JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it... Brian from Neptune Beach, FL:
Three questions: 1) How many emails did you receive Tuesday? 2) How many of them were in reference to MJD? 3) How much crap are the fans of Jacksonville supposed to put up with? Please help.
John: Three answers: 1) Many. 2) A very big percentage. 3) Not a significant amount more than fans of most teams. I know this is tiresome, and I know when put next to the recent suspension of Justin Blackmon it seems as if this off-field stuff is a trend. I would caution against jumping to conclusions about Maurice Jones-Drew, and I don't know that this is something that's going to be a big deal in a month or two. I don't know the details of what happened involving Jones-Drew over the weekend, but it doesn't appear likely that this this latest incident will result in a suspension. It seems to have a pretty strong possibility of soon being seen as a blip. The bigger issue is whether Jones-Drew will be healthy and prepared to play. That's still the biggest on-field part of this story.
Jim from Gainesville, FL:
Bye, Bye Maurice!!
John: Well, no.
Darren from Jacksonville:
Quarterbacks are like big men in the NBA. They need time to develop and grow. Very rarely do they produce big time early.
John: Yes and no. Many quarterbacks do need time to grow, though many times you can tell early the ones who are going to develop. That's what makes the Blaine Gabbert situation so difficult. He has yet to show often on the field significant signs of developing. That's not to say he can't. It just puts him in the category of an unknown, and that's a discomforting feeling for fans.
Aaron from Milroy, PA:
Maybe you should think about your business plan and stop offering obvious observations for a large fee when they are 100 percent false. I would like to see if you are as right about other things as you are about LeBron being good late in games. Please take the 28 seconds out of your life and watch this before making more false statements. Thank you.
John: OK, Aaron. You're right. LeBron James makes two errors at the end of a playoff game, and automatically, he's "not good late in games." I'm no NBA expert, and I certainly have no dog in the hunt when it comes to being pro- or anti-LeBron. But I know enough to know that in the NBA you have to have go-to guys at the end of games who can finish and make big shots. My guess is he'll come up big in a few of those situations – maybe even before the end of June.
Dan from Section 409:
Last year, I asked you how many yards receiving you thought Blackmon would have at year's end and you were about spot on. With that, can you provide a year-end estimate for Shorts for this upcoming season?
John: A lot will depend on Cecil Shorts III staying healthy. That became an issue with his concussions late last season and will be an obvious concern/storyline this season. If he is healthy 16 games, I see him being a 1,200-yard receiver.
Tudor from Saint Augustine, FL:
Ummm, Reggie White as the fourth slot for Mount Rushmore? You forget about LT or you just being facetious?
John: I didn't forget, and I wasn't being facetious – at least not overly so. Most of the time when I answer such questions, I place Lawrence Taylor over Reggie White. In thinking about the answer Tuesday, I started thinking how White may have been the most dominant player ever to play defensive end and how defensive end is the most important position on the defense. It got me to thinking, "Why Not White?" Deep, deep down I'd still probably pick Taylor, so maybe I was just feeling a little adventurous following a three-day weekend.
Mandy from Tallahassee and Section 414:
Hey Mr. O! Have you heard that Steven Segal has written a 50-page manifesto about how the Jaguars need to bring in Danny Wuerffel??? What do you feel is the biggest "knock" on Blaine? Is it being comfortable in the pocket? Because if that is the biggest concern, hopefully those extra two seconds that a stronger offensive line would really make a difference in his development.
John: It's hard to say what the biggest knock is on Blaine. The topic has been talked and analyzed to death, with some criticisms having merit and others being varying degrees of off-base. I've said often I think the comfort-in-the-pocket thing is vastly overblown. It's something that took off after a difficult rookie season, and if you watched last season there were few cases where you saw him unreasonably trying to avoid pressure. As I've said often, many, many elite quarterbacks avoid contact when possible and teams often encourage this because of the importance of keeping the starting quarterback healthy. Now, will Gabbert benefit from more time? I don't think there's any question. If the Jaguars' line indeed is improved as much as is expected, this season could be the litmus test about his future.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
I'm tired of namby-pamby land where Jaguar fans whine about national popular opinion. Who cares if they like us or not? Do you think it hurt the old Oakland Raiders players' or fans' feelings that people did not like them? Why can't we get tough and quit caring about what ESPN or the other football teams and fans think of u? What is best in life anyway? "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women." Get tough, J-ville!
John: You only get so many chances to use the phrase, "Namby-pamby," so for this opportunity, Keith, I offer a humble "Thank you."
Sam from Augusta, GA:
You never field my questions regarding Tim Tebow, so I'll try something different: So is Blaine Gabbert the greatest player in the history of the NFL, or is he just an incredibly awesome quarterback?
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
With the amount of youth on defense and the new defense utilizing a lot of sub packages and rotations, communication is paramount. Should we expect more 12-men penalties and untimely times out, or do you feel like Coach Bradley and the other coaches will have them ready by Week One?
John: Youth does not by definition mean more penalties. For an undisciplined team, it can, but an abundance of youth need not mean a lack of discipline.
Glenn from Pooler, GA:
In your response to Jimmy from Raleigh over the weekend, I sure hope you weren't belittling Waffle House employees?! My father and his father worked a combined 73 years for that fine establishment! I'm striving to follow in their footsteps.
John: I was belittling no one. I was just angling for a free waffle. I like free waffles.
Billy from Kalaheo, HI:
I have faith in Gabbert. This will be only his second offseason. This is his third head coach. I'm no expert or anything but it has to be a little hard for a young quarterback to go through three offensive systems.
John: You are not alone. I ain't sayin' you're in an overwhelming majority, but you're not alone.
Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL:
The problem with you picking Boselli for the Jaguars' Mount Rushmore is that his head wouldn't fit...
John: Goodness gracious, I wish I'd said that.
Mark from Waverly, Iowa:
Perhaps you should remind your readers it's not as easy to sign free agents in real life as it is in "Madden." Just because a player is out there doesn't mean you can just sign them because you want them. Plus, did...did I really see someone toss out Testaverde's name? I wonder sometimes if these are legitimate opinions, or parody. Over the last few years it is getting harder and harder to differentiate between the two.
John: I'm pretty sure the Testaverde thing was in jest, but your point about free agency is a good one. I don't know that "Madden" is entirely to blame. There's also the inundation of ESPN and NFL Network, with instant analysis calling teams "winners and losers" and implying that signing free agents is simply a matter of pressing a button and having it be so. In most situations, free agency is about the money. But in a case such as Peyton Manning – which seems to be the topic of the week here in the Ozone – there were other factors that at the time the Jaguars were almost certainly not going to overcome.
Peter from Maribor, Slovenia:
My wife is taking advantage of every bit of my love for the Jaguars. Yesterday she bought teal-colored shoes and is looking for a teal-colored purse. I also saw her take a glimpse of a piece of teal-colored stone jewelry. (She wants to look good for the London game, she says...) What are the benefits of being a senior writer's wife, John?
John: I asked my wife this question once. We were headed to a nice conversation when I noticed her behind the couch in a ball, sobbing.
O-Zone: The perks of marriage
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it... Brian from Neptune Beach, FL: