JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Mike from East Moline, IL:
When you are a quarterback and you run with the ball, there are 11 defenders between you and the end zone. When you throw the ball 20-to-30 yards downfield, there may be one or two defenders between the ball carrier and the end zone. The entire point of the invention of the passing game was to throw the ball over the defense. The running quarterback is only able to run if there is a threat of him throwing the ball. If given a choice, I would take a guy like Tom Brady 10 times out of 10.
John: I would, too, with another critical reason in the mix. A quarterback who stays in the pocket is less apt to have injuries hurt his effectiveness. I can hear it now: BUT STATISTICS, O-ZONE … BUT PROVE IT, OZONE!!!!!! I didn't say that running quarterbacks get hurt more than pocket quarterbacks. I don't want to reopen that debate in the O-Zone, though you will have a hard time convincing me you get hurt less out of the pocket than in the pocket. I'm saying your percentages of playing at a high level for a long time go up if you're a pocket passer. Take Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Each has missed essentially an entire season late in his career and each is still playing at a high level deep into his career. It's hard to imagine a running quarterback playing at a high level at this stage of his career, and it's particularly hard to imagine a running quarterback returning from a knee (Brady) or neck (Manning) injury and returning immediately to elite status. I'd take the passer 10 out of 10 times. Maybe someday there will be a quarterback who knocks me off this thought. Not yet.
James from Jaxsonville:
You know, I wonder what the world record is for most consecutive blog posts. I looked up the world record for consecutive push-ups and it's mind blowing... 10,507.
John: I can't do that many push-ups.
Rabbit from Jags Beach, Duval:
Hey Big O Nasty Flex, do you think Marcedes Lewis is more excited about the new Jaguars' culture or more concerned about not being the starting tight end? I mean, I know Clay Harbor is a productive player and that Marcel Jensen adds to the depth, but in your superior opinion, do you think Mercedes is buying in because he is worried about his position? #Playmake Blake!
John: I think Lewis is excited about the Jaguars' new culture. He is a nine-year veteran capable of starting for many, many NFL teams. He clearly is the Jaguars' best tight end. I don't want to portray Lewis as not being concerned about his starting position, because he's the type to always feel as if he must earn what he gets, but I don't believe he's buying in for any other reason than that he loves what's going on around this franchise.
Ryan from Las Vegas, NV:
Hey O, what's the story on Gerald Rivers? I just don't know much about him or his chance of making the team, etc.
John: Rivers was claimed off waivers from St. Louis last December and is one of five Leo defensive ends on the Jaguars' roster along with Chris Clemons, Andre Branch, Ryan Davis and Chris Smith. Realistically, because of numbers, Rivers won't enter training camp as a favorite to make the roster. The nice thing about Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley's competition-based approach is whether a player is a favorite matters not one iota.
Kevin from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Doug Flutie made a comment that the current NFL looks a lot like the CFL during his playing days. He stated quarterbacks had more control over play-calling – unlike the NFL (noted exceptions of Brady and Manning). What is your view of the current NFL with the wide-open offenses and multiple wide receivers?
John: I get what Flutie's saying about the CFL, and it's certainly a more wide-open league. As for my view of the wide-open NFL, I honestly don't spend much time grinding away on this subject. I suppose I take more of an, "It-is-what-it-is-approach." It's a vastly different game than the one on which I grew up. I grew up on the NFL in the early 1970s when running backs mattered more, when teams threw a lot less and when five-and-six-passing-touchdown games were rare. Five-passing-touchdown games still aren't common, but they do happen a heck of a lot more. The game was more physical then and I think a strong argument can be made that the advent of the salary-cap-free-agency area has caused teams to have less continuity – and that in turn, may have lowered the overall quality of play. But I can't argue that the game was more exciting in the 1970s. The wide-open offenses and multiple wide receiver-sets have taken some of the physicality away, but the tradeoff has been a more exciting and more popular sport than 40 years ago.
Greg from St. Johns, FL:
O'man, my son keeps asking me how the rookies in this year's draft class would perform if you picked the best at each position and played a full season against NFL teams...thoughts?
John: They would go 0-16. You wouldn't have a quarterback ready to start and play at a high level, and you would compound that problem with receivers not at their full potential and … well, at every position you would just have young, talented players learning how to play professional football playing against players who mostly already a have gone through the maturation process.
Kent from Jacksonville:
Hey, O-man!! Vacationing in Disney World and in my hotel I spy an Orlando Sentinel newspaper. What do I see when I view the headlines? Blake Bortles signing an autograph during the jags caravan in Oviedo. They also featured Storm Johnson in the same article. I know they didn't draft them just to try and expand the fan base in Central Florida, but you gotta admit, it is a nice side effect.
John: No question. I've said it often that the Jaguars didn't draft Bortles and Johnson to generate interest in Orlando. A team can't draft with that in mind. But now that they are here, there's no question that with success the Jaguars can parlay that into legitimate, lasting interest from Orlando.
Noel from Manila, Philippines:
One of my favorite teams of all-time was the 1991 Washington Redskins. Rypien, Monk, Clark, Sanders, Byner on Offense. Green, Marshall, and Mann. Talk about a balanced team. Could this Jaguars be as good as them? Maybe in 2015. What do you think?
John: Absolutely not, and that answer is based on more than the fact that that also was one of my two or three favorite teams of all-time. That 1991 Redskins team was a deeper team than just about any NFL team playing today because it was pre-free agency and pre-salary cap – most good teams at the time were by definition deeper than good teams of today. They also were a phenomenally experienced team, with a huge core of players who had played on multiple playoff- and even Super Bowl teams in their careers. It was, in short, the kind of team that is very, very difficult to build in the salary-cap era. It wasn't a team of superstars, but it was a team that played at a high level because it played very well together – and had been playing well together for the better part of a decade. The Jaguars are in the third year of a build. To expect them to be at the maturity level of a multiple-Super Bowl champion is unrealistic.
Alan from Alexandria, MN:
Just exactly how many e-mails do you get daily and do you ACTUALLY read them ALL or is that just a nice public relations thing you have going on? One more thing, do you read them all or do you have a little team working for you that picks some here and there?
John: The numbers vary depending on time of year. It's usually more than one and less than a bigger number than that. I do read them all, and sometimes that's really, really AWESOME!
Billy Shields from East Northport:
You really don't think Michael Vick revolutionized the way the quarterback position is played? He's the first QB to rush for 1,000 yards, his third-down reel was a highlight film! He's the first quarterback that actually had enough success running the ball to give other guys like RG3, Manziel etc. a shot. In days gone by, a running QB was pegged for a position switch like Kordell Stewart, Matt Jones and Denard Robinson underwent. While I'm sure you'd rather have a Pocket Passer like Manning or Brady, Michael Vick proved that you can be successful as a running quarterback in the NFL in the modern era and I think that opened up a lot of doors for this current and younger generation. Do you agree?
John: I don't, Billy, and you know what? I think you're singing out of tune, and yes, I'm walking out on you.
O-Zone: Read the name
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Mike from East Moline, IL: