JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Marty from Jacksonville:
O-man, please tell people the definition of insanity is: "the state of being seriously mentally ill, or extreme foolishness or irrationality." Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result may be indicative of some level of insanity, but it is NOT the definition of insanity.
John: I guess I'm a little worn out on this topic. Readers have used the "definition-of-insanity" argument often over the last couple of years to state their case for changing coaches, for changing the course of the rebuild and often when they just want to see something – anything – different. They have used it in recent weeks to again express irritation at … well, at something, I guess – though I actually can't remember what and don't feel like looking it up. And, really: that's all fine. But the Jaguars' reality when David Caldwell and Gus Bradley took over in 2013 was there was a long rebuild ahead, and you can't execute a long rebuild without staying the course through some difficult times. Insanity in NFL terms is continually changing direction rather than executing a plan. The Jaguars have stayed the course through some difficult times in recent seasons. It has been a long course. Now, results must be seen. And yes, results mean more victories and fewer losses. I don't know what's insane and what's not, I suppose. I do know the time to win is at hand.
Tommy from Carrboro:
How about this scenario: Back up the truck and spend $35 million or so on Olivier Vernon and Malik Jackson to help solidify the line, sign Tashaun Gipson to help at safety and draft Myles Jack at linebacker? Realistic?
John: Don't stop there.
Steven from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Who is the free-agent signing you can get the most excited about? For me it would be KELECHI OSEMELE. If we are able to pull this off … BOOM!!! We have a running game.
John: I don't know how excited I'm going to get about any one player; I suppose I'm most curious about the entirety of the free-agent signings. I don't know that any one player on defense will have the impact people want; but add the right combination and get deeper, faster and more disruptive …. If I were going to get excited, that probably would do it.
Max from Wyckoff, NF:
In your opinion, is Tony Boselli the best Jag ever?
Dave from Jacksonville:
Is it just me or is it kind of crazy and disappointing that secondary is still one of the weakest position groups on the team? By my count, Dave has drafted four cornerbacks and three safeties; he has also signed a cornerback and a safety in free agency. Nine acquisitions and we still need serious upgrades?? That doesn't sound like a plan coming together.
John: I suppose it depends on how you do the math. Yes, Caldwell has drafted four cornerbacks and three safeties – and signed a cornerback and safety. How many of those have been premium acquisitions? That's the math that matters. In that case, there perhaps have been three: safety Johnathan Cyprien, cornerback Dwayne Gratz and cornerback Davon House. The team never has spent a premium selection or premium free-agency money on a free safety and actually has spent comparatively little premium free-agent OR draft equity on the secondary. That sounds more like a plan in progress than anything else.
Dave from Jacksonville:
Wait! I forgot about Will Blackmon. That puts them into the double digits of secondary acquisitions! I mean, c'mon dude!!
John: C'mon, dude: there's acquiring talent and there's spending real equity to get it. First-, second- and third-rounders and big-money free agency … that's really going after it. The Jaguars haven't done that yet in the secondary. I suspect that will change in a few days.
Thomas from Jacksonville:
How much more cap space will we get when we cut Gerhart?
John: You're assuming something here. I wouldn't necessarily do that.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Where are you on the Peyton Manning Debate on whether he should retire or play one more year for another NFL team?
John: Players are individuals with the right to choose what they want to do – and remember: while anyone can have an opinion on a player retiring, only the player has to live with the decision. And once a player retires, it's typically over. That means never doing again something he has loved to do all of his life. That's my general opinion on any player when facing retirement, and it applies to Manning as well: If he wants to play and a team wants him to play, why shouldn't he play? Now, as far as whether he ever can play at a high level again ... I have no idea. Only time and perhaps doctors can answer that.
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Hi, John: Really enjoy your O-Zone! Much has been said about our lack of a consistent running game. I hear a lot of blame handed out to the running backs, but for the most part, doesn't that running back need holes to hit? Seems to me our offensive line has been rather lacking in that skill. From my perspective, T.J. Yeldon got the majority of his yards on his own with virtually no help from the offensive line.
John: I'm not arguing very vehemently.
Kyan from Cedar Falls:
O-Man, when dealing with a transition-tagged player, what would happen if two teams offer the player a deal? Does the lower one lose their one shot at their offer?
John: Theoretically thirty-one teams could offer a player a deal. It is up to the player to choose and sign the deal he wants to sign. The player's current team then has the option of matching that offer.
Tommy from Pensacola, FL:
John, if a tagged player is offered a contract and the original team matches the offer, does that take the player off the market entirely, or just for the team that made the offer?
John: The player is then off the market entirely and plays for the matching team under the terms of the contract.
Garrett from Germany:
O-man, what's up with all these people hating on Caldwell and Bradley? They're trying to right the ship here and you can feel that it's almost on the correct path. We need to trust the system and let it run its course!
John: What's up with people "hating" is the Jaguars have won 12 games under Caldwell and Bradley, and fans hate to lose. That much losing is no fun. People hate it, and when people hate … well, they hate. A build of this length, while necessary in this case, isn't going to please everyone along the way.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Why not take the opportunity to sign Blake Bortles to a long-term contract and get that out of the way? You do not want your free agents making more than your star quarterback. Go Jags!
John: By NFL rule, a drafted player must have been in the league three seasons before a team can renegotiate his contract. The Jaguars cannot sign Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson, Aaron Colvin, Telvin Smith or Brandon Linder until after the 2016 season.
Alan from Maine:
The more I see from him the less I want the Jaguars to draft Joey Bosa. I think Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack are much better options. Ramsey is a must if he's there at No. 5. The Jaguars can build the pass rush through free agency and later in the draft.
Chad from Yulee, FL:
There are currently eight defensive linemen under contract that have or will play significant snaps if you include the two tenders this week. If Dave signs two more in free agency and Tunsil, Ramsey and Jack are picked before the fifth pick that will leave the logical pick at a crowded position with other glaring needs. That's why I think Irvin, Jenkins and a safety will be bigger targets this week than a second defensive lineman.
John: I think the players you mention very well could be big targets this week; I don't think that at all precludes the Jaguars from also targeting at least one defensive linemen.
Preston from Oakville, CT:
Zone, question about teams draft approach: Do teams even bother scouting positions they have no interest in drafting? Would the Jags bother looking into Carson Wentz or Jared Goff, possibly because they will be playing against them more so than interest in drafting them? Also, do you think a team like the Broncos bother looking into a guy who is clearly a top-10 prospect, like Jalen Ramsey?
John: The Jaguars and every NFL team have area scouts covering every football-playing school in the nation, so pretty much every player in the draft – particularly every player selected – will have been scouted in some capacity. Do teams spend as much time on players they know they won't select as players they are seriously considering? No. But all teams have extensive information on pretty much every NFL player from when they were going through the draft process.
James from Sea Best:
The Sea Best O-Zone makes me smile! John, what's your favorite seafood?
John: Anything from Sea Best.
O-Zone: No other answer
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Marty from Jacksonville: