JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Mike from Jacksonville:
Myself, Jim and others have inquired about the injuries of players who seemingly have not fully participated in practices. We understand it is only June and these sessions can't be called practices or important in any way. But it still feels wrong that you belittle the questions and provide no insight as to what the injuries are. It's OK to say, "I don't know."
John: I'm well aware people have inquired about the injuries of Jaguars players who didn't participate in organized team activities or minicamp, and I'm also well aware the Jaguars and Head Coach Doug Marrone opted to not share the nature of those injuries during the offseason. We reported the players' absence pretty much every day the Jaguars practiced during the offseason in accordance with the offseason media policy. The primary players in question – cornerback Aaron Colvin, safety Barry Church, safety Tashaun Gipson and running back T.J. Yeldon – all have been around EverBank Field, and most worked on the side during on-field work during OTAs and minicamp. I don't expect the injuries to hamper them during training camp, though Marrone opted not to share his expectations on that front as minicamp closed Thursday. As for the belittling … yeah, there was some of that in a recent answer. But said belittling had nothing to do with people wanting to know about the injured players. It had everything to do with a question that implied the players should be practicing, and that they had somehow not taken care of themselves or adequately tried to rehabilitate to be on the field at this time. Maybe that notion shouldn't be belittled … nah, upon reflection it was perfectly belittle-worthy.
Jason from St. Petersburg, FL:
Hey, O ... I just heard that Jalen Ramsey had minor surgery on a core muscle the other day. How many panicky or outraged emails have you gotten from people saying this should've been taken care of months ago? I'm gonna set the over/under at about 25. Let me know. And, I'll further venture to guess these are the same people who were panicky and outraged when Branden Albert wasn't showing up at voluntary OTAs.
John: Actually this was the only one.
Ricky from Fairport, NY:
Hey John, after reading about Jalen Ramsey's procedure can you tell me what "successful surgery" means? No one really knows whether the surgery was successful until he has returned to the field in fine form, correct? So, by using the word "successful" in front of the word "surgery" the only thing we really know to be successful immediately after the procedure was that the patient survived. "Successful surgery" in sports reporting has become as cliché as putting "much" in front of "maligned." How many "successful surgeries" did Tony Boselli have on his shoulders before his career was cut short because the surgeries failed?
John: Actually, Boselli is a bad example because his shoulder surgeries were not successful. And you see the phrase successful surgery far more in press releases than news stories, so it's not a "reporting" issue as much as a "public-relations" issue. One reason you don't hear much about unsuccessful surgeries is they are far outnumbered by successful ones. Another reason is the unsuccessful ones aren't often discussed in press releases.
Cliff from Everywhere with a helicopter:
Waitaminnit! Did I just read the words "Boselli" and "humble" in the same paragraph? Is that not one of the seven signs of the apocalypse? AIIIIEEEEE!
John: I indeed referred to Boselli as humble recently. Perchance I misspoke.
Jose from Mexico:
Dear John, our Jags started working and looking better for a new season. However, if Blake Bortles repeats last season's performance does the coaching staff have a Plan B to cover the quarterback position? I know it's too early but what would you do? Best regards ...
John: The coaching staff certainly has a Plan B, which is to play the backup quarterback. That almost certainly either will be Chad Henne or Brandon Allen, with the backup to be decided in training camp and preseason. I expect it to be Henne, and that's who I would play if performance or injury merits Bortles not being the quarterback.
Mason from Palm Bay, FL:
If one of your favorite players of all-time is from the Texans, Titans, or Colts (i.e. Bob Sanders) you're not a real Jags fan.
John: "Real fans" can have many traits. One might even be being objective enough to have an appreciation for greatness that doesn't happen to wear the uniform of your team. This trait isn't a prerequisite to be a fan, but its presence needn't make one an outcast.
Dave from Jersey City, NJ:
How has Leonard Fournette looked athletically compared to the rest of our running backs?
John: Fournette looks about as you would expect compared to the other backs – and as you would expect a first-round selection to look. He seems faster, more explosive and more athletic than Chris Ivory, though Ivory showed as much power as it's possible to show during non-padded work in recent weeks. Fournette didn't look as fast as Corey Grant, though no one on the team usually looks as fast as Grant. T.J. Yeldon didn't participate in OTAs or minicamp, but Fournette as expected appears to have the edge there in speed and explosiveness.
Steve from Denver, CO:
O, Albert Einstein revised his definition of insanity just for David Caldwell: "If DC does not improve the offensive line (and not waste anymore of Shad's hard-earned bankroll on a second-round running back, a huge free-agent RB signing, and finally big Leo) he will be out of Jacksonville for his insane offensive-line policy. Would you blame Shad for a criticism like that? I'm shocked he didn't take a run at AP?
John: Though Einstein probably would have been smart enough to grasp every last detail of your question, I fear I am not. You seem upset the Jaguars didn't do more this offseason to address the offensive line even though they changed at least 40 percent of it, and you also seem upset the Jaguars didn't pursue Adrian Peterson rather than draft Fournette. I understand why people wanted more done on the line, and that's going to be a major area to watch early in the season. The Jaguars believe they can find an effective unit, and I believe that unit will be Branden Albert, A.J. Cann, Brandon Linder, Cam Robinson and Jermey Parnell. Stay tuned.
Scott from Jacksonville:
If you aren't going to stress over the laces out thing that didn't even register with me until Eric pointed it out, I will. I don't think I ever in my entire life picked up a football to throw it without gripping the laces. Blake has no chance to throw an accurate ball, let alone a spiral, gripping the football like that. Please let him know.
John: I'll probably let him know you never have done it that way. Wait … no, I won't.
Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire:
Oh Mighty 'O' … 'Tis the dead zone. No meaningful football activity until late July. So, then: What was the first record you bought with your own money? And do you still have it?
John: My memory is fuzzy on this, but the first record I remember buying that mattered was by the Beatles. My close friend, Tim Berg, had received "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart's Club Band" for his birthday and I got into the Beatles visiting him on his birthday weekend. I went with my mother to the Skaggs Albertson's on Merrill Road and found "Beatles 1962-1966" and "Beatles 1967-1970" in the album bin. The 1962-1966 album was red and the 1967-70 album was blue; 1962-1966 had a picture of John, Paul, George and Ringo in matching suits and short hair on the front, while 1967-1970 had the four posing at the same angle as the 1962-1966 cover – and on the same high-rise building – several years later in their late 1960s suits with long hair and beards. Not yet being familiar with the Beatles' catalogue, and having only enough money for one or the other, I chose 1962-1966 – because the early songs were shorter, which meant more songs on the record and therefore more bang for my 11-year-old buck. A few weeks later, I spotted the 1967-1970 record while at the home of a colleague of my father's at Suddath Van Lines: Barry Vaughn, who eventually became Suddath's president but at the time was just a young guy nice enough to lend an annoying, awkward 11-year-old a record. I taped both '62-66 and '67-70 and wore both out on cassette, inevitably graduating to the rest of the Beatles' catalogue. This led to a hardcore era of Beatles fandom, not to mention a regrettable Beatles Belt Buckle that remains vividly etched in my memory – and that remains a source of humor for prominent local attorney David Barskdale to this day.
Tom from St. Augustine, FL:
Don't leave me hanging on like a Yo-Yo.
John: I never had a Wham! belt buckle.
O-Zone: Thank goodness
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Mike from Jacksonville: