JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Aurora, IL:
There seems to be a growing opinion that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will become a free agent this offseason. Taking his obvious skill and history of questionable on-field decisions into account, would you pay him huge money to play for your team? Do you think the Jags will give it a go?
John: A few thoughts here. First, you almost always must preface any free-agency question with the caveat that the player might not be available; game-changing free-agent players far more often than not re-sign with their teams or have the franchise tags placed on them, thereby taking them off the market. Second, if I thought Suh would dramatically improve my team and I had money, sure I'd pay him; his on-field actions aren't ideal, but I'd probably have to live with them if I was a general manager trying to improve my team (remember, too, that while Suh's incidents have been highly publicized he has missed two games in five NFL seasons, so availability has not been a major concern). Third, as for whether the Jaguars will give it a go … this is a question we're going to get a lot – about Suh and many other high-profile free agents. I anticipate the answer being pretty much the same for the next few days and weeks – that Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell is going to be significantly more aggressive this free-agency period than he was in his first two with the organization and the Jaguars probably can't afford to ignore many available elite-level players.
Trade from Denver, CO:
O-Man, if one of the two Thomases from Denver make it to free agency do you see Dave being aggressive?
John from Jacksonville:
The tight-end position intrigues me next year. What direction do you think the Jaguars will go? I think this is a position we need to make young, but at the same time, we are young everywhere and could use a vet. I just don't see any good options out there.
John: I think the Jaguars will pursue a veteran, pass-catching tight end in free agency and if the right player is available I think they will spend big to get him. If the right player isn't available, it's certainly a position they could address in the draft. Remember, while it's easy to say, "The Jaguars need a play-making, pass-catching tight end," needing one and getting one are different matters. That's why the Jaguars aren't nearly as quick to part ways with Marcedes Lewis as some observers seem to believe. Either way, this indeed will be an intriguing area to watch in the offseason.
Jordan from Duval, FL:
On Friday you wrote in response to Sandra from Murfreesboro, "No one on the Jaguars offense was great or even all that good this season." Does this mean you don't think Allen Robinson, Denard Robinson, and Brandon Linder were "all that good" this season? You and I must have been watching a different team if you truly believe that those three players were not "all that good."
John: You know what? You're right: Brandon Linder was good, and so were some other players. And indeed, most of the players on the Jaguars' offense had stretches this season where they played "all that good." Within the context of Sandra's question I was making the point that pretty much all players on a team that ranked 31st in the NFL on offense need to develop and improve.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX:
I have a litany of questions for you today. 1, Besides the games against division opponents, what determines if a game will be a home or an away game for the Jaguars; is it just a matter of getting eight home and eight away games? 2, Players say that the NFL is a "tight-knit" community; does the same apply for senior writers … do you ever communicate with each other when teams play against each other? 3, Has there ever been an occurrence where a quarterback coming out of college has had legal or moral issues that and then has become an elite NFL quarterback? 4, Have you been "sticking it" to the man lately?
John: I have a litany of answers. 1, The schedule is determined by predetermined formula; teams play two other divisions per season on a rotating basis with two games a season against conference teams based on where the teams finished the previous season. 2, Senior writers are a tight-knit community, though many senior writers – like many communities – find me offensive enough that I'm not really "in the group." 3, Players have a wide-ranging variety of "legal" and "moral" issues, but yes, players have been successful with both in their backgrounds. 4, Every day, baby – every day.
AJ from Section 414 and Tallahassee, FL:
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Well, this girl just renewed my season tickets for the eighth straight year. So my question to you Mr. O is, "Am I insane?!??" My friends seem to think so.
John: You are indeed undeniably, unarguably and wonderfully insane.
Jonathan from Jacksonville, FL:
As you stated, you draft with an eye on the future rather than the present and you draft to build your foundation. If that's the case why are we not including quarterbacks in the conversation such as Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston? If these two quarterbacks are legit and they are available when you pick them, what is the downside? Worst-case scenario if Bortles improved then you can trade them or you have a legitimate backup QB. It's not like you're paying a gazillion amount of money on the top pick nowadays.
John: No, you're not paying rookie quarterbacks gazillions anymore, but in addition to having a good quarterback on the team you also need good pass rushers, offensive linemen, playmakers, etc. I get the theory behind drafting a quarterback when you already have a good quarterback – and I get that you could trade him and I get that he's equity, etc., etc., etc. The reality is the Jaguars believed Blake Bortles was the best quarterback in his draft and this draft when they drafted him and there's nothing to indicate that that has changed. The other reality is the Jaguars aren't taking a quarterback in the first round this offseason.
Guy from San Antonio, TX:
With the NFL postseason still in effect, are teams that didn't make the playoffs still allowed to talk football with their coaches, or does their season end once Week 17 is over?
John: The season is over following the team's final regular-season or postseason game.
Kyle from Clearwater, FL:
John, any chance Mike Smith returns to Jacksonville? I wouldn't mind if he came back as the offensive coordinator.
John: This is the second email I've received lobbying for former Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith as the Jaguars' next offensive coordinator. I don't know if that qualifies as a groundswell or not, but if it does, it's an unusual one. Smith, the Falcons' head coach from 2008-2014, was the Jaguars' defensive coordinator from 2003-2007 and his background is as a defensive coach.
James from Jacksonville:
Who will be the offensive coordinator at the Senior Bowl since the Jags do not have one on staff?
John: Quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo.
Shawn from Jacksonville:
John, did you notice Phil Simms lobbying for the Jaguars' senior writer position? There is 'No Doubt' if that happened you'd be the most sought after free agent and possibly a promotion to an owner's 'personal biographer.'
John: As a diehard Washington Redskins fan during much of Simms' career, I grew to dislike, resent and eventually loathe Phil Simms as a player. I suppose it would be only fitting if he took my job, too.
Guy San Antonio, TX:
O-Man, I am very hopeful for our future; I feel like we have a great core being built, and I believe in Blake Bortles. I do have one concern moving forward, though; it seems like a lot of our key players – especially the receiving corps and running backs – suffered injuries this year. Is this something that is a fluke, a normal thing, or something that can be addressed by looking at our training staff?
John: The NFL is a violent, brutal, physical game. People who play it get hurt often. For the Jaguars this season, players such as middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, cornerback Alan Ball, wide receiver Allen Robinson, running back Denard Robinson and offensive tackle Austin Pasztor sustained injuries that placed them on season-ending injured reserve. Defensive tackles Sen'Derrick Marks and Roy Miller sustained knee injuries at the end of the season. I'm probably missing a couple, but those are the key injuries – and that's really not an alarming number.
Michael from Jacksonville:
John, why do you choose to print your O-Zone articles white on black background? There are many out there that find it almost impossible to read. Myself, I use reading glasses and love the Jags as much as anyone. I HURT for more information but cannot read but one comment before my eyes start hurting. Please just think about it.
John: This is not my call and is indeed well above my pay grade, an occurrence that's not only common but strikingly affordable as well.
O-Zone: Not my call
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Aurora, IL: