Receevable:
I've been out of the loop for a little bit. What are the odds of Geno Hayes securing a starting spot with the Jags this year?
John: He probably would have to be re-signed by the team first.
Dave from Orlando, FL:
Mighty-O, I understand that you pick on Josh Scobee because he's small and you think you can take him, but I don't understand how you get away with "kicking sand" on a man's man like Tony Boseli?
John: I usually stick to making fun of Boselli here in the O-Zone. This is safe, because I never make fun of him in the lead question. While he can definitely read, reading more than a few sentences makes him sleepy and he needs his "nappy time."
Rob from Section 122:
Not a huge Beatles fan, but how can you not have Twist and Shout or Love Me Do in your favs?
John: Because I like other songs more.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
It just occurred to me that we have three very legitimate red zone threats in Allen Robinson, Julius Thomas, and Marcedes Lewis. Combine that with what should be an improved running game, and things could get very exciting. You've talked before about how finishing drives is often an area of struggle for young teams, but that could very well be a strength this year. Maybe.
John: I'm not ready to say it will be a "strength," particularly early. There's going to be a period with this offense where it's working to hit its stride and adjusting to a new scheme. That's not saying the offense will be ineffective, but it won't likely be at peak efficiency. But should those three players give the Jaguars a chance to be much more productive near the end zone than they have been recently? Yes. No doubt.
Luke from Plymouth Meeting, PA:
Do you think Blake Bortles is a playoff quarterback by the 2016 season?
John: We'll know a lot more about Bortles' development this season, but from what I've seen, I do think Blake Bortles and the Jaguars should have a very real chance to get above .500 in 2016. If that happens, it won't be solely because of Blake Bortles, but given the right team around him … yeah, I think by then, he could take the team to the postseason.
Jon from Section 141:
You touched on this in your, "What We Learned: Off-Season" article, but I feel like Blake Bortles becoming a leader in the locker room is as important as the mechanical fixes he has worked on this offseason. While performance certainly had a lot to do with it, the previous quarterbacks (Gabbert, Henne) never seemed to really embrace the role or have the locker room backing them with such strong conviction. Having your second-year quarterback be both embracing the role and embraced by the veterans and rookies alike is a very good sign – if, in fact, it's happening. You're in the locker room often with these guys … am I off-base here?
John: Blake Bortles indeed is being embraced as a locker-room leader. There's little question about that. I wouldn't dismiss Chad Henne's leadership ability, though. Players played hard for him and he had support whenever he played. The players played hard for Gabbert, too, but if you're asking who was stronger in this area it would certainly seem to be Bortles and Henne.
Dennis from Sherman Oaks, CA:
So initial reports about Robinson have been really good, but how has Greene looked? When he was drafted I saw a lot of good reviews saying he was a steal and would be a great slot receiver, so do you see him starting Week 1 or will he require more development? I feel like I haven't seen much either way on him so far.
John: I would be very surprised if Rashad Greene is starting Week 1 – and if that's the case, that's very much OK. Generally speaking, you don't want fifth-round rookies starting Week 1. You want to be a deep enough roster where only exceptional rookies start immediately. Rookies with rare exceptions need time to develop, and I think Greene will fit into that category. If he's contributing sometime during his rookie season, that's a big victory for a fifth-round draft choice.
Jake from Section 124:
Quote to live by for Jags fans this season …
John: "A day without sunshine is like … night!" – Steve Martin
O-Zone: Night and day
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jake from Section 124: