JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, I read an article recently in which NFL commentators announced that Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton are the future of the NFL. When will Blake Bortles be added to that list?
John: This will be a legitimate question in a year or two. While Bortles is showing signs of reaching elite status, he has yet to attain it. That's true in reality and in perception. Your question deals more with the latter than the former. So, when will Bortles be perceived as elite on a national level? Probably when he leads his team to the postseason. Or wins a Super Bowl. Or plays in a Super Bowl. Or is named to a Pro Bowl. Or is named National Football League Most Valuable Player. The quarterbacks you mentioned may or may not be better than Bortles, but they have done the aforementioned things. Bortles appears to have a chance to be the franchise quarterback this team needs. But his teams have gone 8-21 in his time as a starter. That's not going to get you perceived nationally as the future of a league.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Do you even own a sock or two?
John: I do. I sometimes even wear them, but there honestly needs to be a really good reason.
Richard from Neptune Beach, FL:
O-Zone, you mentioned Nathaniel Hackett, Doug Marrone and Todd Wash as Jaguars assistants who could be NFL head coaches. What … no, Greg Olson?
John: That was an oversight on my part – and actually, it's a pretty big oversight. Olson would not only be on any such list, but he might well be atop the list. Olson's stock has risen in the last couple of seasons with Derek Carr and Blake Bortles developing while working with him. The Jaguars' offensive improvement last season helped it. With another productive season …
David from Scotland:
Hey O-Zone, if you had to pick one (and only one please) of Fowler/Jack/Ramsey, which of the three are you most excited about for the forthcoming season? And why? My own opinion was initially Ramsey, but hearing all the good reports about Fowler might be swaying my vote his way.
John: I can't say I'm that "excited" over seeing any of those three players, but that's just because Stodgy Old Writers don't get excited about all that much. Now if I had to choose who will have the best season between Ramsey/Jack/Fowler I would pick Fowler because he has been around the NFL for a year and I've seen enough in OTAs to make me think his skillset is going to translate quickly. That being said, I haven't seen Ramsey or Jack, so if you ask me this same question in training camp the answer might be dramatically different.
Andrew from Bluffto, OH:
When does training camp begin?
John: The dates have yet to be announced, but training camp will begin in late July.
DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
Do away with replay!? Trust me, as a fan of a college team that until a few years ago didn't play at a level where they HAD replay, you do NOT want replay to go away. If anything, they should expand it to include flags, because they get those wrong half the time, too.
John: Fear not. Replay isn't going anywhere. Nor should it. The idea is to get as many obvious calls as possible right. Whatever flaws there may be in the NFL's replay system it does increase the number of correct calls.
Mike from Des Moines, IA:
Who is faster, Myles Jack or Telvin Smith? That nickel package is looking pretty dank.
John: I imagine this will be a topic of pretty heated debate once Jack arrives. I haven't seen Jack in person. I have seen Smith so I'll go with Smith. If Jack is faster … well, if that's the case then maybe I'll have to rethink my whole "I-don't-get-excited-anymore" schtick.
Roy from Chagrin Falls, OH:
There appears to be an impasse and some hurt feelings in Denver. With the cap space available, if Dave Caldwell could trade a first and third rounder to Denver to land Von Miller for the defense, should he do it? Would it help the pass rush enough to be worth it? Thanks.
John: Should Dave Caldwell make that trade if it were possible? I suppose. Would it help the pass rush? Sure. Is it realistic to think the Broncos are going to trade Von Miller? Yeah, probably not.
Johnny from Palatka, FL:
I guess I'm cynical, but the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was seemingly the players demanding not to work as hard in practice. Perhaps it was to help prevent injuries. That obviously hasn't helped. Is there any chance the coaches (on the next CBA) say, "Look guys, we tried it your way and the team(s) are suffering, and the play is suffering and teams are losing games and therefore losing money, so we're going back to 'real' football practices." I mean, I practiced more as a terrible freshman high school player than the current group of players has practiced in the past two years.
John: I doubt it you'll ever see a move toward more practices. I can't tell you that the reduction in practice time has helped prevent injuries. What I can tell you is coaches aren't involved in the CBA talks. It's the owners and the players, and if the players want to bargain for lighter practices the owners will relinquish on that point because they would rather relinquish there than give up money. That might be a different answer if there were a way to prove your point that "teams are losing games and therefore losing money," but that's really not the case. Because of that, we're not going back to two-a-day practices any time soon. If anything I'd say we'll keep veering toward lighter practice loads.
Steve from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 215:
"... I would point out that while the live streaming of last year's Bills-Jaguars game may have found you huddled around a tablet, there are many, many people who stream broadcasts to a variety of devices." And I would point out that those of us that don't stream to a variety of devices outnumber those that do by many millions. Not being argumentative but the reality is that most people that watch NFL football (and buy tickets) do so on a TV and do not stream to some other device. That is why we do things like get the NFL Network.
John: I wouldn't say people who live stream outnumber those who watch on cable. I would say that the significant losses in viewers and revenue at ESPN due to people "cutting the cord" indicate that live streaming is the future – and that the future is arriving fast.
Alex from Fairfax, VA:
Who do you think will have a bigger year, Rashad Greene or Marqise Lee?
John: If you include punt returns, Rashad Greene; if not, Marqise Lee.
O-Man ... I agree 100 percent with you on the future of "live-streaming" games; I'm a big fan of it. I am hoping the NFL follows the MLB Premium platform; it's absolutely fantastic. I can see any baseball game live, except the Marlins and Rays (blackout policy). I can follow my Reds & Indians now!! Do you see the NFL doing something similar in the future? For $24.99 per month, I'm very happy with MLB Premium.
John: I don't have any doubt that the NFL will do something similar in the future, though I admittedly have no idea how distant or near that future may be.
Kyle from Somewhere, OH:
I keep hearing over and over how Marqise Lee has been very impressive in camp. How long until he gets hurt?
John: I can't predict what will happen to Marqise Lee in the future. I can tell you he has looked very, very good in OTAs. He has looked like he has a very real chance of living up to his draft expectations and really, really helping the Jaguars' offense. I've reported that and a whole lot of other people who have been watching OTAs have reported that. Lee is a major story of OTAs because the hope within the team was that he would stay healthy and therefore give himself a chance to be in the receiving rotation next season. He has done that. I don't know if he will become injured again. I just know that right now in mid-June it's a pertinent story that he has played really well. I can answer those questions. As for predicting the future … if that's what you're asking, no, I can't do that.
Joe from Jacksonville:
I'm considering (wife eight months pregnant) naming my son after you: John Oehser Kingman. By the way, is it possible for a stupid person to give birth to a genius?
John: I don't know, but it sounds like you have a puncher's chance of finding out.
O-Zone: Sheer genius
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brian from Gainesville, FL: