JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Lesean from DTWD:
O, does Stephen Morris have a legitimate chance to beat out Chad Henne for the backup job? Could he even draw interest from other teams in the future as potential trade bait?
John: Every few weeks I get an email about Chad Henne – just as every few weeks I get questions about this player or that player being "trade bait." Some wonder if Henne will be released. Others wonder if he can "hold on" to the Jaguars' backup quarterback job. What most people seem to miss or forget is Henne is a very capable backup and would be the top backup on the majority of NFL teams. There's a reason the Jaguars re-signed him last offseason. He's a very valued backup quarterback – and good, reliable ones are difficult to find. So in light of all of that, no, I doubt Morris will beat out Henne for the backup role this season. I also don't know how much trade value Morris has right now. He has extremely limited NFL experience and has done little to entice anyone to give up anything to get him. Overall, I'll say this about trades: as intriguing as they are to fans, they're far less important in building a roster than the draft or free agency. Let's just worry about the players on the Jaguars' roster developing and worry less about trading them away.
Tim from Atlantic Beach, FL:
"They" don't like our helmets now; winning can change that perception.
John: Yes, it can – and if "they" start liking the Jaguars' helmets … I mean, boy, wouldn't that be awesome!!!
Spencer from Atlanta, GA:
You told Ray from Vernon that uniform and helmet changes had to stand for at least five years. Didn't we have the uniforms with the shiny teal spot on the helmet for only two years (2012-2013)? Is there some sort of exception for the five-year rule if the owner changes? Or if the team agrees to make a bad helmet even worse? Go Jags!
John: Yes, a team with a new owner can change its uniform even if it has changed uniforms in the previous five years.
Joe from San Antonio, TX:
I remember a few years ago when the Seahawks' current uniform was rated as one of the ugliest in the NFL. Now, it's considered one of the best-looking. Funny how winning changes people's perspective on these things ...
John: Yes. Sure. I guess.
David from Ystad, Sweden:
Hey, O! I don't think Josh Evans made a fool of himself at free safety last year, so why would the Jags go through the struggles of making James Sample switch positions? He played strong safety in college, so he already knows that position. Let him learn from Cyp and let Sergio Brown and Josh Evans battle it out at free safety. What gives, John?
John: The Jaguars feel differently about Josh Evans and the free safety position than you. While the team doesn't believe he made a fool of himself at the spot, there is a belief that an upgrade at what is a very important position – and an increasingly difficult position to find – is needed. Making that upgrade is difficult. The Jaguars pursued Devin McCourty heavily and added two players – Brown and Sample – in the hope that something will work.
Bill from Danville, NY:
I LOVE the helmet and the logo. The unis, I could take 'em or leave 'em. With all the change that was happening at the time, a new image was needed and this image fits Duval well!! GO JAGS!!!
Dan from Holley, NY:
John, something has been worrying me. The "positive-vibe" thing still holds strong surrounding the team, mainly because of Blake, Gus, Dave and Shad, but what if the bottom falls out again? Do you think with all the first-round misses dating back to 2003 and all the question marks surrounding this team that we could be heading for another "dark ages" stage like 2008-2009 that we're still trying to dig out of? What if our last three first-rounders join that long list of first-round misses as well? Can the fans keep holding on? Will there ever be a light at the end of the tunnel?
John: Your worry is understandable; the scars of losing run deep. The only thing for a team that has been struggling – and there's no doubt the Jaguars have struggled on the field in recent years – is to build your way out of it, piece by piece, year by year, step by step. The Jaguars are in the process of doing that and they are doing it in a sound, logical way. If the draft picks develop and if Blake Bortles progresses, then you should start seeing the Jaguars build toward a period of competitiveness and success. If not, then the struggles will continue. That's reality and there's no way to see into the future. The only thing to do in professional sports is continue to draft, build and develop your players. The light in the tunnel can be long. There are no guarantees in professional sports because this is not scripted television, but the Jaguars are doing it the right way. That's all there is to do.
Bobby from Jacksonville and Section 201:
I feel like with the #DTWD e-mails we have lost sight of something much more important - like watching a grown man dip his fried shrimp in a chocolate fountain at Golden Corral #Shadricksighting...
John: (It's funny because it's true)
James from Vancouver, BC:
So, I guess I have to like this Duuvaaal thing if I'm to be a Jaguars fan? You think there are Steelers fans who hate the Terrible Towel?
John: I doubt there are many Steelers fans who hate the Terrible Towel now. I imagine when it first began there were those who disliked it; there are always people who dislike new things. Then, those things get popular enough that it's not cool to say you don't like them anymore. As far as the "Duuvaaal thing," no, you absolutely don't have to like it to be a Jaguars fan. That's the neat thing about the Jaguars – and about 'Merica, come to think of it. You can like and believe anything you want and you can dislike things if you want and you can choose to participate in any way you want. I think you'll find if you choose not to chant Duval around people who opt to chant Duval that there's still a pretty good chance you'll get along fine. Can't we all get along?
Tucker from Nashville, TN:
Could care less what people think of the uniforms. Most excited about Bortles, Thomas, Smith, Davis and Odrick. In that order.
John: That's a good list. It speaks to the work of David Caldwell that other people could turn in Five Jaguars to Get Excited About and have a substantially different list – and that that neither list would be silly. There's potential on this roster. I believe there's a lot more on the field than three seasons ago. I also believe this is the year that potential should start producing better results on the field. We'll see.
Jake from State Farm:
With the OTAs closed to the public, I feel like the Jaguars are hiding something from us. WHAT IS IT, JOHN?!?! What are they hiding?
John: Somewhere in your capital letters and exclamation points, I hear the sarcasm and tomfoolery in your question; I appreciate sarcasm and tomfoolery, but there does seem to be bit of a misunderstanding among some readers over the Jaguars' organized team activities being closed to the public. That OTAs are closed is not unusual – either for an NFL team or for the Jaguars. The Jaguars typically have rookie minicamps and training camps open to the public, and they also typically have at least one veteran minicamp practice open. OTA practices typically have not been open in the past, and OTA practices around the league are typically not open. What are they hiding? Stuff.
Carter from St. Augustine, FL:
Does Abry Jones have a shot at overtaking Roy Miller III as the starting 1-tech/4-3 NT over the next few seasons?
John: He needs to play with more consistency to do it, and he probably needs to start doing that this season. Miller is a veteran who is known and respected in the Jaguars' locker room for his toughness, consistency and reliability. He absolutely enters the season as the starter and is an important player on the Jaguars' defense and defensive line. Jones, entering his third season, is a young player with a lot of potential who has played very well at times and is very valuable to the defensive line rotation – and, like most young players, needs to work to be more consistent. If Jones is going to develop into a potential starter, that consistency and a next level probably needs to start showing up in Year Three.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
At what point in your life did you come to the realization that you would never play football professionally?
John: Wait. What?
O-Zone: Stunning news
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Lesean from DTWD: