JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Nikki from East Hampton, CT
John, I agree with everyone else that the It Was Written video was absolutely brilliant and hilarious. More importantly, I partly also hope it strikes a chord with the growing number of fans across the league that think weekly action is scripted. This video indirectly highlights how asinine that concept is and just how cumbersome getting every player from every team on board to pre-determine outcomes would be. Do you think a fun video like this will be enough to strike common sense into those buying into the "scripted" conspiracy theory?
For the NFL to really be scripted, or for the league office to do anything to dictate outcomes on any level, would put a multibillion industry in peril. And for what? For what gain? And how would the people involved possibly expect to keep it quiet? The entire concept defines logic. I therefore believe that anyone who truly believes the NFL is fixed is incapable of understanding this logic – or is so sadly gripped by the notion of conspiracy theories as to have rendered himself/herself incapable of reasonable thought. Asher Grodman's Jaguars 2023 Schedule Release video was outstanding. I don't believe it was good enough to change the minds of people who really believe the NFL is fixed.
Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You constantly emphasize to us the importance of being nice. Even to guys like Gene Smith and Urban Miller (not a typo). But I ask you, Johnny-O: were they nice to us?!
While I understand the Jaguars were not successful under former General Manager Gene Smith, let's be fair. Smith was a good football man, a very good scout who knew the NFL and worked tirelessly for the Jaguars – and cared deeply about the organization. That's probably all there is to say on this question.
Geoffrey H from Virginia Beach, VA (Living/Working in Kuwait)
Yes, we maniacs overseas are staying up or waking up at two a.m. to watch the primetime games. Selfishly, I enjoyed the mostly one p.m. schedule last year because it meant the game was on at eight p.m. here and ended around 11:30 p.m. Those eight primetime games will be on at three or four a.m. depending on daylight saving time and you better believe I'll be watching those too!
Geoffrey is "all in."
Kannan from Jacksonville
I'm hearing some great reviews about our young wide receivers so far. Kevin Austin shined this weekend. Elijah Cooks and Jacob Harris shined and also provide something we didn't have last year: A big target from the wide receiver position. Not to mention we drafted Parker Washington. What are the odds three of these guys make the team? Do you think one of these guys can challenge Zay Jones for WR3?
Austin, Cooks and Harris looked fine in the Jaguars' two-day non-padded rookie minicamp this past weekend. Remember, too: This was an non-padded rookie minicamp. I expect Austin and an undrafted rookie to be around the Jaguars this season, with odds suggesting practice-squad roles. I expect Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Parker Washington, Jamal Agnew and Tim Jones to be the Jaguars' six receivers. That expectation won't change until something happens in training camp of the preseason to change it. I would consider it a surprise if a rookie or first-year player other than Washington is on the roster. I would consider it a shock if a healthy Zay Jones isn't one of the top three receivers entering the regular season.
Sean from Saint Johns City
Can the NFL compel you to participate in Hard Knocks this year?
They can compel me all they want. I will never give in. FREEDOM!!!!!
Steve from Nashville, TN
Thinking about the special and record setting year James Robinson had in 2020 as an undrafted free agent with over 1,400 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. How did get he overlooked in the draft with such impressive production at Illinois State? Is there anyone from the sixth- or seventh-rounds – or undrafted free agents the Jaguars just signed – that catches your eye?
Robinson went undrafted in 2020 because he lacked measurables NFL people seek from what it considers draftable players. He wasn't eye-catchingly big, strong or fast. He was very productive as a rookie in 2020 for the Jaguars because he had high-level field vision, missability and game sense. As for the Jaguars' late-round selections, I'm intrigued by Washington and offensive lineman Cooper Hodges. They have some impressive traits.
Bill from Springfield, VA
Top five fastest running backs in the draft, top five heaviest running backs in the draft, top five yards after contact. Think I now know why they drafted Bigsby.
You're referencing Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke's and assistant general manager Ethan Waugh's description of running back Tank Bigsby, who the Jaguars selected No. 88 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. And yes … when you look at Bigsby from a physical and trait standpoint, it's easy to see why he was selected in the first two days.
Boxcutter Bill from The Woo
That skit on the website "it was written" is hilarious. Jaguars have the best website, and the writer guy is pretty good, too.
Kevin from Section 113
Granted, I know your opinion of the national press, often saying what they say for "shock value" and "clicks," but this possible scenario did have a semblance of potential validity. With the possibility of the Jags not able to use their stadium for a couple of years during the refurbishment (per the Mayor in a recent address) could we end up sending a lot more games to London during those two years? My panic-riddled mind says that if successful, this could actually suggest placing the Jags in London as a good idea. KOAF, please allay my fears.
I have no idea what alternatives the Jaguars might seek if alternatives are necessary when addressing the stadium of the future. IF – and note that IF is capitalized – the alternatives include extra games in London, remember: The Jaguars would be playing there while constructing a state-of-the-art facility in Jacksonville. That facility wouldn't be built if the Jaguars were moving anywhere.
Al from Orange Park, FL
Everyone's talking about the Jaguars' five premiere games this year. But doesn't that last "TBD" game against the Titans have the potential to be #6?
Yes. The Jaguars visit the Tennessee Titans in Week 18 of the 2023 NFL season. All Week 18 games are scheduled after Week 17, with the NFL's objective being to put games with playoff implications in the highest-profile situations.
Crash from Glen Saint Mary, FL
Obi Wan! Is it true that Gene Frenette conducted a Welcome to Jacksonville seminar for our rookie class? What topics were covered?
You had this wrong. Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette doesn't do seminars. While he is a man of the people, he prefers to show the rookies his "happy dance" and leave the welcoming to the interns.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey John, what is your first (too) early impression, are the Jags a better team than last year with the new rookies?
I have no idea if the Jaguars rookies will make them better in 2023. My first impression is this rookie class won't make them markedly better in Week 1 of 2023 because very few rookie classes make teams markedly better in Week 1 of the following season. I believe the Jaguars will be better in 2023 than in 2022 because the offense will be better with quarterback Trevor Lawrence and a group of veteran skill players more consistent – and better – in their second season in Head Coach Doug Pederson's offense. I believe the defense has a chance to be better if last season's early draft selections – linebackers Travon Walker, Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma – take the second-year jumps they are expected to make. I expect the 2023 rookie class to play roles early, then begin to show how they might make the Jaguars better moving forward late in the season.
Brian from Gainesville, FL
Big O, if you had to guess right now where the Jaguars would play their games during the stadium renovations, what would it be? You have to admit the idea that they'd play at the Swamp is kind of awesome.
I don't have to guess now and I haven't the foggiest idea where the Jaguars will play during stadium renovations because the Jaguars don't know where they will play during stadium renovations. I'm not trying to avoid the question, there are just too many unknowns to give a remotely accurate guess. I wouldn't call playing at the University of Florida "awesome." I don't expect there to be an "awesome" solution. The idea is to get the best possible solution to solve unavoidable situation.
Paul from Lake City, FL
When you've got an athletic, accurate passer like Lawrence, who needs the Tush Push?
Mine is not to say who does or doesn't need a Tush Push.