JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Rob from Orange Park, FL:
Can you give me anything close to a rational explanation of why some folks STILL think Khan's plan is to move the team out of Jacksonville? I have tried and cannot come up with anything.
John: This a legitimate question, and becomes more so with each passing year. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan perhaps put it best on Friday when he said – and I'm paraphrasing here – that he said upon purchasing the Jaguars four years ago that he would do everything he could to make the franchise work in Jacksonville. At the time, that was quite a commitment considering most people outside Jacksonville didn't think the franchise could work here. As he said Friday, Khan has done that and continues to do so with no signs of changing his approach. He not only has changed the culture and direction of the franchise, he appears now in the process of helping to change the culture and direction of downtown Jacksonville. As he and Jaguars President Mark Lamping both said Friday, there obviously is a long way to go, but anyone rational can see Khan is off to a remarkable start.
Josh from Grand Island:
Zone, after watching the State of the Franchise with Mark Lamping, I've decided that the wall I ran through previously and its subsequent repair is free of charge. Sadly, that means Shadrick is off the hook; however, I can't help but be excited for everything the future holds for the Jaguars and Jacksonville. The vision Shahid has for the team, the venue and the city itself is nothing short of spectacular. Consider this another "one fer."
John: Hey, one fer Shad – and Shadrick!
George from Savannah, GA:
Will there be a loss of seats with the revamping of the Assure Club renovation? What happens to those ticket holders?
John: Yes, the ongoing US Assure Clubs renovation will remove about 2,900 club seats. The ticket-holders in those seats will get new seats in the clubs.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Ever notice how much others in your profession can read into and make out of one or two words out of (I started to type Shad Khan's, but fill in the blank) mouth?
John: Sure. That's the job.
Max from Orlando, FL:
Your answer the other day to Mark from College Park about another year of stability for Gus' assistant coaches was on point except for one assistant: Jerry Sullivan. I'll bet you all the coin in my pocket he outlasts the entire current staff if changes are made next year – or some other team picks him up as their wide receivers coach the very day he ever cleans out his office. The man has some serious game and should be given his appropriate title: Receivers Whisperer.
John: Jerry Sullivan arrived at the Jaguars with a reputation as perhaps the NFL's best wide receivers coach, and he has more than lived up to that billing. I don't know how much longer Sullivan wants to coach, but it's safe to say he will have a job in the NFL as long as he so desires. Many other assistants also would get jobs very quickly, incidentally.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
I am sure there will be plenty of awesome players available for the Jags to draft at No. 5 without having to move up or down to get them.
John: We're far enough from the draft that it's a little pointless to speculate on moving up or down, but at this point I'd be surprised if the Jaguars go either direction from No. 5.
Zain from Orlando, FL:
Hire Kevin! I think a combine-style Pro bowl (with a little more fun thrown in, like the recent kicker "horse") has a lower injury risk and provides all sorts of interesting fodder and smack talk for fans and players alike.
Nathan from Provo, UT:
John, I see someone in ESPN has Jags taking Buckner, defensive lineman from Oregon, in the first round of the draft. Sounds sexy. I like it. Could you educate me on this prospect, please?
John: DeForest Buckner is a defensive lineman who played 3-4 end at Oregon. He's 6-feet-7, 290 pounds and reportedly is a first-class person in terms of work ethic. He played multiple positions in college, and appears versatile enough to play both end and tackle in the NFL. Could I see him at No. 5? Absolutely.
Tom from St. Augustine and Section 239:
Why do teams write contracts so that good-to-great players such as Drew Brees and Calvin Johnson can become "cap casualties?" Is there a simple explanation?
John: Many contracts are designed with "phony years" at the end for salary-cap purposes. Because signing bonuses' cap ramifications are spread out evenly over the life of a contract, longer contracts can alleviate the bonus' year-to-year burden on a team's cap. The benefit of the expensive "phony years" to the player is he gets the signing bonus up front and will either get his freedom or an astronomically high salary at the end of the contract.
Rick from Folsom, CA:
So, I watched the Senior Bowl Saturday and the South team dominated play. The South team is coached by Gus Bradley and his staff. I am not sure I understand how this could be. Surely Jason Garrett and his all-star coaching staff are superior to gung-ho Gus. Unless perhaps … could it be the players executing the plays are better?????
John: Nah. It's always coaching.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
I have heard the word "unconventional" used a few times lately when describing actions taken by the owner, coaches and general manager. I think back to previous unconventional moves like drafting a punter in the third round or taking a quarterback in the first round of the draft with the goal of making him a wide receiver.
John: Rumor has it you have a point.
Mike from Des Moines, IA:
I don't understand all of the criticism of Gus Bradley. I think his approach of being positive and focusing on improvement is great. I think he has improved at his own job since he started. As inspiring as it is to hear your coach inform you that his young daughter tackles harder than you; I likely would dig a little deeper for someone that always treats me with respect and who I feel roots for my success. Maybe that is just how I respond; it seems like a generational divide. What do you think?
John: I understand the criticism of Bradley. The Jaguars are 12-36 since his arrival; when a head coach has that record, he is going to be criticized no matter the circumstance. In this case, the circumstances have been extreme enough for David Caldwell and Shad Khan to believe the plan is working.
Thomas from Jacksonville:
Can we just send Goodell permanently to London? If they want a team so badly, then they should make their own.
John: That's not very nice.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I know Shad Khan has remained committed to Jacksonville and that he has done nothing to make the fans believe he would ever move the team. My trepidation has more to do with the city of Jacksonville and the NFL. As Mark Lamping said, we have one of the oldest stadiums – and in the next 10 years we will probably have the oldest. It is feasible, if not probable, that the Jags will seek a new stadium in Jacksonville in the next 10 years. Will the city put up the cash necessary to make that happen? Will the NFL contribute to keep the team in Jacksonville or will they subtly try to push the team to a city that makes more fiscal sense for the league as a whole? I trust Shad Khan, but if it comes down to building a stadium with his own money or moving to a city where the league will assist and the city will heavily contribute, I couldn't blame him if he decided to leave.
John: Your concerns are legitimate ones because a revenue-producing stadium is key in the NFL. But while EverBank indeed is aging, remember: new video boards, new pool deck, new locker rooms, new training facilities, renovated US Assure Clubs, new flex field, new amphitheater. The structure may be old, but EverBank is actually getting younger and more modern before our eyes.
John from Jacksonville:
I get upset with the fact that a few people write in and try and speak for "the fans." Many of us are enthusiastic about the Gus/Dave Plan and while everyone wants more victories, we can see the progress and development and believe the plan is in progress. The reason I have become as big of a fan as I am is because of the leadership and people running this organization – and the fact that the marquee players are so easy to cheer for. I sincerely hope success comes for this regime. That is part of the fun of being a fan.
John: Well, whadda ya know!!? Another fer Gus!
O-Zone: One for the coach
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Rob from Orange Park, FL: