JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
James from Upper Marlboro, MD
The Kansas City Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes even after having Alex Smith, the Baltimore Ravens drafted Lamar Jackson even after having Joe Flacco. Heck, even the Dallas Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott and they had Tony Romo. What I don't get is we drafted Byron Leftwich (slow windup), Blaine Gabbert (fraidy cat) and Blake Bortles (worst mechanics ever) and seemed to stop drafting quarterbacks because we were putting too much stock in them. I say no matter where we land in the standings next season, we need to draft another quarterback – and I'm not talking about another sixth rounder, either. Put some emphasis on finding the man until you find the man.
Many people believe the Jaguars have neglected quarterback over the years; because the position has been deficient, it's often difficult to see the issue has been selecting the wrong quarterbacks rather than not trying to find good ones. Many also believe drafting a quarterback early every year is the proper approach. The issue is how heavily to invest in the most important position at the expense of ignoring other positions. The reality is you usually need to invest in quarterback in Round 1 to have a good chance for the player to contribute on a level that makes the selection worthwhile; that makes teams reluctant to invest there every year, or even every other year. Why not select one in Round 2 or 3 more often? Because those are rounds where you find starters at other positions – and once you get beyond Round 1, quarterback becomes even more of a crapshoot than in Round 1. There are obviously exceptions such as Gardner Minshew II and Prescott, but that's the reason more teams don't draft quarterbacks early every year. The other reason teams don't do it – and the reasons the Jaguars haven't done it more often – is there's only practice time/repetitions to develop so many quarterbacks; organized team activities and training-camp practices are limited. If you draft a quarterback every year, you're probably quickly giving up on ones you're trying to develop. I would lean toward drafting one early more years than not, but those are some reasons teams don't.
Ross from Mechanicsville, MD
So let's say the middle linebacker gets hurt in the middle of the game. Who has the communication helmet? Are there a bunch of helmets fitted with the communication-to-sideline helmet, yet only one turned on at a time? Or is it something else?
Two defensive players per team enter each game with a communications-equipped helmet, with one player allowed to wear the communications-equipped helmet on the field at a given time. If the player wearing it is injured, the other player wears his communications-equipped helmet.
John from Jacksonville
Why do the officials need to know which defensive player has the helmet comm?
Because only one player can wear it at a time.
Steve from Nashville, TN
Can you describe new Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's style of offense, and how it does or does not mesh with our current roster?
Gruden's offense – like that of his brother, Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden – is heavily based on West Coast-offense principles, which generally means passes getting off quickly and an emphasis on fast reads for the quarterback. You also must run effectively and there is an emphasis on play-action. He also is said to be very quarterback-friendly because he played the position. But remember: Offenses evolve at every coaching stop, and Gruden's offense in Jacksonville will differ from that which he ran in Washington as head coach in recent seasons and in Cincinnati as offensive coordinator before that. Gruden will tailor the offense around the personnel, particularly quarterback Gardner Minshew II. The more Minshew can handle, the more Gruden will install. The less he can handle, the more scaled-back the offense.
Unhipcat from carlsbad, ca
Hi, John. What do you think about the Fournette pick? I'm of the opinion that was a Coughlin decision. What's your opinion, and whom do you think Dave would have taken if it had been solely up to him?
I think selection running back Leonard Fournette No. 4 overall was very much influenced by former Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin. I doubt current Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell would have made the selection had he had final say. That doesn't mean Caldwell banged the table against it; it just means he might have gone another direction. I don't know who Caldwell would have taken, though I don't believe it would have been a quarterback.
Brian from Jacksonville
I just saw a 2018 gameday picture of linebacker Telvin Smith and was reminded why – in part – the Jaguars' play declined in 2018 and 2019. Prominent in the picture of Smith was a big "C"on the front of his jersey. Later, Fournette wore the "C." His childish bad behavior became epic. Myles Jack toned it down a tad, but his on-field personal fouls, tantrums and ejections were far less than ideal. Much went wrong after 2017. The locker-room gravitation to toxic peer leaders probably contributed. Defensive end Calais Campbell helped, but unfortunately players chose other leaders that didn't. Would Head Coach Doug Marrone consider no "C" display on game jerseys? Bad choices shouldn't be advertised? #Cmugshot
I foresee the Jaguars' captains wearing the "C" on their jerseys in 2020; Marrone wouldn't take that away. I don't think there's any question the Jaguars hope those wearing it are deserving.
Travis from High Springs, FL
In your opinion, what would be a better scenario for the Jaguars? Minshew proves to be an above average – but not elite – quarterback next season or the Jaguars being able to get Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in next year's draft?
If Lawrence is as good as he projects, he will be elite. If that's the case, you would rather have him than an average quarterback.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
I grew up on Sbarro's pizza. I'll take a big slice (not Jax airport) of pepperoni any day of the week and twice on Sundays!!
Wade from Westside
One of the best moments in sports history for me was Michael Chang versus Ivan Lendl in the fourth round of the French Open. Do you have any sports moments that stand out to you?
I put the Jaguars-Denver Broncos AFC Divisional Playoff following the 1996 season, the Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots AFC Championship Game following the 2006 season, the Jaguars-Pittsburgh Steelers AFC Divisional Playoff following the 2017 season, the University of Florida run to the 1994 Final Four and the Florida State football victory over Florida at Florida Field in 1993 as the top five events I've covered. In terms of ones that standout regardless of whether I worked the event or not: Roger Federer's Australian Open final victory over Rafael Nadal, Jack Nicklaus' 1986 Masters victory, the Washington Redskins' three Super Bowl victories when I was a diehard fan, North Carolina's victory over Georgetown in the 1982 NCAA Championship Game … Other events obviously compare to and perhaps surpass those for many people, but those come to mind first for me for various reasons.
Chris from Out there, man
The defense this year has a chance to be sneaky good. We have a lot of good athletic players on the roster. Do you think lack of size/bulk will hurt us in the long run in 2020?
This could be a lesser issue in 2020 than in past seasons. Jack isn't huge for a weak-side linebacker, but he's stouter against the run than Smith – who was strikingly light for the position. Joe Schobert is significantly heavier in the middle than Jack, and the Jaguars have added two stout defensive tackles in Al Woods and DaVon Hamilton. None of that makes the Jaguars the NFL's stoutest run defense, but it feels stouter than the last couple of seasons.
zac from austin, tejas
How would you have fared in Head Coach Doug Marrone's Food Challenge? I'm thinking you're more of a Midwest BBQ type of guy, and definitely don't trust you to make pizza anymore.
Unless it involves throwing something on the grill that can be finished in less than 15 minutes and greatly enhanced with my wife's assistance – or unless it involves something I can purchase – I would fare very poorly in any cooking contest.
Cliff from Callahan, FL
I watched a few episodes of The Office and thought it was dreadful. Was told that the first season wasn't all that good, and it got better. OK: powered though Season 1 and found that Season 2 sucked also. Gave up two thirds of the way. What I don't understand is how you love Parks and Recreation but not so much The Office. They're both the Sbarro pizzas of comedy.
Everybody has their opinions, I suppose. But if thinking Ron Swanson is one of the greatest characters in television history is wrong, I don't want to be right.