JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it... Steve from Jacksonville:
Just wanted to let you know that, yes, there IS someone out here who understands that Trufant has a pretty good track record where injuries are concerned. THAT is why he's here and Derek Cox is not. Well that and he'll fit right in with the new scheme. Seahawks South, here we come, I suppose.
John: Yes, but I don't know that this should be looked at as a one-for-one situation. Trufant is in his 11th year, and he's not being brought in as a sure-fire starter. He will play whatever role he earns and it wouldn't be surprising if that role is as a nickel corner that will be available when needed at the other corner positions. He also will be invaluable in teaching the younger cornerbacks Gus Bradley's defense.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
At 32, Trufant doesn't seem to fit what the Jags are currently doing with their roster. So, what's up with that?
John: Trufant is an affordable veteran with a ton of experience in Gus Bradley's defense. The benefits he brings in terms of knowing the defense are pretty substantial.
Kathy from St. Augustine:
FYI, Tony Boselli is a very good-looking man.
John: Down, girl.
James from Jacksonville:
I assume by all the stabs at Boselli you and he are good friends? I hope so. That's a big dude. Kinda woman-like but still dangerous.
John: Tony Boselli is one of the finest, most-intelligent human beings in Jacksonville – nay, on the planet. If you don't believe that, just ask him – or Kathy, I guess.
Mark from Raleigh, NC:
I know you are sick of Tebow questions. Do you think he was given a fair chance to play QB? I mean you have SOME quarterbacks that just can't get the job done, but people give them years to develop. Do you think he would have more of a chance if he didn't bring the circus with him?
John: I've touched on the other parts of your question enough that people know the answer, or they're bored to tears reading it. But as for him being given a "fair" chance to play, there are 32 teams in the NFL; none want him to play quarterback. There is plenty of game video on Tebow. NFL teams don't like what they see enough to want him to play quarterback. That may or may not be fair, but this is professional football. Fairness doesn't enter into it.
Joe from Chelmsford, MA:
I like the pick of Luke Joeckel, but I have heard mention the Jags may let Monroe walk after this season and allow Joeckel to move to his natural position on the left side. To me, this makes no sense for a rebuilding team. Assuming Monroe plays to his previous ability, don't you have to keep them both as bookends on the line in order to be rebuilding? If not, we just had a second overall pick that will replace one of the only strong positions on a weak roster. To me that's net-gain ZERO?
John: Let's try to remember for a moment that this is not Madden football. The NFL plays out over a long time and there are many moving parts. The Jaguars' new decision-makers right now are essentially at the start of the building process. They have yet to begin negotiations with any players scheduled to become free agents after this season, including Eugene Monroe. They also have yet to be around Monroe for a full season, and Monroe has yet to be around this group of Jaguars decision-makers. It is entirely possible that after this season, Monroe will love the decision-makers and they will love Monroe. It is possible one side or the other could feel differently. I don't have any reason to think the latter will be the case, but the point is this: the decision point for that will be after the season. If the Jaguars want to keep Monroe and he wants to stay, they will agree on a contract that makes sense and you'll structure your team with two quality tackles. If that doesn't work out, then you'll have a quality left tackle. Either way, you got value out of your first draft pick at the start of the building process. That's the idea when drafting.
Cathy from Jacksonville Beach:
Do you think there is any chance the Jaguars might sign Daryl Smith to one- or two-year contract now?
John: In the NFL, you never say never. But, at this stage I doubt it happens. The Jaguars appear to have moved on at the position, and the sense right now is that they're going to play with pretty much the linebackers on the roster.
Jesse from Jacksonville:
Caldwell had a great draft and I understand why he picked so many defensive backs. The strategy makes plenty of sense. First, this is a passing league. Secondly, we had a lot of holes in the secondary. Lastly, it seems, at least to me, that it is relatively easy to rebuild a defense by starting with the secondary first. Good defensive backs can be found all over the draft and don't require the high cost/risk associated with finding a premium pass-rusher. What are your thoughts?
John: The main reason the Jaguars drafted so many defensive backs is because they needed numbers and talent there. Derek Cox, Aaron Ross, Dawan Landry, William Middleton and Rashean Mathis were gone for a number of reasons, and it was an area that was being overhauled. The other reason it makes sense is it's a place to get younger and faster in a hurry, as well as being a place where players can bring double value because of their accompanying role on special teams. Good, fast secondary players not only provide depth in the secondary, they can make your kickoff and punt return units a lot deeper and faster immediately.
John from Jacksonville:
In regards to grading the draft, wouldn't you consider our first-round pick a "gimme?" Anybody who isn't an NFL General Manager would have made that pick. I judge the craft of the Caldwell draft this year on Rounds 2 and beyond.
John: Ask the general manager who selected Ryan Leaf if the No. 2 overall selection is a "gimme." If a pick fails, the general manager is going to get the blame. If Joeckel is good, then Caldwell darned sure deserves whatever "credit" is being handed out.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
If Tony Khan did have a bunker in West Virginia, it would make sense that you WOULDN'T know about it. Isn't that the point of secret bunkers?
John: I don't know, but Tony and I are pretty tight. I'd like to think he'd tell me about the bunker.
Bill from Highland, CA:
I lived in Denver and watched Tim Tebow play in the playoffs in 2011. Your general manager doesn't know what he and the fans are going to miss this year in Jacksonville. If it wasn't for the best quarterback in the NFL taking Tebow's place in Denver he would still be there, that's the quality of football player he is. He just needs the chance.
John: Did you like living in Denver? I hope so. I always enjoy visiting. The mountain air does a body good, and there are some great local breweries. David Caldwell has a good idea of what he's missing. He watches the same video as the other 31 men who do his job around the NFL. I respectfully disagree that Tebow would still be in Denver if not for the presence of Peyton Manning. Everything you hear out of Denver is that John Elway wanted to go a different direction. Manning gave him a very productive direction, but Denver almost certainly would have done something else.
Dakota from Copperopolis:
Has Blaine been working as hard this offseason as last, or is he getting the same level of attention from coaches? I ask because while he may still not have played well enough last year, he really was much improved. I hope that pattern keeps up.
John: Yes, Gabbert is working hard. He has impressed the staff with his approach. Most everything I've heard or seen regarding Gabbert in two years is that he very much wants to be a successful quarterback, and that he puts the time and effort into being just that.
Angel from St. Augustine, FL:
How do the Jaguars feel about Kawaun Jakes becoming one of their quarterbacks?
John: It's a pretty long shot. Jakes was brought in as a workout quarterback, and though it does happen on occasion, it's rare for a player from that group to get signed to a 90-man roster. Jakes made some good throws and looked good at times, though he didn't look as comfortable as the two free agent rookies in camp, Jordan Rodgers and Matt Scott.
Duran from Rapid City, SD:
Ok, so here come the injuries. Ace Sanders is down, Matt Scott and Jordan Rodgers are not throwing, Denard Richardson was excused. Should we be concerned?
John: Get that Richardson guy back in here, I tell ya! Richardson? RICHARDSON! Where the heck is Richardson? GET ME RICHARDSOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!!!!
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it... Steve from Jacksonville: