HOUSTON – Super Bowl Zone.
Let's get to it …
Carlos from Mexico City:
So here we are: Thursday before Super Bowl weekend … does our No. 71 get in the Hall of Fame? What does your gut tell you? This fan base could use some good news, right? Whatever happens, here's one for Tony.
John: Voting for the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class indeed is two days out, and the question of former Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli's chances for enshrinement is understandably Topic A, B and C for the Jaguars' fan base this week. Boselli is a huge reason we at jaguars.com are in Houston this week and because we are in Houston, I am in the unenviable position of spending five days of my life doing very little except talking about how great Boselli was. While this is unpleasant and bothersome, I can live with it because Boselli indeed was in my opinion the best left tackle in the NFL's Golden Age of Left Tackles – the mid-to-late 1990s. Former Jaguars Head Coach and current Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin on Tuesday talked about Boselli being mentioned in the same group as Hall-of-Fame left tackles such as Willie Roaf, Jonathan Ogden, Walter Jones and Orlando Pace. Those players played in Boselli's era and Coughlin was right: Boselli was as good if not better than every one of those players – and I would only put Jones on Boselli's level. Thus, the question: does Boselli get in the Hall? I am now convinced Boselli will get in the Hall in the next few years. He is a finalist this year for the first time and many influential voters seem very convinced he is deserving. He undoubtedly has momentum on his side. I think it could happen this year, and I think it will probably come down to Boselli and Joe Jacoby if an offensive lineman makes the Hall Saturday. If that happens, the honoree undoubtedly should be Boselli. I was a huge Redskins fans during Jacoby's career, but he wasn't close to the same level as Boselli. So, do I think No. 71 gets in this year? I'm guessing yes – with the caveat that with Hall voting you just do not know what's going to happen until the voters vote. It's often difficult to even get a sense. Either way, yeah … one for Boselli – and then I can stop talking about him for a while.
William from Windermere:
The Pro Bowl was a big hit in Orlando and my family wore our Jaguars jerseys with pride. Happy to see so many others in the Jaguars' nation showing their love. Do you think the NFL should change its policy like the MLB and make sure that all NFL franchises are represented at the Pro Bowl festivities? We definitely had a few worthy of consideration - Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith, Paul Posluszny and Brandon Linder. Go Jags!
John: I suppose the NFL could make a rule ensuring that all teams are represented by at least one player each year at the Pro Bowl. Considering the number of players per Pro Bowl team, it would probably be an easy rule to implement – and it probably would make the experience more enjoyable to all fans. At the same time, it is the Pro Bowl, so it's realistically quite far down the list of concerns for many observers – including, quite likely, many observers within the NFL.
Heath from Orlando:
I don't care who the Jags pick up as free agents. I don't care who they draft. I don't care who stays healthy, who gets hurt in preseason and I will not get hyped up about this next season. It is too painful to have a bright outlook on things just to be slapped in the face with a top 5 pick.
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436:
Watching the NFC Championship game, I heard Alex Mack's name many times. Alex wanted to come here. Why did Dave Caldwell not seriously pursue him last offseason? It was bonehead moves like this that got him demoted and the Jags still stuck with the dregs of the league.
John: The Jaguars indeed pursued Mack when he was a transition-tagged free agent in 2014 and they opted against doing so last offseason when he was again free agent without restrictions. The thought last offseason was that Brandon Linder would do fine moving from guard to center, which he did. The thought also was that Mack perhaps because of age wasn't quite the high-priority target he had been two seasons before. The decision in that sense felt like something with an eye on the long-term development of the roster rather than the short term. The sense now around here is that there will be a more pronounced focus on the short term in the future. Much more pronounced.
Daniel from Urbandale, IA:
Oh and ... isn't this Joe DeCamillis second stop in Jacksonville?
John: Yes. DeCamillis, hired recently as the Jaguars' special teams coach, served in the same capacity with the Jaguars from 2007-2008.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
Sure, Dalvin Cook might be able to run for five yards on first down with this line, but when Blake Bortles throws a slant behind Allen Robinson on second and gets picked on an out route to Marqise Lee on third, we're back in the same position as 2016.
John: That wasn't very nice.
Tom from Orlando, FL:
Every year there is talk about trading back in the first round, but it never seems to happen. This is sad, because it means we are always drafting early because the team has been really bad for a really long time. Also, it seems that finding a trading partner is harder than it looks. Are there any players in this draft that teams might fall in love with and want to trade up for? There isn't an Andrew Luck, RGIII, or Cam Newton that I am aware of.
John: Trading back in the draft is difficult for the simple reason that teams must want a player enough to make the trade up and give up draft selections. And it's logical that if a player is good enough to warrant the trade, then the team holding the spot might want to stay there and take that very good player. As you note, it usually takes a quarterback to merit the blockbuster trade-back scenario, but no … this does not look like a year where there a quarterback will be so valued.
Daniel from Honolulu, HI:
Your answer on the question about drafting running back early was "unless he is something special --Adrian Peterson." How has that been working for the Vikings, I don't remember seeing them in any Super Bowl lately?
John: And that indeed is the dilemma.
Eric from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I love the JAGS.com homepage. I always wondered what Master Gunny Maronne and FADM (Fleet Admiral) Coughlin looked like in business suits. Neither appear to suffer fools gladly. #DTWD
John: Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone do appear to be seriously serious on our jaguars.com pages. Seriously.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
Obviously Tom Coughlin will have to put the final stamp of approval on all signings and draft picks; that has been made clear. But, do you think he will involve himself more in areas where Dave Caldwell has struggled? For instance, Dave has already "rebuilt" the offensive line with a No. 2 draft pick and some big free agent signings (Zane Beadles, Jermey Parnell, etc.). Now the offensive line needs significant upgrades again, so do you think Tom will be move involved in that process than, say, at the team does at tight end, or what they do at the safety position?
John: I think Tom Coughlin will be heavily involved in all facets of the Jaguars' football operations and all decisions that involve the roster.
Real Keith from Jacksonville:
O, it's been a little bit since our chat at Ford Field where I spotted you walking all alone on the sidelines before the game. I have been thinking of David Caldwell' words for Blake since this has been a topic recently of readers and wanted to know what you think of the possibility that Caldwell put that out there for trade value on dealing Blake at some point? Caldwell can throw surprises in time to time as we have seen.
John: I think Caldwell believes Bortles can be a franchise quarterback – and I believe that was the reason he said as much recently. And while Cadlwell knows Bortles must improve, I think Caldwell indeed believes Bortles will make that improvement – and that if he does, he can lead the Jaguars to a Super Bowl. I don't think he had any ulterior motive to say those things.
John from Jacksonville:
On behalf of this Jaguars fan since the franchise was born, and I'll guess I'm speaking for most others, I'm sincerely hopeful that our guy Boselli will be elected to the Hall of Fame this weekend (and fully expect that will happen). What a great football player to represent our team in the Hall.
John: I agree. Seriously.