JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Steve from Nashville, TN:
Of the Jaguars' 13 losses last year, only four of them were less than a double-digit differential. Five of the losses were blowouts - losing by more than two touchdowns. Do you expect that when the Jaguars do lose this year the margins will be lower?
John: Increased competitiveness – along with winning, of course – is the Jaguars' expectation this season. I say "in general" because point differential isn't the end-all, but the Jaguars in general were more competitive last season than in 2013. That means more games in doubt at halftime, and more games with long stretches during which the Jaguars were competitive. Whatever the record this season, there should be far more games in which the Jaguars are close or ahead with a legitimate chance to win. Winning is absolutely the objective, but that competitive stuff? When you're building, that stuff matters, too.
Trey from Lonely Fruit Cove:
John, if I buy you nitwits a round table will you sit at it for "Jags of the Round Table?"
John: Why do you ask?
James from Yulee, FL:
If for some crazy reason Melvin Gordon had been there in the second round, do you still think they would have picked up Yeldon? Did they like him that much?
John: The Jaguars liked T.J. Yeldon. A lot. General Manager David Caldwell when speaking with a few local writers on Tuesday in fact said the team had Yeldon grouped with Todd Gurley and Gordon, the two running backs selected in the first round last offseason. I sort of doubt the Jaguars would have selected Yeldon over Gurley or Gordon, but they didn't believe there was a huge gap.
Bill from Hamden, CT:
O-man, are you keeping an eye on your GPS numbers?
John: I do keep one eye on my GPS numbers; the other, I use for crying.
Royce from Jacksonville:
Mr. O, Luke Joeckel seems like a forgotten man. I rarely hear any comments on how he is progressing from Coach Gus or anyone else. Why is that?
John: Sometimes I get questions that are tough to answer. This is one of those, because I hear Gus Bradley talk about Joeckel a lot. Caldwell talks about him a lot, too. In fact, being the No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft and the starting left tackle, Joeckel is a pretty common topic of conversation around the Jaguars and has been for a couple of years. Now, I will say that Joeckel hasn't been discussed in the first few days of training camp because there's not too much to say about linemen until the full pads go on. That happens today, so stay tuned.
Chris from Jacksonville:
As a local business owner, I know how long it can take for a new employee to become a productive member of the team. With all the new free agents, young players and new coaches as well as the limitations put on coach/player interactions throughout the year, it's amazing they can put together a decent team on opening day. There has to be a huge benefit to teams that have continuity between coaches and players. How big of a factor do you think this is for teams?
Jason from Jacksonville:
Seeing video with Bortles in pads, his ball is sharper and a lot more accurate. Julius Thomas has also gotten a lot better in pass protection from the videos I've seen. I like the leadership he displays. It's nice knowing that even though he's one of the highest-paid tight ends, he's still one of the guys. My main question: Who are maybe one or two guys who weren't supposed to make the team, but who are now fighting for role, or even a starting position? Thanks John!
John: I'm glad you liked the highlights of Blake Bortles and Julius Thomas. The good news is there's every indication that those highlights are reflective of their abilities on the field. As far as guys who weren't supposed to make the team "Shocking the World," that's hard to answer; I don't know who you thought was going to make the team and who wasn't. I do know Corey Grant and Nick Marshall have impressed at times. That may or may not be news.
David from Jagsonville:
Dan Skuta looks like a bear of a man. What's the analysis on him so far and how has he looked in camp? Furthermore, what are some positive aspects of his game that he can bring to the defense?
John: I have no comment on Skuta's spirit animal (mine's an otter; cute, agile, likes to splash and slide). As far as how Skuta fits and how he has fared, all reports thus far are very positive. Skuta was perhaps a bit overlooked at first in the flurry that was the Jaguars' free-agency signing period in March, but he was a key signing. He appears the ideal fit for the Otto position, and he's a veteran who other veterans on the team respect and trust. He should significantly upgrade the Jaguars' strong-side run defense and he brings enough pass-rushing ability to help in that area, too.
Samwise from Shire:
Other than Blake Bortles, which one player would be the most detrimental to the team if we lost them in Game One for the season due to injury? As a UCF alum, I've been searching for Kombat Bortles shirts with flames on them. Have you seen any?!
John: I haven't seen any Kombat Bortles or Bortles Kombat or Tabmok Seltrob shirts or anything. As far as what player the Jaguars can least afford to lose, the easy answer would be Julius Thomas, but I'll go with Allen Robinson. This team needs him to develop and it needs his third-down ability.
Don from Macclenny, FL:
John, how is Hurns looking in camp? Most of the coverage has been about the other receivers.
John: Allen Hurns hasn't been discussed much because he is looking as he has looked since joining the Jaguars – and as I imagine he will as long as he is with the Jaguars. He looks consistent and reliable. He's not the physical specimen along the lines of Allen Robinson and doesn't possess the eye-catching athleticism of Marqise Lee. But he's good and I expect he's going to be productive and reliable for a long time.
Amar from Morenci:
I read that Mike Peterson and Greg Jones returned as intern coaches for the Jaguars this summer. Can you describe their role and impact?
John: They are intern coaches helping at their respective positions. They will be with the team during training camp and the preseason. I have no idea their impact except that they are knowledgeable guys with NFL pedigrees and that never hurts.
Trae from Jacksonville:
John, does the CBA limit the amount of time players are allowed to be at their respective stadiums during the season? Have you ever known of any players to actually sleep overnight at the stadium on occasion?
John: I haven't heard of players staying. Shadrick stays on occasion, but it's usually near the end of the month when he's low on sleep, red-eyed and mumbling about how "those guys in the walls just won't stop their infernal thumpin'."
Adrian from Jacksonville:
How many practices do the Jaguars cancel per season due to inclement weather? I'm aware the proposed Shipyards project has an indoor facility planned but I believe this is a team attempting to open the proverbial "window" right now. Is an indoor temporary practice structure feasible? Do you think the costs would outweigh the loss of on-field work for a young football team?
John: An indoor practice facility would almost certainly have to be permanent. It's also a pretty hard sell to build a new one now if one is going to be a part of the Shipyards.
Matt from Franklin, TN:
Now that you've had a chance to see the first few days of Greg Olson's offense, what have been the most noticeable differences from Jedd Fisch's offense the past few years? Thanks for the great coverage!
John: Greg Olson's offense this season is going to be a lot more run-oriented with two-tight end sets and a lot of play action. That's the ideal, at least – though circumstance often dictates teams stray from the ideal.
Scott from Gilbert, AZ:
Zone, We knew there had to be a reason the Jags released Ace when they did. I know you tried to spin it as a forgone conclusion he wouldn't make the final roster and the team wanted to give him an opportunity to catch on elsewhere, but after last year's training camp injuries completely ravaging our receiving corps, we knew there had to be an impending suspension the organization was fully aware of. So, why not just tell it like it is...?
John: Because there are privacy rules about suspensions under the NFL's substance-abuse policy, and until it became public, we at jaguars.com didn't know any more than the media.
Groggo from Jacksonville:
When can we expect the hardcover version of your memoirs? I want the leather-bound, hand-signed first edition. Also, make sure Channing Tatum plays you in the movie version, you two are practically twins …
O-Zone: Striking resemblance
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Steve from Nashville, TN: