JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Steve from Jacksonville:
From multiple perspectives, the Jaguars' 2017 schedule is about as friendly as can be. Only one brutal hot game (Week 2), a bye near the middle, no home games on holiday weekends (which is usually a tough sell for tickets) – and starting with Week 6 at home, it's very doable. Outside of division games, the tougher teams are all here. Thoughts?
John: I wrote and said immediately after the Jaguars' 2017 schedule was released it was a very negotiable schedule. There aren't any stretches you see immediately as brutally difficult, and there are several road games against teams that really struggled last season. But I actually think it's "doable" well before Week 6. The Jaguars get Tennessee at home Week 2, and their Week 3 and 4 games are against the Jets and Ravens – two teams the Jaguars have either beaten or played well against in recent seasons. There's no such thing as an easy NFL schedule, especially for a team that went 3-13 the previous season. Still, if the Jaguars are indeed better this season, the record should show it.
Jeremy from Jacksonville:
Yannick Ngakoue was one of the players that really surprised me last year, albeit one of the few pleasant surprises. I really liked watching him play, because his passion and dedication were obvious and that has nothing to do with Dante Fowler Jr. (I made a wish we would draft Fowler). I just watched your interview with Yannick; I'm buying this dude's jersey. There is something about this guy that you know you're going to get everything from him on game day. I've known a lot of losing over these years but pros like MJD got me through the rough times because watching those players leave their heart on the field are the same kind of players that will bring greatness back to this city. One fer Yannick. One fer you, too, John. Your dedication and passion are evident as well, I don't care what Khan says about you.
John: One fer Ngakoue? Absolutely. He seems on the verge of developing into a very important player for this franchise, and – as you saw on O-Zone Live on Facebook Thursday – he's becoming more comfortable speaking to the media about himself and the team. He has a chance to be an interesting player around here in the coming seasons. As for me …nah, no one fers. Khan's right. Nothing to see here. Move on.
Brother Bob from Gainesville, FL:
POZ ROCKS! So let's stop being defense attorneys and think: Who has been the Sam/Otto through Jaguar history? How many of them owned the size, speed, skills, and knowledge of DA POZ?! This will be tough for him, but consider this ... Smith, Jack, Poz! Now that lineup looks terrifying to the offense! Whatcha think, John?
John: I think the transition from middle linebacker to the strong side will be a tough one for Posluszny. I thought it before, but I particularly think it because he thinks it – and I haven't been around many players with a greater appreciation/awareness for what it takes to prepare and play at a high level in the NFL. Still, I do believe Posluszny can do it, because I believe he'll put everything he can into doing it well – and if it works, yeah … the Jaguars could have a pretty nasty group of linebackers next season.
Andy from St. Augustine, FL:
Shouldn't the answer to the question about the greatest player in franchise history to only play for the Jaguars be Tony Boselli? If my memory serves me right, I don't believe he ever actually played for the Texans after they claimed him in the expansion draft.
John: Boselli didn't ever play a game for the Texans, so yes – if the question is about the greatest Jaguars player to never have played in a game for another team, then the answer clearly is Boselli. If the question is about the best Jaguars player to never have been with another organization, then he doesn't qualify. Actually, since it's just a question and not really an award or anything official, I suppose you can answer however you see fit.
Kamal from Chicago, IL:
I know we signed Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church in free agency the last two offseasons, but they are essentially veteran depth. Both seem to be above-average starters, but with two of the highest-rated safeties coming into the league in the last 10 years, why is there not much chatter about us grabbing one of them? Isn't the whole point of free agency to fill holes to make sure you don't reach for positions and ensure you can match value to the pick? Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams seem like they may be the BPA when we pick.
John: I agree, and I think there could be a better chance of the Jaguars selecting a safety No. 4 overall than many observers believe. But I wouldn't go so far as to call Gipson or Church veteran depth; they are starting level players. If the Jaguars do take a safety Thursday I imagine it would be Hooker, who is more of a free safety than Adams.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL:
We all hope for a better season in 2017. We've focused on free-agent acquisitions, the upcoming draft, and the need for improvement from players already on the roster. One thing I haven't heard much about is discipline. In my mind, inconsistent play and league-leading penalties indicate a lack of discipline. Now, with Doug Marrone coaching and Tom Coughlin watching (closely) over his shoulder, I suspect discipline will become a major focus. Am I giving discipline too much weight? Or could discipline be the difference between, say, a 7-9 team and a 9-7 team?
John: A major offseason focus for this team undoubtedly will be discipline, penalties and turnovers – with a big emphasis on turnovers. I don't know that inconsistent play has much to do with a lack of discipline, though; I credit inconsistency more with youth and struggling quarterback play. But turnovers? I think it's safe to say that's where Marrone and Coughlin would like to see the biggest difference this season. And yes, turning around the Jaguars' negative turnover ratio without question could make a four-game difference in the record.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
Telvin Smith is the best player on this team. On and off the field. Can I get one for No. 50?
John: I'd say Smith needs to be a touch more consistent to be the best player on the team on the field, but it's the offseason and who needs to nitpick? He's absolutely a good player and a good guy. One fer Telvin.
Al from Gainesville, FL:
I keep reading that the Jags get significant local revenue from the London game. What is it that makes the London revenue significantly better than revenue from a Jacksonville home game?
John: More seats. More people in those seats. People paying more to be in those seats.
Marc from Oceanway:
Using the phrase "increases our local revenue" when discussing the London game has always sounded counterintuitive to me. If we said it increased our overseas revenue I would understand. Can you explain how this works?
John: The NFL divides revenue in a few ways. One of the significant streams is shared revenue such as money from the television contracts. All teams get pretty much the same amount of shared revenue. Local revenue is revenue teams need not share. Much of that revenue is generated by home games. Because London is one of the designated 10 home games, it is considered local revenue.
Thommy from Berlin:
Jacksonville has produced and produces MORE great rock bands with less support than the average non-fan has ANY IDEA about – yes MORE than Austin, more than Atlanta. We have GREAT bands, here- YES I mean NOW - many of whom make the 'popular' one look very much the weak sisters of the brood. Yes, O-man, you know who I am. (If, in fact, you remember it).
John: I absolutely remember, and you're right about Jacksonville producing great bands. Still, the "popular" one is no one's weak sister.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Do you consider yourself lucky that senior writer is not considered a football operation, so TC isn't glaring at you a couple times a day?
John: He knows where to find me.
Alan from Jacksonville:
For me, the second round is almost always the most exciting of the draft. In the first round, there are probably five players we could realistically take, but in the second it's a much wider pool. Who do you think is currently being touted as a first-rounder that could slide down and fall into our hands this year? In other words, who is going to be our Myles Jack/Allen Robinson this year?
John: I'm not ruling out Joe Mixon.
Ben from Jacksonville:
Mr. O, are you a better journalist or basketball player???
John: I honestly have no idea how I grade out in my current endeavor. Eh? Middling? So-so? Creepy? Odd-looking? Half-hearted? Whatever the description, I hope to heaven I'm better at this than I was at basketball. A few photos remain of my days on Episcopal's hardwoods in the tiny upstairs gym, and there are no videos of which I am aware. In this case, that's a very good thing.
O-Zone: No video evidence
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Steve from Jacksonville: