JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Dave from Jacksonville:
It does seem like Shad Khan is committed to keeping the team in Jacksonville rather than moving it to London full-time (scoreboards, locker-room renovations, investments, etc.) My question is: Why? He would dramatically increase the monetary value and international exposure of the team by having it based in the UK. He is not from Jacksonville and does not have any real ties to the city previously. Is it ego? Loyalty to Wayne Weaver? The Culligan girl? I think many fans' anxiety would be lessened if we understood his motivation.
John: I understand this question and concern. I do. But motivation, loyalty and commitment don't necessarily have to be about a hometown – and they're not always explainable in 140 characters on Twitter. Remember, Wayne Weaver had no particular loyalty to Jacksonville. Then, he bought the team, made Jacksonville his home, developed ties to the community and felt passionately enough about the city and its people to ensure the team would remain here after he sold it. Weaver was a man of his word and the city came to trust him. I say this not to laud Weaver as much as to make the point that Khan also has developed ties to the community and feels passionately about this city, the fans and the ability for the Jaguars to work in Jacksonville. He has said repeatedly that he wants the franchise to succeed in Jacksonville. Everything he has done since buying the franchise backs up those words. He is by all accounts a good, honest, trustworthy man who says things he means and means things he says. If that's not enough to ease fans' anxiety, I'm not sure what will. But those things are real, and they matter.
Greg from Jacksonville and Section 147:
I was going to let this "game-in-London" topic die, but it lives. As a 10-year season-ticket holder, I'll admit being disappointed when games like the Cowboys and possibly the Packers are played in London. But no matter what game is played in London, someone will be disappointed. At least there are seven meaningful games in Jacksonville. Not long ago there was talk of there being none! DTWD
John from Section 113:
I know what could bring more marquee games to Jacksonville: WINNING the AFC South. You do that and all of a sudden you are playing two more top-notch teams every year, one of them at home. This year we would be hosting the Denver Broncos with Peyton Manning instead of the Chargers.
John: I think this is an important point to remember in this conversation. The Jaguars are improving, and I believe they'll continue to improve. As they do, the games will continue to grow in importance because of the urgency and meaning of the game – and yes, they will play better opponents who finished the previous seasons with better records.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
Do NFL players get paid on bye weeks?
John: NFL players get paid a 16th of their base salary 16 times a season – after each regular-season game.
Mike from West Des Moines, IA:
I've been very bored. Is football season here yet?
John: Not yet. Get NetFlix. It's cool. I like it. Try "The League." It's a little out there, but funny. And, of course, "Trailer Park Boys." But that goes without saying.
Tim from Jacksonville:
Do people really not realize that if they want to see the Packers play ball they don't have to wait eight years? The Packers play 16 times every single year. There are tickets to be had. Go, see them! The Jaguars fans will be here watching the Jaguars.
John: Well, yes, there is that.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
How long does it take for a broken bone to heal completely? What will James Sample's status be for the start of training camp? Preseason? Regular season??
John: Sample was initially expected to be ready to return around two weeks into training camp. I've heard nothing to indicate that's still not the case, though I expect we'll get more firm ideas about injuries by early next week.
Groggo from Jacksonville:
It's easy to be cool for a short period of time – i.e.; 15 minutes of fame, or Ice Cube or Ice T, but you have a sustained coolness. It's quite remarkable if you think about it …
John: As long as you don't think about it too much.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Are there more ex-Jaguars players that choose to stay and live in Jacksonville after their playing days than other teams? It seems like a lot, but I'm not sure how it compares.
John: There are a lot of former Jaguars players living in Jacksonville, particularly from the 1995-2000 era. I don't have exact numbers for other teams, but there's no question a strikingly high number of Jaguars players have stayed. I thought for a while it was because people like living in the same town as me, but it's probably because Jacksonville is just a better place to live than many people realize.
Steve from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I understand that local revenue is an important part of us being a success. And I get it that the London game is a big contributor to local revenue. But, like so many other season-ticket owners, I wonder what's in it for us? We get a lost home game. No reduction in ticket costs. Lots of room left in the cap (No, I don't want to simply spend money). Swimming pools (Really, what football fan gives a flip???). To repeat - what's in it for us (The folks that have kept this franchise afloat)?
John: A stable franchise in this town.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, I'm looking at the top 16 teams in the NFL. Realistically looking at Jaguar players, who could be a starter on one of those top-half teams?
John: Pretty much all of them. I say that not because all of the Jaguars' players are Pro Bowl-level players, but because all teams – even the best – have areas where they're not as strong as would be ideal. It stands to reason that a starter for the Jaguars would be capable of starting for one of the Top 16 teams in the NFL.
DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
You media types and your "soon." NO! No more soons! No more "Stop wishing your life away!" I pay your salary, buddy! I demand you make David Lamm and Tony Smith stop saying "Wait" and I demand you make it the season NOW!
John: Hold on.
Alan from Jacksonville :
Do you think the fact that the Jaguars let a good, young player like Ace Sanders go (and Cecil Shorts before him) is a sign this team is finally getting close to having a strong roster?
John: I think the roster is getting stronger, yes. It better be; if it's not, then something has gone very, very wrong.
Matt from Colorado Springs, FL:
I read an article recently that broke down all of Blake Bortles' interceptions last season and the majority of them were blamed on the receivers. Reasons given were "not completing the routes," "not fighting for 50/50 balls," "gaining no separation" and "confusion." The author also made a point that the unusually high amount of drops by receivers had a large negative impact like killing drives and causing Bortles to force throws. How off-base is the assessment that the receivers were most responsible for the problems on offense?
John: I'd say the assessment is fine as long as you remember there are many reasons things happen in the NFL – and that rarely do a players' struggles or successes come down to one easily definable element. Bortles indeed was hurt at times by receivers' mistakes and inexperience last season, just as he was hurt at times by a young, inexperienced and struggling offensive line. At the same time, Bortles would be the first to tell you he made his share of mistakes that hurt the offensive line and the receivers. When you play as many rookies and young players as the Jaguars did last season, they're all going to go through their development and growing pains together.
Patrick from Duval:
I've seen a couple of responses from you about the Green Bay game and how it came to light based upon the speculation of Ryan O'Halloran. Would it be safe to say he's just trying to stir up the pot for attention so he can have a "I told you so moment" in the future?
John: Maybe, and if so he wouldn't be the first member of the media to do so. And there wouldn't really be much wrong with that. But I don't think that's what he was doing. I think he genuinely thought Green Bay was a logical choice to be the London home game in 2016 – and I agree with him. That doesn't mean it will happen, but it's not a huge leap to think that would be an appealing game to put in London.
Strnbker from Dothan, AL:
Cowbell. We need more cowbell. #ctwd
John: Yes, The Bruce Dickinson …
O-Zone: One leg at a time
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Dave from Jacksonville: